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Sacred Vs. Vernacular Language

Bishop Trautman of Erie, PA, former chair of the bishop's liturgy committee, has just delivered a lecture criticizing the current draft of the new translation of the Missal. An article about his talk can be found here. An excerpt from the article:

He said the "sacred language" used by translators "tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable" and could lead to a "pastoral disaster.""The vast majority of God's people in the assembly are not familiar with words of the new missal like 'ineffable,' 'consubstantial,' 'incarnate,' 'inviolate,' 'oblation,' 'ignominy,' 'precursor,' 'suffused' and 'unvanquished.' The vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic," Trautman said."The [Second Vatican Council's] Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stipulated vernacular language, not sacred language," he added.

Liturgical matters are minefields -- I''m smart enough to know that. But may I just ask a few questions?Does anyone else out there feel a little uncomfortable with the good bishop's remarks about "the average Catholic"?I suppose Bishop Trautmann would also criticize the following words: "abolish," "forebears," "subversion," "sovereign," "eradicate," and "tribulation" -- but then the average American couldn't have been expected to understand President Kennedy's inaugural address, right?As someone who cares a great deal about the linguistic health of the Church and the culture, I confess that I don't find his list that terrifying. Some of the words are even suffused with a certain grace.There is a persistent strain of verbal iconoclasm in our culture that is not fundamentally different from the impulse that once led to the smashing of statues and looting of reliquaries.Also, can anyone explain to me what this distinction between "sacred" and "vernacular" language is? If he's talking about Latin vs. vernacular languages I think he's already on shaky ground, but let's not debate Sacrosanctum Concilium again. Rather, my fear is that he's saying something that's vaguer and more disturbing.Isn't the liturgy where we encounter the sacred?It seems a sad day to me when the sacred is equated with elitism.I can hear some of the counter-arguments being formulated -- a sacred language is the province of an elite that maintains a hegemony over the poor; I'm too young to remember the liturgy before Vatican II, etc.But I just don't believe in the opposition between the sacred and the common man, any more than I believe the medieval peasant secretly wanted to throw a rock through the rose window in Chartres.Anyway, since we're debating how the English language should be used, it is all vernacular. Capturing the sacred in liturgical language is not simply a matter of using big words; it includes syntax, metaphor, cadence, and more.Dante broke with literary tradition and wrote in his own vernacular, Italian. And butchers and bakers could be seen walking around Florence with the Divine Comedy in their hands, big words and all.By all means, let's debate liturgical changes, translations, etc. But let's do so without patronizing people or treating the sacred as if it is a problem to be avoided.


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Athanasius - What a thing to say! Still, I agree that many of us groan under the weight of all the baggage that boomers have loaded on society's back, and we sigh just thinking about the clean-up that will be necessary once they finally cede power to subsequent generations.Patience and forbearance is important; there is a long way to go. Boomers are not yet a spent force, not likely to give up power quietly or gracefully.

Ken, where is your intelligence? How can you regurgitate that silly neocath talking point about the twilight of the boomers? Do you not know that the talking point in question has been honed by your boomer patrons -- the ones who run reactionary blogs and who voted for boomer G W Bush? Look around and talk to your own contemporaries. I think you'll be surprised at where their heads are at. The neocath reactionary movement has little interest to them, and if the church keeps bogged down in such nonsense the church won't have much interest for them either.Hint, they voted massively for Obama, whom the boomer reactionary demagogues hate.

