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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

"The Tradition That Unites Us To Christ"

A very nice testimonial, essentially, from the Canons Regular of St John Cantius, to the great Francis Cardinal George, of happy memory.
The Liturgy, along with Sacred Scripture, is the primary carrier of the tradition that unites us to Christ.
(From an interview His Eminence gave last October.) 

I hadn't read the interview at the time - George rightly calls the interviewer, (albeit gently,) for phrasing a question in a way that presumes, and therefore helps spread, an untruth.
And he pulls no punches on the translation the current Missal translation replaced, (after graciously admitting that his opinion is perforce biased):
...the first full translation of the missal of Paul VI was ideologically charged..... the loss of the theology of grace, the domestication of God, the paraphrasing that deliberately omitted nuances of understanding, the deliberate omission of biblical references in the liturgical text itself, etc. left the church for forty years without a way of worship that adequately expressed our faith. This was clear for those of us who used the Roman missal in Spanish during those years; their translation was far more adequate. The bishops had the obligation to see that the translation into English of the third edition of the Roman Missal was faithful and also able to be used communally. I believe it has been well done.
Some of the expressions in the Prefaces are a bit “clunky,” but the collects are truly beautiful if a priest takes the time to interiorize the structure of  dependent clauses and use his voice so that the prayer is comprehensible to the faithful. Normally, people paid little attention to the collect; they couldn’t tell you what the priest said as soon as they sat down. Hopefully, a more deliberate style of declamation with a more adequate text will help draw people into a climate of worship and prepare them to hear the Word of God in Scripture.
Amen and amen.
I've said it more than anyone cares to hear, in so many cases, the phrasing, the orator's rhetorical techniques utilized in the, ordering of the words acts like stage lighting, or a singer's expressive breaths to draw attention to key words, emphasize parallels, highlight the center of the prayer -- time after time I find myself turning over a phrase I'd never noticed before for hours after morning Mass, sometimes days.
If unacustommed to the syntax or vocabulary, a celebrant finds that he needs to focus, to pause, to slow down, TO SPEAK WITH GREATER CARE THAN USUAL - is that not all to the good?

(Full disclosure, I am a member of the flock of a shepherd who says Mass as if a meter is about to run out, and a parking ticket will mean financial ruin for us all...)

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