If you believe mainstream media reports, when this Sunday comes around there’s going to be mass confusion in the pews as the “millstone” of the Church’s new translation of the Roman Missal causes liturgical “whiplash.”
Various reported stories on the introduction of the new translation the first Sunday of Advent demonstrate how one story gets told and then repeated over and over and over again by the supposedly independent, objective, and unbiased media. Let’s take a look.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has this: “After nearly 40 years, Catholics brace themselves for a new translation of the mass that sticks closer to the original Latin,” as if the Mass - Catholics’ most perfect prayer - is akin to a thunderstorm or a blizzard that the faithful need to “brace” themselves for.
Several other stories adopted the same phrasing in their stories.
“English-speaking Catholics are bracing for the biggest change to their Mass since the 1960’s,” reported the Washington Post, which took it a step further, warning mass-goers of the danger of “ritual whiplash.”
“Some leaders warn that the shift could cause “ritual whiplash” among those accustomed to a worship script so familiar that most recite it from memory,” reports the Post in an unaccredited quote.
I’m not familiar with “ritual whiplash”, but just to prepare themselves, Catholics might want to wear neck braces to prevent serious injury to their spinal column.
Some Catholic publications weren’t necessarily better in their approach. At the end of a US Catholic article by Bryan Cones on the new translation, the new translation is compared to a “millstone” and Cones says that it will lead Catholics to leave the Church.
This reminds me of priest friends who tell me of people leaving the Church because of a Mass time change or other minor parish adjustments. If people are leaving because of a translation which places greater emphasis on the praise, glory, adoration, and worship due to God, then one wonders if they haven’t “left” the Church a long time ago?