Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Survey on the Roman Missal.

A few months ago there was a published survey on the new translation of the Missale Romanum. The survey had positive results and made certain sectors who have promoted the new translation as an improvement very happy. The folks at The Chant Cafe` especially. Now, another survey on the new translation has recently been published. This time, the results are somewhat scathing of the new translation and drawing criticism from more conservative quarters.

Debates about methodology abound - as they did with the previous survey. Two points to raise. First, the new translation is a superior translation to the former - which wasn't a hard feat to accomplish by any means. This being said, as someone who knows Latin and uses it quite regularly, the new translation still leaves much to be desired. There are elements to the Latin original the English language simply doesn't capture, at least via the translation techniques used thus far. Second, the majority of priests I've spoken with are somewhat apathetic to the new texts, neither lauding it from the pulpit or performing histrionics on their difficulties pronouncing the text. THAT is a bad sign. It would be better to have translation that is universally detested with much vitriol than to have a translation that, overall, inspires a tepid reaction. Quarters pro and con the new translation will highlight any reaction that enforces their perspective. That's natural, really. Although if the general reaction to the new translation were one of apathy, then it would assure the immediate future of the liturgy in the Roman Church is one of neglect, a mere perfunctory action fulfilled to keep apace.