Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Collect for Midnight Mass

And here is the collect for Midnight Mass (it has no equivalent in the Breviary).


1570 Missale Romanum and Sarum

Deus, qui hanc sacratíssimam noctem veri lúminis fecísti illustratióne claréscere, da, quaesumus, ut, cuius lucis mystéria in terra cognóvimus, eius quoque gáudiis in caelo perfruámur. Qui tecum.


1970 Missale Romanum

Deus, qui hanc sacratíssimam noctem veri lúminis fecísti illustratióne claréscere, da, quaesumus, ut, cuius in terra mystéria lucis agnóvimus, eius quoque gáudiis perfruámur in caelo. Qui tecum.


1973 NLC (for England and Wales)

O God, you have brightened this holy night with the splendour of the true light. We have learnt to recognise the mystery of your Son’s light on earth; grant that we may share his joy in heaven: who lives and reigns.


1975 ICEL

Father, you make this holy night radiant with the splendour of Jesus Christ our light. We welcome him as Lord, the true light of the world. Bring us to eternal joy in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns.


1998 Projected (& rejected) ICEL

God our Creator, who made this most holy night radiant with the splendor of the one true light, grant in your mercy that, as we celebrate on earth the mystery of that light, we may also rejoice in its fullness in heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.


2008 New Version

O God, who have made this most sacred night radiant with the splendour of the true Light, grant, we pray, that we who have known the mysteries of his light on earth may also feast on his joys in heaven. Who lives and reigns.


2010 Final Version

O God, who have made this most sacred night radiant with the splendour of the true Light, grant, we pray, that we who have known the mysteries of his light on earth may also delight in his gladness in heaven. Who lives and reigns with you.


And, for the purpose of comparison,


BCP has no service for Midnight


1868 The Sarum Missal (in English)

O God, who hast caused this most holy night to shine with the illumination of the True Light: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who have known the mysteries of this Light on earth, may likewise obtain the full enjoyment of it in Heaven. Who livest.


1912 The English Missal:

O God, who hast made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true light: grant, we beseech thee; that we, who have known the mystery of his light on earth, may also attain to the fruition of his joys in heaven: Who liveth.


1980 Alternative Services Book (Anglican)

Eternal God, who made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of your one true light: bring us, who have known the revelation of that light on earth, to see the radiance of your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ


2000-2006 Common Worship (Anglican)

Identical to ASB

8 comments:

William said...

English Missal [little different from Sarum]:
O God, who hast made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true light: grant, we beseech thee; that we, who have known the mystery of his light on earth, may also attain to the fruition of his joys in heaven: Who liveth.

Interesting to see the various attempts at rendering perfrui (I noticed by chance that the Big Zee had something on that the other day, in analysing the Post-Communion for Corpus Christi): "share", "rejoice in", "feast on", "obtain", "attain to", while 1975 characteristically fails to make any effort at rendering the original at all (and ASB/CW do their own thing at that point).

Pastor in Valle said...

Yes, the same thing about perfrui struck me too.
Thanks, William, for the EM version, which I'll add.

Pastor in Valle said...

And also, I wonder why the change of syntax 1570/1970?

William said...

The other thing which strikes me is 2008's "O God, who have made …". "Have" rather than "has" is grammatically correct, of course: the verb must be in the second person (unlike in, for example, the 1984 liturgy of the Church in Wales, where every collect unfailingly managed to refer to God in the third person straight after having addressed Him!) But it feels odd – does anyone really use English that way? ("Lamb of God, who take away …")

In this particular instance, the word "have" could simply be omitted without injury either to grammar or accuracy. But more generally, the unfortunate truth is that modern (unlike Tudor) English is ill suited – perhaps uniquely so among modern languages – to convey the long periods and subordinate clauses typical of liturgical expression (not just in Latin).

So what are the options?
• Be very literal, even at the cost of sounding stilted and unidiomatic.
• Do the Welsh Prayer Book thing and forget your grammar.
• Acquaint God with all sorts of facts about himself which might otherwise have slipped his memory ("O God, you've done this, that and the other.")
• Come over all Old ICEL and don't bother about what the original says.
Or, I suppose,
• Give up on modern English and stick with Tudor – or, of course, Latin!

William said...

1570/1970: Just someone trying to get all literary by introducing a bit of chiasmus:
(1570) in terra - cognovimus / in cælo - perfruamur (A B / A B)
(1970) in terra - agnovimus / perfruamur - in cælo (A B / B A)

Sir Watkin said...

"every collect unfailingly managed"

Not quite. This was the intention, but they missed one or two!

William said...

Sir Watkin, thank you for the correction (I was going from memory). Having now got it off the shelf, I am reminded what a strange beast the 1984 book was, occupying a very inconsistent half-way house between modern and "traditional" language – happy to say "who dost" and "who art", but for some reason baulking at "who hast". (There's no problem in the Welsh, of course - perhaps the English was a last-minute afterthought.)

Likewise, I'd be interested to see, when all the propers are finally out, how consistent ICEL is in its approach to the various problems of translation. Liturgicam authenticam simply enuntiated general, overarching principles; did New ICEL work out a precise and detailed set of guidelines for their work, or was it just up to whoever happened to be on duty that day to decide how to apply the principles? (Please, no repeat of the flights of "personal inspiration" which so disfigure the intercessions and selection of hymns in the Divine Office!)

Sir Watkin said...

"perhaps the English was a last-minute afterthought"

It was indeed. I forget exactly what happened - possibly an intervention in the Governing Body - but it was in the final stages of the process of authorising the new book, which was why the change couldn't be reversed. The process was at an end so there was no opportunity to undo the silliness that had been mandated.

The Liturgical Commission were very annoyed because it made them look illiterate, which they certainly weren't. Philip Howard of the Times wrote a rude article on the subject, which annoyed them even more.