New translation: one year on have your say

It is now a year since the new English translation of the Order of Mass has been in use throughout the English-speaking world, and the London Tablet wants to know what you think.

If you are a regular Mass-goer, you are probably no longer stumbling over ‘Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof …’. You now mumble, ‘And with your spirit’ in the same reflex, slightly absent minded-way you used to say, ‘And also with you’; and you are now used to hearing ‘For many …’ where once you heard ‘For all’ without it striking you as odd.

There’s always a certain refreshment in any new translation of a familiar text, just as any new telling of an old story – even a clumsy new version – throws light on a previously neglected episode or character.

In a really successful new translation, the original is brought alive for a new audience with new force and power. In a bad translation, what was clear and elegant becomes muddled and flat-footed, and what was exciting and dramatic becomes colourless and prosaic.

No one seems to have been entirely happy with the process of arriving at the new text for the Mass, and irritation at feeling that it was foisted on us without proper consultation may have clouded our initial judgement of the new translation.

But now that we’ve been living with it for a year or more, perhaps this is a good time to ask Catholics whether or not the new translation has freshened and deepened their understanding of the extraordinary things that we are celebrating and remembering Mass.

The London Tablet is asking New Zealanders and people throughout English-speaking world to take a survey about their experience of the new English translation. What do you think? Have your say in the Tablet’s survey.

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