Should the Hymns rhyme?
  • When a hymn is translated into English (or any other language for that matter), do you it should rhyme? My personal preference is it should, but there are three major points to consider against rhyming:
    1) It is much harder (I know it is, I tried);
    2) As a consequence of 1), the translation may not be as precise as another, non-rhyming, translation.
    3) The original Latin hymns usually do not rhyme, so why should we?

    What is your opinion about that?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Although it's difficult it's not impossible. I feel that some people give up pretty early in the process and that makes them feel as though it is impossible to rhyme and accurately translate the hymns at the same time. But it is not impossible.

    Rhyme is key in English hymnody, unless the meter itself does not require rhyme (ISTE CONFESSOR/ Sapphic Meter is an important exception).

    A number of very important hymns rhyme in Latin. St. Thomas Aquinas characteristically rhymes.

    It seems to me that the most important question is whether the office hymns are going to be remembered and loved. Without rhyme they will not be remembered or loved. No one will sing them as they're doing the dishes or driving. No one will remember them in the hospital or on their deathbed. They'll just sing Amazing Grace as they have been doing all along.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,452
    The 'better' Latin Hymns do rhyme, the books on Hymns describe this as a higher form of composition preformed by the hymn writer. To make the job even more difficult some Hymns even had an acrostic...

    I think there is at least one volume of the Analecta Hymnica with rhymed Offices.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,128
    I like rhyming hymns, and they are naturally pleasing. That said, there are some hymns that I've come across that eschew any rhyming scheme whatsoever, and they have very profound texts. My view is that you should either commit to rhyming, or commit to not. What I don't care for is when certain verses rhyme and others don't, or only alternate stanzas rhyme (1&3, for instance) but the others (2&4) don't. There are people who do injury to certain texts, however, to force rhymes, and that isn't good either.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,922
    Carl Ruggles: "Poetry in translation is like a boiled strawberry."

    Not everyone is Kathy Pluth. The translator not only has to be a competent poet in the language he's translating into, but must know intimately (or at least work with somebody who does) the language he's translating from. It's nice but not necessary (unless you want to sing it to the original tune) to preserve the original meter and rhyme scheme. But one will never come up with the "same" poem; it's always going to be more or less a paraphrase.

    But yes, for me it has to rhyme. But more importantly, it has to scan. A large part of my hatred of contemporary Catholic song comes from versifiers who can't be bothered to place the same number of syllables per line in each verse. (Yes, I know, Latin hymns have hypermetric syllables; I hate those too.)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,128
    But yes, for me it has to rhyme. But more importantly, it has to scan. A large part of my hatred of contemporary Catholic song comes from versifiers who can't be bothered to place the same number of syllables per line in each verse.

    Or when the number of syllables is the same, but the natural stresses of the language fall in different parts of the musical line verse to verse [and it is not a repeating pattern].

    da-da, da-da, da-DA,
    da-da, DA-da, da-da.

    NO!

    That is so frustrating, just like when poor hymn tunes are chosen when setting a text, and emphases for the text fight the meter of the music. (Stresses on beat 4 with weak downbeats to follow, for example.)
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    It depends on the hymn and the language. The Latin hymns, no, although it's nice if they do in English when using the same meter and melody without losing the meaning too much (I actually find that the JM Neale version of "Conditor Alme Siderum" to be inferior in some respects to other translations). A language like French, where you do have meter, but unlike in English or Latin, and where many tunes really fit only one hymn, means that you can do different things in English: a rhyming translation to be used with standard tunes of English hymnody or a new tune, a more literal or prosodic translation to be sung to the original tune… "Chez nous, Soyez Reine" is a good example of this. It'd be unbearable to not use the original tune, but it's a hard text to translate, and although the (now more common?) tune by Freylinghausen for "Mach hoch die Tür" is not used very much for "Lift Up Your Head, Ye Mighty Gates," usually sung to TRURO, it's possible to do so, and the very good translation even rhymes to boot. (Freylinghausen's tune is far superior, by the way…)
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,375
    Rhyme is key in English hymnody...

    Thank you, Kathy. For several years now I've wondered WHY the recent ICEL translation of hymns from the Liturgy of the Hours resorts to non-rhyming texts. Are there no translators who can produce rhyming texts?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,689
    Liturgicam Authenticam on its face would likely require a non-rhymed Latin text to be rendered non-rhymed in the vernacular.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    Are there no translators who can produce rhyming texts?

