In 2011 English-speaking Catholics encountered a new English translation of the Mass of Paul VI. There were noticeable changes in the prayers said by the priest (including the Eucharistic Prayers), but from the perspective of the people in the pews the most noticeable changes were in the words and phrases they’d become accustomed to saying over the previous 40 years.
One of the most noticeable changes was in the response to the priest’s invitation, ‘Let us pray.’ Instead of ‘And also with you’, the people were now expected to say ‘And with your spirit’—as in fact, they would have done in pre-1973 vernacular versions of the Mass.
But why these changes? Why a new translation at all?
It may well be that the 1973 translation had certain shortcomings (which we will discuss), but not everyone has been pleased with its replacement. Some have pointed out that another translation was prepared and finalised in 1998, but was never approved for use.
Background reading for this discussion:
- The main article for reading and discussion: Magee, MK. The Liturgical Translation of the Response ‘Et cum Spiritu Tuo’. Communio 29 (Spring 2002), 152-171.
- Two church ‘guidelines’ on translating the liturgy.
Material relating to the 1998 translation.
- A very quick introduction to this complex subject
- Two concepts to be familiar with are ‘functional’ and ‘dynamic equivalence’.
- When Martin Luther translated Romans 3:28 , he applied what today would be called dynamic equivalence. He had his own defence of his approach in his ‘Open Letter’,
For more additional reading please contact Dr Philip Eichorn
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