Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 9 July 2011

ASL and the New Translation

The synchronicity of the universe, or my just being more liable to notice something because I'd already noticed it elsewhere...
Royals swarming the continent, mention that I had recently read something about Prince Philip's mother and Himself reminiscing about a theater-housing roommate, and the latter's ongoing conflict with his father over the parent's laziness with ASL ("Dad, you know how to do this and you're signing like Tonto!")
Anyway, this popped up on Google News:
liturgy is what the American Sign Language (ASL) track of the 2011 Eucharistic Congress was all about. Throughout his presentation, Father Coyte encouraged the deaf and hearing attendees to participate fully in liturgy.

“The goal of liturgy is to experience God,” he said. “The priest has his work, and you have your work!”

While in seminary, Father Coyte met his first deaf person. He then decided to take sign language classes. There was no one working with deaf Catholics in his area at the time. During the 37 years of his priesthood, Father Coyte has developed a very active deaf ministry at Holy Cross Church in Thornton, Colo., the parish he pastors near Denver. All the deaf Catholics in the archdiocese go there, where everything is interpreted in ASL, including all Masses, all meetings, all social events. He himself signs one Mass every weekend, and interpreters sign the others. The readings during Mass are both signed and voiced. There is a deaf person on the parish council, and the RCIA program is always interpreted, regardless of whether a deaf person is joining the church or not. In other words, everything his parish does is readily accessible to the deaf....

Father Coyte began his presentation by outlining his goals for the day: to discuss what the Eucharist/Mass means, to prepare for the upcoming changes in the new Roman Missal, and to discuss the connection between Eucharist/Mass and the people.

“What is the language of the church?” Father Coyte asked. Hands moved as various participants attempted answers. “Is it Latin?” “Hebrew?” “Perhaps it is the language of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.” None of these responses were incorrect, but Father Coyte brought in a different perspective.

“From the beginning, God used sign language! Sunsets, thunder, rain. The Word of God, Jesus, was a sign. He came as a man, for people to touch, hear, watch, experience.” With this in mind, Father Coyte encouraged deaf people to take a major role in the church. “The Catholic Church needs deaf people to participate in church, to help people understand God’s sign language.”

And I spend so much time worrying about sound in the new Missal.... (I'll just look past and forgive the gratuitous, but seemingly obligatory swipe at the bad ol' days, when the attitude was, “I’m never going to heaven; God is ‘way up there’ (out of reach).”



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