Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Collects of the Roman Missal

The Tablet has been re-vamped and re-designed and it now contains a new weekly article by Dom Daniel McCarthy, OSB, called 'Listen to the Word', which is a study of the Sunday Collect (Opening Prayer) in the Roman Missal, using the Latin version of the editio typica (shown on the left). This Latin prayer is compared with the current I.C.E.L. translation of it. In my opinion, this is one of the more interesting articles in the magazine as it highlights the paucity of the English translation that we use in the Liturgy, as well as the shift in theological nuance, and the crying need for a more elevated and faithful translation of the beautiful Latin prayers. For example, Dom McCarthy noted today that the subject of the prayer for Laetare Sunday is God in the Latin prayer but in the English version, "we" are the subject.

Even without this study though, those among us who are fortunate to use the translation of the Liturgy of the Hours, approved by the English Bishops' Conference (and others) will notice that in Lent and Advent and on Sundays per annum, the translation of the Concluding prayer in the Office, which is a translation of the Latin Collect from the Mass of the day, is rather different from the I.C.E.L. translation of the same Latin Collect which is found in the Missal. This is because a special commission based in Leeds translated the Collects for the English Breviary but the I.C.E.L. version was foisted onto the Missal and the American Breviaries. Even a cursory glance at these will reveal the notable difference in tone, nuance and theology between the I.C.E.L. and Leeds Commission versions.

In this season of Lent, it is particularly noteworthy that while the Leeds Commission would translate the word 'gratia' as 'grace', the I.C.E.L. would translate it as 'help'...

Anyway, it seems The Tablet wishes to highlight these discrepancies to their readership and I applaud them for it! Sadly the articles by Dom McCarthy are not available online, so you'll have to buy or borrow a copy or have it photocopied and sent to you!

Alternatively... Many thanks to Henry Edwards who has commented on The New Liturgical Movement blog and pointed out to me a fantastic blog by Fr John T. Zuhlsdorf called 'What does the Prayer really say'. Translations galore and cutting commentary on the Collects and other Orations of the Roman Missal. Well worth a visit, if this sort of thing interests you! Fr Zuhlsdorf's site has been added to the blogroll.


Blogger Roan Marbert said...

thanks for the linkage bro. paul! just wanted to tell that you have one of the most sensible blogs in the world and i always find time to read your posts :) keep it up and take care always! God bless!

4:11 pm  

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