Liturgiam authenticam by Congregation for Divine Worship

ON THE USE OF VERNACULAR LANGUAGES IN THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOKS OF THE ROMAN LITURGY

(New York: USCCB Publishing, 2001), 248

themes:

  • adhere to the tradition of liturgical use and interpretation by the Fathers and pious tradition
  • stability for memory

Notes

  • This is the fifth instruction issues post-Vatican II
  • Requires "liturgical books marked by sound doctrine, which are exact in wording, free from all ideological influence" (3)
  • Eastern Churches: "The Council asked that the traditions of each of these particular Churches be preserved whole and intact." (4)

    • "the same vigilance is required for the safeguarding ..the Latin Church"

  • Roman Missal: "sign and instrument of the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite" (4)
  • "For the Roman Rite is marked by a signal capacity for assimilating into itself spoken and sung texts, gestures and rites derived from the customs and the genius of diverse nations and particular Churches – both Eastern and Western – into a harmonious unity that transcends the boundaries of any single region. This characteristic is particularly evident in its orations, which exhibit a capacity to transcend the limits of their original situation so as to become the prayers of Christians in any time or place." (5)
  • In some cases, translation errors "have impeded the progress of the inculturation that actually should have taken place" (6)
  • "The norms set forth in this Instruction are to be substituted for all norms previously published on the matter, with the exception of the Instruction Varietates legitimae" (8)

Part I: ON THE CHOICE OF VERNACULAR LANGUAGES TO BE INTRODUCED INTO LITURGICAL USE

  • Cautions against translating into too many vernacular languages, and gives guidelines for how to choose and support vernacular translations (10-14)

Part II: ON THE TRANSLATION OF LITURGICAL TEXTS INTO VERNACULAR LANGUAGES

1. General principles applicable to all translation

  • "The words of the Sacred Scriptures, as well as the other words spoken in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of the Sacraments, are not intended primarily to be a sort of mirror of the interior dispositions of the faithful; rather, they express truths that transcend the limits of time and space." (19)
  • "the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses." (20)
  • "the new translations must be made directly from the original texts, namely the Latin, as regards the texts of ecclesiastical composition, or the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, as the case may be, as regards the texts of Sacred Scripture." (24)
  • "The liturgical texts’ character as a very powerful instrument for instilling in the lives of the Christian faithful the elements of faith and Christian morality" (26)
  • "Consideration should also be given to including in the vernacular editions at least some texts in the Latin language, especially those from the priceless treasury of Gregorian chant, which the Church recognizes as proper to the Roman Liturgy, and which, all other things being equal, is to be given pride of place in liturgical celebrations." (28)
  • 29: don't take up a progressive political agenda in translating; education should be kept to the homilist or catechist
  • 30 on Inclusive-Language Translations: "the Church herself must freely decide upon the system of language that will serve her doctrinal mission most effectively, and should not be subject to externally imposed linguistic norms that are detrimental to that mission."
  • 31: Refer to God as "He", maintain "Son of Man" and "fathers", refer to the Church as "she"
  • 32: Don't refer to academic style manuals, but do refer to the classics for reference

2. Other norms pertaining to the translation of the Sacred Scriptures and the preparation of Lectionaries

  • Stability to Memorize Scripture: "In order that the faithful may be able to commit to memory at least the more important texts of the Sacred Scriptures and be formed by them even in their private prayer, it is of the greatest importance that the translation of the Sacred Scriptures intended for liturgical use be characterized by a certain uniformity and stability, such that in every territory there should exist only one approved translation, which will be employed in all parts of the various liturgical books." (36)
  • "The Bible Translations is the point of reference as regards the delineation of the canonical text" (37)
  • "Thus, in the translation of the deuterocanonical books and wherever else there may exist varying manuscript traditions, the liturgical translation must be prepared in accordance with the same manuscript tradition that the Nova Vulgata has followed." (37)
  • In preparing new translations, it would be helpful, though not obligatory, that the numbering of the verses also follow that of the same text as closely as possible. (37)

    • → For reference, the Nova Vulgata places 1 and 2 Maccabees at the end of the Old Testament (index) rather than at the end of the Historical books (between Esther and Job) like The Great Adventure Bible does

  • Scripture is not just historical, but applies now: "one should strive, whenever there is a choice to be made between different ways of translating a term, to make those choices that will enable the hearer to recognize himself and the dimensions of his own life as vividly as possible in the persons and events found in the text." (42)
  • Literal translation can keep us from becoming complacent: "It should be borne in mind that a literal translation of terms which may initially sound odd in a vernacular language may for this very reason provoke inquisitiveness in the hearer and provide an occasion for catechesis." (43)

3. Norms concerning the translation of other liturgical texts

  • Memorize Scripture: "The texts for the principal celebrations occurring throughout the liturgical year should be offered to the faithful in a translation that is easily committed to memory, so as to render them usable in private prayers as well." (48)

A. Vocabulary

  • "a variety of vocabulary in the original text should give rise, insofar as possible, to a corresponding variety in the translations." (51)

B. Syntax, style and literary genre

  • More flexibility with poetry: "In poetic texts, greater flexibility will be needed in translation in order to provide for the role played by the literary form itself in expressing the content of the texts. Even so, expressions that have a particular doctrinal or spiritual importance or those that are more widely known are, insofar as possible, to be translated literally." (59)
  • Importance of singing: "Texts that are intended to be sung are particularly important because they convey to the faithful a sense of the solemnity of the celebration, and manifest unity in faith and charity by means of a union of voices." (60)

4. Norms pertaining to special types of texts

A. The Eucharistic Prayers

B. The Creed or Profession of Faith

C. The “Praenotanda” and the texts of a rubrical or juridical nature

Part III: ON THE PREPARATION OF TRANSLATIONS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSIONS

1. The manner of preparing a translation

2. The approbation of the translation and the petition for the recognitio of the Apostolic See

3. On the translation and approbation of sacramental formulae

4. On a unified version of the liturgical texts

5. On “mixed” commissions

6. The composition of new liturgical texts in a vernacular language

Part IV: THE PUBLICATION OF LITURGICAL BOOKS

Part V: THE TRANSLATION OF PROPER LITURGICAL TEXTS

Conclusion


Topic: Vatican II, Bible Translations

Source: Ignatius Bible (RSV), 2nd Edition

Bibliography

<a href="../notes/bib.html">bib</a> file:(~Liturgiam authenticam)

Created: 2022-10-28-Fri
Updated: 2022-11-16-Wed