As I see it, there are a number of interrelated issues in this discussion, and it might help to sort them out, minus red herrings such as what one thinks of the baby boom generation, and whatnot.First, there are the new Missal texts themselves, how they read, what they sound like, whether or not they make sense in English and especially whether they deserve to be hailed as language worthy of the worship of God in the vernacular. There is a lot of material to talk about here. Second, there is the instruction, Liturgiam Authenticam, which provided the playbook for the production of this translation. Many informed commentators believe that this instruction is deeply flawed. The flaws it contains are both in the norms it proposes for translation, which are arguably ignorant of liturgical tradition and regard a slavish imitation of Latin as the best way forward, and the way it eviscerates the role of episcopal conferences in the sensitive matter of producing authentic translations into native languages. (I am not mincing words here, because I want to convey, to those who joined this movie late, how very badly this instruction has been received, not just in North America, but around the world. The reaction against this has been deep.)Liturgiam Authenticam is where some of the issues Gregory is interested in crop up, e.g. the claim that our goal is to create a sacral language in the vernacular. This has nothing to do with exalted language as opposed to banal language in prayer, with elegant style or beautiful expression as opposed to pedestrian, bland and clunky texts. It has to do with reproducing, as closely as possible, the vocabulary, syntax, theological expressions, and even the capitalization patterns (!) of the Latin. The overriding concern is fidelity to the Latin. The innocent mistake Gregory makes, in thinking that the real concern is how to build the equivalent of Chartres Cathedral in words, is one that I used to make too. Thats not what its about, sad to say.Let me say for the record, I love Latin. Ive studied Latin. I pray in Latin. But imho this whole quest to develop a sacral language in the vernacular that corresponds in every particular with the Latin is a grievous mistake. The results will puzzle people and confuse them, not take their breath away.The quest for a sacral language is also explicitly anti-ecumenical. The instruction claims that when a Catholic text resembles a Protestant one, this will confuse the faithful. (I would note, parenthetically, that one of the means of drawing closer to separated churches has been precisely in the realm of shared translations of common texts. The more we pray using the same or similar words, the easier it is to advance toward unity. No more, apparently.)Third, there are some justice issues here, sad to say. The bishops are very much pressured to accept this new translation as is. Theyve made amendments and the text approved by Rome doesnt include them. The translation is, in effect, being imposed. Some of the bishops are big supporters, but many are not, and their arms are being twisted. Its really not fair. There WAS a new translation, a good one, approved canonically by the bishops of the English speaking world in the 1990s, and it was tossed out summarily by Rome. Now, when the task of selling this L.A.-governed translation is upon us, the contrast is made between the 1973 text and the current one. The 1990s text is buried. We dont get to see how much worse this new text is than the 1990s text, only how much better it is than the 1973 text. Again, thats not fair.Finally, I hate to say this, but with dioceses all over North America going bankrupt one has to wonder where all the money is going to come from to make this work. All the books, everywhere, have to be replaced, and they are not cheap. Every musical setting has to be rewritten and republished. All the catechesis, all the videos, all the PR that is going to go into this, for something very few people want, is going to cost a pretty penny. At the end of it, we will be delivered from the awful burden of having called a chalice a cup.Sorry for the length of this post. Have a good day, everyone. Thank you, Gregory, for your gracious words above.

Thanks for the summary and correction, Rita. You are a good writer; well-organized; with an ability to analyze and get to the point quickly. (length of post - it was fine; makes mine look long winded, etc.)

Rita - can I ask a favor? Please educate me:a) difference between a "motu proprio" and "papal instructions"?b) you indicate 5 liturgical instructions since Sacrasanctum Concilium - my memory says: - two by Paul VI - one by JPII - two by B16 please correct, modify? also, the 3rd edition of our local cathlic rag came out - this time the writer again continued in two columns contrasting the Old and New language that we folks in the pews will use. But, he started with an explanation showing that there have been Five Roman Missals promulgated by five different popes dating back to around 1100 AD. Can't tell if his point is to say that this new missal is just the usual church liturgical change or that this is a big deal and we should be excited. My question - not sure that this list is comprehensive or if naming Roman Missals really has anything to do with the point of liturgical development in the Latin Rite?Finally, my old notes indicated that Cardinal Medina wrote Litrugicam Authenticam which may have had a few others edit, contribute and JPII only approved. Not sure my notes are comprehensive or correct?Finally, it seems that we will have a percentage of US priests doing liturgical catechesis on this missal change who were not alive during Vatican II; probably don't remember much prior to 1985, and thus their liturgical frame of reference is very limited. My experience in theologates is that most priests get one or two liturgical courses; learning the mass/sacraments is not even a practicum (the dean does it on the side). I find that many priest candidates avoid taking courses that would provide excellent feedback in terms of videoing their style, tone, loudness/lack of; projection, movement in the liturgy; etc. They also hate any type of feedback from not only teachers by lay folks if they are transition deacons, etc. much less expect feedback once ordained. (can you image that set up in a high powered US corporation where you are doing presentation almost daily?).

The issue is not whether the average Catholic understands these archane "sacred" words, but whether s/he will feel comfortable speaking them or being addressed in them. Shakespearian English is readily understood but who would use it to in everyday speach or even to pray? I would go as far as to suggest that sacred sounding speach is the last thing one wants in worship. It creates the impression that what we are doing has nothing to do with our everyday lives. I'm sure that were he preaching today the Master would never admonish anyone as a "whited sepulchre"; I'm sure he would say "white-washed sh*t house."

