A prayer for liturgical translators

St. Jerome of CaravaggioSome time ago, I put out an invitation for you to compose a prayer for translators working on the new English version of the Missale Romanum

I finally took the bull by the horns and wrote one.  Transatlantic flights are good for something!  Many thanks to my friend GW, a great scholar, who offered some helpful suggestions.  It is subject to some revision, but here it is!  This is the Latin version (which you probably knew already).  

Since the mandate from the Holy See was to revise translations world wide, I figured it was best to compose and publish in Latin.  We can have our own WDTPRS versions along the way!

Oratio pro liturgicis interpretibus

Omnipotens et misericors Deus,
qui super Unigeniti Filii tui apostolos
et coram eis Ecclesiam et Ecclesiae Matrem,
linguis flammarum rutilantibus,
Sanctum Spiritum misisti abundanter,
concede, propitius,
ut qui
reddendis ritibus eiusdem sanctae Ecclesiae
variis in orbis terrarum linguis
nunc magno cum studio certant,
ita recte intellegant ac conversentur decore
ut nos post diluvium dissociati
et concorditer a te accipere salutifera
et te laudare possimus
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Jeffrey Stuart says:


    What is the significance of the skull with Saint Jerome?



  2. Martin: Thanks for the comments. They are very interesting and I will give them a second reading, and a third.

    They do not, however, present very much that is constructive. You can pick. Can you compose? If memory does not fail me, you might have jotted something a while back. How about taking another stab at your own, while making some constructive observations as well.

  3. martin says:

    Yes I did indeed compose and post here a short prayer some time ago. That was my constructive contribution. Short and to the point, I hoped, although it elicited no comments, so its faults (which it does not lack) remain to be elucidated.

    As for Stu’s question:-

    (1) skull as “memento mori”, reflecting Caravaggio’s generally morbid mentality;
    (2) skull as seat of the brain reflecting St. Jerome’s intellectual pursuits as well as the primacy of mind over body (he lived as an ascetic in the Syrian desert before moving to Bethlehem);
    (3) skull as alluding to his life in the Holy Land (Golgotha/ Calvary, although he lived in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem).

  4. Martin: Thanks again for the comments. I believe you may be a minimalist, but thanks!

  5. Oratio pro interpretibus.

    Deus, qui populum tuum
    Spiritus Sancti effusione
    ex omni natione sub caelo
    perpetuo favore coadunare et tueri non desinis,
    subveni propitius, gratia tua,
    interpretibus nostris
    quibus Ecclesia Mater, ex officio,
    codices liturgicos transferendos commiserit
    ut mentibus fidei luce collustratis
    caritatisque igne in cordibus accenso
    et digna intelligentia textus Latinos comprehendant
    et nullo sensu celato fideliter eos interpretentur
    sermonumque varietas, spiritus concordet unitate
    ad aedificandos fideles cunctos
    ut tamquam lapides vivi, pio fervore
    salutis aeternae mysteria celebrare valeant semper

    per …

    vel (paulo magis popularis “politice recta” versio)

    ut tamquam lapides vivi, actioni liturgicae
    scienter, fructuose et actuose participare valeant semper

  6. Andrew, you are not a minimalist.

  7. Fr. Z:

    I often feel that more is better, which might just make me a “minimalist”. Here I tried to follow a simple pattern of “invocatio, gratulatio, rogatio”. It is way too wordy and puffed up to take seriously, but I enjoy this sort of a “ludus”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I meant to say: “I often feel that less is more” – how I got to “more is better” I surely don’t know. Must have been a Freudian slip of the keyboard.

  9. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Thanks for the info Martin.

Comments are closed.