What will Lent sound like next year?

Here is a sneak preview of what part of our celebration of Mass will be like at this time next year. Fr. Pádraig McCarthy has prepared the following page with the current and the new translation of the four regular Prefaces for Lent, and the Preface for the First Sunday of Lent, side by side for purposes of comparison.

Lent Prefaces — current and forthcoming

47 comments

  1. As a person whose home language is English, I have to say that I find the 2010 translation quite abusive and disrespectful of me and my language.

    I have no doubt the 1973 translation will outlive 2010 by a long way – it’s just so self-evidently better English, more understandable and more proclaimable.

    It’s time to stand up and say “No. The Mass does not deserve this. We do not deserve this. The Church really can do so much better. It is time to start again.”

    1. “I find the 2010 translation quite abusive and disrespectful of me and my language.

      I have no doubt the 1973 translation will outlive 2010 by a long way – it’s just so self-evidently better English…”

      The editor of the Universe in 1979 would disagree – I think he came up with 400 translation errors in the still existing order of Mass alone.

      1. Wait till any Latinist has a go at the Missale Moronicum (Vox Clara, 2010), as opposed to the ICEL translation of 2008. Here’s something just to whet your appetite (if you’re a Latinist):

        11 July Saint Benedict

        COLLECT
        Deus, qui beátum Benedíctum abbátem
        in schola divíni servítii praeclárum constituísti magístrum,
        tríbue, quaesumus,
        ut, amóri tuo nihil praeponéntes,
        viam mandatórum tuórum dilatáto corde currámus.

        2008
        O God, who established the Abbot Saint Benedict
        as a renowned master in the school of divine service,
        grant, we pray, that we may prefer nothing to your love
        and run with open hearts in the way of your commandments.

        2010
        O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict
        an outstanding master in the school of divine service,
        grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you,
        we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands.

        Isn’t it amazing, Daniel, that with so many Benedictines floating about the work of Vox Clara, the anonymous tinkerers have missed the quotes from the Holy Rule, both in Latin and in the standard English renderings? Besides, as you know, curramus is run, not hasten, and dilatato seems to have been mistaken for dilecto (which would still not be “loving”). If you’d rather stick with the Order of Mass, just have a look at the mess they’ve made of Nobis, quoque peccatoribus and the Per ipsum. Not to mention having discovered three additional “Credos” in a text that only has one, last time we checked!

        And all this after 40 years of complaints about 1973, 15 years or so of revising that was rejected, 2 major documents (LA and RT), and another dozen years . . . and the smartest revision team ever assembled in Rome. Quite an achievement that 2010 Vox Clara Missal!

      2. People weren’t happy with the “And…” at the beginning of the sections of the Creed, and now they’re not happy with the concession of multiple “I believe…”s. Is it a stacked deck? Or an uneven application of LA’s principles (or reasonable concessions made to them)?

        (And is it really necessary to repeat in every thread on the new translation the same mistakes over and over? We get it: the antecedent of “them” appears to be the worldly things, and the typical English translation of phrases some Benedict’s Rule are mangled. Surely we can find other mistakes to focus on… otherwise I’m likely to think those are the only ones!)

      3. G. Michael – Sorry, I’d just really like to see additional commetnary on the translation, rather than just have these two particular egregious errors repeated over and over. I’d honestly like to see something new!

        you’re such a font of knowledge with so many insightful things to say on every thread, maybe it’s best to leave the bandwidth to your creativity!

        Sorry. I really didn’t mean to come off that way, and I hope I didn’t. I wasn’t trying to be nasty.

      4. Mr. Howard: I’m well aware Latin words can have several meanings, but with all due respect to that other blog, the liturgical translator cannot turn first to Lewis and Short.

        Did you notice I said “standard English renderings” of the Rule of Saint Benedict”? The Collect is composed largely of phrases lifted from that Rule. It would seem to me that a conservative/traditional (Liturgicam authenticam) translation would look to THAT source in its standard English translations for assistance in determining which of several meanings is most appropriate.

        Dom Justin McCann, not the only translator of the Rule but one of the most respected, and many many others goes with: ch. 72: “Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ.” Prologue 49: “our hearts shall be enlarged, and we shall run with the unspeakable sweetness of love in the way of God’s commandments” – then cross-reference with “run in the way of the commandments” found in Scripture.

