Roman Missal[1]

 

I. Introduction

 

With the new Missal, the Roman Catholic Church is showing how 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 on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the Weather Channel, and the evening news.

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)[2]

 

A. Missal:      Almighty ever-living God, who govern all things, both in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the pleading of your people and bestow your peace on our times.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever [sic] and ever.

 

B. Italian Latin:[3]       Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui caeléstia simul et terréna moderáris, supplicatiónes pópuli tui cleménter exáudi, et pacem tuam nostris concéde tempóribus.  Per Dóminum.

 

C. Revised:   Eternal, omnipotent God, you control heaven and earth.  Your people, here at Mass, solemnly pray for peace.  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 Missal Collect has a 11.4 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

The first sentence of this prayer contains twenty-nine words.  It is a fused sentence, with a 13.2, or college, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.[4]

 

The revised Collect has a 7.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.

 

 . . . God, who govern . . . is a form of Ebonics or so-called “Black English.”[5]

 

Where the 2011 illiterate Missal uses pleading to transle supplicatiónes, pleading is not a dictionary choice.  A solemn public entreaty is.[6]

 

Through . . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.[7]

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, and in our kindness make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread one in mind and heart.  Through Christ our Lord.

 

 

B. Italian Latin:[8]       Spíritum nobis, Dómine, tuae caritátis infúnde, ut, quos uno caelésti pane satiásti, una fácias pietáte concórdes.  Per Christum.

 

C. Revised:   O Lord, give us the Spirit of your holy love.  Your kindness provides us with your Eucharistic love.  Now bring us all together in the Spirit of your love, through Christ, our Lord.

 

D. Comment: The Missal Prayer after Communion has a 5.0 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Prayer after Communion has a 5.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

The Latin omits the O in the Missal O God.[9]

 

The Latin pane is not capitalized, but the Missal Bread is capitalized.  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 objection to the illiterate 2011 Missal.

 

One heavenly Bread is unclear, especially as heard by the Faithful in the pews.  Eucharistic Bread is more than one.  Eucharistic Bread has more than one recipe.  Eucharistic Bread has many pieces.  Evidently the prayer is making a connection between one heavenly Bread and one in mind and heart.  In Latin, concórdes means of one mind or opinion, as in concordat;  fácias means outward appearance, and pietáte means dutifulness or devotion.[10]  To translate una fácias pietáte concórdes as one in mind and heart looks like an attempt to extend the penumbra of papal infallibility to the point of denying the Faithful the right to think.

 

IV. Prayer over the People or Blessings[11]

 

A. Missal:      May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

R.[12]  Amen

 

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 [sic].

R.  Amen

 

B. Italian Latin:[13]      Pax Dei, quae exsúperat omnem sensum, custódiat corda vestra et intellegéntias vestras in sciéntia et caritáte Dei, et Fílii sui, Dómini nostri Iesu Christi.  R. Amen.

 

 

C. Revised:   The peace of God surpasses all understanding.  May that peace inspire your hearts and minds with love for Jesus.  Remain with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, i your hearts.

                     R.  Amen

 

May the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and be with you forever.

                     R.  Amen

 

 

D. Comment: The Missal Blessing by the priest has a 11.3 and 9.9 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Blessing has a 4.8 and 10.6 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

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: the ICEL translation is not significantly better than the Missal.

 

Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)[14]

ICEL:[15]         Almighty God, whose unfailing providence rules all things both in heaven and on earth, listen to the cry of your people and guide in your peace the course of our days.  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 [sic] and ever.

 

Prayer after Communion

ICEL:[16]         God of mercy, pour forth upon us the Spirit of your love, that we who have been nourished by the one bread from heaven may be one in mind and heart.  Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

 

Blessing at the End of Mass

ICEL:[17]         May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. 

R. Amen.

 

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

R. Amen.

 

The respective ICEL Collect, Prayer after Communion, and Blessing have 11.0 and 9.9 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readabilities.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

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.[18] 

In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, Vatican, is now setting forth, these Personal Notes took on a new focus.  These Notes had already prepared the Lectionary all the way to Lent, because the hierarchy withheld the U.S. Missal until October.  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.  From the First Sunday in Lent forward, these Notes only focus on the 2011 illiterate Missal.

 

Eternal, omnipotent God, you control heaven and earth.  Your people, here at Mass, solemnly pray for peace.  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.

 

O Lord, give us the Spirit of your holy love.  Your kindness provides us with your Eucharistic love.  Now bring us all together in the Spirit of your love, through Christ, our Lord.

 

The peace of God surpasses all understanding.  May that peace inspire your hearts and minds with love for Jesus.  Remain with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in your hearts.

                     R.  Amen

 

May the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and be with you forever.

                     R.  Amen

 



[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] 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 452 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] 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.

 

[5] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 302.

 

[6] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary:  Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.S. and Joseph R. Charles, B.A. (New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952 printing, no copyright date) 587.

 

[7] 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> . . . .”[7]  Unity is a noun meaning “1a:  the quality of stage of being or consisting of one.”[7]  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).

 

[8] 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 452 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] 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. 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.

 

[10] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary:  Latin-English and English-Latin, revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.S. and Joseph R. Charles, B.A. (New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952 printing, no copyright date) 128, 238, 449.

 

[11] 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

 

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

 

[13] 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 610 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

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

 

[15] 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 868, 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).

 

[16] 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 869, 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, The Sacramentary:  Volume One—Sundays and Feasts (Washington, D.C.:  International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 1998), page 807, 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] 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).