Final text of missal – leaked

A reader writes that he has discovered the final text of the missal over at WikiSpooks. This is the text the US national liturgy office (BCDW) sent to US publishers on 12-30-10.

This is interesting. The so-called “Moroney Missal,” the one Pope Benedict received from Vox Clara on April 28, 2010, had two translations of the very same Prayer after Communion:

#1: First Sunday of Advent:
May these mysteries, O Lord,
in which we have participated, profit us, we pray,
for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures.

#2: Thursday of First Week of Advent:
May these mysteries in which we have participated
profit us, we pray, O Lord,
for even now, as we journey through this passing world,
you teach us by them
to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what will endure.

I’m sure you see the problem with #1 – “them” seems to refer to “passing things,” as if we should make  use of transitory and superficial things to learn to love heavenly things. It would be hard for the listener to guess that “them” refers to “mysteries” way up in the first line.

Although the antecendent for “them” is too far away in #2, at least “them” can only refer to “mysteries,” which makes sense. #2 is a better wording.

In any event, the inconsistency had to be corrected. And correct it they did. They eliminated #2 and used the wording of #1 in both cases.



  1. Amongst the multitude of other things one could comment on, did anyone else notice the glaring absence of prayers for St. Theodore Guerin’s feast day on October 3?

  2. I’m sorry–both versions sound clunky, confusing, and unnatural to English speakers. At least to this one. If this is what is in store come November, I’ll pass. Did anyone with an English degree even get asked to look at these “translations” before they were finalized?

    1. Yes, I wondered the same thing. But I suspect it’s because the Order of Mass had been sent out a few weeks earlier to publishers – recall that leak when we reported on it.

  3. Someone else has mentioned these examples, though I cannot now remember the poster’s name or which thread he posted on. I apologize to those who do not wish to see comparisons of the originally approved text, but there is a discrepancy between Preface II for the Dead in this “final” version and what ICEL has on their website at:

    Ipse enim mortem unus accepit,
    ne omnes nos moreremur;
    immo unus mori dignatus est,
    ut omnes tibi perpetuo viveremus.
    Et ideo, choris angelicis sociati,
    te laudamus in gaudio confitentes:

    2008 and on ICEL website (and far superior, including the conclusion?):
    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.
    And so, in company with the choirs of Angels,
    we praise you, proclaiming with joy:

    Final Version as leaked today:
    For as one alone he accepted death, (what does this mean???)
    so that we might all escape from dying; (oh no, it’s back!)
    as one man he chose to die,
    so that in your sight we all might live for ever.
    And so, in company with the choirs of Angels,
    we praise you, and with joy we proclaim: (2008 translates exactly)

    1. Fr Ruff’s pointing out confusingly placed antecedents brings to mind this text, also mentioned somewhere on this blog, which again shows that a rudimentary familiarity with English usage (via the Sisters teaching us how to diagram sentences in grade school) could have saved a text which, admittedly difficulty to translate from the Latin, was superbly done by ICEL but not by the revisers. For some reason, Rome has gone with the revisers.

      Preface VIII Sundays per annum
      Quia filios, quos longe peccati crimen abstulerat,
      per sanguinem Filii tui Spiritusque virtute,
      in unum ad te denuo congregare voluisti:
      ut plebs, de unitate Trinitatis adunata,
      in tuae laudem sapientiae multiformis
      Christi corpus templumque Spiritus nosceretur Ecclesia.

      For, when your children were scattered afar by sin,
      through the Blood of your Son and the power of the Spirit, [misplaced by following the Latin order exactly]
      you gathered them again to yourself, [the Latin verb voluisti is gone]
      that a people, formed as one by the unity of the Trinity,
      made the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit,
      might, to the praise of your manifold wisdom, [clause winds up suspended in mid verb-form]
      be manifest as the Church.

      For, when sin had scattered your children afar,
      you chose to gather them again to yourself
      through the Blood of your Son and the power of the Spirit,
      so that a people made one from the unity of the Trinity
      might be revealed as your Church,
      the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Spirit,
      to the praise of your manifold wisdom.

      Isn’t there some way the comprehensible version could be salvaged?

    2. Finally, a question for Father Anthony: with so many Benedictines hovering about the Vox Clara project, how did THIS happen? Here is the Latin collect for Saint Benedict (from my Liturgia Horarum – I presume it’s the same in the Missale?).

      July 11
      Deus, qui beatum Benedictum abbatem
      in schola divini servitii
      praeclarum constituisti magistrum,
      tribue quaesumus,
      ut, amori tuo nihil praeponentes,
      viam mandatorum tuorum dilatato corde curramus.

      O God, who established [constituisti] the Abbot Saint [I can see why they used Saint to avoid confusion, but remember Gregory the Great’s “Benedict, a man blessed in name and in spirit” or something like that?] Benedict
      as a renowned master in the school of divine service,
      grant, we pray,
      that we may prefer nothing to your love [the famous quote from the Rule!]
      and run [curramus] with open [kind of dilatato, expanded] hearts [Latin is actually singular]
      in the way of your commandments [mandatorum].

      O God, who made [as in the Chrism Mass collect, with heretical results there!, the revisers have mistranslated constituisti] the Abbot Saint Benedict
      an outstanding [more colloquial than renowned, too bad] master in the school of divine service,
      grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, [how did this happen?]
      we may hasten [no, Benedict says run] with a loving [I really think the revisers confused dilatato and dilecto] heart in the way of your commands [no, commandments]

      Can some highly placed Benedictine intercede, Father Anthony?

  4. Looking over the prayers I can’t help but mention how edified I was and remain, it was like a mini retreat. Thanks be to God.

    Question-where are the Masses for the Dead?

    1. Hey Jack a big thanks be to God you didn’t compare the prayers to the original Latin and no wonder you want Pray Tell to stop talking about the 1997 version and the gray book translation of 2007 and 2008. I can see why.

  5. John Drake, I doubt that it was a coin flip. Remember that Vox Clara spoke and gave us no. 1.

    John Kohanski, you are correct. Neither form of the prayer is in good English. And you are able to read the texts and parse the grammar. Pity those who will only hear the texts. Perhaps everyone in the liturgical assembly could be given a hand missal so that they will be able to parse the prayers as they are being proclaimed?

    The “we pray’s” in nearly all the prayers of the RM are going to become aggravating very quickly. I know they are in the Latin, but they are redundant. Why do we need to say “we pray” as we are praying? A glaring mistake in LA.

    Compare these two texts to (1997):

    Lord our God,
    grant that in our journey through this passing world
    we may learn from these mysteries
    to cherish even now the things of heaven
    and to cling to the treasures that never pass away.

  6. Sorry, I failed to add for those who will be parsing the text in their hand missals:

    In order that the reader not miss the intended meaning of “them” in line 4, an asterisk could be placed after the word, directing the reading to the following footnote: * “them” in line 4 refers to “these mysteries” in line 1.

    Also — the 1997 translation is like — a thirty day retreat.

    1. Fr. Krisman,

      1997 might be a 30 day retreat for some but, to be fair, we should also address the problems seen in the 1997 version that led to its rejection. We could start with the rubrics and move on to omissions, options, paraphrases and yes, inclusive language in the prayers & ordinary (just look at the Suscipiat).

      For example, why did the translators remove the penitential rite and the Gloria for so much of the year? Why change the invocation of the memorial acclamation to the Deacon? Given that this kind of reduction to the Introductory Rites of the Pauline ordo was rejected many years ago – this seems seriously out-of-place for translators in 1997. Why the pronoun “it” when referring to the Church? Why so much reluctance to echo the Latin RM’s use of supplication in our prayer? 130 usages of “we beseech” in the Latin RM was translated only 10 times in 1997 meaning that 120 usages were simply suppressed. Don’t presume that Catholics generally would have received the 1997 version wholesale. It probably would have divided the Church further while also increasing interest in the EF among the many faithful who applaud the new translation today.

      1. “Why the pronoun “it” when referring to the Church?”

        A fascinating question. Over the centuries, gender-based nouns have almost completely disappeared from English. That’s an undeniable fact of linguistics.

        For the Germans, who still have three genders in play, one might well ask why a little girl is “it.” In fact, grammatical gender often has little to do with the sex of an object. So people who are pounding the bridegroom image like an MR3 “we pray” would seem to have misappropriated language for a political purpose.

        Personally, I don’t see a problem with a judicious variety, including first person plural in some references to the Church.

      2. But what about the violations of LA and RT by the Vox Clara revisers? See another one of those leaked documents you probably dont like “Areas of Difficulty with the Received Text”. That 1997 version is a dead issue, but the mistakes in the 2010 and outright violations of official directives are all confirmed and official. What’s up with that? A mysterious double standard? Church politics and personalities? And as another poster Chris Grady pointed out on the Fr Driscoll thread, Fr Driscoll actually wrote some of the original prayers for that 1997 version and they were rejected and he never mentions that little inconvenient truth in his lectures. Whole thing stinks.

      3. Jack Nolan getting back to Fr Ron Krisman’s example, as a non-liturgist, I recognise the 1997 version to have rendered into intelligible and reverent English.

        the other stuff is just gobbledy-dook

        how on earth this new rendition will be of any benefit to the church is beyond me.

      4. I don’t mind discussing 1965, 1967, 1973, or 2008 together with 2010. My point about 1997 is that offering it as an example of a good translation of the RM without mentioning its serious deficiencies may be disingenuous. 1997 may have been a liturgically progressive over reach.

      5. Or it could be that 1997 was a product of careful discernment and competence between ICEL and fifteen nations’ worth of bishops. Considering the alternatives, it strikes me as a pretty middle-of-the-road effort, and not unlike the efforts of those wild and wooly Italian bishops.

      6. Address the specific objections, taking the “Gloria” away? Suppressing 120 terms of supplication?

      7. JN – As far as I know, the revised introductory rites, with option of not using Gloria every Sunday, were NOT in the final proposal sent to Rome by the bishops, so that’s a dead letter.
        As for the terms of supplication – although I suspect this won’t satisfy your objections – reduction of these was well within the translation guidelines from Rome then in force. Those guidelines called for examination of how language is used in the receptor culture, what oratorical conventions from ancient Rome were or were not judged appropriate, and so forth.


      8. The Gloria is not a translation issue.

        The 120 terms of supplication are certainly something that might be debated. I would probably favor their inclusion, but I’d be willing to sacrifice them on the altar of lucid prose.

  7. Regarding the absence of the Masses for the Dead… perhaps, in charity, the dead will be spared having to have this confusion prayed over them even while in death they lie while continuing to await the hoped for and glorious manifestation and most highly exalted entrance which is that which is promised to those who live and remain faithful, etc. etc. etc.
    I’m sure, though, no such luck… for the dead or living!

  8. A couple of questions regarding the US Adaptations:

    1) I noticed the following rubric for the Epiphany:

    “Where it is the practice, if appropriate, the moveable Feasts of the current year may be proclaimed after the Gospel, according to the formula given below, pp. 0000-0000.”

    However, this is nothing corresponding to the Christmas Proclamation for that day. Are we to understand that the Christmas Proclamation will not be included in the new Missal? I’ve also noticed that it is not included among the ICEL chants currently published online. Even so, I thought it possible (and likely) that it would be included in the US Adaptations even if it wasn’t in the general English Missal, given that a version is already included on Bishops’ website.

    2) Have the texts of the additional versions of the third form of the Penitential Rite been published? It is my understanding that they were approved in the US Adaptations.

  9. I don’t see a problem with #1. The reader’s/hearer’s attention is directed at once to “these mysteries”. The phrase beginning “as we walk” is an interpolated adverbial phrase not necessary for the sentence as a whole to retain grammatical integrity.

    1. Respectfully, Mr. Ramirez, I believe that you are quite wrong about this point and that Father Anthony is correct. The logical antecedent of “them” is “passing things”, and will be “heard” as such, if not “read” as such, though even for the reader, the construction of #1 is very problematic. The underlying point is, of course, why was the change made at all?

  10. “interpolated adverbial phrase” – can’t wait to see if that will be a question the next time I take the SAT.

    Dismas – thanks – see above with XR….2010 Revised has eliminated “dying”

    1. Bill, good luck with those SATs!

      I wonder if this horrendous construction in Preface VIII for Sundays in Ordinary Time:

      “might, to the praise of your manifold wisdom, be manifest as the Church”

      is really another of those neat “interpolated adverbial phrases”?

      Good grief! Oh, to see the SATs of the person who worked on these revisions!

  11. Is Preface V for the Dead missing from today’s leaked Order of Mass? I hope this means the version previously leaked as final is being revised! The original ICEL version is on ICEL’s music website:

    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 (?) victory,
    and with him called back into life.

    The version of the Order of Mass leaked today ends with Preface IV for the Dead, which has its own problems (in the new version):

    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 (exact, I think)
    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 (but see below!) 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 the earth from which we came (absolvimur?).
    And when you give the sign (OH NO!),
    we who have been redeemed by the Death of your Son,
    shall be raised up to the glory of his Resurrection.

    1. The more I see of this missal, the more I envision widespread disobedience. Thousands of celebrants throughout the English speaking world will be sneaking 3X5 index cards or little yellow Post It’s throughout the book.

