Last week we linked to Canon Alan Griffiths’ letter in The Tablet on the mistranslation of the Prayer after Communion for the First Sunday of Advent.

This week’s Tablet features another letter (bottom of page 17, the author will be familiar to faithful PT readers) pointing out that the US Bishops’ website makes us of this very mistranslation in a very interesting, rather odd commentary:

The commentator … weaves an entire spirituality from that erroneous translation: “As we prepare to return to our daily lives, our journey is described as a walk among passing things. Even passing things, however, are useful for divine instruction by which we learn to distinguish between passing things and what endures. Once we have learned to distinguish between them, we learn to love the things of heaven and to hold fast to what endures … The prayer does not say that we reject passing things nor does it describe things of this world in a negative light. Rather, the eucharistic bread and wine we share, these are the enduring things of heaven, the body and blood of Christ.”

This week’s letter points out a further error in the Prayer over the Offerings for the First Sunday of Advent:

The Prayer over the Offerings for this same Sunday contains another “glaring howler,” as Griffiths referred to the Prayer after Communion. The Latin text parallels our temporal offering with God’s gift of eternal redemption: “quod nostrae devotioni concedes effici temporali, tuae nobis fiat praemium redemptionis aeternae.”

The Vatican instruction on liturgical translations (Liturgiam authenticam) instructs translators to preserve these parallels. Such a translation would read: “as the fruit of our temporal offering grant us the reward of your eternal redemption.” But the new English translation says: “may what you grant us to celebrate devoutly here below, gain for us the prize of eternal redemption.” … And one should note that God has disappeared from the last line: “your eternal redemption” in Latin.

Over a year ago, Pray Tell pointed out all these Advent mistakes in a series of articles that might interest newer readers:

Beauty and the Beast: First Sunday of Advent 2008 vs 2010.

A Tale of Two Prefaces: Advent I and II (but note that some changes were made in the final version of the missal).

Bending Slightly: the prayers of Advent Sundays II, III and IV (“bending slightly” got un-changed, but the other problems still stand).

Oh, a letter from John Loughran in “Letters Extra” in this week’s Tablet (online here) has a nicely positive attitude toward the new Missal, assuming it’s meant seriously:

Several letters about the new translation of the Missal have criticised and blamed the bishops for having allowed these changes. True, many of us, finding the language prolix and flowery and the grammar clunky and cumbersome, are alienated by this new version. However, on reflection, it is clearly a compromise (as, in fact, was the Tridentine Rite). Perhaps, then, we should thank God and our like-minded bishops, pastors and participants in the translation process for their strenuous efforts to ensure that this version is not worse than it is.


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