Monday, 2 March 2015

L'esprit de l'escalier

Of course, the morning after posting on translation, I thought of what I really should have written (post scriptum omne animal triste est and all that). And that is that the last word on word for word translation belongs to Astérix, or more precisely, Jolitorax, his very idiomatic English cousin.

« Fin de semaine » (p2-c7) = Week-end
« Choquant! » (p2-c8) = Shocking!
« Plutôt. » (p3-c2) = Rather.
« Et toute cette sorte de choses. » (p3-c7) = And all that sort of thing = et caetera.
« Je dis. » (p4-c4) = I say., que les Bretons de l'album placent à tout bout de champ dans leurs phrases. Typique d'un Anglais de la haute société du début du xxe siècle. Cette tournure était utilisée pour souligner quelque chose.
« Un morceau de chance. » (p4-c5) = A bit of luck.
« Secouons-nous les mains. » (p4-c7) = Let's shake hands.
« Je demande votre pardon. » (p5-c3) = I beg your pardon.
« Je ne voudrais pas être un ennui pour vous. » (p6-c6) = I don't want to be any trouble for you.
« Un joyeux bon garçon. » (p24-c5) = A jolly good fellow.
« Nous devons. » (p24-c2) = We have to.
« Ma bonté! » (p25-c2) = My goodness!
« Gardez votre lèvre supérieure rigide. » (p25-c4) = Keep a stiff upper lip = « Gardez votre sang-froid. »
« Il est devenu absolument noix. » (p26-c4) = He is going nuts = « Il devient fou. », « Il perd les pédales. »
« J'étais en dehors de mes esprits avec l'inquiétude. » (p28-c2) = I was out of my mind with worry. = « J'étais inquiet. »
« C'était grand de vous avoir ici. » (p43-c7) = It was grand to have you.


Je reste mon cas (avec mercis au Wikipedia français).

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Bugnini on translation

I have just read the section in Bugnini's book about translation. Whilst I have to approach most of the issues he deals with as an amateur and outsider, here is a topic I actually know a little about.

And that leads me to be even more critical of the story he tells.

Here are the guidelines the Consilium offered.
'In Liturgical communication three points must be considered: 
a) What is being said in the original text. Translators must identify the content of the message and give it a new form that is both accurate and agreeable. They must apply the scientific methods of textual and literary criticism that the experts have developed. (1) 
b) The addressee of the text. The language used must be accessible to majority of the faithful, including children and uneducated folk. It must not, however, be "common" in the bad sense but must be beyond blame from the literary standpoint. (2) 
c) The manner and form of expression are integral elements in oral communication. The literary genre of any text depends on the nature of the ritual action. It is one thing to utter an acclamation, another to offer a petition or proclaim or read or sing. 
(1) The instruction is here saying that translations should not always be word for word since this can obscure the overall sense of the message. In Latin, the accumulation of words reinforces the meaning as, for example, in the series "ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque" in the Roman Canon; in modern languages, on the other hand, such a use of three adjectives may have the opposite effect. In his observations the Pope warned against "arbitrary and subjective manipulations" of the original and gave a humorous example : the translation of 'mea culpa' by a modern man of letters who follows the principles set down: 'It was I; yes it was I; there is nothing more to say.' " 
(2) Note of the Holy Father: "The Italian translation of the Mass is not quite perfect when measured by this standard (dovunque instead of dappertuto, mai instead of non mai, and so on)."

There is so much that could be said about all this. Paragraph a) is very interesting. Why the suggestion of a 'new form?' What is meant by 'agreeable?'  The scientific methods of the experts was not an area of settled agreement in the 1960s (it still isn't: translation is more of an art than a science, see Bellos' delightful book Is that a fish in your ear? for a good discussion of this). But in the 1960s, the whole business of textual and literary criticism was politicised, and subject to all manner of 'progressive' theories, not least concepts from post-modernism such as deconstruction, championed by the likes of Derrida and Foucault.

So the Consilium's exhortation to 'apply the scientific methods' of the 'experts' opened wide a very unstable door...

Paragraph b) seems to me even more problematic. In the first place, the assumption seems to be that the addressee of the liturgy is the congregation. But the Catholic understanding has always been that the Liturgy is addressed to God the Father (cf CCC §1083).  My second concern is the stipulation that the language should be intelligible to children and uneducated folk. This could be taken two ways: it could mean that the language 'must be intelligible once explained to...' or it could mean that it 'must be intelligible on first hearing to...' 

The first of these would be a good principle; but the second is what was applied (at least in English and French, the languages I understand  in which I have attended Mass), and has led to the disastrous dumbing down of the liturgy. For if you take something as rich as the Liturgy and so redact it as to make it fully intelligible, on first hearing, to children and the uneducated, you inevitably do two other things. One is that you lose a lot of the meaning; the second is that you make it dull for the intelligent, and for children as they grow older, and for the uneducated on umpteenth hearing: it simply lacks the richness that would allow people to discover more and more in it over time. Those two principles, directing the liturgy at the people, and making it so simple that a child can understand it on first hearing, have been large contributors to the infantilisation of the liturgy (a fruit of which I have commented on here, in my one and only post to get official kudos from Fr Z.)

The exhortation that it must not 'be "common" in the bad sense but must be beyond blame from the literary standpoint,' would be more helpful if it led to some more specific guidance. As it stands, it invites such subjective judgement to be meaningless.

Paragraph c) seems to me to be a practically meaningless platitude. It offers no helpful criteria by which one could guide or evaluate one's work as a translator, merely an exhortation to bear in mind what any competent translator would always bear in mind.

But as so often with Bugnini, the footnotes are as interesting as the main text.

The first footnote contains three distinct elements. The first is a truth that has been known from the time of the ancient Greeks, who distinguished between metaphrase (a very literal, word-for-word translation) and paraphrase (the attempt to find words and phrases that convey the meaning accurately to a speaker of the language into which a text is being translated). It resurfaced in the 1960s (of course) as a new theory of 'dynamic equivalence' (courtesy of Eugene Nida). Nida seems to have varied in what he meant by 'dynamic equivalence.' Sometimes it was the same as the classical paraphrase, but sometimes he insisted it meant finding a translation that would have the same effect on the recipient in the new language as the original text would have had on someone who was a native speaker of the original language. Clearly,when one is operating across centuries as well as languages, that approach is somewhat conjectural. It is, however, the animating principle of many recent translations of the Bible.

The second element is the comment about the accumulation of words. Here Bugnini is guilty of so gross a generalisation that I shudder. The three words in the example he cites are not homonyms. Each has a different meaning and a different set of resonances: this is not just rhetorical repetition. So a good translator will strive to find a way to convey that richness: it is lazy to say 'Oh, Latin likes repetition to add emphasis. I'll omit the repetition and find a word to cover all three.'

Moreover, even if the words are identical, or nearly so, as in mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, it is not necessarily idle repetition. In the first place, any student of rhetoric knows the power of the three part list: and that is not unique to Latin (consider Shakespeare, who frequently uses the device [cry God for Harry, England and Saint George; tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow etc]  or the slogan of the French revolution, or the Nazi slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer and so on.).

But it has further resonance in Catholicism. Any three part list (Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus) immediately recalls the Blessed Trinity. It may also recall the three days of Our Lord's death, and associated with that, the three days that Isaac was under sentence of death, that Jonah spent in the whale, that Our Lord was lost as a child, and so on. In the instance of the mea culpa, and likewise the triple Domine non sum dignus,  we think of Peter's triple denial of Our Lord, and Our Lord's triple command that he should feed His sheep in response.

To talk of these as an accumulation to add emphasis that only works in Latin is absurd. That false understanding has impoverished us.

The third element is the Holy Father's joke. But it seems to me that the joke was criticising the Consilium's principles, not endorsing them. And guess what? The Holy Father's criticisms, as so often, carried no weight with the experts.

The second footnote is another criticism by the Holy Father of the work done by the translators: Bugnini does not record any amendment as a result.

As well as these problems with the guidelines that where issued, there are more considerable problems with what was not said with regard to the criteria for translation.

Given that any translation of a long text is to some extent interpretive, weaving skilfully (if well done) between metaphrase (where possible) and paraphrase (where necessary), I should have thought it essential to provide some guidelines for that interpretive task. I would suggest complete fidelity to the meaning of the texts as understood by tradition, preceding Church teachings (eg how the texts have been quoted by Councils etc) and the writings of the Fathers of the Church; informed by an awareness of the contextual resonance of the text under consideration (eg the issues around three-fold repetition to which I referred earlier).

