Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Paul Inwood Survey

There seem to be a plethora of surveys on the translations of the Mass introduced by ICEL last Advent, the Tablet put up several versions, until the got answers they approved of, apparently Paul Inwood, who was appointed to charge of liturgy in Portsmout diocese by Bishop Crispin Hollis also had a survey.

I am rather amused by the comment by Eccles and Bosco "[It has] severely affected the sales of my music".

Inwood has been a rather notorious critic of all of the liturgical reforms of this pontificate, from the new translations, to the use of new Graduale Romanum, to the freedom to celebrate Mass according to the Missal of the Blessed John XXIII, that is the Mass of the Council.

There is an agressive reactionary nostalgia that wants to hold back any forward movement of the Church, it really must be resisted.


Physiocrat said...

I am not surprised that the new translation has gone down badly. As you may recall, Fr Ray, I predicted this long before. It has a contrived, faux-antique quality. Latin texts just do not go well into English as the grammatical structures of the two languages are so different. Then there are the politics of the English language to contend with, which makes it especially unsuitable for use in situations which must be as inclusive as possible.

What should have happened, and still should happen, is a gradual shift back to Latin and the EF, which is largely silent and people can follow in a translation in any language they want. These arguments will continue until the matter is resolved, and resolved means EF or the celebration of Novus Ordo in a form close to EF. Gradual transition is possible, and congregations are not going to be disturbed if it is done over a couple of years.

The music is a further issue. There is almost nothing of reasonable quality for the English Catholic liturgy. Gregorian chant into English does not go. The Ordinariate texts based on the Cranmer translations, and the music that goes with them, are another matter.

Supertradmum said...

Nostalgia for what? Banal music and even Protestant theology in the words? Nostalgia for Paul Inwood would be like having nostalgia for "Leave it to Beaver" episodes...

Some people "just ain't got no taste."

Patricius said...

My impression- from attending Mass in three different dioceses and several parishes- is that the Catholic people have just got on with it. In fact it seems to have been a lot smoother than I recall back in the sixties when texts were changed several times.

Perhaps Mr Inwood might prefer to be with the Anglicans- they have a long tradition of making things up!

Parate Viam Domini said...

Unless I'm very much mistaken:

Portsmouth Diocese Mass Attendance 2011 -34,550

Those who completed Mr Inwood's Survey - 310 (half of whom were pleased/content with the New Translation.

Ergo circa 180 not happy.

My reckoning 180/34550 = 052%.

So to be really generous lets say under 1% of total Mass attendance - very representative.

Crafty thing is you read through it thinking that the survey is going to carry great weight. Only in the last paragraph do we see the buried information of how many responses were received.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"I am not surprised that the new translation has gone down badly."

I don't think you can say that, it is precisely what Inwood and his ilk are trying to prove, it is an attempt to disparage the work of the Holy Father and anything other than "me, me" liturgy.

Physiocrat said...

If Inwood & Co. prove that the new translation is not going down well, and since the old one is no good, then we are "stuck" with Latin. That will be their final achievement.

The translation is still needed for study purposes, but the instruction only ever said that Mass may be said in the vernacular. Which would suggest that it normally should not be, apart from the readings and a few other bits. The Canon can be recited silently, as proposed in Spirit of the Liturgy, in which case it does not need to be in English anyway. Having got to that point, the EF might as well be used. Where then is the gain in using the Novus Ordo?

It's just a weaning process. It shouldn't be hurried, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Paul Inwood et al appear aggrieved that we do not have a sugary, quasi-protestant 'community celebration' (with ample opportunities for new 'choonz', of course) in place of the Mass. Hence the Tabletesque obsession with surveys. In my parish, and when work takes me to different parts of the country, I have found that priests and people have overwhelmingly settled-down to the wording of the New Missal.

Clothilde said...

Speaking as a statistician, I can tell, you that this whole survey is very dodgy. Getting your friends to write in is not exactly the same as doing a proper survey. Moreover, all neutral responses are regarded as hostile to the new translation, a point well taken up by Eccles.

terry prest said...

Is there some kind of campaign against the translation which has only been in effect for scarcely more than 12 months ?

The Religion editor of this week`s TLS has got into the act with "Tactical Missal: THE CTS NEW SUNDAY MISSAL". Apparently ICEL was knobbled by a conspiracy involvingCardinals Ratzinger and Jorge Medina Estévez while Pope John Paul II was apparently not quite compos mentis.

I`m surprised Father Z has not gone and done a "fisk" with his famous red font

Liturgy should not be ideological or about power striggles. It is too important for that and stupid personal attacks caused by over heated and fevered imaginations

Physiocrat said...

