Thursday, 26 September 2013

Not asking for much

On the whole I like the new translation, as I think I have said before. But in the last couple of days I have come across a couple of real oddities.

The first was on Tuesday, when I celebrated my 24th anniversary of ordination. The postcommunion prayer in the Mass For the Priest Himself On the Anniversary of his Ordination (what a lot of capitalization!)
For the glory of your name, O Lord, I have joyfully celebrated the mystery of faith to mark the anniversary of my priestly ordination, so that I may be in truth what I have handled mystically in this sacrifice. Through Christ our Lord.
That isn't a prayer; it's a statement, informing God of something he presumably doesn't already know.

And yes, I'm afraid I used the prayers for the feast of our Lady, too.

And today's Prayer over the Gifts, for the feast of Ss Cosmas and Damian:
In honour of the precious death of your just ones, O Lord, we come to offer that sacrifice from which all martyrdom draws its meaning [in case you haven't noticed]. Through Christ our Lord.
Now that's just weird.

Actually, in the second case it's not the translators' fault. Here's the Latin:
In tuórum, Dómine, pretiósa morte iustórum, sacrifícium illud offérimus, de quo martyrium sumpsit omne princípium. Per Christum.
But it is perhaps an example where the translators should not have been quite so literal. It should have been easier in the case of the For The Priest Himself example:
Ad glóriam, Dómine, tui nóminis ánnua festa répetens sacerdotális exórdii, mystérium fídei laetánter celebrávi, ut in veritáte hoc sim, quod in sacrifício mystice tractávi. Per Christum.
The 'sim' presumably could have been massaged into 'may I become'. Latinists no doubt can make more of this than I, poor mumpsimus.

These 'prayers' may well be ancient (I don't know whether they are or aren't); but they remain distinctly odd.


John F H H said...

I think esse can stretch to mean to live, as to have existence. So, How about:
To the glory of thy Name, O Lord, I have joyfully celebrated the mystery of faith on this, the anniversary of my priestly ordination: [Grant] that I may always live in this truth that I have handled in these sacred mysteries; Through . . .
Kind regards,

Woody said...

Congratulations on your ordination anniversary, Father. Keep up all the good work.

Ad multos annos!

GOR said...

I suppose we could pick holes in any prayer, liturgical or not. Take the Our Father for instance (with apologies to Our Lord. “I’m just kidding, Lord. Really, I am!”)

Our Lord: “Our Father…”
God the Father: “what do you mean ‘our’ Son? I’m your father…”
O.L: “Who art in heaven…”
GtF: “ Not just in heaven…I’m everywhere…”
O.L. “Hallowed be Thy name…”
GtF: “What? You think it’s not hallowed already…?”
O.L: “Thy kingdom come…”
GtF: “It’s here already! It never left…
O.L: “Thy will be done…”
GtF: “So, is there a doubt about this? I’m Omnipotent, you know…”
O.L: “On earth…”
GtF: “OK, I’ll grant you that. We’re not there yet…”
O.L: “As it is in heaven…”
GtF: “You got that right!”
O.L. “Give us this day our daily bread…”
GtF: “Huh? Bread? That’s it…?”
O.L: “And forgive us our trespasses…”
GtF: “Only upon repentance…”
O.L: “As we forgive those who trespass…”
GtF: “Right again!”
O.L: “And lead us not into temptation…”
GtF: “You talkin’ to me???”
O.L: “But deliver us from evil…”
GtF: “Done…!”

Fr William R. Young said...

Only in the new and more accurate translation can we notice that they are odd.

Anonymous said...

Corresponding prayers from another missal done into English:

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast willed that I a sinner should stand at thy hallowed altars and praise the might of thy holy name, mercifully grant me pardon of my sins by the mystery of this sacrament, that I may deserve worthily to serve thy majesty. Through our Lord.

Let not the godly prayer of thy Saints fail, O Lord; let it both commend our gifts and ever gain us thy kindness. Through our Lord.

A blessed anniversary to you, dear Father!