CDWDS Decree on Magnum Principium 23: Faithfulness To Oral Communication

This short paragraph covers a collection of things for which we strive to be faithful. Mostly, it’s about how people at worship hear the translated language. Is it presented in such a way to fulfill people’s spiritual needs? That would seem to be the question with which the CDWDS is grappling:

23. Finally, fidelity to comprehension of the text on the part of the addressees and to their “spiritual needs”, [Cf. CDWDS,Dum toto terrarum, n. 3: AAS 66 (1974) 99.] bearing in mind that “because the liturgical text is a ritual sign it is a means of oral communication”. [Magnum Principium: AAS 109 (2017) 968.]

These are important questions. How are clergy texts heard when proclaimed? Will they accomplish the aims of liturgy: participation in the short term, sanctification over time?

The work of translation also requires that attention be paid to different literary genres (presidential prayers, acclamations, hymns, monitions, etc.) as well as to the fact that there are texts intended for proclamation, for listening to, for choral recitation. It is evident that liturgical language – the terms, elements and signs – needs to be explained in catechesis in the light of Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition.

These considerations are probably the most glaring weakness of the early work of the reconstituted ICEL and Vox Clara. There is virtually no recognition of genre–most all texts are translated in the same way without regard for what they intend to accomplish at MAss and at other liturgies.

The link of the English translation is here

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in CDWDS Decree on Magnum Principium, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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