        May I ask any conservatives/traditionalists who comment on here: what is with the cheerleading for this Vox Clara debacle of 2010 that, as Canon Alan Griffiths of the UK has said, “drives a horse and carriage through the directives of Liturgiam authenticam”? I should think we would WANT a faithful translation . . . and we had one in 2008. Surely those of us who waited 40 years for something that was both accurate and literate ought at least to have the basic honesty to point out that in line after line, 2010 is neither accurate nor literate. Doesn’t mean “we just want to wait”, doesn’t mean “we miss 1973,” doesn’t mean we’re tuning up our guitars and dragging out the bongos for a couple of verses of Gather Us In. Just means we’re honestly stating the truth: Vox Clara, in most of its revisions, ruined a perfectly good translation. Just say it.

      5. Did you notice I said “standard English renderings” of the Rule of Saint Benedict”? The Collect is composed largely of phrases lifted from that Rule. It would seem to me that a conservative/traditional (Liturgicam authenticam) translation would look to THAT source in its standard English translations for assistance in determining which of several meanings is most appropriate.

        Sure, but that’s not what you wrote. You wrote, “Besides, as you know, curramus is run, not hasten,” and on that you’re just wrong. In your haste to attack the new translation, you’ve written as a matter of incontrovertable fact, something that is a matter of opinion, taste, and preference.

        As you say, we should look to the rule for how to translate the word. So when we read in Chapter 43:

        “Ad horam divini Officii, mox auditus fuerit signus, relictis omnibus quælibet fuerint in manibus, summa cum festinatione curratur, cum gravitate tamen, ut non scurrilitas inveniat fomitem.”

        We should note that, unless you think St. Benedict means for his monks to “run” to the office, “curro” may have other meanings even within the rule.

    2. I just attended a beautiful liturgy in the beautiful Val-de-Grace church here in Paris. The language of the French translation is always so pleasing.

      I agree, Graham. It is now a moral duty for priests to quietly BOYCOTT the new translations. Just don’t buy the texts. Download the 199_ translations instead. The bishops are guilty of a huge moral failure and their Eichmann defense rings very false; But we priests are now asked to be guilty of the same failure. And the faithful will notice…

      1. …”to quietly BOYCOTT the new translations…”

        A Lefebvrism of the left, how ironic.

      2. I apologize Fr. O’Leary. My emotions and blood pressure ran high at that moment.

        All I wish to say is this: we must be obedient to one of the two uses of the Roman rite or one of the other 20 (?) apostolic liturgies celebrated under the Pope of Rome. Instead of grumbling at the 1973 translation, I have worshiped at the EF or a Byzantine Divine Liturgy whenever possible. I am union with Rome, but not through her most frequently said liturgy.

        We laity are obliged to hear an apostolic liturgy, and the clergy to say an apostolic liturgy. There are other options than disobedience — namely, the celebration of the Roman forms in Latin or bi-ritual faculties. No one, priest or layperson, may take prayers and rubrics into their own hands.

        Please, Father, say Mass according to the will of the Church. If not for the lay faithful, do it for the holy souls. It is not just the gathered assembly that benefits from the Mass.

      3. “A Lefebvrism of the left, how ironic.”

        There is a far less judgmental and less bigoted explanation: a failure of reception of a noxious document, not an unknown phenomenon in the history of Christianity, viz Humanae Vitae.

  2. “You teach us how to live in this passing world
    with our heart set on the world that will never end.”

    It could be simpler (“heaven” instead of “the world that will never end”), and it’s not how we would speak in day to day language, but it’s still understandable at first reading if we pay attention, and evocative in spite of being somewhat elevated. Nice balance!

      1. Graham wrote: “ridiculous and unsuitable for public prayer.”

        You sound like the editor of the London Universe in 1979, of course he was complaining about the imposition of our still existing ICEL translation.

  3. I love parts of the new translation where things are more clear. For this Sunday, in the current translation it seems a bit off tone to simply say “this joyful season.” The joy is made more particular in the new translation, “with the joy of minds made pure,…” Beautiful! However, when read aloud one could easily confuse the “they” for the “works of charity” rather than the “faithful.” It’s even more confusing when the prayers suggests a distinction between the “faithful” and God’s “sons and daughters.” It’s sad that we have had one translation that obscured the meaning of the prayers in one way, and now we will have a translation that obscures the meaning of the prayers in another way. Especially considering there are two translations in existence that are superior.

