Slowing down on the new Mass translations

A new blog and Facebook campaign is asking the bishops to slow down on implementing the new English translations of the Mass, planned for 2010. It's based on an America essay by the pastor of the Seattle cathedral. I've signed up, you can too.

There's plenty of precedent for experimentation: The much-maligned original liturgical reform of the late 1960s included several years of experimentation with provisional translations. That led to improvements that eventually made it into the 1970 translation of the Roman Missal.

There's also precedent for a little grassroots activism: The enemies of the modern liturgical reform have relentlessly lobbied bishops and Rome for the last 30 years, and despite their small numbers, they have in effect won the expansion of the Latin Mass and a profound change in how liturgical translations are done.

It's time for those of us who continue to support the liturgical reforms of Vatican II–vernacular that makes sense, legitimate cultural adaptation, expansion of scripture in the liturgy, full participation of the faithful–to speak up. Maybe it's not too late. We'll be stuck with these translations for decades; it's now or never!

About the author

Bryan Cones

Bryan Cones is a writer living in Chicago.