The following article was first published on 6 August 2013 by several blogs which promote the Traditional Latin Mass. It is reproduced here for ease of reference.
“I would like to congratulate you on the beautiful second edition of the Campion Missal. It has quickly become the mainstay in so many parishes and chapels, and rightfully so! I am pleased that our community here is Fribourg could contribute in a small way to such a wonderful aid for the faithful to follow, learn and pray the Holy Mass.”
— Fr. Arnaud Evrat, FSSP Secretary General (28 July 2013)
E ARE DELIGHTED to announce the Second Edition of the St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass. I would invite the reader to visit the new website, where information can be found regarding the many improvements (such as the addition of a grey ribbon). The pictures shown throughout this article come from the newly-revised edition.
Ever since the mid-1990s when I started to attend the Traditional Mass, I noticed that congregational resources for the EF were often of a very low quality: usually xerox copies, or cheaply printed “inserts” glued together. These materials stood in stark contrast to the beauty of the Rites themselves, and in particular the elegance with which the Evangeliarium was printed prior to the Second Vatican Council — or for that matter the exquisite decorations used by Eastern Catholics for the Gospel Book — as a way to honor Sacred Scripture, the word of God.
The Campion Missal and Hymnal was created to provide a congregational book containing all the Mass Readings, Proprium Missae (Latin/English), Ordinarium Missae in Gregorian chant, traditional hymns, and congregational chants, as well as the complete Ordo Missae for Low and Solemn Mass. At the moment, there is a special offer allowing congregations and individuals to take 25% off their entire order in honor of the Jesuit Martyrs of North America. I hope readers will visit the Campion website to learn about the other features of this new congregational book.
One aspect I would like to point out is the extravagant “wood cut” illustrations which grace more than forty pages in our book. Each one is deeply theological, normally tying together the Old and New Testaments according to the beautiful rhyme quoted by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen:
“The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.”
“The New is in the Old contained, the Old is in the New explained”
Each week, we’ve been releasing these high quality, digitally-restored images on our blog, but we have more than 300 total, so it will probably take several years to complete this process. The following is an example of one of these drawings:
SOMETIMES WHAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING . . .
I had a teacher who used to say, “Sometimes what goes without saying needs to be said.” One question I’ve been asked over and over is:
“What is the purpose of the manuscripts? What made you place ancient manuscripts alongside the Mass texts for the Low Mass?”
I thought the purpose would be obvious, but apparently it wasn’t, so allow me to clarify. The manuscripts were included as a reminder that the Roman Canon has never been changed or altered, going back as far as we have manuscript evidence. As Fr. Fortescue has said, “The essential element, the Canon, was word for word the same as ours. No medieval bishop dared to touch the sacred Eucharistic prayer.” The specific examples were chosen with great care and come from different centuries and provenances. One of the most remarkable manuscripts to be included was the Stowe Missal, an Irish manuscript produced sometime before 750AD. While at Mass, one can of course read the English translation. Alternately, one can pray directly from the ancient manuscript, if one has the Roman Canon memorized, and many Catholics do.
BEHIND THE SCENES
As readers know, the ceremonies of the Traditional Roman Rite are complicated, and choosing the precise “moments” to photograph for the Missal took months of careful planning. It was necessary to take my family to Europe to get the photos, since my wife (at that time pregnant with our second child) acted as director of photography. The journey from Switzerland to Rome with a 1-yr-old and all our equipment was quite hectic, but members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter were incredibly helpful, and we will never forget their kindness. It was necessary to take many “test” shots to get the proper lighting in advance (the Blessed Sacrament was of course removed during this process), and my daughter was actually strapped to my chest for this, which looks rather comical in hindsight. Here are a few “behind-the-scenes” pictures I was able to locate:
ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS IN THE CAMPION MISSAL
I would like to say a few words about the translations we chose for the Campion Missal. There’s an old saying in Italian: “The translator is a traitor.” In other words, when all is said and done, there is no such thing as the “perfect translation.” For our book, we scrupulously reproduced the English translations by Rev. F. X. Lasance (1860-1946), because they are elegant and quite literal. That was very important: they must be literal. Ultimately, of course, one translates ideas, not words. We are not speaking here of translating an idiomatic Spanish or Italian phrase (“How old are you?”) in a ridiculously literal way like “How many years have you?” We are speaking of being faithful to the Latin, especially where Sacred Scripture is concerned, since a sloppy translation might obscure a potential meaning embedded by the Holy Ghost (especially in the Psalms). Fr. Lasance is faithful, and takes the Scripture readings from the Douay-Rheims (a faithful translation of St. Jerome’s Vulgate).
In spite of what was said in the 1970s, it is not always desirable for English translations to correspond to the syntax and punctuation we use today, in the year 2013. For instance, the Nicene Creed has the verb “Credo” followed by a whole series of nouns in the accusative case divided by the word “et.” Fr. Lasance honors this structure, as does this 1806 edition. I remember listening to someone attack the rendering by Lasance, maintaining that “he had been taught in high school” sentences must never begin with the word “and.” I cannot hear such criticisms without calling to mind St. Augustine’s condemnation of people who applied Old Testament rules to the time after Christ (Confessions, III, 7) : “Such men gauge, by the petty standard of their own manners, the manners of the whole human race. They are like someone who knows nothing about armor, or which piece belongs where, and tries to cover his head with the greaves and his feet with the helmet, and then complains because they do not fit properly.”
