Tell me I have an incorrect version (say it isn’t so)

I am working with the priests of the San José diocese on Wednesday on how to preside with the new prayers texts. I always dip into the new translation for the Sunday upcoming and set side by side the Latin original, the 1970 translation, the 2011 translation, and the Spanish translation.

Looking at the 4th Sunday of Easter, this appears to be the 2011 collect:

Almighty ever-living God,
tend us to a share in the joys of heaven,
so that the humble flock may reach
where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
Who lives and reigns with you . . .

The original:

Omnípotens sempitérne Deus,
deduc nos ad societátem cæléstium gaudiórum,
ut eo pervéniat humílitas gregis,
quo procéssit fortitúdo pastóris.

The 1970:

Almighty and ever-living God,
give us new strength
from the courage of Christ our shepherd,
and lead us to join the saints in heaven,
where he lives and reigns . . .

And the 2008:

Almighty everlasting God,
lead us to companionship in the joys of heaven,
so that the humble flock may come
to where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
Through our Lord . . .

TEND us?

Please check what you have and get back to me/us. Thanks. (If I just have an incorrect version, I’ll take this post down immediately.)


  1. I think it’s actually “lead us” – but don’t let the Vox Clara gang see that “tend”! Sounds like something they’d slip in if they had the chance!

    1. Oh Jeremy, the vision my mind is polluting of the immensity of his majesty slipping something – anything – in, and, overcome as I am by paschal joy, I wonder if we’ll make it through the near-year wait for the arrival of our awaited eagerly disordered affections!

      How did the 1998 Sacramentary translate this prayer? If a betting man I was . . .

      1. 1998 ICEL:

        God of everlasting power,
        guide us toward the joyful company of heaven,
        so that your lowly flock may follow
        where Christ, the great Shepherd, has gone before
        and lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
        God for ever and ever.

  2. I could MAYBE see “tend” being an OCR screwup of “lead”, although “to lead” is one of the definitions of “to tend”… but I would hope it was some typo rather than a deliberate change.

  3. “…to where the brave Shepherd has gone before…” Was this on His 5 year mission aboard the Enterprise??

    1. “to where he has gone before…” Looking too long at the new translation dulls one’s sense of what counts as good English, so that even such barbaric diction as this comes to seem passable.

  4. I’ve checked the official text as it will be printed, and “deduc” is translated as “lead.” So whichever version of the texts you have is either an earlier version, or is simply not correct.

  5. Almighty and ever-living God,
    lead us to a share in the joys of heaven,
    so that the humble flock may reach
    where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
    Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

    Just Beautiful!

    1. Well they worked on it since the mid 1970s, with (according to Monsignor Moroney) 7,000 advisors, so surely they’d have to get something right!

  6. My version, which was supposed to be the “final, final and finally corrected” version has “tend.” I have an allegedly previous version (if the file dates mean anything) that has “lead”.

    One would hope that what makes it to print tends toward lead, rather than leads toward tend.

  7. I’m sure that ‘tend us’ was a typo, but, even once that is corrected, there are oddities in the rest of the prayer.

    Why was societatem rendered as ‘a share’? I could understand ‘lead us to share in the joys of heaven’, which is closer to the 2008. But ‘lead us to a share’? How big or small a share? And was a stockbroker involved in the transaction? Of course, following Lit Auth, you wouldn’t want to turn a noun into a verb.

    But apparently it’s not a problem to turn a noun into an adjective, and that’s where my other question comes from. Humilitas gregis is, LitAuthentically, ‘the humbleness of the flock’, not ‘the humble flock’; same for fortitude pastoris, ‘the strength of the shepherd’. How did these constructions get turned around, in the 2008 as well as in the 2010? Is there some sort of ‘adjectival genitive’ construction in Latin prose that applies here?

    Fr Z has covered this prayer twice in his analyses of Latin prayers, but he skates over this oddity.

    The first time he commented on the ICEL, in 2006, he wrote:

    Once again, we find that the ICEL version takes some of the words and concepts from the Latin collect and then composes its own original prayer. It is not a bad prayer, but it is not really a translation of the Latin, is it?

