Tuesday 13 June 2006

What About the Office?

What I really want to know is this: now there will be a new translation of the Missal, what about the Divine Office?

As I said in my last post, I don't actually speak Latin. The collects for saints days and seasonal propers are slightly different from the ones used at the Mass (of the relevant day) but similar enough for me to assume that they're actually translations of the same Latin prayer, and the phrasing is more elegant, so it's probably a better translation...

...the reason I need to know if a new translation is likely is purely and simply a financial one. The Divine Office is in 3 volumes. Each volume is about £50. My copies are about 13 years old, and because liturgical books and bibles always seem to be very badly bound, they are falling to bits. It's a bit distracting in prayer when your book suddenly disintegrates in your hands, and I'm easily distracted at the best of times! So I need to think about getting new copies...

...but £150 or thereabouts is rather a lot to spend if the whole thing is due for a re-vamp in the next year or so...

Any thoughts?

New Translations

There is an air of barely supressed excitement on the blogs and in the Catholic Press...

...well, ok, I'm exaggerating a little. Fine... I'm exaggerating a lot. But even I have noticed that rather a lot of people have made references to a new English translation of the Mass. And the upshot of it all seems to be that we shall soon be learning new versions of the prayers said at Mass. Or rather, we shall be learning the correct versions of the prayers said at Mass. About time too...

...Some time ago I managed to get my paws on an old Missal, and being the sort of person who reads instruction booklets, I settled down to have a good look at it. It has the Latin in one column, and the English in the next. Now, I don't actually know any Latin, but from attending the odd Mass at Westminster Cathedral, and from singing, I have gradually come to recognise the main prayers of the Mass: Confiteor, Gloria, Sanctus, etc. etc. So you can imagine my surprise when, finding the "familiar" Latin prayers, I noticed that the English translations were so very different from the phrases I was used to trotting out at church.

Take the Confiteor: the bit which I know simply as
"I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do"

is actually translated in my old missal as:

"I have sinned exceedingly
in thought, word and deed,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault"

Although this isn't a particularly good example, it still demonstrates that the translations we have been expected to use up until now have a real paucity of expression. Even allowing for the fact that the English language has changed over the past 50 years, I get the distinct impression that somewhere along the line we've been short-changed...

Monday 12 June 2006

Photo Album

I finally managed to get my photos from Lourdes uploaded from my mobile phone (I don't have a digital camera)...

This is slightly more difficult than it might at first appear: my home computer was chucked out by Noah when he built the ark. It doesn't have the socket thingy (my use of technical terminology is somewhat limited... I blame the fact on my blonde hair) for sticking the phone's connection doobrey-whatsit into.

So, I have to upload the photos onto my school laptop. School computers are notoriously temperamental, and rarely up-to-date, so this is a major undertaking. However, I finally got the thing to work, more by luck than judgement.

The next step was to email the photos home - the school has a filter system which means I can't blog. I can't even look at a blog. On reflection, this is probably just as well...

Once the emails arrived, I downloaded the photos, and uploaded them onto the blog. Success! All of this is, of course, to explain why I didn't put the photos up when I got back from Lourdes just over a week ago!!

The first photo here actually is a little dark - it looked better on the phone. It is the spring uncovered by St. Bernadette when Our Lady appeared to her in the grotto at Massabielle. It's covered with glass or perspex, and the water is now piped to the baths and the drinking fountains. But there is something very moving about walking into the cave...

The mosaics inside the Rosary Basilica are really spectacular. The first time I saw the main mosaic of Our Lady, I found it very unsettling... it's partly the way she looms over you, and partly because the face is so very child-like. Once you remember that St. Bernadette described her as a girl of about 14 years old, it actually makes more sense. And now, I am very attached to this image.

This photo of the main basilicas taken from the esplanade shows how lucky we were with the weather... and no, I promise I haven't touched up the photos in any way!

Here's a photo of the grotto itself, showing the niche where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette. I think I took this one from the position of the plaque on the ground showing where St. Bernadette was kneeling, but I can't quite remember... next time I shall be more careful about labelling my photos!

And finally, a shot of the Domaine area taken from the benches by the Forum Information.

As you can see, I haven't quite got the hang of how to position my photos in an interesting and varied way... I shall have to work on it! But I'm rather pleased with my dinky little mobile phone!

Persecution Complex ?

It's not that I'm paranoid, but...

I'm beginning to think that Blogger has it in for me. I think it senses that I know absolutely nothing about the codes used to create the blog, and it's decided to teach me a lesson. For some reason, when I try and look at the blog, the margin, with all my links and profile and everything appears to have disappeared.

I found it eventually, lurking with intent at the bottom of my blog, after all my posts... but it's not actually much use down there. My problem is that I don't know what I've done to make it go into hiding, or how to entice it back to its proper location. Even more confusing, I've been told that it appears completely normal by another blogger.

So it must be me... Blogger is out to get me....
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