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Archive for the ‘New Translation’ Category

The New Translation – The Mystery of Faith & “Great Amen”
Sunday, September 4th 2011

For Catholics, a ‘mystery’ is not a puzzle that cannot be solved. It is a truth that is so deep that we know we’ll never fully comprehend its richness and meaning.

One example of this is our belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We believe that Christ is truly present but we can’t wholly explain it. The priest shows us the host and then the chalice. Then he genuflects and will now say: ‘The mystery of faith’. We continue with one of three responses. These are all different from the ones we have been used to and they come directly from the New Testament. So when the priest says ‘The mystery of faith’ he is inviting us to welcome this Real Presence of Christ.

Currently we respond with a statement of faith about Christ (“Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”), whereas in the new translation we will make our response, which we address to God.

Response One
We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.

Response Two
When we eat this bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord,
until you come again.

Response Three
Save us, Saviour of the world,
for by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set us free.

‘Amen’ is a Hebrew word that we continue to use in English, meaning “So be it!” The Eucharistic Prayer ends with a doxology or expression of praise which is confirmed and concluded by the people’s acclamation, ‘Amen’. St. Justin Martyr around 150AD writes, ‘When the prayers and Eucharist are finished, all the people present give their assent with an “Amen!”

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
All glory and honour is yours,
For ever and ever. Amen.


The New Translation: Lord God of Hosts
Sunday, September 4th 2011

The Sanctus echoes the angelic hymn in Isaiah and the greeting of the crowd as Jesus approached Jerusalem. Just one word is to be changed in the Holy, Holy. In the first line, the Latin word “Sabaoth” is translated as “hosts”, and gives quite a different meaning. The new text of the Holy, Holy is:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts. [Is. 6:3]
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. [Mk. 11:9; Mt. 21:9; Lk. 19:38;]
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. [Jn 12:13]
Hosanna in the highest.

The word “hosts” in the first line calls to mind the “hosts of angels”, and indicates that God is Lord of all the universe, of all creation, of all the choirs of angels whose purpose is to sing God’s praise. There will also be significant changes to the priests’ parts in the Eucharistic Prayers, expressing a greater richness of theology and imagery.


The New Translation: The Creeds
Sunday, September 4th 2011

When it comes to the Nicene Creed we will notice the first change immediately – ‘I believe’, not, ‘We believe’. We have become used to praying the Creed all together as a parish. The trouble is, when we say ‘we believe’ it could suggest that between us all we believe everything being said. It is not clear that we all believe everything that is being said. To say ‘I believe’ makes it quite clear that each one of us believes everything we are saying.

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

I believe 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,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake
he was crucified 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
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe 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
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son,
our Lord,
who was conceived
by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again
from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

I believe… (prepared by the National Centre for Liturgy)

The Creed we usually say at Mass is called the Nicene Creed, though the shorter Apostle’s Creed is also included in the Missal. This Nicene Creed was drawn up by a council held in Nicea in the fourth century. In the new edition of the Missal people will notice many changes to this prayer. The new translation aims to reflect the original Latin text more faithfully. As the prayer that professes our faith and that is professed by Catholics each Sunday across the world, it is important that we say the same words. Here we note some of the changes.

I believe is a literal translation of the Latin credo. In the English translation, unlike in the Latin, this phrase is repeated three times in the course of the prayer to help the flow of the text. While the Creed professes the faith of the entire Church the use of “I” in this prayer invites us to join our personal faith with that of other believers.

Consubstantial with the Father is an example of a re-introduction of theological term that may be unfamiliar to many people. What does it mean? At Nicea when they talked about the relationship between the Father and the Son they used the Greek term homoousios to describe the unique nature of Jesus. The term expresses our belief that the Son is of the same essential Being and substance as the Father. The Latin term is consubstantialis – hence the use of consubstantial in the new translation.

By the Holy Spirit was incarnate again reintroduces a time-honoured word that may be unfamiliar to many today. The birth of Jesus has a significance beyond that of any other human birth. The Word became flesh in the womb of Mary, the Son of God was incarnate, assumed human nature.


The New Translation: The Gloria
Sunday, September 4th 2011

‘The Gloria is an ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb’. [GRIM 53]

One of the biggest changes you’ll notice with the Missal revisions is the words of the Gloria. The revised text of the Gloria, however, is longer than what is currently in use. It is well suited to song and new music is currently being composed for it. The chart below shows you how the text will change. On the whole, the revised translation for the Gloria reflects the long tradition of this hymn. It is rooted in Scriptures, gives us words to praise God, and is an opportunity to reflect on the forgiving power of Jesus Christ.

The Revised Text with annotations and explanations

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.

[This replaces a shorter text in the current version. All the words describing the ways in which we approach God have been restored, with the intention of capturing the overwhelming, wondrous experience of meeting God in prayer.]

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;

[The words “Only Begotten Son…Son of the Father” represents a slight change from the previous version, “only Son of the Father.”]

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. Amen.

[At the words “you take away the sins of the world,” the phrases appear in a different order in the new translation and “sin” in the singular becomes “sins” in the plural. The new version indicates that Jesus takes away not just generic sin from the world, but individual sin. In Latin, the word for “sins” is in the plural.]


The New Translation — Preface Dialogue
Thursday, July 28th 2011

Did you know that the translation of the Mass which we currently use is going to change? Over the coming weeks we will have short articles which will help us understand what these changes are and why they have come about.

Preface Dialogue

The Eucharistic Prayer is the centre and summit of the entire celebration of Mass. It begins with the priests’ invitation to the people to lift up their hearts to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. The whole gathering, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus.

This Dialogue developed from a dialogue at Jewish ritual meals and is found in our liturgy as early as the third century. There are two changes – the first: the shift from “and also with you” to “and with your spirit” was mentioned previously. The second change is the final response “It is right and just” – a closer translation from the Latin.

P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

P: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Lord.

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right and just.



The New Translation — “The Word of the Lord”
Friday, July 22nd 2011

Did you know that the translation of the Mass which we currently use is going to change? Over the coming weeks we will have short articles which will help us understand what these changes are and why they have come about.

‘The Word of the Lord’

At the end of the readings and the Gospel at Mass, we are used to hearing ‘This is the Word of the Lord’; ‘This is the Gospel of the Lord’. In the new translation, the words ‘This is’ are now left out and we will hear ‘The Word of the Lord’ and ‘The Gospel of the Lord’.

One of the reasons is that the Latin does not include ‘This is’. But there is more to it than that. If the priest or deacon lifts the book and says ‘This is’, it can suggest that he is talking about the book itself. In fact, he is talking about the Word of God – which is alive and active.

The words at the end of the readings are announcing a great event. They are telling us that God has spoken; that Christ is present, as previously mentioned in the “Four Presences of Christ in the Mass”.

Our responses are not changing: ‘Thanks be to God’, & ‘Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ’. Through these words we acknowledge that what we have heard is, indeed, the Word of God.

For more about the Word of the Lord, see ‘Verbum Domini’ by Benedict XVI.


The New Translation — “And with your Spirit”
Friday, July 15th 2011

Did you know that the translation of the Mass which we currently use is going to change? Over the coming weeks we will have short articles which will help us understand what these changes are and why they have come about.

‘And with your spirit’

One of the first things we will notice with the new translation is that, when the priest says ‘The Lord be with you’, we will now say ‘And with your spirit’. This is the literal translation of what we find in the Latin text “et cum spiritu tuo”. This direct translation is already found in other languages, for example, German, Italian, French & Spanish. When the Mass was first translated into English we were one of only two languages that did not translate it as ‘your spirit’.

The source for this dialogue between priest and people is very much scripture: in four of his letters, St. Paul uses the following greetings: Galatians 6:18 – May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit; Philippians 4:23 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit; 2 Timothy 4:22 – The Lord be with your spirit; Philemon v25 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Similar greetings can be found in the Old Testament. If you think about it, for nearly 2,000 years Christians have been greeting each other, ‘The Lord be with you’, ‘and with your spirit.’ So the new translation will bring unity to this response in all the languages of the world – and with all previous Christian generations.

