Archbp. Nienstedt (Archd. StP/Mpls) on new translation

In The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Nienstedt has something to say about the upcoming changes to the translations of the Roman Missal

My emphases and comments.

Changes in the language of the liturgy

By Archbishop John C. Nienstedt   
Thursday, 05 November 2009

One of the principal goals of the Second Vatican Council was to initiate a reform of the Sacred Liturgy.

The goal of this reform was not a matter of simply revising texts.  Even less was it a matter of abandoning the treasured traditions of the past. Rather, at its heart, the liturgical reform of the council was a divinely inspired desire [So long as we are talking about the actual work of the Council and not necessary with what we actually got,...] to foster within us, the People of God, a renewed love of the liturgy, the source and summit of our Catholic way of life.

Praying the liturgy

The goal of “active and conscious participation of the faithful” in the liturgy, so central to authentic liturgical reform, is not so much a matter of merely doing more things, but rather of actively internalizing and, in short, praying the liturgy[Again, it is so refreshing for a bishop to emphasize the interior dimension of "active participation".]

Tremendous successes have been made in realizing this crucial goal, while much work remains. The church continues to invite all of her members to make her own liturgical life the source and summit of their lives, as she prays with Christ, in Christ, and through Christ in this service of love that is the liturgy.

In a matter of a few short years to come, the English-speaking church will receive a historic text that marks a special moment in the continuing implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. This text is a new English Roman Missal, more commonly known as the Sacramentary. [It won't be called the Sacramentary any more, as a matter of fact.  Now the title of the book will also be accurately translated: Roman Missal.]

A bit of history

This large, red-covered book is most often only seen from afar by most Catholics. Consequently, the idea of a new one being issued by the church can seem like a matter hardly worth any fuss.

But the fact is that every Sunday and, indeed, every time we attend Mass, we are impacted by this essential red book.

It is the book from which the prayers of the Mass of the Roman Rite are found, and it is from this book that the priest recites the church’s approved texts of prayer and blessing. While no specific date has yet been given for an official release, it is reasonable to assume that by Advent of 2011, we will be using this new translation for our eucharistic worship.

Some will ask, “Why a new translation?” In attempting to answer that question, I think it is helpful to remember that when the Second Vatican Council began over five decades ago, the Mass was celebrated everywhere in the Latin language[And that Latin is still the official language of the Latin Church's worship.]

Shortly thereafter, the bishops of the council recommended [permitted as useful when appropriate] that portions of the Sacred Liturgy be celebrated in vernacular languages to help foster that conscious and active participation of the faithful that was at the heart of the council’s liturgical reforms.

That led in 1964 to the formation of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, commonly referred to as ICEL. The first full English translation of the Mass was published in 1974 and a revised edition was promulgated in 1975.

A second edition of this work appeared in 1985 and that is the translation we use today. All of these translations of the Missal were [more or less] translations of the Latin original, which remains the official text of the Roman Rite.

Because the work of translation was so new, it was always presumed that there would necessarily be a learning curve and that the first translations, over time, would need to be amended.

In addition, it is important to remember that at the time of the first translation, the translators and editors were following a 1969 instruction on the translation of liturgical texts, “Comme le prévoit,” which suggested a methodology which has now become known as “dynamic equivalence.” This theory emphasized the translation of concepts over the more “literal” translation of words.

However, in 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments promulgated, with the permission and approval of the Holy Father, an important document on the translation of liturgical texts, “Liturgiam authenticam.” This instruction stated in part:

“The translation of the liturgical text of the Roman Liturgy is not so much a work of creative innovation as it is of rendering the liturgical text faithfully and accurately into the vernacular language.

While it is permissible to arrange the wording, the syntax, and the style in such a way as to prepare a flowing vernacular text suitable to the rhythm of popular prayer, the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated intricately [sic... "integrally"] and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptations to the characteristics of the nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and discrete” (No. 20).

Comparing the texts

The differences between the old translation and the new translation can be seen most clearly by placing the texts next to each other[A great idea!    o{]:¬)   One I have been doing for 9 years in The Wanderer and on the internet.  When you place the texts side by side you really get a sense of what was being done in that translation from the ’70s and what we have been missing all these years.]

Below are two prayers, or “collects,” taken from the texts of the first Sunday of Lent:

Current translation:

“Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of Your Son’s death and resurrection, and teach us to reflect it in our lives.”

Proposed new translation:

“Grant us, Almighty God, through our yearly exercises in the Holy Season of Lent, to grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and to pursue their effects by a worthy way of life.”

