Petty annoyances from the U.S. Lectionary for Mass
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 72
    Verse before the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent, Year B:

    God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.


    Verse before the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B:

    God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.


    “That” is removed from the latter. It shouldn’t irk me as much as it does, but here we are.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen irishtenor
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,566
    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

    Doesn't this read ever so much better? At any rate they should have struck "so", not "that" from "so that".
  • CatholicZ09 -
    I think that it should irk you. It is indeed irksome. Such amateurish work seems to be an irksome, if not laughable, sign of our times.
    Chuck is spot on!
    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • I share your discomfort, but "everyone" bothers me much more even than the disagreement in the Sundays.
    Thanked by 2irishtenor tomjaw
  • davido
    Posts: 418
    Don’t worry, they’ll change it again in a few years and we’ll have an all new translation
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,474
    an irksome, if not laughable, sign of our times


    That's from the '90s some time, isn't it?

    My old Sunday hand missal with texts from the 1970 Lectionary had
    God loved the world so much, he gave us his only Son,
    that all who believe in him might have eternal life.

    (my emphasis)

    So when they fix one detail, another one goes awry.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 72
    “So much”....bleh!

    There are other discrepancies that come to mind that make me wonder if there is a reason they were made, or they were just part of a huge oversight.

    Another one that irks me from the Lectionary is “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me,” when we hear it in the Gospel as “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why change the active verb?

    Then, there’s my other favorite from I believe Ordinary Time, Cycle C. The antiphon to the psalm is from Psalm 95, but the verses are from Psalm 90.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,474
    Another one that irks me from the Lectionary is “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me,” when we hear it in the Gospel as “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why change the active verb?

    Those two texts came from different sources. The psalm antiphon was written by ICEL, while the Gospel text was from the US Lectionary produced under the supervision of the USCCB and based on the New American Bible.
  • Another one is the verse before the gospel for the Second Sunday or Lent. Years A and C are "From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him." Year B is "From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, listen to him." What is the reason for this?
  • An interesting observation, Nathan, owing to the fact that 'hearing' and 'listening' are not synonymous.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 72
    Nathan, I forgot about that one. I noticed it a few weeks ago. Very aggravating.

    It’s also interesting that the Lectionary cites Matthew 17:5 for that verse for all three cycles, and “listen” is used in the passage. Not sure why “hear” was thrown into the mix for two cycles.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 817
    Don't dispair, these are only minor deviations in comparison to the Dutch Lectionary. For example, the response of the responsorial psalm from Jes. 12 (“Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus salutis”), reads on different occasions:

    Gij zult in vreugde water putten aan de bronnen van uw Redder.
    De dag is nabij dat ge water zult putten met opgeruimd hart uit de bron van het heil.
    Verheugd zult ge water scheppen uit de bronnen van heil.

    You don't have to understand any of these words to see that something isn't right...
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 342
    It seems like there are several inconsistencies within the US Lectionary. A couple more I can think of off-hand are when Psalm 15 is sung on two Sundays - I don't remember which ones - one time the antiphon is "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord," and the other is "The one who does justice..." I think it's even more glaring when one compares the Sunday volume with the weekday volumes which came a few years later - Psalm 96: "Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations" on Sunday vs. "Proclaim God's marvelous deeds..." on weekdays, and I know there are even more egregious examples than that.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 313
    “Holocaust” always drives me up a wall. “Burnt offering” has worked just fine in English since 1611, and 1) does not need definition and 2) does not bring to mind the Shoah and 3) actually translates the Latin word.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,338
    "Holocaust" does translate the Latin word though. This would be especially true for the Offertory of the VII Sunday after Pentecost. Yeah, I get it, people don't like the association with the Nazi genocide, but should we have to excise the word from liturgical language and bibles? I don't think so, at the very least, and I'm also not convinced that "burnt offering" is exactly self-explanatory. It is to you and I, but we're not only well-educated, we take this (the liturgy, religion, what have you) seriously.

    Pace MJO, I'm not terribly impressed by and interested in what has or has not worked in translating Hebrew, Greek, and, to a lesser extent, Latin, since 1612.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Someone can correct me, but doesn't a burnt (why not burned?) offering include incense offerings as we as offerings in which only a portion of an animal was burned, such as the fat or blood, with meat left over for the community? Holocaust is a sacrifice in which the whole animal is consumed by fire.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,407
    MERRIAM-WEBSTER
    Burned or Burnt?
    Unless you're a speaker of British English or have been binge-watching "Sherlock" , in American English, burned is usual past tense.
    There was a time, by the way, when brent was a legitimate past tense too. That form seems to have peaked in the 1500s, but if you want to throw it into conversation just for fun we won't criticize.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,407
    "Holocaust" does translate the Latin word though.
    Surely it just transliterates it, rendering it meaningless, except as misdirection to the Nazi murderers. 'Burnt offering' has been standard in English since the KJV. It seems to be an alien word in Latin too, just copied from the Greek ὁλόκαυστον where it is an invented word, 'whole' and 'burnt'.
    Also note that applying a word for ritual sacrifice to a program of mass-murder is offensive to most pious Jews.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,566
    From Britannica.com
    The word Holocaust is derived from the Greek holokauston, a translation of the Hebrew word ʿolah, meaning a burnt sacrifice offered whole to God. This word was chosen, and gained wide usage, because, in the ultimate manifestation of the Nazi killing program—the extermination camps—the bodies of the victims were consumed whole in crematoria or open fires.

