Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Why do we need a new translation of the Mass, anyway?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 14, 2010

In English-speaking countries, the First Sunday of Advent was traditionally known as “stir-up Sunday”—not only because housewives were expected to “stir up” the plum pudding that would be served with Christmas dinner, but also because of the opening prayer for the Sunday liturgy:

Stir up thy power, O Lord, and come, that by thy protection we may be rescued from the dangers that beset us through our sins; and be a Redeemer to deliver us; Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The original Latin version of this prayer—which is now said on the first Thursday in Advent—is: 

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et magna nobis virtute succurre, ut, quod nostra peccata praepediunt, gratia tuae propitiationis acceleret. Per Dominum. 

The translation currently in use—the one you heard, if you were at Mass on December 2—reduces the poetry of the prayer to this office-memo prose:

Father, we need your help. Free us from sin and bring us to life. Support us by your power.

Any other questions?

[H/t to Women for Faith and Family.]

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