Meet and Right: The Ongoing Conversation Around Hieratic Liturgical Translations

The hieratic English translation of the English Missal
ver on the website of First Things there is an article by one P..J. Smith that is of interest, Back to the Liturgy Wars. Now as unappealing as that title might sound, and as possibly irrelevant as it might seem to our specific purposes here on LAJ, it is actually quite a pertinent reflection on the recent revision of the Code of Canon Law that has been initiated by Pope Francis' motu proprio, Magnum Principium.  What Smith's article is ultimately about are not the "liturgy wars" per se, it is rather about the potentialities for a future hieratic English translation of the Missale Romanum.

Now those of you who have known me from my days running NLM will already know that in addition to my support of the Latin liturgical language, I have also long been a proponent of hieratic liturgical vernaculars, or what we might call within an English context, "liturgical English."  I wrote on that potentiality in relation to the Anglican Ordinariate in my article, The Potentialities of the English Missal for the Ordinariate and the Roman Rite (August 2012), and also in relation to the Roman Rite in Liturgical English and the Hieratic Tradition (August 2009) and On the Use of Hieratic Liturgical English (July 2007).  (I also spoke of it in slightly less directly in The Potentialites for English Chant and Polyphony.)

I am very gratified that this call for a hieratic liturgical translation is growing. One might wonder why this subject is coming up on a site dedicated to the liturgical arts, but I cannot imagine how liturgical prose and style cannot, itself, be considered as important a form of liturgical art as most anything else.

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