Roman Missal[1]

 

I. Introduction

As explained in a recent news article, the best the Faithful can do with the 2011 illiterate Missal is dismiss the Missal as only words.[2]  Only words!  As John 1:1 puts it, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  The One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church Faithful deserve better, as I explain below.

With its directives, contained in Liturgiam authenticam and Ratio translationis, the Vatican sabotaged the translation process of the Word into meaningless gibberish.  The Vatican likes to name its current gibberish directives formal equivalence, as distinct from dynamic equivalence.  The main result from the Vatican is far from the holy Word of God in standard American English.  The main result from the Vatican is maintaining its patriarchal, misogynist, sexist male approach to women.  The United States hierarchy is displaying this evil approach to reality in its condemnation of Quest for the Living God by Sister Elizabeth Johnson. 

The pronoun wars, between him and her do not tangle the translations offered here.  Ninth Grade students, who are in the lowest academic quartile of their class, have a right to understand these translations within the context of their relatively limited listening attention spans.  These translations certainly are not formal equivalence to their underlying Latin.  They are a sad combination of Italian, Latin, and English grammar.

I would not want to push the envelope so far as to claim dynamic equivalence.  That I leave to others.  What I am trying to do is cast prayers so that American ears of the Faithful in the United States will understand and be able to worship meaningfully.  Listening to priests stumble as they try to read from the illiterate 2011 Missal offers evidence that the gibberish makes little to no sense to the presiding priests.  I use my personal Ritual Edition of the Missal to develop these Personal Notes.

The double-spaced bold print below has my version of standard American English sentences. 

 

II. Prayer before reading Sacred Scripture (Collect)[3]

 

A. Missal:      O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.  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:[4]       Deus, qui te in rectis et sincéris manére pectóribus ásseris, da nobis tua grátia tales exsístere, in quibus habitáre dignéris.  Per Dóminum.

 

C. Revised:   God, open our hearts with your holy love.  We pray for your grace to purify our hearts and actions.  We pray 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 10.8 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Collect has a 5.1 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

The first sentence of this Missal prayer contains thirty-five words.  It is a fused sentence, with a 10.2 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.[5]

 

The Latin omits the O for the Missal O God.[6]

 

The Missal translates manére pectóribus ásseris as teach us that you abide.  The literal meaning of ásseris is closer to adhere to and the literal meaning of manére is closer to remain.[7]  The revised prayer is simply to purify our hearts.

 

In the Missal, O God, who teach us is a form of Ebonics or so-called “Black English.”[8]  Standard American English would be O God, who teaches us . . .

 

Through . . . is a sentence fragment the Missal uses throughout the book.[9]

Jesus Christ is in apposition to our Lord and in English should be set off with commas.[10] 

 

III. Prayer after Communion

 

A. Missal:      Having fed upon these heavenly delights, we pray O Lord, that we may always long for that food by which we truly live.  Through Christ our Lord.

 

B. Italian Latin:[11]     Caeléstibus, Dómine, pasti delíciis, quaesumus, ut semper éadem, per quae veráciter vívimus, appetámus.  Per Christum.

 

C. Revised:   Almighty God, we praise you for Holy Communion.  We love you.  Increase our love.  We pray that through your spiritual Eucharistic food, we may live in your holy grace.

We pray through Christ, our Lord.

The Latin, appetámus, does not include the Missal, long for, as a literal translation.  Appetámus connotes to make for, to grasp, and to grasp a hand to kiss it.[12]  The revision uses we pray for the grace . . . to seek nourishment.

 

D. Comment: The Missal Prayer after Communion has a 5.1 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Prayer after Communion has a 3.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

IV. Prayer over the People or Blessings[13]

 

A. Missal:      May God bless you with every heavenly blessing, make you always holy and pure in his sight, pour out in abundance upon you the riches of his glory, and teach you with the words of truth; may he instruct you in the Gospel of salvation, and ever endow you with fraternal charity.  Through Christ our Lord.

                     R.[14]  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:[15]     Benedícat vos Deus omni benedictióne caelésti, sanctósque vos et puros in conspéctu suo semper effíciat; divítias glóriae suae in vos abundánter effúndat, verbis veritátis ínstruat, Evangélio salútis erúdiat, et caritáte fratérna semper locuplétet.  Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.  R. Amen.  Et benedíctio Dei omnipoténtis, Patris, et Fílii, + et Spíritus Sancti, descéndat super vos et máneat semper.  R. Amen.

