Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Totally Serious Vernacular Alternative to the New Missal

Mr. Jablonski is somewhat delayed in his next blog post. In the meantime, please enjoy this modest proposal from a guest.


Recently, opponents to the new English translation of the Mass have said that it is not vernacular enough. Many people, they say, do not understand what obscure words like “consubstantial” mean. One letter-writer to a diocesan newspaper complained, "This is not the Mass in the vernacular as directed by Vatican II, because no one who speaks English ever speaks this way!" In an effort to make the Mass more vernacular, I suggest a series of regional, vernacular Masses that different dioceses can institute in order to better incorporate the regional flavors of the English-speaking world. Each region, of course, has its own vernacular; for instance, some regions call a bottle of Coca-cola beverage a “Coke,” “Soda,” “Pop,” Cola,” or something else. For this reason, each area will have its own Mass. This is clearly more in keeping with the spirit of Vatican II than the reactionary Mass that has been forced upon us.

A Google Images search for "Consubstantial" was no help. AHHH LATIN! NOOOO!!!!!
Example 1:
Old Translation: Priest: Peace be with you. Congregation: And also with you.
Reactionary Translation: Priest: Peace be with you. Congregation: And with your spirit.
“And with your spirit?” What does that even mean? No one talks like that. The following translations are far more trendy and vernacular.
Proposed New Translations
New York Edition: Priest: Peace, guys. People: You too, priest.
Woodstock Edition: Priest: Peace out. People: Duuuuuude
Texas Edition: Priest: Peace, y’all. People: Yeeeeeehaw!
Ghetto Edition: Priest: Chillax. People: Ingualmente, homie.
Long Island Laxer Edition: Priest: Yo, chill. People: Totally, brah.
Example 2
Old Translation: “One in being with the Father”

Reactionary Translation “Consubstantial with the Father”

Proposed New Translations
Well, to tell you the truth, this has been a bit of a stumbling block for me. “Consubstantial?” What does that even mean? It would be really nice if there were a book full of long words that I could this look up in. Or if the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had a nice website I could go to and look up why this long, four-syllable word was put in, and the website would explain this to me. But bishops are old, nasty, white men, and almost certainly don’t have a website. I suppose I could ask my parish priest what "consubstantial" means, but priests scare me. They wear black, and everything. Scary. They should wear happy colors.
Like this. But tie-dye would be nice.
These, of course, are just a few examples. I have about fifty new Masses almost ready to go, and I’m mailing them to the Pope and demanding change.


David would like to note that he thinks reasonable discussion on the new translation is completely laudable, and should be encouraged, as shown by the diocesan newspaper that originally published the letter of complaint. If anyone reads this and believes it is petty, obnoxious, or (most unlikely) amusing, David would really appreciate comments, as that would make him feel somewhat useful.

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Copyright © 2012 David Birkdale

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for taking me to! Sample Proposal