The Catholic Church Standardize Mass


Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

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Catholics attending church in the English-speaking world on Sunday; the first Sunday of Advent, heard a new version of Mass (liturgy). That’s because as of Sunday, churches across the globe are required to do the same mass.

These changes may cause some to use cheats sheets as their churches adopt a more formal translation of the original Latin service. But according to the Vatican, the changes were necessary to more accurately reflect the original Latin version, based on a principle called “formal equivalence.”

Thus, instead of saying Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary,” Catholics will say he “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary.”

Instead of saying, “I have sinned through my own fault,” they will say, “I have greatly sinned,” and add, “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

Instead of saying Jesus is “one in being with the Father,” they will say that he was “consubstantial with the Father.” Consubstantial, which comes from the Latin word “consubstantialis,” which means: having the same substance or essential nature.

Some of the more noticeable changes for churchgoers include the much-used response “And also with you” being replaced by “And with your spirit.”

“It’s a historic moment in the life of the Church and the English-speaking world,” Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast told the Catholic Register earlier this month.

Prendergast was the Canadian representative on the Vox Clara Committee, formed to oversee the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

“The hope is that the higher register of the vocabulary and the restoration of biblical allusions will enrich our life of prayer, heightening reverence and making the liturgy more solemn, more beautiful,” Prendergast said.

The prayer that has undergone the most change is the Gloria, said Prendergast. “When translators translated it in the 1970s, they not only abbreviated it but they rearranged the wording,” he said.

What was lost in translation was the going overboard with praise of God, he said. “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you” has now been added.

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