Monday, November 14, 2011

Older is Better

The Catholic Church has a lot going on lately. For one thing, it's got a television mini-series this month. It looks like quite an involved production. I'm looking forward to watching "Catholicism" on PBS, which is a noble film-making effort that traces the history of the church. But wait, there's more.

The last Sunday in November, the Catholic Church will implement the third translation of the Roman missal. This has been a huge happening. Catholic parishes across the country have had their congregations "practicing" for months, learning the new translations of the ancient prayers said during Mass. The new translation is promised to be "more true to the original Latin."

Really? No kidding. I recognized the "new" verbiage immediately. All I had to do was open the St. Joseph Sunday Missal I received from my parents when I was in grade school; it was published in 1960. On the left side of each page appears the Latin prayer. On the right side, there's the English translation--and with very few exceptions, it's verbatim to the "new" translation being implemented this month.

So what's up? I'm no religious expert, but I think the Catholic Church took its eye off the ball forty years ago, when it "modernized" the Gospel and prayer translations for the interactive Mass. I remember my poor Dad was beside himself at the changes. He felt the trendy wording was a desecration and lost heart for going to church. And now, it turns out that father knew best. The Church is going back to the wording it used over fifty years ago.

My parish bulletin this week noted that, in our faith, Catholics accept that "these changes are inspired by the Holy Spirit." Yes, of course I accept that. But I can't help wondering if Dad had something to do with this...

(If the church starts talking about a return to the Latin Mass, I'll know for sure.)