punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Monday, November 28, 2011

The New Translation...And Screaming Children

Here's what the new translation really looks like, at least, from the perspective of one family.

On Sunday the diaper bag was packed, the goldfish cracker supply was stocked, we ascended to the Feast of the Lamb in our truck arriving with our purchased new translation cue cards just in time to hear the pastor remind everyone about the changes.  And then came the "fun".

The priest's announcement must have flown over the heads of about sixty percent of the congregation who all responded from memory of the old translation throughout the mass.  Another twenty percent just seemed confused and stayed silent.  The remaining congregants stood at the ready, a plethora of cue cards in hand.

Is she upset over the new translation?  Nope she's just your typical bebe
at a newly translated mass having a 'lost in translation' moment.

As mass started, my son began driving his toy car over his seat and sailing it into the kid behind us.

So my initial "And with your spirit," went something like, "And with your...no, dada, no!"

Then my daughter wanted fishy crackers. Then water.  Then more fishy crackers.  Then to be picked up.  So I confessed, "through my own fault, through my own fault, through my most grievous fault" in between responding to her requests.

We then attempted to pay attention to the readings as my son 'played' by hitting our faces and then giving us kisses a second later.  By the end of the homily, my husband had to take the little guy outside, leaving his fancy cue card in his seat.  As I glanced in the direction of my husband's empty seat, I realized that, new translation or not, some things never change, one of which is the screaming children.

As I've previously written, I'm quite excited for the new translation, having only been exposed to the old one the whole of my life.  I'm excited that I will be doing some of the things my parents and grandparents did, and that my children will do the same.

In all the happy anticipation of the changes I was slightly surprised to read so much criticism about them online.  Or was I?  Objectors to the new translation seem to have forgotten this: we attend mass because we want to be filled with God, not with ourselves.  It's the ol' letting Him increase and me decrease maneuver, which sometimes means that the Church occasionally revises her language in order to faithfully convey Christ's original message.  Allowing His actual wording, or the wording in our Latinate tradition to shine through, seems all well and good to me. Accuracy, in anything, is kind of important, right?  I suppose I simply don't understand how a more accurate translation of the mass can be a bad thing.

For anyone who holds this line of thinking, listening to the static of those who feel some sort of identity-loss as Catholics, or that Vatican II has somehow been cast aside (which shows a complete ignorance of the documents of the council), in the promulgation of the new, more accurate, translation, is all a bit silly.

Having said that, I've yet to actually hear the changes on the clerical side.  Again, this is because the screaming children at mass have are in need of being "newly translated" so that they convey their messages more accurately, reverently, and at a lower decibel.

Parents, all people who try to humble themselves daily, are used to having to learn new ways of letting God penetrate their lives in between scooping up cranky children and fallen fishy crackers from the floor. New translation of the mass?  Neat, let's see what happens.  Is the world ending, as some would charge?  No.  Will the fishy crackers continue to be packed?  Definitely.  Will kids still be crabby?  Of course.  But I'd rather listen to mine than to certain other screaming children of God, who, well, you know.


  1. Great post! The changes were so "small" it really didn't feel very different to me....and my kids acted the same as they always do too! ;)

  2. It has been a few weeks and I am still responding out of rote, but in my defense my kids seem to have the cheat sheets.

  3. @ Elizabeth - yep, no change here either. I keep bringing them though in the hope that the minor exorcism might rub off on them!
    @ Lisas - Me too! I've caught myself saying "And also with...wait...And with your spirit..." a few times now!


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