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 Post subject: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:52 pm 
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We have had the new English translation of the Roman Missal (Ordinary Form) and have been using it since the start of Advent (end of November 2011) here in the USA. Before and immediately after the switch there was much discussion of some of the translation changes. I would now like to comment upon (OK, maybe even criticize!) two non-changes, i.e. things which were in the older translation and are still in the current one, but which I do not understand why they were not changed, given the announced rationale for the new translation.

After completing the reading of the first pre-Gospel scriptural reading (and also the second pre-Gospel one on Sundays and Solemnities) the reader acclaims "Verbum Domini" (English translation: "The Word of the Lord") and the congregation responds "Deo Gratias" (English translation: "Thanks be to God"). There is no problem with these.

1. But what most people don't know (unless they go to the effort of looking at the Latin original or hear a Mass on EWTN radio or television) is that the deacon or priest who reads the liturgical Gospel reading is supposed to acclaim the same "Verbum Domini" as after the pre-Gospel reading(s). However, the called-for English translation is different; it is "The Gospel of the Lord"! This acclamation is not wrong; it was a reading from one of those four books we call Gospels which was just completed. But is it a "proper" translation of the Latin? If the writers of the Latin Missal had wanted that English acclamation, would not the original Latin have been "Evangelium Domini"?

2. The Latin Missal response to the end-of-Gospel-reading acclamation is "Laus tibi, Christe" for which the straightforward English translation would be "Praise to you, Christ". However, the official English translation was (in the older translation) and still is (in our current one) given as "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ"! I clearly have no theological problem with the word-triad "Lord Jesus Christ" (I better not have, since that phrase is used many times in the New Testament and subsequent Christian tradition). But is it not a very expanded "translation" of the simple Latin "Christe"?

I repeat that I am not finding theological problems with the above translations. I probably would not be as critical about these two "non-changed" (from the older Mass translation) points, if there had not been so-much emphasis on how much more faithful the new translation is to the original Latin.

Edward Pothier


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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:38 am 
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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:02 am 
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Edward passed away several years ago. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:09 am 
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The new translation is closer to the Latin. It may not be a perfect, direct transliteration, but it is much closer. Changes in the Eucharistic Prayer and a few other places are major changes that greatly overshadow these relatively minor responses.

I am not sure about those two questions, I will look in my missal. For Jack, I suppose.

Rest in peace, Edward.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:44 am 
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On point 1, I really can't figure it out.

On point 2, my missal has the translation as "Praise be to Thee, O Christ".

Back to point 1. My St. Joseph missal has the following. (The St. Joseph missal is from 1953, IIRC).

P- Dominus vobiscum. The Lord be with you.
S- Et cum spiritu tuo. And with thy spirit.
P- +Sequentia (vel Initium) sancti Evangelii secundum N. The continuation (or the beginning) of the holy Gospel according to Saint N.
S- Gloria tibi, Domine. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

After the gospel the server says Laus tibi, Christe. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
P- Per evangelica dicta deleantur nostra delicta. By the words of the Gospel may our sins be taken away.

Then some other things happen and that is the end of the part with the gospel. It seems to me that there is some acceptable variation in the responses here before and after the gospel. As long as it doesn't vary substantially, I wouldn't worry about it.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:37 am 
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He was right in that neither of these translations was very accurate.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:22 pm 
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All the Latin I know is from reading DCF and Asterix, but I've studied other languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian) enough to know that there are two kinds of translations: the literal (word-for-word) translation and the figurative (meaning-for-meaning). It most often comes into play when doing the unenviable task of translating idioms. For example, if we tried to translate "it's raining cats and dogs" literally into any other language, we'd just cause confusion. We'd need to find the appropriate idiom to mean "a long, heavy deluge."

Far be it from me to get into the heads of the translators of the Missal, but this is what I think was going on here. I don't pretend to claim expertise in any language other than English, but I'd be the first to say that the literally-translated "Praise to thee, Christ" just isn't reverent enough. Hence, the additional lauds: "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ."

Add to that the fact that English speakers tend not only to be irreverent, but also somewhat obtuse, and you get a reasonable explanation for the first of Edward's (God rest his soul) queries. Sometimes, we need a subtle hint applied with a sledgehammer. That would explain the distinction between "The Word of the Lord" in the earlier readings and "The Gospel of the Lord" in the last one.

Thanks, Jack3 for dusting this thread off. I'm just sorry I didn't see it while Edward was still in the Church Militant. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Indeed, Edward Pothier passed away on March 23, 2013 without seeing the response! It was Jack3 who revived the thread.

According to the Roman Missal, third edition:

After each of two readings, the lector says "Verbum Domini" (The word of the Lord, in English). People respond: "Deo gratias" (Thanks be to God).

Before reading the Gospel, a deacon or a priest says: "Dominus vobiscum" (The Lord be with you, in English). People respond: "Et cum spiritu tuo" (And with your spirit, in English). Then the Deacon or the Priest says: "Lectio sancti Evangelii secundum N." (A reading from the holy Gospel according to N., in English).

After the Gospel is read, the Deacon or the Priest says: "Verbum Domini" (The Gospel of the Lord, in English). People respond: "Laus tibi, Christe" (Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, in English).

I guess that people would simply say "Praise to you."

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Last edited by lbt on Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:07 pm 
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But "Verbum" is not "Gospel" in English.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:16 am 
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In the Extraordinary Form, the priest does not say anything when he finishes reading the Gospel, but the server responds "Laus tibi, Christe." Then the priest says "Per evangélica dicta, deleántur nostra delícta." ("By the words of the Gospel, may our sins be blotted out").

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:19 am 
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Those words of the priest are unchanged in the OF.

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 Post subject: Re: "New" Mass translation: two non-changes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:53 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Those words of the priest are unchanged in the OF.


Right, these words are still in the third edition of Missale Romanum - after the Gospel.

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