The entire Received Text is now online

Two readers write in to say that the entire “Received Text” – the missal translation approved on March 25 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (usually abbreviated CDW) and presented to Pope Benedict XVI on April 28 – is now leaked online.

It’s called the “Moroney Missal” here. Hmmm, not sure about that. However much Msgr. Moroney bears responsibility for orchestrating the Vox Clara revisions presented to CDW , it is only the CDW which approves the final text. We all want to know who commissioned Msgr. Moroney, who worked with him, what their working methods were, why the revisions are so drastic (and so bad). But until the full story comes out, we don’t yet know whether this leak should be called the “Moroney Missal” or the “Ward Missal” or the “Pell Missal.” And not to point too fine a point on it, but in a Church where the entire Roman curia works at the Pope’s delegation and thereby shares in his universal jurisdiction, it is not entirely inaccurate to refer to it as the “Pope Benedict English Missal.” And this, not because the Pope has involved himself personally in any of the details of this saga – I’m quite sure he hasn’t – but because he appoints all the people involved.

At first glance it seems that the first and second files at WikiSpooks duplicate each other, but nothing is missing because the third file continues on seamlessly.

What follows will be obvious to those who have been following this story, but let me re-state the significance of this leak.
* We now have a clearer insight into the workings of the CDW, because we know what sort of text they are prepared to approve.
* We now have at least some context for the claim that the CDW drew on the suggestions of national bishops’ conferences in approving the final version, at least to the extent that we can surmise whether these changes are likely to have been suggested by any conference. (BTW, the suggestion from conferences which drew the most press was that “Christ has died” be retained – the CDW denied the request.)
* We now have all the documentation we need for the references in the leaked internal report “Areas of Difficulty in the Received Text of the Missal.”
* Most importantly, when the final text of the Missal appears, we have everything we need to check how much this Received Text was corrected and improved. Whatever the case, it is difficult to see how the CDW could come away looking very good. Either the CDW made few changes, and we’re stuck for the most part with this dreadful text. Or the CDW made lots of changes, which only shows how much their earlier work had to be undone.



  1. Just reading the collect for the first Sunday of Advent reminds me of why priests like me tweak and fine tune the texts. “Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, to resolve to run forth…” Discovering such awkward sentence structure on the first page of Missal makes me want to “run forth” to the 1998 translation for relief. But heck, I’ve been correcting awkward structures and goofy words in liturgical texts for over forty years. It’s a necessary pastoral skill in a church that insists on producing awful texts. But, you say, aren’t you afraid that unauthorized changes might threaten the purity of the theology imbedded in the texts? No. The purity of our theology is already at highest risk with lousy preaching. Our people, strangely, do not take home ideas about their faith that they hear in the collects or other prayers, but they are clearly shaped by what they hear in the homily. By the way, why don’t the clergy’s homilies require a “recognitio” or a Vox Clara?

    1. When a priest “tweaks” the text on his own authority the people get the clear message that the liturgy belongs to the celebrant alone. To me, it is another example of the pray, pay, and obey mindset. How far we have come.

    2. But, you say, aren’t you afraid that unauthorized changes might threaten the purity of the theology imbedded in the texts? No. The purity of our theology is already at highest risk with lousy preaching.

      Interesting then, that in my experience, bad theology in sermons is correlated with a willingness to change the text of the prayers in the Missal.

  2. Maybe we should call it the “St. Peter Missal,” since without St. Peter, Pope Benedict wouldn’t be Pope today and he wouldn’t have appointed the people who work at the CDW and Vox Clara. Or maybe we should call it “God’s Missal,” because without God, St. Peter wouldn’t have been the first Pope, and Pope Benedict wouldn’t be Pope today, who wouldn’t have appointed the members of the CDW and Vox Clara. Or maybe… we could just chalk some things up to secondary causality.

    1. Were I to take the tack you’re suggesting here, I’d call it the Missal of Innocent I.

      What very little verifiable evidence we have suggests that Rome was a local urban church with a number of loosely affiliated worshiping communities, each under the leadership of a strong presbyter-overseer, none of whom was in charge for the whole city, but who, from the mid-second century on vied in competition with one another for control. Some of those presbyter-overseers have been remembered, some lambasted, some forgotten. Innocent I is the first of those presbyter-overseers who clearly has what we today would consider “episcopal authority” in the city. . . and even then, the survival of separate and distinct liturgies for the pope and his curia, the presbyters in their parishes, and later for the Vatican Basilica, suggests that full papal control of the liturgy throughout the city was a long time in coming.

      1. Fr Cody, I like your exegesis of early Christian history. We need more priests like you.

        Thank you again Father.

      2. Yes, Tim, really: that is, historiographically vis-a-vis hagoigraphically. The. . . mythos(?), legenda (?). . . of the founding of the church in the city of Rome is not supported by what historical evidences there are — which are surprisingly few when compared to other churches. Monoepiscopacy was a late development in Rome, and the advent of it is marked by tensions among the presbyters-overseers (i.e., priest-bishops): the “winners” as it were are remembered as popes, and some of the losers are remembered as antipopes: but they weren’t necessarily vying for a single office over all.

