Monday 1 December 2014

The Postcommunion Prayers of the Missale Romanum (1970/2002): Translations and Sources

The following document is the reason why the French experimental lectionary table was finished much later than I would have liked. It isn't, strictly speaking, lectionary-based, but I thought that the idea was interesting enough to make into a freely-available resource. (And where else am I going to host it?) :-)

Please click here to view the resource!

The aim of the resource is to take each of the postcommunion prayers in the Proper of Time (i.e. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time), compare four different translations of them, and also give each of their sources. As an example, for the postcommunion for the 1st Sunday of Advent, one can see on a single page:

  • the postcommunion as it appears in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia emendata, with the 1972 interim translation of the National Liturgical Commission of England & Wales, and the 1973, 1998 and 2011 ICEL translations of it, all in a side-by-side table;
  • the Latin source text(s) of the prayer (in this case, it is a combination of two prayers from the Veronese Sacramentary) with some very rough English translations of the source(s), alongside the prayer as it appears in the current Latin and English Missals.
Over the years, there has been much ink - physical and electronic! - spilt over some of the differences between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, from both (so-called) conservative and progressive viewpoints. There are quite a large number of popular and scholarly books and articles that examine issues such as the two different calendars, the differences in each Missal's Order of Mass, the changes in the rubrics, etc. Less numerous, and much less accessible, are those works that deal in some detail with the sources used in the compilation of the prayers of the post-conciliar Missal.

My feeling is that, in critical examinations of this Missal, the real spade work is only just beginning. Some prayers in the OF Missal have been taken direct from their sources and used basically 'as is'; some prayers come from sources that have been edited (some lightly, some much more heavily) before their inclusion; other prayers are effectively newly composed around one or more a phrases lifted from a source; still others are newly composed in their entirety. It is very interesting to see which sources from the ancient sacramentaries and previous Missals have been edited and how they have been edited.

Back in 1970, in article in Notitiae, Archbishop Bugnini praised what he called the "ricchissimo e splendido tesoro eucologico" (rich and splendid euchological treasures) of the new Missal.* Are these treasures quite so rich and splendid if they have been edited to fit with the perceived mentality of 'modern man'? Can the prayers of the OF Missal be meaningfully described as "treasures" if they are not quite the same as those that, in some cases for more than a thousand years, previous generations of Catholics prayed? 

Part of my aim in compiling this study resource is to help examine these sorts of questions, and to enable people to delve a little deeper into all this editing and rearranging of source material that the group responsible for the post-conciliar liturgical reforms, the Consilium, engaged in. I hope that you all find it useful and interesting!

Cf. "De Editione Missalis Romani Instaurati 'Paulus Episcopus Plebi Dei'", Notitiae 6 (1970), p. 163.

French experimental lectionary table now available for download!

Well, it has been slightly more than a couple of weeks, but I have finished the French experimental lectionary table!

Please click here to download it!

The reason for my tardiness is because I have had another, slightly more involved project on the go, which will be explained in the next blog post...

Monday 8 September 2014

Comparison table of EF and OF readings for the liturgical year 2014-15

I have compiled a table that compares the readings in the EF and OF for the upcoming liturgical year (2014-15). Please click here to download it!

The comparative table of the EF and OF readings in the previous post is limited in a number of ways. The three year Sunday cycle of the OF lectionary, the differences in the OF and EF calendars, and the fact that Easter is movable, all make it difficult to compare the two sets of readings. However, by chronologically going through a whole liturgical year, we can start to get a feel for how the two lectionaries compare when put side-by-side.

Again, this table has its limitations, notably that it only works for one year. The sheer number of options in the OF lectionary does not help with compiling a table, either! But I hope that some of you find it useful nonetheless.

Oh, and for those who are interested, the French experimental lectionary table is almost done. My wife and I are going away this week for our wedding anniversary, so I hope to be able to upload that table in a couple of weeks.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Comparison table of OF and EF lectionary readings

Further to Fr Z's request for resources to compare the OF and EF readings, I have quickly knocked up the following table, which can be downloaded from here.

The font is unfortunately quite small, but that's mainly down to the sheer size of the OF Sunday lectionary!

Saturday 23 August 2014

Updates and fixes

Hello to those of you coming here from Fr Z!

I have fixed some of the links to the tables and other resources that have been broken over the last year or so. Please let me know in the comments if you are experiencing difficulties in accessing any of them.

The French experimental lectionary table is coming along nicely, and will hopefully be ready next month!

Tuesday 29 July 2014

French experimental lectionary table coming soon!

I mentioned in my last post that I was on the lookout for a copy of the French experimental lectionary. Well, I managed to track down volumes 2 and 3 for a good price on AbeBooks!

I was hoping that it would have been all three volumes, but unfortunately the seller appears to have confused volume 1 with the Canadian experimental lectionary. Oh well - the Lectionnaire pour les jours de semaine (Ottawa: Service des Editions liturgiques de la Conférence Catholique Canadienne, 1967) is an interesting piece of history to have on my shelf! Canada, like England & Wales, used the German scheme of readings, and according to the Lectionnaire, permission for them to use that experimental scheme was given by the Consilium on 21st January, 1966. Compared with the English & Welsh lectionary, the Canadian lectionary has slightly different instructions for its use, which I will copy and upload soon.

Anyway, I now have volumes 2 and 3 of the French Lectures pour les Messes de semaine (ad experimentum) (Centre National de Pastorale Liturgique, 1966). Volume 2 contains the readings for weeks 1-20 after Pentecost; Volume 3 contains the readings for the rest of the time after Pentecost, as well as Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, time after Epiphany, and Septuagesima through Quinquagesima.

Volume 1, as far as I can ascertain, contains the readings for Eastertide. Now, to make a table of the scheme in its entirety, I would ordinarily need this seemingly very hard to track down volume (at the time of writing, there weren't any secondhand copies listed on any of the sites I usually check). However, at the back of Volume 3 is an index of the readings for all three volumes. This means that, with a little extra work, the forthcoming table of the French experimental scheme will be complete! Hooray!

So, that's what's coming up. Most of the tools will then be available to help with basic comparative studies of the experimental lectionaries with each other, and also with the reformed lectionary. Watch this space!

Sunday 29 June 2014

Table of readings from the Experimental Lectionary (1965-69)

Sorry it's been a while since the last post - life has a habit of taking over...!

However, I managed to obtain a copy of Lectionary for the Masses of the Week (London: Burns & Oates, 1966, 2 vols.), an interesting piece of liturgical history that in some respects gives a preview of what was to come in the post-conciliar reform of the lectionary. It is, according to Bugnini, only one of (at least) three different experimental schemes in use from 1965 (The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 [Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1990], p. 480 n. 5). The bishops of England & Wales, along with those of Scotland and Ireland, appear to have adopted the German scheme.

The table of readings from this experimental lectionary can be found here.

I hope in the next few months to track down a copy of the French experimental scheme and tabulate it for the purposes of comparative study, but that could be a little tricky since it appears that bits of it were published in five or six different pamphlets. For now, though, freely use, share and enjoy this new table!