      1. Guess someone will have to instruct the altar boys to sneak them right back out as they prepare to hold the Missal for the priest!

  12. 5th Sunday in Ordinary time:
    “O God, who have willed that we be partakers
    in the one Bread and the one Chalice,
    grant us, we pray, so to live
    that, made one in Christ,
    we may joyfully bear fruit
    for the salvation of the world.”

    Is anyone else bothered by the parallel between the Bread and the Chalice? Shouldn’t it be, either Bread and Wine, or Body and Blood, or paten and chalice?

    As for those “we pray” that pop up everywhere, it’s probably easy enough for the celebrant to attach them to whatever words precede, so as to prevent them from breaking the flow: instead of saying “grant us, we pray,”, they can just say “grant us we pray”, going quickly over the words “we pray”, as in “grant us (we pray) so to live that,” . People will get used to hearing those “we pray”s inserted right and left, and will be able to understand them even if they are swallowed in speech. They probably ought to ignore them anyway, so as to have a better chance to understand the sentence in which they are inserted.

    1. I’m not sure about that, Claire – “one bread, one cup” sounds right to my ear, probably because it’s familiar, though it’s not parallel, since one is the substance and the other is the holder for the substance. “Chalice” just doesn’t sound right, and I’m not sure it ever will. It’s switching tone, rather like, “Hey there, howa doin’, my esteemed lord?”

      1. Maybe you’re right.

        I wonder if “bread and cup” has been used because that is what we see at Elevation. We don’t actually see what’s in the cup. So, when people used to rarely receive communion, the words that they could relate to were words describing what they saw. Those particular words were then a choice suited to the customs of those times!

  13. Jack Nolan,

    I have found that your blog postings give evidence to the fact that you know quite a bit about what you write.

    And so I find it most strange that you are not at all open to consider the merits of the 1997 translation. You should know as well as anyone on this blog that the 1997 translation was not judged on its merits but rejected outright as a way to screw ICEL.

    As John Robert Francis has noted, in the CDWDS’s letter rejecting the canonical confirmatio of the approval of the 1997 translation by ICEL member and associate member conferences of bishops, the 1997 text COULD HAVE BEEN used in the preparation of the subesequent translation. And your concerns, both legitimate and illegitimate, could have been addressed.

    So I think the 1997 translation should be on the table in our discussions. In most cases it will be shown to be far better than 2008 or the growing number of 2010 translations.

  14. As convoluted and confusing as the upcoming (I almost said anticipated!) prayer texts are to read, hear and understand, when they are sung, they will only be more so; by the time you get to the end of the prayer, you forget what you were praying for at the start!

    1. End of the prayer, nothing; I’m getting lost before the end of the _sentence_! And I’m more than adequately competent in English, despite a nasty public school education.

  15. Is this the FINAL final text?

    Or has the new translation now restyled itself as a “work in progress” open to constant revision over the years ahead? If so, the Vatican has opted for dizzying Heracliteanism, for an orgy of Derridean dissemination.

  16. Todd Flowerday replies to the question “Why the pronoun “it” when referring to the Church?”: “A fascinating question. Over the centuries, gender-based nouns have almost completely disappeared from English. That’s an undeniable fact of linguistics. . . .”

    Isn’t the explanation much simpler than linguistic change? Today, we frown on allegedly gender-neutral uses of masculine pronouns to refer to both male and female, and in a few cases, such as pronouns referring to ships and hurricanes, we frown on feminine pronouns and nouns as well. But with the recent papal threat of excommunication against women who seek ordination to the priesthood, it has become preposterous to speak of the Roman Catholic Church as “she” or “her” or “Mother Church.” What kind of mother would treat her daughters in such a way as to consider them in gravest sin if they attempt to participate in their religion equally with men–men, for whom the priesthood is a source of special grace? This is the stuff of which biting satire is made, so a change was necessary. But why the impersonal “it”? Wouldn’t “he,” “him,” or “father Church” be more appropriate?

      1. The bestowal of male names on hurricanes is quite recent Jeffrey. They were all female names at one time. And yes, feminine nouns and pronouns are passing into antique usage more and more although it’s irregular. Check style manuals at publishing houses and in the academy. Authoress, Jewess, etc, are not used, whereas actress is. When feminized terms begin falling into disuse but haven’t totally disappeared, they begin to sound precious and affected. Most people are eager not to sound precious and affected. Benefactress is another. All the airlines I know today say Flight Attendant rather than Stewardess.

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