Magnificat Translations Allowed?
  • Is using a translation other than the one in the Breviary allowed?
    Is there a document that forbids unapproved (OCP) translations of the Magnificat or Benedictus being used in the Liturgy?

    Also, I thought I read somewhere that in the new translation of the GIRM or Rubrics it states that the Gospel Acclamation can now be recited and not omitted if not sung. Am I dreaming this up?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,025
    From the CIRM:

    The Acclamation before the Gospel

    62. A fter the reading that immediately precedes the Gospel, the Alleluia or another chant laid down by the rubrics is sung, as the liturgical time requires. An acclamation of this kind constitutes a rite or act in itself, by which the gathering of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to them in the Gospel and profess their faith by means of the chant. It is sung by everybody, standing, and is led by the choir or a cantor, being repeated as the case requires. The verse, on the other hand, is sung either by the choir or by a cantor.

      a)
    The Alleluia is sung in every time of year other than Lent. The verses are taken from the Lectionary or the Graduale.

      b)
    During Lent, instead of the Alleluia, the Verse before the Gospel as given in the Lectionary is sung. It is also possible to sing another Psalm or Tract, as found in the Graduale.


    63. When there is only one reading before the Gospel:

      a)
    during a time of year when the Alleluia is prescribed, either an Alleluia Psalm or the Responsorial Psalm followed by the Alleluia with its verse may be used;

      b)
    during a time of year when the Alleluia is not foreseen, either the Psalm and the Verse before the Gospel or the Psalm alone may be used;

      c)
    the Alleluia or the Verse before the Gospel, if not sung, may be omitted.


    64. The Sequence which, except on Easter Sunday and on Pentecost Day, is optional, is sung before the Alleluia.


    From the above extract, it seems clear that the "Gospel Acclamation" is a separate rite or act in itself, presumably not to be omitted (unless proscribed) nor spoken, but sung.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,282
    "if not sung, may be omitted"
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,025
    Oops, but omission is only allowed when there is only one reading before the Gospel. So, if there are two readings, it may not be omitted?
  • No, I read it as saying if there is not a competent singer available and the alleluia cannot be sung it should be omitted rather than recited. This is in contrast to the gloria, which while preferably sung (when prescribed) it may be recited rather that omitted. I recall seeing an old rubric that allowed for the omission of the gloria when not sung--similar to 63c above.

    As for the gospel canticles in the liturgy of the hours I don't know what is prescribed. I do know that metrical paraphrases are commonly used but I've not seen anything official.
  • An honest and unloaded question:
    Owing to its inclusion in The Book of Divine Worship used by Anglican ordinariate Catholics, this makes the Anglican translation of Magnificat therein really Catholic. Does this allow, then, for its use as needed or desired (music-wise) in pure Roman rite situations?
    Say, for instance, one were having solemn vespers in English and wanted to use a setting of Magnificat by Tallis or Gibbons etc.? Or, say one wanted to use an English renaissance setting of Gloria or Sanctus at mass (which would be the translation found in the BDW)?

    Also, I seem to remember reading quite some years ago that there was actual permission to use translations of the ordinary other than the official ones if one were using an older musical setting that was set to them: is this true or not? (If true, it's certainly a well-kept secret that certain types would hope at all costs remained that way!)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Here in Boston, the cathedral uses a metrical adaptation of the Magnificat at its Sunday Vespers. If that's OK, then....
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    I have also seen metrical adaptations used, but it would seem that unless specific permission is given for them somewhere, they shouldn't be used.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,730
    So, if there are two readings, [the Alleluia] may not be omitted?
    Jaij- it seems to depend on how closely one chooses to read.
    The Sequence which, except on Easter Sunday and on Pentecost Day, is optional...
    seems to permit all sequences, though it presumably refers to Lauda Sion.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,025
    I should hope that the Magnificat (English) from Byrd's Great Service would be permitted at Vespers. It's a stunning work which I've sung many times, as is the Nunc Dimittis for Compline (both are part of the Anglican use Choral Evensong, which merges Vespers and Compline).
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ...though it presumably refers to Lauda Sion.


    In addition, the Stabat Matter may optionally be sung on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Easter sequence may optionally be sung throughout the octave.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,036
    Jackson, it makes an interesting point when the translations that are older, but may not be officially approved are clearly better. I think there is a point about what you say in Liturgicum Authenticum perhaps?
  • If anyone ever answers this question clearly, I would be very happy.
    I guess since I was once asked to NOT sing the NON-ICEL magnificat in english I am thinking that its not supposed to be so.

    Yet monasteries, priories/religious orders are allowed to use NON-ICEL texts in english for their divine office/liturgy of hours. Dr. Bill Marht feels it may somehow possible to find a way to allow it , but didnt give any specific idea. The forming of a confraternity could help? (still doesnt make lay people religous order though.)

    Until the question is clearly answered, I'll continue to make two different english translations of Magnificants (which is nearly a hobby now) the 1973 ICEL and the 1549 Book of Common Prayer used by all Anglo-Catholics/Anglo-ordinariate catholics, and Western rite Orthodox.