On a PrayTell thread belittling translation, Scott Pluff related this experience:
In a recent conversation with a parishioner, he admitted that the only parts of Mass that he pays attention to are the Gospel, the homily, the music, and the announcements. He called everything else, “blah, blah, blah.” He even asked if it would be possible to eliminate those other parts so we could focus more on the preaching and music. Could we still distribute Communion even if we skipped over the other stuff? This was coming from a lifelong Catholic who is highly involved in the parish and regularly attends Mass.
Perhaps some of us have an expectation that everything at Mass will have some meaning or impact. Will that happen to everyone? No way. My sense has always been that the experience of the Mass is so rich that everybody paying attention will find something, even some small bit, that moves them.
Mr Pluff’s parishioner reinforces the notion that people come for preaching and music as their top priorities. Plus encountering the Lord in the reception of the Eucharist. The rest? Likely vital for professionals and the liturgical picayune.
My sense is that ninety percent of the Roman Missal texts are part of a “blah blah blah” background hum. What does that mean for me as a liturgist and church musician? Maybe I consider reducing the words I give them. When I arrived in my new parish this summer, the announcement to silence electronic devices was assigned to the songleader. I took the liberty of dropping it last month. Likewise the announcement of the Sunday in ordinary time. Long-time Catholics know to silence their cells, and if they don’t, a reminder isn’t guaranteed to help. And particulars about the Sunday? That’s in the missalette.
My deeper complaint on MR3 isn’t with its contorted grammar or strange vocabulary choices, but that the texts, especially the priest texts, will not appeal to people. Therefore, they will make little or no difference. I suspect most parishes have found the MR3 conversion to be a smooth one. Why? Not obedience. Most likely the change was unimportant for nearly every Catholic. Fewer words and more trimmed-down rituals–that would have been noticed.
In a way, Liturgiam Authenticam and the delay in implementing MR2 has done just what the reform2 movement wouldn’t have wanted: anchored the Church’s official texts more deeply into the irrelevant and emphasized homilies, music, and the personal experience of receiving Communion. What do you think about that?