Bending slightly: The Prayers of Advent Sundays II, III, and IV

By Xavier Rindfleisch:
Bending slightly: The Prayers of Advent Sundays II, III, and IV

Xavier tells us that this is the last in his series. But perhaps when we get the really final texts of the Missal, we can persuade him to comment on them as well.


  1. Again, with the exception of ‘feasts’, 2008 wins hands down.

    (I’m guessing that feasts refers to the Nativity, St. Stephen, Holy Innocents, etc. Or am I wrong?)

    With both examples from Mr. Rindfleish’s comparisons, the 2008 translation has an understated elegance, and simple strength or force of expression, the 2010 is clunky by comparison.

      1. Christopher!

        You are still – as the Sisters back at school said so often – incorrigible! Do ring us up when you are back in Rome. The Borgo Pio still exists, you know, and Da Roberto’s still has wine. And the usual “rings and chains” are asking after you! Ciao!

  2. +JMJ+

    Thank you, Xavier, for another excellent and necessary intervention about the curious and questionable changes between the 2008 and 2010 texts.

    Christopher Douglas, you really find the 2010 text to be a better and more sonorous translation than the 2008? I am really in agreement with Xavier here, that the 2010 text is clumsy in both style and adherence to L.A.

    1. No, sorry for the typo, which I corrected here. Did I put 2010 on the other thread? I hope not. I meant 2008.

  3. After reading Mr. Rindfleisch’s’ last paragraph asking, “What was so wrong with 2008 that it had to be ‘revised’ so extensively,” my mind comes back to something previously speculated here. That is, maybe this a battle over copyright, and these changes are being made so that ICEL can not claim ownership, and Rome can place it into public domain when it is officially released (similar to the practice of the Episcopal Church and its Book of Common Prayer).

    1. Jeff – I believe LA regulates this. As far as I know, the plan is that ICEL would retain copyrights on the final text when Rome is done with it and it is finally approved.

      1. Wishful grasping at straws on my part to find some rational reason for all of this. There is probably no one good answer to the question.

  4. Oh dear. The more examples Herr Rindfleisch gives, the more concerned I get, if they are indeed true representations of the changes made by Vox Clara/CDWDS. One would think that the purpose of the Holy See’s review of the translation would be to catch any doctrinal issues, ensure that the requirements of Liturgiam Authenticam had basically been met, and maybe do a little tweaking in terms of proclaimability if there are any real awkward bits. Here, however, someone who does not have a good ear for elegant, accurate or grammatical English has been given carte blanche to make widespread changes, many seemingly gratuitous and not for the better. The changes tend in a Trautmannesque direction, but they seem rather clumsily done even if that were the intent. I don’t know why Archbishop DiNoia, Cardinal Pell, etc. would have allowed this. I’m glad the CDW is reviewing this. Given the tight timing for publishing before Advent 2011, I would think the most efficient thing would be to keep the Order of Mass as it is in the 2010 (although if they allow one change, I would vote to change “homage” back to “vows” in the Roman Canon — no one would have to redo their music), revert to the 2008 text for the rest, and have someone with a good ear for literate English to go through the 2010 changes one by one and determine whether any of the changes actually make the text better in terms of proclaimability or accuracy without actually making it worse in the other respect.

    1. Yes, are the ‘culture wars’ manifest here? While I can’t read his mind, does Bishop Trautman, together with his like-minded brethren, object to, “Let us . . .” as archaic, preferring, “May we . . . “? I don’t know; nevertheless, “Trautmanesque” seems a fitting ‘catch-all’ for those kinds of things, even if unfair to the man. I hope that Fr. Anthony is right: eventually we’ll find out what is happening behind the scenes.

      But I can’t help thinking that endless Roman compromises (Romanita?) please no one. Wouldn’t it be better if Rome came down strongly on one side or the other, angering this or that on different questions, instead of frustrating both (admittedly, several, even many perspectives) on most things? For instance: ‘Leftists, you’ll have to get over it, we’ll never ordain women,’ or ‘Traditionalists, cease and desist, we’re forever committed to the idea that there is salvation outside of the Church.’ This middle-of-the-road stuff is enervating to all.

      1. Or why not say – hey, this Missal is a mess. No one is happy, so lets all go back to the drawing board and get it right. Why should anyone have to “lose” here?

  5. Don’t drag Bp Trautman into this — he is a hero in this scandalous episode in church history.

    Both the 2008 and 2010 texts are abominable.

    “To us, also, your servants, who, through sinners…”

    “Replenished with the food of spiritual nourishment” (triple pleonasm). There is no such expression as “food of nourishment”

    “May our holding firm to the heavenly word” — “hold firm to” is not English.

    Also “learning of wisdom” is unidiomatic.

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