Sep 14, 2008

Proposed Revisions to the Novus Ordo Mass

The Ordo Missae White Book (OMWB) published by ICEL (marked "Study Text Only") was posted on the American Catholic Bishops website over a month ago. I've briefly looked at these proposed modifications to the English translation of the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass.

Here's an abbreviated list of my complaints about the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM) and how/if the OMWB proposes to fix the problems. [A prior post discussed the serious deficiencies of the NOM and gives a key reference.]
  1. The NOM English"formula of general confession" is a very poor and virtually unrecognizable translation of the Latin original which it was supposed to follow. OMWB proposes a somewhat better wording, including correctly adding "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..."
  2. The NOM Consecration of Jesus' blood uses the words "for all" while all extant versions of the New Testament (over 20) translate Christ's words as "for many." OMWB corrects this extremely serious problem by replacing "for all" with "for many."
  3. The NOM-introduced "Mystery of Faith" proclaimed by the priest immediately after the Consecration distracts focus from the True Presence of Jesus on the altar. OMWB proposes no change and leaves the people's acclamations to refer to Jesus' future coming at the end of the world and ignoring the fact that He is now present.
  4. The NOM-introduced "Sign of Peace" distracts from the True Presence of Jesus on the altar, especially because it is placed between the Consecration and Communion. OMWB makes the "Sign of Peace" optional, but does not propose moving it to the beginning of Mass.
  5. The NOM-eliminated Last Gospel (John 1:1 thru 1:14) no longer instructs Catholics with key truths about Jesus' Divinity. OMWB does not propose restoring the Last Gospel to the Mass.
The ICEL-recommended changes approved by Rome ,and now being considered by the American bishops, are first attempts to rectify the disastrous changes to the Mass that occurred after Vatican II, and I applaud this start. But because other serious issues remain in the Novus Ordo Mass, I will continue to attend the old Latin Mass.

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