Roman Missal[1]

I. Introduction

 

The 2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) presented a very strong, semi-confidential twenty-nine page internet pdf document to the Vatican Congregation of Divine Worship on the 2011 illiterate Missal.  Although semi-confidential, the material is available on the internet.  LA abbreviates Liturgiam authenticam.  RT abbreviates Ratio translationis.[2]

 

There are thirteen areas of difficulty [sic] which have been identified in the light of Liturgiam authenticam [LA] or the Ratio translationis [sic] [RT].  Examples have been taken from the Order of Mass and the Proper of Time, but the observations also apply to other texts.

It is presumed that technical difficulties (consistency in textual repetitions, capitalization, punctuation, grammar) can be resolved without explicit permission from the Congregation for Divine Worship.  In addition to consistency in textual repetitions, capitalization, and punctuation, this would include Areas of Difficulty nos. 9, 11 [These are the numbers as they appear in the quote.], and possibly no. 2 in cases in which the revision is obviously a mistake rather than a deliberate change.  The communication of other problems is left to the discretion of the member Conferences.  An exhaustive analysis of the entire received text can be completed should this be useful to ICEL’s member Conferences.

1.             change of meaning from the Latin original (RT 41)

2.             mistranslation of the Latin (RT 20)

3.             limiting of the vocabulary (LA 49/51; RT 20, 46-50)

4.             additions of an element not found in the Latin (LA 20)

5.             omission of an element found in the Latin (RT 44)

6.             weakening of Scriptural allusion (RT 6, 36)

7.             loss of intensity of original (RT 50/62)

8.             introduction of a theological problem (RT 102)

9.             difficulty with English grammar or usage (LA 44/74)

10.          adoption of Neo-Vulgate when an antiphon uses the Vulgate (LA 37/38; RT 37/107)

11.          capitalization of LORD when it renders YHWH.  (LA 41c; RT 81/116)

12.          suppression of a rhetorical device (LA 57a/58/59)

13.          translations of ‘unigenitum’ (RT 81)

However, the supervision of publication can never be fully or ultimately delegated to experts or assistants since it is the Bishops who must commit themselves to this work as “a direct, solemn and personal responsibility” (LA, 70).  A harmonious presentation of an approved translation of a liturgical book, together with all of the textual and physical elements of such books is the ultimate responsibility of those Bishops entrusted with this task (LA 70) [Ratio translationis [sic] Appendix 1: 14].

 

Referring to the 2011 illegible Missal, the Rev. Salvatore Cavagnuolo asked, “Was there anyone on the committee who had the slightest concept of grammar, style or sentence structure, or how unprofessional and stupid this looks?”[3]  Although the bishops say nothing, they must be embarrassed at promoting the nonsense described in these Personal Notes.  These Notes only concentrate on the Collects, Prayers after Communion, and some of the Blessings at the end of Mass.

Though he wrote five hundred years ago, the Protestant Revolutionary, Erasmus Sarcerius (1501-1559), still resonates, “. . . God the Father loves.  He allows the sun to rise on the good and the bad, and Christ has died for us all,”[4] even though the Missal says, “ . . . the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.[5]  Apologists claim many means all.

 

While Stanley Fish is explaining how to appreciate good writing, his explanation also applies to nonsensical writing, as found in the 2011 illiterate Missal.  “You might have a sense of how good [or bad] it is before you take it apart, but taking it apart will give you an enhanced understanding of just what kind of goodness [or badness] it performs.”[6]  These Personal Notes take apart the Collects and Prayers after Communion for an enhanced understanding of those prayers.

 

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)[7]

 

A. Missal:      Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before.  Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever [sic] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:[8]       Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, deduc nos ad societátem caeléstium gaudiórum, ut eo pervéniat humílitas gregis, quo procéssit fortitúdo pastóris.  Per Dóminum.

