Italian Bishops conference (CEI) to issue new Novus Ordo Lectionary

According to the norms issued by the Holy See in Liturgiam authenticam, all liturgical books in all the modern languages needed to be reviewed and revised.

The new English translation is going on and on and on… which is probably about right since it is arguably the most important modern language for the Church today. 

The Italians, however, have said their new Lectionary will come out in 2008.  There was a press release from the CEI (Conferenza Episcopale Italiana)

The prject will be completed by 2008 and there is foreseen the publication of six volumens, three of which are dedicated to the ferial cycle, one for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter; one for Ordinary Time, year I; one for Ordinary Time year II.  The other three volumes instead concern the readings for the celebration of feasts and memorials of saints and those for ritual Masses (celebrations of sacraments), for Masses for various intentions and votive Masses (for example, for justice, for the Church, for vocatons, for thanksgiving, …).

Six volumes.  That’s a lot of books.

In the older form of Mass there is usually one book: the Missale Romanum.  For sung Masses there is also often the Epistolarium et Evangelarium.

In any event, 87 new art pieces have been commissioned for the books. 

La Stampa reports comment by Archbishop Francesco Marinelli.  He said: "To obtain a greater fidelity to the original Latin text.  [Benedict XVI] expressed some reserve about the preceeding translation which, for example, "sweetens up" the awe ("addolciva" lo spavento) roused un the people by the teaching of Jesus introduced by the [Italian] word "stupore" ("astonishment" with the sense of confusion and even fright)."

What is interesting to me in the statement is the reference to the "Latin text".  Translations of readings are generally prepared form the Hebrew and Greek, not the Latin Vulgate.  The Neo-Vulgare is used (according to the norms of Liturgicam authenticam) to establish which verses are to be used for the pericopes ("liturgical reading selections") chosen by the Church.  However, the comment is a good reminder that the translations in preparation of the rest of the Missale Romanum (aside from readings, which really are part of the Missal) are done from the LATIN text.  The Latin, even when it references Scripture, constitutes is own source.

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