Email received re New Missal

This you can tell me is not my business but in the course of my work over the past few months I spend time with lots of older adults, the one common problem they appear to have is the fear of getting the responses at mass wrong .This I am sure you are probably aware of but they dont think you are, it is sad to hear them say that they no longer answer in case they get it wrong, my line is there is an old way a new way but no wrong way I am persuming this would be your way of thinking, do you have a way to get this message across .  I had to get it off my chest ..

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  1. Pew cards have been available since December. Hand missals are also now available from CTS and Collins. What’s the issue here? How hard can it be to follow along with a pew card? And there’s nothing wrong with keeping silent either. I am young and I sometimes don’t respond. It depends on my mood. It also depends on the priest. If he can’t/won’t keep to the approved text, then I am likely to keep silent.

  2. This matter has been dealt with at my local church by the simple expedient of having leaflets showing the new responses, it works, we all happily ‘sing from the same hymnsheet’ and fewer and fewer people each week seem to need them. Simples!

  3. No, actually it is not that “simple”. While I don’t consider myself “elderly” others might see me as such. I find the new text of the mass extremely difficult because I experience the language awkward and difficult–particularly the priest’s part. We can’t get away from the fact that this text was foisted on us and I am not able to accept it. I don’t keep silent. I still answer “and also with you” as loudly as I can and I use “We” when reciting the creed. But, overall, my participation in the Eucharist has become more difficult.

  4. Wendy Murphy says:

    And I am also with you Margaret. The deplorable new translation is unacceptable to me on every level – no need to go into all that again. The folks who still like to think it’s just too difficult for our feeble minds to grasp (who couldn’t grasp such simple-minded drivel if we wanted to?), or imagine we’re too short-sighted to read the prompt-cards (you must be joking!) just don’t get it or don’t want to get it.
    I find I’m less upset about it than before because I care less and less about what the ‘temple police’ have to say, not trusting them any more anyway.
    Like you, I continue to think ‘WE’ – because we really are ‘all in this together’, whoever we are and whatever our individual beliefs. If we’re not inclined to stand beside and be at one with our neighbour, in normal everyday human states of worry, doubt,trouble or joy – what are we at all? Not Christian, that’s for sure. ‘And with thy spirit’ is supposed to express solidarity with our flesh and blood fellow creatures is it? I don’t think so.

  5. Mary O Vallely says:

    They no longer answer “in case they get it wrong.” How sad to read that! If only they could know that it is the heart that speaks, the words don’t REALLY matter. An elderly man sits behind me each day at Mass and deliberately proclaims in a loud voice, “And also with you” and I totally understand why he responds so. I’m sure the good Lord smiles and acknowledges this man’s presence and understands his bewilderment at why the rest of are parroting the new responses.Does it REALLY matter so much what words we use or if we use any words at all? We come with open and loving hearts into the Divine Presence -that’s what is important. Seems to me that too many words have been wasted already on this change of words. Now, before any person gets upset by MY choice of words, PAX. Just speaking as I find it. To the person who posed the question in the first place, I would say to these older Mass goers that they should NOT worry about getting it wrong. The important thing is that they are at Mass in the first place. DO NOT WORRY! God loves you and is probably laughing at the silliness of it all.The amount of money that has been wasted, the hurt caused to so many good priests by the lack of consultation…. couldn’t you just weep if there weren’t more important issues to weep about, children dying in Syria, abuse, the lack of support for the disabled/elderly/vulnerable.
    Mary V

  6. Joe O'Leary says:

    The bastardized new liturgy is one of the worst liturgical texts ever composed; indeed it is possibly the very worst. The people of God can see that they are being treated shoddily, and are naturally disinclined to sign the dotted line.

  7. Gerard Flynn says:

    In brief, the whole new translation project is a pastoral disaster. It is not only elderly people whose responses have become more muted.
    No one is objecting to change in itself. If people felt that the new translation was worth negotiating they would take the time and concentration required to do so.
    It is not clear that the Irish bishops have done anything to prevent this inferior wording from being imposed on themselves and on us. In this they have let us all down.
    It is difficult to imagine the bishops of the Church of Ireland putting the good of their people in second place to the machinations of a dysfunctional organisation of non-elected officials elsewhere.

  8. I feel the same as Margaret Lee.

  9. Nick, if I worked for Coca Cola, I’d have to follow the rules. Otherwise I’d be sacked. I couldn’t criticise the product publicly and I certainly couldn’t start mixing my own cola and marketing it as the real thing using Coca Cola’s facilities and distribution network. Why should the Church be any different? Isn’t the Church allowed to have its own rules and set ways of doing things? That priest felt that he was unable to act as a Catholic priest so he resigned.

