Rita’s featured post, along with Philip Sandstrom’s comment, sent me scurrying to see what the parts of the marriage rite contained in the new Missal translation looked like.
I am happy to report that the third nuptial blessing, which is the one I habitually use (in part because it prays for both the bride and the good together), has been given a beautiful translation that is, to my mind, a great improvement over the current translation. I’ll let you judge for yourselves:
Holy Father, creator of the universe,
maker of man and woman in your own likeness,
source of blessing for married life,
we humbly pray to you for this woman
who today is united with her husband in this sacrament of marriage.
May your fullest blessing come upon her and her husband
so that they may together rejoice in your gift of married love
(and enrich your Church with their children).
Lord, may they both praise you when they are happy
and turn to you in their sorrows.
May they be glad that you help them in their work
and know that you are with them in their need.
May they pray to you in the community of the Church,
and be your witnesses in the world.
May they reach old age in the company of their friends,
and come at last to the kingdom of heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Holy Father, maker of the whole world,
who created man and woman in your own image
and willed that their union be crowned with your blessing,
we humbly beseech you for these your servants,
who are joined today in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
May your abundant blessing, Lord,
come down upon this bride, N.,
and upon N., her companion for life,
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
set their hearts aflame from on high,
so that, living out together the gift of Matrimony,
they may (adorn their family with children
and) enrich the Church.
In happiness may they praise you, O Lord,
in sorrow may they seek you out;
may they have the joy of your presence
to assist them in their toil,
and know that you are near
to comfort them in their need;
let them pray to you in the holy assembly
and bear witness to you in the world,
and after a happy old age,
together with the circle of friends that surrounds them,
may they come to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.
I only have the tertio editio of the Latin Missal, so I don’t know if the underlying Latin prayer has changed, but “may the power of your Holy Spirit set their hearts aflame from on high” not only captures the current Latin better than “may your fullest blessing come upon her and her husband,” but is also a much more powerful and poetic image. Also, the way in which the clause concerning children is omitted in the current translation makes it seem as if having children is the only way in which their marriage will enrich the Church, while the new translation makes it clear that marriage enriches the Church in other ways. In general, the new translation shows a sensitivity to the rhythms of English that is unfortunately lacking in other parts of the Missal.
My only question is whether I can start using this translation come Advent 1 for Marriages celebrated outside of Mass, or whether I need to wait for the ritual book for marriage to be revised.