As you can see from some of the posts this afternoon, I have been reading Fr Z.’s blog. Here is another good one: Reason #64675 for the new, corrected translation.
At mass lately, I have been using an iphone app (one day I will post a list of the apps I like to use regularly) to read the Latin original of the Novus Ordo as the priest is praying the current English translation. It is indeed an enlightening exercise. The prayer in English is often hardly even a bare-bones reflection of the original. The first thing you will notice with the new translation is that the priest’s prayers are longer than they currently are. That’s because the current translation leaves so much out.
In this post, Fr Z points to the Here is the Post Communion for the 3rd Sunday of Lent (today) in the Ordinary Form. Note that he points out that this is “a new composition for the 1970MR” – ie. it is post-Vatican II NOT pre-Vatican II. Now see how faithful the current ICEL translation is to the Second Vatican Council:
LATIN (2002 Missale Romanum):
Sumentes pignus caelestis arcani,
et in terra positi iam superno pane satiati,
te, Domine, supplices deprecamur,
ut, quod in nobis mysterio geritur, opere impleatur.
WDTPRS SLAVISHLY LITERAL RENDERING:
Taking/eating the down payment of the sacred heavenly mystery,
and, placed on earth having been filled already with bread from on high,
we, kneeling in entreaty, beseech you, O Lord,
that, what is being accomplished in us by the sacramental mystery, may be brought to fulfillment by work.
NEW CORRECTED ICEL VERSION:
As we receive the pledge
of things yet hidden in heaven
and are nourished while still on earth
with the Bread that comes from on high,
we humbly entreat you, O Lord,
that what is being brought about in us in mystery
may come to true completion.
I had to double-check that I had the correct Sunday.
Here goes nothing…
LAME-DUCK ICEL STILL IN USE:
in sharing this sacrament
may we receive your forgiveness
and be brought together in unity and peace.
That isn’t a translation. More than that, the English prayer hardly says anything of significance in the current form. It expresses a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t actually get down to what has just happened in the Eucharist we have received. It completely leaves out the phrase “superno pane”, thus impoverishing our understanding of the Eucharist.
I’m sorry, but the current “translation” just doesn’t cut it.