[Here is the slavishly literal WDTPRS version originally in The Wanderer in 2001:

LATIN (1970 Missale Romanum):
Concede nobis, omnipotens Deus,
ut, per annua quadragesimalis exercitia sacramenti,
et ad intellegendum Christi proficiamus arcanum,
et effectus eius digna conversatione sectemur
.

LITERAL TRANSLATION:
Almighty God, grant us
that, by means of the annual exercises of the forty-day mystery,
we may both make progress in understanding the mystery of Christ
and by worthy conduct of life imitate its consequences.

And now the Archbishop's article continues...]

Here we can at least begin to see some of the differences between “dynamic equivalence” and the more literal method of translation that “Liturgiam authenticam” calls for.

The expression, “our observance of Lent,” does basically mean the same thing as “our yearly exercise.”  However, while it is more crisp and direct, much of the richness of the original Latin text is lost.

The same would be true of “riches hidden in Christ.” It, of course, does refer to Christ’s death and resurrection, as indicated in the first text, but again, a certain poetic expression has been eliminated from this first text.

There will also be changes in the responses of the congregation, for which some catechetical work needs to be done.

For example, “Et cum spiritu tuo” in 1985 was loosely translated, “And also with you.” But in point of fact, when the priest greets us with “The Lord be with you,” he is doing so in virtue of his sacramental identity as an “alter Christus in capitis”; the priest celebrant is making present Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, head of the Mystical Body.

So our response is not merely, “And with you, too, Fr. John . . . thanks for being here,” but rather, “And with you, too, Fr. John, in recognition of the wonderful sacred grace of Holy Orders bestowed on you by the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.”

Just the addition of that one word, “spirit,” which, in fact, is in the original Latin text, adds great meaning to our liturgical celebration.

Invitation to study

I do not presume that these changes will be easy for either priests or congregation. Certainly they will require great adaptation on my part as well.

Yet, if these adaptations lead us, as they are intended, to a greater sense of wonderment, a greater sense of the beauty and splendor of our worship, and a greater step closer to real contemplative prayer, then whatever effort is required will be well worth the sacrifice[As I wrote the other day: "If a priest, deacon, or lay catechist could spend two minutes to explain what the word "ineffable" means that would be two minutes well spent on the people of God."  This will be of great importance in the coming months: explanations.]

I invite the reader to study the formational materials on the new English Roman Missal available at the USCCB Web site: http://www.usccb.org/romanmissal.

This site is being constantly updated, and has within it many wonderful features meant to educate us all on the new translation.  In the implementation of these historically important changes, there can be no substitute for good catechesis[Ditto that.]

God bless you! 

WDTPRS kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt.

Technorati Tags: , ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA, The Drill, WDTPRS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Archbp. Nienstedt (Archd. StP/Mpls) on new translation

  1. The Tridentine Mass, with 22 minor alterations, was THE Mass of the Church from the Council of Trent up until 1962, a span of some 500 years. The Novus Ordo, which was mandated shortly after Vatican II, was suspect from its inception. As Pat Buchanan wrote: “Within five years of the end of Vatican II, it was obvious we needed Vatican III”. The NO has presented more problems that it was ever worth. It is the product of Progressives and Traditionalists (with Progressives in the majority) who attempted to formulate a new religion so these two factions, which would never agree, could present a unified(?) face to the world. I will stay with the religion which goes back to Christ. [And your comments are irrelevant to this entry, which is about the improved translation.]

  2. Oneros says:

    “liturgical reform of the council was a divinely inspired desire [So long as we are talking about the actual work of the Council and not necessary with what we actually got,...]”

    Huh? “Inspired” is a loaded word, Father. I would be VERY careful about using it, or agreeing with its use, in this sense. The Holy Spirit was not the author of the council documents. [I don't think the Archbp. said the Holy Spirit wrote the documents.] Even infallible statements on faith and morals of a pope or council are not “inspired” as if they are an Oracle of new revelation. They are simply protected from containing objective heresy (and thus if the pope says something is ALREADY in the deposit of faith, we know with certain he’s right about that). But in those aspects of the council that were merely prudential or disciplinary…should we really be throwing around the word “Inspired” with all its theological connotations vis a vis Public Revelation? That seems to elevate very human documents and very human motives to something they are not. Free from objective heresy is one thing, “inspired” is quite another.

    “marks a special moment in the continuing implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.”

