Thursday, 11 June 2009

Bishop Serratelli on the new ICEL texts

Thanks to Jeff Pinyan for the link to Bishop Serratelli's article in the current issue of Adoremus: The New Missal - Historic Moment in Liturgical Renewal. His Lordship gives some helpful examples of how the new translations will convey much better the richness of the texts of the editio typica of the Missal.

Having questioned the whole business of "catechetical" preparation for the new translations yesterday, I must admit that some of the materials he refers to on the USCCB website are very good. (See Roman Missal Formational Materials.)

The following point was very well made by Bishop Serratelli:
In the liturgy, we should use a noble language that lifts us up as well as honors God. From the earliest Latin texts from the 4th century, the style of the language used in prayer differed from street language. In the new translations, the noble, heightened style of liturgical prayer is certainly a gain for all.
This accords with the important work done by Fr Michael Lang on the question of the use of Latin in the early centuries of the Church. Latin was not introduced simply as a "vernacular": the language of the Latin liturgy is not by any means street language.

Therefore it is right that His Lordship should have said earlier:
Since we use the language of the liturgy to address God, it should be intelligible. This does not, however, mean every word has to be part of the active vocabulary of everyone.
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