Th other important issue, I believe, is an understanding of liturgical language. The principle at b) above, as articulated, and particularly as applied in practice, misses an important linguistic feature of any serious  liturgical language (and not just in the Catholic liturgy): it is hieratic. That is to say, it is not the language of every day use, but rather a heightened language, reserved for formal public prayer to God. See my posts here for more on hieratic language, and here for more on translating the Bible and Missal.

Poor translation wasn't the only problem with the liturgical reforms, by any means, but it was certainly a major one, and one which I believe has contributed to generations of children (and indeed adults) abandoning the Mass as it seemed to have so little to offer them... Who needs to go to something that sounds like an infant school assembly on a Sunday morning, after all?

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dodgy Dutch

As I continue to wade through Bugnini's auto-hagiography, one of the recurrent issues is the Dutch church. They are for ever pushing the boundaries in every way.  For example: 'The Dutch were unwilling to translate the Roman liturgical books, but preferred to give rein to local free creativity.' (!) In fact as early as March 1965, long before authorised, 'translations of the Canon were beginning to circulate, along with texts o f new Eucharistic Prayers.' Nothing was done about this, of course: it merely provided the Consilium with the rationale to rush ahead with ditching Latin altogether, and writing their own, approved, new Eucharistic Prayers. At this stage, too, the Dutch bishops 'in order to retain control of liturgical development' were pressing for permission to 'develop and revise the presidential prayers of the Mass, to translate the Canon and the rites of holy orders, to use other Eucharistic Prayers that would be approved by the Holy See, to allow the laity to distribute communion, and to let them do so by placing the sacred host in the hand of the faithful.'

And then of course, there was the infamous Dutch Catechism (1966), written by Schillebeeckx et al. This was found to be defective by the Holy See, in its presentation of original sin and related doctrines, Christ's atoning satisfaction and sacrifice, the sacrificial character of the Mass, the priestly nature of the ordained ministry, the Church's teaching authority and various other issues, including suggesting that artificial contraception was legitimate.  But it was fiercely defended by the Dutch bishops, and there was a nasty propaganda campaign run against the Holy See for having the temerity to point out its defects and demand that future editions contain a supplement to pull it back towards Catholic teaching.

I don't know much about the history of the Church in the Low Countries. The hierarchy seems to have been heroic, though possibly naive, during the Second World War, openly denouncing the Nazis. But since then, the Dutch Church seems to have moved further and further from orthopraxis and then from orthodoxy. Liturgically, even before the Second Vatican Council, it seems to have been 'creative.' The Dutch Catechism suggests that heteropraxis and heterodoxy went hand in hand - a lesson that is also applicable closer to home, of course.

March Masses in the Usus Antiquior in Lancaster Diocese

Sunday March 1st  Second Sunday in Lent
at 6.00 pm Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Sunday March 8th  Third Sunday in Lent
at 6.00 pm Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Friday March 13th 24 Hours with the Lord – Eucharistic Adoration
From 9.00 am to 9.00 am on Saturday March 14th
St Walburge, Preston

Sunday March 15th
Fourth Sunday in Lent 
– Laetare Sunday
at 10.30 am: High Mass sung by St Philip Neri Choir 
St Walburge, Preston

at 6.00 pm: Sung Mass with polyphonic choir
Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Thursday 19th March  St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
at 7.00 pm Our Lady &  St Joseph, Carlisle

Sunday March 22nd  Passion Sunday
at 3.00 pm St Peter's Cathedral, Lancaster

at 6.00 pm Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Wednesday 25th March  Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
at 7.00 pm Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Sunday March 29th  Palm Sunday
at 6.00 pm Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle

Shrine Church of St Walburge, Preston
Mondays – Fridays: 12 noon, Low Mass (except First Friday 7.00 pm) 

Saturdays: 10.30 am, Low Mass
Sundays: 10.30 am, Sung Mass

Mass is also celebrated every Sunday:
at 8.30 am at St Mary Magdalene, Leyland Road, Penwortham 
at 11.30 am at St Catherine Labouré, Stanifield Lane, Leyland

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Light A Candle for Hope and Peace in Syria

From Aid to the Church In Need:

Yesterday Aid to the Church in Need received an urgent message with the awful news that the terrorist group calling itself IS (Islamic State) has seized Christian villages in Hassake governorate, north-east Syria and that more than 100 people have been taken captive.