    And the second time, in 2009:


    The latter is my reaction to most of these prayer translations, both the 2008 and 2010. I usually agree with Joe O’Leary on liturgical matters but I don’t see how the preces have been improved in the new translation. In fact, I think the 1970 captures the sense of the prayer pretty accurately here; and it’s also readable.

  8. Nice.

    We’ve moved from a discussion on translation principles to wondering if what we see is even the authentic version.

    This is like my auto mechanic getting a spanking new manual from Toyota, English written in Japanese syntax, and I’m left wondering if my car is going to blow up when I’m on the road today. Well … maybe not blow up, but am I getting home on time?

  9. 1998: joyful company of heaven

    A more accurate translation of “ad societatem coelestium gaudiorum” than either 2008/2010, though “companionship” is far better than the lame “a share” (even if the cheerleaders think it’s “just beautiful!”).

    Still amazing that Father Z, champion of accuracy, backed off his criticisms early in the process. Must have been bad for business.

  10. Hmm… do Shepherds “lead” the sheep, or do they “tend” the sheep? Or is it both? A shepherd can certainly “tend the sheep towards greener pastures”, so why not towards the greener pasture that is heaven?

    OK… it’s awkward (and an unfamiliar use of the word) but it is also an extension of the Shepherd / Sheep metaphor. Maybe not the best choice, but then again, probably not a “typo”… I would think this is intentional.

    1. Well, I agree.

      If God can “constrain them mercifully to convert to” himself, and “offer to the immensity of your majesty” the “dealing with” “our disordered affections” in “a bond so tight” – who’s to say he can’t “tend us to greener pastures”?

      Get your pencils ready, boys and girls! We got some correctin’ to do!

      A royal pain in the Regal Edition!

    2. I think that it’s not “tend” in the (transitive) sense of taking care of, attend to (as in: “The shepherd tends his sick sheep”) but in the (intransitive) sense of being directed, extending towards (as in: “The road tends South” or “I tend to overeat”).

      Or rather, it is using the word in the transitive form but the intended meaning is the meaning of the intransitive form.

      I would call that a mistake.

      1. Or perhaps it’s a shortened form of/typo for the imperative mood of the verb “tender” in the use often associated with currency: “Tender your fare in coins only, no bills” or “The bishop declined to tender his resignation.” It would then be a fancy way of saying “offer” or “give,” as in the 1970 translation:

        Almighty and ever-living God,
        give us new strength [i.e., “tender to us a share….”]
        from the courage of Christ our shepherd,
        and lead us to join the saints in heaven,
        where he lives and reigns . . .

        But you say the Vox Clara committee worked from the Latin, not from a previous English translation? Could they have opted for a word that brings to mind a money metaphor (“legal tender” in noun form) and then misused it in context?

      2. I pause in grading student essays to return with a theory (my theories are often inspired by my students’ writing): originally, the text read “tender to us a share in the joys of heaven,” but the person at the keyboard ran the text through a grammar checker or spelling checker before finalizing it. The software did not recognize the usage, flagged it, and suggested “corrections.” The typist selected “tend us to” to replace “tender to us.” I cannot check out this theory myself since I use nothing but Corel software. If that’s what happened, then MS Word is the likely culprit.

    3. At least it keeps the Shepherd / sheep metaphor. Too bad Vox Clara has elsewhere taken the Latin’s and 2008’s “temporal offering / eternal redemption” parallel (Advent I) and changed it to “here below / eternal”. One of my favorites was the universal “find & change” that Vox Clara used to replace “everlasting” with “ever-living” which resulted in one prayer’s asking that we be brought to “ever-living life.”

      Don’t know if the Errata caught that: will check my Regal Edition in October.

      Would “ever-living life” be an awkward, unusual, or outright mistaken construction, Jeffrey?

      I’d say the evaluation posted elsewhere on this blog has it right: lazy, incompetent and arrogant = CDW. Your Peter’s Pence Collection at work.

