More than 10,000!

No, this is not a post about the more than 10,000 changes that some small group from Vox Clara made to the texts of the Missal submitted by all the English-speaking episcopal conferences, in fact working not from their latest submission but largely ignoring the last round of consulation and working from what the conferences had submitted a few years ago, and all this without consulting with the conferences, also not consulting the musicians settings the chants so that the final text is unsingable in several places, with the revisions moving sometimes closer to the Latin but oftentimes further away from it, with an arbitrary incoherence to what direction the text has moved, and with the English in the final version being rather inelegant and stilted and sometimes barely making sense and in a few cases bordering on heresy, and … well, this sentence is getting rather long so I’ll bring it to a timely close by saying: No, this is not a post about that.

This is a post about the number of hits PrayTell had yesterday. More than 10,000!

The reason for each new high is that we’ve been referred to by someone – eg. the London Telegraph (thanks, Damian) or America magazine (thanks, Fr. Martin). Yesterday we were linked in a mass emailing from the What If We Just Said Wait folks. Who, I understand, are thinking about their next initiative. It will be interesting to see what that is. And it will be very interesting to see how the implementation goes, since there was no on-site experimentation as the “What If We Just Said Wait” petition called for. Msgr. M. Francis Mannion (no liberal, he) wrote in to America some years ago to say that much local alterations is the likely result of the introduction of an unpopular Missal. That sounds right. I fear the implementation could be one big chaotic mess.

But this isn’t a post about that. This is a post about a new high in Pray Tell vistors. More than 10,000. Welcome to all! Come back often.






28 responses to “More than 10,000!”

  1. Graham Wilson Avatar
    Graham Wilson

    much local alteration is the likely result of the introduction of an unpopular Missal

    That’s exactly what I’ve observed in South Africa over the last 18 months: the new version of the Nicene Creed has been jettisoned in favour of the Apostle’s Creed in many parishes, a good number of priests (some quite senior) are grafting some parts of the old translation onto the new, or improvising. The most favoured priest’s part to be substituted is the inert new introduction to the Our Father: At the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say..

    And Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again simply refuses to die. In fact it is more popular than ever and is widely used instead of any of the new memorial acclamations, which no one really remembers.

    And we haven’t even begun to use the clunkers that are the new Eucharistic Prayers. I can quite easily see some priests, with the people’s approval, replacing these when they do come into use with some of the current delightful Eucharistic Prayers for children instead, which will not by then have been retranslated into Latinized English.

  2. John Drake Avatar
    John Drake

    Such modesty! But congratulations nonetheless!

    I wonder why the “Wait” folks have never seen fit to update their home page in the wake of what can only be described as a “defeat”. The bishops certainly didn’t wait did they?

    How glad I am to live in a diocese in which the bishop is enthusiastically supporting the new, corrected and improved translation, and in a parish where the pastor is likewise supportive.

  3. Jeffrey Herbert Avatar


    I am in a similiar Diocese… our Bishop is going to great lengths to support the new translation. I too wonder what drives those who dissent.

    What if we just said “Do what you have made a vow to do”. Is that to much to ask a Priest, or was he somehow “forced” to become a Priest against his will?

    1. Anthony Suárez-Abraham Avatar
      Anthony Suárez-Abraham

      Speechless. Do you really believe what you are writing, John and Jeffrey? Have you thought about what you are saying carefully?

      1. John Drake Avatar
        John Drake

        I’m just a guy in the pews, no lofty liturgical training. So, i imagine i approach this from a similar perspective as most American Catholics, at least of my vintage (mid 50s). I will tell you that I have been looking forward to an improved translation since, well, since the current one was introduced. So, yes, as hard as it may be for you to believe, i have thought long and hard about it. The overall effect of what I have seen so far is a heightened prayerful language. The nit-picking has gotten quite tiresome. The net impact, I am convinced, will be positive.

      2. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        John – what you imagine is your imagination. I know of no evidence or data that most American Catholics have been looking forward to an improved translation for the past 36 years. If you have such data, please tell us. Otherwise, stop presuming to speak for everyone. (The ‘ordinary’ Catholics I know, frankly, haven’t thought much about translation at all these past 36 years. And that’s probably as it should be.)

      3. Jeffrey Pinyan Avatar


        “I know of no evidence or data that most American Catholics have been looking forward to an improved translation for the past 36 years.”

        As you say below, it’s mostly because they were ignorant of the matter. (At least, that’s what I think you mean. Please correct me if I’m wrong here.) Most American Catholics are probably also ignorant of the contents of the documents of Vatican II. Most of those who are familiar with them have probably only read brief summaries of them, or articles on them, not the actual documents.

        “The ‘ordinary’ Catholics I know, frankly, haven’t thought much about translation at all these past 36 years. And that’s probably as it should be.”