    Indeed. My question is: "Why can't we just use Neale or Newman?" But, again, we have this fetish about "modern English" in the liturgy, except, for some reason, for the Our Father (I assume for Ecumenical reasons), so a perfectly good translation/adaptation by Neale would have to be ruined by some meat-head to remove the "-eth"s and "-est"s.

    Also, I suppose, Neale and Newman are Public Domain, so there would be no extra royalties coming in when settings of those texts are being published. (Call me cynical. I know that copyright is a tricky thing: I personally feel that liturgical texts, being texts of prayer, should not fall under copyright; but then again, I also feel that having the texts copyright-protected is an extra safeguard against 'creative' priests/liturgists/musicians inventing their own texts. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,128
    For several years now I've wondered WHY the recent ICEL translation of hymns from the Liturgy of the Hours resorts to non-rhyming texts. Are there no translators who can produce rhyming texts?

    It depends on your goal. Do you want something that is merely the overall gist and rhymes? Or do you want a more faithful translation? Both approaches are ok for what they are, but they have different goals in mind. I’m bilingual and I can translate things multiple ways depending on context and audience. I’m guessing the LOTH translations are trying to be more faithful to the original meaning of the text than the past translations.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Due to the nature of translation, it is sometimes fantastically unclear whether or not a text now in the public domain uses the pre-Urban text of why the Liber Hymnarius texts are not, despite popular belief, a completely faithful restoration as it is or the the Urban text, or both, for poetic and other reasons. Neale uses “Jesus” in his “Creator of the Stars of Night.” How is one to then translate Christe redemptor omnium? In the same way? With a different incipit? The problem is that the line in the Advent hymn is supposed to evoke the other, or at least that’s what happens when you pray the office.
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  • davido
    Posts: 694
    The office hymns will be read much more often than they are sung. Rhyming poetry often feels sing-song-y when read, rhyme-less poetry will perhaps seem less offensive than when sung.

    Another feature of the individual and parochial nature of Catholicism of the modern era, as opposed to the communal monastic and cathedral settings where the liturgy developed.
  • I think it also matters whether the text is intended for study or for liturgical use. I have a wonderful book, for example, called Hymns of the Roman Liturgy which presents very clear translations, but doesn't intend them for liturgical use.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,965
    We got an introduction to the new English translation of the hymns in 2017, when Msgr. Wadsworth spoke to the Colloquium about it. You can hear his talk and download the handout of sample hymns at
    https://recordings.musicasacra.com/cmaa-recordings/2017-colloquium/
    under the information for Wednesday, June 21.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Do you want something that is merely the overall gist and rhymes? Or do you want a more faithful translation?

    There is absolutely no reason we can't have both.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Liturgicam Authenticam on its face would likely require a non-rhymed Latin text to be rendered non-rhymed in the vernacular.


    Would LA similarly require rhymed English versions of rhymed Latin hymns?
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  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 624
    This is probably not the answer you are looking for but the best way I know to help you is to point you in the direction of the translators of hymns and for you to make a careful study of their work.

    1. Lyra Catholic by Fr. Edward Caswall – these are translations of the Roman Breviary and Missal
    2. The Hymnal Noted by Rev. J. M. Neal – these are translations of ancient hymns of the Latin Church
    3. Our Lady in Poetry – An Anthology by Msgr. Walter Croarkin – a collection of poetry to Our Lady
    4. Miscellaneous Poems by Helen Hughes Hielscher
    5. Real Music by Anthony Esolen

    Items three and four are sources that you might be able to locate online (eBay, Abebooks) or through WorldCat

    Item five can easily be found on Amazon or Tanbooks.

