Tuesday, June 06, 2006

For all you translation dorks...

This probably isn't that interesting for the vast majority of you, but I recently stumbled across a blog that discusses the translation of different Mass propers (primarily the opening prayers) into English. It's run by a priest who has the faculties to celebrate Mass according to the Missal of 1962 by the Holy See. He posts about a wide variety of things, but he primarily writes columns where he posts the latin text from the Missale Romanum, the ICEL translation from 1973, and a literal translation that he makes from the latin along with lots of linguistic explanations that are beyond my comprehension. Overall, it is astounding at what has been left out in the English translation that we have been using for so many years. It can be found here: http://www.wdtprs.com/blog/

Anyway...speaking of translations, don't forget to pray for our bishops who will be meeting later this month to vote on a new Order of Mass in English. As many of you know, the newest Missal released by Rome is being retranslated into English and within the next few years we should be seeing some changes at Mass ("and also with you" will become "and with your spirit" "Lord God of power and might" will become "Lord of hosts," and many others). This should bring the English-speaking world into greater conformity with what the Church is really saying at Mass.
Cardinal Arinze (my man) recently wrote a (diplomatic but very firm) letter to the president of the USCCB telling him that the Congregation for Divine Worship will not approve any translation that does not conform to the directives issued by Servant of God John Paul II in his instruction Liturgiam Authenticam which was meant to govern all liturgical translations into the vernacular.

As many of you know, one of the main arguments against changing these Mass propers is that people have become accustomed to them over the last 40 years so there is no reason to change. This is at the expense of a translation that is better rooted in scripture, the tradition of the Church, and what the ritual books actually say. I read somewhere that Cardinal George referred to that argument as "Lefebvrism of the left" and I thought that was pretty interesting and quite hilarious (Archbishop Lefebvre started a schism when he illicitly ordained 4 bishops without a papal mandate because he refused to recognize the Second Vatican Council and the Missal of Paul VI).

These are very exciting times for American Catholics. There should also be a post-synodal exhortation coming out in October that might shake things up a little bit further liturgically, but we'll see what happens there when we get there...I'm kind of hoping for encouraging Mass ad orientum (that is, where the priest faces East) and rediscovering the Church's musical and artistic heritage, but like I said, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I think I'll pre-empt Sean's comment which will probably be "Brad, you're such a dork" and say I already know.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

Are all Canadians as dorky as you? Just curious :)

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sean Nolan said...

I would not have said you are a dork. This is cool stuff man. Big movers and shakers (an American expression meaning those who have a lot of influence for those from London) are doing some big things and I think it is about time that the American churches become more like those in the rest of the world. And while we are at it lets put some Latin back into the Mass. Cardinal Arinze for Pope (I would give a year like a political slogan but I don't want to predict when Pope Benedict will die)

8:05 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Sean's right, I probably should have assumed that Sarah Devos would be the one to post the "dork" comment.

On a side note, the carmelite monastery in my town got a new chaplain from the Fathers of Mercy (a really sweet religious order) and I noticed that when he did the offeratory prayers (whispering...the "Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation...."), he did them in latin. It was pretty cool.

10:21 PM  

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