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Catholics are adjusting to wording changes

A new translation of the Mass which started Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent, affects Catholic parishioners in the Wadena area along with parishioners in the rest of the United States and other English-speaking countries.

The Rev. Don Wagner of St. Ann's Catholic Church and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church said it is the most significant change of the translation of the Mass since the implementation of the vernacular in Vatican II in the mid-1960s.

"This is the first change that's taken place since the changes following Vatican Council II," he said.

He said the Mass isn't changed, just the English translation of it. The structure, order and meaning have not changed.

He said that in the Wadena area, it has been generally well received. People chuckle and say it's easy to say the older responses, but also say the new translation will become second nature too.

"It's challenging us to not say our prayers of the ritual of the Mass automatically, by rote memory," he said. "It is actually challenging us to reflect even more concretely on the words that we're saying."

One of the changes is the response to the greeting,"The Lord be with you." The congregation responds "And with your spirit" instead of "And also with you."

Wagner said the new wording is a more accurate literal translation of Latin. It has been planned for several years but was not implemented until now.

"It puts us more in line with what is already in the vernacular of other countries," he said. "If you were in Italy and some south American countries and so forth, they were already saying 'With your spirit.' We just needed to get our translation on board with that."

English is in a different language family from the Romance languages which have more in common with Latin.

Wagner said that the new translation also encourages chanting and singing.