        Why should ordinary Catholics not be thinking of the quality of the words they pray daily or weekly, the words which express their faith? Or should they just think about the words they have and not whether they’re a good translation?

        I was ignorant about all this business until three years ago, because no one ever told me about it. I’m glad I finally got around to reading all these Church documents and getting familiar with the Latin text of the Roman Missal.

        I know not every Catholic has the time or attention span or interest in this, but I think the ignorance has to do with environment as well.

      4. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        Jeffrey, you read me rightly, and you make all good points. You’re right, we should expect a bit more (or a lot more) from the people regarding interest in things like liiturgy and translation. Sheesh, I hope I haven’t given up on them so early in life! Still, I hope that they (and I) are even more interested in discipleship and charity and service etc., which I’m sure we both agree are way more important than translation.

      5. Simon Ho Avatar
        Simon Ho

        Fr Ruff,

        Why should passion for the liturgy be set in tension against discipleship and charity? I’ve always found myself more inspired to discipleship, charity and service through good, faithful liturgies (not the ‘pastoral’ ones that US liturgists like to talk about, but solid, beautiful and faithfulness to the mystery being celebrated). It’s not a zero-sum game, really.

      6. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        Simon, I didn’t set anything against anything. I thought I was affirming Jeffrey and emphasizing our common ground. Why do you pick a fight?

    2. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      You don’t mean this. “I wonder” really? Read the website comments posted on This should clear it up for you!

    3. Jim McKay Avatar
      Jim McKay

      I too wonder what drives those who dissent.

      The example, and apparent effectiveness, of people from Adoremus to SSPX, “dissenting” on the current liturgy?

      1. Simon Ho Avatar
        Simon Ho

        The extraordinary form of the liturgy, before the Motu Proprio S.P, was still a valid form of the liturgy in the Roman Rite, albeit, perhaps, subject to the local Bishop’s permission. SSPX has much bigger issues than just the liturgy, which is always valid, even though illicit.

        The Adoremus has always promoted liturgical celebrations that are not contrary to the mind or norms of the Church. It behooves me that you should consider them “dissenting”.

      2. Jim McKay Avatar
        Jim McKay

        Simon, I do not consider them dissenting, but if the people who complain today are “dissenters,” shouldn’t the same term apply to those who complained yesterday?
        I was just trying to explain why people would be following on the path blazed by the people at Adoremus and other sites dedicated to critiquing approved translations.

      3. Jeffrey Pinyan Avatar


        If the people who complain today are “dissenters,” shouldn’t the same term apply to those who complained yesterday?

        Jim, while I can’t speak for them with certainty, I don’t think Jeffrey Herbert or Simon or the others here are using the word “dissent” to mean simply “complain”.

        When I say someone is dissenting, or is a dissenter, I mean he or she disagrees with a doctrine of the Church and actively teaches or lobbies against it.

  4. Jan Larson Avatar

    Silence, submission and obedience. These are the most important three words for us priests, enabling us to be assigned to a parish, check our brains at the door, and grab our Crayolas. If we don’t have to question anything, or challenge assumptions, we are able to put a happy face on anything, even an awful liturgical translation.

    1. Simon Ho Avatar
      Simon Ho

      I would turn those three words, intended I think as negatives, to the following:

      Silence before the awesome majesty and goodness of God
      Submission to Christ and his Church – self-kenosis after the pattern of the Son of God
      Joyful Obedience out of love for God and his Church.

      These are important, absolutely for priests, but also for every member of Christ’s Body. Then, even if our liturgical celebrations on earth may not be perfect, great graces will still be poured forth and made effective on the Church and the world through the liturgical action.

  5. Charles Goldsmith Avatar
    Charles Goldsmith

    Honestly, I just don’t understand this continual carping and chuntering on at this website about the impending improved English translation to the mass. I had been visiting this blog on a daily basis for a while, mainly to see if there has been any news on the new translation, but this constant negativitiy has gotten to me, so I only make the occasional visit now. The final translation is essentially the same one drafted by ICEL and approved by the bishops’ conferences. The changes made by CDWDS with Vox Clara input are truly minor, and from what I can tell mainly move some rather conspicuous points of the mass back in a Trautmannesque direction. They’re more similar to the current wording and thus less jarring to Bp Trautmann’s dumb-as-rocks “Joe and Mary Catholic” in the pews, e.g., words of absolution, splitting up the Creed into four separate sentences, and the final doxology. These changes do not undermine in my view the general integrity of the translation in accordance with Liturgiam Authenticam. And for all the ideological hermeneutic of suspicion herein that decries any role of the Holy See in liturgical translations (contrary to the Vatican II documents, as I have explained elsewhere here), the role of the Holy See in the last minute changes was hardly the heavy handed application of wooden Latinate stylistic constructions of Lit. Auth., but the loosening of those principles in a few conspicuous points as an ineffable gesture to the Bp Trautmanns of this…

    1. Paul Inwood Avatar
      Paul Inwood

      The final translation is essentially the same one drafted by ICEL and approved by the bishops’ conferences. The changes made by CDWDS with Vox Clara input are truly minor

      Charles, you’re talking about the Order of Mass. We’re talking about the entire Missal, where the final translation is certainly not the same one drafted by ICEL and approved by the bishops’ conferences, and where the changes made by whomever are certainly not minor.

