Catholics strongly support new Mass translation after first year
Prayer, Mass, Church. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
Prayer, Mass, Church. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- One year after the Church introduced revisions to the English-language liturgy, an overwhelming majority of Catholics continue to view the changes in a positive light.

A new poll finds that 70 percent of U.S. adult self-identified Catholics agree with the statement, “Overall, I think the new translation of the Mass is a good thing.”

The poll, conducted in September 2012 by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, sought to gain an understanding of how adult Catholics perceived the third edition of the Roman Missal that went into use on Nov. 27, 2011.

The overwhelming majority of respondents either agreed – 50 percent – or strongly agreed, 20 percent, that the new translation is a good thing.

Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week were most likely to approve of the revised liturgy, with more than 80 percent agreeing that it was a good thing. However, even among those who rarely attend Mass, more than 60 percent approved of the new translation.

Respondents who said that they had noticed great changes in the Mass were more likely to view the new translation in a negative light, compared to those who had noticed moderate changes, small changes or none at all.

Commissioned by the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, the survey asked participants whether they have a good understanding of the meaning of the prayers recited by the priest and people at Mass, and if the words of those prayers make it easier for them to participate in the Mass.

They were also asked whether those prayers of the Mass help them feel closer to God and inspire them to be a more faithful Catholic in their daily lives.

In each case, at least three-quarters of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed.  Catholics who attend Mass more regularly were more likely than others to strongly agree with each statement.

Among weekly church-goers, there were no significant differences between the responses to these questions in the September 2012 survey and a similar study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate in 2011, before the revised liturgy was in use.

The results of the new survey were first presented by Fr. Anthony J. Pogorelc of The Catholic University of America at a Nov. 9 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Association in Phoenix, Ariz.

“This is a preliminary study,” Fr. Pogorelc told CNA, adding that various follow up projects could be conducted to explore why people have responded in various ways.

Those who do not see the changes to the Mass as a good thing may have a poor understanding of the new texts, he explained, or they may think that it is better to translate the liturgy using a method of “dynamic equivalence.”

This method, which was used in the previous edition, sought to translate the Latin into the ordinary “language of the people.” However, it was replaced with a more literal and accurate translation in the third edition of the Roman Missal in order to restore some of the theological meaning that may have been lost.

While every generation included in the survey demonstrated a positive view of the new translation, Fr. Pogorelc said that age difference could have an impact on how different groups are reacting to the changes.

For example, while they overwhelmingly believe the changes to be a good thing, members of the pre-Vatican II generation, born before 1943, may find the new liturgy challenging, struggling to remember the new responses due to their age, he said.

The millennial generation, born in 1982 or later, shows the highest rate of dissatisfaction with the new translation, although even among this group, nearly 60 percent approve of the changes.

While the reasons for this are not clear, Fr. Pogorelc suggested that it may be tied to findings in other studies that this younger generation is less affiliated with religion and churches in general.

In addition, he said, social factors could influence this group of Catholics. For example, the decline of the family meal could be leading to a weaker understanding of “ritual” in connection with the Mass.

“It would be interesting to explore this a bit more, now that we have this basic data,” Fr. Pogorelc said, observing that perhaps focus groups could be assembled in the future to better assess people’s understanding of the liturgical changes at a deeper and more thorough level.

In the meantime, he suggested, it is good for priests to continue preaching on the texts of the Mass, particularly when they fit in closely with the readings.

Much of the Mass references Scripture, he observed, and “integrating some of the texts of the Mass into the preaching” can show the people the close connection between the two.

“I think that kind of thing can be very helpful,” he said.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27