        I do wish to go on record as saying that this does not (or should not) in any way intellectually undermine the foundations of today’s understanding of the papacy — the role of which as a “universal pastorate” is a much later development even than the monoepiscopacy — any more than the evidences we have for early liturgy, suggesting as they do not a celebration of “real presence” but an expectant longing for the second coming in the face of a real absence, should cause us to doubt what later evolutions in doctrine have given us. Development tends to support itself with legendary etiology, much of which is (in my humble opinion) unnecessary today.

    2. Tim Hannon,

      I think secondary causality in the human/divine relationship is fundamentally different than that between two humans, one of which reports to the other. The accountability structure of people now alive and working in the Roman curia leads up to Pope Benedict (I mean no disrespect to him) and stops there. This is fundamentally different from any of these people’s relationship to St. Peter.

      Is your motive to exculpate the Pope of anything done by the Curia? I don’t think that works, the way our structures of accountability (which only go upward) are currently set up.


      1. Your stated desire to nickname the received text the “Benedict Roman English Missal” was made in the context of trying to point blame at whomever is primarily responsible for the poor aspects of this text. In that light, I hardly think the Pope, whom you yourself stated probably has no real direct involvement in this “saga,” deserves to be fingered as the real person to blame here, as your proposed nickname for the text suggests.

  3. Prefaces for the Dead: Dead On Arrival

    Preface II for the Dead
    Ipse enim mortem unus accepit,
    ne omnes nos moreremur;
    immo unus mori dignatus est,
    ut omnes tibi perpetuo viveremus.

    For he is the one Man who accepted death
    to save us all from dying,
    the one Man who chose to die,
    that we might all for ever live to you.

    For as one alone he accepted death
    so that we might all escape from dying;
    as one man he chose to die,
    so that in your sight we all might live for ever.

    Preface IV for the Dead
    Cuius imperio nascimur, cuius arbitrio regimur,
    cuius praecepto in terra, de qua sumpti sumus,
    peccati lege absolvimur.
    Et, qui per mortem Filii tui redempti sumus,
    ad ipsius resurrectionis gloriam
    tuo nutu excitamur.

    For it is at your summons that we come to birth,
    by your will that we are governed,
    and by your command that we are freed from the law of sin
    as we lie in the earth from which we were taken.
    And we, who have been redeemed by the Death of your Son,
    are raised up at your bidding to the glory of his Resurrection.

    For it is at your summons that we come to birth,
    by your will that we are governed,
    and at your command that we return
    on account of sin,
    to that earth from which we came.
    And when you give the sign,
    we who have been redeemed by the Death of your Son,
    shall be raised up to the glory of his Resurrection.

    Preface V for the Dead
    Quia, etsi nostri est meriti quod perimus,
    tuae tamen est pietatis et gratiae
    quod, pro peccato morte consumpti,
    per Christi victoriam redempti,
    cum ipso revocamur ad vitam.

    For though we have deserved to perish,
    yet through your grace and loving-kindness,
    when we die because of sin
    we are called back to life with Christ,
    whose victory is our redemption.

    For even though by our own fault we perish,
    yet by your compassion and your grace,
    when seized by death according to our sins,
    we are redeemed through Christ’s great…

  4. Nor did even the best of the bunch, Preface I for the Dead escape “revision”:

    Vita mutatur non tollitur

    Life is changed, not taken away

    2010 – back to the old ICEL
    Life is changed not ended.

    So much for Liturgiam authenticam.

    And there is a very odd choice of words in the 2010 version of Lent II.

    Preface for Lent II

    Qui filiis tuis ad reparandam mentium puritatem,
    tempus praecipuum salubriter statuisti,
    quo, mente AB INORDINATIS AFFECTIBUS expedita,
    sic incumberent transituris
    ut rebus potius perpetuis inhaererent.

    For you have established for the well-being of your children
    a special season to renew and purify their minds,
    they may so use the things of this passing world
    as to hold more firmly to the things of eternity.

    For you have given your children a sacred time
    for the renewing and purifying of their hearts,
    they may so deal with the things of this passing world
    as to hold rather to the things that eternally endure.

    And if you don’t like that, “DEAL WITH IT”: look at those two last horrendously rendered lines. The unintentionally colloquial “DEAL WITH” is followed by a completely unncessary tongue-twister: “as to hold rather to the things that eternally endure.”

    My bias, I guess, but in every instance 2008 is superior to 2010. The revisers just did NOT follow the Latin, English usage of LA. Period.

    Now let’s see if these monstrosities were corrected by CDW in the final run through . . . paging Bishop Serratelli.

    Oh, and the poor hybrid Doxology . . . let’s see what happened to that.

  5. Why are we nitpicking here????? Again, I impore all here to read The Genius of the Roman Rite: On the Reception and Implementation of the New Missal by Fr/Dr.Keith F. Pecklers, S.J. to understand the logic behind why these changes are being made. Also read the reflection on the USCCB website on the Roman Missal, The Theological vision of Sancrosanctum and the Roman Missal.
    The principles laid out in this reflection are; a)The celebration of the Eucharist is first of all Christo-centric. b) Every celebration of the Eucharist requires a Bishop or a Priest.c)Participation of the Faithful is the goal to be considered above all else. d) the Eucharist is the Source and Summit of Christian life.

    1. Perhaps you can elaborate on how what you’ve read really does provide a “logic” to the examples people are noting, examples which seem sorely lacking in logic. How much “nitpicking” can happen, and how thoroughly, before it’s actually not “nitpicking” but critiquing a real trend?

