Liturgiam Authenticam 54-56

These three sections express some final concerns about vocabulary:

54. To be avoided in translations is any psychologizing tendency, especially a tendency to replace words treating of the theological virtues by others expressing merely human emotions. As regards words or expressions conveying a properly divine notion of causality (e.g., those expressed in Latin by the words “praesta, ut . . .”), one should avoid employing words or expressions denoting a merely extrinsic or profane sort of assistance instead.

55. Certain words that may appear to have been introduced into the Latin liturgical text for reasons of meter or other technical or literary reasons convey, in reality, a properly theological content, so that they are to be preserved, insofar as possible, in the translation. It is necessary to translate with the utmost precision those words that express aspects of the mysteries of faith and the proper disposition of the Christian soul.

Give a priority to things of core theology and spirituality. Seems to be a sound approach to me.

56. Certain expressions that belong to the heritage of the whole or of a great part of the ancient Church, as well as others that have become part of the general human patrimony, are to be respected by a translation that is as literal as possible, as for example the words of the people’s response Et cum spiritu tuo, or the expression mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa in the Act of Penance of the Order of Mass.

Hence, two of the more high-profile changes in the English Ordo Missae.

However, I’m not sure what is accomplished by embracing greater Christian expressions of the past, and excluding wider expressions of the present day.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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