The full text of the Revised Grail Psalter can be found here.

Its publication explains some of the astonishing “translations” in the new RC English Missal that are completely contrary to Liturgiam authenticam – I will deal with that in my next post with this title.

The Revised Grail Psalter is a translation from the Hebrew by Abbot Gregory Polan, O.S.B., of Conception Abbey, Missouri. The intention is that this is the translation used by all English-speaking Roman Catholics [except, of course, the Anglican Ordinariate and Anglican Use Roman Catholics, who, like some Carthusians and probably other RC monasteries, use Anglican translations].

[Currently, I understand, USA Roman Catholics are in the bizarre situation of using one translation in the Daily Office and a completely different translation at Mass! So much for “by heart”.]

Whether it is preferable to have such a venture issue from the hands of an individual or a committee is an interesting discussion.

The accuracy of the translation is something that can be examined and discussed and I will look at one psalm as an example in the third post with this title.

It needs to be underlined that the purpose of this translation is for use in worship. There are perfectly good, literal, accurate translations already available, and I have a repugnance for the multiplication of translations. [Even so take my advice and join me in buying shares in GIA Publications and Conception Abbey; see also copyright] If you want an accurate Psalter, use Robert Alter’s The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary.

An English psalter for worship needs to balance accuracy on the one hand with rhythm for proclaiming, chanting, and singing on the other. As we pray them we need to be able to find ourselves within these psalms so that we can grow into their being “our” prayer. The translation should not draw attention to itself but be “sacramental”, a window to the Divine. We shouldn’t be noticing the glass. One cannot but wonder how different the translation might be if instead of a male monk in a male monastery (and authorised by male bishops) the task had been done by a woman monastic with a community of her sisters.

[I have the People’s Companion to the Breviary, and used it for many years. It is produced by the Carmelite sisters of Indianapolis. They started by revising the Grail psalter, but then Grail, holding the copyright, did not allow them to continue. Instead, they produced their psalter based on the RSV.]

Thanks for those who have pointed me to the online text of the Revised Grail Psalter.

ps. I know the rejected 1998 Missal Translation is online – but can’t seem to find it again – please can someone point me to it.

In the Southern Hemisphere, and certainly in Aotearoa-New Zealand, this is our go-slow time… So – sometimes your comments may take longer than usual to get through moderation…

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