New Translation of the Mass: 6: Holy HolyHoly
In September 2011 the English translation that we use in the Roman Missal will be replaced by a newmore accurate translation of the Latin. The translation we use at present in the Mass was issued in the1970s in something of a rush after Vatican II and has long been acknowledged as being in need of improvement.Each of these newsletter handouts will focus on a different part of the Mass.
The LatinOld TranslationNew Translation
Et cum spiritutuo.Priest: Sursum corda.People:
adDominum.Priest: Gratias agamusDomino Deo nostro.People:
Dignum et iustumest.Priest: The Lord be with you.People:
And also withyou.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.People: We lift them up tothe Lord.Priest: Let us give thanks tothe Lord our God.People:
It is right
to givehimthanks and praise.
Father, it is
salvationalways and everywhere togive you thanks throughyour beloved Son, JesusChrist.
Priest: The Lord be withyou.People:
And with yourspirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.People: We lift them up tothe Lord.Priest: Let us give thanks tothe Lord our God.People: It is right
It is truly right and just,
our duty andsalvation, always andeverywhere to give youthanks
, Father mostholy,
your belovedSon, Jesus Christ...(1)The response
“and with your spirit”
replaces “and also with you”. An earlieredition of these newsletter handouts focussed on this change which occurs anumber of times in the Mass.(2)
“It is right and just”
. At first sight this phrase might seem a little abrupt, if nota little clumsy as the people’s response. However, when it is followed by thepriest’s preface prayer, which will always start with the same words “It is trulyright and just...”, the flow and connectedness of the dialogue should feel quitenatural.Sanctus, Sanctus,Sanctus, Dominus DeusSabaoth.Pleni sunt caeli et terragloria tua.Hosanna in excelsis.Benedictus qui venit innomine Domini.Hosanna in excelsis.Holy, holy, holyLord, God of
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.Hosanna in the highest.Blessed is he who comesin the name of the Lord.Hosanna in the highest.Holy, Holy, HolyLord God of
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.Hosanna in the highest.Blessed is he who comesin the name of the Lord.Hosanna in the highest.
echoes the prayer of the angels and saints in Heaven, theprayer that Scripture describes the hosts of Heaven making to theAlmighty
(Isa 6:3, c.f. Rev 4:8).
“Lord God of hosts”.
The new translation of this phrase is one of a great manyexamples in the new translation where we will now be better able to detect theuse of the Bible in the liturgy: “God of hosts” is a Scriptural term referring to himas the powerful Lord of hosts and armies.(4)
The three-fold “holy” is another use that connects our liturgy with the Jewish Scriptures.
Hebrew, the language of the ancient Jews, lacked the abilityto form superlative or comparative forms in the same way that we can in English,