Wednesday, August 13, 2008


No, not "bye bye, God". Just "bye bye" to the Divine Name YHWH, most commonly rendered as "Yahweh" in the liturgy (this includes, btw, any other attempted pronunciations of the Divine Name of God), whether it be in prayer or in song.

Bp. Serratelli in his cover letter:
While the directives contained here do not force any changes to official liturgical texts, including our continuing work of the translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, which already follow the spirit of the directives, there may be some impact on the use of particular pieces of liturgical music in our country as well as in the composition of variable texts such as the General Intercessions for the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments.

Cdl. Arinze in his instruction (in snips):
1. In liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragramatton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced.
3. In translating, in the liturgical context, texts which are present, one after the other, either the Hebrew term Adonai or the tetragramatton YHWH, Adonai is to be translated "Lord" and the form "God" is to be used for the tetragramatton YHWH, similar to what happens in the Greek translation of the Septuagint and in the Latin translation of the Vulgate.

Source here (letter from Cdl. Arinze, prefaced in a cover letter by Bp. Serratelli)

The bright side is the following songs would have to be either (my personal preference) removed or (at the very least) altered:
- Yahweh (is the God of my salvation)
- Yahweh, I know you are near
- Yahweh, the faithful one (knock on wood - I haven't heard this one in over twenty years!)
- Sing a new song unto the Lord (verse 1, anyways)
- To Yahweh sing a new song (This appeared in the now out-of-print Worship II, was dropped in Worship III)

And I'm sure there are more.

Here's a little ditty to help discourage the use of YHWH, Yahweh, Jahweh, whateverweh...
Yahweh,__ I know___ you are near,
But that name___ has got__ to__ go,
In prayers and__ hymns and songs,
Use the name "Lord"__ instead__ in our worship.



DJL said...

I wrote a hymn a few years back based on Isaiah 40, and it contains the line "Yahweh is an Everlasting God". That's what I get for using the New Jerusalem Bible for my text, I guess.

Time to update...

Brian Michael Page said...

David - although the NAB is the official Lectionary translation (until the CDW can get the new propers translated right and approved by the CDWDS, a translation I like (as do a good number of bloggers, at least as of a year or two ago) is the Ignatius Bible (RSV, 2nd Catholic Edition) by Ignatius Press. It's faithful, so it says anyways, to Liturgiam Authenticam.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

The RSV 2e is a good Bible, as it's the one I mostly use (along with the Latin Vulgate).

But Deo Gratias to the decision...all those songs get on my last nerve.