    The other items can be found on the Corpus Christi Watershed website https://www.ccwatershed.org/2018/10/30/brebeuf-hymnal-source-material/
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,128
    There is absolutely no reason we can't have both.
    Kathy, this is generically true, but it is very rare that you can perfectly translate from one language to another, rhyme, and keep it 1:1. That's just not how languages work (I'm bi-lingual, with significant dalliances with two additional languages). I regularly study translations of Latin, even by renown latinists. When rhymes are maintained, there are invariably suppressions of the original text. This is why I mention "the gist" of things, because 1:1 is terribly difficult when you're trying to maintain a natural rhyming scheme. And at the absolute bare minimum, lines of the original text have to be shifted around, so even if the full meaning of the original text is retained, it often doesn't read the same. Then there are the multitude of subtle things, where meaning doesn't change, per se, but the translation isn't exactly what the original says. The classic example I like to give is "I'm hungry" vs "I want to eat". They ultimately convey a similar meaning (gist) but they aren't actually the same thing. Often translators have to use alternate expressions, so if you are familiar with the original languages, it can still be surprising to read poetic translations. They aren't "wrong" but they also aren't quite "the same thing". "Close enough" is probably the best qualifier in these circumstances.
  • Translations are not study guides, but repertory to abide in daily use for lifetimes long, and put authentic praise to song.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,689
    This is why euphony needs to be made and elevated as a standard of translation, and not make syntactic replication the summum bonum.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    And at the absolute bare minimum, lines of the original text have to be shifted around, so even if the full meaning of the original text is retained, it often doesn't read the same.


    This is accurate. There's a difference in what my old Greek professor used to call "the way it comes at you." I would not be surprised, however, to find that similar compromises with order have been made in metrical, non-rhyming translations. And I think this is forgivable.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    How is one to then translate Christe redemptor omnium? In the same way? With a different incipit? The problem is that the line in the Advent hymn is supposed to evoke the other, or at least that’s what happens when you pray the office.


    If I'm not mistaken, the collects in the current translation of the Missal characteristically translate the vocative by supplying an "O," which seems perfectly accurate to me: "Deus" in direct address is rendered "O God." In this case "O Christ" would be the best solution in my opinion.

    Neale was working with the Urbanite text, which used "Jesu" instead of "Christe."
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    I don’t believe that Neale was im fact translating the text of the Roman breviary, or at least not straightforwardly so. The two big clues are the bridal imagery and the order the lines of v. 4. Neale follows the original.

    I agree that “O Christ” is a fine solution, but there is a crowd that got super-fussy over this with the collects even though English uses “O” more than Latin for vocatives (probably for metrical reasons).
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  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    I don’t believe that Neale was im fact translating the text of the Roman breviary, or at least not straightforwardly so.


    Yes, you are correct. My mistake.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw MatthewRoth
  • Yes, they should.
    Neales's collected (and rhymed) hymns, sequences, and carols may be found as a reprint from Hodder and Stoughton.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    but I can't spell and proofread! (insert skull here)
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    I think it's remarkable that the 19th century translations were so closely aligned with the Oxford Movement. To wade knee-deep into the ancient hymns is to become Catholic or at least Catholic-leaning.

    We need more of this, and made as attractive as possible.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 132
    Not really related, but the title of the thread made me chuckle:

    About a decade ago I was playing organ at my father's Anglican church in Cheyenne, WY when the little old lady playing organ was on vacation. Now this little old lady had a chauffeur that would drive her to the church every Sunday. The chauffeur, however, was VERY unchurched. After sitting in on a liturgy at dad's parish, singing a handful of hymns from the 1940 Hymnal, the chauffeur saw fit to compliment my father on picking some excellent "HIMES." It has been a joke in our family ever since.

    RHYMING HIMES.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 876
    It seems to me that the most important question is whether the office hymns are going to be remembered and loved. Without rhyme they will not be remembered or loved. No one will sing them as they're doing the dishes or driving. No one will remember them in the hospital or on their deathbed. They'll just sing Amazing Grace as they have been doing all along.
    Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Consider the following from St. Francis de Sales:
    And as to this fashion of having the Psalms sung indifferently in all places and during all occupations, who sees not that it is a contempt of religion ? Is it not to offend His Divine Majesty to say to him words as excellent as those of the Psalms, without any reverence or attention? To say prayers after the manner of common talking, is this not a mocking of him to whom we speak ? When we see at Geneva or elsewhere a shop-boy laughing during the singing of the Psalms, and breaking the thread of a most beautiful prayer, to say: What will you buy, sir ? do we not clearly see that he is making an accessary of the principal, and that it is only for pastime that he was singing this divine song, which he at the same time believes to be of the Holy Spirit ? Is it not good to hear cooks singing the penitential Psalms of David, and asking at each verse for the bacon, the capon, the partridge! . . . I allow that all places are good to pray in privately, and the same holds good of every occupation which is not sin, provided that we pray in spirit, because God sees the interior wherein lies the chief and substantial part of prayer. . . . It is quite true that this impropriety of praying without devotion occurs very often among Catholics, but it is not with the advertence of the Church . . . . In chapter 14. Of the 1st of Corinthians, the Let women keep silence in the churches seems to be understood of hymns (cantiques) as much as of the rest: our nuns are in oratorio non in ecclesia (source).
    But of course it is not impossible that the Doctor of the Church expressed an erroneous opinion in these matters. It is also worth noting that he was concerned mainly with singing the metrical psalms in public but outside of divine service, not merely in private.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    @tandrews: We could put together a small collection from the 1940 and call it "HIMES 57"
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  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 388
    As opposed to the modern innovation of rhyming English poetry, I'd be interested to see attempts at translation of liturgical texts into the alliterative verse tradition.

