Divine Office Forum: Translations
Translations QUESTION from Jones on August 5, 2002 I'm a lay Catholic in the United States who is just beginning to pray morning and evening prayers. I know that the ICEL translations in my _Shorter Christian Prayer_ are required for public recitation in the US, but I really dislike them. Because I'm a layman and I'm saying these prayers privately, I'd like to find a less prosaic English translation.
First, would I likely find the British translations to be more satisfying? Are they based on the RSV-CE? What translation would you recommend as the best in terms of the literary quality?
Second, is there any canonical problem with private use of a non-ICEL text in the United States, or is that text simply a cross we Americans are obliged to bear?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 13, 2002 Dear Mr. Jones:
The Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) is an official liturgy of the Church. As such it is regulated by the Church. We cannot mess with it.
Even in private recitation, if we wish to pray the Official Prayer of the Church and pray with the Church then we must use the official translation of our domicile. If you are an American, then you must use the translation approved for the United States.
It you use any translation you want to use then you have degraded the Divine Office to a personal devotion and it is no longer a prayer with the entire church.
The Universalis site in England does NOT use an approved translation in any country, including England, and thus it cannot be used for the recitation of the Divine Office by anyone.
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