Friday, June 16, 2006

"Anything But 'Dew'!"

Thus spake one bishop in suggesting an alternate wording... And he wasn't alone, either.

The term "dew" was equally targeted by bishops of the right and left in the amendments accepted by the Bishops Committee for the Liturgy and approved by the entire USCCB in advance of its passage of the translation of the Missale Romanum yesterday.

A briefing on the 62 amendments accepted and 175 proposed changes declined by the bishops yields ample evidence that the prelates took their task seriously, offering detailed rationales and wise counsel to ensure the most workable, effective text for the liturgy prayed by over 60 million American Catholics.

Before all else, one important note. I see many of you are going off about "all these adaptations." Hate to break the news, but it seems those who are guilty of this haven't integrated Liturgiam authenticam, manifesting a carelessness with the precision of terms and, ergo, causing confusion among the faithful. Thank you.

Here's the story: as written here earlier in the week, the bishops approved seven adaptations to the celebration of Mass in the United States. None of these are unfamiliar, but simply adding to the Ordo Missae those elements which were not included in the ICEL text.

When a word or phrase is changed here and there, that is an amendment, not an adaptation. Got that?

In light of that, quoting from the original post on Monday, the sole adaptations are: a continued increased prominence for the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water [i.e. making it part of the Order of Mass as opposed to an appendix]; the maintenance of two "alternative introductions" for the Penitential Rite (the current Sacramentary's allowance for "similar words" is discontinued); seven additional formulae for the Penitential Rite [all of which are already familiar]; keeping the familiar four additional introductions to the Lord's Prayer (the standard ICEL text has one); two alternate forms for the dismissal (again, the ICEL text has one); the "insertion of a Prayer Over Already Blessed Water" for the sprinkling rite; and the maintenance of "Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again," which was not included in the ICEL text.

If you're not reading, fine -- I'll just stop writing.

Back to business, whereas "dew" fell, "chalice" remains. Several proposals to change the word to the current "cup" were rejected by the BCL, which expressed its preference for the rationale established by ICEL.

Several bishops also requested striking "precious" from the submitted rendering of "precious chalice" in the Eucharistic Prayers, but the committee declined these on the grounds that to do so would not be faithful to the Latin use of the term "praeclarum calicem."

In Eucharistic Prayer IV, and at other instances in the text where ICEL rendered "unigenitus" as "Only-begotten" without adding "Son" to it, several prelates sought a change to include "Son," which the bishops accepted.

Two bishops sought to return the phrase "for the many" to the consecration of the precious chalice. The BCL rejected the proposal given "the overwhelming view of the USCCB membership in favor of for all."

However, the committee reply also showed Rome's hand in noting the Holy See's "expressed intention" to address the question in short order.

What will come of that is anyone's guess.

Another bishop sought to have the Gloria's rendering of peace to "all people of good will" changed to "all men." The Committee demurred, replying that "people is the most accurate rendering of hominibus in English as spoken in the United States of America."

In other areas, "Look with favor on your church's offering" -- a 1970 translation in Eucharistic Prayer III -- is staying put, "undefiled" in the Canon becomes "unblemished," the deacon's pre-Gospel request won't be "Pray, Father, your blessing," but "May I have your blessing, Father." And the Mortem tuam has been proposed by the USCCB as reading "We announce your death, O Lord, and proclaim your resurrection until you come in glory."

One bishop requested to change the term "general absolution" to the "general formula of forgiveness." His rationale said that the original text "will reinforce the misinterpretation and could lead to a further marginalization of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the lives of our people."

The proposal was respectfully declined.