The April edition of Adoremus, edited by Helen Hull Hitchcock, is available online.
- reprint of a chapter from James Hitchcock’s book Recovery of the Sacred – Reforming the Reformed Liturgy;
- HHH’s reviews of Cardinal Wuerl’s book on the Mass;
- HHH’s review of Mundelein’s Mystical Body, Mystical Voice resources on the new translation;
- Susan Benofy’s report on a February church music conference in St. Louis – all chant and polyphony.
Also reprinted is Russell Shaw’s column, “In Praise of Poets and Liturgists with the Sacramental Sense.” Shaw hopes that the new missal translation will “touch transcendence.” So do I. But he also claims, “Critics of the new translation say they prefer the version now in use — pedestrian, flat, not much removed from everyday speech.” Perhaps it will interest you – when I saw Shaw’s piece over at Patheos, I submitted the following comment:
It’s not quite right that critics of the new translation prefer the text now in use – virtually no one prefers the flat and dismal current text. Rather, many of us prefer the text ICEL created from 1982-1998 and all the bishops approved, but the Holy See threw out. It was much higher quality English – good, idiomatic, poetic, not in forced or stilted Latinate syntax.
Eminent translator Ronald Knox said that you can have a literal translation or a literate translation, but you can’t have both. Dwight Longecker, convert from high-church Anglicanism, has written that the new text “sounds like an eighth grader trying to write Shakespeare.”
I’m all for high quality language and transcendence. But if we want that, we have to get to the root of the problem: the 2001 translation guidelines “Liturgiam authenticam,” imposed by the Holy See with no consultation of bishops’ conferences, ICEL, or even the US cardinal who was member of the Congregation for Divine Worship (!). Chant scholar and liturgical traditionalist Peter Jeffrey has written that LA is the most uninformed document ever issued by the Holy See and it should be summarily withdrawn. These guidelines will never give us good, poetic English.