13 December 2010

How long, O Lord?!

The November 2010 Newsletter of the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - which only arrived late last week - tells us that "a Ritual del Matrimonio, translated from the Latin editio typica altera (1990) and approved for the diocese of the United States of America" will become obligatory for use to witness marriages since September 8, 2010, and that "no other Spanish edition may be used." (Curiously, the newsletter provides an image of the book's cover, but the publishing web site does not.)

What most strikes me about this is that we still have no English translation of the editio typica altera from 1990 in English. The only English translation we have of a marriage ritual is of the editio typica from 1969. We are told in the newsletter that "the text in English will be revised and published at a future date," but are given no indication as to when that will be. It's been 20 years and we still have no translation!

Perhaps you wonder - as I do - why we need a Spanish translation of the revised marriage ritual in this country and not an English translation.

The best answer seems to be to "accomodate practices which have been in use for many years during wedding ceremonies in Spain, Mexico, and some Central American countries" and to include "the blessings and prayers for the lazo and the arras," which are not necessary to the rite of marriage.

Every priest I know is longing for a revised edition of the English translation of the presently titled Rite of Marriage. The book is a mess and the layout is all but impossible to follow. When, when will we have one?

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