What does “your spirit” mean?

It does not refer to the Holy Spirit though it is spoken to people who live according to that Spirit. For St. Paul the spirit is our spiritual part that is close to God. “And with your spirit” is about having the spirit or mind of Christ as your guiding light, as what guides us through the day – a Christian spirit.

While it will sound unfamiliar to us this greeting and response captures our biblical roots. It is recognition of the spirit among us as Christians, a spirit that we must live. In greeting one another, it proclaims the presence of Christ among us as previously explained.

This greeting and response occurs five times in the Mass. [ Greeting at the beginning of Mass / Introduction to the Gospel / Dialogue to the Preface & Eucharistic Prayer / Sign of Peace / Final Dismissal ]


The New Translation – Biblical Influences
Friday, July 8th 2011

Did you know that the translation of the Mass which we currently use is going to change? Over the coming weeks we will have short articles which will help us understand what these changes are and why they have come about.

Biblical Influences

As we use the new translation we will perhaps notice more biblical connections than we have been used to. The texts of the Mass are sacred to us, handed down to us over the centuries by our ancestors, and inspired by the scriptures. The revised translation tries to make the connections between the bible and the Mass more clear than it is now. The following are some of the new texts rooted in the scriptures.

The Opening Greeting of Mass

The opening greeting at Mass is taken from the greetings that are found in the writings of St. Paul throughout the New Testament.

  • The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    and the love of God
    and the communion of the Holy Spirit
    be with you all.

This is the last verse of St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2Cor 13:13)

  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father
    and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a standard greeting in the letters of St. Paul (Rom. 1:7; 1Cor 1:3; 2Cor 1:2; Eph. 1:2; Phil 1:2; 2Thess 1:2, Philem 1:3).

  • The Lord be with you.

This greeting in slightly different forms is found in several other New Testament letters (Col. 1:2; 1Thess 1:1; 1Pet 1:2; 1Tim 1:2; 2Tim 1:2; Tit 1:4; 2Jn. 3; Rev. 1:4).



The New Translation — The Four Presences of Christ
Friday, July 1st 2011

Did you know that the translation of the Mass which we currently use is going to change? Over the coming weeks we will have short articles which will help us understand what these changes are and why they have come about.

The Four Presences of Christ

Belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is one of the hallmarks of Catholic faith and worship. However, the Second Vatican Council reminded us of our ancient faith: Christ is always present in his church, especially in its liturgical celebrations. So, each time we come to Mass we experience the presence of Christ in four unique ways. This principle is considered so important that the Church continues to remind us that Christ is present to us and in us.

  1. Christ is present in the congregation – the people gathered together; “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20). Through Baptism, we each become part of Christ’s body. When we gather for Eucharist our first task is to assemble as one body. As we do, Christ reveals his presence to us in one another.
  2. Christ is present in the person of the priest – the priest, as presider, leads the community in prayer and helps us to understand the words and actions of the liturgy. Since the true leader of our worship is Christ himself, we recognise Christ in the presider, inviting us to share in his worship of the Father. The priest does so by the way he acts and speaks – with dignity, reverence and humility – so that the living presence of Christ is conveyed in and through him (GIRM #93)
  3. Christ is present in the Scriptures that we listen to during Mass. At the beginning of John’s Gospel, we hear that Christ IS the Word of God. He is God speaking to us. In all the words of the readings, the psalm and the homily, Christ speaks directly to us so His Word may take root in our hearts.
  4. Christ is present in the bread and wine when it becomes Christ’s Body and Blood. When we receive these sacred elements “We become” as St. Augustine said, “what we eat and drink”. Christ offers us himself as nourishment in the meal we call Communion. This union is our most complete union with Christ, but it is simultaneously communion with all the members of his body.

The more we are able to understand the Mass, the more we enter into the mystery of the Eucharist – the source and summit of Christian life. The new translation will help us to understand more clearly what our faith is teaching us.




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