Multilingual Masses

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you in advance for your response.

Given the USCCB’s guidelines on multilingual Masses, would the Exultet be an item that should be kept intact, all in one language (like the Gospel or Eucharistic Prayer), or could it make sense to move between two languages, back and forth like a Psalm or Hymn?

*Since the electric lights in the church are supposed to be on at this point, the people could use a worship aid to understand what is being sung, but that would be difficult since they are also supposed to still be holding their candle.

**I prefer to be able to sing this bilingually…


A: There is no rule on this, and even what the USCCB gives are guidelines, not law. 

My personal preference is for the Exsultet to be sung in one language, giving others what aids they need. You’re right about the practical difficulties of holding a candle and an aid. That’s true at the Vatican as well, and they do it that way every year. 

There are always going to be challenges with multilingual liturgies. I just hope people attend them with the best of intentions, grateful to participate in worship with others who represent the universality of the Church.