      1. Charles Goldsmith Avatar
        Charles Goldsmith

        It will be harder to judge the changes in the translation of the propers made by CDWDS/Vox Clara to the ICEL translation since the latter were not released to the public except a few collects that have been leaked onto the internet. Frankly, the current translations of the collects are such pale shadows of the Latin originals, as Fr. Z has demonstrated time and again, that almost any translation that shows more of the riches of the Latin originals woudl be an improvement, regardless of what CDWDS/Vox Clara has done to them. The one change that we do know about, changing “God, forever and ever” (which Fr. Harbert said it would be in his Notre Dame video) back to “One God, forever and ever”, fits the pattern of Trautmannesque changes back to current wording at conspicuous points in the mass.

  6. C H Edwards Avatar
    C H Edwards

    Jeffrey Herbert: “I too wonder what drives those who dissent. “

    What I wonder is why so many presumably devoted to liturgy seemingly want to sit out the exciting and great adventure, now beginning, of finally implementing Vatican II in continuity with both tradition and the liturgical movement of the first half of the twentieth century.

  7. Pastor Tim Madsen Avatar

    Heck, this ELCA pastor thought for sure it was your stunning notice about the 95 year old collection of The Lutheran Witness that tipped you over the top! Seriously, I’ve been following along for a while now. Great topics. Great comments. Minimum of snark. Please keep it up!

    1. Kimberly Hope Belcher Avatar
      Kimberly Hope Belcher

      Thanks, Pastor Tim. Welcome to PrayTell!

  8. Ben Blackhawk Avatar

    The thing I love about PrayTell is the lively exchange between people with such opposite views, from people whom I respect and love on both sides. It has made me rethink many of my assumptions and acquired tastes about liturgy, and though I am decidedly one looking forward with cautious optimism to this ‘corrected’ translation, I enjoy seeing those on both sides confronted with strong reasoned arguments, full of passion and love for the Church. Thanks Fr. Anthony!

  9. Alan Griffiths Avatar

    Since an earlier comment mentioned it, might I make a clarification about the words “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” please?

    However popular they might be, they are a mistake, relying as they presumably do on the mistranslation of “Mysterium fidei” in the Canon. This is currently translated “Let us proclaim …” intimating that what we are to proclaim is a “truth” or a “message.” and that, therefore, the “mysterium fidei” is also some sort of “idea” or “message.”

    But the term, originally part of the words of consecration of the chalice in the Canon, comes from Saint Paul and refers, not to an idea or message or something to be “proclaimed” but to someone to be “acclaimed.”

    For St. Paul, (cf.1Tim 3:16ff) the “mysterium” is nothing less than Christ himself. That is its significance in the sacred Liturgy also.

    So “Mysterium fidei” is an acclamation of a person, not a statement of a message or article of faith. It is not credal, but mystical in the proper ritual sense of that term.

    The priest begins the acclamation by saying (correctly in the new translation) “The mystery of faith” then the rubric directs that the people are to continue the acclamation.

    That is why the acclamations (not “proclamations”) are addressed to Christ. The words “Christ has died ..” are a credal statement, not an acclamation. They do not occur in the Latin Missal but are, I guess, an ICEL insertion.

    Alan Griffiths.

  10. C H Edwards Avatar
    C H Edwards

    Ben: A well-deserved comment about PrayTell, with which I agree. Though perhaps few on either side would accept me as a bridge over troubled waters, as one devoted to proper liturgy in both old and new forms, I’m enjoying this as one of the few places in blogdom where one can find strong arguments directed from both ends of the spectrum.

  11. Donna Eschenauer Avatar
    Donna Eschenauer

    Pray Tell provides a wonderful forum for conversation and critical reflection.

    It is my distinct privilege to add to the conversation!

  12. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    Would like to encourage the many people who regularly read this blog to at least occasionally log on.

    Would be interested in a little bit of your background and why you read this blog.

    Would be interested in your opinion about a post. I gravitate toward reading the comments of the people I don’t recognize more than those whom I do.

    As someone who frequently comments, most of my comments are occasioned by the content of the posts, and comments about the post. I try not to get distracted by side discussions, however those can be interesting, too.

    Comments upon the post by infrequent or new people help keep me centered on the topic and give me a better idea of the broader audience of the blog. I find them greatly enriching.

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