Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update on New Translation of Breviary

This is from a recent issue of the newsletter of the United States Bishops committee on Divine Worship, regarding the progress of the new translation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Nothing earthshaking, but at least signs that progresss is being made:


The project of revising the English translation of the Liturgy of the Hours is still years from completion, but steady progress does continue to be made. The translators with the International Commission on English in the Liturgy continue to work through its various sections; the translators are working diligently. At the present time, they are concentrating especially on the intercessions and on the antiphons for the Benedictus and the Magnificat. In recent years, the Holy See has insisted on unified worldwide English translations of liturgical texts, with the exception of the Scriptural texts. The various Bishops’ Conferences have some latitude in determining the best Biblical translation to use in their own areas. With that in mind, the Conference has been moving forward in preparing Scriptural elements of the revised Liturgy of the Hours. Last November, the Bishops approved a series of further revisions in the Revised Grail Psalms. This was done partly as a “counteroffer” to revisions that the Holy See made to the first draft of the translation, and partly in response to experience gained by several religious communities who have been using these Psalms in their regular prayer. Last June, the Bishops approved a new translation of the Old and New Testament Canticles of the breviary, which were prepared by Conception Abbey. So, together with our existing New American Bible, the Biblical elements of our revised Liturgy of the Hours are falling into place. The last two elements will still require the recognitio of the Holy See. The Holy See has been gently encouraging the English-speaking Conferences to try to come to a consensus on Scriptural translations for the liturgy. The growing ease of international travel and communication and the growing worldwide influence of the English language obviously are factors here. The possibility of finding a Psalter that could be adopted in common will be discussed in the upcoming International Commission on English in the Liturgy meeting. We look forward to hearing the observations that the representatives of various groups will have about this question. This is a project that may or may not come to fruition. Therefore, it is premature to say what impact, if any, it would have on our new breviary.  

Whenever I mention this upcoming new translation, I always get the question: I was about to buy a new four-volume breiviary: should I just wait until the new version comes out? My answer is No, unless you are willing to wait another six years or more. 

15 comments:

  1. Your readers might be interested in this post about the new Cistercian secretary for liturgy. The referenced letter indicates that 75% of Cistercian monasteries are using the vernacular & a plurality using the 4 week LOTH. The proposed Liturgical Thesaurus might be of interest when it appears.

    https://sancrucensis.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/the-new-cistercian-secretary-for-liturgy/

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    1. That's very interesting, Bob. I must admit my knowledge of the Cistercian practicer is limited to what I saw in the film Into the Great Silence. Their office of Vigils, as I recall, was all in Latin.

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    2. Oh wait! That movie was about Carthusians. So I guess I know nothing about Cistercians.

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  2. RE Bob's comment above, the link refers to the O.C.s not the O.C.S.O. Cistercians. It implies to my mind that perhaps they will return to 100 percent use of Latin. I hope so.


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  3. So the Bishops are making a translation that is a 'counteroffer' to what was proposed by the Holy See. It is insulting to see our sacred texts treated like a POLITICAL toy.

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    1. "To the consternation of Abbot Gregory and everyone else, this text [Revised Grail Psalms] proved to have
      been altered from the 2008 version sent to Rome. It contained well over 100 textual changes, but
      it took time to find them all because the CDW did not provide a list of the changes it had made
      to the “final” text."

      For the rest of the article by Paul Inwood on the Revised Grail Psalter see http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/The-Revised-Grail-Psalter-updated.pdf

      Also, I understand that the Kenyan Liturgy of the Hours contains the 2008 edition.

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    2. I think everyone should just hold on to their current breviary, since I think there is a lot different issues going on that might bring about a longer delay. Some of them have been mentioned above already. Will the revised NAB NT, which is due for completion in c. 2025 going to be completed and utilized for the revised Hours? When Cardinal Weurl announced a few years back that they wanted a bible translation that would be used for liturgy as well as a single volume bible that people could actually possess, one wonders how that could be accomplished without including this revision of the NAB NT in the revised Hours. Also there are people who are still not happy with the new Roman Missal texts (3rd Edition). Might they try and get approval to make adaptions with a new Papacy?

      Still lots of questions out there.

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  4. I should like wish you and all your family Daria a very happy Easter, and to all who pass by your blog...

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    1. Thanks, and the same to you, Norman. Resurrexit!

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  5. Hello and blessings of new life to all!!
    As a pray-er of the LOTH, I am very interested in the upcoming revisions, adaptations, whatever they may be. As an amateur, I recently took the esteemed advice of this site's author and purchased the "Kenyan" version of the LOTH. My wife and I pray using this text when we are home, but when we gather with the wider community, we use the authorized North American version.
    I do like the RGP - for the most part - they are more inclusive ( though could be more so, even in authentic translation ). We still use the simplified chant tones from the Mundelein Psalter with the RGP - not too much difficulty that way.
    But what I do bemoan is the plethora of biblical translations used in the OReadings. As you know, we in Canada are using the NRSV biblical translation for our lectionary - including their translation of the psalms for the responsorial psalms in Mass. As I listen to the Divine Office app from time to time, I see that, at time, their translation is different from the Kenyan version. While it is a good thing to have a number of different translations at hand for certain times, I would truly like to see one version used in all official liturgies and worship service. I just get so confused hearing one version at one time, and then another different version at another time...kind a leads me astray at times, at times. I guess I would like to see some more uniformity rather than conformity in our language of official worship.

    For a while, I was praying the Office using the NRSV version of psalms, readings, and responsories (where applicable)...and while it was time consuming, flipping through the pages of the bible, I did find it a good connection to the Mass readings and psalms.

    Sorry for the length, but I just feel that our sense of belonging to the wider Catholic community could be enhanced if we had some more uniformity in English, and of course other languages, in our worship.

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    1. Hi Tom, Yes, I share your feelings about lack of a unified English language bible translation that could be used across the missal and the LOTH. And I agree that the NRSV is better than the New American Bible which is in the current American breivary, and the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) which is what you have in the Kenyan breaviary. I wish all the English-speaking bishops conferences could get together on this. But I am not hopeful.

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  6. Do you happen to have any information about any work being done on the Divine Office for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter? (The UK Ordinariate already has its own Customary, but it is only approved for use within its jurisdiction.) Thanks!

    - a different Tom

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    1. I know absolutely zilch, but will repeat your question in a post in case someone else does know something.

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