At the abbey church here in Urbe, where I am wont to hide behind a pillar and “hear Mass” on major feastdays, the celebrant of this morning’s conventual Mass, Ordinary Form, Latin, chanted (in the impeccable style acquired during his youthful days at Solesmes), the Preface of the Annunciation.
Hearing a number of “flagged words” in that Latin Preface, I decided (although Lenten penance is suspended for this Solemnity) to check the “Final Text” against the ill-fated 2008 translation prepared by ICEL. I suspect the readers of Pray Tell will be as surprised as I was at the text that obtained the recognitio of the Holy See. (Note: in the posting of the Latin text, I have rearranged its phrases, the better to show how each translation renders them.)
1. In their zeal to “de-inclusify” the 2008 translation, the Vox Clara team has inexplicably lost the Archangel Gabriel!
2. Perficeret veritas is surely rendered more adequately as “fulfilled” and not simply “come about,” a pedantic expression if ever there was one, and one that does not convey that in the mystery of the Lord’s incarnation we see the truth of those ancient promises verified in the Truth Himself taking our flesh.
3. If homines in the early lines need to be changed to “men,” though we know that homo, hominis means “human beings,” “people,” (as in the new Gloria: “peace on earth to people (hominibus) of good will,” then why does filiis not need to be changed from “children” (2008) to the more literal “sons”?
4. It may be noted that in the conclusion of the preface, the Vox Clara version does not convey the divine agency as explicitly as 2008 does (and Liturgiam Authenticam requires). Surely, ut admitti iubeas is more adequately translated “(that you would) bid our voices join with theirs” (2008) than Vox Clara’s reversion (odd, in light of all the criticism!) to the old ICEL’s “May our voices join” (old ICEL: blend): iubeo has disappeared entirely, and with it, God’s action!
Our amazement continues at the work that has merited the Holy See’s recognitio! Well, from all the ads we’ve seen, at least the new Missal will look nice!