Roman Missal[1]

 

I. Introduction

 

With the new Missal, the Roman Catholic Church is showing for how and what to pray.  According to standard American English, the prayers are so difficult to understand that I refer to the “2011 illiterate Missal.”  The revised prayers are my translation of the Bible-babble in the Missal into standard American English as heard in Greater Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture[2]

 

A. Missal:      Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.  Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever [forever is one word] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:[3]       Grátiam tuam, quaesumus, Dómine, méntibus nostris infúnde, ut qui, Angelo nuntiánte, Christi Fílii tui incarnatiónem cognóvimus, per passiónem eius et crucem ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur.  Per Dóminum.

 

C. Revised:   O Lord, give us grace in our hearts.  We remember that an angel announced the incarnation of Christ, your Son to Mary.  We pray that the grace of the passion and cross of Jesus bring us to the glory of his resurrection.  Jesus lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

 

D. Comment: The Missal Collect has a 12.4 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Collect has a 7.2 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

The Little, Brown Handbook offers advice on wordiness, “Using the subjects and verbs of your sentences for the key actors and actions will reduce words and emphasize important ideas . . . Focusing on subjects and verbs will also help you avoid several other causes of wordiness . . .”[4]

The argument that the English is to stay close to the Latin does not hold up.  The English has O Lord.  The Latin has only Dómine, without the O.  O is a Latin word.[5]

The Latin does not capitalize Incarnation, Passion, Cross, or Resurrection, as in the Missal.  Especially since these changes from the Latin will not be audible to the Faithful, the translation needlessly deviates from the original Latin.

The Latin, méntibus, carries the sense of way of thinking or mind,[6] rather than the Missal heart.  The revision keeps heart.  The Latin, cognóvimus, is in the active, rather than the passive voice.[7]  The revision uses we remember in the active voice. 

Through . . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.  The Little, Brown Handbook explains,[8]

 

A prepositional phrase is a modifier consisting of a proposition (such as in, on, to, or with [including through] together with its object and any modifiers (see pp. 242-43).  A prepositional phrase cannot stand alone as a complete sentence . . .

 

At the end of the prayer, the unity is confusing.  A dictionary definition for the word the:  “1 c:-- used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent refers to someone or something that is unique or is thought of as unique or exists as only one at a time <the Lord><the Messiah> . . . .”[9]  Unity is a noun meaning “1a:  the quality of stage of being or consisting of one.”[10]  Does the unity mean that the Holy Spirit belongs to a union, like a labor union?  Does unity in the Collect mean that the Holy Spirit, unlike Jesus, has only one nature, Divine?  Does unity mean the trinitarian unity?  In the same vein, does unity mean that it is the Holy Spirit, which is the relationship between the Father and Son, thereby causing a triune unity?  The last is how the revision would resolve the matter, substituting Divine Trinitarian nature for unity.  Because the Faithful have not challenged the unity since Vatican II, the now traditional silly phraseology remains.

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Having received this pledge of eternal redemption, we pray, almighty God, that, as the feast day of our salvation draws ever nearer, so we may press forward all the more eagerly to the worthy celebration of the mystery of your Son’s Nativity [sic].  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:[11]      Sumpto pígnore redemptiónis aetérnae, quaesumus, omnípotens Deus, ut quanto magis dies salutíferae festivitátis accédit, tanto devótius proficiámus ad Fílii tui digne nativitátis mystérium celebrándum.  Qui vivit et regnat in saecula saeculórum.

 

C. Revised:   Almighty God, when we receive Holy Communion, we also receive your pledge of eternal redemption.  That pledge comes to us through the birth of Jesus Christ.  The feast day of his birth draws closer.  Grant that we be worthy to celebrate the mystery of the Nativity of your Son, who lives and reigns forever.

 

D. Comment: The Missal Prayer after Communion has a 12.5 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Prayer after Communion has a 7.3 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

The Latin for our in our salvation does not exist.  The revision references the feast day of his Incarnation. 

