Can the Old Translation Still be Used?

I overheard a conversation where I heard the music director at my home parish isn’t too fond of any of the musical settings for the revised translation of the “Gloria” and would rather use one of the old settings. I was surprised to hear this because I thought previous settings could no longer be used since the translation is no longer the official version. Is this allowed?


If the new translations have not been fully implemented (just like here in the Philippines), then yes. But if it is, just like in the US, then the answer is No.


I got confused by your answer but I was thinking why in the Phillipines it is Yes and in US it is No?

Are we talking both about Catholic religion here? If it is, then why is it that there are two answers? I thought it should be consistent even if it is in a different country.

The reason is, that since English is not the basic language of the Phillipines, but a secondary language, the Bishops there have been given a dispensation from Rome to delay augmentation of the new translation. In all probability it was to allow the priests sufficient time to learn the new translation. You can rest assured that in the near future all English language Masses in the PI will be the same as in countries where English is the primary language.

Yes, emikofierros, we are talking about the Catholic religion here. George Stegmeir is correct. Another reason for the delay was for proper catechesis of the laity with the New Missal. The past few months, we’ve been integrating the new responses gradually into the Mass.

From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website:

MANILA, Oct. 9, 2012— The Catholic Church in the Philippines will start the full implementation of changes to the Mass by December 2.

The country’s dioceses have started with their catechesis on the revisions on the Roman Missal as early as January so as not to overwhelm the faithful with too many changes in the liturgy of the Church.

In the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, parishes started using the new English version of the Lord’s Prayer since February.

The Archdiocese of Manila and its suffragan, meanwhile, started to gradually implement the changes last June.

Gradual implementation, said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, means that all the responses, acclamations and their musical settings were progressively introduced to the faithful.

A series of seminars were also held for priests to help them become familiar with the new translation of the Roman Missal, the book that contains the prayers and instructions for the liturgical celebration.

I’m assuming you’re in the US

Your music director is wrong. The old musical settings with the outdated text may not be used.

You said you overheard a conversation–are you sure you have full understanding of what was said?

Was he actually saying that he uses the old settings, or was he just saying that he would prefer to use the old settings (but he doesn’t)?

Do you know if the parish uses the old settings? Have you been attending Mass there and hearing the old settings?

I’ve been in quite a few discussions with musicians (I play piano and learning organ) who sigh and wish that they could go back to the old settings. I can’t say I blame them. I have yet to hear a musical adaptation of the new setting, either traditional or contemporary, that I think is pretty or easily singable.

The one we use (Our Lady) is at least melodic, kind of. But it jumps all over the place. However, I’ve heard much worse at other parishes that I have visited, so I am very grateful that we use a musical adaptation that is at least cheerful instead of filled with gloomy minor chords and bizarre intervals that are difficult to sing.

We used a chant version for about 6 months, and it was so incredibly dreadfully ugly that even my dear husband, who is always correct in the Mass, gave up trying to learn it and just stood there. No one was singing except for a few of us that can read music, and we certainly didn’t ace it most of the time. Eugh, it was ugly. I think it set the possibility of doing chant back by leaps and bounds in our parish–the “chant months” are usually discussed with a shudder by parishioners. But at least we tried.

Perhaps some of you have heard that really awesome political video that is going viral on Youtube, urging Christians (there is a Catholic and a Protestant version) to vote in such a way that religious freedom will be restored to us. It’s beautifully done and very convincing. And the MUSIC–so magnificent and grand! I can’t help but wonder, “WHERE were those composers when the new translation was being adapted musically? Why don’t those composers compose something grand and magnificent and pretty for the new translation?! :frowning: Please!”

Here’s a link to that video in case you haven’t seen it yet:

From my recollection the same Gloria used now is what was used in the 60’s when the Mass was beginning to be said in English. (The Anglicans may have been using the same version as well.) Is it perhaps possible to revisit some of the settings that were used back then?

No, but those who don’t like the new Mass settings are free to use the Latin Chant settings in the Kyriale

my thoughts exactly. No one is forcing them to use the new english translation. The latin is always an option (and according to Vatican II, one might say a superior option).


I honestly don’t understand the gripe over the new translation Mass settings. Honestly, if your parish was particularly fond of a a setting, chances are it was revised. No, they aren’t the exact same rhythms (Which I’ve found to be a good thing, as the ones that do try to maintain the same exact rhythmic structure are often horridly awkward to sing), but the general melody, style, even some of the same descants, are present.

Add this to the fact that there has been a boatload of new settings composed, than it comes down to the fact that the only real plausible conclusion to the matter is a lack of thoroughness on the part of the music director to find a suitable setting. At the 2011 National Pastoral Musicians Conference, a solid 75% percent of the music presented and distributed at the major “big three” publisher showcases were new or revised mass settings. You literally couldn’t walk more than 10 feet in any one direction in the exhibit hall without encountering someone or some company presenting a new or revised setting.

That is just my 2 cents on the matter. If you are in need of resources, feel free to message me.

And, of course, the chant is always an option as well.

I hope that starting Dec 2 Philippines could implement it.

Anyway has anyone attended a mass in different church in the Philippines? Have you observed some differences? Like kneeling, how many times it is done and the languages used at the end of the mass there are times that they are singing a latin or spanish song.

We kneel at the Epiclesis until the end of the Consecration. We stand up at the Memorial Acclamation. We kneel again right after Agnus Dei, and after receiving Communion (in private prayer) before the Prayers after Communion.

The songs sung at the end of Mass really depends on the geography. It’s usually in one of the several major dialects in the Philippines.

They are very similar but not the same.

There are also some slight English variations from handmissal to handmissal, which I hadn’t noticed before, but your point taken.

The Gloria text I showed was the one approved by the National Conference of Bishops of the United States and should be what appeared in the 1967 Sacramentary. I’m not sure if the Gloria has a 1964 or 1966 copyright but it would be one of those dates.

As you note, it is very similar to the Gloria of today. But it would still take some work to adapt musical settings due to differences in numbers of syllables and word order. There must have been some musical settings of the propers back then but I really can’t remember ever singing Mass parts in English prior to the ICEL translation.

Somerville’s “Good Shepherd Mass” used the 1960’s English translation and was re-written as “(New) Good Shepherd Mass” for the ICEL translation. That was the go-to setting for English parishes in Canada for years. Whether you were in the Maritimes or in the Yukon, you would probably stumble on an English Mass where that setting was used. It was replaced by the Mass of Creation in most parishes in the 90s. Our parish went to MoC for the EP acclamations but we kept the Somerville Gloria as it was much easier to sing.

I know that several musicians had hoped that he’d do a “Newer (New) Good Shepherd Mass”

I imagine I have sung pieces from 1960s Mass settings as is or adapted for the ICEL translation. But the concept of the so-called four hymn sandwich was common in the parishes I attended. It wasn’t until the 1970s that I remember singing anything other than hymns with the occasional exception of poorly chanted English

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