Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scissors+ Paste+ New Missal Collects=

An improved  breviary!

A while back I posted  on my joy over the upcoming new Roman Missal, and tempered my joy with some longing for a more accurately translated breviary as well. All my inquiries to Those Who Know About Such Things indicate that yes! a new  English translation of the breviary is going to be done, but no, sorry! we have no idea when that will happen and it probably won't  for quite a while.

God, give me patience.

Then, I was looking at the December issue of The Word Among Us, a monthly devotional/daily missal.

Looking ahead to the mass of the First Sunday of Advent, my eye fell on the opening prayer, now titled the "Collect":  Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand, 
they may be worthy to possess your heavenly Kingdom,
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,etc...Amen.

Nice, huh? Compare it to what we still have in our breviary (the concluding prayer of each hour is the same as the opening prayer at the day's mass.):
  All powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you, etc....Amen.

So there's an object lesson in the difference between literal and "dynamic"(paraphrased) translation.
I know which one I prefer.

As I pondered, I got an  

I grabbed a pair of scissors and started snipping.

Then grabbed my breviary and a glue stick and started pasting.

 Now I've got the newly translated prayers in my breviary!
So I'm doing the liturgy geek happy dance,
Which is NOT to be confused with liturgical dancing!


  1. Great idea, Daria! I was trying to figure out a more efficient way to do this than typing out all the prayers...

  2. Mr Angelico Nguyen, OPNovember 20, 2011 at 12:51 AM

    This is a very clever hack! It looks good, and I hope it 'works' -- though for more than one reason, I can't help but picture a piece of unshrunk cloth sewn onto an old garment.... ;-)

  3. Agreed--new Collect is MUCH nicer. That said, I don't think I'd want to cut and paste all over my breviary. Easier, I think, to keep the 2 books together and just pick up the Missal after the Lord's Prayer.

  4. @Angelico--I'm laughing at your comment. I can guess what will happen to my "new patches".In a few years they will start coming loose and fluttering out of my breiviary. But hopefully by then newly translated breviaries will be available.

  5. It might also double the size of the breviary!

  6. We do the best we can. Great idea! Since we in the Philippines will start using the new missal next year yet (Dec 2, 2012), I believe we will have also a new missal by then. I have for some years, through the generosity of friends, have been using electronic copies of the missal (in .pdb for iSilo or epub for Apple), and these same friends have been working on pdb and epub versions of the new missal.

  7. One of the first things that strikes me in comparing the prayers is that the people who did the "dynamic" version must have hated poetry. They constantly throw out the metaphors (many of which are taken from the language and imagery of Scripture!). "Resolve to run to meet your Christ...." That could change someone's life! Run to meet Him. So much more vital and concrete than "increase our strength of will"...plop! Great. More willpower. But how is God going increase the strength of my will? Well, one way is by drawing my heart through the beautiful and vivid images of the Church's prayer! It's good to have them, finally!

  8. Exactly!Sometimes the poetry vs. grade two reader prose contrast is so extreme you really have to examine the two carefully to find the common thread that proves both prayers came from the same (Latin) source. One marvels that we got by on bread and water all these years. Now we have steak and champagne.