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Lost in Translation: The English Language and the Catholic Mass Paperback – 18 Oct. 2017
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"The timing of this publication, as it happens, could not have been better. The role of the bishops in taking primary responsibility for the liturgical texts authorized for use in their own countries and linguistic communities is now consistent with that envisioned at Vatican II. New reasons for hope for a truly vernacular and participative liturgy."
About the Author
Gerald O'Collins, SJ, is an adjunct professor at Australian Catholic University and a research fellow at the University of Divinity in Melbourne. He taught at the Gregorian University in Rome for thirty-three years and is well known as a lecturer and broadcaster around the world. Fr. O'Collins has had hundreds of articles published in professional and popular journals and authored or co-authored sixty-seven books, including The Second Vatican Council: Message and Meaning (Liturgical Press, 2014).
John Wilkins edited the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet from 1982 until his retirement in 2003.
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The current Missal is not in good English, but it is an accurate translation of the Latin.
How can can any one defend translating" Et cum spiritu tuo" as "and also with you"?
Even a basic knowledge of Latin shows this is" And with your spirit", which the French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish hierarchies all managed to do from day one!
This is one example of why the 1998 Missal was not allowed, because it just isn,t good enough.
A balance and a compromise needs to be sought, and we are not there yet.
We also need to work in co-operation with the above said languages and not try and imprint ICEL,s own texts on the Missal.
The Missal provides enough options.
Experimenting has gone on in France for 50 years, and there is liturgical chaos there, and the Holy Mass is never the same in two different places.
So much for the unity of the Roman Rite.
The 1998 Missal is a good starting point to constructively criticise both Missals, ( 1998 & 2010), then hopefully we can get a Missal in English, that aims to be faithful to the Latin, but in readable English, so a compromise.
Of course we must be able to understand, and many of us can understand words we would not normally employ.
Between a choice of a sacred language and the language of the market place to worship almighty God, I know I would go for the former.
This is why any good parish will explain the changes in the homily as mine did.
1998, really no different from the 1973 dreadful texts, 2010 not as good as it should be, but much better than any previous offerings.
Lets also keep all our comments in a charitable context, sometimes we are not Christian in what we say!
Peace and love
Still more serious is the mistranslation of the expansion of the Third Canon that is regularly used at funerals: 'Grant that he/she who was united with your Son in a death like his...' This suggests that what unites the deceased to Christ is simply the experience of death. But the Latin speaks of the deceased becoming united with the 'likeness' (similitudini) of his death. This echoes the Letter to the Romans 6:5, where the 'likeness' is baptism, as the rite in which we are united to Christ's death and thereby to his resurrection. This is a major theological distortion.
Top international reviews
The current "appoved" text for English Liturgies is horrendous - but there is one already gathering dust on Vatican shelves.
Pope Francis has directed a new look at Liturgiam Authenticam, the publication that caused this unfortunate situation.
Lost in Translation provides side by side comparisions of the unreleased 1998 translation to the 2010 Latin transliteration we use today.