A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Like the dew

Catholic News Service reports that a new draft translation of the Mass has been issued. This is part of an ongoing effort to bring the English closer to the nuances of the original Latin.

One interesting example is the beginning of the Second Eucharistic Prayer.

The current official translation is

Lord, you are holy indeed,
the fountain of all holiness.

Let your Spirit come upon these gifts
to make them holy,
so that they may become for us
the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The original Latin is

Vere Sanctus es, Dómine,
fons omnis sanctitátis.

Hæc ergo dona, quæsumus,
Spíritus tui rore sanctífica,
ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiant
Dómini nostri Iesu Christi.

The latest draft translation is

You are indeed the holy one, O Lord,
you are the wellspring of all holiness.

Therefore, make holy these gifts, we pray,
by the dew of your Spirit,
that they may become for us
the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Father Rob Johansen, back in 2002, reflected on this very section in his blog Thrown Back. His translation went like this:

Truly you are Holy, Lord,
the Source of all Holiness.

Grant, we beseech Thee,

that the sanctifying Dew of Thy Spirit
may descend upon these gifts,
so that they may become
the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The reference to the gentle, sanctifying dew of the Holy Spirit is truly a lovely image - saldy lost in the current official translation.

This translation effort has been long and not without controversy. May the end result be as wonderful and life-giving as gentle dew of God's Holy Spirit upon us.