Requiem for an ICEL translation

In England the new translation of the Ordinary of Mass will be used beginning September.  Therefore, this Sunday was the last Sunday people will be constrained by law to hear the lame-duck ICEL version in force for these last few sad decades.

My friend Fr. Ray Blake, the great PP of Brighton, has this comment:

Evening Mass is finished and it was the last Sunday Mass with old translations, somehow I think we should have had a wake, some act to mark its passing, like the medieval burial of the Alleluia. It isn’t saying farewell to friend, I’m glad we have fished with it.
We have been using the new translations at weekday Masses for little while now, just so Sunday next I am used to them and we have a few people trained to make the new responses, so during the week I am just going to put the loose page of the old Missal Propers out and the little paperback interim Missal.

Maybe I might put the old Missal out somewhere under a black pall.

It marks the end of an era, I suspect someone will offer the “old Mass” at 3.25pm on the third Sunday at some forsaken felt bannered country church for a few elderly sandalled hobnob eating tamborinistas.

Just a note on translation, we had in England for the first reading, “You have seduced me, and I let myself be seduced”. Americans had, “You have duped me…”. I’d prefer being “seduced” than “duped”. Yuk!

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  1. Patti Day says:


    DUPED!!! I knooow.

    I guess “seduced” is too racy. It might make the faithful giggle.

  2. mrose says:

    Good riddance, I say. Those in the UK who assist at the NO are fortunate to have to withstand the current “translation” for 3 months less than us in the US of A.

    I must say though that my excitement over the new translation has been waning. While it is much, much better than what is currently in use, we need the Propers, the Confiteor, and the Roman Canon; we desperately need to expel Communion in the hand; we really need ad orientem celebration. The plague of preferences will continue to wield its bitter fruit in many places, I fear.

  3. cblanch says:

    “It marks the end of an era, I suspect someone will offer the “old Mass” at 3.25pm on the third Sunday at some forsaken felt bannered country church for a few elderly sandalled hobnob eating tamborinistas”


  4. Will D. says:

    While I’m glad our British cousins get to use the new translation right away, I think the timing we’re using here makes more sense. We end the old liturgical year, and the old translation with the feast of Christ the King and welcome in the new liturgical year and translation on the First Sunday of Advent.

    The translation of Jeremiah is interesting, we did hear “duped” at Mass today, but when I bring up the passage in the bible on the USCCB site it says “seduced.” Meanwhile, most protestant versions seem to favor either “decieved” or “persuaded.”
    I must admit, I like the use of “duped,” as it conveys a real sense of anger and frustration. That was the essence of the homily today: being faithful to the Lord can bring great pain and difficulty in the world, yet we must persevere.

  5. Christine says:

    mrose: I have a feeling (although I do not know for sure) that this new corrected translation is only step 1 in a long process to roll back the abuses that happened after V2. Again, this is just my humble opinion.

  6. Paul says:

    Although not nearly as prestigious as the liturgically applied Father Z’s Gold Star, I offer the “Paul’s Greatest Snippet of Prose Recently Seen” award for this:

    “It marks the end of an era, I suspect someone will offer the “old Mass” at 3.25pm on the third Sunday at some forsaken felt bannered country church for a few elderly sandalled hobnob eating tamborinistas.”

  7. digdigby says:



    8oz flour
    8oz sugar
    8oz porridge oats
    8oz margarine
    1tbsp golden syrup
    1tbsp hot water
    1/2 tsp bic soda

    Mix the flour, oats and sugar, melt marg, syrup and water in a pan. Stir in bic soda and add to dry mix.

    Then mix well and make into smallish balls which you then put on a greased tray and flatten slightly with a fork. Put in the oven at 180 degrees C for 15 mins… and cool on the tray. The aim is to get them golden in the oven not brown.

  8. Volanges says:

    Here is what the CCCB wants us to do at the end of the last Mass using the sacramentary

  9. skull kid says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, old ICEL.

  10. Archromanist says:

    What’s wrong with the word dupe? It’s used by Pope, Byron, Coleridge, Browning, Shelley, Tennyson. And though I cannot speak to the Hebrew, dupe much more neatly captures the sense of the Septuagint’s ?????? and the Vulgate’s seduco. The Latin seduco, in fact, does not mean seduce in its most common modern signification, i.e., to lure into an illicit liaison. Seduce gets the job done, of course, but dupe is a fine word, and monosyllables have a vigor and weight that longer words often cannot duplicate.

  11. Archromanist says:

    The question marks are supposed to be apatao in Greek letters.

  12. Rusticus says:

    It’s not just the old lame duck translation – when the leader of the “music group” at Mass this morning announced that it would be the last time we would use the “Clapping Gloria” I couldn’t help saying “hooray!” (and getting a nasty dig in the ribs from Mrs Rusticus…)

  13. Curley says:

    really looking forward to the new translation, probably for the musical settings as much as anything. Sadly, all of our “gather us in” hymns etc. won’t be going anywhere, correct?

