More on the Divine Office

Meh. After looking at the 1963 traslation of the Roman Breviary, among others, and a couple weeks of the Little Office of the BVM, the 1975 ICEL translation really is kind of “bleh.” It’s not bad, but it’s definitely a product of its times. My biggest beef with it is that it expunges any element of the psalms that might be potentially offensive, including the two cursing psalms. If the Divine Office is supposed to be the prayer of the entire Church, I can’t understand why these psalms are left out, with as much violence and evil as there is out there. I can see why most of the Benedicitne and Trappist communities I know of do their own.

I’m not sure where I fit anymore. On the one hand, I dislike a lot of the “modern” musical liturgical developments of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Maybe I’ve been reading way too much Adorno, but I don’t think guitars belong in the Mass. On the other hand, I can’t stand the thought of going back to a time, when women just sat there and looked pious in their little chapel veils. I don’t mind Latin, but I think liturgy can be beautiful in the vernacular. I like greater lay involvement with the liturgy, and I like the phrase “full and active participation.” I can get filled up, with the brief intimacy of being able to hold a consecrated host. (Aside: I have received on the tongue, but it gives me giggle fits. I found this out when I broke my arm and got chicken pox right before my first communion. Oh well. Chicken pox with a cast was worth not having to wear a frilly white dress.)

It seems like those who have the best resources on Latin translations of it, are those who have the most hateful views towards anything that happened post 1965. I’m not talking even in the same league as my grousing about guitar music. I’m talking about outright hatred and vitriol towards EM’s, “girls” as altar servers, and the like. I may dislike the music, but I don’t hate the musicians. Is it wrong to want an aesthetically pleasing Divine Office?


~ by Jen on July 9, 2006.

%d bloggers like this: