Texas Catholic Herald, 12/21/10:
The most common questions regarding the new translation of the Roman Missal are: “Why do we need a new translation?” and “What is wrong with what we have?”
We could easily forget both questions; we could bring back the Mass that we had for nineteen centuries, and needed no modification or correction, nor even translation. So we don’t need a translation. And the answer to the second question is too long to fit in these eight pages.
“The Council,” writes David Wood, “called for a vernacular translation as expediently as possible to allow the faithful to enter more fully and fruitfully into the mystery of God’s love and grace made present … through the liturgy.” This is why attendance has fallen off disastrously. But this, says Wood, was a translation of a paraphrase. Of course!
ICEL mandate? Let’s consult and select from Wikipedia.
Bishops from English-speaking countries in Rome for the Second Vatican Council set up the Commission in 1963 in view of intention to implement the Council’s authorization to use more extensively the vernacular language, instead of Latin, in the liturgy.
[Vat. II, Liturgy: 36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
This would seem to imply limitation!]
On 15 September 2003, it was formally established as a mixed commission of several bishops conferences in accordance with the Instruction Liturgiam autenticam [After forty years of paraphrase, it now has authority?]
Liturgical books that ICEL has translated include:
Liturgy of the Mass: Roman Missal as a whole, but also, before work on the whole of the Missal was completed, the Order of MassHYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Mass" and the Roman Calendar, the Lectionary for Mass, and supplementary publications such as the Simple Gradual, Eucharistic Prayers for Masses of Reconciliation and Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children.
Roman Ritual: the rites for each of the sacraments whose administration is not reserved for bishops, funerals, religious profession, etc.
Roman Pontifical: the rites of confirmation and ordination, blessing of a church and altar, consecration to a life of virginity, etc.
Liturgy of the Hours.
Ceremonial of Bishops.
The first translation of the Roman Missal that ICEL produced appeared in 1973, less than four years after the Latin original had appeared. It sought less a literal correspondence with the original as a dynamic equivalence and avoided technical terms. The result was criticized as unfaithful [Is that all?] to the original and as banal.
[Wikipedia omits that the new missal omitted the three obligatory parts of the Mass, and introduced the old heresies, Arianism and Apocatastasis.]
On 28 March 2001, the Holy See issued the Instruction Liturgiam autenticam, which included the requirement that, in translations of the liturgical texts from the official Latin originals, "the original text, insofar as possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to the characteristics or the nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and discreet." In the following year, the third typical edition of the revised Roman Missal in Latin was released. These two texts made clear the need for a new official English translation of the Roman Missal, particularly because the previous one was at some points an adaptation rather than strictly a translation. … Accordingly, ICEL prepared a new English translation of the Roman Missal, the completed form of which received the approval of the Holy See in April 2010. HYPERLINK
In most English-speaking countries, the national episcopal conference decided to put the new translation into use from the first Sunday of Advent (27 November) 2011.
[Please note that this is a new translation of the new invalid novus ordo missae of 1969 -- not of the Catholic Mass. Some day, after all validly ordained priests have died, Rome may return the real Mass.]
Wood: “Armed with several decades of [mis]translation experience and greater awareness of liturgical and Scriptural roots of the Missal texts and facing the [dire] need to make a new translation of the 2000 Missal, a new instruction … was issued in 2001 … which called for a different approach … ‘formal equivalence.’ While not being slavishly literal, each word and phrase in the original Latin is to be accounted for.” So they’ll miss the boat again!