Scotland’s bishops have become the latest to give their backing to the new English translation of the Roman Missal. The bishops said the new translation would gradually be introduced, beginning on Sept. 4.
“(W)e welcome the opportunity this affords to renew our faith in the Eucharist and in all aspects of its celebration,” Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll & the Isles, head of the bishops’ liturgy commission, said in a statement to Scottish priests.
“Ours is a strong and very real faith in what happens at Mass and it is appropriate that the robust words used in Latin to express the human reality and our need for the Lord’s redeeming mercy are translated accordingly in English,” he added.
Bishop Toal said the new translation returns to “older, more traditional terminology.”
“This is particularly the case with regard to the words which encourage us never to lose sight of the unity between Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, in which the Lord’s self-offering is made present for us in the sacrament of his Body and Blood,” he said.
The Scottish Church plans to deploy resources to priests, including DVDs and websites, to help them adapt to the changes.
The move comes as priests in some countries are threatening to boycott the new translation.
Father Sean McDonagh of the Association of Irish Priests told the New York Times April 12: “What we are asking of the bishops is to scrap this text. I know people are not going to use it. I wouldn’t use it, because everything I know in terms of theology and anthropology and linguistics, it breaches every one of those.”
Similar murmurings have arisen in the U.S. and Australia.
However, the man who chaired the international committee responsible for the new translation, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, says he’s confident that such threats of protest will amount to nothing.
“I know a number of the priests don’t think these texts will be pastorally advantageous. One priest said he thought there might be 10 priests around Australia who’ll refuse to use them,” Cardinal Pell said in a March 31 video interview with the Archdiocese of Sydney.
But the Sydney cardinal thought that those priests will “all come on board because as soon as their congregation hears the new prayers they’ll say, ‘What’s the fuss about? What on earth are we going to be splitting the Church about on this for?’”
The new translation will be introduced in its full form to U.S. parishes on Nov. 27. On the same day, parishes in the U.K. will begin using the full missal, after having only used the revised Order of the Mass, the prayers and responses between Sept. 4 and that day.