Geeks love words.

Kiddo#2 asked, “Is there a book that has all those readings in it? You know, the Bible readings from church?”

I handed her a Bible and told her to read Mark. But since the Bible is over half a million words long and has passages like…

Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim the work of the skillful workman shalt thou make them. The length of each curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure. Five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and the other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.

…I ordered a sample of MagnifiKid. This morning she looked over it while I made breakfast.

She huffed. “The words are all wrong.”

That’s the sneer of a geek-child who knows the words should be done correctly and doesn’t cotton to people messing with them. They’re words, people — get them right.

I looked over her shoulder expecting to find a kiddified version of the Mass, but instead — it’s the corrected translation! It’s finally here — the correct more-literal-more-accurate translation of the Novus Ordo Mass.

My non-Catholic readers are saying, “Huh?” and that’s fine. This is Catholic housekeeping. In short, after Vatican II the Church created a second kind of Mass,(the Novus Ordo, in Latin,) which then was rendered into the vernacular. And for reasons to complicated to get into here, every other language on Earth got a respectable translation, and English-speakers got a “dynamic” translation, in which most of the meaning went *poof* in favor of being “accessible.”

Has our parish been prepared for this change? Not a jot. The parish bulletins have noninformative inserts, and Kiddo2 had never heard of this.

So I explained. And her eyes went big. These were the right words.

I pointed her toward the creed, the word consubstantial. I talked her through figuring it out, what it meant, and then I told her what words it took the place of. “One in being with.”

Her eyes went huge. Father Z would be proud.

Geek child. Geeky child who loves reading and knows the importance of the right word. Geeky child of a geeky mother who thinks nothing of having two fansub versions and three professional versions of the same forty-year-old Japanese cartoon.

Geeky child who is now excited to say “and with your spirit” because they’re the right words to say.


  1. Scott

    Some of your Catholic readers were also going ‘Huh?’ as well. 🙂

    My son is still on the Children’s Bible with all the cool pictures. Since he is autistic, I am happy that he is even looking at it at all.

    1. philangelus

      Really? I figured we were the only parish in the world that was totally unprepared for all the words to change in two weeks.

      I’m cool with the kids looking at the children’s Bible pictures (although I have to say, it’s the same edition as the one I had when I was a kid…but they removed two of the scarier pictures from it. The ones I can still see in my mind if I close my eyes and try to think of something horrible from my childhood.) I had noticed Kiddo2 reading the missal before Mass started, so I figured I’d try MagnifiKid for her.

  2. Scott

    The scary picture I remember was the temptation. I do remember there was another, but I can’t think of it right now.

    1. philangelus

      The people drowning during the Flood. Water everywhere, wrists and hands grasping at nothing above the churning waves…

  3. Scott

    Nah, That didn’t bother me. Probably explains alot. 🙂

    It was always when they showed a physical representation of Satan or Hell (because in my mind, if I could visualize it, then it’s real.)

    1. philangelus

      Bad news, Scott. Hell is real. 🙁

  4. Colleen

    Our parish has been prepared very well. I am grateful for that. I love your daughter’s reaction and desire to learn. I was a geeky kid too. And I am a geeky mom. and now a geeky grandmother!
    Sorry I have not been by in a while! God bless!

    1. philangelus

      Always glad to have you here! 🙂

      I think proper geekery is a lifelong pursuit.

  5. Pat

    I love your little geek! I’ve raised a classicist geek (graduate of Franciscan, classics major) who is so excited about this you’d think it was Christmas when she was three.

  6. tgz

    Such a wonderful, adorable way to be a geek(ette) 🙂 Well done, Jane and Patient Husband!

    I loved words as a child, too. And, in a not-adorable-but-yet-adorable way, I was one of those children who complained when my father went to sing me my favourite lullaby (mind you, afted I had awaken him at 2 in the morning: “I cannot sleep”) and got the words wrong…

    I still love words, actually.