I was happy to read Jeffery Rowthorn’s blog about some phrasing in the new translation. I want to bring up three examples from his selections for another reason.

The most serious one is the mistake at the end of Eucharistic Prayer II.  The line used to be, “make us worthy to share eternal life”. But now it will read,

“that we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life” (my italics).

Of course this is a giant step toward Pelagianism. God and God’s grace used to make us worthy to “share eternal life” in present translation, something completely consonant with the doctrine of the Church. But we are going to return to the question of meriting grace, the burden being placed on OUR shoulders to be sinless and pleasing to God, seemingly without help. We are to choose good or evil with no special Divine aid. But this is the very definition of Pelagianism.

Second in the lines that follow the Sanctus in Eucharistic Prayer III, we find,

“You are indeed Holy, O Lord and all you have created rightly gives you praise. . . “

This phrasing seems to suggest that what God did not create does not give him praise (which makes sense, given the starting place). It would have been so easy to escape from this trap by writing,

“You are indeed Holy, O Lord,

the creator of everything that is,

all of which rightly gives you praise.”

Or some other such workaround.

Third, the dramatically important Doxology at the end of each Eucharistic Prayer has been robbed of all impact.

“Through him, and with him, and in him,

to you, O God, almighty Father,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

is all honor and glory,

for ever and ever.”

This represents, formally, a periodic sentence (one in which the “sentence unfolds gradually, so that the pollen of thought contained in the subject/verb group shows itself in full only at the sentence’s end [Wikipedia]). Since this kind of buildup forces delayed gratification on the reader/hearer, the climax must be noteworthy if the sentence is not to fall flat. What is the climax in this translation? The word “is”. I have nothing against this word (Bill Clinton: “it depends on what the meaning of the word is. . . is”). But the most common conjunctive verb in the English language, is, lacks all impact, color, and force. In my judgment, instead of a real periodic sentence, the translators have rendered the Great Doxology a mere runover sentence. Ack.

Just some obversations.

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