      As for those principles in the USCCB statement, I’m afraid “a)The celebration of the Eucharist is first of all Christo-centric” is unfortunate at best. The celebration of the Eucharist not first of all Christocentric; it’s first of all Trinitarian, and much of what it describes as “Christo-centric” happens through the action of the Holy Spirit, who joins us to Christ’s self-offering to the Father.

      And no, that’s NOT nitpicking. It’s demanding competence.

      1. Chris,

        How dare you demand competence? Yours is merely to parrot and obey…

        I think the most apt remark so far has been the one about the turkey.

    2. +JMJ+

      Tim, This is not nitpicking. This is showing how virtually every oration in the 2010 text is poorer in quality than the 2008. This is not about choosing “which” over “that”, or “hence” over “from here”. It’s about a crappy quality of translation.

      Does Fr. Pecklers’ book deal with the changes being made from 2008 to 2010, or the changes being made that produced the 2008 text? You’re not making much sense here.

      I’m starting to feel like joining a 2008-text-only schismatic (is there such a thing anymore?) branch of the Church.

  6. What’s been received by Pope Benedict in 2010 looks quite different from what was sent by the US bishops in 2008. Shouldn’t there be another round of evaluation and voting by US bishops?

    Else – if this is nitpicking – then I guess that each priest should also feel free, as he celebrates the Mass, to introduce his own modifications to a similar degree.

  7. At last I get to see the Exultet!

    What I find truly problematic is the Vatican’s insistence that the English text format mimic the Latin. It is absurd and it a rejection of any form of inculturation beyond National Propers. Thus the full conclusion of the Collects is not provided. All the Prefaces are not set to chant, which runs counter to the desire to see the entire Mass chanted. This is also why the orations could not be pointed.

    Oh the irony of the Latin decrees of the 3 editions are translated into English, but the decree approving the English translation is in Latin.

    A final note, Part I and Part II are the same. We as missing the section with the GIRM.

    1. Exsultet, yes, that’s the first place I looked. . . “arrayed with the lighting of his glory.” I know more than one liturgy director who will use this as the excuse to do the cross up in twinkle-lights.

  8. The English must mimic the Latin original to preserve our Latin identity. Just what kind of inculturation do you want to see with the Exultet anyway? Should we have one version for the US another for Australia, a third for the UK and so on? Why stop there, perhaps a different Exultet for New York, another for North Carolina, and still others for English speakers in California, Oregon, and Guam. Certainly Wales needs her own version too. It is ironic to see calls for liturgical separatism (Americans might think of sectionalism) while the world grows so much smaller via the internet and instant global communication. I think we risk missing the “signs of the times” when we fail to recognize the wisdom of having one English RM for the whole English speaking world. True inculturation grows organically over centuries. We are only forty years into a vernacular liturgy anyway. Let us not divide unnecessarily.

    1. Then would you advocate using only the Latin to retain our Latin identity?

      If fact I would allow for a different version of the Exultet in Canada and the United States, and Australia, and India, alongside the one found in the Missal. I would limit inculturation to what is decided by national Conferences of Bishops. This is one of the reasons I appreciate the 1998 Sacramentary, because it has so many wonderful elements, among them an additional version of the Exultet.

      Where does it say for the inculturation to be authentic it must take centuries?

      To say that there should be only one version of the Missal for the English speaking world assumes that English is a monolithic language. There is also a link between language and culture, so difference in English missals would reflect the differences in each culture.

      1. Few indeed are the liturgical texts where the differences between different sorts of English have any significant effect (perhaps only when UK English uses a past perfect where US English would use a straight preterite). The problem is that a text written for the priest to say in Latin to God and to himself, and to meditate on, needs serious adaptation if it is to work proclaimed down a microphone. LA, idiotically, has cut the ground from under the feet of any acknowledgment of this simple fact. And sensible English-speakers throughout the world should unite in just saying no.

    2. Will someone, please, offer a _convincing _ argument for such slavish transliteration that the result should NOT be called ‘English’ because it breaks any number of English grammar rules and good usages? ‘Preserving our Latin identity’ doesn’t do it, sorry. I’m not of Latin origins, as it happens. Should there be different versions of the Exultet in different places? Maybe, if the common text violates local usages too egregiously. We probably don’t want our prayers to include locally rude wording, for example.

      And I don’t confuse ‘unity’ with ‘uniformity’. Most emphatically, they are not synonyms.

  9. The Easter Vigil contains a few interesting developements: the sign of the cross is made by everyone prior to the greeting and blessing of the fire, the blessing of the fire prayer contains a peculiar phrase – …that we may attain festivities of unending splendor!!! And it would seem the priest no longer carries the Paschal Candle (Deacon or other minister). The Exultet also looks messy.

  10. Here’s a nice howler, from the Palm Sunday liturgy. The hymn to Christ the King, in Latin:

    Gloria, laus et honor
    tibi sit, Rex Christe, Redemptor:
    Cui puerile decus prompsit
    Hosanna pium.

    … is rendered as follows:

    Glory and honor and praise be to you,
    Christ, King and Redeemer
    to who young children in joy loving Hosannas cried out.

    This sounds like a cross between a drunken owl (“to whooo”) and Yoda, the Star Wars creature who puts verbs at the end of sentences. Bizarrely, it comes nowhere near following the principles of Lit Auth. Once again, we get neither structural mimicry of the Latin nor anything resembling English. And why — to pick a nit — did they decide to flip the order of “laus et honor”?