If I may add to my last posting:- in our diocese currently, more than 50% of all priests are from overseas....many have a difficult time saying Mass in english, period; much less adding changes, etc.- the latest CARA studies indicate that 70% of all US priests are over the age of many will have the energy or ability to support a thorough catechetical effort- there is a story today on that tells about B16 recognizing and giving an award to Father Ricci, SJ, a missionary to China in the 19th century. He is noted for his ability to "win over" the Chinese people and leadership using both his scientific and communication skills. This gave him access to Bejing and the country - in this way, he respected the Chinese cultures, translated catholic liturgy and catechism into various chinese dialects and was recognized for the immense impact this had on the growth of the church in China. So, more mixed messages....Ricci (his life, use of inculturation, vernacular languages vs. Rome and the Dominican/Franciscan orders that disapproved resulted in what history calls the Ricci Controversy). Now 150 years later, Rome acknowledges and recognizes Ricci's wisdom in the use of the vernacular; respecting local cultures and leadership, and evangilizing successfully because he started with their basic dignity as partners in the journey of faith. So, why are we re-latinizing our vernacular; our cultures, etc.???

not speach but speechMatteo Ricci 1552-1610?Thanks Rita Ferrone for bringing the thread back to the point."First, there are the new Missal texts themselves, how they read, what they sound like, whether or not they make sense in English and especially whether they deserve to be hailed as language worthy of the worship of God in the vernacular. There is a lot of material to talk about here. "Close reading is out of fashion in lit crit circles now and this may have something to do with the somnambulalistic nature of present proceedings and discussions. The defenders of the new translations never quote them, but instead spend their time caricaturing Trautman.Comboxes are not the best place to review these texts. Nor are bishops' meetings, where there is far too little time available. All the bishops can do is pick out two or three egregious expressions -- and even their comments on these are spurned by Rome. Having spent endless hours with colleagues discussing the text of exam questions I have some conception of the time needed. Often we dump a question or set of questions if first indications are that they are of low quality. The bishops should do this, but that implies telling the Vatican they don't know their own business -- which of course is true. Liturgiam Authentical is a monument of arrogant ignorance. If the Vatican push through with this they will be hoist with their own petard.

Rita -- Could you tell us a bit more about what liturgists mean by a"sacral" language? Bill deHaas -- There are two B16s, the liberal of V2 who has never died, and Ratzinger of the CDF. Deacon Carroll. -- A sepulchre is a tomb.

Ann - would partically agree. Mr. Gibson might want to weigh in here given his biography. My notes indicate that subsequent to Vatican II, key theologians split into two groups; each with their own publication. Ratzinger gravitated to Concilium; later was made a bishop and seems to have been significantly impacted by the student disturbances in Germany/Europe in the late 1960's - so much so, that his theological writings changed.Others may have better and more comprehensive history, motivations, etc.

Re: sacral language, I have some miscellaneous thoughts.As to what it is - I suppose there may be more than one notion of what it entails, but to my mind, what is *should* be is a language that is appropriate to communal worship. Naturally, that is a subjective and probably somewhat elusive standard, but I'd think we know it when we see it (or, better, hear it).If we look at it in that light - as language that is appropriate to this human activity - then I'd think we would conclude that in fact it is desirable.Istm that virtually all human activities, whether it is ritual worship or education or business or scientific research, develop a language that is specific to that endeavor. It can be something as execrable as business jargon or as vigorous as the slang that peppers the world of sports. This development of an activity-appropriate langauge is just part of human nature. In that sense, I don't think we could avoid sacral language even if we wished to. Good translations of ritual texts will evince a certain sacral language, because of the nature of the text itself.Istm that one of the most unjust charges made against the translation that we use right now is that it lacks this sacral character - that there is something mundane about the language that makes it somehow not appropriate for the act of worship. My own view is that, if we attend to the language in which we worship today, we'll notice that there is a certain sacral vocabulary, diction, style to it. For example, consider a sentence that is frequently trotted out to exemplify what ails the current translation, and that will soon be replaced: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." Certainly that is an accessible sentence - anyone with a reasonable mastery of English will understand the meaning of the words. But are they the words we use in the mundane portions of our lives? How many of us (at least, those who, unlike me, are not stuffed shirts who comment in forums like this) use a word like "worthy" in our workaday transactions? How many of us would use a phrase like "only say the word"? How many of us even use "shall" instead of "will" in everyday speech? I believe there is a certain formality, a certain elevated style, to this sentence, and the same is to be found throughout the current translation.Just some thoughts.

