Wow, these two excerpts are really critical of the current ICEL texts of the sacramentary/missal. Guess who published this? Guess who wrote this? (Answer below, don’t look right away.)
1. “By abandoning the functional variety of sacral English and rendering public worship in the colloquial variety, modern translators have destroyed the power of English to intensify religious experience. In so doing, they mistakenly deny not only the developed Catholic tradition of cultic language but also the religious experience of the human race at large. Human beings, Catholics or Protestants, Christians or non-Christians, have not in the past worshipped in the contemporary colloquial idiom of their own vernacular. Sometimes, as we know, they have not worshipped in their own vernacular at all, but when they have, there has always been a stylized functional variety of their vernacular which they have used.”
2. “[L]iturgical English is presently a pidgin form of the language possessing all the stylistic flair of a wet potato chip. No ritual system in the world, so far as I know, has ever couched its language in a merely accurate vernacular; after eleven years of using ICEL English, I think I now know why. To do so is to trivialize – not to secularize, but to trivialize – the object of worship and, in doing so, to patronize in the most condescending way the illiterate and the uneducated.”
1. Worship, November 1978, by Richard Toporoski.
2. Worship, July 1976, by Fr. Aidan Kavanagh, OSB.
So they’ve been critical of official translations before in Collegeville, I see. PrayTell welcomes the precedent. And reserves the right to critique anything which might be unworthy in the coming official translations. We vote for accurate, sacral, comprehensible, beautiful English in the liturgy. Since we won’t be getting that next year, we’ll be waiting anxiously for the revised translation of the coming texts, whenever that happens. And we’ll be critiquing the coming translations, you can count on that.