Welcome to today's edition of "New Translation Thursday."
My own thinking about what I am about to share is not quite fully developed as of yet, so please bear with me.
Obviously there has been lots of talk, banter, blogging, facebooking, tweeting, writing, commentary, composing, complaining, lauding, and lamenting about the new upcoming English translation of the Missale Romanum. Most people (me included) have taken bits and pieces of prayers and analyzed them. What most of us have yet to do is to pray these prayers in the context of the liturgy. This came to mind last week, particularly on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The eucharistic prayer, prayed on Holy Thursday, when we had just washed each others' feet, took on a different kind of significance. When the celebrant prayed the words of institution ("Take and eat . . . take and drink . . .), I was brought back to that moment of the foot washing, when the Lord commanded us to do for others what he had done for us. And, on Good Friday, when my pastor lifted the sacred host and said "Behold the Lamb of God," I could not help but think immediately of Pilate's words to the crowds as he pointed to our bruised and broken Lord, uttered only several minutes before, "Behold, your King."
We need to remember that the words we use at liturgy are always connected to the ritual action; to what happened or was uttered just before; to what season we are in; to what feast we are celebrating; to what is going on in our hearts and minds. At least one scholar closely connected to the process of the ICEL translation has told me that, when prayed in the context of the entire liturgy, the newly translated prayers will be much more closely linked to the biblical images that have become part of our "Catholic DNA" and that are actually proclaimed at the given liturgy.
This gets me kind of excited, folks. I look forward to entering the liturgies that will employ the new translation with my ears and heart open to new possibilities. I know that I will probably be very, very analytical at first, but I hope that I will be able to catch the scriptural nuances to which my friend alluded. Only time and a deep experience with these new texts will tell.
I would appreciate your musings on my musings. Hit the comment tab below or email me here at WLP: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.