Observations on the English Language Study Translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani July 2000 [hereinafter IGMR2000] by the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops [hereinafter SL]

The following observations do not address issues of style (e.g., inconsistency in capitalization) or nuance of translation. They simply point to omissions and (in the opinion of this writer) over-translations in the SL text. They are based on a comparison of the Latin text of the IGMR2000 as found at the BCL website and the English study text published by the SL. For convenience article numbers from IGMR2000 will be given with comparison to page and line numbers from the SL text.

PREAMBLE (articles 1-15): No observations

CHAPTER ONE (articles 16-26):

IGMR2000 #22 (SL, p 6, article 22, line 6, last word): "his" does not appear in the Latin. While this can certainly be defended as a translation supplying "eius", there is a strong theological opinion that the presbyters functioning in a local diocese do not "belong" to the Ordinary, but rather function as an order cooperating with the episcopal Order; a similar argument might be made about the deacons. Rather than give greater precision than the present stage of theological debate allows, would it not make more sense to omit "his" and replace it with "the" in the SL translation since the Latin text itself does not employ the possessive pronoun?

CHAPTER TWO (articles 27-90):

IGMR2000 #54 (SL, p. 13, article 54, line 1): The following sentence seems to be missing from the SL translation: "et omnes una cum sacerdote parumper silent, ut conscii fiant se in conspectu Dei stare, et vota sua in animo possint nuncupare."

After IGMR2000 #60 (SL, p. 14, after article 60): The Latin title for this section is "Psalmus responsorius"; the SL’s "Chants between the Readings" does not accurately translate the Latin

IGMR2000 #61 (SL, p, 14, article 61, line 10): The following sentence seems to be missing from the SL translation: "Ut autem populus responsum psalmodicum facilius proferre valeat, textus aliqui responsum psalmodicum facilius proferre valeat, textus aliqui responsorum et psalmorum pro diversis temporibus anni aut pro diversis ordinibus Sanctorum selecti sunt, qui adhiberi valent, loco textus lectioni respondentis, quoties psalmus cantu profertur"

IGMR2000 #68 (SL, p. 15, article 68, lines 1-3): The phrase "to respond….celebrate the Eucharist" does not correspond in any way to the Latin text "diebus dominicis et in sollemnitatibus; dici potest etiam in peculiaribus celebrationibus sollemnioribus".

IGMR2000 # 69 (SL, p. 15, article 69, line 3): "Expedit ut huiusmodi oratio in Missis cum populo de more habeatur, ita ut obsecrationes fiant pro sancta Ecclesia, pro iis qui in potestate nos regunt, pro iis qui variis premuntur necessitatibus, ac pro omnibus hominibus totiusque mundi salute", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #71 (SL, p. 16, article 71, line 6): "even" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #74 (SL, p. 17, article 74, line 2): The reference "cf. n. 37, b", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #79c (SL, p. 17, article 79c, line 1): The Latin phrase "Spiritus Sancti virtutem" is not accurately translated by the SL’s "God’s power"; this is not to deny the divinity of the Holy Spirit, but simply to state that the Latin is better translated by "power of the Holy Spirit"

After IGMR2000 #80 (SL, p. 18, after article 80): The Latin gives the title "Oratio dominica" to this section which is omitted in the SL’s translation

IGMR2000 #85 (SL, p. 19, article 85, line 3): The reference "cf. n. 283", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

CHAPTER THREE (articles 91-111):

IGMR2000 #99 (SL, p. 22, article 99, line 4): The reference "cf. nn. 194-198), appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #108 (SL, p. 23, article 108, line 3): The term "supra", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

CHAPTER FOUR articles 112-287):

Title (SL, p. 24, after "Chapter Four"): The word "missam", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #118.c (SL, p. 25, article 118, c), line 4): The following sentence seems to be missing from the SL translation: "vas aquae benedicendae, si fit aspersio"

IGMR2000 #120. A (SL, p. 25, article 120, a), line 1): "si incensum seu thus" does not mean "if incense or a censor" since the two Latin terms are alternatives for "incense".

IGMR2000 #120. D (SL, p. 25, article 120, d), line 1-2): The Latin "non autem Lectionarium" seems over-translated by "The Lectionary is never carried in procession".

IGMR2000 #121 (SL, p. 25, article 121): The reference "cf. nn. 47-48", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "see nos. 25-26".