    Why must this always be our hermeneutic. Why must everything we do in the contemporary church constantly cite, reference, and refer “back” to Vatican II? Why has it become the touchstone and reference point for everything that happens nowadays. No doubt the new translation is good, but why must it be presented as “continuing the work of Vatican II” instead of something more like “correcting deviations of the Dark Decades”?? Why is Vatican II the paradigm in which all actions now must be parsed??

    [So, you want to trash the article. Fine. You don't like the Council. Fine. But the article above is about the reform of the liturgy mandated by that Council and how what we got is finally being corrected. I don't think reference to the Second Vatican Council is out of line when talking about the liturgical reform mandated by the Second Vatican Council. I don't think it is too much to say that when the Council said that Latin should remain the language of the Church or that nothing should be done in any reform of the liturgy that wasn't truly for the good of the people of God is insufficient. Finally, I think it is entirely appropriate to back an Archbishop who is clearly on the right side of this issue.]

  3. StevenDunn says:

    I agree with the above poster. The Catholic tradition is 2000 years old. When we parse everything in terms of Vat II, rather than the living tradition, of which Vat II is a part, we are implicitly supporting Vat II being over and above this tradition. Perhaps it has always been this way after an ambitious council, I don’t know.

  4. MichaelJ says:

    Father,

    I too have a question about the use of the phrase “divinely inspired”. Does this not mean “positively willed by God”? If so, is it possible for us, the Church Militant, to know with any certainty whether the products of a Council (any Council – not just Vatican II) are the result of God’s Positive Will as opposed to his Permissive Will?

  5. chironomo says:

    Talking with parishioners after Mass, at choir practices, at receptions of various kinds and just during informal moments…my conclusion is that there needs to be some kind of preliminary catechesis similar to this Bishop’s statement in every parish across the US. The time for detailed catechesis may be a year or so away, but most parioshioners ,em>know nothing at all about a coming change in the translation. There needs to be some brief “heads up” notices, perhaps in bulletins.

    “Hey folks…in a couple of years we will be introducing a new translation of the Mass.”

    “Hey folks…in about 18 months we will begin using a new translation of the texts at Mass, and many of the responses you say at Mass will be changing”.

    “In about a year, there will be some changes in the assembly responses at Mass as a result of the new translation. For instance, when the Priest says The Lord be with you, the assembly will begin responding And also with your Spirit.”

    “Beginning about 9 months from now, many of the texts we pray at Mass will change because of the new translation. Among these will be the Gloria, the Profession of Faith and even the Holy Holy and Memorial Acclamations. Details about these changes will be coming over the next few months in our bulletins…”

    And so forth…just some snippets to get the word out so that it doesn’t seem to be the kind of “sudden change” that we all complain about in relation to the 1972 Missal.

  6. Tom in NY says:

    Traductorem traditorem “scimus.” Linguam latinam una sententia anglica tres loqui scimus. Etiam, pretium liturgiae divitiarum et intellectus melioris largae sententiae quam anglicae usu est? Eum pretium expendibo. [perhaps expendam?]
    Salutationes omnibus.

  7. Tom in NY says:

    Erratum “expendibo”; “expendo” est, non “expendeo”. “Expendam” corrigendum.
    Gratias RP.

  8. I certainly hope most parishes do something like this chironomo….however, I’m sure we all know that many will not and I’m bracing for the inevitable backlash and criticism of the way this transition is handled.

    Personally, I can’t wait to start hearing this new translation at Mass. The other thing I fear, however, is that some priests will resist or will simply not say what’s written in the new Roman Missal (and will say what they have memorized from the current faulty translation). I don’t look forward to that, but it’s probably also inevitable in some parishes.

  9. TNCath says:

    It’s good to see that bishops and archbishops are beginning to prepare their flocks for these changes. The bishops will be the key players in making this transition a smooth and successful one. Let us hope and pray that all the bishops follow the example of Archbishop Nienstedt in mind, heart, and practice.

  10. StevenDunn says:

    MichaelJ: I would like an answer, as well. I had never thought of that before, but it’s a very worthwhile question. My first thought would be that everything, aside from direct revelation from God, is the result of His permissive will.

  11. Timbot2000 says:

    “Tremendous successes have been made in realizing this crucial goal”

    Shibboleth alert! Really, does every bishop have to characterize the liturgical project as a vast overwhelming success except for a few oversights or fly specks?

