The language of the new translation is different to that which we are used to using in our everyday lives. But it is not unusual for us in the English speaking world (and probably elsewhere) to use different styles. Many would say that language used in business is much different to that used by youngsters on the street.
Here is a brief section from a play:
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
This is the opening soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Richard III.
Now a piece of prose:
[He] soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year.
Many will recognise this as the description of Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and prejudice.
And finally, some poetry:
My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a wingèd sentry
All skilful in the wars:
Here Henry Vaughan in his poem Peace describes St Michael the Archangel.
The point I make is that these are all written in English but they have been composed for different purposes in mind. So it is with the language of the Mass; a sacred liturgy intended as a supernatural prayer, expressed in frail human words that are so inadequate compared to God’s infinite and unimaginable love.
There are 4 distinct parts to the Mass, the central two where we absorb the word of God and receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist are bounded by gathering at the start and sending out or mission at the end.
- Introductory rites
- Liturgy of the Word
- Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Concluding Rites
Each part will be considered in future posts to this blog.