IGMR2000 #129 (SL, p. 26, article 129, line 1): The Latin "profert" seems over-translated by "sings or recites".

IGMR2000 #129 (SL, p. 26, article 129, line 1): It seems more likely that "versus psalmi" would refers to plural psalm verses, rather than the "psalm verse" of the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #130 (SL, p. 26, article 130, line 2): The Latin "dicitur" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #131 (SL, p. 26, article 131, line 2): The reference "cf. nn. 62-64", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "nos. 37-39".

IGMR2000 #134 (SL, p. 27, article 134, line 3 [from top of page]): The reference "cf. nn. 277-278" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #134 (SL, p. 27, article 134, lines 4-5 [from the top of page]): SL’s translations for "Verbum Domini" and "Laus tibi, Christe" are confusing: if they intend a strict "literal" translation, then "The Word of the Lord" and "Praise to you, O Christ" would be appropriate; if they intend present English-language usage, then "The Gospel of the Lord" and "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ" would be appropriate. It is confusing to offer a strict "literal" translation for one and a "present usage" translation for the other.

IGMR2000 #138 (SL, p. 27, article 138, line 2): The Latin "invitat" is not well translated by SL’s "introduce".

IGMR2000 #139 (SL, p. 27, article 139, line 2): The reference "cf. n. 74", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "see no. 50".

IGMR2000 #141 (SL, p. 27, article 141, line 1): SL’s "from a minister" does not appear in the Latin text of this article.

IGMR2000 #142 (SL, p. 27, article 142, line 1): SL’s translation gives the mistaken impression that it is the minister who "pours wine and a little water into the chalice".

IGMR2000 #145 (SL, p. 28, article 145, line 1): The Latin "stans" is omitted in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #145 (SL, p. 28, article 145, lines 2-3): The Latin "Lava me, Domine" is over-translated by SL’s "Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin".

IGMR2000 #146 (SL, p. 28, article 146, lines 1 and 2): The Latin "stans" and "dicens" do not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #149 (SL, p. 28, article 149, lines 3-8): The grammatical structures of the SL translation should be coordinated with the Latin: "N. our Pope" and "me, your unworthy servant" or "of N. our Pope" and "of me your unworthy servant", etc.

IGMR2000 #149 (SL, p. 28, article 149, line 10): The phrase "una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. et" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #155 (SL, p. 29, article 155, line 3): The reference "cf. n. 83", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "see n. 56:5".

IGMR2000 #156 (SL, p. 29, article 156, line 1): The Latin "orationem" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #159 (SL, p. 29, article 159): The reference "cf. n. 86", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "see no. 56:9".

IGMR2000 #165 (SL, p. 30, article 165, line 1): The Latin "manibus iunctis" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #166 (SL, p. 30, article 166): The phrase "Expleta oratione post Communionem" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #167 (SL, p. 31, article 167, line 4 [from top of page]): "Another" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #168 (SL, p. 31, article 168, lines 1-2): The Latin "Ite, missa est" seems over-translated by SL’s "Go in the peace of Christ, or: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, or: The Mass is ended, go in peace" (but this may reflect the "simple literal" vs. "present practice" translations mentioned above).

IGMR2000 #171.c (SL, p. 31, article 171, c), line 2): The reference "cf. n. 66", appearing in the Latin, is not translated by SL’s "see no. 58).

IGMR2000 #173 (SL, p, 31, article 173, line 5): The Latin "more solito" means "customarily" or "in the customary manner", not (as in SL’s translation here) "customarily…with the priest alone".

IGMR2000 #175 (SL, p. 32, article 175, line 4): The Latin "dicens" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #175 (SL, p. 32, article 175, line 8): The Latin "ad verba" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #175 (SL, p. 32, article 175, lines 12-13): The Latin "Per evangelica dicta" seems over-translated by SL’s "Through the words of the gospel may our sins be washed away" (although this may represent "present usage" vs. "literal translation" as considered above).

IGMR2000 #182 (SL, p. 33, article 182, line 3): The Latin "sumentibus" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #185 (SL, p. 33, article 185, line 1): "Even" does not appear in the Latin text.

IGMR2000 #196 (SL, p. 34, article 196, line 2): The Latin "proferre" seems over-translated by "sing or recite".

