CNP Logo Home
Online Catalog
Musical Musings
Liturgical Planners
Submit Your Music
Contact Us
Company Description
CanticaNOVA Publications
Bookmark and Share

Revised Roman Missal: Understanding the reasons for the changes - Part 5

How and why the Church is improving the English translation of The Roman Missal

What Else Will You Hear
in the New Translation?

by Emily Stimpson

This article is reprinted from OSV Newsweekly, a publication of Our Sunday Visitor, Inc, with the kind permission of the editor, John Norton, and author / contributing editor, Emily Stimpson.

More bilical language

Holy Scripture In the Communion rite, the congregation will no longer pray, "Lord, I am unworthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." Rather, they'll pray, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

Likewise, in the third Eucharistic prayer, the priest will no longer say, "From age to age you gather a people to yourself so that from East to West a perfect offering may be made." Instead, he'll say, "You give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name."

Not only are both more accurate renderings of the Latin originals, but both also evoke images and words from Scripture. "I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof," are the words spoken by the Roman centurion, whose faith in Jesus led him to seek a cure for his servant. "From the rising of the sun to its setting," quotes Psalm 113, as well as the prophets Malachi and Isaiah.

"I've been writing for years about the biblical roots of the Mass, but in the defective English translation, those echoes have been hard to hear," said Father Peter Stravinskas, author and liturgist.

More praise for God

Throughout the new translation, God is more fully and faithfully praised. That includes in the Gloria.

Currently Catholics sing: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory."

As of Advent, however, Catholics will sing: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you great thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father."

"All those words and phrases are in the original Latin," said Joe Paprocki, from Loyola Press. "The previous translators lumped it all into one phrase, but in the new translation all those words of praise are there. And it's wonderful. Not only is it more poetic, but it helps us realize how important our praise is. God doesn't need it. But we do. We need to praise him. We can't do it enough."

Fewer 'Almighty Fathers'

In the opening prayers and changing parts of the Mass, Catholics will notice fewer references to God the Father. But that's not the Church being politically correct.

"In the Latin original, there just happen to be far fewer references to God as Father," Father Rick Hilgartner, director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship, told OSV. "For whatever reason, the translators inserted them frequently. But with the new translation and the emphasis on being faithful to the Latin, the references have been removed."

Copyright © 2011 by Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of the copyright owner and the author.

CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town, WV 25414-7388
Send website comments or questions to: