Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent

Here is the Collect for Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent:

Propitiare, Domine Deus, supplicationibus nostris,
et tribulantibus, quaesumus, tuae concede pietatis auxilium,
ut, de Filii tui venientis praesentia consolati,
nullis iam polluamur contagiis vetustatis.

This prayer has ancient origins in Rotulus 3 which is published in the edition of the Veronese Sacramentary by Mohlberg.

Remember that propitiare looks like an infinitive, but it is really a passive imperative of propitio. Another interesting point is that tribulo is transitive. So, tribulantes would refer to the things inflicting tribulation rather than those undergoing tribulation. We could probably fudge this a little, but I double checked tribulo even in Blaise/Dumas.

Render our supplications favorable, O Lord God,
and, we entreat You, grant to our tribulations the aid of Your mercy,
so that, having been consoled from the presence of Your Son who is coming,
we may indeed be fouled by no contaminations of the sinful state of the old man.

That "tribulantibus tuae concede pietatis auxilium" is intriguing.

Notice that the priest does not ask God to remove the tribulations.

He prays God to put His mercy into the mix.

Pietas, when referring to God, his the impact of "mercy".  Pietas for man is our "dutifulness", what we owe God in our relationship.  But when pietas is applied to God, the sense of duty, that is, obligation, fades into mercy.

His mercy protects us as we are involved in the mucky details of this world.

 Someone sent me what he says in the version from the proposed draft translation now being prepared:

    Be moved by our pleading, Lord God, we pray,
    and in our trials
    grant us the help of your compassion,
    that, consoled by the presence of your Son who is
    we may be sullied no more
    by the taint of former ways.
Well? What do you think?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Berolinensis says:

    Very interesting thoughts, Father.
    Some thoughts of mine: Regarding “propitiare”, since as you rightly say it is an imperativus passivi, it refers to God Himself and only indirectly to the dativus “supplicationibus”. I would therefore regard it as almost synonymous with “propitius esto” and prefer the translation “Be favourable, O Lord God, to our supplications”.
    As for “tribulantibus”, I am wondering whether it could perhaps be regarded as a participium præsentis passivi of “tribulor” (since deponentia form their participia præsentis just like normal verbs) and thus be translated as “grant the aid of Your mercy to us in our tribulations”. I am not sure and have right now no way of checking this whether the construction of such a participium præsentis passivi is recognised, but it would appear less awkward then asking for aid to tribulations. What do you think?

  2. Berolinensis says:

    I actually like the proposed draft translation you added later very much.

  3. Berolinensis: Yes… it isn’t bad. This and other bits and pieces I have seen have left me quite encouraged about the quality of the new translation.

    For the rest, it has never been the intention of the WDTPRS translations to be either smooth or elegant. Rather, it has always been the intention to present versions that help readers see the structure of the original and pry open the content. If people dig into the prayers, so much the better. There will always be different possibilities.

  4. rk says:

    I still like the ultra literal version better.

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