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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

THEO-BABBLE

"That 53-word sentence,
[The collect which follows the Isaiah 54 reading in the Easter Vigil
(Roman Missal, third edition, Vox Clara translation of 2010
]
makes sense if one has the leisure to study it and perhaps to draw a diagram. But the person in the pew does not have that luxury. She or he will hear this prayer once a year at most. An individual word or phrase may ring a bell. But the essential meaning of the prayer will be lost. As an act of oral communication, a text such as this cannot but fail for the vast majority of Catholics. Like so many of the newly translated prayers, it will come across as theo-babble, holy nonsense."

Commonweal source article

I may adopt "theo-babble" instead of "glittering generalities" to describe sermons which deliver true statements without any application to living as a Christian in the present world.  


Some of those sermons are similar to MS-speak, where everything MicroSoft tells you on the screen is true but nothing is useful to you in solving the problem which brought up the screen.

The Homily  No. 65.
The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended,63 for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.


Number 391.
It is up to the Conferences of Bishops to provide for the translations of the biblical texts used in the celebration of Mass, exercising special care in this. For it is out of the Sacred Scripture that the readings are read and explained in the homily and that psalms are sung, and it is drawing upon the inspiration and spirit of Sacred Scripture that prayers, orations, and liturgical songs are fashioned in such a way that from them actions and signs derive their meaning.  Language should be used that can be grasped by the faithful and that is suitable for public proclamation, while maintaining those characteristics that are proper to the different ways of speaking used in the biblical books.

General Instructions of the Roman Missal [2002]

2 comments:

  1. Tom: Not all your readers are RCs and those of us who are Anglicans don't have an Easter Vigil reading from Isaiah 54. The Collect from the Roman Missal - 2010 is probably not something I could find in the Book of Common Prayer, so might you give us a reading of the Collect?
    Rod

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  2. Here is the quoted sentence from the Commonweal link given above. This is the not-yet-in-final-published-form Vox Clara translation to be implemented beginning on the coming First Sunday of Advent.

    Almighty, ever-living God,

    surpass for the honor of your name

    what you pledged to the patriarchs by reason of their faith

    and through sacred adoption increase the children of your promise

    so that what the saints of old never doubted would come to pass

    your Church may now see in great part fulfilled.

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