Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Doxology- Divine Office factoid #5




 "Doxology" comes from Greek words meaning "speaking praise". In Christian devotion and liturgy, a doxology is a short and profound verse of praise, often used as a conclusion of a longer prayer. Some examples are "Through Him, With Him, and In Him..." at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer; "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours" after the Our Father; and, most familiar of all, the Trinitarian doxology with which we conclude every decade of the rosary and every psalm and canticle during the Liturgy of the Hours.

What's that you say?
You think there's a different doxology used in the Liturgy of the Hours that is not the same one used for the rosary?

Not really. It's a translation thing. Same  prayer, two translations.
The version you use for the rosary, with novenas, and other devotions is the traditional translation: Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit/As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The version in our breviaries: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit/As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever
... is the 1970 translation courtesy of ICEL, the same organization that gave us our missal in 1970. (the same missal that had to be re-translated after Rome determined that it was not sufficiently faithful to the Latin of the Roman Missal)

Same prayer, not a different prayer. Just a different translation.

So if you prefer the traditonal Glory Be when you are privately praying your office, go right ahead. Many priests that I know do exactly that. However, it's probably best not to let your personal tastes prevail when you pray with a group. You don't want to confuse newcomers, or give the impression that you are trying to drown out the current translation with the traditional one in some kind of liturgical shouting match. Unity is the ideal for liturgical prayer.

Right now our bishops are working on a new edition of the American breviary. It is  quite possible that they will go back to the traditional doxology. It is also possible that they will come up with a version that is different from either the current one OR the traditional one. I say this because that phrase "world without end" is not necessarily the  most accurate translation of the Latin et in saecula saeculorum.  Other languages have translated this as something more like  "ages upon ages" or "forever and ever".

So we shall see what happens.












4 comments:

  1. The monks at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana use yet another version. I think this is influenced by the German office that was done by the Swiss monks at Saint Meinrad long ago, and/or is deemed more in line with the Grail psalter's line lengths and syllabic stresses:

    Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: as always before, so now and evermore. Amen.

    It's the "so" that links it to the German in my mind:

    Ehre sei dem Vater, und dem Sohn, und dem Heiligen Geist: Wie am Anfang, so auch jetzt und allezeit, und in Ewigkeit. Amen.

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    1. That does have a German vibe. It must sound nice when chanted, with that rhyme of before/evermore.

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  2. I was always partial to the Ruthenian "Glory to...Spirit, now and ever and forever." It loses some literalness, but it does have a certain poetic flow. I'm currently a Roman seminarian, and it's my hope we don't return to the traditional English; it has always felt too clunky for me. Sed fiat ut Ecclesia dicit.

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  3. What ever translation ("world without end", pls!), I hope they put a reminder after each Psalm. I am always half way through the antiphon when I realize I didn't say the Glory Be!

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