IGMR2000 #198 (SL, p. 34, article 198, line 2): The reference "cf. nn. 48, 87", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

After the title "II. De Missa Concelebrata" in IGMR2000 before #199 (SL, p. 35, line 2): "Praenotanda" is deliberately omitted in IGMR2000, yet SL adds "INTRODUCTION" to this section.

IGMR2000 #199 b.c.d. (SL, p. 35, article 199, b), c), and d)): "Ad Missam/s" appears in sections a), b), c), and d); SL translates the first "at…Mass", but omits the preposition in the following phrases when it appears in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #199 (SL, p. 35, article 199, lines 11-12--This seems to imply that the Mass of

the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil MUST be concelebrated. From the

context, it means that priests may not celebrate these feast "privately".

IGMR2000 #201 (SL, p. 35, article 201, line 3): The Latin "sacris" does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #202 (SL, p. 35, article 202, line 2): The Latin "in omnibus ecclesiis et oratoriis" is not well translated by SL’s "even in churches and oratories of exempt religious".

IGMR2000 #203 (SL, p. 35, article 203, line 4): If SL translates "in Missa/celebrationibus/anniversaries" as "at" or "on", then one of these prepositions should appear before "the celebrations of the holy founder…" to be faithful to the Latin.

IGMR2000 #203 (SL, p. 35, article 204, line 5): The Latin "in anniversaries Episopi" is not well translated by SL’s "on any anniversary of the Bishop".

IGMR2000 #204 (SL, p. 35, article 204, line 1): The Latin "Ob peculiarem causam, sive significationis ritus sive festivitatis, facultas fit pluries celebrandi vel concelebrandi eodem die, sequntibus in casibus" seems under-translated by SL’s "Concelebration more than once on the same day is permitted as follows".

IGMR2000 #205 (SL, p. 36, article 205, line 2): "And" does not appear in the Latin text.

IGMR2000 #228 (SL, p. 38, article 228, line 1): The Latin text "Recordare, Domine, et pro defunctis: Memento etiam fratrum nostrum" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #232 (SL, p. 39, article 232, line 1): The Latin text "usque ad omnem sanctificationem compleret" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #248 (SL, p. 40, article 248, line 3): The reference "cf. n. 158" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #249 (SL, p. 41, article 249, line 1 [at top of page]): "Right" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #250 (SL, p. 41, article 250, line 1): The reference "cf. nn. 166-169" does not appear in SL’s translation.

After the title "III. De Missa, Cui Unus Tantum Minister Assistit" in IGMR2000 before #252 (SL, p. 41, above article 252): "Praenotanda" is deliberately omitted in IGMR2000, yet SL adds "INTRODUCTION" to this section.

IGMR2000 #252 (SL, p. 41, line 2): The reference "cf. nn. 120-169" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #256 (SL, p. 41, article 256, lines 3-4): The Latin "et peragit actum paenitentialem" is not well-translated by SL’s "For the penitential rite the priest stands at the foot of the altar".

IGMR2000 #261 (SL, p. 42, article 261, line 1): SL’s "or the priest himself" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #262 (SL, p. 42, article 262, line 1): SL’s "remains in the same place" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #266 (SL, p. 42, article 266, line 2): The word "orationem" before "Domine Iesu Christe, qui dixisti", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #268 (SL, p. 42, article 268, line 8): The Latin phrase "et Corpus Christi custodiat" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #273 (SL, p. 43, article 273, line 1): IGMR2000 omits "in liturgia", yet SL’s translation retains "liturgical".

IGMR2000 #273 (SL, p. 43, article 273, lines 2-3): "Attamen, ubi huius modi signum non congruit cum traditionibus aut ingenio alicuius regionis" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #275 (SL, p. 43, article 275, line 2): "Duae species inclinationum habentur, scilicet capitis et corporis" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #275.a (SL, p. 43, article 275, a), line 1): "Simul" does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #275.b (SL, p. 43, article 275, b), lines 1-2): "If there is no tabernacle with the blessed sacrament", appearing in the SL translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #276.e (SL, p. 44, article 276, e): "the elevation and", appearing in the SL translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #276.e (SL, p. 44, article 276, e): "hostiae et", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #277 (SL, p. 44, article 277, line 6): One might argue that the phrase "exposed for public veneration" applies to both "relics of the holy Cross" and "images of the Lord"; SL’s translation uses a punctuation that forecloses this possibility.

