Catholics strongly support new Mass translation after first year
By Michelle Bauman
Prayer, Mass, Church. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
Prayer, Mass, Church. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.

.- 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 (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: