MR Prefaces: Ordinary Sunday IV

Can one get “the history of salvation” in one sentence? The Roman Missal gives it to us. What four events define Jesus’ saving act? Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension.

This is like a mini-Creed. We have four brief statements about Jesus. The MR2 is a bit more concise:

But the third edition English translation isn’t run-on at all:

For by his birth he brought renewal
to humanity’s fallen state,
and by his suffering, cancelled out our sins;
by his rising from the dead,
he has opened the way to eternal life,
and by ascending to you, O Father,
he has unlocked the gates of heaven.

The only significant difference is the 2010 replacement of German-origin words:

  • beginning >>> renewal
  • wipe >>> cancel

I think one valid criticism of the Vox Clara/ICEL translation is the persistent choice of Latin/French origins above the Germanic. And to be sure, it’s not an exclusion of the latter. It’s more a subtle shift. Choosing the language of the aristocracy above the words of the people has consequences both intended and unforeseen. Quite often it strikes me as lazy work from the translators. Delve a little deeper into one of the largest repositories of vocabulary in the world, why couldn’t they? I like a contrast between the earthiness of central Europe and the smooth tones of the Romance languages and their ancestral tongue.

That said, this is another text I would choose for any green Sunday that highlighted some aspect of Jesus saving acts on Earth, especially his miracles or healings. A subtle point to be sure, but maybe something noticeable to those listening.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, Roman Missal. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to MR Prefaces: Ordinary Sunday IV

  1. Devin Rice says:

    Well, new is definitely Germanic in origin. Possibly “renewal” as well. The etymology on that one has a few possibilities. But I do think Germanic terms should be used more so than those of Norman French origin.

    I used to be a real hater of the 1998 translation but it has grown on me. One issues I still have is that it subtly (or not so subtly) deemphasizes certain Christian doctrines. MR2 leaves out ” fallen state”. The first line could have been translated: ” His birth brought a new beginning to a fallen race” and just leave “humanity” implied. In one small text out of larger corpus being translated dynamically, perhaps not a big deal. But it does consistently show up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s