  4. The priest will definitely need to do his homework in reading these aloud prior to the celebration of any particular Mass. But as I read them aloud, I find that in proclaiming them they sound the way many people speak. We don’t normally observe commas, exclamation points or periods when speaking to one another. In fact we train our lectors when reading to read in a way that sounds the way one speaks. When one speaks, we don’t use commas, periods, etc. So the longer sentences if spoken with the proper emphasis will be better in hearing them than in reading them if spoken properly.
    I like these far better than the 1973 and those few who have realized I was experimenting with these say how much better they like the new to the old. Anecdotal I know, but that’s the way it is.

    1. But we don’t speak to one another using the word order of another language. When I was a 12 year old in school,when translating from Latin, if we imported Latin syntax into English, our Christian Brother teacher would mark us down. It didn’t matter whether we knew the vocabulary 100%, we would be docked marks for this mistake. He would say, ‘It’s not English.’

      Who will deliver us from this mangled mischief?

    2. Congratulations, Father: that is truly the most creative defense of Vox Clara’s tortured syntax I’ve yet heard! 🙂

      You know, with some priests quitting the “implementation circuit,” there may be an opening . . . then you’ll be able to afford the Regal Edition!

      1. I’m trying to follow the logic, Fr, and to bypass the rhetoric.

        If I’m correct, you are suggesting that a multiplicity of linguistic backgrounds is helpful or perhaps, necessary in order to feel that one is hearing one’s mother tongue being spoken.

        Where does that leave the rest of us, the vast majority of the faithful from all of the 11 episcopal conferences implicated in this sham?

      2. Gerard, I’m be facetious and I know you weren’t speaking of my Italian mother who at 91 still speaks English with a very strong accent and in Italian syntax! Ever since we moved to Georgia in 1957 she’s had American friends. They understood her English very well except when I had to interpret things. I’ve inherited my English syntax from her. It’s worked well for me and those who hear me. 🙂
        But I stand by my original post about practicing these prayers aloud, proclaiming them properly which will sound like many people’s conversational speak. Besides that God will understand very well the prayers that are directed to Him even prior to them being spoken and those who are privileged to hear these prayers will understand them too. Our elementary school children like the new prayers and responses and like me can’t wait for them.

      3. Fr, with all the respect that is due to your mother, I said one’s mother tongue, not one’s mother’s tongue.

        I’m sure however much you appreciate and enjoy the idiosyncracies of your linguistic rearing, you wouldn’t want to inflict that on other people as the standard register of public prayer.

        I suspect that the faults of the current translation are so immense that sooner or later it will be abandoned in favour of the 2008 translation. The realpolitik means that it will be later rather than sooner, for this reason that since bishops have signed up to it, to postpone or consign the 2010 translation to the waste paper basket, would be to call their judgement into question. Ultimately for them to do anything but steamroll the new translation would be to incur the wrath of the Roman curia, and to have their authority, power and judgement challenged.

        The question of what is good for the worship and unity of the people of God doesn’t arise.

      4. I’ve posted this information already, but I think it bears repeating: a (conservative, by the way) Monsignor (NOT in the United States), who has worked extensively with this project at a very high level, says that MANY very highly placed persons are appalled at what came out as the final text (i.e., Vox Clara, 2010) and are astonished that it was granted the confirmatio. There have been over 200 errata passed back and forth (from publishers to ICEL/BCDW and in the opposite direction), and to and fro (across the Atlantic) . . . he says the most optimistic people in authority are saying “We’ll know in about 18 months (a liturgical year and a half), if this translation (2010) is going to survive.” Most of the people he works with say, “Within five years – 10 at the outside – the orations and prefaces will need to be revised, backwards toward a combination of 2008 and 1998.”

    3. MANY very highly placed persons are appalled at what came out as the final text (i.e., Vox Clara, 2010) and are astonished that it was granted the confirmatio.

      That’s good to hear. I wonder if something can be done about it now, rather than in 18 months / 5 years / 10 years.

      revised backwards toward a combination of 2008 and 1998

      I would certainly welcome that. But I wonder if the well will be poisoned by the implementation of a less-than-stellar 2010 text.

      1. Let me echo Jeffrey’s question to G. Michael McGuire. If so many people recognize the entirely-problematic nature of the 2010 Vox Clara text, why hasn’t it been stopped? Why must that text be inflicted upon the English-speaking Church?

        Is this all about appearances (the Italian brutta figura or bella figura)? Since it has been approved by juridically-competent authority, would stopping it now publicly call into question the subject-matter competence of that authority? Would it somehow impugn the Pope since he gave final approval to the text? Would it make the U.S. bishops look bad since they’ve been going around singing Hosannas to the greatness of the text?

