speaking at a conference earlier this month at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, condemned the new translation as creating "an atmosphere of ecumenical distrust". He particularly highlighted the loss of 'common texts'. This, he alleged, would result in Anglicans and other Christians feeling that they were strangers rather than friends when sharing in Roman Catholic celebrations of the eucharist.
So what is it that Fr Holeton and the other critics are so concerned about? The new translation reverts to "and with your spirit" rather than "and also with you". The Gloria now appears in 'fuller' form. The Nicene Creed again becomes "I believe". The Sanctus is no longer "God of power and might" but reverts to "Lord God of hosts". And, of course, the words of consecration change from "for all" to "for many".
Now, those aware of the Anglican patrimony will be smiling at this point. Such revisions are not a rejection of 'common texts'. Rather, they represent a recovery of the shared liturgical tradition of the Latin West, common to both Rome and Anglicanism. All of the revisions quoted above are, in fact, the texts employed in the classical 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Here, then, is an example of how the 'reform of the reform' by both Rome and Canterbury draws our Communions closer to a shared source - the language and rhythms of the Latin West's historic liturgy.
Even where there is an obvious divergence in the traditions, profound similarities can be detected. The confession is a good illustration of this. The revised translation of the Roman Missal introduces a greater degree of solemnity into the confession - the changes from the current text are in bold:
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault,
through my own fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
The confession in the BCP Eucharist does not, of course, invoke our Lady and the saints. But that somewhat misses the key point. As Catherine Pickstock brilliantly demonstrated in an article on the text of the BCP confession, unlike modern rites, the BCP text does not merely refer to penitence - it is penitence. Precisely the same can be said with reference to the new, fuller text of the confession in the Roman revision.
+Rowan, recently commenting on preparations for next year's celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the BCP, has stated, "The Prayer Book is a profoundly valuable inheritance which we neglect at our peril". Part of the peril - as Fr Holeton has unwittingly emphasised - is undermining an authentic ecumenism, the celebration of the shared traditions of the Anglican and Roman patrimonies.