Around midnight last night, Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, who is helping persecuted Christians in the region, received an update from a contact in the city, which he relayed to us this morning. In brief, he tells us that 24 families from Tel Gouran, 34 families from Tel Jazira, and 14 fighters (12 male and two females) from Tel Hormizd have been captured and taken to the Arab Sunni village of Um Al-Masamier.

We don’t have the actual number of people as yet, but we do know that most of them are alive although, chillingly, the men have been separated from women and children.

Archimandrite Youkhana tells us that more than 50 families in Tel Shamiran are still surrounded and it is unclear if IS will attack the village.

To add to the tension, in Tel Tamar there has been a car bomb explosion as well as sporadic mortar fire into Tel Nasri from across the Khabour River. No casualties have been reported.

Obviously the situation is changing on an hourly basis, but you may like to read a fuller account of the information we have

This is a very frightening situation for the families taken captive and all Christians in outlying villages.

When it comes to securing the release of the hostages and the safety of the Christian community we might feel helpless.

However, it is within our power to join together in prayer and, strong in collective faith and goodwill, to ask the Holy Spirit to sow seeds of mercy in the hearts of the jihadists.

A few weeks ago we received a wonderful prayer from Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III of Damascus. In it he asks us to Light a Candle for peace and hope in Syria.

Will you help us join with him this weekend by lighting a candle in your church and pray most earnestly for the safe release of these innocent captives and also for Christ’s abiding peace in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East.

Thanks to you, last week ACN was able to rush through 22 projects offering emergency help − fuel, food, medicine − and pastoral help for families in Hassake, Aleppo, Damascus and the surrounding countryside.  

In the coming days, we will assess the urgent help required in this new emergency.

Thank you for your loyal and incredibly important solidarity in these difficult times.

God bless


You can learn more, find out how to support ACN, or donate here.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Bugnini for Lent

It is now about ten months since I got my own copy of Bugnini's Reform of the Roman Liturgy. But I have not read a great deal of it over that period, for various reasons, and have not blogged on what I have been reading.

But it is Lent: surely a time for works of penance and mortification, so I turn to Bugnini once more.

Looking back over the chapters I have read since I got my own copy (and of course the joy of working with my own copy rather than a library copy is that I can scribble in the margins) there are a few themes that emerge.

One is the self-confidence, or arrogance or... well you decide what is the right description of someone who could write this:
The renewal was gradually making its way even into the functions of the papal chapel, which, step by step, were being transformed into true sacred celebrations with participation of the congregation. (My emphasis: what does he think they were previously?)
and this:
That beginning (of the liturgical reform) was described as the day when " the entire Church was empowered to sing the glory of God in the languages of the Faithful." (It is odd to think that all those hymns written, for example, by Fr Faber, were never sung until then...)
Another theme is the speed of the changes. Sacrosanctum Concilium was published in December 1963; the much more radical Inter Oecumenici was published by Bugnini's Consilium in March 1965, giving official authorisation for the use of the vernacular in some parts of the Mass. By November 1965, Bugnini's address to the presidents of the national liturgical commissions, included: 'Now that Latin has been abandoned, at least in large measure...'  Of course, both SC and IO said that Latin should not and would not be abandoned.

A third theme is the degree of secrecy involved in the developments. 'The Cardinal President... exhorted all the participants in these meetings to be very prudent in letting others know of their work.' Likewise, the Taizé community was to be given permission to use the third anaphora 'but without publicity.'  Such secrecy was to protect the changes, both from the danger of people going much further than was permitted (which might provoke a backlash) and from those already profoundly upset.

Related to that was the concern to manage the reaction of those not directly involved: 'After the promulgation of Consilium documents, the press should endeavour to make them known to the Christian people, explaining and presenting them in a favorable light.' Likewise, 'It would be very helpful if the press were given advance notice of the publication of a document so that it might prepare public opinion and create an anticipation that will ease the way for the document.' Though a footnote suggests that the press were not quite the poodle that Bugnini wanted: 'Some difficulties hindered ready action:... captiousness and factionalism on the part of some journalists...'

A fourth theme is the sense that the agenda was on a pre-determined course, which even the Holy Father could not stop. The changes to the Roman Canon are a case in point. The Pope had specifically said that there were to be none; and that the Canon should normally be used. But he was over-ruled by the experts, and successive changes were made, including; 'The Fathers (that is the Fathers on the Consilium, not the Council - BT) also unanimously approved making the words of consecration in the Roman Canon identical with those of the new Eucharistic Prayers', and later: 'revisions to the Roman Canon so that comparison with the new Eucharistic Prayers might not lead to its neglect.' Surely, the Eucharistic Prayers could have been brought into line with the unchanged Canon (or better still, 'neglected' themselves, into oblivion...)

Likewise, the celebration of Mass facing the people simply was not seen as important by the Council Fathers or the Pope. But Bugnini cites 'a generally felt need' as his authority: and the rest is history.

The Council Fathers had ordered that Latin be retained as the language of the Liturgy, with permission for vernacular in some parts. But the Consilium was happy, by 1966, to order bishops: 'In bilingual areas, the bishops must see to it that each language is respected and that its speakers have celebrations available in their own tongue'; and also condescend to allow: 'It is only right that the Ordinaries would consider the eventual possibility of having some Masses celebrated in Latin....' All of which completely reverse the Council Fathers' priorities as decreed in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

The Holy Father also warned of tendencies that were a cause of 'anxiety and pain' including: 
'those who contend that liturgical worship should be stripped of its sacred character and who therefore erroneously believe that no sacred objects or ornaments should be used, but that objects of common, everyday use should be substituted. Their own rashness leads some so far that they do not spare the sacred place of celebration. Such notions, we must insist, not only distort the genuine nature of the liturgy, but the true meaning of the Catholic religion. 
In simplifying liturgical rites, formularies, and actions, there must be care not to go further than necessary and not to neglect the importance to be given to liturgical signs. That would open the way to weakening the power and effectiveness of the liturgy.'
But he had let the genie out of the bottle, and he could not contain it thereafter.

A fifth theme is the salami slice approach. Small change after small change, until as Fr. Gelineau, one of the many experts closely involved with the project (see here) candidly said:  In fact it is a different liturgy of the mass. We must say it plainly: the Roman rite as we knew it exists no more. It has gone. Some walls of the structure have fallen, others have been altered; we can look at it as a ruin or as the partial foundation of a new building. 

This was a deliberate strategy, and we can trace the progression from the modest proposals of the Council Fathers, which suggested that the Epistle and Gospel might be read in the vernacular, through the more radical ones of Inter Oecumenici  which suppressed Psalm 42 at the start, and the Leonine prayers after Mass, and changed the formula at the distribution of Holy Communion, to the new Mass promulgated in 1969, with the Canon changed and made optional, the Offertory removed and replaced, and so on. Another classic example is the admission of women into the sanctuary during the Liturgy, against the will of the Holy Father; a process I have described here.

The final thing I noticed is that there was widespread demand for change. How widespread it is hard to ascertain, but there is no doubt that the Consilium received requests from all over the world for permission to press ahead more rapidly and more radically than it was able to do. Whether that was the result of small but organised groups of progressive liturgists persuading local bishops, or whether there was a much wider popular demand - and how much that may have been stimulated by the type of press approach Bugnini deliberately fostered - it is impossible to say from his text. But we should not forget that it did exist: if the Consilium had not been pushing on an oiled door, things might have been very different.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ash Wednesday

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Remember man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent in the Western Church.  We are called to repent of our sins and believe the Gospel, to dedicate ourselves anew to prayer and works of charity, and to restrain our misguided subjection to our passions (the result of Original Sin) by mortification and good deeds.

Humility and obedience are little valued by the World, which teaches self-esteem and autonomy as the highest human values.  We are called to be a sign of contradiction.

The ashes which we receive are a sign of this (note that we receive them humbly, not take them...)  

Every year I am struck by the contrast between the prayers over the Ashes in the Traditional and the New Roman Rite.

In the Traditional Rite, the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes takes place before the Mass begins, with the following solemn prayers of intercession and blessing:

Let us pray.   O almighty and everlasting God, spare those who are penitent, be merciful to those who implore Thee; and vouchsafe to send Thy holy Angel from heaven, to bless † and hal†low these ashes, that they may be a wholesome remedy to all who humbly implore Thy holy Name, and who accuse themselves, conscious of their sins, deploring their crimes before Thy divine mercy, or humbly and earnestly beseeching Thy sovereign goodness: and grant through the invocation of Thy most holy Name that whosoever shall be sprinkled with them for the remission of their sins may receive both health of body and safety of soul. Through Christ our Lord.
 R.: Amen.