        I’m sincerely trying to understand the motivation or rationale for not stopping a text recognized “at a very high level” as problematic.

  5. I am really going to miss “you give us this joyful season”. This phrase has done so much to form my attitude toward Lent over the years, and I look forward to it.

    1. The Order of Mass that’s on the USCCB website has the Eucharistic Prayers. I presume they’re the final (for now) versions.

      The UK Order of Mass that’s on WikiSpooks also has the Eucharistic Prayers. The description for this file actually does say “This is the FINAL FINAL FINAL Order of Mass, except for a few changes we might make.”

      1. Bill, I think you’ll find (indeed I KNOW it to be a fact) that “Jamespmoroney” who “leaked” many of the “final final final” versions of the Order of Mass online, typed those words with tongue firmly planted in cheek (as different from his namesake . . . )

      2. Chris, I didn’t really think it was the actual James P. Moroney who posted those files, although in light of what’s transpired since, it does seem like a prescient statement by “jamespmoroney”. I was thinking of the post not too long ago that highlighted the actual James P. Moroney’s reading of different Eucharistic Prayers than are found in the officially-released “final” Order of Mass, causing us all to wonder if there was an even-more “final” final text.

        On a related note to Jeffrey’s original question, does anyone know if the ICEL 2008 (Grey Book) Order of Mass was ever posted anywhere? The files on WikiSpooks are the Proper of Seasons, Proper of Saints, and Antiphons (unless I missed something).

      3. The UK Order of Mass that’s on WikiSpooks also

        except that it appears, from the spelling, to be the U.S. rather than U.K. version!
        And dates back to 30th.November 2010.

  6. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :
    You haven’t heard this Italian, southerner, Canadian speak. This translation was made for me!

    Yes, I bet, and especially that immortal phrase in Preface II of Lent, about “disordered affections”!

  7. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :
    my Italian mother … at 91 still speaks English with a very strong accent and in Italian syntax! … understood her English very well except when I had to interpret things. I’ve inherited my English syntax from her.

    She doesn’t by any chance work for Vox Clara, does she?

  8. On a lighter note, has anyone used this new text yet and timed the length? By the look of things, the average mass is going to take about twice as long! My evangelical cousins always liked coming to mass with our family because “it’s only like an hour! Our church lasts like 3 hours!” This new translation may be a great ecumenical opportunity to gripe about the length of our liturgies. And the Orthodox can join in too! Ha!

    1. The only people I know who have used the new (and upapproved by the Holy See for use) texts (some of them in the pre-Vox Clara amendment days) for public liturgy are Bishop Roche and Archbishop DiNoia – the very men who would be coming after you with a big stick if you use unapproved texts after the First Sunday of Advent. Funny that.

  9. Getting back to the text. I really liked the preface for the First Sunday of Lent. The other four are dreadful. I have just about stopped reading the new translation because it is so depressing. A few weeks ago it was simply comical since I thought surely this isn’t real and someone will stop this. Considering all that is happening in the Church, I can’t imagine a worse time for this.

  10. Samuel J. Howard :
    Did you notice I said “standard English renderings” of the Rule of Saint Benedict”? The Collect is composed largely of phrases lifted from that Rule. It would seem to me that a conservative/traditional (Liturgicam authenticam) translation would look to THAT source in its standard English translations for assistance in determining which of several meanings is most appropriate.
    Sure, but that’s not what you wrote. You wrote, “Besides, as you know, curramus is run, not hasten,” and on that you’re just wrong. In your haste to attack the new translation, you’ve written as a matter of incontrovertable fact, something that is a matter of opinion, taste, and preference.
    As you say, we should look to the rule for how to translate the word. So when we read in Chapter 43:
    “Ad horam divini Officii, mox auditus fuerit signus, relictis omnibus quælibet fuerint in manibus, summa cum festinatione curratur, cum gravitate tamen, ut non scurrilitas inveniat fomitem.”
    We should note that, unless you think St. Benedict means for his monks to “run” to the office, it may have other meanings even within the rule.

    Angels dancing on pin heads.

  11. Jeffrey Pinyan :
    The 2008 Order of Mass was on the USCCB web site for quite some time (until it became obsolete). I downloaded it and can make it available.

    It wasn’t around long enough to “become obsolete” – it was still-born, dead long before midwife Harbert delivered it..

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