Monday, August 7, 2017
WHEN THE NEW AND GLORIOUS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MASS FAILS AND HOW FACING THE PEOPLE IS A GREAT TEMPTATION FOR MANY PRIESTS TO THINK THEY ARE ACTORS ON A STAGE, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF US/THEM, WHO WOULD HAVE LIKED TO BE AN ACTOR ON SCREEN OR STAGE!
As everyone knows, I love the new and glorious English translation of the Mass. It is a far cry better than the older version which simply was corrupt, theologically, doctrinally, and devotionally.
However, the Preface for the Feast of the Transfiguration was simply an abomination. Here it is:
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
For he revealed his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses and filled with the great splendor that bodily form which he shares with all humanity, that the scandal of the Cross might be removed from the hearts of his disciples and that he might show how in the Body of the whole Church is to be fulfilled what so wonderfully shone forth first in its head......
WELL! I always chant the preface at all our Sunday Masses. I have done it so long now that I don't need to rehearse prior to Mass. I forgot that the Preface was different for the Transfiguration and thus did not read it over or rehearse to chant it before Saturday night's Mass--a huge mistake!
As soon as I got into it, I thought I was really botching the words on my own and wondering what the hell I was chanting and praying. While no one complained after Mass, I am sure that some must have thought that I had forgotten how to read while on vacation and continuing education!
Apart from how horrible the English is in this newly but ingloriously translated Preface, what annoys me to no end isn't so much that the Roman Missal capitalizes words such as Priest and Cross and Body but that it doesn't capitalize pronouns referring to the Deity such as His, Him and He!
But read the Transfiguration Preface above and honestly tell me what you think! Keep in mind I have capitalized and not exactly what is written in the Missal.
Oddly enough a priest friend of my complained yesterday about the Transfiguration Preface too and said he wished he had used the Second Sunday of Lent's Preface in Year A when the Transfiguration Gospel is read. I had forgotten that there was a Lenten Transfiguration Preface and that it is to be found on the pages that have the Propers and Collects not in the normal Lenten Prefaces section of the Roman Missal.
Here it is and it is certainly a glorious English translation:
It is truly right and just....
For after he had told the disciples of his coming Death, (please note death is capitalized but not His and the other caps are as is in the Roman Missal!) on the holy mountain he manifested to them his glory, to show, even by the testimony of the law and the prophets, that the Passion leads to the glory of the Resurretion....
And finally--priests fulfilling their thwarted vocation to be an actor on stage or screen:
Having celebrated both forms of the Mass for the Feast of the Transfiguration, and having celebrated the EF Mass now for over 10 years, I realize how Mass facing the congregation can fulfill for some priest's their closeted or out in the open desire to be an actor on stage and that the Mass does it for them. Of course, this turns a priestly function of prayer, spirituality and the act of priesthood into an acting job and NOT sacrifice, prayer, adoration, devotion and spirituality.
The culprit is facing the people and the ability in the vernacular to be very affective with the written language that is spoken aloud. Plus the vernacular makes possible the acting technique called improvising which many priests do with the vernacular Mass. Improvisation is perhaps the greatest corruption of the vernacular Mass and is related to this desire to be an actor or to flamboyantly show the intellectual ability of the acting priest in his ability, (in his mind) to be smarter with the vernacular than the Magisterium which gave us the Missal.
It is simply impossible in the EF Mass for a priest to think of himself as an actor and to do the things that actors, good or bad, do on stage. This is the genius of the EF Mass lacking completely in the OF Mass.