    Now that I think about it, I wonder if there's any such thing in Icelandic…
  • @MatthewRoth

    Neale uses “Jesus” in his “Creator of the Stars of Night.”


    I do not see how this is problematic, considering a poetic translation is not the same as a litteral translation and that "Christe" and "Iesu" refer to the same person. Nevertheless, "O Christ" might be better in this case.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    And? The USCCB, for example, wrote the missal under Liturgiam authenticam, and the American bishops in particular aren't going to give those principles up now that they've been working on the breviary for so long. My principle is that if your average person in the pew who is literate in the language into which Latin is translated can recognize the characters and say, "Hey, wait a minute," we've done something spectacularly wrong. I mean, heck, it is true that there's variation between the Vulgate (and perhaps modern bibles based on the Greek) and the Gloria of the Mass, but the recent French and Italian translations of that text give me no confidence about the post-LA world of liturgical translations, because if you pull out a bible to meditate upon that text, you'll be profoundly confused as to why the Gloria says one thing and the Mass another. In other words, once we admit that, "well, 'Christ' and 'Jesus' are the same, we'll just interchange them and not care too much about the connection," you're going to end up not just one step back, which is this, but two, which is what happened in France and in Italy. (Sorry, but that's the reality: not fixing the centurion's prayer is another howler, and these people should all be fired.)
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Your comment seems to imply (correct me if I am wrong) everything ought to be translated in the same way. On the other hand, I think the Holy Scriptures and the Hymns should not be translated in the exact same way. In the Bible, a translation should be as literal as possible, since it is the Word of God, with all due respect to the beauty of the language into which it is translated (which is why I cannot but loath the idea of translating Hesed/Eleos/Misericordia with "Love" or "Amour" in French); but a Hymn cannot be translated in the same way if it is meant to be sung. Of course, the translation must be as close as possible to the original text, but it may sometimes be necessary to introduce some small measure of difference, for various reasons, including the "singability" of the translation. In our present case, if "Jesus" were more singable than "Christ", I would not hesitate in choosing the former over the latter.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 876
    if "Jesus" were more singable than "Christ", I would not hesitate in choosing the former over the latter.
    Agreed. The syllabic stress is different. Try substituting "O Christ" in a familiar text such as "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All." It doesn't work because one is iambic, the other trochaic. "O Christ" doesn't correspond to the meter of "Christe" or "Christus"; "Jesus" does. Poetic license is still a thing.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    I don't know what "translate everything in the same way" would even mean.
  • It means to translate all those texts which one wishes to translate by using the exact same method. Is that clearer?
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    No, not particularly, and I'm not trying to be obtuse, but you can have a more literal translation that fits the meter and doesn't abuse (too much) the rhythm of the target language, whether it rhymes or not. You can also have a very poetic translation; there's probably a reason why Conditor Alme Siderum alone (not including translations of the Roman breviary) has a dozen or so English translations, and for my money, they improve on Neale in some areas where he obscured the Latin's meaning, and vice-versa.

    But again, the people entrusted with this can't even hack prose. Why should we let them translate poetry? In fact, it would be even worse this way: they now have an excuse to not translate word-for-word or however else we wish to describe the process that led to the third edition of the English-language missal. Plus, there are just some phrases, particularly in the high medieval hymns such as those of Aquinas which shouldn't be translated except in a prosodic translation to be studied, yet they insist on it in lieu of using Latin…
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    @madorganist - I remember when I stumbled on that comment by St Francis of Sales. I was startled at how it implied such a careful treatment of sacred texts. It made me much more aware of the sacredness of our chant, hymns and prayer.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • No, not particularly

    I will put it this way then: do you believe a biblical text and a non-biblical text ought to be translated in the exact same way?

