I don’t know how many people have been keeping up with the forthcoming changes to the Roman Missal. This has been a particular passion/hobby of mine lately. At my home site, I am doing a weekly column of pieces explaining the new translations. Thus far, I have discussed all the changes to the people’s parts and this Monday I will begin taking up the priest’s parts, starting with Eucharistic Prayer I. (For those interested, the entire collection can be found here.)
Today at Mass the need for a new translation became crystal clear. What follows is a comparison of the two prayers from the Mass. First, the Collect. What we heard at Mass just hour ago was,
Lord protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this day holy by our self-denial.
Not bad … at least there is some discussion of self-denial and discipline. But listen to the new translation:
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Holy fasting … campaign … battle against spiritual evils … armed with weapons of self-restraint. That’s the kind of Lent I’m talking about! However, what really got me going was the Prayer Over the Ashes. Here is the current “translation”:
Dear friends in Christ, let us ask our Father
to bless these ashes which we will use
as the mark of our repentance.
Lord, bless the sinner who asks for your forgiveness
and bless all those who receive these ashes.
May they keep this lenten season
in preparation for the joy of Easter.