Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Translation of Divine Office for Africa

One of our Hungarian readers sent in news yesterday found off the Vatican website:

The new “Liturgy of the Hours” for Africa is the gift the Holy Father Benedict XVI wanted to offer the English-speaking Synodal Fathers and Participants. The liturgical text was made available on the occasion of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops and the Year for Priests. Its preparation began four years ago, following the request of the Bishops of the Association of Members of Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA). The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments encouraged the project and asked the Kenyan Episcopal Conference to approve the new liturgical texts and propose them to the Congregation for the “confirmatio” which duly arrived in February of this year. The new edition contains a number of novelties. Sunday Lauds and Vespers have been enriched by new antiphonies for the “Benedictus” and “Magnificat”, to provide a stronger connection between the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration and the Liturgy of the Hours. The saints and feasts(Most Holy Name of Jesus, Saint Josephine Bakhita, Saint Padre Pio, etc) that in the last few years have been inserted into the General Roman Calendar have been added, and a calendar for Kenya itself drawn up. The complete edition runs to four volumes and follows the layout and style of the Latin edition. A shorter two-volume version has also been prepared. The book was published by “Paulines Publications Africa”.

Source: Synodus Episcoporum Bulletin

Zenit also has the story: New Translation of Divine Office for Africa and more on this may be read here: Paulines: A New Edition of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The latter site lists the following features for this new edition:
Several features make this new edition of The Liturgy of the Hours unique and outstanding:

The Revised Grail Psalter

It is the desire of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments that the Revised Grail Psalter should be the official translation of the Psalms to be used in all the liturgical texts (Lectionary, Liturgy of the Hours, Sacraments, etc.). This translation, approved for use in the Liturgy, is faithful to the Hebrew text, and it has been recommended by musicians for its musicality, as it can easily be sung, chanted or recited. At the same time, it is already “somehow familiar” to those who pray The Liturgy of the Hours. The Old Testament Canticles (prayed at Morning Prayer) have also been revised.

Biblical Texts

The biblical texts (except the Psalms and Morning Prayer Canticles) are taken from the New American Bible (The African Bible) of the USCCB (United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops).

Liturgical Texts

The liturgical texts are taken from The Liturgy of the Hours of the ICEL (International Commission for English in the Liturgy) edition.

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