  12. chcrix says:

    I don’t know if I have posted my “M-16″ theory of the Novus Ordo here. In any event it is based on the experience of the US Military and the M-16 rifle. The M-16 replaced the M-14 (which was really an improved M1-Garand from WWII). The fact of the matter was that the M-16 was in many ways a failure. But the Army (particularly under the justly named Robert Strange McNamara) would never admit the mistake.

    However – the M-14 was still used in certain applications. Meanwhile the M-16 was subject to numerous changes and revampings over a period of years. Gradually, it came to be a half-way acceptable battle rifle. Interestingly, every one of those changes made it a little bit more like the M-14 and a little bit less like the original M-16.

    That’s what I think is contemplated for the Novus Ordo. A series of incremental changes that makes it more M-14 like. Until gradually it is half-way acceptable even to traditionalists and regains a lot of the lost virtue of its precursor. Meanwhile nobody ever has to say that it was a failure. That’s how big organizations react to mistakes.

  13. chironomo says:

    Chcrix-

    Are you suggesting that the NO is less effective against your enemies, or that it is likely to jam during if it gets wet!

    I love the analogy except that when it comes time for the Army to scrap the M-16, they will simply collect all of them, melt them down and replace them with the new (probably electrically-fired) battle rifle and nobody will use the M-16 anymore. And nobody will complain most likely. O that we could do so with the NO…

  14. chironomo says:

    Also…

    That would make the Marines something like the SSPX in that they continued to use the M-14 faithfully….

  15. Oneros says:

    “Until gradually it is half-way acceptable even to traditionalists and regains a lot of the lost virtue of its precursor. Meanwhile nobody ever has to say that it was a failure. That’s how big organizations react to mistakes.”

    Not always. New Coke was summarily revoked and they brought back the Classic.

    Arent “saving face” and stubbornness incredibly petty motives? Isnt what the Church needs in Her leaders the humility to admit it when they make a terrible mistake?

    “But the article above is about the reform of the liturgy mandated by that Council and how what we got is finally being corrected.”

    But why must the correction be “the continuing work of the Council” instead of just the continuing work of the Church’s ENTIRE 2000 year tradition?? Surely the work could be corrected without re-hashing Vatican II and invoking its authority once again. Sure, in this case, Vatican II is being used to justify something good. But the problem is why do we need to use IT constantly to justify everything (good or bad) in the modern era? Why is it the touchstone like that??

    Pius X, for example, didnt particularly single out Trent in Divinu Afflatu when he reformed the psalter, instead he portrayed it as part of a whole long tradition:

    “With good reason was provision made long ago, by decrees of the Roman Pontiffs, by canons of the councils, and by monastic laws, that members of both branches of the clergy should chant or recite the entire psaltery every week. And this same law, handed down from antiquity, our predecessors St. Pius V, Clement VIII and Urban VIII religiously observed in revising the Roman breviary.”

    He mentions the Tridentine reforms, but he also mentions those before and after, ie, a continuity. If anything, he portrays his changes to the psalter as overturning the Counter-Reformation practice, as opposed to being some sort of continuation of it.

    Why cant that new translation be portrayed as something new overturning the practice of the post-Vatican-II era, as opposed to merely another manifestation OF it? Why cant the translation be portrayed as something from the whole tradition, not particularly specific to the work of Vatican II??

    I think it is because the old liturgy can validly be described as coming “through” councils, ie existing before and after even if going through a sort of “car wash” at various points…whereas the new liturgy is very clearly still portrayed as something coming FROM the council, newly minted. The “hermeneutic of continuity” seems in articles like this mean merely continuity and cohesiveness WITHIN the past 40 years, as opposed to spanning the gulf between pre-VII and post-VII.

    And that’s very disturbing, because I thought there was supposed to be a shift. But even the more traditional translation is being portrayed as part-and-parcel WITH Vatican II instead of as correcting the errors OF that era. They seem more concerned with establishing the appearance of continuity between the “seeming” liberalism of the 70′s and 80′s with the conservatism of now rather than with anything BEFORE the council.

  16. Yubbly says:

    “The “hermeneutic of continuity” seems in articles like this [to] mean merely continuity and cohesiveness WITHIN the past 40 years, as opposed to spanning the gulf between pre-VII and post-VII.”…They seem more concerned with establishing the appearance of continuity between the “seeming” liberalism of the 70’s and 80’s with the conservatism of now rather than with anything BEFORE the council.”

    In other words, however much they might be baiting traditionalists, there is no actual attempt to, or concern with, or intent to OVERTURN the Revolution, merely to Co-Opt it. Like Napoleon; the worst of both worlds. Very sad indeed.

