2nd Week of Advent – Wednesday

Here is the Collect for Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Advent.

COLLECT:
Omnipotens Deus, qui nos praecipis
iter Christo Domino praeparare,
concede propitius, ut nullis infirmitatibus fatigemur,
qui caelestis medici consolantem praesentiam sustinemus.

This prayer is ancient, from Rotulus 6 published with the Veronese Sacramentary.

Notice the image of Christ as medicus, physician.  

English translation?

I think maybe some of you might take a crack at it today.

LITERAL VERSION:

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5 Responses to 2nd Week of Advent – Wednesday

  1. Joshua says:

    Almighty God, who instructs us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, favourably grant that we, who sustain the present consolation of the heavenly physician, may be wearied by no infimities .

    But then again praesentiam is not an adjective I don’t think….

  2. Andrew says:

    Almighty God, you who bid us
    to prepare a way for Christ the Lord
    grant kindly that we may not tire by any weaknesses,
    we who are being sustained by the consoling presence of the heavenly physician

    Omnipotens is He who can do all things: omnia potest.

    Praecipis is from praecipere or prae capere, that is to seize before, or to start something and therefore to instruct or admonish or to command or bid someone.

    Iter is derived from “ire”: to go and it can mean therefore a journey or a march or the right way to get somewhere or also a course or a method.

    Concede is con cede. Cedere is to yield or give ground or grant something. Propitius comes from prope which is near, therefore propitius, a, um is something that is “neary” if there was such a word, perhaps intimate might come close.

    Infirmitas is weakness and also sickness, instability, fickleness: comes from in firmus, i.e. not firm.

    Fatigare is to tire but also to harass. So the meaning is: may we not be harassed into a state of fickleness. Or also: may we not be tired by any weaknesses. There are various levels of meaning here.

    Mederi is to heal and medicus is a healer. Caelestis medicus is a heavenly healer.

    Consolatio is derived from con solatio: solari is to comfort or soothe or relieve someone that is to offer solacium or solamen. and therefore to be a consolator.

    Finally sustinere comes from sub tenere, i.e. to support, hold up, sustain. Tenere is to hold, keep, preserve, etc. so we might say uphold.

    The best rendition by far is the one given: what a delight to speak or to hear Latin. One almost experiences a certain soothing effect as you slowly recite it:

    Omnipotens Deus, qui nos praecipis
    iter Christo Domino praeparare,
    concede propitius, ut nullis infirmitatibus fatigemur,
    qui caelestis medici consolantem praesentiam sustinemus.

    Ahhhh! Lingua latina, delectatio maxima.

  3. Tom says:

    Some “lame duck” translations:

    NLC: Almighty God, You have told us to prepare the way for Christ our Lord.
    Grant that our infirmities may not overcome us, for we have the comforting presence of the Heavenly Physician to support us.

    FDLC: Almighty God, You bid us to prepare the way for Christ our Lord.
    Grant that we who are sustained by the presence of the Divine Physicianmay not be fatigued by any weakness.

  4. Joshua says:

    I realise that consolationem was modifying praesentiam. Andrew, why did you take sustinemus as passive. It makes more sense that way context wise, but grammatically the verb is active isn’t it? If we take it as uphold maybe that works

    Almighty God, who instructs us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, favourably grant that we, who uphold the consoling presence of the heavenly physician, may be wearied by no infimities .

  5. Andrew says:

    Yes, come to think of it, sutinemus is active and I translated it as “we are being sustained”. I am not sure why I did it. It somehow seems to come closer to the meaning intended in Latin. Perhaps because we are the passive beneficiaries of the consoling presence?