Monday, 3 October 2011

Be graciously patient, Lord

September 29th was the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, so in Mass I used the Preface of the Holy Angels. Reading through it, I struck a roadblock. The preface uses the word "redounds", and while it stirred something way back in my memory, possibly back to literary studies in university, I had to admit I didn't know what it meant. The internet Oxford dictionary says "(formal) contributes greatly to (a person's credit or honour)". Fine, I have no problem with the accuracy and appropriateness of the word in its reference to God, but I'm just wondering about its use in the liturgy.
I have mixed feelings about the new translation. I'm getting used to the longer sentences, especially in the Eucharistic Prayers, and the greater expression that is therefore needed in praying them out loud. There are many fine turns of phrase - I love "from the rising of the sun to its setting" and "the supper of the Lamb", for example. But praying that the deceased be experiencing "the light of your face" sounds clumsy to me, "coheirs" is not a natural phrase. I have yet myself to experience the supposed benefits of "And with your spirit" or "consubstantial". And yes I know it's not all about feelings, and I know the arguments for these changes, but language is a living dynamic reality which needs a little more than justifying arguments for it to "work".
And now that I'm getting more familiar with the translation, I agree with one commentator I read, who observed that the word "graciously" occurs a lot... So I'll just say that I'm asking the Lord to graciously hear our prayers and graciously bear with us while we try our best - graciously, of course.

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