  17. quovadis7 says:

    “In the implementation of these historically important changes, there can be no substitute for good catechesis. [Ditto that.]”

    A book resource available which does an EXCELLENT job of liturgical catechesis (specifically on the new ICEL translation, as well as on the Mass as a whole) is a new self-published release by Jeffrey Pinyan titled “Praying the Mass – The Prayers of the People”.

    I’ve still not yet finished reading the book myself – Jeff’s treatment of the Liturgy and its prayers is like being presented with a delicious 12 course meal fabulously prepared by a master chef – and I bet Fr. Z can relate to that! ;-)

    I can’t say enough good things about Jeff’s work, and if that isn’t enough he will be releasing a follow-up book this Advent titled “Praying the Mass – The Prayers of the Priest”….

    Anyway, check out Jeff Pinyan’s very readable and very affordable book ($12 + shipping)!

    It has been reviewed here by Fr. Tim Finigan (Fr. Z’s UK priest-friend):

    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2009/09/new-book-praying-mass-prayers-of-people.html

    and also reviewed here:

    http://scecclesia.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/%E2%80%9Cpraying-the-mass-a-guide-to-the-new-english-translation-of-the-mass-the-prayers-of-the-people%E2%80%9D-by-jeffrey-pinyan-150-pages/

    And don’t forget to check out Jeff’s fantastic blog too, where he also delves into our vital role in the Mass:

    http://thecrossreference.blogspot.com/2009/10/liturgical-spirituality-baptismal.html

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B
    Plano, TX

  18. StevenDunn says:

    Does anyone historically-educated know if the Church mediated all its decisions through the Council of Trent the same way its decisions are now mediated through Vat II, or is it unique to this council?

  19. Agnes says:

    I look forward to the new translation and I appreciate the Archbishop’s article. The OF and the EF can stand side by side in support of the other. Certainly there were more than flies in the soup after V2, and in many places it is still pretty awful. But after 40 years, can’t you see there’s improvement? I believe we are on an upswing in the sense that those who are faithful are *really faithful* but that’s just from where I sit.

    I believe + Neinstedt is another bishop who knows how to bish. Don’t tell the man to “quit bishing!” Kudos and thanks and prayers.

  20. moon1234 says:

    Because the work of translation was so new

    Ha Ha Ha. Take a look at ANY missal from ohh say 1850 that was translated for the common man in the pews. I see very little to no problem with the translations being much more accurate than what the ICEL came up with.

    The ICEL had “motives” in mind when they translated the Missal of Paul the VI into English. There was no mistaking that there was a liberal ideological bent to translations such as “Pro Multis” and “Et cum spiritu tuo”. The fact that these are being corrected now just exposes this bent. My 1942 copy of the St Andrew Missal, my 1959, 1963 and 1964 editions of the St. Joseph Missal have the proper translation.

    While I think the good bishop is trying his best, he is obviously the product of VII and along with that comes poor catechesis, poor formation and the perpetuation of VII myths such as “VII called for a new Mass” and “The vernacular is recommended”. These statements make one wonder if the good Bishop has actually read the documents of VII? Whether he has conducted any kind of analysis of the “teachings” of VII and how they are in harmony with the previous teachings of the church.

    He is on the right track. Keep praying and hopefully his eyes will begin to be opened to tradition.

    We will never be finished “Revising” the missal of Paul the VI. 100 years from now, if the Missal of Paul VI is still with us, our grand children will be hearing how the Missal of Paul the VI needs to be updated to be understood by the modern man. While, hopefully, the Tridentine rite will be going strong with the same meaning and same form as it has had for the last 1500 years.

  21. Mitchell NY says:

    “Ditto That”…..Father you are still using the ICEL expression for the more slavishly accurate “Mental Copy Required”… I am happy to hear the Archbishop helping lay people understand what is coming in regards to the new Roman Missal. I wonder how many will wait until the final week before its’ implementation to let people know what is going on. I think it was well said but could have added something more about the need to pray in Latin once in a while and our part as lay people to study the Ordinary in Latin as wished by said Council Fathers. Now that would be active participation on the part of lay people!

  22. Random Friar says:

    The word in the Spanish Mass is already “inefable.” Wouldn’t it be MORE multi-cultural if BOTH English and Spanish used the same root words, so that the congregation can understand more?

