mass draft of 2004: introduction

The International Commission on the English Language (ICEL) is working on a new translation of the Roman Missal, also known in the English-speaking world as the Sacramentary. This is the book used at the altar by the priest and contains all the prayers for the Mass.
By the wonders of the internet, a “green book” draft copy that was sent to the English-speaking bishops for their individual review has found its way into the hands of whoever finds it. I found a PDF copy of the scanned pages. A “green book” is a literal green book that contains the working draft. It is sent to individual bishops for review. A “grey book” is a, you guessed it, grey book that is sent to the National Conferences for a later, more formal review. That being said, it should be well noted that this is an early draft and very much subject to change.
The process of liturgy revision and translations interests me and so I am going to compare slowly the draft copy with the currently used ICEL translation of 1973. I will add my comments where they exist. I must throw in the broad headnote that I am not a liturgist or a theologian. I do not know what I am talking about beyond my own personal, informal research. If I am completely ignorant of something that should be noted, feel free to use the comment system.
The ICEL has been controversial for some time with the translations of the Latin texts. In 1999, there was a draft translation submitted to the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) for their recognitio. Since a new editio typica of the Roman Missal was released, it was assumed that the Vatican stamp of approval would not be given. In addition to the rejection letter, Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez, then-Prefect for the CDW, included a list of critiques.
After that, the Vatican said this and that and tightened control over the ICEL a bit. In addition, Dr. John Page, Executive Secretary for the ICEL, resigned from his post of 22 years.
With this latest draft translation, the critiques seem to have left an impression. This leads to some complaints, probably both valid and invalid, as well as shouts of joy. While I am a novice to all of this, I figure that a translation should be a loyal to the original as possible. That being said, if it is closer to the original Latin, I am down with it. Of course, there are the valid issues of creating a translation that conveys the same message and intent as the original. From what it sounds like, there are those that believe that the translation should convey the same message but not using the same words. On top of that, I have the gut feeling that the valid translation of meaning, not words, was used as a reason to slightly change and adapt the meaning.
It is important for the translations to be as correct as possible since how we pray influences how we believe.
Also, as I doubt this will be of huge interest to my Xanga crowd, I won’t be posting the draft comments on there. I will make a note, however, that a new draft post is online at this website.
For the review, I will be using a few different texts. I will be using the 2004 draft tranlation of the Roman Missal and the current Sacramentary, translated in 1973 for the main comparison. For additional context, I will be including the editio typica tertia, authorized by John Paul in 2000 and published in 2002. Also, I will be including the English from a older missal, 1966 English translation of the Mass. This translation includes many elements of the Traditional Rite and was before the editio typica prima of 1970. While this last text is of least concern to the current translation, I think it is equally interesting to watch the progression of liturgy and liturgical language. I am only making comments of differences between the 1973 and 2004 texts.
[This post was edited from its original version. The last paragraph on texts used was added and later edited to include the 1966 translation.]

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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