Thursday, March 04, 2004

What I'm hearing on the liturgy translation front ... ... is to expect more delays, despite what we've been hearing about a speedy route from curia to pew for the NIRM (New & Improved Roman Missal). Last week, the English-speaking bishops got final drafts of the Roman Missal, including the Ordo Missae, the order of Mass that suggests a more literal approach to assembly responses ("And with your spirit," "my most grievous fault," etc.) A trusted source tells me the bishops are not pleased with these changes in the Ordo Missae. Wording of presider prayers, eucharistic prayers, and such will not find much resistance -- and that's pretty much set. But a wholesale tinkering with memorized responses will not find acceptance with North American bishops. So a fight approaches. Should be interesting to watch. The bishops will probably be glad to talk about something other than sex, I'm sure. Publishers and composers must be, of course, licking their lips over their prospects. Change the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and every hard-bound hymnal will be obsolete. Time to buy new ones. Or start from scratch with a new publisher. Put some songs on the 2006 heresy list? No problem. House composers will just come out with another few hundred songs to take their place. Bruce Harbert, and cardinals George and Arinze just don't get it. We tried rubricism and centralized micromanagement before. Vatican II started to get rid of it, remember? What I want to ask is this: how does this all promote the ideals of , , and . And if I get a chance to ask, ever, I will demand specifics. Not some starched-collar pink security blanket-and-thumb ideals dreamed up after a night of worrying about bedtime monsters. The time has never been more evident for mature unity in liturgical approach: looking at the evident problems in the application of the Roman Rite and moving on from the challenges themselves. Instead, we get backward-looking, warm-fuzzy-seeking conservatives who have the answer they want in mind, then attempt to alter Catholic worship to make the colors match their rose-colored perceptions. Meanwhile, time to break out some more red duct tape to hold together those old Sacramentaries. Looks like we're stuck with them for a few more years.

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