    1. Hey, Jonathan: Respect us you must, if critique us you would. Got it? In the words of Lenten Preface II: Deal with it, dude.

      Glory and honor and praise be to you, Christ, King and Redeemer
      to whom young children cried out loving Hosannas with joy.*

      Carries this footnote in the 2008 text:
      “Text was changed from “to whom young children in joy loving Hosannas cried out” to allow for the singing of the text to the traditional chant melody. This and other changes were made by the Commission, January 2009, in light of comments on the Gray Book received from the Congregation and from the Conferences and for the sake of consistency.”

      Are we to conclude, therefore, that the revision BACK to what appears in the Received Text (Moroney Missal, if you will) was NOT made by the Congregation and was made CONTRARY to comments from the Conferences? And so were made by ???

      And as for a reason behind flipping the order of laus et honor here, I imagine it’s the same reason behind flipping the order of honor et gloria in the Per ipsum: BECAUSE WE CAN.

      And recall that one of the principal characters in charge of all this is well known for saying, “Between you and I . . . “

      1. Very interesting. . . curious why the traditional “All Glory, Laud and Honor” version wasn’t selected — it fits the chant melody extremely well, and cannot be described accurately as a paraphrase. . . cf. The Hymnal 1982 #155.

  11. I notice that at the end of Preface II for the dead we “proclaim” rather than “acclaim.” Since that doesn’t sound totally ridiculous in English, I am sure it will be changed forthwith.

    I’ve got to say that for some reason I am finding one of the most depressing things about this whole depressing affair to be the fact that they do not seem to be planning on printing music with the prefaces. It really, really makes me want to throw up my hands.

    1. FCB and all – as far as I know, the plan is still to include music for all prefaces. This was meant to be the final next, but not necessarily the final music.

  12. What say instead of just nitpicking we help CDW out, by pointing out “problems” or “issues” as we find them and trying to be constructively criticial.

    Good Friday: Prayer for the Church:
    watch over the works of your mercy

    keep safe over the works of your mercy [Someone cut/pasted too fast]

    Prayer for the Jews
    listen favorably to the prayers of your Church

    hear graciously the prayers of your Church [went for the big improvement here, I guess. Momentous change: listen to hear and favorably to graciously. But graciously is one of those words that works best BEFORE the verb. I dunno why; gotta have an ear for this sorta thing]

    For those who do not believe in Christ
    Almighty everlasting God,
    grant to those who do not confess Christ
    that, as they walk before you with a sincere heart,
    they may find the truth . . .

    Almighty ever-living God,
    grant that those who do not confess Christ,
    by walking before you with a sincere heart,
    may find the truth. [you might want to invert this line with the previous one to make it clear how they’re supposed to find the truth. Kind of like the 2008 version made it clear]

    For those in public office
    look with favor on those in authority who govern us

    look with favor on those who govern with authority over us [huh?]

    Concluding Prayer
    we may live in unceasing devotion to you.

    we may have a life unceasingly devoted to you. [Is that like “Get a life”? Like “Deal with it” in Lenten Preface II?]

    Prayer over the People
    and everlasting redemption be made secure.

    and ever-living redemption be made secure. [If not everlasting, then maybe eternal? Sometimes that universal find/change thing on the computer just isn’t a good idea. Need to do it manually by instance.]

    1. A lot of this stuff, dear Herr Professor, sounds a lot like it came from a very large seat not too far from a cathedral in central Massachusetts.

      Speaking of large seats, say hello to Bishop You-know-who for me. I hear the gang at the traditional Black Friday pranzo at Da Roberto was something to behold!

      1. Christopher the Incorrigible: I think you’re right; the dialect is there! We are just back from the lovely vigil and Primi Vespri. Of course, we didn’t come right back! We managed to talk not only your Bishop friend but Eminenza to make an uncharacteristic detour to join us, and he had just been on CTV at the end of Vespers (the waiters told him!) as he was quite near to where the Holy Father was greeting some of the families present. Ever the master of schadenfreude, he is enjoying immensely this whole Missal thing . . . for two reasons, of course: English is not his native tongue, and the havoc is not unfolding in HIS department! When we reminded him that the Italian Missal is also to be redone, he just smiled and said: “I’m not worried . . . we Italians can make that process last until Jesus returns in glory . . . ” And they can, as you know. To Rome before Christmas yourself be sure to get! (Close enough to 2010?) If your schedule is too TIGHT, just DEAL with it! Ciao and the customary “holy kiss” unto all the saints!

  13. Worse and worse and worse!!!

    I once used the word “summons” in a sermon and was advised by a confrere that this word for the ears of my congregation has only one meaning, a legal summons to appear in court.

    “But heck, I’ve been correcting awkward structures and goofy words in liturgical texts for over forty years.”

    I’ve been doing it for 37 years: I go for inclusive language, drop clauses from Eucharistic Prayer IV, and usually omit the paragraph about “keep us from eternal damnation” in Eucharistic Prayer I. Just yesterday I learned that this was not part of the Roman Canon originally, but was added later by Gregory I!

  14. Why does everlasting redemption need to be made secure? If something is everlasting, that’s as secure as it gets, no?

  15. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate here…. Wiki Spooks? And so we are assured that this is “the” text how exactly? It is certainly “a” text, but what are you comparing it to so as to be certain that it is the actual “received text”?