Let us pray. O God, who desirest not the death, but the repentance of sinners, look down most graciously upon the frailty of human nature; and in Thy goodness vouchsafe to bless † these ashes which we purpose to put upon our heads in token of our lowliness and to obtain forgiveness: so that we who know that we are but ashes, and for the demerits of our wickedness are to return to dust, may deserve to obtain of Thy mercy, the pardon of all our sins, and the rewards promised to the penitent. Through Christ our Lord.  

R.: Amen.

Let us pray. O God, who art moved by humiliation, and appeased by penance: incline the ear of Thy goodness to our prayers and mercifully pour forth upon the heads of Thy servants sprinkled with these ashes the grace of Thy blessing: that Thou mayest both fill them with the spirit of compunction, and effectually grant what they have justly prayed for: and ordain that what Thou hast granted may be permanently established and remain unchanged. Through Christ our Lord.

R.: Amen.

Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who didst vouchsafe Thy healing pardon to the Ninivites doing penance in sackcloth and ashes, mercifully grant that we may so imitate them in our outward attitude as to follow them in obtaining forgiveness. Through Christ our Lord.

R.: Amen.

 When all have received the ashes, the priest says:

V.: The Lord be with you.
R.: And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.  Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasts the campaign of our Christian warfare: that, as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial. Through Christ our Lord.
R.: Amen.


In the New Rite, the blessing and imposition of ashes takes place after the Homily.  There is an invitation to prayer, followed by only one prayer over the ashes (though, as so often, a choice is offered):

Dear brethren (brothers and sisters), let us humbly ask God our Father
that he be pleased to bless with the abundance of his grace
these ashes, which we will put on our heads in penitence.

After a brief prayer in silence, and, with hands extended, he continues:

O God, who are moved by acts of humility
and respond with forgiveness to works of penance,
lend your merciful ear to our prayers
and in your kindness pour out the grace of your blessing
on your servants who are marked with these ashes,
that, as they follow the Lenten observances,
they may be worthy to come with minds made pure
to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of your Son.
Through Christ our Lord
R. Amen.


O God, who desire not the death of sinners,
but their conversion,
mercifully hear our prayers
and in your kindness be pleased to bless + these ashes,
which we intend to receive upon our heads,
that we, who acknowledge we are but ashes
and shall return to dust,
may, through a steadfast observance of Lent,
gain pardon for sins and newness of life
after the likeness of your Risen Son.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

R. Amen.


Is it me, or is that an impoverishment?

There is, of course, another telling difference. In the traditional Mass, the ashes are imposed with the words:

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Remember man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.

In the New Rite, there are (inevitably!) options:

Repent, and believe in the Gospel.


Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Many parishes, it seems, use the first option: another break with tradition.


Here is the Lenten Hymn: Attende Domine (English translation below the Latin text)

(NB: The Marian Antiphon for the season, of course, is the Ave Regina Caelorum.)

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.
Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Ad te Rex summe,
omnium Redemptor,
oculos nostros
sublevamus flentes:
exaudi, Christe,
supplicantum preces.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Dextera Patris,
lapis angularis,
via salutis,
ianua caelestis,
ablue nostri
maculas delicti.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Rogamus, Deus,
tuam maiestatem:
auribus sacris
gemitus exaudi:
crimina nostra
placidus indulge.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Tibi fatemur
crimina admissa:
contrito corde
pandimus occulta:
tua, Redemptor,
pietas ignoscat.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Innocens captus,
nec repugnans ductus;
testibus falsis
pro impiis damnatus
quos redemisti,
tu conserva, Christe.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.
Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

To Thee, highest King,
Redeemer of all,
do we lift up our eyes
in weeping:
Hear, O Christ, the prayers
of your servants.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

Right hand of the Father,
way of salvation,
gate of heaven,
wash away our 
stains of sin.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

We beseech Thee, God,
in Thy great majesty:
Hear our groans
with Thy holy ears:
calmly forgive
our crimes.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

To Thee we confess
our sins admitted
with a contrite heart
We reveal the things hidden:
By Thy kindness, O Redeemer,
overlook them.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

The Innocent, seized,
not refusing to be led;
condemned by false witnesses
because of impious men
O Christ, keep safe those
whom Thou hast redeemed.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

On a lighter note, though still on track with the season, there's always the Dogma Dogs: Lent, Lent, time to repent!