Page 4, 29th December 1978

29th December 1978
Page 4
Page 4, 29th December 1978 — 'Thou' and 'thee' in Mass translation

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Locations: Birmingham, Bournville


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'Thou' and 'thee' in Mass translation

One can only agree with Michael Morris' criticism (December I) of the ICEL translation of the Mass, although I think he is wrbng to insist on the archaic "thou and thee" form. I cannot consider "you" as being irreverent in any way.

As regards the Orate Fratres I remember the late Cardinal Herman's attack on "our sacrifice" as being theologically wrong and his order to his priests to use "my sacrifice and yours". This was carried out for some years until newly-ordained priests (and some of the older ones) brought up on the ICEL missal began using the former. Some even now make up their own invitation.

Cardinal Heenan was also successful in obtaining a change in ICEL's original translation of Genetricis eiusdem Del and Domini nostri Jesu Christi which completely disregarded Our Lady's title of "Mother of God".

Martin Lynch (December 8) also hits the nail on the head when he asks if "worshippers ... were incapable of grasping ... more than a few words in their native language".

A couple of years ago 1 was invited to 10EL's London meeting and 1 complained that, by their translation, they were talking down to us as if we were intellectual morons.

An elderly lady there asked why we couldn't have used the translations in our old bilingual missals and merely changed words like "prevent" which now meant something different from what it did originally.

She was told by Dr Percy Jones — the Australian musician — that, since he had been in London he had heard "gutter English, barrowboy English and fishmonger-English". The lady agreed that he probably had, but that those same people who used that type of language did not expect to hear it when they went to Mass.

The same applies to the young who have found the Mass boring and have given up the practice of their Faith. Others drive miles to get a Latin Mass because they know that there they get the whole Truth. Perhaps there would have been less complaint from the Tridentinists had we had a true translation.

Graham Young Pimlico London, SW I Many readers will share Mr Martin Lynch's misgivings (December 8) at the loose translation or even inaccurate paraphrasing which occurs in several places in the English version of the Eucharistic prayers. However, I find it hard to agree with him that Eucharistic prayer II contains no reference whatever to sacrifice.

Admittedly it does not contain the explicit references found in Eucharistic Prayer III (offerimus tibi . . . hoc sacrificium vivum et sanctum) and Eucharistic Prayer IV (offerimus tibi eius corpus et sanguinem, sacrificium tibi acceptabile et toti mundo salutare), nor anything close to the Roman Canon's offerimus hostiam puram, host/am sanctam, host/am immaculatam (translated interestingly enough as "we offer you this holy and perfect sacrifice"). However, Eucharistic Prayer 11 does contain the words tibi, Domine, panem vitae et calicem salutis offerimus which reflect the words placed in the Roman Canon in apposition to host/am — pariern sanctum vitae aeternae et cal/cam salutis perpetuae. And as the offerimus clause in Eucharistic Prayer II is part of the anamnesis, its sacrificial reference is surely undeni As for the origin of Eucharistic Prayer II, certainly taken as a whole It is not a revived ancient canon. But one section is clearly taken from the Eucharistic prayer in "The Apostolic Tradition" of Hippolytus, namely the anamneses: Memores igitur mortis et resurrectionis eius, tibi, Domine, panem vitae et calicem salutis offerimus, gratias agentes quia nos dignos habuisti stare coram te et tibi ministrare.

In the Latin version of Hippolytus this reads: Memores igitur mortis et resurrectionis eius offerimus tib, panem et caiicem gratias tibi agentes quia nos dignos habuisti adstare coram te et tibi min/strata.

The sentence which follows, Et supplices deprecamur ut corporis et sariguinis Christi participes a Spiritu Sancto congregemur in unum, could be seen as having some

affinities with the next sentence in Hippolytus, even though the former is a much weaker form of epiclesis than the latter.

Donald Withey Northfield Birmingham Martin Lynch is right to point out (December 8) "the theological and doctrinal implications" in the texts of the Mass. But he isn't very coherent in his choice of examples or in the conclusions he reaches.

The deliberate ellipsis he detects in the words over the cup is in fact a paraphrase of the account in Luke 14:23 and parallels and in 1 Cor 11:25 which no doubt he will recog nise as apostolic tradition. His oatburth against the translators is therefore unjustified.

John M. Hallows Bournville, Birmingham,

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