    I could easily take my copy of the original Grey Books , toy with them a bit and add some outrageous gaffs and them post them to Wiki leaks, claiming that they are some new and revised version, and I’m fairly certain that more than a few folks here would buy it hook, line and sinker and run with it as the latest example of incompetence. What I’m saying, I guess is that when dealing with internet sourcing, you need multiple examples from different SOURCES to have credibility. Anybody can post anything and claim that it is whatever they want. They can also claim that they are whoever they wish to e. If this is actually the “received text” and can be shown to be so because there are reliable hard copies of that text floating around for comparison, then it’s hardly big news.

    1. “I could easily take my copy of the original Grey Books , toy with them a bit and add some outrageous gaffs”

      You’re on your way to being a Monsignor with a big job!

    2. Jeffrey –

      I agree, strictly speaking it could be a hoax. But done by someone with lots of time on their hands – to produce an entire missal, to lay out all the music so that it’s obviously the same font and note head size and staff line thickness as what ICEL has posted at their website, and then to piece in different music typesetting for the changed texts … and then pre-leak an internal report based on the concocted missal. It could be. But how likely is it?

      Especially when you see that Bishop Serratelli issued a statement which explicitly refers to the leaked report and does NOT come out and say categorically that it is a fraud. Rather, he says that the report is necessarily based on an earlier version of the final text. The only plausible explanation is that the internal report is for real, that the leaked received text it refers to is real, and the received text is being revised.

      I will bet you $10,000 dollars that everything leaked is authentic, and I will show you proof if you agree to the bet. I have absolutely no hesitation offering this deal. The National Catholic Youth Choir budget could use the windfall.


  16. I was looking at the longer conclusion for the Collects in the appendices, and I notied that “one” has been restored to the ending. Even the 1998 text dropped it in an effort to be more accurate.

  17. I’m getting confused about which text this is. Is this the very latest version which we might have hoped would address the “Areas of Difficulty” or is this text about which the “Areas of Difficulty” were raised? I hope the latter (and hope there is time for the essential corrections to be made), but I fear the former (because I note that few if any of the difficulties have been addressed).

    1. No, this is the EARLIEST final version about which the internal report was written. We hope this “early final” version will be corrected, but we fear this will be done only partially.

  18. For joy! No doubt part of the “festivities of unending splendor,” #19 of the notes for the Easter Vigil indicates/tells/demands/requires that the proclamation of the Exsultet takes place “with all holding lighted candies in their hands.” It may be a bit messy – and hot – but this new/old spin on things is going to need every bit of sweetness it can find… because it surely won’t be inspiring any. Bring back the candles… and language and prayer that makes sense. That will raise a resounding “Alleluia, alleluia” for more than 50 days.

    1. You’ve really never held a candle at the Easter Vigil? That’s a shame. Actually, it sounds like you’ve never tried to hold a candle at all. Well, it’s not as hard as you think.

    1. Fair enough, you got me. An error it is. Clearly, these so-called translators don’t even know the rudiments of English . . . or something like that . . . .

  19. Well, I’m just a humble pray and pay Cahtolic in the pew. But I am educted enough to realize that “Pro multis’ doesn’t mean ‘for all’, and that ‘credo’ doesn’t mean ‘we believe’, so what else is hidden in the ‘dynamic translations’ that don’t mean wheat they should

    So I for one welcome that we’ve had the opportunity to develop a translation taht is true to our Catholic theology, the Latin, and true to what Brazilians, Spanish, Poles et al are actually praying every day in our universal church.

    1. “So I for one welcome that we’ve had the opportunity to develop a translation taht is true to our Catholic theology, the Latin, and true to what Brazilians, Spanish, Poles et al are actually praying”

      Hey Tim when you find that translation let us know will you. You obviously haven’t been following the news breaks and documents on here because they prove pretty well that the translation coming out is not really true to the Latin and has some theology problems too. Nice try though telling us all Nothing to see here folks just move along.

      1. Depends on your theory of translation, your read of the pastoral needs, you understanding of inculturation, and your understanding of the purpose of the liturgy. I’m serious – see my post on “Gesundheit.” Please stop evaluating 1973 on the basis of LA from 2001. And please stop being a translation fundamentalist.

      2. If there are translation “fundamentalists” are there also translation “relativists”?

      3. Of course there are translation relativists – every translator is, as any translator knows this. It’s not an absolute science and it is relative to a whole host of concerns.

    2. Shucks, I guess that I’d think that a word like ‘Credo’ is pretty straight forward. Hence why it’s translated into wierze in Polish; creo into Spanish; jecrois in French; wiruju in Ukranian; hmm… all mean “I” believe. Now what theory takes a simple word, plainly means “I” believe. Translated thus into differeing languages. What makes that leap to “We” believe, and why to all the ‘progressives’ feel that we who at least know some need translation ‘theory’ ?

      1. Aw shucks Tim, don’t you worry about credo meaning i believe. that question’s already been answered! It’s I believe in the new Mass translation. The only problem now is that theres only one I believe in the Latin and the Vatican Congregation and Vox Clara which said you have to translate the Latin exactly just like you want them to Tim have now added three more I believes in places where the Latin doesn’t have them and those guys aren’t your awful progressives Tim. Those guys must know Latin right and must see that there’s only one I believe in Latin. Now thanks to them we’re going to have four I believes. Think those non progressives need some translation theory? Show me where the four credos are in the Latin because the Vatican sent back a Creed with four I believes in English. Shucks thank you Tim and get back to me when you find those three extra I believes in the Latin!

