Teen Video Cleverly Explains the New Translation of the Mass

This video does a decent — not perfect — job of explaining the new translation of the Mass into English:

Word for Word [Edge] from Life Teen on Vimeo.

Found at Msgr. Charles Pope’s blog for the Archdiocese of DC (ph/t: The Anchoress).

There will be resistance to the new translation in places, especially because some liberal catholics are attempting to foment this hesitancy to accept the new translation as an excuse to rally catholics in the pew against their bishops (Bryan Cones at U.S. Catholic, for example). How petty.

My simple take: this new translation is better than the one we have now. Not perfect, but it’s moving in the right direction. We should welcome it with open arms, and to that end, sharing this video (especially with the youth group at your parish) may be a good way to jump start the conversation.

You can read the new translation here on the US Bishops website, along with lots of other helpful materials.



  • James K

    As a Latin Major, I’m pretty disappointed by the new translation. And it has nothing to do with my political leanings, as has been suggested by so many who are pushing this new translation. I’m a faithful catholic who follows the church’s teaching, and as soon as this translation becomes official, I plan to not really spend much time worrying about or complaining about the new translation.

    The issue with the translation is that formal equivalence is a bad way to translate from Latin into English, especially when one follows the grammatical structures, and the vocabulary of Latin as closely as the new translation does. English doesn’t use these grammatical structures or vocabulary for a reason. English isn’t Latin. Both English and Latin are beautiful languages, but the new translation essentially denies that the translation of the mass has any purpose beyond technical accuracy. The translation of the Mass should be beautiful English that accurately conveys the Latin. The reason dynamic equivalency exists is because most people who use a translation of something, are not speakers of the language which a text has been translated from. It is in fact possible to translate a latin without leaving anything out, in dynamic equivalency.

    The big issue that conservatives in the church are making about this being a liberal issue is misleading, I’m sure the liberals will keep complaining about it for years to come. But there are plenty of people who know Latin who are disappointed because this translation comes short, stopping upon reaching technical accuracy. The other thing that really bothers me about this, is that the conservatives have been complaining about the old translation for years, in part prompting the change. Again, I’m not a liberal catholic, I’m pro-life, anti-contraception and I believe in the authority of the pope. Papal and episcopal infallibility doesn’t extend to translation philosophy however, and I feel that the new translation comes short of its potential. Just my two bits, I have no intention of disobeying or spending any more effort campaigning against the mandate from on high, I just think people should know that criticism of the new translation doesn’t necessarily reflect on the critic.



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