Monday, 28 November 2011

The new translation: two implications

One more public, and one more individual.

First, the public one. I was looking forward to the development of a renewed "style" of celebration to accompany the introduction of the new English translation of the texts of the Mass. This could perhaps be summarised by my expecting a greater sense of faithfulness to the given texts, something totally consonant with the principle of greater faithfulness to the Latin typical (ie definitive) texts that is part fo the new translation. I think I have seen something of this in the parishes I attend, perhaps particularly with the introduction to the Our Father and the dismissal at the end of Mass. However, I am perhaps disappointed in not seeing a more sacred "style" in general. I therefore have sympathy with the question being asked by these two posts: New translation: renewed liturgy? and First Mass With The New Missal.

However, I have found rather beautiful in recent days the new translations of the Preface of Corpus Christi (sung at a Mass for the opening of the Forty Hours devotion in a parish not far away), of Eucharistic Prayer III (used at the aforementioned Mass) and of the Preface for Advent.

The more individual one relates to my praying of the Divine Office each morning. The coming of the new translation of the Missal draws attention to the frustrating choice of hymns and translations (or not in some cases) of the intercessions in the Divine Office. So I now use three different books for this.

I use the Latin for the invitatory, hymn and intercessions. My Latin is far from brilliant, and just good enough to cope with this.

I use the English of the Divine Office for the psalms, Scripture reading, responsory and Gospel canticle.  I expect some will not be surprised by the damage to the spine, which is overcome by use of a zip cover.

And I end with the Collect from the new translation of the Missal (I can do this every day now that it is Advent and there is an allocated Collect for each day).

1 comment:

Fr John Abberton said...

it is to be hoped that as we go forward something will be done with the Divine Office (English contemporary version). Someone asked me recently if the Office was going to be "renewed". I sincerely hope this happens - and quickly. I was in Canada helping to give a retreat recently and, like last year, when I was in Los Angeles for the same purpose, I used the American version of the Office off my iPod (which also has an audio app which is brilliant!). Although I am a faithful Anglophile (and I am not always keen on the American Scripture translations) I prefer this verion. I particularly like the hymns (much better on the whole) and the psalm prayers which help when we are (I am!) distracted.

We BADLY need a revision of the English (UK etc) Office. But we also need a revision of the way it is set out. Like many I am fed up at times with being directed to one page (e.g. Doctors) and then being directed to another (Pastors) and not to the actual page anyway. We also need to new additions of saints. I hope we get a group who can deal with this - and quickly.

As regards the New translation, I am getting used to it, but there are aspects that I am beginning to appreciate. I would not go back to the previous translation if I had the choice and, yes, we should have a more measured and devout celebration of the Mass. Please God.