Young adults at St. Patrick's in Charlotte grow in faith during revised Missal study group
CHARLOTTE — Preparation for the introduction to the revised translation of the Mass isn't just about getting used to saying "I believe" instead of "We believe." For young adults at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, it's about studying and understanding the Mass in the context of better understanding our faith.
"I would have to say no, I never really noticed (the errors in the English translation)," Luis Vallhonrat, a St. Patrick parishioner, admitted. "What we learned growing up about the faith was really watered down."
But now, many young people realize there is something more that they missed out on, and they are eager to learn.
Armed with a copy of Father Matthew Buettner's "Understanding the Mystery of the Mass - Revisited" and an accompanying studying manual from Catholic Scripture Study International, the parish study group is in the middle of a six-week course led by diocesan seminarian Jason Christian.
"Does the Church just re-promulgate new versions of the liturgy?" Christian began. "Is it like a new software update, a new patch, version 1.2 or something?"
Quite the contrary, he said. When the "Novus Ordo" ("New Order") of the Mass was translated from Latin to vernacular following the reforms of Vatican II, some translations – Italian, Spanish and German, for example – "got it right the first time around to reflect what the Latin actually says," he said. This begs the question: how did a disconnect with Engligh occur? Christian explained that the translation was done using the theory of "dynamic equivalence." Rather than express the meaning of the original Latin text more closely, translators crafted a more colloquial version. That meant the loss of some beauty in the language, not to mention specific Scriptural references critical to understanding the Mass prayers.
Christian emphasized that it's important to be exact in how we pray. He cited, for example, the difference in the formula used by priest-exorcists between the Latin and the English translations, noting that priests generally acclaim the Latin to be more powerful in the midst of an exorcism.
"If a demon responds different to a priest based on what language he uses, then it should make a difference for us," he said.
Participant Christina Hinton, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte, noted, "There is a reason that we are using the words that we are using. We need to be aware of participating in the supernatural."
–Mary B. Worthington, correspondent
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