3/4/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part VII – The Gloria

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

After the Penitential Act (of which the Confiteor is one possible form) or the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water, the Gloria is typically sung or spoken at Sunday Masses.  The obvious exceptions are the current season of Lent, and the season of Advent.

The Gloria was originally written as a hymn of praise to God.  Like other prayers used at Mass, it wasn’t used on a regular basis for some time.  When it was originally introduced into the Mass, it was reserved for only special occasions, then gradually became part of the Sunday liturgy.  We have evidence of the Gloria being used at a Papal Mass in Rome during the late 7th century.

Like some other parts of the Mass, the translation of the Gloria has been extensively revised.

One thing you may notice in the new translation is the patterning within it.  The structural device of layering elements of a particular pattern on top of each other, or in succession, has a particular poetic effect.  This is missing from the existing text.  The former text, translated on the basis of content rather than direct translation of the specific words, had these elements reduced into smaller set of less repetitive phrases.

Again, another feature of this revised translation is its allusions to scripture.  The phrase “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) is retained in the new version.  There are also several scriptural passages that refer to Christ “taking away the sins of the world”, who is “seated at the right hand of the Father”, who has mercy on us and receives our prayer.  Take a look, for example, at Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20 and Hebrews 1:3.

27/3/11 – What Happens At Mass, Part VI: The Gloria

The introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just a chance to learn new words, but will hopefully be an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Mass.

After the Penitential Act (of which the Confiteor is one possible form) or the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water, the Gloria is typically sung or spoken at Sunday Masses.  The obvious exceptions are the current season of Lent, and the season of Advent.

Like other Mass texts, the translation of the Gloria from the Latin text has been revised.  The new text of the Gloria, which we will explore further in coming weeks, is provided here for your reference:

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

12/9/10 – Is What We Say at Mass Going to Change?

As we mentioned before, a new English translation of the Roman Missal is being prepared.  This will be used in English speaking countries throughout the Catholic Church.  To help us learn more about this new translation, we’re trying to answer some of the key questions here.

Is what we say at Mass going to change?

Altar Missal which belonged to Cardinal NewmanYes.  A key characteristic of this new translation is an attempt to make the English version match the original Latin text more closely.  As such, we will see changes to prayers such as the Gloria, the Creed, and the Sanctus (Holy, Holy).

Some of the revisions are minor, while others are more extensive.  The Gloria, for example, is quite noticeably different, while only the first line of the Sanctus changes to “Holy, holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.”  Other prayers, such as the “Our Father” and the “Lamb of God” will not change.

There are other words which we say which will change.  These can be found within the responses in which we engage during Mass.  One of the most obvious, and most commonly used will be the phrase “And also with you.”  In the revised translation of the missal, this phrase will be “And with your spirit”, which is closer to the original Latin text of et cum spiritu tuo (you can see “spiritu” there which translates to “spirit).  This phrase has a direct connection with the greetings made by St Paul in his letters to the early Christian communities.  Some of you may also remember that when Mass was first celebrated in English in the late 1960’s, the response was “And with your spirit.”  So in some ways, this is a return to the first English texts we used.  There are other responses which will also change in an effort to bring them into closer harmony with the Latin.

Photo: IMG_5153 by jdbradley