Missal translation (letter)

Missal translation (letter)

Norman Wilkinson

Thank you for the continued excellent coverage of the subject of the new Missal translation in AD2000. The article by William Oddie was particularly timely and incisive.

No doubt you have many Latin experts amongst your readership and I would be interested to know how they would translate the word "spiritus" into modern English, since the word "spirit" in English is now almost devoid of any useful meaning from a liturgical viewpoint.

Perhaps because of this the original Novus Ordo translation avoided the word and rendered the phrase "Et cum spiritu tuo" as "And also with you". The Latin word "spiritus" appears to carry the implication of wind, breath, breeze, air and more vaguely of life and soul.

Since, in the days when the people would believe that God was with the celebrant necessarily, such a petition would be superfluous. However, they could reasonably want reassurance that God would also be carried with his (the celebrant's) words, breath, or utterances to their own ears. Hence a petition that not only was God visualised and tasted, but He was also heard.

Could "Et cum spiritu tuo" mean something like "And also upon your very words and breath"?

East Fremantle, WA

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