    Plus, there are just some phrases, particularly in the high medieval hymns such as those of Aquinas which shouldn't be translated except in a prosodic translation to be studied

    I am higly unsure about this. Granted, some texts are difficult to translate, but I do not see why, on principle, they could not be translated (with care, taste and a good knowledge of both languages). That being said, Latin can be used alongside a translation.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,452
    I will put it this way then: do you believe a biblical text and a non-biblical text ought to be translated in the exact same way?

    This would depend on the purpose of the translation... I can pick up a Biblical commentary, and see that just one sentence of the Bible can have more than one purpose and can teach us more than one thing.
    If we want to sing the great and timeless Latin hymns of the Liturgy, but have a pathological fear of Latin, we need a translation that can be sung. It ideally should follow a meter and if possible rhyme.
    If we want a translation that can be used during the Liturgy, to allow the congregation to have some understanding of the text the priest and choir are singing, this needs to be concise and to the point.

    So we need at least three kinds of translation,
    1. A Commentary style that allows us to more fully understand the meaning of the text.
    2. A hymn style that needs to be poetic and beautiful.
    3. A literal and concise translation that can be quickly read, so the person can keep up with the speed of the Liturgy.
    Two other types could be...
    4. We could have a fourth style that uses 'modern' English that is plain and does not offend the easily offended.
    5. A liturgical English translation, as in the Anglican use.

    I see that at our N.O. Masses a bit of paper with the Propers / Readings of the day is left at the back of the church, for those that want to read as well as listen to the texts.
    I much prefer the arrangement we have at the E.F. We have the UVOC Propers sheets at the back (Douay Rheims), the priest may read the Knox translation of the Epistle and Gospel or another translation, others have their hand Missals, Gueranger's Liturgical Year, or a 'phone with the various 'apps' that have the translation in the language of your choice and the Biblical commentary of your choice.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Granted, some texts are difficult to translate, but I do not see why, on principle, they could not be translated (with care, taste and a good knowledge of both languages)
    " /> Pick two. You never get all three, and you don't even get two to be quite honest. The translations of Tantum ergo are always deeply unsatisfying, and nobody knows them, because you can use whatever translation you want, whereas there is one and only one Latin text.; there are even multiple English versions floating around of the collect for Corpus Christi (i.e. old ICEL, new ICEL, and translations put out for Benediction by publishers). No one knows it as a result.

    Again, there are multiple ways to translate which avoiding fiercely literal translations that are only meant to be read (or even beautiful prose/blank verse/what have you translations meant that you could use in a hand missal or bilingual breviary) and sacrificing most of the imagery to fit the rhyme and meter.
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  • You never get all three, and you don't even get two to be quite honest.

    That may be the case in English - I know little about this, only that your opinion is shared by some and rejected by others.

    In any case, a translation is never going to be perfect. But it can be as close to the original as possible. If we were to abandon the principle of translating a Latin text on the grounds that it will never a perfect translation, then we ought to abandon the very principle of translating any texts: we ought to read and have the Scriptures proclaimed in Hebrew or Greek for instance.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,144
    the writing of hymn texts is theology married to art... i like to have the art follow the theology, if you know what i mean. i am not hung up on rhyming if it detracts from the theology of what is being communicated.

    How about this for example that I was looking at the other day?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabat_Mater

    There are two translations here. The Caswall is beautiful and elegant, yes. But the extant is gripping.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • A verse or singable translation may or may not be an exact vessel of the original text, but it may capture the emotional content of the original example. This is particularly urgent if the original is verse. A prose version of a verse original will inevitably, regardless of its naked message, be a poor vessel of the original's potency. Most are rather ugly and tasteless. They are not even good prose.

    A good example is Francis's Stabat Mater offered just above here. The 'literal' translation is so dull and artless that it doesn't come near to expressing the poignancy of the original - and, having overlooked that spirit, is really less literal than Caswall's poetical version which translates the spirit and feeling of the text with greater acumen than the prose, the boastful 'literal' version. Like the original, it is a literary gem and a potent aid to holy meditation, and is deserving of a fitting literary shrine.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Again, why not both?

    While mindful of the quote variously attributed to Umberto Eco and John Ciardi, "Every translation is a failure," this is my attempt at the Stabat Mater.

    On the Cross her Son was dying.
    Mary stood beneath Him crying,
    Sharing in His saving cross.
    As He hangs, her soul is grieving,
    and a sword her heart is cleaving
    and she weeps the bitter loss.