    In Israel and France, Shoʾah, a biblical Hebrew word meaning “catastrophe,” became the preferred term for the event, largely in response to director Claude Lanzmann’s influential nine-and-a-half-hour 1985 motion picture documentary of the same name. The term Shoʾah is also preferred by speakers of Hebrew and those wishing to be more particular about the Jewish experience or who are uncomfortable with the religious connotations of the word Holocaust.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,338
    Surely it just transliterates it, rendering it meaningless, except as misdirection to the Nazi murderers. 'Burnt offering' has been standard in English since the KJV. It seems to be an alien word in Latin too, just copied from the Greek ὁλόκαυστον where it is an invented word, 'whole' and 'burnt'.
    Also note that applying a word for ritual sacrifice to a program of mass-murder is offensive to most pious Jews.


    No. A transliteration is when you attempt to render a word in one script or alphabet into another, sometimes while representing the sounds as systematically as possible, but most importantly rendering the characters consistently.

    "Holocaustum" is not an "alien word" in Latin, given that it's fully integrated and declines appropriately. It is a borrowed word, but that doesn't make it an alien word. Anyway, the Greek and thus the Latin accurately represent what is going on with the Hebrew עלה.

    As I said, I don't really care about what the KJV does, as a Catholic who prefers the Vulgate and the Septuagint to the Hebrew and to the Greek NT (it's true that they did reference the Vulgate, but it's not strictly a translation of St Jerome's bible), respect for the cultural impact of the translation notwithstanding.

    Regardless, I find the decision to both avoid "holocaust" and to refer to the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis as the "Shoah" to be contradictory, and while I don't really want to go on about it, the arguments here against "holocaust" are completely unpersuasive.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • 'Holocaust' refers to 1) a burnt sacrificial offering on an altar, and 2) the mass slaughtering or elimination of a people, what we would today call genocide. So both interpretations are correct. The KJV and Coverdale use 'holocaust' with liberality, though 'burnt offering' also makes appearances. In numerous places many translations refer to the 'sacrifices' or 'holocaust of rams and bullocks'. A holocaust itself is in itself a burnt offering.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,025
    If we go into the Latin Vulgate (side by side at the Douay-Rheims online Bible), we find that there are different times when each is used. Sometimes "holocaust" (holocausti), sometimes "burnt offerings" (incensum), sometimes "incense" (thymiamatis), etc.

    They do all come together in one verse, 1Chronicals:6:
    [49] But Aaron and his sons offered burnt offerings upon the altar of holocausts, and upon the altar of incense, for very work of the holy of holies: and to pray for Israel according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
    Aaron vero, et filii ejus adolebant incensum super altare holocausti, et super altare thymiamatis, in omne opus Sancti sanctorum : et ut precarentur pro Israel juxta omnia, quae praeceperat Moyses servus Dei.


    Just for fun. Occurrences in the OT:
    Holocaust: 162 Holocausts: 92
    "Burnt Offering:" 15 "Burnt Offerings:" 10
    In the NT:
    Holocaust: 0 Holocausts: 3
    "Burnt Offering:" 0 "Burnt Offerings:" 0

    Also, from what I've read, those who speak Hebrew don't actually appreciate the "Jewish Holocaust" to be called such, because it has a specifically religious connotation (as opposed to the way the proper noun-form is seen as specifically anti-religious),
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 831
    Besides differences in wording, there are also discrepancies between the 1998 English Lectionary and the official Latin edition for the responsorial psalms on these days (see this website for more details):

    Easter 2 B - verses repeated from Year A

    Pentecost Sunday - 2nd and 3rd strophes printed in reverse order (even though reference is correct)

    Sacred Heart of Jesus A - third strophe (vv. 6-7) not printed, even though reference is correct

    OT 18 C and Easter Vigil 2 (noted by CatholicZ09 above) - incorrect antiphon ("If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts": should be "In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge")

    OT 20 C - verses repeated from previous Sunday

    OT 33 B - incorrect antiphon ("You are my inheritance, O Lord"; should be "Keep me safe,
    O God; you are my hope.")
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 817
    Besides differences in wording, there are also discrepancies between the 1998 English Lectionary and the official Latin edition for the responsorial psalms


    And there’s a difference between the rubric for Easter Vigil 7:

    Latin: vel, quando celebratur Baptisma, Is 12 ut supra (post lectionum n. 5), vel etiam Ps 50, 12-13. 14-15. 18-19 cum R(12a): Cor mundum crea in me, Deus

    English: When Baptism is not celebrated...
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,289
    Yes, but have to admit that the present translation is better than the last one. My favorite from that one was "don't hide your light under a tub". I kid you not.
  • You are so right, Greg -
    I used to wonder how people sat through it with a straight face; but, to my utter astonishment, they did. But then, I was reared on Cranmer. I once knew a priest, chaplain of UST at St Basil's Chapel who lamented to me 'forty years and not one memorable phrase'. It took them more than forty irresponsible and insouciant years after the council to provide a palatable-though-far-from-stellar translation. The greatest disappointment of all was that they originally went to Tolkien to do it, but he refused.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,255
    I used to wonder "a bushel of what?"
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • ...'a bushel of what?'


    . Sorry - I said something that I wish I hadn't.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,209
    IIRC, "meal-tub" in the usage of one of my favorite translations, the Revised English Bible (a translation that is compelling enough to make me think and delve into original language). Turns out meal-tub is an *old* usage: a tub for measuring (grain-)meal. I would have used bushel as more familiar usage.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 72
    Ooo, how could I forget my favorite from Palm Sunday and Good Friday: “Christ became obedient...” Palm Sunday’s versicle is ends with “every name,” while Good Friday’s ends with “every other name.”