  14. Jacob says:

    What translation do they use for their lectionary in England?

  15. Mike says:

    I agree–dupe is not a bad word at all.

  16. Mike says:

    My ipod vulgate says “Seduxisti me, Domine, et seductus sum…”

    Perhaps a truly horrible 60s rendering would be:

    “You have snowed me, Lord, and I am snowed…”

  17. albinus1 says:

    I just double-checked apataw in the Liddell-Scott-Jones, and seduco in the Lewis & Short. apataw does mean “deceive” (which is what I generally understand by “dupe”), but seduco is more like “mislead” (literally, se-duco, “lead apart”). Perhaps “deceive” vs. “mislead” is a distinction without a difference, but to me the two seem to have slightly different nuances in English. Like Archromanist, I cannot speak to the Hebrew, and I would be happy to hear from someone who can. I suppose “You have mislead me” or “You have led me on” might sound better to colloquial Anglophone ears nowadays than “You have seduced me”, particularly since “seduce” in modern colloquial English seems to have an derogatory tone, even when used in contexts other than referring to an illicit liaison.

    I guess this is a lesson in the problems inherent in translation: even words with roughly equivalent primary meanings often have secondary meanings or nuances that don’t quite match up. (I remember in the late 80s when Gorbachev was pushing “glasnost” in the former Soviet Union; the Russian term “glasnost” was generally rendered in English as “openness”, whereas (or so I read) it apparently really means something more like “publicity” or “transparency”; but Anglophone pundits would often accuse the Soviets of hypocrisy for not really practicing “openness” with all the nuances that that term carries in English, whereas the Russian word apparently doesn’t really have the same nuances at all.)

    I agree with Archromanist about the power of monosyllables. One of the things I have learned from extensive study of Latin and Greek is to appreciate the power of Anglo-Saxon monosyllables.

  18. cdnsem says:

    In the Canadian lectionary (revised NRSV – corrected for the Sundays and Solemnities recently), we have:

    “You have enticed me…”.

    Volanges, the link that you posted from the CCCB site is scary! “De-commissioning the Sacramentary”??? I wonder if they had suggested “De-commissioning the Traditional Roman Missal” in Advent 1970 when the Novus Ordo came into effect?

  19. MissOH says:

    The old mass bit, priceless!

  20. Volanges says:

    Jacob, they use the Jerusalem Bible.

  21. Volanges says:

    Cdnsem, check the website, there is also a blessing for the incoming Roman Missal.

    Oh, I also discovered that the decrees on the new GIRM & the new translation were issued last Monday, confirming that they will both go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent. Now if we could only see what adaptations we’re going to have…

  22. Jenice says:

    “Duped” was used in the OT reading. Are the readings changing? I thought we were still stuck with the DREADFUL NAB for the Lectionary, and that it was the rest that was changing. Am I wrong?

  23. Volanges says:

    No, you’re not wrong. But England & Wales don’t use the NAB.

  24. PhilipNeri says:

    I am currently “on sabbatical” at Blackfriars, Oxford and this whole Translation Switcheroo Thingie is a bit disconcerting! I spent two mos. preparing a parish in LA for the new translation, and I’m more or less mentally ready. . .but. . .but. . .this coming Sunday!?!? Really??? So soon? It all still seems so surreal, so fantastical. . .I’m still getting used to wearing an alb over my habit.


    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  25. JARay says:

    We, here in Australia, also had “You have seduced me”.
    I like it.
    The phrase caught my eye and I have remembered it. What followed, clearly gave the exact meaning to be applied to this seduction, and there is nothing of a sensual, sexual meaning implied.
    Yes, we use the Jerusalem Bible and not your dreadful NAB which would have to be one of the worst versions IMHO.

  26. benedictgal says:

    I agree with Father about the whole “seduced” vs. “duped” issue. God pursues humanity like a lover (just read the Song of Songs). He tries to woo us. We are Catholics, but, we are not prudes. “Seduced” is the more accurate translation. It is strong language, but, it is the correct language. Unfortunately, we are stuck with a mamby pamby lectionary translation here in the States. Maybe +Fr. Richard John Neuhaus can start interceding for a better translation.

  27. Alan Aversa says:

    The Douay-Rheims says “deceived,” so the NAB isn’t too bad there…

  28. Archromanist says:


    This isn’t the Song of Songs. This is Jeremiah. And seduco doesn’t mean seduce in the sense you have in mind.

  29. benedictgal says:

    Archromanist, I know that this was from Jeremiah. However, the Songs of Songs is also an allegory about how God pursues humanity. God woos us with love.

    For today’s homily, our parochial vicar talked about suffering love. He noted that love is not all hearts and flowers. It entails a lot of suffering. Jeremiah laments because he is suffering a lot for being a prophet. St. Peter does not yet understand that the Jesus he declared the Son of God in last week’s Gospel is the same Son of God who must undergo suffering and death.