  10. While understanding the view expressed here, to use again that phrase “we are where we are.”
    We too supply pew cards, they’re quite large font and discreet fold over laminated cards. We’ve noticed that people can tend to forget to pick them up, and I’m hearing reports that people have “fallen silent” as they’re too embarrassed to get it “wrong”.

    I think most celebrants like myself don’t mind in the least what way people respond. We do change and drop words liberally (don’t tell the bishop in Illinois cf above link in comments).
    We’ve taken to embedding the responses in our weekly parish bulletin, so responses, readings & community notices are in one volume.
    It’s not a perfect situation but we’re all trying our best.
    I’m just glad that there’s no liturgy in heaven- after all the liturgy on earth is all about preparing us for heaven!

  11. Wendy Murphy says:

    Tom – you’re a good and lovely priest – bless you! However we (the laity), not in your parish, think about many things including ‘preparing us for heaven’. In my parish we have an ex-Anglican priest who berates us, as if we’re children, for not following the new missal(he assumes, wrongly, we keep forgetting the ‘correct’ words), has banned the hymns we all enjoyed singing (we’re not a musically gifted parish) and reinstated outdated pious Victorian sentimentality that nobody can sing. Some of us survive by rolling our eyes at each other. Few of us protest openly but this is not a good situation. As far as ‘preparing us for heaven’ is concerned I honestly don’t care. My fellow parishioners are good folks and I think they’re already prepared for heaven (whatever that means). I observe them listening closely to the (often ludicrous) homily and I have to say, I think the ordinary, everyday, small c catholic, does not deserve to be spoken to in this way. What spiritual nourishment are we getting from attending Mass these days?
    Martin – keep on following the rules – best of luck!

  12. Fr Tom Cox #11

    “I’m just glad that there’s no liturgy in heaven- after all the liturgy on earth is all about preparing us for heaven!”
    Yes indeed. Here we are but practising Catholics: in heaven we will finally be proficient!
    Here I write under a pseudonym – there I will speak out openly!

  13. Tom Hayes says:

    What’s the issue here?
    “According to the last international survey, one in four or 25% of Irish adults have literacy difficulties. This compares with 3% in Sweden and 5% in Germany.” –– from (The National Adult Literacy Agency.)
    That percentage increases for the older segment of our population.
    Printed cards and missalettes or missals are not a total answer. Arguably, so much printed material in the pews further alienates people who have reading difficulties.
    At least a quarter of the people may only familiarise themselves with the new responses by hearing their neighbours over time.

  14. Hi Martin, I don’t think anyone is criticising the product, but, the marketing strategy ! The product is perfect. However, I do wonder if Jesus wanted Liturgy in a straight jacket, wouldn’t the Gospels be a kind of 7 handy hints for successful Roman Catholics ? Besides, if it’s the words in the book that have to be communicated without digression, perhaps ‘Independent Catholic News’ has an answer to the vocations crisis, especially if the ‘talking book’ version of the new translation is used. Have a good look here.

  15. Peter Damian says:

    Tom Cox – No liturgy in Heaven, eh? I suggest you have a look at the Book of Revelation. But there won’t be any liturgical abuse there, I’m sure!

  16. I remember a classmate in the seminary from the Kerry Gaeltacht telling us of an old man in his parish when the vernacular was first introduced who exclaimed in the middle of the Gloria, ‘Hanam an diabhail, tá mé caillte!’ (In the name of the devil, I’m lost!) However, such incidents are hardly an argument against change. Most of us need some time to adjust to anything new. God isn’t too worried about our difficulty in adjusting. By the way, the People of God, or even their priests in general, were not consulted before those initial translations were introduced or before the Novus Ordo in various vernaculars came into effect in 1969.

    Nick Young, the priest in the news item to which you gave the link – thank you for that – had issues with the older translation too. Clearly he didn’t accept Vatican II: ‘Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority’ (SC 22,3).

    Margaret Lee, ‘Credo’, which the Church has been praying for most of its history, means ‘I believe’, not ‘We believe’. That is a simple fact. When I say ‘I believe’ at Mass I am expressing my personal faith as a member of the community. May I gently suggest that you reflect on these words of yours: ‘I still answer “and also with you” as loudly as I can and I use “We” when reciting the creed’. Are you not in fact loudly proclaiming yourself as an ‘I’ apart from the community while those around you, as they say ‘I believe’, are expressing their personal, individual faith in solidarity with everyone else in the community?

