Merry Christmas. I give you the stupidest thing I have ever read! My comments in red.
from toledoblade.comby Marilou Johanek
The pews of many Roman Catholic churches in the Toledo diocese and throughout the country will be filled to capacity tonight. Standing room only is customary for midnight Masses, frequently packed by infrequent churchgoers who maintain a once-a-year tradition. [It used to be customary for everyone, in the Middle Ages]
Even if months, years, or decades have elapsed since Catholics saw the inside of a church, the liturgy they grew up with is easy enough to pick up again. The familiar prayers and responses of the Mass are well ingrained -- or used to be. ["And with your spirit" is simply way to difficult.]
An eye-opener awaits occasional Catholics. If the prodigal sons and daughters had trouble relating to religion before, new changes in the Mass liturgy could have them reeling. [This is reeling stupid.]
The church hierarchy has ambiguously complicated communication of the text of the Mass. [ROFL! Its the exact opposite. This is my favorite sentence from the column.] Certain prayers and passages have been awkwardly translated to comply with the Vatican's wish for a more traditional and spiritual tone in the liturgy.
The result is language lunacy. [Unlike the author's remedial rhetoric.] Since the beginning of the Advent season, Mass-going Catholics have struggled to adapt to the translations with laminated copies of the changes. [Like they did in the 60s and 70s.]
We've been told they more accurately reflect the original Latin language and will help deepen faith in the English-speaking world. Forgive my cynicism. [and mine]
As a parishioner and lifelong beneficiary of a revamped Mass liturgy, I appreciate the value of simple, straightforward prayer.
In the 1960s, the Second Vatican Council made a progressive effort to reach ordinary Catholics with words that are understandable, moving, and meaningful. [Dry, boring, banal, and AMBIGUOUS. Different strokes for different folks!] After centuries of an antiquated Latin ceremony that isolated ordinary Catholics, the church recognized the need of the faithful to be fully integrated in the Mass. [What does "fully integrated" mean?]
Ornate, stilted, tortured text, often whispered by a priest with his back to the congregation, was mercifully changed to make sense to native English-speakers. Gone were poorly worded sentences, fractured phrases, and lofty, out-of-touch verbal and ritual niceties that appealed to no one but Vatican bureaucrats. [Wait, was it in Latin or Elizabethan English? Does she even know what she is talking about?]
Instead, pastoral instincts took over. Improving the prayer life of the congregation and broadening individual participation in weekly worship became important.
Ritual became real. Prayers became personal. The message mattered, not the archaic-sounding and confusing cadences of the old Latin Mass.
The point -- and it was a good one -- was to bring people and God closer. [The result: half empty churches and closures everywhere.] Some priests, who are uneasy about expressing their opinion for publication, strongly question whether the new Mass translations will lead to a deeper spirit of prayer in the pews.
Not only did they thoroughly learn the English translation of the Mass, after saying it exclusively for 30 or 40 years, [Subtraction is too hard! Advent 2011 - Advent 1969 = 42 Years] but they also learned how to make the prayers mean something to their parishes. Wordy dictates from traditional church sticklers -- without much if any input from the laity -- threaten to dismantle attempts to enhance relevance.
Read the rest here. Merry Christmas!