Week two of the new translation of theses has been and gone, the new words of the responses still feel unusual and awkward and more than a few “and also with you”s (followed by chagrined expostulations) were heard at Mass.
The new translation has a very different feel to the older ICEL version: above all it gives one a sense of a hieratic language, a fitting language reserved for devotion. It’s a long way from perfection, but the new ICEL are to be congratulated on having produced a sacralised language that aspires to the richness of Cranmer’s English (if not the idiom).
The new translation has brought two unexpected realisations: as the clergy are now having to make an effort to read the words of the Eucharistic Prayers, we have time to listen to them and internalize these prayers in a way not afforded to the faithful when Priests were almost able to drift through the prayers on autopilot; and, for myself, stumbling through the new responses, how much the need to recite responses gets in the way of my active participation in the Mass – seemingly every time that one has settled comfortably into the prayers of the Mass, one is disturbed by the need to fumble for a response.
Active participation as envisaged by the Council Fathers (h/t LMS Chairman’s blog)
If only we had someone to make the responses for us…