Bill D., here are a few answers...Liturgiam Authenticam (2001) was issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and signed by Cardinal Medina as prefect, but that doesn't mean he's the author. It was rumored of course that Ratzinger had a hand in it, and he has certainly supported the intervention it symbolizes. It was, however, officially approved by Pope John Paul II.The previous four instructions on "the right inplementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium" are:Inter Oecumenici (1964)Tres Abhinc Annos (1967)Liturgicae Instaurationes (1970), andVarietates Legitimae (1994)As you see, there is a huge gap between the first three, released during the pontificate of Paul VI, and the last two, during the pontificate of John Paul II. All of this is in my book, by the way. :)These instructions are produced by a curial congregation and approved by the pope. A motu proprio comes "from the pope's own hand."

Implementation. sorry.

Five different missals since 1100? Bill I can't comment on this. There have been numerous editions of the Roman Missal over the intervening centuries. I really have no idea what your source is trying to say or to suggest. The current translation is being performed on the 2002 edition of the Roman Missal, if that helps any. Sorry that I'm unable to shed light on this.

Ann,Sacral language is defined by linguists as a language used for cult which is nobody's mother tongue, and which depends entirely on written sources for its authentication. Classical Arabic does this in the Koran. Old Church Slavonic would be another example. Classical (as opposed to modern) Hebrew is another.The argument about preserving Latin as a sacral language is tied to its status as a language which nobody learns from the cradle any longer. The argument against it (well, one of many) was that Latin was adopted in the fourth century in the place of Greek because it was a living language, not in order to have a sacral language. Had the church wanted a sacral language, it would have perpetuated Greek.What it means to develop a sacral language in the vernacular is a messy question, indeed. I think it is meant to be a clerical and elitist move in essence, although the edges of the discussion include friendliness to archaism and "elevated" language, such as Jim references, as well as "frozen" biblical and historical terminology, and Latin-derived style.

Cognitive dissonance. (1) Praise for Matteo Ricci and the issuing of liturgiam authenticam. (2) Praise for Mary Ward and the current visitation of the sisters.

RitaThe powers that be seem to want a language that uses as Latinate a vocabulary as possible and hews as closely as possible to Latinate syntactical patterns. How is that achievable in languages that have, for better or worse, escaped the influence of Latin? Can you imagine a translation of the missal into Classical Hebrew for the use of converted rabbis? Perhaps the Vatican wits would simply conclude that Classical Hebrew was sacral per se.

That's a good question, Joseph Gannon. Perhaps Joseph O'Leary can tell us how Liturgiam Authenticam has been received by the bishops of Japan. A while ago, Jim Pauwels suggested Latin in response to the needs of multilingual assemblies, and Gregory agreed with him. I think what they seek is not a sacral language, but a lingua franca. In the days of the Roman empire, Latin was the lingua franca. In today's world, the lingua franca is English.

Thanks, Rita. I will get your book and read it. So, any bugs in the Vatican that can suggest who the primary author of LA was? It appears that a certain generation of bishops/cardinals look upon Vatican II as an event with huge "unintended consequences" - they blame it for the emptiness of European churches; for the change in their status; etc. They also appear to be that minority that resisted Vatican II from the beginning and have slowly (basically through growing old within the confines of Rome) taken over how Vatican II is NOT implemented.I like to say: "It is not that Vatican II was tried and failed; it was that Vatican II was never tried!"Rita - as i dwell on these changes and the proposed catechetical efforts, I think back to liturgical training from guiding lights such as Bishop Untener, R. Hovda w/his Strong, Loving, and Wise. Any comments on Hovda: who would be a guiding light today? who would write the catechetical development (it appears that LTP has slipped with the reign of George)?

Hi, Rita, in listing the five instructions, you pointed out the gap in time between the third and fourth. Don't you think, though, that there is also a "gap in tone", which I discern between the first four and the fifth, i.e. the first four (including the fourth, on inculturation) seem to have a sort of positive and encouraging tone, whereas LA is ... not so much that way.

The Japanese Catholic Church is aging and shrinking largely because of the socially-disengaged non-inculturate language of its liturgy. The bishops are aware of this problem but their proposals for improved translation of the preces, for example, have been shot down by rightist lay ideologues and by the Vatican. The new translations, which I have not seen, are reported to be grotesque, as in the case of the new English translations. bishops' push to a socially engaged Christianity seems to be met with incomprehension by the grassroots.

