Lost in Translation: The Latest Version of The New Translation of the Roman Canon

Here in Cornwall , UK we have yet to see the introduction of the much talked about latest new English translation of The Roman Canon ( Eucharistic Prayer). 
I think it may be here in 2011.
This piece from Joseph O'Leary would suggest that "latest" does not mean improved .
You can read the full article here and if like me you don't know what pleonasm means there is a useful glossary at the bottom of the article !!

All I can say is that after reading it the term "Lost in Translation" has a new meaning for me !!
I  have some experience with Latin and appreciate the beauty of the language  but I don’t hold to a closed-minded belief that the ONLY way to pray is the way some (not all) of our forebears did.
I feel that the effort to capture the particular literal style of one language (Latin) at the expense of connecting with the lived experience of the person in the pew is a mistake.
I understand that the revisions were introduced to counter what the Vatican perceives to be an unduly anthropomorphic focus in the Mass rather than on God and to steer us away from what they regard as too much navel gazing. 

I agree that the Mass is NOT there for entertainment, but it does need to adress the joy and hope of people in their concrete situation and I always think joy is something we could do with a little more of  these days and joy can be sacred !!

To call the current liturgy “navel gazing” arrogantly reduces the importance of the liturgical experience of many Catholics today to some exercise of self-worship. 








The Scriptures make it clear that God is sacramentally present in the lives of human beings and I believe firmly that God entered into our humanity to “meet us where we are at”

A lot of this language has a triumphalism about it which is very off-putting.



Also  “accuracy to the Latin” in liturgy does not necessarily equate with “meaning” in liturgy. If the current translation paraphrases or omits occasionally I still feel it is  reverent AND understandable and the homily could always clarify !

2 comments:

Barbara said...

You are spot on here, Phil. The second shoe hasn't dropped here as yet either. Canada often hides behind its bilingual situation to put off the changes in the language of the liturgy, but I wonder if that is even possible now.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Barbara- thanks fot your comments -sorry for lateness of reply. I have been away for the weekend. I hadn't even thought of the bilingual situation and how that is a factor for you. Gosh, it is even more complcated !!