Monday, June 05, 2006

The Vote

OK, so as all of you know -- or, at least, that's what it seems like most of the time -- the US bishops will spend the first day of their summer meeting, which begins in ten days' time in Los Angeles, in a final debate and vote on the translation of the editio typica tertia of the Missale Romanum.

Arguably, it is the most important vote the US bishops have ever taken as a conference. And in light of that, you may be asking "Where are we at?" Or, more accurately, "Where are they at?"

Well, you'll hear more about that here over the days to come. In the meantime, however, just one notable point and then an encore presentation for your edification.

First off, in a press release issued at the end of its meeting last week in Rome, the Vox Clara committee of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments noted that Cardinal Francis Arinze, the CDW prefect, reassured the attendees of "the Congregation’s unwavering intention to assure the implementation of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam in this important project."

According to the release, Arinze did this while speaking of "the upcoming consideration of this translation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops."

And that, friends, raises the specter of the "I" word for the United States.

"I" is for "imposition" -- paragraph 104 of LA makes clear that "For the good of the faithful, the Holy See reserves to itself the right to prepare translations in any language, and to approve them for liturgical use." Period. End of game. Thank you.

Not that the "I" word will happen, but the message has been sent that it could happen. And that alone makes all the difference and ramps up tensions which already have been sky-high for years.

There is one other important thing to note. In an innovation from the translations prepared before Liturgiam authenticam, once the bishops receive the "Grey Book" -- the completed translation -- for their final approval, they are free to propose and vote on amendments to it as they see fit before the final vote. (Pre-LA, it was simply one up-or-down vote on an unchangeable text.) All amendments, however, are subject to the line-item recognitio of the Apostolic See.

And, in a concession after the fire-fight at last year's USCCB summer meeting in Chicago, the very popular memorial acclamation "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" will be a proposed adaptation to the Missale Romanum for the United States.

Longtime readers -- who clearly have boatloads of patience for sticking around so long -- will remember that, late last September, portions of texts from the then-current ICEL draft were run on these pages.

To hold you all over, those texts are below. We'll see what's changed in due course.

The Confiteor:

Priest: Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
that we may be ready to celebrate the sacred mysteries.


All: I confess to almighty God,
and to you my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned greatly
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and what I have failed to do,
(striking their breast, they say)
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault.

(Then they continue)
Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us
and lead us, with our sins forgiven,
into eternal life.

The Gloria:
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God almighty Father.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

The Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only-begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
(At the following words, up to and including and became man, all bow.)
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

Crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
And one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

A snip from the Roman Canon, in the original:
Look with favor on these offerings
and accept them
as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Abel,
the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith,
and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchizedek.

The revised text says:
Be pleased to look upon them
with a serene and kindly gaze
and to accept them,
as you were pleased to accept
the gifts of your just servant Abel,
the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith,
and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek,
a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.

And, of course:
Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are they who have been called to the banquet of the Lamb.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof,
but only say the word,
and my soul shall be healed.