New draft translation of Mass prayers auctioned on eBay

The new draft translation of the Order of the Mass, compiled by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), has recently been auctioned off the eBay Internet auction site.

CLICK HEREcatholicireland.net reports that the 44-page document sold for $A81.26.

The eBay seller, who asked not to be identified, said that he planned to auction off another copy of the text "not to make money, but to put the text out there and show people the sillier bits."

"These are the words of the holy sacrifice of the Mass and they belong to us," he told Catholic News Service in Rome, adding that the process should not be secret.

The Order of the Mass includes the prayers that are used at every Mass, such as the Gloria, the Nicene Creed and the eucharistic prayers, excluding prayers that change each week during the liturgical year.

An earlier draft had been approved by ICEL's episcopal board in 2004 and was distributed to English-speaking bishops for comment.

Following new translation rules outlined in the 2001 Vatican instruction "Liturgiam Authenticam" ("The Authentic Liturgy"), the draft used more literal translations of the Latin texts than the English texts currently recited at Mass, along with a more formal version of English.

In 2002, John Page, former executive secretary of the ICEL, resigned from his post, sharply criticising new procedures for liturgical translations, saying that the Vatican had endorsed "a more secretive process and definitely a process that seems to be less open to the wider Church."

After the release of the 2004 draft, Mr Page said that the language of the new translation "is a form of English, but it's not a form of English that's living."

Some of the translations that bishops had judged as archaic or artificial sounding have been changed since the 2004 draft was circulated.

New draft translation of Mass prayers auctioned on eBay (catholicireland.net 23/10/05)

24 Oct 2005