Liturgiam Authenticam 20

A key paragraph in the document:

20. The Latin liturgical texts of the Roman Rite, while drawing on centuries of ecclesial experience in transmitting the faith of the Church received from the Fathers, are themselves the fruit of the liturgical renewal, just recently brought forth. In order that such a rich patrimony may be preserved and passed on through the centuries, it is to be kept in mind from the beginning that the translation of the liturgical texts of the Roman Liturgy is not so much a work of creative innovation as it is of rendering the original texts faithfully and accurately into the vernacular language. While it is permissible to arrange the wording, the syntax and the style in such a way as to prepare a flowing vernacular text suitable to the rhythm of popular prayer, the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to the characteristics or the nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and discreet.[Cf. THE CONSILIUM “FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY”, Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops, 21 June 1967: Notitiae 3 (1967) 296; CARD. SECR. OF STATE, Letter to the Pro-Prefect of the Congr. for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1 February 1997.]

The fault as I see it? It’s not that I would deny that ancient liturgical texts did not edify faith long ago or even today. I also see no need for new texts to completely replace traditional texts. My sense is more that a middle way is best embraced. Namely that new texts are needed when clearer lines can be drawn between the Scriptures and tradition and the needs of sanctification for the present day.

The perspective of centuries is also needed. In other words, when considering that in twenty centuries we live in a world where evangelization is only fractionally achieved, the Church has many more ages before it than behind it.

At any rate, one of the recent criticisms of MR3 is that we have, in too many places, something far from a “flowing vernacular text.”

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Liturgiam Authenticam 20

  1. Liam says:

    Here’s my preferred translation:

    While it is permissible to translate the original text integrally and in an exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses, the translators must not neglect to arrange the wording, the syntax and the style in such a way as to prepare a flowing vernacular text suitable to the rhythm of popular prayer.

  2. FrMichael says:

    Yes, the lack of a “flowing vernacular text” is a glaring problem with the priest’s texts of the new translation. I think the people’s parts are fine. Hopefully ICEL takes some Catholic English-language poets and prose writers onboard and creates an English MR 3.1 Missal.

    And I say this as a harsh critic of the lousy MR 1.1 we use now in English.

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