by Fr MARK ELVINS
ON WEDNESDAY, August 20, the provisional Committee of the Association for English Worship, together with those whose names the chairman had submitted, were invited by the Advisory Committee of ICEL. to meet them in London to discuss the possibility of future revision in the translations of the I iturgy.
The meeting helped to iemove a number of misundertandings, and the representatives of ICEL were at pains to point out that they did not seek to impose texts on anyone. They had been asked to do a_ job, namely to _provide English translations of the official Latin texts. These texts, after lengthy consultations, were submitted to each Episcopal Conference,
who were at liberty to accept or reject them.
The Association for English Worship presented its aims to the ICEL representatives, which were on the whole Favourably received. The particular aim, to pioneer a translation which can be identified with the culture arid traditions of the country, also received little criticism.
Moreover, the Vatican document calling for the same translation of the Common of the Mass for all Englishspeaking peoples was not an inflexible ruling: "Even in the Liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of various races and nations . . ." (Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy D37) The recent document from the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, calling for the same translation of the Common of the Mass, also called for the same translation for the hymns, psalms and prayers at Lauds and Vespers for all the English-speaking peoples.
In the new Breviary this latter instruction has not been carried out, thus flexibility of interpretation has already been understood. The association has also been reliably informed that the Vatican will raise no objec I rms — and, what is more, is open to further suggestions.
There are already examples of words that have been changed to suit particular nations which were more acceptable to others in their old form. This suggests that English, unlike Latin, has an immediate cultural identity for each nation individually, and to make the translations the same for the whole language bloc will only impoverish the standard of English by an unnatural uniformity.
The flexibility of interpretation of the Vatican's instruction on the need for uniform texts was not without some measure of agreement from the ICEL Advisory Committee, and thus to the question "Can we improve the translations?" the answer is, yes, provided that an inter-national translation is avoided and that the Episcopal Conference gives its approval.
Anyone interested in supporting the work of the Association for English Worship should write to the Hon Treasurer, 6 Little Dippers, Pulborough, Sussex.