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MASS-ENGLISH (UPDATED) Oct-7-2005 (980 words) xxxi

New draft translation of Mass prayers distributed to bishops

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- A new draft translation of the main Mass prayers in English has been distributed to bishops and was auctioned off Oct. 5 on eBay, the Internet auction site.

The draft of the "Ordo Missae," or Order of the Mass, was compiled by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, which works for 11 bishops' conferences and drafts translations of original Latin prayers.

The online bidder paid $61 for the 44-page document.

The eBay seller, who asked not to be identified, told Catholic News Service in Rome Oct. 7 that he was about to auction off another copy of the text "not to make money, but to put the text out there and show people the sillier bits."

"These are the words of the holy sacrifice of the Mass and they belong to us," he said, adding that the process should not be secret.

An earlier draft was approved by ICEL's episcopal board in 2004 and was distributed to English-speaking bishops for comment.

The Order of the Mass includes the prayers that are used at every Mass, such as the Gloria, the Nicene Creed and the eucharistic prayers. It does not include all of the prayers that change each week during the liturgical year.

Catholic News Service in Rome was given a copy of the latest draft Oct. 6.

Following the 2002 publication of the third edition of the Roman Missal in Latin and new translation rules contained in the 2001 Vatican instruction, "Liturgiam Authenticam" ("The Authentic Liturgy"), the draft relies on more literal translations of the Latin texts than the English texts currently recited at Mass and uses a more formal version of English.

However, some of the translations that bishops had judged as archaic or artificial sounding have been changed since the 2004 draft was circulated.

For example, the third eucharistic prayer currently in use says: "From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that from East to West a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name."

The 2004 version had said: "... you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure oblation may be offered to your name."

In the latest draft, the word "oblation" is replaced with "sacrifice."

The second eucharistic prayer now begins: "Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ."

The latest draft suggested: "You are indeed the holy one, O Lord, you are the wellspring of all holiness. Therefore, make holy these gifts, we pray, by the dew of your Spirit, that they may become for us the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ."

The new draft kept the specific changes suggested by "Liturgiam Authenticam," including one that English translations of the creed return to the first person singular -- "I believe" -- used in the Latin and most other languages.

The draft also retained the more literal translation of the standard response to the priest's greeting, "The Lord be with you," by having the people answer, "And with your spirit."

The new draft also maintained a literal translation of the Latin text of the prayer the people say before receiving Communion. The current text is: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."

The proposed text is: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

The Sanctus, or Holy, Holy, Holy, underwent further change.

The current prayer begins, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might." The 2004 draft had suggested, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of mighty hosts," but the latest suggestion is: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts."

In the penitential rite at the beginning of Mass, one prayer currently includes the line: "... I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do ... ."

The 2004 draft had said: "... I have sinned exceedingly in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

The new draft changed "I have sinned exceedingly" to "I have sinned greatly."

In the Gloria, the draft proposes a word order closer to the Latin version. The new version begins: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly king, O God, almighty Father."

The new draft was sent to all U.S. bishops in July with a request that they review it and send their comments to the bishops' Committee on Liturgy by Sept. 10. After studying the comments, the committee was to report on the process during the U.S. bishops' general meeting in Washington in November.

Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., chairman of the liturgy committee, writing to the bishops in July, said bishops had made more than 800 recommendations for improving the 2004 text. The liturgy committee sent a report to ICEL focused on 60 of the suggested modifications.

The 2005 draft, Bishop Trautman said, "incorporated just under half" of the committee's recommendations.

He also said the committee had conducted a preliminary review of the 2005 draft, concluding that it was "much improved" over the first draft, but expressing disappointment that many of the U.S. suggestions were not accepted.

END


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