A forthright statement from the Japanese bishops 12 years ago ended with a complaint about Vatican obstructionism to liturgical translation:

Zuhlsdorf writes:ORIGINALLY PRINTED IN The Wanderer in 2005I received interesting feedback via e-mail from the Land of the Rising Sun.... 'The ICEL tends, it seems, to emphasize the mundane and certainly subjective joy at the expense of objective reality of joy, especially of beatitudo. So do the mainstream liturgists here in Japan... The official Japanese translation is ohku no hito (pro multis), but liberal priests who would let the congregation recite the doxologia maior or more of the Canon prefer mina no tame (pro omnibus), which I think comes from the misunderstanding by Jeremias of rabbim and sagg iin .... The Japanese translation of liturgical texts is catastrophic: our liturgists (largely influenced by U.S. style Call-To-Action type ideology), ill educated literally and theologically, completely ignored Inaestimabile donum, Liturgiam authenticam, Sacramentum redemptionis and many others (i.e., Cafeteria Catholicism). The translations currently in use date from 1978! They are poor for the very opposite reasons to what this jaundiced correspondent of Fr Zuhlsdorf suggest.

Look again at Bp Trautman's condemnation of Liturgiam Authenticam:

Cardinal Napier of South Africa responded to lay outrage at the new translations by telling the laity they were not qualified to comment and should shut up! I wonder if US and UK bishops will react the same way?

On sacral language:A traditional Chasidic story speaks glowingly of the prayer of an uneducated Jew who wanted to pray but did not speak Hebrew. The man began to recite the only Hebrew he knew: the alphabet. He recited it over and over again, until a rabbi asked what he was doing. The man told the rabbi, "The Holy One, Blessed is He, knows what is in my heart. I will give Him the letters, and He can put the words together."

Thanks, Rita. That's certainly very illuminating. Quite a different meaning from "sacred" language as I was using that term.I wonder if the translators who strive for a language more like Latin actually try to ape the sounds, word sequences and grammatical structures of Latin. That could account for the use of "brothers" rather than "brothers and sisters" -- the Latin meaning is expressed in just one word, so they translate it as "brothers" because "brothers" is only one word. Inaccurate translation of the meaning, but it *sounds* a bit more like Latin. Aping the sound patterns of Latin would also account for the awkwardness of the sequences of the words in Emglish. I dare say a poet would recognize such aping as the folly it is.

On another thread, Catherine Harding points to a lecture by Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor about the ecumenical movement. What he says seems like a good context for understanding "We believe":There are still disputed questions but there is at least convergence on those issues which have helped us to move beyond polemical stances and created a more relaxed atmosphere in which we speak about an exchange of gifts enriching both sides. We are able to proclaim together our shared apostolic faith, because we share the Gospel as the Word of God and the Good News for all humanity; and we share the Creeds of the first centuries which summarise the Gospel message and give an authentic interpretation of it. We confess together God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, and that Jesus Christ is our common Lord and Saviour, truly human and truly divine, the one and universal mediator between God and man. Together we confess there is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, even though there are still differences in the way in which we belong to it. But we are brothers and sisters in the one Lord and in the one Spirit of Christ. It is wonderful that we are able to say and proclaim those basic truths together.

Jim P., I quite agree that L.A. is very different in tone. Good catch! You'll notice that the fourth instruction, on inculturation, mentions self-deprecatingly that the CDF was not involved. My suspicion is that, with Pope John Paul being too old and sick to be actively involved anymore, perhaps the CDF was involved, to the detriment of the final product. But that is only speculation. I don't know who wrote it. (Sorry, Bill D., not even any good gossip, unfortunately.)Bill D., about your latter point, I think there are some wonderful catechetical leaders out there who are passionate about the liturgy and who have fought hard for developing a truly liturgical catechesis in recent years. Not many of them wear a clerical collar, however. :) That means their work is not as visible, except to those who know them. Still, I'd say the gifts are there.

More about "we believe" --Wittgenstein has some interesting things to say about the meaning of I believe" in the little bok "Lectures and Conversations about Aesthetics. Psychology and Religious Belief". Among other things he points out differen es between saying "I believe" is not an assertion of opinion or even dogma. He views it as an assertion that what one believes (dogma, for instance) has changed one's form of life, one's actual behavior. If one's actions are not good, one cannot say one truly believes Further, he seems to be saying that while personal experience is relevant to such committment, it is not its essence. Religious behavior is also a matter of matching behavior with pictures of others' actions. (No doubt his Catholic upbringing is showing there.) I wish he had said more about these pictures and their function.

Should be: he points out differences between saying "i believe" and mere expressions of what one thinks and one's expressions of dogma or faith.

