Liturgiam Authenticam 46-48

These three sections address “Norms Concerning the Translation of Other Liturgical Texts.” I think we can cover it all safely in one post.

46. The norms set forth above, and those regarding Sacred Scripture, should be applied, mutatis mutandis, in like manner to the texts of ecclesiastical composition.

47. While the translation must transmit the perennial treasury of orations by means of language understandable in the cultural context for which it is intended, it should also be guided by the conviction that liturgical prayer not only is formed by the genius of a culture, but itself contributes to the development of that culture. Consequently it should cause no surprise that such language differs somewhat from ordinary speech. Liturgical translation that takes due account of the authority and integral content of the original texts will facilitate the development of a sacral vernacular, characterized by a vocabulary, syntax and grammar that are proper to divine worship, even though it is not to be excluded that it may exercise an influence even on everyday speech, as has occurred in the languages of peoples evangelized long ago.

To be a good influence on the language of the culture: that’s a worthy ideal, I’d say. It begs the question as to why the tolerance for exclusive, sexist, and other prescriptions as have been pointed out in the Church for the past thirty to forty years. Overall, I’d say it’s hopeful that the words of liturgy would somehow be part of the development of a culture’s language. It may be a small hope, but I think it’s not a vain one.

48. The texts for the principal celebrations occurring throughout the liturgical year should be offered to the faithful in a translation that is easily committed to memory, so as to render them usable in private prayers as well.

And we will soon judge the fruits of MR3: does LA 48 happen or not?

What do you think?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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