From a deacon:
Let me begin by thanking you for your vocation and ministry. You have been a tremendous resource over these past few years, especially as I was in formation. The main reason I am emailing your today in light of a discussion I had with my pastor about the recent motu proprio. The priest I serve with dislikes the collects for all the reasons you have outlined and argued against for years. [What reasons are those?] Nonetheless, he said the people can’t understand the collects. I responded, let me write in the bulletin to explain the weekly collect. Here is the question, what are some resources I can use to explicate the collects? I just purchased Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sunday and and thinking of buying a book by Christopher Kiesling Before His majesty: A study of the spiritual doctrine in the Sunday orations of the Roman Missal (English and Latin Edition). [I don’t know that. I’ll put it on my list.] Do you recommend anything else?
Right now, while there is a great deal that can be said about each and every prayer, I think that the most accessible explanations are probably my own. I guess that means that I have to get those books out. Right? I project three volumes: Advent/Christmas cycle, Lent/Easter cycle, Ordinary Time.
Meanwhile, you can search up all sort of stuff on this blog using the search box on the sidebar.
That said, I don’t get the claim that people “can’t understand” the current ICEL translation. Dumb the translation down any more and, well, it would be insulting, just as it was insulting for decades before the new translation came into effect.
Anyone who wants to understand the prayers, will get something from them. Different people will gather different things from the content of the translated prayers according to their capacity, education and present concerns.
Another component is: How are they being proclaimed aloud?
If the priest has a facility with language (a think not automatically to be assumed), and his takes a little care to read them aloud thoughtfully, they are fine and comprehensible.
If many people can’t understand, perhaps Father could adjust his own style?
Also, even if a translation is little bit clunky – and they are not all clunky! not by a long shot! – that’s just fine with me. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE TRANSLATIONS! I don’t care if translations sound like translations. Let everyone remember that our worship should be in Latin. LATIN is the official language of prayer of the Latin Church, after all.