So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Vernacular of the Novus Ordo or the Ordinariate Divine Worship?

For worship, a mellifluous, elevated English, or a comparatively dry English?

The Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal (2002) in English (2011), attacked and reviled by the progressive religionist for its move to a more elevated language and (much more) accurate translation of the Latin, is now well entrenched in congregations. Those who possessed a negative attitude toward the 2011 (3rd Edition of the) Missal have either acquiesced or continue to impose their personal biases on their congregations by messing with the Mass. A few priests in our diocese still use the outmoded form of the Confiteor, if they use it at all. Likewise, one may occasionally hear suppressed Memorial Acclamations (e.g., Christ has died, Christ is risen...). And, there's the outdated Sanctus text which still lingers: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might. The outmoded Per Ipsum of the pre-revision Ordinary Form is an impoverished form of the prayer that some priests simply cannot surrender and which they impose upon the table altar.

All furor over the new English translation by ICEL, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, was predicated on the liberal's need to preserve a desacrilized liturgy (a liturgy sanitized of mystery, art and lyricism) and its goofball paraphrasing of prayers that was never intended to live very long upon the tongues and ears of Catholics. The former Missal (Sacramentary) was an awkward paraphrase that barely remained orthodox, so riven with banalities that its tone alone was bad enough to render it offensive.

The current English translation of the Our Father in use in the Ordinary Form retains the hieratic language familiar to most protestants. We Romans have complained little about its use in the Ordinary Form Mass (Novus Ordo Missae of Blessed Paul VI). Sure, there may be the occasional hiccup or query regarding the phrase "... and lead us not into temptation". Some "contemporary" translations have it "save us from the time of trial". ICEL, nevertheless, retained the translation most commonly understood by English speakers. If liberal busybodies have a problem with hieratic English, why not dumb down the Our Father, too? Could it be that they are consumed with owning the Liturgy rather than serving it, and serving it beautifully?

So then, if the Our Father, why not include additional prayers in hieratic English? It takes little effort to embrace "thee", "thou", "thine" and other nuanced English words.

It seems to this Roman Catholic that the Ordinariate translation of the Mass is a model for a further revision (beautification) of the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) Mass. The Roman Canon of the Ordinariate, which is to say the Roman Canon in hieratic English, is truly a beautiful and sonorous rendition of the venerable Canon. Try, for example, the following sampling of words upon your ears.

Divine Worship: The Missal (Ordinariate Mass):
Wherefore, O Lord, we thy servants, and thy holy people also, remembering the blessed passion of the same Christ thy Son our Lord, as also his resurrection from the dead, and his glorious ascension into heaven: do offer unto thine excellent majesty of thine own gifts and bounty, the pure Victim, the Holy Victim, the immaculate Victim, the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.
Vouchsafe to look upon them with a merciful and pleasant countenance: and to accept them, even as thou didst vouchsafe to accept the gifts of thy servant Abel the Righteous, and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham: and the holy sacrifice, the immaculate victim, which thy high priest Melchisedech offered unto thee.
We humbly beseech thee, almighty God: command these offerings to be brought by the hands of thy holy Angel to thine altar on high, in sight of thy divine majesty: that all we who at this partaking of the altar shall receive the most sacred Body and Blood of thy Son, + may be fulfilled with all heavenly benediction and grace.
The same passage from the Ordinary Form of the The Mass (Novus Ordo). Bear in mind, the following translation is so much more beautiful than the former abomination paraphrase in use for several decades before Pope Benedict XVI liberated English speakers from that abomination's paraphrase's talons.
Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed Passion, the Resurrection from the dead, and the glorious Ascension into heaven of Christ, your Son, our Lord, we, your servants and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty from the gifts that you have given us, this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim, the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.
Be pleased to look upon them with serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as you were pleased to accept the gifts of your servant Abel the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.
In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, so that all of us who through this participation at the altar receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing. (Through Christ our Lord. Amen.)
The Latin
Unde et memores, Domine, nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta, eiusdem Christi, Filii tui, Domini nostri, tam beatæ passionis, necnon et ab inferis resurrectionis, sed et in cælos gloriosæ ascensionis: offerimus præclaræ maiestati tuæ de tuis donis ac datis hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam, Panem sanctum vitæ æternæ et Calicem salutis perpetuæ.
Supra quæ propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui iusti Abel, et sacrificium Patriarchæ nostri Abrahæ, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.
Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus, iube hæc perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinæ maiestatis tuæ; ut quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione cælesti et gratia repleamur. (Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.)

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