      2. Tim,

        If you take a look, you’ll find that the Greek begins “We believe”. That’s where the translation we currently use comes from — an even older text than the Latin.

      3. But Paul, that does not matter because our text is to be a translation of the Latin, not any Greek text.

      4. +JMJ+

        Paul, as was pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the 1973 English translation of the Creed contains elements not present in the Greek text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. In addition to the Filioque, there is “Deum de Deo”. And the use of “omnipotentem” is not a strict translation of “pantokratora”. So the 1973 translation at best draws from both sources. The question, then, is why.

      5. the Greek begins “We believe”.

        It is true that the Greek text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed beings “We believe,” since it represents the bishops assembled in council declaring their consensus. But I am pretty sure that in the Christian East the creed has almost always been in the first person singular for liturgical use, just like in the West.

      6. The Creed in the Western Rite dates only from about the 10th century. It was a ‘refugee’ from the rites of initiation, and hence used the first person singular since those joining the Church were required to make a personal profession of faith. That’s the only reason why it uses Credo and not Credimus (which, speaking from memory, does actually exist in early MMS — I think Denzinger gives examples; I am away from my office and cannot check).

        My contention would be that there is a world of difference between a personal profession of faith given by a candidate for baptism or reception into the Church and a corporate profession of faith uttered by the celebrating body. In other words, it’s fine for a nearly-neophyte to say “I”, but once you’re a member of the body then you are entitled to say “We” with everyone else. That, I feel sure, was the theological position underlying ICET’s decision to go with “We” rather than “I”. They recognized that “I” was simply the result of a historical accident around the 10th century, rather than a statement of theological principle by the Church as a whole.

        ICET therefore opted to use the Greek text as a base text for the their work, while incorporating the later modifications from the Latin text that Jeffrey mentions. (The fact that they included them in no way detracts from their choice of the Greek as the principal base text.) In that way, they hoped amongst other things to keep everyone happy — i.e. all the Churches involved in this ecumenical translation initiative.

        No one compelled ICEL to adopt the ICET translation for the 1973 Missal. They did so because it was recognized to be the best translation out there, and since Catholics had been involved in its production it was not in any sense heretical.

  20. I continue to find it odd that no one in Rome has noticed the inconsistency in rubrics regarding the “hand gesture” for the prayer of blessing between what is found in the appendix for the blessing of water (p 1239, “hands joined”) and what is found at the Easter Vigil (with the same prayer!) (p 335, “hands extended”). Cf. also Ash Wednesday (p 189) and Feb 2–Blessing of Candles (p 689) ( both of which say “hands extended”). The rubrics in the body of the Missal were changed when the 2002 Latin Missal was issued (from “hand joined” for blessings, as in the former Roman Ritual, to “hands extended,” as in the current Book of Blessings). But, it seems, no one in Rome ever caught the discrepancy in the Appendix, either in the Latin or the English.


  21. I just noticed that the text of the “Appendix to the Order of Mass” of the Roman Missal is now available on-line at the USCCB website (with EPs for Reconciliation and Special Needs/Occasions) at . Those texts seem to match what is in the “Moroney Missal,” except that the “Moroney Missal” EPs have an older version of the first line of the Sanctus (i.e., “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts). Someone didn’t proof-read the text presented to the Holy Father well enough.

    1. Quick first look [reaction in brackets]:

      Reconciliation I
      A nobis autem,
      qui foedus tuum toties violavimus,
      numquam aversus,
      humanam familiam
      per Iesum Filium tuum, Redemptorem nostrum,
      novo caritatis vinculo tam arcte tibi iunxisti,
      ut nullo modo possit dissolvi.

      Never turning away from us,
      who time and again have broken your covenant,
      you have bound the human family to yourself
      through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer,
      with a new bond of love so secure [two syllables at the end of the line, alliteration with SO]
      that it can never be undone.

      Never did you turn away from us, [NO: subordinate in Latin & 2008: LA makes a big point of this: so that the main point stands out!]
      and though time and again we have broken your covenant, [DITTO]
      you have bound the human family to yourself
      through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer,
      with a new bond of love so tight [TIGHT? UGH! CLUNK. COLLOQUIAL like “Deal with” in Lent II. WHO IS DOING THIS?]
      that it can never be undone.

      1. What’s the problem? “Tight” actually conveys the connotations of the Latin word far better than “secure.” Arcte (artus) just doesn’t really mean “secure.” Nor is “tight” any more of a colloquialism than, say, “bad,” “radical,” or “down.” They’re all normal, standard English words with alternative colloquial meanings. Come on now, some criticisms are fair, but when you bust out the block capitals for “a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone,” which is perfectly fine, you’re not gaining any credibility.

      2. First of all, Mark, your last point. With all due respect, my credibility is not at stake in this debacle: the credibility of CDW and Vox Clara are at stake, and don’t look now, but that credibility is in shambles.

        What was the problem with secure, Mark? Did it HAVE to be changed to tight? Did that clear up the meaning? Did it spruce up the sound? (By the way, it’s arctus, no? Not artus. Probably a typo. Lord knows there are plenty in the received text . . . cf holding candies at the VIgil).

