Sunday, November 06, 2011

Glaring howlers

Some people have too much time on their hands.

The new translation of the Roman Mass is imperfect. As was the old. But for the folks at the PrayTell blog, this is apocalyptic catastrophe.

The Latin text remains the same:

Prosint nobis, quaesumus, Domine, frequentata mysteria,
quibus nos, inter praetereuntia ambulantes,
iam nunc instituis amare caelestia et inhaerere mansuris

The superceded kindergarten paraphrase of the 1970's:

may our communion
teach us to love heaven.
May its promise and hope guide our way on earth

The Latin hopes that by the celebration and reception of Communion the congregation would learn to prefer the eternal things of heaven as it journeys through the passing things of earth. The new translation ambiguously suggests that aquaintance with the passing things of earth will teach the congregation to prefer the eternal things of heaven.  

May these mysteries, O Lord,
in which we have participated,
profit us, we pray,
for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
you teach us by them* to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures

*The sacramental "mysteries" or "passing things"?
IMHO, one's just as likely as the other to do the job!

Tragic ambiguity, no?

Frankly, if I recollect, what percentage of the congregation will actually pay enough attention to that prayer to be irked by this "glaring howler"? One of the faults of liturgists is that they think other people pay as close (obsessive?) attention to the services as they do.

From the comments --125 of them-- you'd think that the first verse of Genesis had been erased.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't "passing things" refer to the sacraments with passing in the sense of transcending, going beyond? The sacraments are the self-transcending things for the Selfs who walk 'inter' them. This sense is somewhat archaic, as in a very beautiful woman is "passing beautiful" -- more than beautiful.

Praeter- permits this: for "Übermensch" in his translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Roy Pascal puts "preterman" -- beyond man, man having transcended man as such. ... One goes through the seven sacraments to a something or other life beyond them (Luke 27-36; John 4:17-18), apparently giving up on "thy will be done on earth in the impermanent as it is in heaven."

In the new translation of the mass, couldn't "these mysteries" "passing things" and "them" have the same referent? The sacraments occur in what the Buddha calls the impermanent, so that the sacraments or mysteries are also 'passing' or merely transitory in the temporal sense -- in accord with the temporal Platonism that promotes a celestial aiôn or eternity that is as if free from Time: no real-presence sacramentalness in the eternity of platonism for the people (Luke 20:34f).

If you ask me what contents heavenly stuff can have in the life of those who live as pure messengers (Luke ibid), I reply "Not my problem."

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