Bishop Trautman told the National Catholic Register that he and about half of the nation’s bishops believe the proposed text contains too many complicated words, as well as sentences and phrases that are too long. The words “precious chalice,” for example, replace the word “cup” during the consecration prayers.
“To me, ‘precious chalice’ says something gold with diamonds all around it,” Bishop Trautman said. “Jesus used a drinking cup at the last supper, not a precious chalice.”
[Via Christus Vincit]
Now if that statement doesn’t shout volumes about the bishops views on the liturgy I don’t know what does. Does he think of the term precious blood means blood with bling? Gee even Indiana Jones knew that the Holy Grail was holy not for what it looked like, but for what it once contained. Bishop Troutman as chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Liturgy gives foxes hope that one day they might too be employed in the hen house.
I have been listening to Prayer of the Faithful from the The Antiochene Syriac Maronite Church Podcast since last week and I am experiencing a little translation envy. The podcast is in English though they are obviously using a different translation then the one used in the English version of the Liturgy of the Hours. After hearing their version it makes it harder to read the Divine Office and note notice the rather dull translation. In their translation the language has much more of a sense of mystery and precision in theological language. It is a good thing in translation to simplify texts, but too often it goes to far.
For example the graphic format JPEG allows you to save pictures with varying amounts of compression. The higher the compression the lower the quality of the image. The term "lossy" is used to describe these compressions. Translations are almost always lossy also. Translating from one language to another involves some degradation from the original language. As in JPEG compression there are trade offs you make in determining the accuracy of the translation. Too much compression results in a picture that become incomprehensible from the original. Too much simplicity and plain language results in the same degradation when translating liturgical texts. What has happened to our liturgical texts is that the compression has resulted in mystery loss and loss of theological precision.