Monday, November 06, 2006

More liturgical changes?

(h/t: Amy,again :))

B XVI may be changing the words of the Eucharistic Prayer that follow the consecration of the wine, from "for many" instead of "for all" ("This is my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven...")

About “pro multis”

Since another blog has decided (perhaps imprudently) to publish something on it, and since it is already commented on by participants in this blog (for good or ill), here goes.

Three different well-placed sources I trust in Congregations here in Rome confirmed for me that the Holy Father made the determination that the words pro multis in the consecration of the Precious Blood will be properly translated, "for many", in the upcoming English text now in preparation. I had reason to be optimistic about this quite some time ago, but these confirmations go far beyond previous news.

Ever since Pope Paul VI, the Pontiff reserves to himself the approval of all sacramental forms in vernacular versions. Only Pope Benedict can make this decision.

WDTPRS has been hammering this for years, working as a lobby precisely for this, which is the single most important translation issue that had to be resolved. The WDTPRS articles have been used by members of the Vox Clara Committee, bandied about in Congregations, and even read by the Holy Father before his election. In the articles I urged readers to write respectful and brief letters about this issue to members of the Committee and prefects of Congregations. They did and I saw copies of their letters and the nice responses they received in return. The articles kept supplying ammunition during the war over the translation.

I see this as a real benchmark. Pope Benedict acts decisively once he has thought something through. He is interested in a new kind of dialogue, even ecumenical dialogue, based on accurate and forthright expressions of what we believe as a Church. The choice to say "for many" rather than "for all" indicates a serious shift of approach on many levels. It seems to me that the days of overly careful political correctness are done, at least in some spheres of the Church’s activity.

There may be some who do not find this news to be that big a thing. They might suggest that it does nothing for traditionalists who don’t want Mass in the vernacular anyway. To them I would say, first, that what is good for the whole Church is good for them. Holy Church is not to be reduced to the traditionalist minority, as important as it is in some respects. Clearly the traditionalists are not in the majority in the Church today. Thus, vernacular translations impact them more than they might think. The English language clearly dominates the world today. Since liturgical translations in other languages are undergoing revisions, they will be required to follow suit. Also, it is a unmistakable sign both that His Holiness is picking up speed in his work and that he is not content to maintain the status quo. He is making decisions with confidence.

It is necessary to continue with prayers for the Holy Father and with raising thanks to God for this important move on his part. We all know that it ain’t over ‘till it’s over. When I see some instrument of promulgation and the Holy Father’s signature, I will finally relax. Nevertheless I am very happy about this news.

Me: Personally, I think this is good. The closer, and indeed, more accurate we can be with our vernacular, the better. We need to be precise in what we are saying, and nowhere is this more important than in the High Point of the Mass--the Eucharistic Consecration.

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