 

 

C. Revised:   May God give you heavenly blessings.  May God make you holy and pure in his sight.  May God lead you with the words of truth, integrity, and honesty.  May God instruct you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  May God grant you the grace of fraternal charity in a church that respects human rights.  We pray through Christ, our Lord.

                     R.  Amen

                     And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come upon on you and remain with you always.

                     R.  Amen

 

D. Comment: The Missal Blessing has a 6.1 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  The revised Blessing has a 4.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.  Readability is a measure of literacy.

 

The first sentence of this prayer contains fifty-four words.  It is a fused sentence, with an 11.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability.[16]

 

In Latin, locuplétet, connotes endowment rather than give as the 2011 illiterate Missal implies.[17]  The revision uses as his endowment and your inheritance to fill out the meaning.

 

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)[18]

ICEL:[19]          O God, you promise to remain with those whose hearts are faithful and just.  By the gift of your grace make our lives worthy of your abiding presence.

 

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:[20]          Merciful God, you have invited us to share in the one bread and the one cup.  Enable us to live as one in Christ and to labour gladly for the salvation of all.

 

Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

 

Blessing at the End of Mass

ICEL:[21]          May God our Father, who has loved us in Christ Jesus our Lord, comfort and strengthen you in every good word and work.

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 6.7, 5.0, and  4.9 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 pray.  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.[22]  

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.

 


 

 

God, open our hearts with your holy love.  We pray for your grace to purify our hearts and actions.  We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

 

Almighty God, we praise you for Holy Communion.  We love you.  Increase our love.  We pray that through your spiritual food, we may live in your holy grace.

We pray through Christ, our Lord.

 

May God give you heavenly blessings.  May God make you holy and pure in his sight.  May God lead you with the words of truth, integrity, and honesty.  May God instruct you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  May God grant you the grace of fraternal charity in a church that respects human rights.  We pray through Christ, our Lord.

                     R.  Amen

                     And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come upon on you and remain with you always.

                     R.  Amen

Endnotes



[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] Tom Roberts with NCR Staff, “With some giggles and retakes, missal debuts,”  National Catholic Reporter: The Independent News Source, Vol. 48, No. 4 (December 9-22, 2011), page 6, column 1, above the fold.

 

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

 

[4] The Missal translates this Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the long (but not the short) vowel accent marks.  This type of Latin does not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 456 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[5] 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.

 

[6] 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.

 

[7] D. P. Simpson, M.A., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English  English-Latin, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc., (fifth edition) 1968) 19, 360.

 

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

 

[9] 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> . . . .”[9]  Unity is a noun meaning “1a:  the quality of stage of being or consisting of one.”[9]  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).

 

[10] The Little, Brown Handbook has a "using appositives” subsection.

 

An appositive is usually a noun that renames another noun nearby [in this case ever-Virgin], most often the noun just before the appositive.  (the word appositive derives from a Latin word that means “placed near to” or “applied to.”)  An appositive phrase includes modifiers as well . . . .  All appositives can replace the words they refer to:  [ever-Virgin/Mary]  . . . Appositives are economical alternatives to adjective clauses containing a form of be . . . [ever-Virgin [who is] Mary . . . ] you can usually connect the appositive to the main clause containing the word referred to . . . An appositive is not setoff with punctuation when it is essential to the meaning of the word it refers to [in the United States of America, which has no secular lords, Mary  is not essential to ever-Virgin] . . .  When an appositive is not essential to the meaning of the word it refers to, it is set off with punctuation, usually a comma or commas [as is the case here, O Lord, our God,] . . .

 

H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 254-255.

 

[11] The Missal translates this Latin Missale into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the long (but not the short) vowel accent marks.  This type of Latin does 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] D. P. Simpson, M.A., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English  English-Latin, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc., (fifth edition) 1968) 52.

 

[13] 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

 

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

 

[15] The Missal translates this Missale Latin into English.  I name the Missale Italian Latin, because of the long (but not the short) vowel accent marks.  This type of Latin does not appear elsewhere.  Pagina 612 at http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/exw.htm#bsr  The Holy See, Congregation for the Clergy runs this website.  (accessed December 6, 2011).

 

[16] 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.

 

[17] D. P. Simpson, M.A., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English  English-Latin, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc., (fifth edition) 1968) 349.

 

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

 

[19] 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 876, 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).

 

[20] 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 875, 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).

 

[21] 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 811, 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).  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. 

 

[22] 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).