With the fifth Sunday of Lent coming ever closer, the time has now come to cry "Stop!" to the incessant changes in the English used in the Mass, except to correct what is already wrong. At the present time we lack a true translation of the Latin — which is the norm. Now we are to have even more paraphrase and apparent change for change's sake.
In the Confiteor, what is wrong with "by thought, word, deed and omission" and "my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault"? It is all good and understandable English. Are we less intelligent than the French and Italians, who have a genuine translation? It would have been better if the experts (sic) had concentrated on good grammar. Take, for instance, the doxology at the end of each Eucharistic prayer: „ "all honour and glory is yours. With two nouns the verb "are" is required as used in the response to • the Libera Nos: "For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours ..."
Are we, the laity, so stupid that we no longer know the meaning of good English words like "visible" and "invisible"?
In my lifetime, I have learned by heart the Latin Credo and three different English Creeds and Gloria and I have no intention of learning any more. Nor do I intend carrying a book or paper missalette.
Further, I will not say "We believe" in the Creed. When I attend a Latin Mass I say "I believe (Credo)" because it is my act of faith, Neither I nor anyone else can make the act of faith for other people; I don't know what they believe — even more now than in the past. I
shall content myself by using the ones I know, by saying them sotto voce.
I know that the Holy Father wants one form of words for the English-speaking world, but regrettably his command of English isn't sufficient for him to understand what rubbish is served up for us. And why should we he at the Mercy of the Americans and the nonCatholics who played a part in the translations?
One would have thought that with a Scottish cardinal as chairman of the ICEL and an Australian archbishop and an English archbishop as vicechairmen, they would have been able to curb the excesses of the Americans. After all, it was this country that gave the English language to them and other English-speaking countries.
Perhaps the American venue and the predominance of American advisers were too much for them. To be fair, I must admit that the Australians (and I am one) were responsible for translating Qui in the Agnus Dei as "you" instead of "who."
At the same time, it is well known that Americans, despite their many virtues, are with few exceptions completely inept at producing felicitous and readable translations, let alone any of literary merit.
Is the long-suffering laity to go on being ignored? Where is this much-vaunted consultation with them, this giving of more responsibility and an active part to play in the affairs of the Church?
Graham Young 8 Goodyer House, Lillington Gardens, Pimlico, London SEL