The text is divided into four sections, simply for ease of reference. There seems to have been a significant effort here to inject a lyricism into the translation, a little strained perhaps at times. If lending is involved, will the loan have to be repaid? Illumination aids sight; dazzling impedes sight.
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This keeps coming up here and there — people make widely varying comments about the translation of the Exsultet, the Easter Proclamation. Some like it more than others. There are many more places where it soars.
So we can set aside that issue. I like the chant setting I know I have a bias on that… , but I am concerned at its level of difficulty. Funny you should mention this. This past year was my first deep exposure to the text, assisting a rookie cantor, and being the accompanist for the Vigil for the first time in years. I liked it also. I assume whoever got the assignment did a good job.
Or that the Vox Clara bishops left it the heck alone because it was part of the Vigil and the prelates just waved their hand over that bit. I believe Maria Boulding was the translator, and she is certainly widely known as an excellent translator. Just today I came across a couple of simplified chants by the Episcopal deacon Ormond Plater, one of which is adapted from an Ambrosian preface tone.
We have an excellent cantor who has done it for years and I would hate to usurp her; she sings it far better than I ever could. Our Deacon is not the greatest chanter in the world so he and I worked together on a very simplified setting.
It went fine, and from what I heard the congregation thought so as well. I like it as well, though I also continue to like the previous translation. This bit of new translation works, unlike much of the rest of the version. I can think of three places where the new version seems a bit off key. That strikes me as an unfortunate fetter from the unfortunate Lit Auth ; it comes across as stilted and less than dynamic.
That strikes me as requiring lots of catechesis if people are to understand it. All in all, a fine job by the translators.
And thanks to Vox Clara for setting down their red pens on this one! But what if a priest chants it like I did this Easter? I found the new text generally easy to chant with preparation and a few pencil marks to help me on my way. Talk about sawdust. What a decision. Whatever happened to exact translation? A fine Marian symbol down the drain because of a sudden passion for scientific correctness concerning insect life.
Give me a break. I added that last line because I thought it would help you to take my comments more seriously. Martin Wallace OP — comment I apologize for the confusion.
What the translation does is to change the singular to the plural, thus eliminating the implied reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary singular.
I was told, by someone in a position to know, that the change had been made out of scientific concerns. The thing with the mother bee, however, is a lovely chain of associations from late antiquity.
The new translation principles enunciated to guide our current liturgical translation supposedly provide for the preservation of historical traces as part of our patrimony.
I would imagine that scientists could make the necessary mental adjustment to pray with a text that is scientifically inaccurate as we all do with the Genesis creation account, for example by understanding the poetic analogy involved. Peter Rehwaldt — comment Peter, another example occurred to me after I posted. I was at a conference in which a contemporary writer of prayer texts presented a prayer of blessing over water.
I was a little taken aback at this. It seemed so literalistic. But does that mean we have to give up metaphor and extended uses of symbol — like baptismal font as womb — because they are not scientifically accurate? But… the resistance to fundamentalism was behind taking out birth imagery. Yet the result was also literalistic, only according to a different epistemology. Rita Ferrone — comment 6: Thank you, Rita!! I work in a fairly rebellious parish, where no one would raise an eyebrow if I used the old translation, but I choose the new because of the quality of the chant.
Rejoice, all you powers in heaven and on earth! Jesus Christ our King is risen! Sound the trumpet, sing of our salvation! Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour, radiant in the brightness of your king! Let our joyful voices resound this night! Rejoice, beloved friends and heirs with Christ, standing with me in this wondrous light! It is truly right and just that with full hearts and minds and voices, we should praise you, unseen God, almighty Father, and your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is our passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers. This is the night when first you set the children of Israel free: you saved our ancestors from slavery in Egypt and led them dry-shod through the sea. This is the night when you led your people by a pillar of fire: with your light you showed them the way and destroyed all the darkness of sin.
This is the night when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow in holiness. This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and in triumphant glory rose from the grave. O God, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! To ransom a slave, you gave up a Son!
O night truly blest! O night chosen above all others to see Christ rise in glory from the dead! A night to restore lost innocence and bring mourners joy! A night to cast out hatred! A night for seeking peace and humbling pride! Therefore, Father most holy, in the joy of this night, receive our evening sacrifice of praise, the solemn offering of your holy people. Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honour of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning.
Christ is that Morning Star, who rose to shed his peaceful light on all creation and lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.
I think the new text is fine. Not to put too fine a point on it, but — is it even an English word? Corrected now. Sorry about that. Harder to sing, too. I find that opening a total distraction that has me seething too much to listen to the rest.
As a person not fond of chant, the music of the version is fine, not too difficult but intricate and appropriate. I felt the older version was sometimes opaque to the listener. This new one becomes a series of holy-ish phrases, like reading Ulysses out loud. I ended up feeling the tone was more important than the words, something I very much dislike.
Thanks for the version. Just speaking for myself, sacral language always makes me think we are trying to impress God. This is poetic, accessible, hearable.
However, so much ink has been spilt over this passage that few could be persuaded that this translation was desirable, or even possible. Or was there another phrase that expressed this idea more felicitously, as you saw it? I, for one, would not be in favor of a simplex Exsultet. It is an exuberant text that requires the elaborate treatment. I agree. I understood it perfectly well standing a few feet behind the ambo with no worship aid or text. Maybe we should just listen up. In addition, the use of ignite as an intransitive verb in this case seems unusual.
It appears to me that a more common understanding is that a fire is ignited, rather than igniting itself, unless one is speaking of spontaneous combustion.
Anthony — my bad, I should have checked the book before assuming. Thanks as always for your graciousness. The melismas are ok… you could leave them out if found taxing, since there are by definition no mistakes in solo chant :.
I lose momentum when the lovely undimming of shared light is breathlessly attributed to endless beeswax, though some friends like every drip.
As has been said, Dame Maria Boulding played a considerable part in its preparation. Shortly after it was finished, Maria fell ill and died. I was one of those whom she had asked her Abbess to email on her death, so I received the news very soon after she had died.
Easter Proclamation (Exsultet)
The Exsultet spelled in pre editions of the Roman Missal as Exultet or Easter Proclamation ,  in Latin Praeconium Paschale , is a lengthy sung proclamation delivered before the paschal candle , ideally by a deacon , during the Easter Vigil in the Roman Rite of Mass. In the absence of a deacon, it may be sung by a priest or by a cantor. It is sung after a procession with the paschal candle before the beginning of the Liturgy of the Word. It is also used in Anglican and various Lutheran churches, as well as other Western Christian denominations. Since the revision of the Holy Week rites, the Roman Missal explicitly gives the title Praeconium to the Exsultet , as it already did implicitly in the formula it provided for blessing the deacon before the chant: ut digne et competenter annunties suum Paschale praeconium. Outside Rome , use of the paschal candle appears to have been a very ancient tradition in Italy , Gaul , Spain and, perhaps, from the reference by St. Augustine De Civ.
The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter
This keeps coming up here and there — people make widely varying comments about the translation of the Exsultet, the Easter Proclamation. Some like it more than others. There are many more places where it soars. So we can set aside that issue.