TWO YEARS AFTER THE CHANGES IN THE MASS
THERE ARE STILL REASONS FOR DISAGREEMENT
All good, churchgoing Catholics know that, since the beginning of Advent 2011, Masses in English-speaking parishes have been conducted according to the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal. This work provides revised translations of prayers spoken by the priest and responses by the people, departing in numerous places — some slightly, some substantially — from language which had been used since the 1970s.
Introduction of the new missal was greeted with jubilance in many quarters and discomfort in others. A lot of people welcomed it as a step toward greater sanctity and prayerfulness in Catholic worship (an understandable hope, given some of the liturgical abuses we’ve witnessed in recent decades). At the same time, numerous objections were raised about the altered English phraseology which was intended to hew more closely to the international Latin standard and was therefore less colloquial.
To mark the second anniversary of this shift in liturgical direction, New Oxford Review has published a pair of articles, one taking an affirmative stance on the new missal, the other expressing reservations. Rosemary Lunardini writes in support of the revisions. I am honored to take part as the skeptic.