IGMR2000 #279 (SL, p. 44, article 279, line 1): "instituto", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #284.b (SL, p. 45, article 284, b), line 2): "rite", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #284 (SL, p. 45, article 284, c): IGMR2000 present the sentence "fidelibus…praebeatur" as free-standing; SL’s translation presents this sentence as article 284 c).

IGMR2000 #286 (SL, p. 46, article 286, line 4): "paulum e calice bibit", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #287 (SL, p. 46, article 287, line 3): Is "intincts" proper English usage?

A general observation on the translation of "Evangeliarium": in comparison with its predecessor, IGMR2000 consistently substitutes "Evangeliarium" for "liber Evangelii", yet the SL translation consistently translates "Evangeliarium" as "the Book of the Gospels". This might be considered unfaithful to the example of IGMR2000.

CHAPTER FIVE (articles 288-318):

IGMR2000 before #295 (SL, p. 48, before article 295, line 4 from the top of the page): This is a general observation on the translation of "presbyterium" and "synaxis". SL consistently translates "presbyterium" as "sanctuary", even though the Latin term conceives of the space primarily as the appropriate site for the ordo clericorum to engage the liturgy while the English term conceives of the space as "sacred" or "holy" in contrast to "profane" space. Perhaps SL’s translators simply wished to refer to the presbyterium using a term that would be in common English usage and did not wish to introduce a new technical term for English-speakers. But then it would be difficult to understand why SL’s translators would wish to introduce the Greek "synaxis" as a technical term when there are English cognates available (e.g., "assembly", "gathering", "liturgy") at least as close to the meaning of "synaxis" as "sanctuary" is to "presbyterium".

IGMR2000 #299 (SL, p. 48, article 299, line 1): "In every church there should ordinarily be" does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #299 (SL, p. 48, article 299, line 1): "Altare maius", appearing in the Latin, seems over-translated by SL’s "a fixed, dedicated altar".

IGMR2000 #306 (SL, p. 49, article 306, after line 5): "Disponantur insuper modo discreto quae forte ad amplificationem vocis sacerdotis necessaria sunt", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #309 (SL, p. 49, article 309, line 8): "intentiones", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #309 (SL, p. 50, article 309, line 1 [at the top of the page]): "ascendat", appearing in the Latin, is not well-translated by SL’s "approach".

IGMR2000 #310 (SL, p. 50, article 310, line 11): "However" does not appear in the Latin text.

IGMR2000 #314 (SL, p. 51, article 314, line 6): "destinetur", appearing in the Latin, does not seem well-translated by SL’s "considered".

IGMR2000 #318 (SL, p. 51, article 318, line 7): "in aede sacra", appearing in the Latin, is omitted in the SL translation.

CHAPTER SIX (articles 319-351):

IGMR2000 #329 (SL, p. 53, article 329, line 6): Is "theca" a technical term in common English usage or should it be translated?

IGMR2000 #331 (SL, p. 53, article 331, line 1): The term "unica" is expressly omitted in IGMR2000, yet SL’s translation retains "one".

IGMR2000 #346.a (SL, p. 54, article 346, a), line 2): The Latin text does not repeat "in celebrationibus" before "beatae Mariae Virginis" as does SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #346.a (SL, p. 54, article 346, a). line 3): The Latin text applies "in sollemnitatibus" to both All Saints (Nov. 1) and John the Baptist (24 June), while the SL translation applies "on the solemnity" only to All Saints.

IGMR2000 #346.a (SL, p. 54, article 346, a), line 4): The Latin text applies "in festis" to St. John the Evangelist (27 Dec), the Chair of St. Peter (22 Feb) and the Conversion of St. Paul (25 Jan), while the SL translation applies "on the feasts" to the Birth of John the Baptist (24 June) as well as the three feasts mentioned in the Latin text.

IGMR2000 #347 (SL, p. 54, article 347, line 3-p. 55, article 347, line 1[at top of page]): "Masses in time or war or conflict, Masses in time of famine, or Masses for the forgiveness of sins", appearing in the SL translation, does not appear in the Latin.

CHAPTER SEVEN (articles 352-367):

IGMR2000 #355.a (SL, p. 56, article 355, a), line 1): "diebus", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #355.a (SL, p. 56, article 355, a), lines 2-3): The Latin text has "dicitur Missa"; SL’s translation changes the verb from passive to active voice and adds "the priest" as subject.

