Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stalemate in the liturgy wars

More on the U.S. bishops: It seems the movement to roll back the liturgical reform, which began with the rejection in the early 1990s of an inclusive-language lectionary, is starting to lose traction. At issue are the congregational responses during Mass, including the familiar "And also with you" response to "The Lord be with you." The current regime, installed after certain English-speaking bishops dismantled the commission charged with translating the liturgy into English, has proposed a more sacral translation that closely tracks the original Latin. In it, "And also with you" becomes "And with your spirit." And that's just the beginning. Even bishops have referred to the translations as "ponderous and often turgid,'' and "awkward."

Surprisingly enough, though, what looked like a done deal doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Right now, 57% of U.S. bishops favor keeping the current 1970 translation--a clear majority. It takes a two-thirds vote to approve the texts. Evidently the bishops are concerned about irritating an already disaffected laity. They should be.


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