Somebody needs to make a youtube of a straightforward reading of the Roman Canon in 2 (or 3, if the ICEL texts are a big deal to that person) translations.Then, istm, we could talk about the important issues. I don't think they can be reduced to the political or the linguistic. They have to do with the nature of common worship, and whether it has anything to do with recollection.

Reduced to the linguistic??? Surely you cannot have good worship or recollected prayer if you have to recite an ugly text in poor English? The claim that it sounds better read aloud is otiose. Even if John Gielgud or Alec Guinness read it, the defects would still be apparent. You cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear. at the 1st and 3rd Euch. Prayers here.

Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N. and all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you. For them and all who are dear to them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and fulfilling their vows to you, the eternal God, living and true.OR THEY OFFER IT FOR THEMSELVES AND AND ALL WHO ARE DEAR TO THEM?The phrase in Latin is sometimes thought to signal an alternative reading. FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THEIR SOULS, IN HOPE OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, AND FULFLLING THEIR VOWS TO YOUGibberish!

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.LIKE THE DEWFALL?

Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify your Son, Jesus Christ.FALLEN ASLEEP IN THE HOPE?DIED IN YOUR MERCY?INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR FACE?

You are indeed Holy, O Lord, and all you have created rightly gives you praise, for through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, you give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.A SACRIFICE TO YOUR NAME?

Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church, and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son, and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.RECOGNIZING?

To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom. There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory through Christ our Lord through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.GIVE KIND ADMITTANCE?

We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great, and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love. You formed man in your own image, and entrusted the whole world to his care, so that in serving you alone, the Creator, he might have dominion over all creatures. And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death. For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you. Time and again you offered them covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation. AH, SURE, YOU'RE GREAT!YOU DID NOT ABANDON HIM... FOR YOU CAME IN MERCY TO THE AID OF ALL.(I did not abandon my child... FOR I provided money for his education.I did not neglect my studies... FOR I studied every evening.)TIME AND AGAIN(In English it always has a negative sense: 'Time and again I have told you, but you never listen' -- so is the text scolding the Jews or what?)LOOK FORWARD TO SALVATIONI look forward to a treat or a good movie. 'Hey, Lord, I'm looking forward to seeing you again when you come in glory!'

And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose for us, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as the first fruits for those who believe, so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full.THE FIRST FRUITS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE?SANCTIFY TO THE FULL?

Therefore, O Lord, we pray, may this same Holy Spirit graciously sanctify these gifts, that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the celebration of this great mystery, which he himself left us as an eternal covenant.FOR THE CELEBRATIONGet your party hat ready for the celebration?

In a similar way, taking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, he gave thanks, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: CALIX is CUP not CHALICE in modern EnglishIN A SIMILAR WAY -- not the same way? What was the difference? Compare and contrast.THE FRUIT OF THE VINE? GRAPES?

Therefore, O Lord, as we now celebrate the memorial of our redemption, we remember Christ's death and his descent to the realm of the dead, we proclaim his Resurrection and his Ascension to your right hand; and as we await his coming in glory, we offer you his Body and Blood, the sacrifice acceptable to you which brings salvation to the whole world.AS WE CELEBRATE, WE REMEMBER, WE PROCLAIM, AND AS WE AWAIT, WE OFFER.What exactly is going on here?

I'm not making this up, you know. All quotations are from the US Bishops seem proud of this mess!

Look, O Lord, upon the Sacrifice which you yourself have provided for your Church and grant in your loving kindness to all who partake of this one Bread and one Chalice that, gathered into one body by the Holy Spirit, they may truly become a living sacrifice in Christ to the praise of your glory.A COMMA AFTER 'Church' MIGHT ALLOW A BREATHING SPACE.A SACRIFICE TO is usually followed by the person or cause demanding it -- e.g. a sacrifice to God or to duty. A SACRIFICE TO THE PRAISE is a solecism. A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE is a biblical locution.How do we TRULY BECOME A LIVING SACRIFICE IN CHRIST?

Therefore, Lord, remember now all for whom we make this offering: especially your servant, N. our Pope, N. our Bishop and the whole Order of Bishops, all the clergy, those who make this offering, those gathered here before you, your entire people, and all who seek you with a sincere heart. WE MAKE THIS OFFERING FOR THOSE WHO MAKE THIS OFFERING?

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope, and the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.BY THE HELP OF YOUR MERCY?THE BLESSED HOPE, AND THE COMING -- two different things?