A reader sent a note about the upcoming Collect for the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, 2 Oct.
Deus, qui ineffabili providentia
sanctos angelos tuos
ad nostram custodiam mittere dignaris:
largire supplicibus tuis:
et eorum semper protectione defendi,
et aeterna societate gaudere.
Even oblique or indirect exposure to such a dangerous word might cause irreparable harm to the people of God, as Bp. Trautman has explained. Even if the people will be hearing the lame-duck ICEL version… get ready. There could be casualties.
First, I think pastors of souls should prepare their people for the use of the word ineffabilis.
I am reminded of the Monty Python segment about the cryptographers who saw just two words of the joke so funny that it kills you…
On a more serious note, the sender also asked about the form of the word dignaris.
The word dignaris – dignor, dignare – can only be here, it seems to me, present indicative passive 2nd person singular (deponent). The only other reading is as a perfect subjunctive active second person singular, and I don’t see how that can fit the context, yet four of the six translations render the verb tense as perfect (all indicative):
1) Two of the St. Andrew translations left out dignaris entirely, but translated "hast sent" or "sent" (perfect).
2) Two use this as "who … hast deigned to send" (perfect).
3) Only two render this in the present indicative: "who … dost vouchsafe" or "who … art pleased" (present).
Am I missing something about dignaris which would make "hast deigned"/"deigned" the correct or acceptable rendering? (Unless Google missed it, you haven’t analyzed a prayer with dignaris yet.) The phrase aeterna societate presents another translation issue.
Let’s take care of the easy one first.
That societate aeterna is there with gaudeo. Gaudeo, "rejoice", is often with the ablative of the thing in which one rejoices. I think ablative was chosen here to keep the nice parallel with the previous clause where we have another infinive, defendi, and the ablative.
In the case of dignaris, this is a present tense. If you are going to go with the perfect subjunctive, shortened form (dignaveris) then I think you would need a good explanation for the use of the subjunctive… and there really isn’t one. It is present.
O God, who by unspeakable/unutterable/indescribable/ineffable providence
find it worthy/deign/condescend to send Your Holy Angels for our defense:
bestow upon your supplicants:
both to be defended always by their protection,
and to rejoice in their eternal company.