    Mary O Vallely, the Vatican Council describes the liturgy as ‘the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows’ (C 10). I fail to see how those expressing their views on the new translation, whatever side they may be on, don’t care about those suffering in Syria or elsewhere. This is like some parents – thankfully not mine – using the ‘think of the starving babies in Africa and eat what you’re given’ approach with their children. Fr Ragheed Aziz Ganni, who lived in the Irish College in Rome while studying theology after his ordination and who spent part of his summers during those years at Lough Derg, wrote, ‘Without Sunday, without the Eucharist, the Christians in Iraq cannot survive’. He was martyred on 3 June 2007.

  17. Eddie Finnegan says:

    @Fr Sean Coyle: “‘hanam ‘n diabhal” surely = “(Your) soul (to) the devil!” rather than “in ainm an diabhail”. In that old Kerryman’s Liturgia Authentica I fear you’d be an out-and-out dynamic equivalencer rather than a literalist respecter of his original Oratio Gadelica.

  18. Mary O Vallely says:

    Fr Sean Coyle, with respect, I did not at all imply that those expressing their views on the liturgical changes did not care about the suffering in Syria and elsewhere. What sort of Christians would we be if we did not care? If I have given you that impression then I apologise. What I was trying to stress was that, relatively speaking, the new translation was not worth wasting one’s tears over. I understand the hurt caused to older parishoners who are bewildered and distressed by having to learn new responses and I thought the best approach was to tell them not to worry unduly about having to utter the correct words. Good intentions and being there in the Divine Presence will be what is important. We are of flesh and blood and not automatons and we do have minds and hearts of our own but I suppose old habits die hard and when the clergy tell us to jump… well, we still jump. Now, before I am branded a stirrer, I want to say that I will jump if I know WHY I should jump and if the request comes from a Spirit-filled heart. Pax.

  19. Fr. Sean Coyle, I suppose I should accept your lecture but I am afraid that I have not reached that level of humility. Many members of the parish with whom I celebrate the Eucharist have told me that they are deeply unhappy with the new translation so maybe I am not that out of step with the worshipping community. I did know what “Credo” means but thanks anyway

  20. Mary O’V – you make old people sound right helpless. I know many’s a feisty old lady who could teach me a thing or too. I just haven’t met these helpless old folks you seem to run into, filled as they are with fear… The old folks in my parish are unphased by the new translation – one lady remarking that the ‘changes’ have been unnecessarily hyped up by certain groups *ahem* and that we’re only going back to the original meanings and phrasing, so what’s the big deal?

  21. Joe O'Leary says:

    “God isn’t too worried about our difficulty in adjusting” — which being translated means, quit groaning and get with the program! But we do know that God was very angry with people who laid unnecessary burdens on the little ones, and who falsified the language of prayer turning it into battalogia (Mt 6:7).

  22. Fr Joe, you said:
    ”God was very angry with people who laid unnecessary burdens on the little ones, and who falsified the language of prayer turning it into battalogia ”

    Too right! The old translation DID falsify the language of prayer with its pathetic, I repeat, pathetic baby language, or what I called ‘Ladybird English’ which was a true insult to anyone with an adult brain.

  23. Mary O Vallely says:

    I think we have moved far away from the original question which was what do we say to older parishoners who are afraid of getting the responses wrong. This wasn’t supposed to be a rant against either the old or new responses but a request for suggestions on how to make it easier for those who do genuinely find change difficult. Certainly I think people are more inclined to find it easier to adapt to change if there is a warm loving atmosphere of understanding and compassion from both clergy and laity.This particular thread is not asking for anything other than helpful comments on how to make it easier for older parishoners to adapt to the new unfamiliar words.
    Mary V

  24. Joe O'Leary says:

    The weak spot in the old translation was the preces (collect, etc.), which were excellently translated in 1998 and dumped by the Vatican, a spiritual loss to English-speaking Catholics over the last 14 years. Otherwise the old translation suffered from a certain unexciting plainness. But the new translation has much graver defects. It aims to be fancy and falls flat on its face.

