Friday, July 1, 2011

Maybe it shouldn't "sing" in the way you think?

Pointed from PrayTell, Commonweal offers the following when comparing the old and new translations of the Missal:
The current translation is simple and direct. It follows the speech patterns and rhythms of contemporary spoken English. It flows easily off the tongue. Its meaning is clear. The new translation, on the other hand, is mannered and complex. ... Overall, the length of the sentences in the new translation is staggering. The longest sentence of the Eucharistic Prayers has 82 words, the second longest, 72. All but one of the sentences in Eucharistic Prayer I are more than 40 words long.
Remarkably, the writer reports all of this to make a case against the new translation, with the general claim (hyperbolic rendering follows) that Vatican II surely intended to subject the liturgy to Strunk and White standards of editing ("Use active voice"; "put statements in postive form"; "omit needless words"; "avoid a succession of loose sentences"; "keep related words together") without seeming to realize that all of these S&W standards apply to journalism and popular writing, not sacral language.

In any case, as with the case of music, I don't see much point in arguing about all of this; the proof will come in the hearing and the effect on worship begin in Advent. It will be a new and glorious day for the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. 

One need only compare (randomly) this coming Sunday's collect for the 14th Sunday of the Year:
Father, through the obedience of Jesus,
your servant and your Son,
you raised a fallen world.
Free us from sin
and bring us the joy that lasts forever.

O God, who in the abasement of your Son
have raised up a fallen world,
fill your faithful with holy joy,
for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin
you bestow eternal gladness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ..
 Simple question: which most sounds like Church?