@terry prest

"Liturgy should not be ideological or about power struggles"

Exactly right. Unless you have lived in a non-English speaking country for a while, it is hard to appreciate the extent to which the English language is a war zone. All the hostilities of class difference, regional difference and the Empire legacy are fought out in the English language and the way it is used.

It is my personal opinion that the new translation has a contrived, false-antique quality to it. That would be the result of going straight from Latin to English when the two languages have such different grammatical structures. The problem is compounded because English is a Germanic language with a basic vocabulary derived from the Germanic tongues, topped up with another layer of vocabulary from Latin, which was brought in by later scholars and is characteristically "upper class". That is a recipe for tension before the first sentence has been translated.

The Cranmer Ordinariate translations are better but there would be objections to them as well. The problem of language as war zone is not confined to the English speaking world. There is an analogous situation in many mixed-language border areas such as Belgium and western Poland, which has a small German-speaking population, and also in places where there are immigrants from many language groups.

The vernacular is divisive by nature. This is the curse of babel.The only real solution in these situations is to restrict the vernacular and use Latin, which is why there was a resistance to the vernacular for so long. It was in any case never the intention of V2 that the liturgy should normally be celebrated in the vernacular, but in the light of the experience of the past forty years, but genie should be put back in its bottle: where language is contentious vernacular Masses should be permitted for special purposes only eg catechesis.

Cettis Warbler said...

Humph.... what a silly "survey". I can assure you that here at the top end of Portsmouth diocese we all get along very well with the new translation, including updating the music ready for the start date.

JARay said...

I agree that the new translation has come in with no fuss at all. Those heavy meaningful words "consubstantial" and "incarnate" have come in with n'er a murmur. We even have "for us men and for our salvation" where previously the word "MEN" was removed by the feminazis in the congregation. Now the congregation is including that word with no fuss at all.
Much ado about nothing!

Deacon Augustine said...

These old dinosaurs like Mr Inwood seem to be so reactionary that they will never be happy with any progress in the Liturgy.

Constantly fighting the battles of the 1960's and '70's seems to be all that they live for. Thank goodness the Church has moved on and left these Peter, Paul & Mary traditionalist types behind.

Come on Mr Inwood - time to move over, enjoy your retirement, and let some of these progressive youngsters have a go with their new-fangled Latin chant and stuff that you find all over that inter-webby thingy. They might never have the sophistication to appreciate the great aesthetics of that traditional anthem "Alleluia, tch, tch...", but at least they're keen and actually participating.

P.S. if you want a hand with your next survey, post me your fag packet and I might be able to get more responses on the back of it at the bingo hall. Always teeming with trads down there.

Physiocrat said...

@Deacon Augustine

Which Alleluia is that you are referring to? There is one that goes

Alley, alley, alley,
Alley, alley, alley.

I am not making it up.

But what is it about modern diocesan music directors? I went to a diocesan choral event where were were expected to sing in a 14th century building with a reverberation time of seven seconds. The only thing that can be sung in it is Gregorian chant, for which the building was designed. Yet we had music with quite a fast tempo including a part piece by Mendlesson. So the singers were having to try to sing against their own echoes from several seconds earlier. I gave up and sat in the benches. The performance sounded like a seven minute long accident. It did not help that the organ was out of tune in the lower registers, giving rise to low frequency discords.

We are getting a new hymn book next year with lots of new compositions in it. This planned obsolescence of the liturgy is good business for the publishers and owners of the copyrights.

Deacon Augustine said...

Physiocrat, I apologise as I may have misled you. I believe the official title of said masterpiece is "Alleluia Ch-Ch"!!

I have never encountered the species myself, but unless it is an urban legend which has run out of control, its existence is testified to by one Mr Damian Thompson, who I believe is an avid fan of the composer:

"Mr Inwood, may I remind you, is the composer of "Alleluia Ch-Ch" and other trendy atrocities; he has received formal training in music (incredible though that might seem) but does not hold any academic degrees in liturgy or theology." 20/11/2007

Anonymous said...

You can listen to some of Inwood's compositions, including "Alleluia Ch-Ch" here.

I won't say "enjoy."

You can also read some autobiographical notes here.

Physiocrat said...

Here you can listen to Alleluia ch ch

Alley Alley Alley is truly atrocious and I have heard it several times in Catholic Masses.

Here is the Alleluia for Midnight Mass. How many people will get the opportunity to hear it this Christmas?


Just a tiny corrective. The new translation wasn't introduced by ICEL, but by the Bishops' Conferences of the countries concerned, with the approval of the Holy See. Nor is the final version of the text to be attributed to ICEL, but to the Congregation for Divine Worship, advised by the Vox Clara Committee.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Harbert,
I know, I was just being sloppy.