December 5, 2012

Both And

I notice on the calendar that it will be my turn to be principal celebrant at Mass on the 27th, one of those curious hybrid liturgical days we get this time of year, at once the solemnity of the Christmas Octave and the feast of a saint, St. John in this case. It's one of the rare times in the reformed liturgy that we see something like the celebration of one day and the commemoration of another, as in the older form.

Looking forward to this, I notice a couple things I need to prepare. First, it's the sort of day when at home I would certainly sing the Preface. I haven't heard one sung since I've been here in Italy, and I don't know what sort of resources the Italian missal offers for this, so I'll have to go exploring and see what I can find. Second, according to my famous plan for the minimum use of Eucharistic Prayer I, the 27th qualifies. Oddly, I haven't heard the Roman Canon in Italian yet either. Perhaps a more innocent person would imagine that in the venerable diocese of Rome herself one might hear this particularly Roman anaphora, but he would be quite wrong, at least if his experience were like mine has been. So, having neither heard nor prayed myself the Roman Canon in Italian, I started to look at it in preparation for the feast of St. John.

For the occasion of its first birthday, this brought to mind my standard shtick regarding the new translation of the Missal in English. I always say that I love it and support it in every possible way, but that I have one little issue with it, namely that, in my arrogant opinion, the 'vel' in "vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis" in the memento for the living, which now in English is an 'or,' ought instead to be an 'and.' I would also accept something like 'indeed,' but this 'or' just doesn't fly. Now, even though I have been given permission to make this change on my own authority in Masses I celebrate, by a learned and somewhat well-known scholar of the Sacred Scriptures no less, I have never done so. What can I say? I'm like St. Paul, not taking advantage of all my rights in the Lord.

Therefore, given that I have decided to make this a kind of 'ha ha only serious' liturgical pet peeve, I enjoyed reviewing the Italian translation of the same and finding it thus: e anche'essi ti offrono questo sacrificio di lode... Not only an 'e' but also an 'anche.' Further evidence of my claim, I would say. Now, to be fair, I have observed that some of the more traditionally-minded (taking 'tradition' in the narrow sense of tending towards Catholic 'traditionalism') here complain about their translation of the Mass and look with some longing on what has been accomplished for the English-speaking world, the prayer as it is nevertheless supports my complaint, I think.

Not that I have much pity for such people. Should there be legitimate reasons for celebrating the liturgy in a language other than Latin (and I accept that there might be in certain cases), the Italians are surely in possession of the fewest of them.

In any case, I'll keep studying and I'll let you know how it goes.

In a more serious spirit, for those into the tradition, I recommend a new blog, Missal Notes, to which I was alerted by the reliably edifying Br. Matt of the New Sandals blog.


Gregg the Obscure said...

In your kindness, please remember me at that Mass as it is on my 49th birthday, should I last that long.

Brother Charles said...

I shall, and if you are no longer with us by then, I'll pray for your eternal rest. And if I'm dead by then, you pray for me.