        Be that as it may, may I ask, are you a musician? If so, and even if not, do you have any background in Gregorian Chant, the pre-eminent chant of the Roman Rite (Vatican II, SC)?

        If you are a musician, you try . . . if you’re not, get someone who is to try chanting the Preface melody with both versions, and then decide whether the two syllables with that soft u vowel as pronounced in secure, or the one syllable hard i in tight sounds better to you set to the Preface chant.

        If “tight” sounds as formal and fine to you as “secure,” then, I guess, de gustibus and all that. On the other hand, do we speak, in formal English, of covenants, pacts, agreements being secure or tight? Vinculum is in the mix too. Aren’t chains secure and knots tight? But, then, the whole thing is in knots anyway. And I’m not tight with the reviser!

        But, Bravo, Mark: I think we have our first vote for the 2010! Paging Monsignor Moroney! Good news, Jim!

      3. 1. Xavier, yes, I sing in the choir and chant schola at my (Ordinary Form) parish. I understand that the music serves the text, and not vice versa.

        2. It wasn’t a typo; arcte is a legitimate variant form of arte, from artus, which is why I gave the latter in parentheses. (See here).

        3. There’s criticism enough to go around, to be sure. Arcte is really an adverb, not an adjective at all, despite its rendering as such in both the 2008 and 2010. (Of course, that means there can be no question of its modifying vinculo.) I suppose my translation might run, “… through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer, you have joined the human family so tightly to yourself with a new bond of love that in nowise might it be undone.”

        4. Of course your credibility can’t really be at stake, since you choose to remain anonymous. But some of the hyperventilation over minor issues — particularly when the 2010 changes do contain some improvements — is just out of place. One might credit it to naivete if you weren’t so obviously not naive. Arcte simply means “tightly” (in the sense of close, narrow, compressed, straitened) far more than it means “securely,” which bears a vague conceptual relationship to the word’s actual meaning, and would probably convey a roughly similar idea, but is just not a translation in the same way. So why flip your lid over it?

      4. In the middle of the night, Mark, before departing at dawn, but let me give this a go: In fairness, Mark, did I ever say that arcte was an adjective modifying vinculo? Of course not. But now check all of your sources for the variants, especially in the adjectival form, since, as you point out, that is what both versions do with it (there’s ANOTHER version that DIDN’T!). Then look at the adverb, and see what you think about this (I’ll let you source it): “you bound yourself even more closely to the human family by a (missing: new) bond (missing: of love) that can never be broken.” What do you think of that construction? And can “closely” – in that version – be both a legitimate translation of the Latin and a reasonable one, given the shading that caritatis and novo give to vinculo (the obvious scriptural allusion)?

        When you get a chance, a great service to this blog would be for you to list some of the improvements that you have found in the 2010 version that have so recommended it to you. Or have you seen anything that makes critique of 2010 legitimate in your eyes?

        Finally, Mark, why not re-read Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis if you can get your hands on it . . . and rethink your judgment about “hyperventilation”. Those are the documents the Church asked the translators to work by. Those documents contained many and very specific requirements which the translators strove faithfully to observe. For them, and for some of us who have for a long time awaited the fruit of their labors (and who rejoiced to see their labors bear the first fruit) to then see people who work in or for the very office from which those directives were issued ride rough-shod over the carefully prepared texts – and in a most inconsistent way – certainly justifies at least as close a scrutiny of the revised work as the translators gave to their own.

        This blog is the only place I know that has done this scrutiny and engaged in this discussion. Your contribution regarding the improvements provided by 2010 would be a fine addition or counterbalance to the corpus of critique.

      5. Xavier: I’m not sure why you’ve decided that I’m so committed to partisanship on behalf of the 2010 version. Quite to the contrary, I think on balance the 2008 seems to be markedly better. But I’m against yelling and jumping up and down on those issues where the 2010 is better, or where it’s at best a tossup, such as the translation of arcte here and the Easter Vigil collect you thought “HAS to be a joke.” I’m also disappointed by the obvious schadenfreude on display here, where even typos (e.g., “candies”) or printing errors (e.g., the misplaced noteheads in the Easter Vigil Blessing of Baptismal Water) elicit high-fives and Cheshire-Cat grins.

        I wish I could contribute the “great service” you ask, but nobody’s bothered to leak the 2008 version to me, so I’m not in a position to make the comparison. Nor do I particularly care to — the 2010 does seem, in fact, to be worse. But I’ll at least stand up for it and keep people honest when it’s attacked unfairly, and that includes occasions where it’s an arguable case but someone sees a need to shriek, “THIS IS A MIND-BOGGLING TRAVESTY!!! THESE PEOPLE DON’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH!!!”

        So, for instance, you’ll notice I didn’t step up to defend “deal with,” which does come off as unnecessarily colloquial. But “a bond so tight” is just not a colloquialism; it’s an ordinary use of a standard English word.

        I hope that makes my view more clear. You’re doing a fine job at what you’re doing, but more than once your critiques have called out for a reality check.

    2. Memores igitur Filii tui Iesu Christi,
      qui Pascha nostrum est et pax nostra certissima,
      mortem eius et resurrectionem ab inferis celebramus
      atque, beatum eius adventum praestolantes,
      offerimus tibi, qui fidelis et misericors es Deus,
      hostiam, quae homines tecum reconciliat.

