EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III: Respice, quaesumus, in oblationem Ecclesiae tuae, et, agnoscens Hostiam, cuius voluisti immolatione placari, concede, ut qui Corpore et Sanguine Filii tui reficimur, Spiritu eius Sancto repleti, unum corpus et unus spiritus inveniamur in Christo.
CURRENT TRANSLATION: Look with favor on your Church's offering, and see the Victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
PROPOSED NEW TRANSLATION: Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church, and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son, and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.
The Third Eucharistic Prayer was put together by Fr Cipriano Vagaggini (1909-1999) from North African sources. A literal translation of the Latin suggests that it has retained some rather primeval notions of sacrifice: ‘Look, we pray, on the oblation of your Church, and perceiving the Victim, by whose immolation you willed to be placated…’
The translators of the new version did not have the courage of their literalist convictions, knowing that this primitive sacrificial language would not wash with a contemporary congregation. So they resort to the very things they scold the current translation for: PARAPHRASE and DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE. In fact they build on the current translation and not on the original Latin: ‘whose death has reconciled us to yourself’ becomes ‘by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself’ – immolation and placation are gone and only the nuance of ‘you willed’ is added from the Latin.
‘Recognizing’ is an infelicitous translation of ‘agnoscens’ for it either suggests that God is short-sighted and has trouble recognizing the Victim, or else that he may refuse recognition to the Victim – denying its sacral status or its identity with the Victim of Calvary. The latter sense of recognize is no doubt what the translators intend, following the common use of agnosco in such phrases as agnoscere filium – to recognize as one’s son. However, agnosco can also mean simply ‘perceive’; in a sentence like Virgil's 'agnosco veteris vestigia flammae' one may translate the verb either way. 'Perceive' is the sense chosen by the current translation, ‘see the Victim.’ The French translation has 'Regarde, Seigneur, le sacrifice de ton Eglise, et daigne y reconnaitre celui de ton Fils, qui nous a rétablis dans ton Alliance.' This makes much better sense than the murky language of the new English translation.
Meanwhile, 18691 people have now signed Fr Ryan's petition: http://www.whatifwejustsaidwait.org/signatures.aspx
He has also posted a fresh batch of Comments: http://www.whatifwejustsaidwait.org/readcomments.htm