  25. Mary Burke says:

    Fr Sean Coyle, no one is objecting to change per se. It’s the inferior quality of the changed translation and deficient English syntax which is objectionable.
    Secondly, because fewer people were consulted 40 years ago than would have been desirable, it’s acceptable now that the same should apply? As if nothing else had changed in the meantime, such as the number of lay women and men educated in theology and philosophy?
    There is an argument for the use of the first person plural in the symbolum of Nicea. The Greek version begins with πιστεύομεν.
    Your “gentle suggestion” to Margaret Lee is anything but gentle as you try to load some good Catholic guilt on her.
    In short, your contribution is little more thank a knee-jerk reaction to the various postings you have commented on.

  26. Thanks to Fr Coyne for his comment. However, where ‘even a priest’ might not be allowed to change the wording (Even if it retains the same prayer) is it really a crime against humanity ? How can Fr Coyne decide that the priest who did this (
    had not accepted the teaching of Vatican II, especially when collegiality has been ignored by the Vatican ? Has the Vatican also not ‘received’ the teaching of the Council?
    Also, when you gently promote the use of I within the public recitation of the creed, the Gloria insists on ‘we.’ Surely the Mass makes no sense without the community. I couldn’t give a dogs tail about I or we but I do have a problem with petty rules and regulations. Seems to me a great many gnats are being strained (silly arguments over trivialities) and the church is choking on camels (abuse crisis, internal corruption, hemorrhaging membership) . . . . . . Didn’t Jesus have the same problem with those who were more concerned about the law?

  27. Soline Humbert says:

    Talking about gnats and camels, what about the camel in the living room of the 2012 International Eucharistic Congress:No mention either during the Congress per se or the theological symposium before of the thousands of Catholic Christian communities/parishes worldwide who are deprived of the Eucharist on Sundays….. Faced with a Eucharistic famine,are we saying the equivalent of ” let them eat cake?”….

  28. seán eile says:

    Isn’t there something ‘unbiblical’ about this policy of ‘one size fits all’ for the english liturgy. To my understanding we have FOUR gospels because our forebearers in the faith weren’t interested in an identical text for every community. And so we have different versions of the beatitudes, our father, names of the apostles, etc etc AND different versions of the words of consecration. Each version reflects the practice of each community which celebrated and transmittted the TRADITION as it saw fit. This new policy rhymes better with the McDONALD insistence on one world wide identical menu.

  29. Eddie Finnegan says:

    I’m loving it, a Sheáin Eile – your post, I mean; not the one unholy catholic mcdonald menu.

    As John XXIII put it in his first encyclical, ‘Ad Petri cathedram’ (29 June, 1959) – just after he had quoted John Henry Newman on the usefulness to the Church of difference and controversy – “But the common saying, expressed in various ways and attributed to various authors, must be recalled with approval: in necessariis unitas, in dubiis vel non-necessariis libertas, in omnibus caritas.”

    Pick your own samples from the new menu for the anglophone world which definitely fall “in dubiis vel non-necessariis” and don’t let them pass your lips. Mind you, I’m not claiming that the author of ‘Veterum Sapientia’ would agree with me. Caveat lector!

  30. Fr Sean Coyle says:

    Thanks to all who responded to my comment (No 17 above). I had no access to the net for the last few days. Thanks especially to Eddie Finnegan for his witty correction of my glaring mistranslation of ‘hanam an diabhail’.

  31. To Mary Burke,

    The liturgical text of the creed, as used in the East is given here:

    While the council may (or may not) have said “πιστευομέν”, the liturgical text has used “πιστεύω” from the time that the creed started to be used during the liturgy.

  32. The fifth Sunday of Lent missalette: In the Entrance Antiphon (Psalm 42: 1-2), there was a subtle difference from the translation in the exclusive language version of the breviary still used by many. I quote: “From the deceitful and cunning, rescue me, O God.” The breviary says: ” From deceitful and cunning MEN, rescue me, O God.” Fast forward to the Creed on the same missalette: “For us men and for our salvation…” Proponents of the new translation were at pains to explain that ‘men’ was to be understood as including women. Yet, SOMEONE saw fit to delete ‘men’ from verses 1-2 of Psalm 42, lest they be portrayed as ‘deceitful and cunning’, presumably. (God forbid). Did anyone else notice this and can anyone explain it? (No, I didn’t think so). I am becoming increasingly enraged by the treatment meted to women, by the institutional Church. And there is certainly an element of deceit underlying selective translations, such as these. Give me a break.

  33. Chris Gardiner says:

    Amazing. The church changes liturgy while attendance goes down the drain. Blind leading the blind.


    I need entrace antiphon, collect, ltirgical and eucharistic prayers communion ande after communion prayers of the tree liiturgical years

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