| |

Prayers from 1998 Missal to be made available by ACP

ACP members throughout the country continue to be dissatisfied with the liturgical texts introduced two years ago. As a service to the disgrungtled, the ACP is making available the texts from the 1998 ICEL Missal, agreed by the bishops but rejected then by Rome — as a reminder that alternatives are available.
The prayer for next Sunday’s Mass is included here

Similar Posts


  1. Fr. Martin P Dolan says:

    It’s not only the opening prayers of the mass that are a problem. The “new translation” of the Eucharistic prayers has destroyed the beauty of what was already there. Much of the new language is obviously designed to reflect a pre-Vatican 11 theology and spirituality.

  2. @1, Actually Fr. Dolan the new language is designed to designed to reflect the actual words of the original Latin more faithfully than the old translation managed to do.

    Personally I much prefer hearing the new translations of Eucharistic Prayers one and four(I find two and three make about the same impact on me as before). If anything I feel this new translation has more fully brought out the beauty of these texts, and it is a real joy for me to hear them from the pews during Mass.

  3. Yeah I’d agree Diffal. Although the new translation is not perfect, it is a very significant improvement and I find that the concepts within the prayers are much more deep and developed, whereas the old translation glossed over a lot of things in an overly simplistic way. Also, I have no idea what is ‘pre-Vatican II’ about the revised translation. Please explain exactly what you mean Fr. Dolan.

  4. Diffal@2, The Latin you refer to was not the “original”, but a translation. The issue for now is “dynamic equivalence”, or not, Sacred Scripture for English to be translated by English speakers, or not.

  5. Isn’t this action in using an old liturgical text exactly the same thing as the SSPX were criticised for?
    Although the 1962 missal was never abrogated, the 1998 has been I think.

  6. Mjt@4, The original latin I refer to is the third and current edition of the Roman Missal, which is the typical edition of the texts of the Mass of Paul VI. We have used these latin texts as our offical texts, with minor updates(such as new feasts), since the 1970’s . It is this latin text we refer to when we make translations into the local vernacular, in this case into english. Anyone who has a problem witht the content rather than the syntax of the current english translation has a problem with the Mass Vatican II gave us. The dynamic equivelence model itself was abandoned, at least for now, by the church in 2001.

    On a side point, I find that dynamic equivalence produces a text which, by its need to use contemporary jargon to make it ‘more accessable’ ages quickly, while more literal translations explained by means of footnotes or by the presider tend to endure and have more capacity to reach people. To my mind a good example is the jewish biblical translator Robert Alter who refers to the ‘heresy of explanation’ within the text which can obscure subtle points made by the original hebrew authors. The same is true of the texts of the Mass, espically the opening prayers, which contain a wealth of information missed by the previous translation.

  7. I received this account from a friend who spent time in Africa:

    ”I was in Kenya and said to a Kikuyu youth that he must be glad to have Mass in his own language and he replied that mysterious things should be mysterious.
    Some time later I thought about that and realized that most world religions use a language and form that is NOT the norm of everyday speech. I guess he had a point.”

  8. Shaun@7 In religious experience, I had thought the word “mystery” referred to a truth revealed, as in “The Mystery of the Holy Trinity”. Surely it does not mean gobbledegook, mumbo-jumbo or conundrum.

  9. Peter Shore says:

    I never had any objection to the 1998 Missal, although I prefer the new translation. Anything blessed by the holy Catholic Church is fine by me. What I did — and do — object to, is priests deciding to alter the text of the Mass on the fly, to the confusion of those of us the pews. Does Father imagine that we’re going to be impressed by his changing the words to some other form that is presumably of more significance to *him*? Give us a break. It’s hard enough being motivated to pray for Church unity without mavericks on the altar deciding to do their own thing in the middle of our most precious communal rite. Between this and the SSPX et al., it’s all gone a bit Monty Python, and “People’s Front of Judea” versus “Judean people’s front”.

  10. Peter Clifton says:

    Peter Shore @ 9. I entirely agree. I believe that the congregation has the right to expect that the celebrant will use, without addition, subtraction or other alteration, the English text which is (at any rate for the time being) the only one authorised for use. I am fortunate enough to live in a parish where this is precisely what happens.
    Time and again, when away from home, I come across priests who regress to the former text (e.g. “our” for “my… yours” in the Orate fratres; “cup” and “all” for “chalice” and “many” in the consecration of the wine). The “making available” of the 1998 texts is a simple invitation to disobedience and liable to sow yet further confusion.
    Ironically, the authors of the first Book of Common Prayer (1549) said it all in inimitable prose: “And although the keeping or omitting of a ceremony, in itself considered, is but a small thing; yet the wilful and contemptuous breaking of a common order and discipline is no small offence before God.”. A little strong perhaps, but with a definite grain of truth.

  11. Joe O'Leary says:

    Peter Shore, you mean the 1973 missal, not the 1998 one (since the latter was never released for public view still less for liturgical use).
    The preces in the new translation are better than those in the 1973 text, but the 1998 preces are better, and should have been in use for the last 15 years. The whole story of the ill-fated 1998 version, approved by all bishops of the English speaking world, is one of the most scandalous chapters in recent church history, as told by Bishop Maurice Taylor. I think awareness of that history is an important background for any comment on the new translation.

  12. Peter Clifton @ 10, Can`t you see that the process by which the present translation arrived was in fact, to use words from the text you quote from, “the wilful and contemptuous breaking of a common order and discipline” in its denial of a number of vital principles including that of collegiality which was explicitly called for in Vatican 11, and that of subsidiarity, recently mooted by Pope Francis?
    The disunity noted by Peter Shore@ 9 is surely a direct result of the infamous rejection of these principles in Rome`s imposing this translation, a misuse of power that I for one hope won`t be allowed to last.

  13. Peter Clifton says:

    MJT @ 12. I do concede that you have a fair point: but the latest translation was put out by ICEL which is (I think) comprised of 11 bishops, and one can only presume (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) that they (or most of them) were content with their product. If so, the requirements of collegiality and subsidiarity were surely satisfied.
    Having said that, I confess to an attachment to the new text, so what I say on this topic may stem from personal taste , predilection or (even!) prejudice.
    One point which is of interest is the comparative levels of dissatisfaction with the text (1) in Ireland, (2) in England and Wales. As to (1), I have the impression that the discontent is extensive. As to (2), I think that protests come from a small, but vociferous, minority: in my parish the new text has been, not merely accepted, but welcomed.
    As usual, most of us are probably as ignorant as I am about what is happening north of the Tweed.
    BUT the point remains: are celebrants entitled to depart from the approved text?

  14. Peter Clifton@13, In another thread on this site, “Post-Christmas reflections from the coalface” MM @9 set out the timeline leading to the present translation. While I think it`s lamentable that priests find themselves compelled to freelance and improvise on the altar, it may be an inevitable consequence of a widespread dissatisfaction with the process used in those years, and then especially with the translation itself. If we are to be enthusiastic about liturgical change, we must have confidence in the process by which it came about. I believe, for example, that the original vernacular did attract a lot of enthusiasm when first introduced, so there`s no question but that we can accept change when it is change for the better.

  15. For 40 years we had to say ridiculous things like ‘And also with you’. Because, in those pre-internet days, the original Latin was kept from us, we had no idea this was a terrible mistranslation…not to mention the other deliberate obfuscations. There’s nothing ‘dynamic’ about willful mistranslation.

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.