Grail translation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Here’s a question for your blog IFF it’s accurately predicated correctly (ie that the Lectionary and Office both use the Grail translation)………

To assist my Psalmists when singing the Responsorial Psalm at Sunday Mass, I use my copy of the Divine Office to point the verses for them; it helps them in finding an appropriate rhythm for the chant style that we generally use.

However, I have noticed that there are sometimes slight variations in the text for the Psalm when comparing the Office and the Lectionary, even though I understood them to both come from the Grail translation. 

Why is that?

Thanks.  Regards. 


A: The 1963 Grail is in use for the Lectionary and the Divine Office in England and Wales—and also in Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as I’m learning after consulting a colleague in your country about this question. For the Lectionary, Australia and New Zealand use the ICEL translation for the responses and Acclamation verse, whereas England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland use responses taken from Grail–and Acclamation verses based on the Jerusalem Bible.

The same Grail appears only in the Liturgy of the Hours in the US, but the Lectionary uses the New American Bible psalms. The Abbey Psalms and Canticles, based on the Grail, will be coming to the US Lectionary and revised Liturgy of the Hours one of these days.

There was another early publication called The Grail Psalter—Singing Version, which has some textual variations to assist singing the psalms to the Gelineau settings.

Differences exist, but they seem few, minor and unpredictable. Sometimes versions of translations go through so many redactions that editors find it difficult to keep up with them. You may be seeing a combination of musical sensitivity, theological precision, and human error.