Reason #649673 why we need the new translation

From a reader who is interested in what the prayer really says.

Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

Happy Feast Day!

From Vespers for today’s Feast of the Transfiguration:

Christe, qui in monte illuminásti
fáciem tuam super Móysen et Elíam,
orámus te pro Iudæis,
pópulo acquisitiónis antíquæ
ut ad redemptiónis mereántur plenitúdinem perveníre.

Notice what is OMITTED entirely from the current approved English edition:

O Christ, upon the mountaintop
you let the light of your face shine over Moses and Elijah,
we ask your blessing upon the Jewish people;
of old you called them to be your chosen nation.
[…].   [INSERT cricket chirps here]

Sigh.  Usquequo, Domine?  Usquequo?

Oremus pro invicem.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Please help me in my ignorance. I don’t see either of these prayers in my 2000 typical edition LOH, the American English edition, or in my 1962 Breviarium Romano-Seraphicum. Where are they from?

  2. Fr. Charles,

    The Latin above is the third of the five Preces (“Intercessions”) for II Vespers of the Transfiguration in the Liturgia Horarum, and the English from the ICEL LOH.

    The Divine Office, the English translation of the LH that is approved for use in the 13 English speaking countries outside North America, generally has more accurate and faithful translations than ICEL’s. But, strangely, for the Transfiguration, the 2006 edition of The Divine Office has translations of slightly different prayers, and its third Intercession here is the still worse

    You appeared with Elijah and Moses,
    accepting their homage.
    May the world accept your word,
    and live by your law of love.

    More ICEL than ICEL?

  3. moon1234 says:

    Isn’t the last line:
    *may their merits bring them at last to fullness of redemption.*

    This is more sanitizing so we don’t offend the Jews. God forbid we pray that they join us in the Catholic church so they may experience the fullness of redemption.

  4. Jeff Pinyan says:

    “may their merits bring them at last to fullness of redemption.”

    No, it’s “may they merit to come to the fullness of redemption.”

  5. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Let us hope our new-found friends at ICEL, and particularly Fr Andrew Wadsworth, have noted this most important but most regrettable post, to influence their sincere quest for the truth.

    It is one of the many things I do not understand about the “modern liberal” – why would one NOT wish to pray for the Jews, as for all other men? Are they to be excluded from all our religious sentiments? And if so, how can that be seen as charitable or inclusive?

  6. FrCharles says:

    My father is a Jew, and one Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago he tried to bait me by bringing up the old ‘perfidious Jews’ problem. Unwilling to have an argument I said, “Dad, it has always been my position that we should pray for all the Jews, not just the perfidious ones.” He started to laugh, then me, then everybody else.

  7. TJM says:

    Joseph Muris Saliensis, glad you asked that question. Because most “modern liberals” have no core beliefs, or if they do, they have been programmed by an increasingly secularist and anti-Christian, left-wing loon media, to be apologetic for their beliefs. Tom

  8. Lee says:

    I still pray the veil will be lifted…

  9. JayneK says:

    Is “mereantur” a deponent verb?

  10. ossian1898 says:

    Wait, I didn’t think anyone could merit redemption. I’m no theologian but isn’t this problematic even if it is put back in? Doesn’t “merit to come to” mean meriting grace? And grace is a free gift from God so…maybe its better this isn’t in the translation after all.

    Am I wrong?

  11. JayneK says:

    There is an explanation of the relationship between merit and grace in the Catechism #2006-2011. It is kind of long to quote, but the CCC is available online.

  12. ossian1898 says:

    [QUOTE]Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. – CCC2010 [/QUOTE]

    Looks like this might clear it up? Its still a little squishy I think. But then again it is one line in a prayer, not an exposition on Merit and Grace. Thanks for helping me clear that up!

  13. Childermass says:

    Wow. How could our shepherds have approved this kind of “translation”? So they stopped teaching seminarians Latin and then approved bowdlerized and adulterated translations. Honestly, it still is a bit of a shock.

    I am reminded of a copy of St. Teresa’s The Interior Castle that I picked up in the bargain book section of Borders a few weeks ago. I took it home and noticed an announcement on the back cover that the self-described “Hindu-Buddhist-Jew” translator has stripped the work *”free of Catholic dogma.”*

    What’s the point of using a text at all if you have to mess with it? If you don’t like a Sam Adams, is adding water to it going to make it better?

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