Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Jumping the Gun with ICEL
Following my report on using the new ICEL translation I have had a number of emails from different parts of the world but mainly from the UK, from laity and priests, saying that the new ICEL translations of the Eucharistic Prayers are already being used to a greater or lesser extent in their parishes. Priests who are not normally innovators tell me they have waited too long and would be doing their parishioners a serious disservice by continuing to use the old inaccurate translations. I have every sympathy with them, however our UK bishops have not yet sought Rome's permission for them to be implemented, so technically these priests are celebrating illicit Masses.
How serious is this willful act of dissent?
Well, it is the intention of the lawmaker, the Holy See, that these translations should be implemented, permission has been given for their use already in other parts of the world. A great deal of liturgical innovation has already been introduced by deliberate and wilful disobedience to the mind of the Church, the vernacular during the Council, communion in the hand after it, the use of lay persons to distribute Holy Communion, then later women and girls serving Mass, in the scheme of things jumping the gun with the new translation seems very small beer, especially as it is very much according to the mind of the Church that they be implemented.
A wise bishop would do well to try and stop other abuses in the liturgy rather than stomp on the pre-emptive use of texts, which with some minor adjustments, will become standard in the English speaking world. Indeed if I were a bishop I would welcome experimentation in preparatory catechesis for their introduction.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake