Saturday, September 04, 2010

Antiphon Lately


he current issue of Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal is nearly wholly devoted to matters related to the new ICEL translation of the Roman Missal. This issue consists of a meticulously researched study—a short book, really—by the renowned German theologian Fr. Manfred Hauke on the "pro multis" of the consecratory formula, with a foreword by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2005 to 2009. Father Hauke was understandably eager to make his work available in English as soon as possible, even if doing so would necessitate serial publication. Consequently, he had the study translated and, to my great delight, submitted the translation to Antiphon for publication in its entirety.

Another translation-related (and translated) piece, much shorter but nonetheless timely, concerns the greeting Dominus vobiscum and its response, Et cum spiritu tuo. Written by the Benedictine liturgical historian Bernard Botte (1893-1980), it was originally published in the March/April 1965 edition of the journal Bible et vie chrétienne. Much of what Dom Bernard wrote 45 years ago regarding the French translation of these Latin phrases can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the present circumstance.

Both authors present compelling cases for accurate translations, arguing from overlapping biblical and theological perspectives (and in Botte's case, from the standpoint of biblical anthropology as well). One might be surprised to learn that controversy over translations of liturgical texts is nothing new.

Regular visitors to NLM are likely to find much of interest in the pages of Antiphon, so why not consider a subscription? ($20 U.S., $26 Canada, $28 elsewhere. Back issues are available for $7 U.S.) The journal is free to members of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, by the way. Scholarly contributions, translations, and reviews of books and music are always welcome. For more information, click here (and see, on the same page, the ad for "Christ the Eternal High Priest," by Br. Maximilian Schmalzl, C.SS.R.).

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