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Reflecting on the current state of affairs after several months of the new translation of the Mass, it’s interesting remembering the divergent expectations. Some looked forward to it for various reasons, many were probably indifferent. But some were rather suspicious :

In the weeks and months ahead, we’re going to be writing about, complaining about, thinking about, arguing about, and praying about the re-translated Mass. I fear it will have the effect of showing a whole new generation the door, as younger Catholics search for relevant worship that connects them rather than distances them from experiencing God, for liturgy that speaks to them . . . I had read about the changes that were coming, of course, but when you actually have to say them, man, what a mouthful! ‘Consubstantial’, ‘incarnate of’, and the odd image of God entering ‘under my roof’.

Many fans of a more lenient interpretation of the “spirit of Vatican II” seemed to fear that the new translation would be a platform for radical traditionalists to censure their creative liturgical violations.

But if there’s one thing the new translation of the Mass didn’t do, it didn’t oust ad lib liturgy.  It seemed as though those of more traditional liturgical commitments were convinced that the new translation signaled a traditional liturgical springtime, whose birds would sing Gregorian chant. This doesn’t seem to be happening, at least not yet. But still, for those who find “consubstantial” a stumbling block, it’s important to remember that the new translation is simply the translation: The rest of the world has been using it since 1965.

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