Monday, September 14, 2009

The need for a new English Roman Missal

Fr. Thomas Kocik at the New Liturgical Movement points out a reason why the present English translation of the Roman Missal (commonly called the Sacramentary) is in need of revision.  Here is the post-communion prayer for today, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, in Latin:
Refectione tua sancta enutriti, Domine Iesu Christe,
supplices deprecamur, ut,
quos per lignum crucis vivificae redemisti,
ad resurrectionis gloriam perducas.
Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum.
Here is the present English translation:
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the holy bread of life.
Bring to the glory of the resurrection
the people you have redeemed by the wood of the cross.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Here is my translation:
Nourished by your holy refreshment, Lord Jesus Christ,
we humbly beseech you, that,
those whom you redeemed by the wood of the life-giving cross,
you would lead to the glory of the resurrection.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Now, translation quality aside (although that is an issue!), Fr. Kocik points out the absolute mistranslation – it can't even be called that – of the bolded words.  The prayer is addressed to Christ, not to the Father, which is why the Latin does not end with "Per Christum Dominum nostrum", but rather with "Qui vivis..."  The translators fell asleep at the wheel on this one!

2 comments:

metrodorus said...

What I'd like to know is why "vivas" is subjuntive and "regnas" is indicative!

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

Are you referring to my typo (now corrected) of "Qui vivas", or are you asking why "vivas" is a subjunctive conjugation but "regnas" is an indicative conjugation?

Vivas is from vivere, regnas is from regnare. But that's as far as my knowledge goes.