YHWHThe Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a ruling that the divine name יהוה may not be pronounced either as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”. In liturgy it must be either “Lord” or, if preceding or following אֲדֹנָי (Adonai), “Lord God” for both together:

1. In liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced.

2. For the translation of the Biblical text in modern languages, destined for liturgical usage of the Church, what is already prescribed by n. 41 of the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam is to be followed; that is, the divine tetragrammaton is to be rendered by the equivalent of Adonai/Kyrios: “Lord”, “Signore”, “Seigneur”, “Herr”, “Señor”, etc.

3. In translating, in the liturgical context, texts in which are present, one after the other, either the Hebrew term Adonai or the tetragrammaton YHWH, Adonai is to be translated “Lord” and the form God” is to be used for the tetragrammaton YHWH, similar to what happens in the Greek translation of the Septuagint and in the Latin translation of the Vulgate.

The Jerusalem Bible when used liturgically already uses this principle, and the CTS New Catholic Bible uses the Jerusalem translation but with that alteration. OCP hymns will be affected, it has about a dozen examples of songs using “Yahweh” including the popular Dan Schutte “Yahweh, I know you are near.” Another popular one is “Yahweh Is the God of My Salvation” by Gregory Norbet.

tetragrammaton-related-masoretic-vowel-points“Jehovah” appears to be a hybrid word, with the consonants of YHWH and the vowels of Adonai (or Elohim if it follows or precedes YHWH).

YHWH may be connected with the verb “to be”. Or it may be the sound of breathing in (YH) and breathing out (WH).

Rocco Palmo concludes his post on the news:

…but, thanks be to G-d, at least we still got this:


Biretta tip to Margaret.

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