As a follow-up to Fr. O’Donoghue’s post on the new Italian missal, Pray Tell readers will be interested to see two interesting pages from it.
“FOR YOU AND FOR ALL”
First, in the words over the bread and wine, the famous “pro multis” is translated in Italian as “for all” – “poured out for you and for all” (see below). This is what the previous English-language sacramentary had, based on the position that pro multis in Latin is expansive rather than restrictive in meaning. The contrast is with “for the few,” not with “for all.” The 2001 Roman instruction Liturgiam authenticam called for more literal translation, which presents the pastoral challenge – or opportunity – of learning to understand “for many” in its fullest sense rather that the first impression it gives.
The expansive translation of pro multis in many vernacular languages since Vatican II has long been a focus of attack in traditionalist circles – in some cases even leading to claims that it makes the consecration invalid. Pope Benedict was sensitive to such concerns and insisted on literal translations of pro multis – hence our 2011 Missal with “for many.
And now Rome has approved an Italian translation with “for all.” This move signals decentralization, openness to inculturation, greater trust of bishops’ conferences, and more emphasis on pastoral concerns.
The proposed 1998 English-language Sacramentary, worked on for nearly two decades and in an elevated style substantially faithful to the Latin with sensitivity to the innate beauties of the English language, was also marked by its many texts composed originally in English and not based on a Latin text. This was inspired by articles 37-40 of the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium. With Liturgiam authenticam (2001), the official mood changed and such original texts were frowned upon. And the Roman authorities rejected the 1998 translation entirely and demanded that a new team of translators start over in a more literalistic translation approach.
It is thus significant that the newly approved Italian missal retains the practice of presenting Collects (opening prayers) composed in Italian based on the three-year cycle of lectionary readings. The excerpt below shows the Collect for I Advent Year A, and you can see part of the “B” for the Collect for that year of the lectionary cycle.