The Missal translation of the Latin is inexact.  In the Missal, having received this pledge modifies we.  In the Latin, this pledge taken up modifies the verb, we pray.  The revision links the Eucharist with the pledge. 

 

IV. Blessings[12]

 

A. Missal:      And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son,+ and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever [forever is one word].

                     R.[13] Amen.

 

B. Italian Latin:[14]      Et benedíctio Dei omnipoténtis, Patris, et Filii, + et Spíritus Sancti, descéndat super vos et máneat semper.

R. Amen.

 

C. Revised:   May the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain always with you. 

                     R. Amen

 

D. Comment: The Missal Blessing has a 6.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Blessing has a 7.4 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

Both the Latin and the Missal translation begin the sentence with a conjunction, and.  The revision explains the conjunction.

In Latin, forever is not a choice for semper.  Semper means always, at all times.  The revision uses always.

 

V. ICEL

 

Whether to include or exclude the 1998 ICEL translation is difficult.  The reason to include ICEL is this is the best the American bishops could do, before the Vatican rejected the translation.  The ICEL translation also deals with some of the vocabulary and grammatical problems with which the revisions deal.  The reason to exclude ICEL is that the ICEL translation is not significantly better than the Missal.

 

Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture[15]

ICEL:[16]         Pour forth, O Lord, your grace into our hearts: once through the message of an angel you revealed to us the incarnation of Christ your Son; now lead us through his passion and cross to the glory of the resurrection.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

                

Prayer after Communion

ICEL:[17]         In this communion, almighty God, you have given us the pledge of eternal redemption.  Grant that the closer we come to the feast of Christmas, the more eagerly we may prepare to celebrate the saving mystery of your Son’s birth.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Blessings at the End of Mass

ICEL:[18]         May the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you for ever. 

 

R. Amen.

 

 

The respective ICEL Collect, Prayer after Communion, and Blessing have 8.6, 7.8, and  5.8 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readabilities. 

 

VI. Rationale

 

Clarity is not a prerequisite for prayer.  The search for clarity can be a means to prayer.  As part of catechesis, these Personal Notes set up what the Church needs to explain to enable the Faithful to pray with faith seeking understanding, as Saint Anslem of Canterbury (1033-1109) puts it.[19] 

In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, Vatican, is now setting forth, these Personal Notes are taking on a new focus.  This new focus begins November 27, 2011, the First Sunday in Advent.  From the First Sunday in Advent until just before the First Sunday of Lent, February 26, 2012, these Notes will have a double focus, including both the Lectionary and the Missal. 

 



[1] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 216-219.

 

[2] Collect is the technical term for this prayer.

 

[3] This is the Latin Missale that the Missal translates into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 141 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[4] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 5241-525.

 

[5] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A., and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952) 371.

 

[6] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A. and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952) 341.

 

[7] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A. and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952) 105.

 

[8] See Part 4, “Clear Sentences,” Chapter 17 c, “Sentence Fragments:  Verbal or prepositional phrase,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 335.

 

[11] This is the Latin Missale that the Missal translates into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 141 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[12] The full heading is: Blessings at the End of Mass and Prayers over the People

Solemn Blessings

I. For Celebrations in the Different Liturgical Times

1. Advent

 

[13] The Missal uses the red.  The Italian Latin does not.

 

[14] This is the Latin Missale that the Missal translates into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 606 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[15] Collect is the technical term for this prayer.

 

[16] All ICEL prayers are from International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences, The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 186, downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).

 

[17] All ICEL prayers are from International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences, The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 187, downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).

 

[18] All ICEL prayers are from International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences, The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 797, downloaded from https://rs895dt.rapidshare.com/#!download|895l35|387089704|ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip|6767|R~00A3D4012C6FE19956DB84F71E5405F6|0|0 at http://misguidedmissal.com/wp/?page_id=23 (accessed December 8, 2011).