Since Fr. Joe has opened up the discussion on translations, I thought I would join in. While writing my masters' thesis, I created the table below to compare certain translations of three collects from the Roman Missal. The first column is the Latin. The second is a "traditional" translation of the text taken either from Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer (1st and 3rd prayers) or from an attempt at one by the historian Eamon Duffy. The third is the ICEL translation from the 1973 Sacramentary, still currently in use. The final column are the revised collects from the ICEL Sacramentarythat was approved in 1997 but rejected by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 2002.
11th Sun in OT
Deus in te sperantium fortitude, invocationibus nostris adesto propitius, et, quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmatis, gratiae tua praesta semper auxilium, ut, in exsequendis mandates tuis, et voluntate tibi in actione placemus
O God, the strength of all them who put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because though the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed.
Almighty God, our hope and our strength, without you we falter. Help us to follow Christ and live according to your will.
O God, the strength of all who hope in you, accept our earnest prayer. And since without you we are weak and certain to fail, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you in desire and deed.
12th Sun in OT
Sancti nomini tui, Domine, timorem partiter at amorem fac nos habere perpetuum quia numquam tua gubernatione destituis, quo in soliditate tuae dilectionis instituis.
Grant us, Lord, not only a constant fear of your Holy Name, but also a constant love of it, for you leave no one without your guidance whom you have firmly established in your love.
Father, guide and protector of your people, grant us an unfailing respect for your name, and keep us always in your love.
Lord God, teach us to hold your holy name both in awe and in lasting affection, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you establish in your steadfast love.
30th Sun in OT
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei, spei et caritatis augmentum,et, ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis.
Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command.
Almighty and ever-living God, strengthen our faith, hope and love. May we do with loving hearts what you ask of us and come to come to share the life you promise
God of holiness, increase within us your gifts of faith, hope and love, and enable us to cherish whatever you command, that we may come to possess all that you promise.
When we compare the 1973 and 1997 translations, it seems clear that the ICELtook to heart some of thecriticisms they received about the 1973 collects. The 1997 versions are more faithful to theoriginal Latin andconvey a number of concepts that were essentially left on the cutting room floor in 1973. What I do not have at my disposal--and would love to see if any readers out there have access to them--are the collects from the same Sundays in the ICEL translation that was just considered by the USCCB.I would like to place them on the chart above and see how much better (or worse, depending on your point of view) they really are.I often find in this debate that critics of the (pre-2001) ICEL continue to refer back to the1973 collects as if there had beenno development since then. That is not the case.Earlyin the revision process, the ICEL conducted a consultation withits member episcopal conferences in which theissue of the "register" of the language of the collects was raised by many bishops. I think there is no question that the1997translations are more "sacral" in character than the ones from 1973. One can still quibble, of course, about whether, for example,a phrase like "enable us to cherish" adequately renders the forcefulness of "fac nos amare." But, by and large, I think the improvement is significant, even if I might quibble with some of the specific decisions.I think this is important because defenders of the Congregation for Divine Worshipsometimes suggest that the promulgation of Liturgiam Authenticam and the restructuring of ICEL were the only way that we were going to get English prayers that werean improvement over those of 1973.I think the historical evidence suggests otherwise.