Using different Psalm translation for Liturgy of the Hours


#1

I heard somebody say that the universalis website is not an official Liturgy of the Hours (LOH) because the translation is different. I have a private devotion--memorizing all of the Psalms--and I chose the RSV-2CE as my translation. I am far enough into it now that it would be extremely annoying to go back and relearn everything using the official LOH. So my question is:

What is wrong with saying the LOH but when I get to a Psalm I have previously memorized in the RSV-2CE, saying that Psalm instead of the one written in the LOH?

My contention is that around the world there are different translations being recited all the time in many different languages. How is that any different than many translations being recited in English? If I were to recite them in a group, I would definitely use the official versions, though.


#2

If you are not bound to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a priest, deacon, or religious, then it is a private devotion, and so you are not bound by law to follow the liturgical rubrics for it.

-ACEGC


#3

[quote="edward_george, post:2, topic:314496"]
If you are not bound to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a priest, deacon, or religious, then it is a private devotion, and so you are not bound by law to follow the liturgical rubrics for it.

-ACEGC

[/quote]

Would there be any extra spiritual value to follow the liturgical rubrics even if it is a private devotion?


#4

I don't know if there's an official answer but I have a personal one. To me there is a difference in knowing that I am praying with the whole Church and knowing that I'm praying alone. If I'm following the official liturgy, I am in union with my brothers and sisters around the world.


#5

[quote="yellow8yellowM, post:3, topic:314496"]
Would there be any extra spiritual value to follow the liturgical rubrics even if it is a private devotion?

[/quote]

Probably not.

The rubrics exist to ensure that everybody is praying the same thing in the same way. If you're not canonically bound to pray the Divine Office and you're doing so privately I can't think of any reason why it matters.


#6

[quote="yellow8yellowM, post:3, topic:314496"]
Would there be any extra spiritual value to follow the liturgical rubrics even if it is a private devotion?

[/quote]

Actually, the Church offers the Liturgy of the Hours to all its faithful, so if one intends it and follows the rubrics and translation, then one is offering the prayer of the Church in his universal priesthood of the baptized and is NOT a private devotion.

I would think that offering up the prayer of the Church according to your state of life carries with it a certain efficacy not otherwise present in private devotion.


#7

One of my problems with praying the LOTH is that I easily get led into focusing on the rules and techniques when I should be focused on the prayer. [Something in common with the Pharisees I think.] :(


#8

[quote="porthos11, post:6, topic:314496"]
Actually, the Church offers the Liturgy of the Hours to all its faithful, so if one intends it and follows the rubrics and translation, then one is offering the prayer of the Church in his universal priesthood of the baptized and is NOT a private devotion.

I would think that offering up the prayer of the Church according to your state of life carries with it a certain efficacy not otherwise present in private devotion.

[/quote]

^^^This.

[quote="Joe_Kelley, post:7, topic:314496"]
One of my problems with praying the LOTH is that I easily get led into focusing on the rules and techniques when I should be focused on the prayer. [Something in common with the Pharisees I think.] :(

[/quote]

With time it comes naturally. One thing that really helps is if you have a religious community nearby, and you can attend their Offices.


#9

[quote="yellow8yellowM, post:1, topic:314496"]
I heard somebody say that the universalis website is not an official Liturgy of the Hours (LOH) because the translation is different. I have a private devotion--memorizing all of the Psalms--and I chose the RSV-2CE as my translation. I am far enough into it now that it would be extremely annoying to go back and relearn everything using the official LOH. So my question is:

What is wrong with saying the LOH but when I get to a Psalm I have previously memorized in the RSV-2CE, saying that Psalm instead of the one written in the LOH?

My contention is that around the world there are different translations being recited all the time in many different languages. How is that any different than many translations being recited in English? If I were to recite them in a group, I would definitely use the official versions, though.

[/quote]

I also prefer the RSV-2CE psalms to the Grail psalms that are used in the LOTH. I pray the LOTH with my Bible on my lap, when I come to a psalm or a scripture reading I read it out of my RSV-2CE Bible instead. :thumbsup:


#10

[quote="CalCatholic, post:9, topic:314496"]
I also prefer the RSV-2CE psalms to the Grail psalms that are used in the LOTH. I pray the LOTH with my Bible on my lap, when I come to a psalm or a scripture reading I read it out of my RSV-2CE Bible instead. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Then you're not praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but only a devotion patterned on it.


#11

[quote="porthos11, post:10, topic:314496"]
Then you're not praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but only a devotion patterned on it.

[/quote]

To be fair, many monasteries use their own psalters, and their own psalm schemas. The only things invariable are lectionary and the collects, really, as well as the basic structures. Of course Benedictine monasteries have always had quite a bit of latitude to design their own Offices; the Rule of St. Benedict provides for it. And for the monastic Offices, there are many published options (psalm schemas, versicle instead of responsory, hymn after the responsory instead of at the beginning, for example).

In French the official psalm translation is the AELF translation, but for instance the abbey of Ligugé uses its own psalter; the translation has been adapted to the psalm tones they use as the AELF translation did not lend itself well to those tones.

Of course the abbot has the same jurisdiction over his community as a bishop (which is why on solemn occasions you'll see him process in with mitre and crozier)... not quite the same as concocting our own Offices as laity, we aren't "little abbots".