  30. benedictgal says:

    Furthermore, the Mexican Lectionary, which we use for the Spanish-language Masses in the United States, uses the word “seduce” “sedujiste”.

    Interestingly enough, our parochial vicar made the same point that Fr. Blake made.

  31. benedictgal says:

    Furthermore, the Mexican Lectionary, which we use for the Spanish-language Masses in the United States, uses the word “seduce” “sedujiste”.

  32. benedictgal says:

    Furthermore, the Mexican Lectionary, which we use for the Spanish-language Masses in the United States, uses the word “seduce” “sedujiste”.

    Interestingly enough, our parochial vicar made the same point that Fr. Blake made. He doesn’t care much for “duped” either.

  33. benedictgal says:

    I am sorry for the triple post. The last post was the one I meant to write. My internet connection has been messing up.

  34. Shoshana says:

    Being “duped” is better than being “nuked,” which is what the reading sounded like to me! Five minutes later, I was still trying to figure out what the word was really supposed to be. (I was sitting in the back, near some noisy kids, under the balcony). I was rather a dupe to think it might be quiet back there, but I have learned my lesson.

  35. Shoshana says:

    Albinus1: The Hebrew word is “pathah” (sorry, I don’t know how to type the Hebrew alphabet). Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says that in Jer. 20:7, the word means “to let oneself be persuaded.” The simple Hebrew dictionary entry is: “…usually fig. (in a mental or moral sense) to be (causat. make) simple or (in a sinister way) delude:–allure, deceive, enlarge, entice, flatter, persuade.”

  36. AM says:

    Volanges, one “adaptation” we’re getting is a proper Preface for “Canada Day”. See I really wonder, which other nation states have a proper Preface for their national holiday? I’m not just talking proper readings here… (USA-ians: do you guys have a proper preface for Independence Day?)

  37. “Dupe” is a powerful English word. “Seduce” is a Latinate substitute. Just as I would not want someone rewriting Latin to English stylistics, let’s let the powerful English word stand. This is one of the high points of the NAB translation: powerful, punchy, and right on the mark. I am sure this is exactly how the prophet felt. No offense intended for those who like other translations.

  38. Father G says:

    On a related note…
    Today at my parish was the requiem for the “Mass of Creation”. Beginning next Sunday, all English Masses at my parish will begin the ICEL chants for the Gloria, Sanctus, and Memorial Acclamations as permitted by the U.S. bishops.

  39. ghp95134 says:

    Weeeelllllllll …..

    I was once seduced as a young man (the smile is still in my heart) …. and I’ve been duped and deceived later in life. I agree with Fr. Blake …. I preferred being seduced!


  40. Seamas O Dalaigh says:

    No, seduced and duped are not the same. If I am seduced I have been lead astray. If I have been duped I have been manipulated without realising it by another into acting in that person’s interests.

    James Daly

  41. mike cliffson says:

    How about RAVISH* as used by John Donne? ( a descendant of St Thomas More he couldn’t screw himself up to being a Catholic, so was at Anglican St Paul’s in London and Rector of Blunham, Beds; E&W, RC, has some of his poems, interalia this, as alternative invitatories for privately said Divine Office.)
    Anyhow ? Sic transit…? I mean ICEL was a bit on the mundi side in itself, but glory HAS been given to God therebye….or something. (How do you say not with abang but a whimper in Latin?)
    Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
    As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
    That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
    Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
    I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
    Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
    Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
    But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
    Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
    But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
    Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
    Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
    Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
    Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

  42. AnAmericanMother says:

    That poem and three others from the Holy Sonnets were set by William Wordsworth (not the poet, his descendant the 20th c. composer).
    Difficult but beautiful, and very enjoyable to sing.

  43. Jacob, the most widely used lectionary in England and Wales uses the Jerusalem Bible. But I am almost certain that the RSV – not New RSV – was approved from the beginning. Both the JB and the RSV were approved for use in Ireland. I found myself in an awkward position one Palm Sunday in a parish in Dublin where I had been asked to celebrate Mass. We were using missalettes for reading the Passion – I hate missalettes being used in such a way – and quickly realized that we were using two different versions.

    It is only the Ordinary of the Mass in the new translation that is being introduced now in England and Wales. The complete new Missal will be used from the First Sunday of Advent.

  44. Will D. says:

    Yes, we Americans do have prefaces for Independence Day (and other civic observances) and Thanksgiving Day.

  45. germangreek says:

    I think I’d rather be seduced than duped. I suspect Jeremiah would have preferred it, too. Makes me think “duped” is a better word.

    Many years ago at my parish, a visiting priest who’d been informed at the last minute that the Mass intention was for a couple who were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, seamlessly worked into his sermon a wonderful comparison of this couple to Jeremiah. How, responding to God’s call on their lives, they each found that they’d signed on for very much more than, and different from, what they’d expected. Remembering that reading, and the skill of that priest, I still find myself preferring the straightforward “you duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped”. I don’t think “seduced” would have worked the same, in the context.

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