Some New Insight from the Revised Standard Version!

Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of my favourite saint, Mary Magdalene, after receiving the appropriate permission from Roman authorities to have our Red Letter Day on the Sunday instead of having the normal Sunday readings.

I could have danced in the aisles for joy at how wonderful the whole Eucharistic Celebration was yesterday — from the hymns, two of which were specifically about Mary Magdalene with beautiful tunes, the chanted readings, and the Spirit-filled sermon by Fr. Francis Donnelly, who can extemporaneously expound on readings with such wisdom and confidence.  Then more great fellowship in the parish hall below, with sandwiches, muffins, fruit, cheese, German meatloaf and other goodies, even a special gluten free table for us gluten sensitive types.  Even the clean-up was fun, with many hands making the work go fast and providing opportunities for more socializing.

And the translation of the RSV of what I had always known from the King James Version as "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…"  was  (sorry if this is not exact, but I don't have an RSV at home, but now I'm going to get one!) "Do not hold me."

I looked it up in my Jerusalem Bible (which helps for those times when I can't make sense of the KJV) and it translates this as "Do not cling to me…"

So of course, he embraced her outside the tomb, but she would not let go.

Fr. Francis Donnelly, CC, explained this to mean that once Jesus ascended to the Father he would be with her — and all of us — always.

And how present He was with us yesterday.

Fr. Francis has been assigned to serve at the Companions of the Cross' Catholic Charismatic Centre in Houston at the end of the summer.  Our loss.  Houston's gain.  What a blessing he has been for us in Ottawa.  I hope he will look in on the Ordinariate folks down there and bring lots of encouragement and joy with him!

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

9 thoughts on “Some New Insight from the Revised Standard Version!”

  1. I've always liked to think that this account of St. Mary Magdalene and our Lord can be compared to the account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The veiled presence of Jesus was such that even close friends failed to recognise Him among them. The failure to recognise, to see, Jesus seems to point to some sort of requirement on the part of those who might seek Him after His Resurrection… Could the requirement be faith? The veiled Presence among us now, the Body, the Blood, under the appearance of Bread and Wine, would seem to require the same faith… no? The impenitent, the infidel, the careless among men, are like the blinded and deafened pharisees. How easy to hurry about our business, not even seeing Jesus – seeing only a gardener or a passerby – or more vitally, going to Mass in such a state of distraction and disorder that we simply brush past Him without stopping to adore, to kneel, to worship, to be quiet and still at His feet.
    How sad the modern Church puts such a premium on speed and efficiency at Mass and the assembly line Communion of the faithful. No time to pause, to kneel, to bow the head, to give thanks…no we must file up, keep moving, quickly please, hurry up, others are waiting, take your bit of bread from the woman in the polyester suit and keep moving, can't stop the production… Efficiency is everything, speed is a virtue, economy trumps everything else…this is the practical fruit of the liturgical changes over the past half century. The Church is a factory.

  2. You're kidding, right? You were dancing in the pews after these barbarians replaced the King James Bible, one of the fundamental treasures of the English culture, with a revised R.S.V. in non-sacral English? And, naturally, this dancing was done in the presence of charismatices, the Pentecostal Protestants who invaded the Church with others after Vatican II?

    I have only one question, then. Is this replacement of King Lear, the Brandenburg Concerti, the Mona Lisa, to be made mandatory or only optional?


  3. Dear Mr. Perkins,

    "I could have danced in the aisles" is a figure of speech, not meant to be taken literally.

    And we have been using the RSV since our reception into the Catholic Church on April 15, so my joy was not the RSV per se, but every aspect of our worship together last Sunday.

    While I would prefer the King James Version in public worship and I hope that it will be authorized for Ordinariate use, and I would prefer the Book of Common Prayer were the basis for our Ordinariate liturgy and not the Book of Divine Worship with modernist tweaking, I am not a traditionalist and hidebound about details.