Benedictines also have their own calendar and individual abbeys their own ordo. In the Solesmes congregation, today was the memorial of St. Benedict of Aniane whereas it was yesterday in other congregations, because yesterday was the optional memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Solesmes ordo.


#12

[quote="OraLabora, post:11, topic:314496"]
To be fair, many monasteries use their own psalters, and their own psalm schemas. The only things invariable are lectionary and the collects, really, as well as the basic structures. Of course Benedictine monasteries have always had quite a bit of latitude to design their own Offices; the Rule of St. Benedict provides for it. And for the monastic Offices, there are many published options (psalm schemas, versicle instead of responsory, hymn after the responsory instead of at the beginning, for example).

In French the official psalm translation is the AELF translation, but for instance the abbey of Ligugé uses its own psalter; the translation has been adapted to the psalm tones they use as the AELF translation did not lend itself well to those tones.

Of course the abbot has the same jurisdiction over his community as a bishop (which is why on solemn occasions you'll see him process in with mitre and crozier)... not quite the same as concocting our own Offices as laity, we aren't "little abbots".

Benedictines also have their own calendar and individual abbeys their own ordo. In the Solesmes congregation, today was the memorial of St. Benedict of Aniane whereas it was yesterday in other congregations, because yesterday was the optional memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Solesmes ordo.

[/quote]

And it's all approved by proper ecclesiastical authority, which makes it a proper form of the Divine Office. That's not the same as taking the Roman Office, replacing the texts with one's own translation and still expect to participate in the public prayer of the Church.


#13

[quote="porthos11, post:12, topic:314496"]
And it's all approved by proper ecclesiastical authority, which makes it a proper form of the Divine Office. That's not the same as taking the Roman Office, replacing the texts with one's own translation and still expect to participate in the public prayer of the Church.

[/quote]

No indeed, that's quite correct. We can avail ourselves of the options in the rubrics or choose a different approved office (for example if an oblate, that of our abbey), but that's about it for the laity.


#14

Thank you all for your answers. I have done more research and thinking about this since the original post. I really want to participate in the public prayer of the Church. If I recite the LOH as written, it won't help my private devotion of memorizing the Psalms (in a different translation), but since most Psalms only come up once a month it won't really hurt anything either.

Because of this, though, I will memorize Psalm 95 as written in the LOH since it is said every day. I may do this for a few others as well.


#15

Keep in mind that the Grail Psalter translation (the one used in the Conference-approved English translation of the Breviary) is just that: a translation. The Psalms you’re memorizing are also just that: a translation. Perhaps you could consider praying/memorizing the aforementioned Psalms from the Latin edition, since that is and still is the official version of the Catholic Church. Just an idea, don’t know if it will help.

God bless!


#16

So are you saying that if I recite Psalm 95 in latin but the antiphons in English, it would still be an official LOH? It seems to me that this would go back to making this a private devotion again considering I am picking and choosing bits and pieces as I please.


#17

[quote="yellow8yellowM, post:16, topic:314496"]
So are you saying that if I recite Psalm 95 in latin but the antiphons in English, it would still be an official LOH? It seems to me that this would go back to making this a private devotion again considering I am picking and choosing bits and pieces as I please.

[/quote]

Why not recite Divine Office entirely in Latin (if you're proficient) and memorize the English translation of the Psalms?


#18

[quote="yellow8yellowM, post:16, topic:314496"]
So are you saying that if I recite Psalm 95 in latin but the antiphons in English, it would still be an official LOH? It seems to me that this would go back to making this a private devotion again considering I am picking and choosing bits and pieces as I please.

[/quote]

You may indeed use the Latin for parts of the Divine Office for as long as that Latin is from the official books (Liturgia Horarum editio typica altera). It's indeed permitted to mix and match, such as the antiphons in English, psalms in Latin, or Ordinary in Latin, Psalms in English, etc. I myself alternate reciting the Te Deum and sometimes the Our Father in Latin and the official English. The Latin of the official books remains official everywhere. The key thing is, use the official edition, either in Latin or translation.


#19

[quote="porthos11, post:18, topic:314496"]
You may indeed use the Latin for parts of the Divine Office for as long as that Latin is from the official books (Liturgia Horarum editio typica altera). It's indeed permitted to mix and match, such as the antiphons in English, psalms in Latin, or Ordinary in Latin, Psalms in English, etc. I myself alternate reciting the Te Deum and sometimes the Our Father in Latin and the official English. The Latin of the official books remains official everywhere. The key thing is, use the official edition, either in Latin or translation.

[/quote]

I do most of the Office in Latin. I do the intercessions and readings in French. Also after I chant the psalm aloud in Latin, I read it in silence in French, my mother tongue. Pretty much the same pattern as the abbey I'm associated with, for Lauds and Vespers. For the minor hours, on feast days they chant the antiphon in Latin and the psalms in French on a tone set to the Gregorian modes. On lesser days they chant all of the minor hours in French, recto-tono, except for the Latin hymn.

I find the Latin chanting of the psalms almost like a mantra that puts me in a better state of mind to meditate the meaning of the psalm when I read it silently in French.


#20

[quote="porthos11, post:18, topic:314496"]
It's indeed permitted to mix and match

[/quote]

So could one mix and match from various approved English offices?


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