Today I received this query from a Lutheran clergy mate:
Hi there David – I always enjoy reading your blogs. Quick question about the new mass translation: where can I get the Latin text of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia on online? For the life of me, I haven’t been able to find one. I can find GIRMs galore, and also Tridentine Ordos, but not the current Latin of the Novus Ordo. Am I blind or just plain Protestant?
Here is my answer:
No, the problem is with our assumption that we would find it on the net. It isn’t there, and neither is the editio secunda. For that matter, even the current English translations are a devil to find, let alone the new translations (which no one is supposed to have seen yet, but its not much different—in style at least—from the Lutheran 1972 Service with Communion in the old black book; personally I wish they had stayed a little closer to the BCP translations of Cranmar, which is what the Service with Communion was).
The text of the mass is a very carefully guarded one. It is thought of as being secured between two thick red covers, rather than something malleable which could be cut and pasted into worship booklets (called “missalettes” by Catholics) or onto overheads. The actual printed thing is a real beauty to behold, and more so because it has the music of the Gregorian chant printed with the text. The music is regarded as integral to the text, not an appendage. This is one difference between the editio secunda (which had the music in the back) and the tertia.
How long will this mentality last? I don’t know. I expect that since the English translations will be copyrighted by ICEL they will not be officially made available on the internet. But in this day and age, someone will do it. For that matter, before long, maybe an unofficial latin text may emerge on the net.
I expect that plans for our new music and hymnody resource which will replace the out-of-print/out-of-date Catholic Worship Book are also more likely to appear on a website than between two covers (partly because of cost, partly because of a desire to reach as many people as possible—like “we” Lutherans did with “our” Worship Resources when I was editor of them back pre-2000).
We will have to watch how this pans out. It seems that there will be a clash of two cultures: one strictly print and the other multi-media. Let the games begin!