      Remembering therefore your Son Jesus Christ,
      who is our Passover and our most certain peace,
      we celebrate his Death and Resurrection from the dead,
      and looking forward to his blessed Coming,
      we offer you, who are the faithful and merciful God,
      the Victim who reconciles mankind with yourself.

      Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of your Son Jesus Christ,
      who is our Passover and our surest peace, [MOST CERTAIN is most certainly better]
      we celebrate his Death and Resurrection from the dead,
      and looking forward to his blessed Coming,
      we offer you, who are our faithful and merciful God
      this sacrificial Victim who reconciles to you the human race
      [Throw me down the stairs my hat. UGH. How about: “who reconciles the human race to yourself”? Almost like 2008! Again!]

      Again, in almost every instance we’ve seen, 2010 is anything but an “improvement.”

      Re: Bishop Serratelli: does anyone REALLY believe that Bishops’ Conferences wrote in and said, “Say, SECURE is so esoteric . . . could you change that to TIGHT?” or “Most certain sounds so weird . . . could you use something more accessible like SUREST?” Or “Putting the object of the verb right next to it all the time gets boring. Could you split up that verb-object pattern with a dative clause in the middle?” Really now.

  22. we offer you, who are our faithful and merciful God

    “are our” is incredibly difficult to say (except during Talk Like a Pirate Day)…

    1. Paul, I’ve had the same reaction a number of times. Did no one ever read these things out loud to see how they sound? How could this possibly happen? It’s a text written for proclamation. Or do they really believe that no one on earth has an oral/aural relationship to these texts? We are evidently expected to READ them, not to speak them!

      Yet, truly, I believe there are many people for whom the liturgy is not an affair of reading the printed word. Children, of course. The less educated. Non-westerners. And people who don’t normally pray with books in their laps — still a large group!

      Another instance: “Save us, Savior of the world…” The two s sounds will be elided by anyone who does not take elocution lessons. The result will be “Save a Savior of the world.” Nonsense, comical at best.

      1. +JMJ+

        They could respect the comma. And when sung (to a decent melody which respected the two “s”s and the comma) I think the likelihood for a problem would be diminished even more.

      2. See what I mean? “Respect the comma.” Reading a printed text.

        Anyone remember a small book satirizing modern art, written by Tom Wolfe, called The Painted Word? Whatever one thinks of modern art, the book was hilarious. I think there is something eerily parallel going on with the Printed Word in this translation. Theory has outrun practice and resulted in the paradox that a set of prayers for oral proclamation has become something else — a demo of a theory about texts.

      3. +JMJ+

        Rita, you’ve said yourself that it’s “a text written for proclamation.” It has to be read by someone, at least once, doesn’t it? Or should our liturgical prayers be handed on via a game of ecclesiastical telephone?

        We can manifest punctuation (not à la Victor Borge…) in our speech.

      4. I never denied the existence of the printed text!

        The issue I am trying to flag is that great numbers of people are expected to put these very words on their lips without a book, and that happens by hearing what others say, and how it sounds.

        A great many listeners are expected to hear and understand these words without a text in front of them. To create a pause after two words in an acclamation in English is odd. Singing it offers some control of how words are separated, but we are swimming upstream.

        Notice the Taize chant, “Salvator mundi, salva nos.”

      5. +JMJ+

        Those who hear it should hear it from someone who can read and proclaim it properly. That means being able to read “Save us, Savior of the world…” out loud and not elide the “s”s of “us” and “Savior” into each other. I recall from my youth, when new psalm responses or acclamations were being introduced in my parish, that they would be spoken first, and then sung. The same technique applied here should take care of the “s”s.

        To create a pause after two words in an acclamation in English is odd.

        How long a pause? Is a pause “created” if it’s marked by a comma? And how odd?

        I don’t recall ever having heard “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen” spoken as “Thank you ladies and gentlemen.” There’s a pause there. I’ll see if I can dig up an example of the same consonants being used.

  23. Re: Bishop Serratelli:
    When this mess is implemented I will make it a point to attend Serratelli’s masses to see how he does. Since he’s the one who pushed this his proclamations had better be PERFECT, a model for all priests. I want to see how he handles some of these laughable texts.

  24. It is distressing to learn that the EPs for Reconciliation are also being ruined by this process. Apart from a few lines that needed improvement, I have found these prayers to be both simple and powerful, and easy to proclaim. Now they too are being chopped up (in both 2008 and 2010 versions) into lots of subordinate clauses that destroy the clear flow of the lines.

  25. O my gosh… I am anxious to hear some reactions to the text for the Exsultet… especially about all of the “bees!”

  26. Has anyone posted the 2008 version of the Roman Missal. It would be very helpful to compare both versions in their entirety. I do see the problems, but I think that it would be a good thing to see and read these texts side-by-side.

    Another point to consider is this: where has Archbishop DiNoia been in all of this?

  27. I’m taking a really interesting graduate course on the Roman Missal at St. Joseph’s Seminary in NY.

    My understanding of why this translation is so “heavy” is because some language groups translate from English into their dialect. Scholars in the third world may not know Latin, but they do know English so the English has to be as authentic as possible.

    Additionally, its really easy to be deceived and see this translation as a final edition. Do we see the latest version of Windows as the last version of that operating system? This is just an update, and unanticipated “glitches” start popping up in our liturgy, it would not surprise me if we see another revision in the next ten years.

    Also, we need

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