January 30, 2008

A Lenten Latin Puzzle

The Introit for the first Sunday in Lent begins with Psalm 91:15 (ESV: "When he calls to me, I will answer him"); it is from the Latin text of this that the older liturgical books derived the name for this day: Invocavit (perfect tense, "He has called"). LSB calls this day "Invocabit," which as I understand is to reflect better the modern versions of the Latin Bible ("Invocabit" being future, "He will call").

Soooo, here's the puzzle: when I look up Ps. 91.15 in the two versions that I have (the 1969 Stuttgart edition as well as the Nova Vulgata, the current official Roman Church text), it has "clamabit."

All of which makes me wonder why LSB changed Invocavit to Invocabit. Why not change to Clamabit, if somehow conforming to modern Roman standards is the end goal? After all, that's how we ended up with the "Three-Year Lectionary" and all of its spawn. I'll print up "Invocabit" in my bulletins because I am really trying to conform to LSB - but I've decided to be privately grumpy about it. I'm not sure if this post has a point, other than I'm less convinced that changing the "v" to a "b" in the name of the Sunday does anybody any good.

3 comments:

Past Elder said...

I only have the Clementine Vulgate, and there's too much stuff piled around the shelf in the basement to bother with it!

So, the real puzzle to me is, why has conforming to modern Roman standards become an apparent goal for us, nearly 500 years on in the Reformation! The BOC speaks of retaining the usual customs of the catholic church, which isn't adopting new ones of the Catholic Church.

I'm publicly grumpy about it! Was Vatican II held in St Louis?

The Lutheran Hymnal -- and I'm starting to think there's a real good reason getting better all the time for the definite article in the title -- calls it Invocavit, and the Germanised Latin form is Invokavit among our brethren there.

Good enough for me. Invocavit it is!

Kristina said...

Found this discussion at the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood, which might at least make you feel less alone in confusion: http://www.llpb.us/BPBQuestions&Comments.htm
(scroll down to near the end).

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for finding that, Kristina. I think the last paragraph is enlightening: "In the end, this is a curious triviality which does not have much positive or negative bearing on the Christian faith. It's not a big deal. But it may demonstrate that many of today's Lutheran liturgical scholars are not reading the older Lutheran liturgical texts, but may be taking their liturgical cue from modern Roman sources."