    O, the sad, afflicted Mother
    of the Son beyond all others:
    only Son of God most high.
    Full of grief, her heart is aching;
    watching Him, her body, quaking,
    trembles as her offspring dies.

    Who would see Christ’s mother crying
    at the bitter crucifying
    without tears of sympathy?
    Who could see her depth of feeling—
    thoughts of many hearts revealing—
    and not share her agony?

    Pardon for our sins entreating,
    She saw Him endure the beating.
    All our guilt on Him was cast.
    She stood by in contemplation
    When her Son, in desolation
    Breathed His spirit forth at last.

    Font of love, O Blessed Mother,
    lend me tears to mourn my Brother.
    Never let my ardor dim.
    Let my heart be burning freely,
    Christ my God be pleased to see me
    all on fire with love for Him.

    This I ask, O Holy Mary,
    that His wounds I too may carry:
    fix them deeply in my heart.
    Mine the burden He was bearing;
    let me in His pain be sharing;
    of His suffering take a part.

    Let me join in your lamenting,
    through my life weep unrelenting
    tears for Jesus Crucified.
    Let me stand and share your weeping,
    all the day death's vigil keeping,
    glad to stand close by your side.

    Queen of all the virgin choir,
    judge me not when I aspire
    your pure tears to emulate.
    Let me share in Christ's affliction—
    death by bitter crucifixion—
    and His wounds commemorate.

    Let me taste the pains He offered,
    drunk with love for Him who suffered.
    May His wounds become my own.
    On the day of Christ's returning
    may my heart be lit and burning.
    Virgin, aid me at His throne.

    May His Cross be interceding
    and His death my vict'ry pleading.
    May He hold me in His grace.
    When my flesh by death is taken,
    may my soul to glory waken
    and in heaven take a place. Amen.

    Trans. Copyright 2005 Kathleen Pluth. All rights reserved.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Although to be honest, that was an early translation of mine and less literal than those I did later.

    Here is an example of a later one.

    Literal (wiki version https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbum_supernum_prodiens)

    The Word descending from above,
    without leaving the right hand of his Father,
    and going forth to do his work,
    reached the evening of his life.

    When about to be given over
    to his enemies by one of his disciples,
    to suffer death, he first gave himself
    to his disciples as the bread of life.

    Under a twofold appearance
    he gave them his flesh and his blood;
    that he might thus wholly feed us
    made up of a twofold substance.

    By his birth he gave himself as our companion;
    at the Last Supper he gave himself as our food;
    dying on the cross he gave himself as our ransom;
    reigning in heaven he gives himself as our reward

    O salutary Victim,
    Who expandest the door of Heaven,
    Hostile wars press.
    Give strength; bear aid.

    To the Lord One in Three,
    May there be sempiternal glory;
    May He grant us life without end
    In the native land.

    My translation:

    Verbum supernum prodiens…nec Patris
    HYMN CORPUS CHRISTI LAUDS
    Thomas Aquinas

    The Word, come forth from heaven’s height,
    Yet leaving not the Father’s right,
    And going out in working strength,
    To His life’s evening comes at length.

    His rivals have His death trap laid—
    For His disciple has betrayed—
    But first, the Food of life, Himself,
    He handed over to the Twelve.

    He gave Himself to them as Food
    In twofold form of Flesh and Blood,
    That He might meet their total need:
    Their human twofold substance feed.

    When born, He gave Himself as Friend;
    As Food, when dining at the end;
    As Ransom in His sacrifice;
    As King, He gives Himself as prize.

    O Victim, Who by dying saves,
    Who paths through heaven’s portals paves,
    Our enemies are close arrayed:
    Give us Your strength and timely aid.

    Eternal glory ever be
    To You, O One and Trinity,
    And give us life that has no end
    When to our homeland we ascend. Amen.

    Translation c. 2021, Kathleen Pluth. All rights reserved.



  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    I think it's possible, just extremely difficult… and, well, at that point, given the charge from the church to use and preserve the Gregorian repertoire, one may as well just use it.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,144
    Yes, we sing everything in Latin barring a prelude or postlude here or there.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,444
    Yes, that is one of the various forms of giving up.

    -Giving up on rhyme
    -Giving up on translation
    -Giving up on translation in the middle of a translation (I'm talking to you, Humbly We Adore Thee.)

    The problem with all of these capitulations is that what seems to me to be the main goal is lost. The rich theology and devotion of this vast heritage is not made real for our generation and the generations to come.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen