Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Domine, non sum dignus...

Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Liturgy is a rich tapestry of Scriptural imagery and allusions, woven together by the Church’s venerable ritual tradition in such a way that the Scriptures ‘come to life’: during the liturgy we are, in a particular way, ‘praying the scriptures’. One place where the new translation of the Mass makes this intimate relationship between Scripture and Liturgy more explicit is in the exchange between the celebrant and congregation immediately before Holy Communion. The new translation makes clear that the priest’s words repeat John the Baptist’s acknowledgment of Christ as the promised Messiah (Jn 1:29), and the people’s response repeats the reverence shown to Jesus by the Centurion in Matthew’s gospel (Mt 8:8). Read more

Institution Narrative

Thursday, November 10, 2011
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Preface Dialogue

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Liturgy of the Eucharist has begun. The gifts of bread and wine have been brought up, prepared and then blessed upon the altar. The people are standing and all is set for the central act of the Mass: the Eucharistic Prayer. It is time for the priest and people to place themselves entirely in the presence of God.
 
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right and just.

This dialogue between priest and people opens the Preface, the first part of the Eucharistic Prayer. It is an invitation to prayer, a call-and-response that invokes God’s presence in our hearts.

The first exchange has already occurred twice before, at the Greeting and at the Gospel, and will return twice afterwards, at the Peace and the Final Blessing. So, this middle occurrence is a dramatic pivot in the Mass, signalling the transition from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The new translation, ‘And with your spirit’, has been explained in a previous post.

The second exchange is no different from the old translation, which was already a good rendering of the Latin. Note that ‘hearts’ here is rich with significance: it denotes all our cares, our hopes and fears, our thoughts and beliefs. So, for St. Thérèse of Lisieux, prayer is essentially ‘a surge of the heart’. At the altar of God, we offer up all that we are.

In the third exchange the theme of Eucharist – thanksgiving – is now explicitly introduced. We are about to join ourselves to Christ’s sacrifice of thanksgiving, when we receive his Body and Blood. Here we see another improvement in the translation. The response ‘It is right to give Him thanks and praise’ has been replaced with ‘It is right and just’, which is simply a direct translation of Dignum et justum est. This new version has restored the reference to justice. Christ, the Paschal Lamb, executed divine justice when he offered himself as a pure and willing victim for our redemption, ‘while we were yet sinners’ (Rom. 5:8). Instead of condemning us, God’s judgment entails our rescue from sin (Jn. 3:17): thus is God’s justice revealed in His love – and what better reason to give Him thanks?

There is one further advantage to the phrase, ‘It is right and just’. Like a musical counterpoint, which is clear in the Latin and has been restored to our English version, the priest immediately develops the same theme as he continues with the Preface:

It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks.’
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Preparation of the Gifts

Saturday, November 05, 2011
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The Creed

Thursday, November 03, 2011

 
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The Penitential Rite

Monday, October 31, 2011
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"And With Your Spirit"

Friday, October 28, 2011
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Lost in translation?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Traduttore – traditore (the translator is a traitor) runs the Italian play on words, and its own English translation already gives us an example of what it’s talking about: the English words don’t sound as similar as the Italian, and so the wordplay doesn’t work as well. The translator faces a huge challenge in trying to convey the fullness of the original text, and inevitably something has to be compromised: perhaps the translator will feel the need to sacrifice the conciseness of the original, for example, in order to make the text more intelligible, or perhaps the importance of preserving the poetic form will be placed above the exact literal meaning of the words. Read more

Why a New Translation?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Over the next few weeks the Godzdogz team will be giving a series of reflections on the new Mass translation.
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