Revision of religious rite leaves editor pining for good ol’ days

It’s probably not news to most of you church-goers that a few changes have been made to the Roman Missal. Basically, though the rite of the Mass is still the same, all of the English words have been changed.

The church started using this new translation in the first week of Advent, which means we have already endured two Masses with different words. Two Masses that I could have lived without, to be honest.

I’ve been attending the same church practically my whole life, and I am still very proud to be Catholic, but I don’t see any positives to the things I have witnessed at Mass in the past couple of weeks. People aren’t taking this seriously, and honestly, the meaning of everything we say hasn’t changed.

For example, during the Nicene Creed, we used to say that Jesus is “begotten, not made, one in being with the Father.” OK, that makes sense to me – Jesus and God are one in the same. But now, with the new translation, we say that Jesus is “begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.”

What the heck does that mean? Oh, it means “one in being.”

Is the Vatican trying to make Catholics sound more intelligent by having us use bigger words? I mean, Catholic schools are already supposed to be the best, so I don’t really see the point in that. And now people are just focusing on how they don’t know what “consubstantial” means, when it means exactly the same thing we used to say.

How about the one where, at the Last Supper, Jesus suddenly used a chalice for his wine. But actually, Jesus was a poor carpenter’s son. He most likely used a clay cup – so why are we now calling it a chalice during the Eucharistic Prayer?

I just don’t get why we had to do this. I’ve heard lots of explanations – the biggest proponents being that the Vatican rules for translating Latin to English changed, and therefore the translation had to change; and that the Vatican wanted all of the English translations to be exactly the same.

I get that last one at least a little bit. I mean, if I ever make it to London or Australia, at least I can take comfort in the fact that I can say the same words at Mass. Everyone around me will just be saying it in a much cuter accent than mine.

As a whole, though, I see no point. All this change is just making church complicated, and when things get complicated, people leave. I personally have no intention of leaving – it’s not like our beliefs have changed at all – but I am definitely frustrated.

The part that gets me the most is that this is taking away from my spiritual experience of the Mass. The first time we said the new words at my parish, people were literally laughing throughout the whole mass. How can you take the Mass seriously in that situation?

I don’t think it’s the congregation’s fault, though – everyone was messing up words left and right, and the whole thing really was a catastrophe. Even the priest had no idea what he was doing. To me, that doesn’t make all this change worth it.

I know it’s too late for the Church to reconsider its decision, but the fact that the Mass isn’t as spiritual anymore just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not really asking for something to be done; I guess I just thought this transition would be a little smoother than it actually is.

Maybe I’ll move to Australia and learn the new Mass in a new accent, too.


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