    And thank God for the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. Thank God for parishes where the Catholic faith has been revived in all its fullness because of it.

    What attracts me are the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, self-control and so on. Would traditionalists exhibit more fruits of the spirit than anger, dismay, frustration and a kind of tattle-tale spirit. I know folks who are always complaining about this liturgical abuse or that heresy creeping in—-when that complaining spirit is really more of a problem than what they are complaining about.

    God forbid that I should become like that!

    Mr. Perkins, I have had a lot of patience for you on this site, and I even rather enjoy your rants because maybe you don't mean to be humorous but I find you so. However, I do want to say this to you and to others like you who tend to dominate the comments section: most of us in the Ordinariate or hoping to be in it are much more laid back, joyful, grateful, patient, kind and loving than the comments here would make us seem. I think I speak for the majority. Sadly, it's the complainers who get the most passion to write on blogs.

    Please calm down!

  4. About details? The King James Bible is detail? No, Mrs. Gyapong, it is the centre to which all the details cling.

    Charismatics are not my subject here but I find the reference to them to be troubling. Catholics have for centuries accepted the possibility of an uninvited rapture in the Holy Ghost. To organise and command such raptures and then throw oneself down in the pews and bark like a dog is something quite other. It is not Catholic and never will be. It is interesting that the couple who imported this abuse had attended a Pentecostal experience some days before, a point almost never remembered.

    Without the King James, your patrimony has a body but not a heart. Without a heart, what will give it life?


  5. I share your passion for the King James Bible and yes, it is the underpinning of the civilization of the Western World.

    But the Spirit gives us life, not the version of the Bible we are authorized to use. I hope that arguments for keeping it will prevail eventually, as will arguments for keeping the Book of Common Prayer. But if I have to live with something close but not quite in the meantime, it is not a deal-breaker for me. Where else would I go?

    1. Mrs. Gyapong:

      The Holy Ghost inspires bodies and texts, not air, not thin air. He resides in hearts and in words and in texts but not in all words or any texts equally.

      I am not suggesting that you should depart from the ordinariates over this. I am suggesting that you and others should organise and should tell your pastors in no uncertain terms that you want the King James and must refuse the R.S.V. in non-sacral English. I would go quite far. I would enter into an e-book the parallel lection passages from the King James and read them (silently) as far from the sanctuary as possible during Mass. The law only requires you to 'hear Mass'. If they will use ordinances to crush your patrimony and your culture, you may use law to resist to the extent possible. This is called resistance to an abuse of power. One should not just sit by and sip a lemonade while the revolutionaries insinuate themselves into your new home and mine it.

      You are now Catholic. So use the 1983 Code: "Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the pastors of the Church" (Canon 212, §2). Don't just sit by and take this. Trust me, I know: if you do so, they will walk all over you. St. Thomas taught in his treatise on law in the Summa that an ordinance which violates natural justice does not make bad law; rather, it fails to qualify as law. A commission of nine cardinals in 1986, including Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, found unanimously that the Church did not have the authority to abolish the Mass of countless saints and of immemorial and perpetual tradition.

      Nobody has a right to rip up the very centre of your patrimony and replace it with a readers' Bible to turn Mass into a classroom exercise in Biblical hermeneutics. They lack the authority to do it.



      1. I am suggesting that you and others should organise and should tell your pastors in no uncertain terms that you want…

        How very Catholic!

        1. PKTP is protestant in heart as well as practice and not remotely Catholic because he repudiates the authority of the Church with the exception of detritus that fits his aggressive agenda.

  6. What a beautiful soul you are, Deborah!

    I, too, hope together with Mr. Perkins and you that the Ordinariates will be able to preserve and cherish their traditional liturgy (within the bounds of Catholic doctrine, of course,) even if it is only to be kept as a complementary
    ( i.e. "extraordinary") form along side of whatever else may emerge.

    God Bless You One and All,

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