  23. Random Friar says:

    StevenDunn: I’m not entirely sure of what you are asking, but the Church has traditionally used each major council as a sort of template for clarifications and reforms that it did not specifically address, since no council can anticipate all questions or difficulties. I’m not entirely sure on the process at the time, but you can bet that Trent shaped and formed the Tridentine and post-Tridentine (until 1962) reforms of the Mass. Once the pope confirms the council, it carries great weight, if not outright law.

  24. moon1234 says:

    or as Paul the VI said “I have been deceived”. As Cardinal Ratzinger stated “A banal on the spot invention”. Those words and thoughts from TWO popes sure show a ringing endorsement don’t they.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of the talks with the SSPX. I very much want to hear what the vatican has to say on many of the issues being discussed.

  25. Henry Edwards says:

    moon1234: or as Paul the VI said “I have been deceived”.

    Could you provide us with the source and contact for this quote?

  26. StevenDunn says:

    Thank you, Random Friar! You answered my question exactly. I was referring to the use of Vat II as an almost exclusive touchstone for all our discussions, rather than arguing more broadly from tradition. I don’t know enough about Church history

  27. StevenDunn says:

    Fragment alert!

    I don’t know enough about Church history to know the normal weight given to Church councils.

  28. Random Friar says:

    StevenDunn: It can get a little complicated, since councils often do not do just “one” thing. I.e., they do not just make dogma and nothing else. The problem is not with the “template” of Vatican II, but how this template just did not tend to be used well. IMHO that’s what is motivating in part the widening of the EF — an attempt to be closer to the true template of Vatican II, moving away from the “Do-it-yourself” false spirit.

    It’s also my opinion that even if a “new” Mass had not been promulgated, certain elements of the liturgical life and Church disciplines and law would have needed updating, in a true, organic and continuing sense. The problem, as is noted often here, is that we had a hermeneutic in many places that broke almost totally with the past.

  29. MichaelJ says:

    Random Friar, I am curious about your statement that “certain elements of the liturgical life and Church disciplines and law would have needed updating”. Care to expand on that thought? Specifically, “what” and “why”?

  30. Random Friar says:

    MichaelJ: For one, the Triduum. IMHO, it is better stressed now (when optimally done — I’m not going to say that because parish X or Y does it badly, the idea is poor. Any good thing can be done poorly.) Ditto RCIA. Done well, it works well. Also, Rome needed to loosen the reins a bit on the Eastern Churches to allow them to be faithful to *their* traditions, and not be amalgams of Latin and Melkite, say. Those are a couple of quick examples.

    Change for the sake of change is not good. However, there is almost always room to improve and update accordingly.

  31. catholicmidwest says:

    Yak, yak, yak. Good grief, more evidence that the bishops think we’re all idiots. Uh surprise, they should look in the mirror once in a while.

    Let’s get the new translation, already. We need it badly out here. What’s the hangup?

  32. rinkevichjm says:

    Well that new collect translation approaches your own level of slavishly literal translation and yet is also a decent literary translation as well. If all the text were down that way it would be perfect but there are common frequently used parts they wish to revert to the slavishly literal which currently have feel-good translation: I want them to make a literary translation of those. For example
    Current Feel Good Translation
    Priest: The Lord be with you. People: And also with you
    Proposed Slavish Literal Translation
    Priest: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit.
    Here’s what wrong: English requires a subject and verb to a complete thought, the people’s part has no verb.
    My Literary Translation:
    Priest: The LORD commands you. People: And by thy spirit leads.
    In the new creed translation there are many sentences without a subject & verb: eliminate the sentence breakup by replacing the periods with commas or semicolons or add the subject and verb “I believe” to each sentence. The “I believe” is traditional liturgical use even in the East and even though the original Nicene creed has the subject in the first person plural (We). I don’t understand why that has been nitpicked.
    When do the people stand after the “Orate, fratres”: before or after their response? I almost never see it before but the current missal seems to indicate that is when they should stand.
    In Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) Commemoration of the Living, the text is rather stilted, I think Fr Z. may have a version that is better.
    Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) Institution Narrative: the “for many” is more literal
    All Eucharistic prayers: pouring out blood from the chalice is never done, thus “shed” should be used. The Latin (and Greek NT) could mean that but Jesus wouldn’t have said that. He didn’t pour out His blood but rather shed it. Only time blood came pouring out was after He died and the spear penetrated His heart and that came with water. That could also have been said to be shed.
    Ecce Agnus Dei: I think “Behold” is a better translation for the 144,000 virgin men to sing. It’s their special song.