IGMR2000 #355.b (SL, p. 56, article 355, b), line 2): The Latin text has "eligi potest"; SL’s translation changes the verb from passive to active voice and adds "the priest" as subject.

IGMR2000 #355.c (SL, p. 56, article 355, c), line 1): The Latin text has "eligi potest"; SL’s translation changes the verb from passive to active voice and adds "the priest" as subject.

IGMR2000 #357 (SL, p. 57, article 357, lines 3-4): SL’s "In the Easter season, according to the tradition of the Church, a reading from the Acts of the Apostles is read in place of the Old Testament" does not appear in the Latin text.

IGMR2000 #361 (SL, p. 58, article 361, line 5): "alteri vero tamquam ad libitum adhibendus", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

IGMR2000 #361 (SL, p. 58, article 361, line 6): "In fact", appearing in SL’s translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #361 (SL, p. 58, article 361, lines 6-8): SL should either translate both of the "quando"s that appear in the Latin text, or neither of them, in order to produce an intelligible sentence.

IGMR2000 #363 (SL, p. 58, article 363, line 2): "opening prayer or", appearing in SL’s translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #363 (SL, p. 58, article 363, line 4): "aut e feriis temporis currentis" is not translated by SL’s "or, if it is lacking, from the corresponding Commons".

IGMR2000 #364 (SL, p. 58, article 364, line 2): IGMR2000 deliberately changed "argumentum" to "argumenta", but SL’s translation retains the singular "theme".

IGMR2000 #365 (SL, p. 58, article 365, line 1): SL’s translation may be taken to mean that the "choice" is found in the Order of Mass; the Latin clearly indicates that the Eucharistic Prayers (plural) are found in the Order of Mass.

IGMR2000 #365.a (SL, p. 58, article 365, a), line 5): "Prex eucharistica tertia", appearing in the Latin, is not accurately translated by SL’s "another Eucharistic prayer".

IGMR2000 #365.b (SL, p. 58, article 365, b), line 4): "the Sunday prefaces", appearing in SL’s translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #365.c (SL, p. 59, article 365, c), line 2): "major", appearing in the SL translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #365.d (SL, p. 59, article 365, d), line 3): "per annum" appears in the Latin text with special punctuation indicating that this is a technical term. SL’s translation should indicate this either by the phrase "Sundays in Ordinary Time" or "Sundays ‘Through the Year’" (another example of "common usuage" vs. "technically accurate" translation).

IGMR2000 #366 (SL, p. 59, article 366, line 1): "alios cantus", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in the SL translation.

IGMR2000 #367 (SL, p. 59, article 367, line 3): The reference "cf. nn. 40-41, 47-48, 61-64, 74, 87-88", appearing in the Latin, does not appear in SL’s translation.

CHAPTER EIGHT (articles 368-385):

IGMR2000 #371 (SL, p. 60, article 371, line 2): "and Masses for the dead", appearing in SL’s translation, does not appear in the Latin.

IGMR2000 #374 (SL, p. 60, article 374, line 1): IGMR2000 changed "Ordinarii loci" to "Episcopi dioecesani", but SL’s translation still has "the local Ordinary".

IGMR2000 #382 (SL, p. 61, article 382, lines 2-3): "The homily is also recommended at other Masses for the dead celebrated with a congregation" does not appear in the Latin text.

CHAPTER NINE (articles 386-399):

IGMR2000 #386 (SL, p. 62, article 386, line3): "actuosam", appearing in the Latin, is not well-translated by SL’s "effective".

IGMR2000 #390 (SL, p. 62, article 390, lines 4, 5, 6-7, 8, 9, 10, 12): SL’s translation never translates "supra" found in each of the number references.

IGMR2000 #391 (SL, p. 63, article 391, line 4): SL may wish to consider developing a technical vocabulary to deal with the various literary genres appearing the Missale Romanum: "prex" has the implication of a consecratory, formal, and/or lengthy presidential prayer, while "oratio" has the implication of a shorter, formal presidential prayer. Certainly "oratio" is not well-translated by SL’s "oration", which has the implication in English of a formal public address, not a principally a prayer.

IGMR2000 #394 (SL, p. 63, article 394, line 4): "maxime", appearing in the Latin, is not well-translated by SL’s "greatly".

 

Fr. Jan Michael Joncas

University of St. Thomas

August, 2000