Thursday, September 09, 2010

One Week Hence....

Not terribly long ago, it was said that "Famous angels never come through England..."

That's not to say the 264th successor of Peter is angelic -- if anything, the reining Pope once famously voiced his hope that "we could also fly" like the heavenly host "if [only] we didn't think we were so important." Still, B16's arrival in Britain for his weekend-long pilgrimage to Scotland and England is now but six days (and change) away....

And if you thought things were intense already, just wait.

For starters, the Vatican has released its official Visit Missal for the four-day trek. As widely relayed over recent days, the bulk of the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the pilgrimage's three public Masses -- Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, London's Westminster Cathedral and the climactic beatification of John Henry Newman at Birmingham's Cofton Park -- will be in Latin.

Yet while -- in true Brit-press style -- the choice has been presented as something provocative, in truth, it merely keeps with the form set for recent PopeTrips; on Benedict's springtime journeys to Cyprus, Malta and Portugal, the pontiff likewise employed the church's lingua franca for the Preparation of the Gifts and the Eucharistic Prayers.

At the same time, though, while much buzz has been made over the commissioning of the celebrated Scottish composer James MacMillan to write a Gloria and Sanctus for the major Masses that debuts Rome's freshly-approved translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal -- coming to an Anglophone pew near you sometime next year -- it bears noting that the remainder of the liturgies will retain the universally-known 1973 translation, which remains each country's normative text until its successor's respective implementation date, a matter set by the respective national conferences of bishops.

Bottom line: for the most part, "And also with you" (and most of the rest, as-is) will remain the congregation's response at a Papal Mass... for one last time.

Or three.

PHOTO: Reuters