Catholics in the United States are all too familiar with the now discredited English translations used for the Novus Ordo for more than three decades. Thankfully, a more accurate translation was imposed in 2011, but for the situation to have lasted as long as it did remains a scandal. Msgr. Richard J. Schuler always referred to those translators as piccoluomini. Incidentally, a former FSSP professor with a doctorate in Latin was rudely kicked out of the post-Conciliar translation process by piccoluomini who wrote, “Certainly this good Father knows his Latin and Greek, but does he know English?” The words of St. Paul (Rom 1:22) would seem to apply here: “thinking themselves to be wise, they became as fools.” Translations done by the piccoluomini often tried to “fix” things that weren’t broken, like the way traditional prayers (e.g., the Sequences) switch back and forth freely between second and third person. This is doubly inexplicable since it had been translated correctly for several centuries, and here’s an example.
Until his death in 2007, Msgr. Schuler maintained that the shoddy translation imposed upon the Church in the 1970s was done intentionally, with full knowledge. Comments made in the aftermath of the 2011 improvements seem to support his view. Consider a recent statement by a former president of Universa Laus (a 1960s group formed to counteract CIMS, the Holy See’s organization):
7th-century theology, spirituality, and culture are very far from where most of the Church is now. The 1973 translation concealed this fact from us. If we had known what the prayers really said, we would not have wanted to pray them any longer. Now we are faced with that question 40 years later, and it is not any easier.
Those who translate the Traditional Mass into English must have great respect for the prayers, and faithful translation is an act of obedience. At the same time, it cannot be denied that great orthographical differences existed over the centuries. For our part, we strove to create a consistent and unified book, knowing full well that legitimate variation exists, especially with regard to spelling and hyphenation for Latin words. For example, in many books, the word “caeli” is spelled as “coeli.” Furthermore, either spelling can employ a ligature, and the early manuscripts often have “celi.” Perhaps a personal story can best illustrate this. When the Campion Missal (1st Edition) initially went to print in January of 2013, we discovered that a correction had not been made, namely: the word “Matthaei” was spelled with only one “t.” For reasons I cannot fully explain, this typo caused me great distress, especially because the book had been proofread by so many people. In any event, I happened to come across an ancient manuscript in our book and to my great relief I noticed only one “t” was used by the scribe:
Apropos of “errors” by the scribes (if they can be called errors), here is a passage by Dr. Peter Wagner (1865-1931), a celebrated scholar of Gregorian chant, member of Pope Pius X’s Commission to create the Editio Vaticana, and founder of the Gregorian Academy in Fribourg (where we took the Solemn Mass photographs):
Manuscripts of non-Roman origin but of the Roman Liturgy confirm the use of Greek chant in the Latin Church. Not infrequently we find the Greek Gloria and Credo (usually written in Latin character); I refer to Cod. S. Gall. 381, 382; the MS. 9449 of the National Library at Paris etc. Also at S. Blasien in the Black Forest the Gloria was sung both in Latin and Greek. A troper of Montauriol even has the Greek Sanctus and Agnus Dei provided with neums. The above mentioned Paris MS. (it belongs to the 11th century) has a number of chants in the Greek language for the Mass of Pentecost, in addition to which the Codex 1235 nouv. acquis. of the same Library, of the 12th century, indicates for the Circumcision the Alleluia verse Dies sanctificatus in Greek. The scribes seldom knew Greek, and so these renderings of Greek texts in Latin characters teem with mistakes of every kind. In the Paris MS. 9449 the Introit Spiritus Domini, which is provided with rich tropes, is followed by the subjoined text (fol. 49): “Natis thos o theos ke dios corpis this tesan ey extri autu kepye thosan oy me sontes autu a proposo tu autu. Gratias agamus alme Trinitatis semper. Pneupma tu kyrriu. Doxa patri ke yo ke ayo pneumati. Ke nim Kea im ke ystus oco nathon oeo non amen. Pneuma tu kyrriu eplyros empti oygumenu alleluja. Keu thu tbo tho sin craton panta tin nosin akyiphonis alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.” [source]
The reader might appreciate “seeing with his own eyes” what Dr. Wagner is talking about. Here is the Gloria, Pater Noster, and Credo from Cod. S. Gall. 381:
And here is the Gloria and Pater Noster from Cod. S. Gall. 382 (also mentioned by Dr. Wagner above):
On the other hand, as I have already hinted, due to the long history of the Latin language, it is not always easy to know what is a “mistake.” See, for example, Adrian Fortescue on the vocative of “Agnus” (The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy, 1912, page 388). In summation, the Latin Mass ought not be translated by anyone ignorant of (or hostile toward) its supremely venerable history.