Saturday, 25 June 2011

Getting Used to the Syntax of the New Translation

Rightly or wrongly the sentence structure of the new (2010) English translation of the Missale Romanum is more complex than that of its predecessor.  That is not to say that it is by any means difficult for the ordinary person to proclaim/understand and there are certainly benefits of retaining - as much as possible - the original Latin flavour of the text (as was mandated by the 2001 instruction Liturgiam Authenticam which concerns the principles to be adopted when translating books of the Roman Rite from Latin into the vernacular).

In some of the translations there seems to be a certain discordance, but for each such example there are five which are stunningly beautiful and immeasurably superior to the 1973 translation.  For example, for Pentecost this year we heard:

God our Father,
let the Spirit you sent on your Church
to begin the teaching of the gospel
continue to work in the world
through the hearts of all who believe. (1973)

Next year we will hear:  

O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers. (2010)