Clarification on a few Roman Missal Q & A’s

I invited a good friend of mine, D. Todd Williamson, to take a look at the Q & A from the Roman Missal Webinars, and to add any clarifications he thinks might be helpful. Todd, who is the Director of the Office for Divine Worship in Chicago is one of the most gifted liturgists I know because he is so catechetical as well! You may already know that Todd and I have been writing a series of articles for the Loyola Press Web site on the new Roman Missal Translation. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed having lunch once a month or so and we take pride in the fact that we’re probably the only 2 guys in the restaurant who can talk with equal intelligence and passion about the Cubs and the Roman Missal! 🙂

So without further ado, here are some of Todd’s comments and clarifications:

Just a few quick thoughts: a few folks asked about the Gloria and responsorial /refrained versions. Actually, Joe, there is no move to do away with refrained versions. In fact, every one of the major music publishers has a few settings of that sort. In fact, in the sessions with parish staffs and with musicians, we’re actually encouraging them to consider a refrained version – since the first time most of the people will sing the Gloria will be at Christmas!!! (save those who go on Dec. 8 & 12). A refrained version will be much easier, as a “new song” than a sung-through version.

Also, a number of folks mentioned the coming translation being similar to their missals in the 60’s. I’m a bit fascinated by this response, which we’ve seen a lot in the workshops! It’s very difficult for folks to get their head around the “Art of Translating” – when the Latin / English missals were created, there was no sense of “translating principles” as we understand them. The English was “simply” providing the equivalent of the Latin. Those first years of the Mass in English, the impulse was “get it into English asap!” So, while there was no distinction between methodologies (dynamic vs. formal, e.g.), the “first attempt” was to just render the Latin into English – a method we now call (although never would have thought of it then) “formal.” Do you see what I mean? The Art of Translating really is just that – and as such, it has it’s own dynamics (a very short history when we’re talking about the last 50 out of 2000 years!), and principles and history of development!

Finally, Joe – something I’ve recently thought of, in terms of talking about “incarnate”, and have begun using in our workshops: One of the characteristics of Incarnate is this – that which is incarnated, existed before that moment of incarnation. Incarnation is the enfleshment of something that / someone who already exists in another form. To “be born” doesn’t have this characteristic – you and I were born, but we didn’t exist before then. The Second Person of the Trinity did exist before the Incarnation – so it’s more than “being born.”

Thanks Todd!


About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.