  11. Jeffrey Herbert, this is not a simple example of a shepherd’s ‘tending’ sheep. Such a usage requires no indirect object. This wording gives the verb both a direct and an indirect object, which is a travesty of the English language.

    ‘It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.’
    – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    1. Well, Gerard, it’s easy to see that you’re not overflowing with spiritual transcendence, much less “overcome with paschal joys.” Did you know that, come next Easter, for all Fifty Days, “even the Powers of heaven” will be rejoicing which, as that incorrect and uncorrected English usage implies, we would never have expected them to do.

      But just stand by because, any posting now, Jeffrey Herbert’s going to explain to us how that grammatical mistake (and the previous mistranslation: profusis = overcome) is EXACTLY what the Church needs to recover a sense of the sacred!

  12. The more I read about snafus like this (“Tend” for “Lead”) the more confirmed I am in my plan for November. I’m planning to use the Eucharistic Prayers from 1998. They are close enough that most people won’t notice a difference. And they avoid the absurdities of “many,” “precious,” “chalice,” etc. My rationale is that it will be better to go with a solid, conference-approved, product (ICEL1998) then jump in with all the guys doing on-the-fly “adaptations.”

    1. Fr. Jim Blue,

      What diocese are you from? I would like to write your bishop to share your “do it my way” ideas.

      What fascinates me about so many of the Catholics on this board is that you all act as if you know best – many are a bunch of busy-bodies in my view. Would that we took this form of being Catholic and applied it to different places in our faith – who would ever think of adoring a Triune (One God in Three Divine Persons) God? It doesn’t make sense to our reason, but yet we submit to it. And yet, when someone gives us a translation that we don’t like, we just “do it our way”.

      It is you folks, who protest everything and completely lose sight of the big picture, that are one of the main causes and signs of why the Church looks like it is weak. Lead, tend, bring, conjure… BIG PICTURE, ANYONE????

  13. You shall both be reported forthwith to the CDW police and your brocaded missal ribbons and leather tabs, not to mention your gilt edges, confiscated for creativity and thoughtfulness inimical to the reform of the reform and causing “admiratio populi.” Sad, since had you induced “admiratio episcopi” somewhere along the line, like the fervent young convert in Denver, you both may have scored a set of magenta buttons or even one of those spiffy new retro 2′ tall Cardinal Quareghni mitres (reference to Raf Vallone’s stellar performance in “The Cardinal”)!!

  14. Thank you, G. Michael, but I don’t look good in pointy hats.

    I think my idea is catching on. Looking at 1998 and 2010 side-by-side, only the most scrupulous parishioner would notice much of a difference.

    1. Where may I find the 1998 translation in a format that could be placed side-by-side with 2010?

  15. Thank you, Chris. Actually I was questioned recently about our beautiful porcelain communion set. We have a couple ladies who bussed it to Buffalo last year to see John Corapi, but other than that not many other temple police.

  16. I think “a share” would refer to the doctrine that we each will receive a different degree of glory in heaven, and therefore a greater or lesser “share.” and as for the word “tend,” it is something that Shepherds do to their sheep. It’s more precise than the word “lead.” Sheep do tend to want to go everywhere, they don’t follow the Shepherd in a straight line…You know this discussion shows how effective this translation will be to cause us to contemplate these sacred prayers in a more deep and profound manner. Loving it! 😉

    1. this discussion shows how effective this translation will be to cause us to contemplate this sacred prayers in a more deep and profound manner.

      So would reciting them in Pig-Latin: eedlay usway ootay away areshay inway eethay oisjay ofway evanhay,

    2. Sheep “tend” to want to go everywhere!

      I get the satire now, Father!

      Contemplating mistranslations and grammatical errors in expensively printed and magnificently bound books full of penciled in corrections as a path to deeper and more profound spirituality. Very funny, indeed!

  17. Here is the version that was sent to bishops:

    Almighty ever-living God,
    lead us to a share in the joys of heaven,
    so that the humble flock may reach
    where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
    Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

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