Monday, May 16, 2011

'It's just more, ummm...., poetic.'

Last night, I was at a meeting of self-identified 'Catholic Geeks.'  (One of whom boasts that she can identify every bishop in the line-up processing into the Mass for Life, that's right up there!)

What did we do for fun?  Compare the new translations of the Missal with the existing ones.  Reading through some of the prayers and new texts, I nearly had tears in my eyes in the way they convey the meaning and significance of the mystery being celebrated on a particular day.

For instance, the Preface for Advent II (which can be found in this PDF):

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him,
the Virgin Mother longed for him
with love beyond all telling,
John the Baptist sang of his coming
and proclaimed his presence when he came.
It is by his gift that already we rejoice
at the mystery of his Nativity,
so that he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…

The current translation says: 'John the Baptist was his herald and made Him known when at last he came.'

Now, he 'sings' of his approach.  wow.

Also, that ending: 'And so, with Angels and Archangels...we acclaim' is now the normative ending for the preface to lead into the Sanctus.  It's always been there, in the Latin, but is an easy highlight to show how the original translators mashed things together in an effort to simplify things.

These new prayers, I think, really do lift the heart.  Are there tongue twisters?  Yes.  The line above: 'It is by his gift that already we rejoice' strikes a bit odd, but it certainly makes one think, no?

No comments: