A NEW English translation of the ordinary of the Mass is being circulated by a group which aims to get it adopted by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy.
The idea of the new translation is to come closer to the original and preserve some of its beauty. Comments are asked for before a final draft is submitted in about four months' time to the ICEL.
The mastermind behind the entirely unofficial scheme, and coordinator of translators' labours. is the Hon Chriskipher Monckton.
Though he is largely responsible for the translation, he is in contact with a large group of consultors and supporters here and abroad. Already a few errors in the draft translation have been detected. including the manifestly wrong "He is the one of whom the prophets spoke." in the Creed for the Latin "Qui locutus est per prop hetas".
Complaints about the present translation have been coming from those who think it theologically unsound for some time.
At the words of consecration for example the Latin phrase 'pro multis' has been translated by the ICEL as 'for all men', or more recently in the non-sexist version, 'for all'. The Monckton version has it as 'for many'. Mr Monckton said that he was not a theologian and changes had been made in the interests of greater accuracy. The ICEL had justified their version, 'for all' on the grounds that Aramaic had no word for 'many'. He did not think this was true. "The new translation has been produced in accordance with the Instruction on Translation of Liturgical Texts issued by the Consilium for the Implementatipn of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on January 25, 1969, with particular regard to the principles that the language chosen should be that in common usage and that formularies such as the consecratory prayers, anaphoras and prefaces should be translated 'integrally and faithfully, without variations, omissions or insertions'." Mr Monckton says.
A copy of the final draft will be sent to the Holy See, but there is little chance that it could ever be used an an alternative, as Rome has decided to keep only one version of each language translation.