 

C. Revised:   Almighty God, lead us to the joys of heaven.  Enable your flock to follow your shepherd.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

D. Comment: The first sentence of the Collect contains twenty-nine words, in an 11.5 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  It is a fused sentence.[9]

The first sentence of the revised Collect has a 7.2 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

Who lives. . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.[10]

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Look upon your flock, kind Shepherd and be pleased to settle in eternal pastures the sheep you have redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Son.  Who lives and reigns for ever [sic] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:[11]     Gregem tuum, Pastor bone, placátus inténde, et oves, quas pretióso Fílii tui sánguine redemísti, in aetérnis páscuis collocáre dignéris.  Per Christum.

 

C. Revised:   Good Shepherd, embrace your people with continuing love.  Your Son earned the grace of everlasting life for your people.  Your Son lives and reigns forever.  Let it be known.

 

D. Comment: The first sentence of this Prayer after Communion contains twenty-eight words, in a 10.9 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  It is a fused sentence.[12]  The revised Prayer after Communion has a first sentence 5.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

The Latin does not capitalize pretióso . . . sánguine, but the Missal does capitalize Precious Blood.  Ratio translationis allows no exception for Precious Blood.  Ratio translationis does allow an exception for Shepherd.[13]   Since the Faithful will not hear the difference between an upper and lower case word, there is no reason to stray from the Latin, except, perhaps, to show the arrogance of the translator in the face of anyone objecting to the illiterate 2011 Missal.

 

 

V. 1998 ICEL[14]

 

Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)[15]

1998 ICEL:[16] God of everlasting power, guide us toward the joyful company of heaven, so that your lowly flock may follow where Christ, the great Shepherd, has gone before and lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

 

Prayer after Communion

1998 ICEL:[17] Like a good shepherd, O God, keep watch over those you have redeemed by the blood of your Son, and lead them as your flock into heavenly pastures.

 

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

First Sentences in the ICEL Collect and Prayer after Communion have 8.6 and 5.8 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readabilities. 

 

VI. Rationale[18]

 

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] 

 

Almighty God, lead us to the joys of heaven.  Enable your flock to follow your shepherd.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

 

Good Shepherd, embrace your people with continuing love.  Your Son earned the grace of everlasting life for your people.  Your Son lives and reigns forever.  Let it be known.

 

 



[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.

 

My manner is to place what I expect readers to read in the main body of the text.  The problem with these essays is that some readers may begin at any point.  For these readers, I include material previously included in the text.  This is particularly important for the practical details of grammatical nonsense.

 

[2] https://wikispooks.com/wiki/File:Areas_of_Difficulty.pdf#This_file_was_uploaded_anonymously  (accessed January 2, 20125).

[3] http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/contact-us/  (accessed January 2, 2012).

 

[4] Erasmus Sarcerius, “Annotations on Ephesians,” Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 365. 

 

[5] 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) for example 639.

 

[6] Stanley Fish, How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One (New York:  HarperCollins Publishers, 2011) 11.

 

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

 

[8] The Missal translates this Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 403 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[9] See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.

 

[10] The Little, Brown Handbook explains,

 

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> . . . .”[10]  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.

 

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.  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=the&x=0&y=0  (accessed December 4, 2011).  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=unity&x=0&y=0  (assessed December 4, 2011).

 

[11] The Missal translates this Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the accent marks, which do not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 403 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] See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.

 

[13] n.a., Ratio Translationis for the English Language (Vatican City:  Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 2007)  as found at

http://www.bible-researcher.com/ratio.translationis4.pdf for pages 114-121.  Blood of Christ would be allowed. (accessed March 31, 2012).

 

[14] 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.

 

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

 

[16] International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL), The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 390, 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] International Commission on English in the Liturgy:  A Joint Commission of Catholics Bishops’ Conferences (ICEL), The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 391, 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] In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, Vatican, is now setting forth, these Personal Notes took a new focus.  This new focus began 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 had a double focus, including both the Lectionary and the Missal.  After that time, the focus is the Missal.

 

[19] http://www.google.com/search?q=faith+seeking+understanding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a  (accessed November 28, 2011) and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ (accessed November 28, 2011).