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Hymn question

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  • DJP4LAW@aol.com
    On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the following first verse: What is this place where we are meeting? Only a house, the earth
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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      On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the following first verse:

      What is this place where we are meeting?
      Only a house, the earth its floor.
      Walls and a roof sheltering people,
      Windows for light, an open door.
      Yet it becomes a body that lives
      When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.

      A little research has revealed that the text was written by "Huub Oosterhuis," about whom I know nothing. And apparently it will appear in the new ELCA worship resource, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," which troubles me (because of the next two verses -- but that's not my point here).

      But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense? Does it not say that the "church building" "becomes a body that lives"? Can we say that? It sounds foolish to me, to be frank: Nothing that I know of in any tradition suggests that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.

      I thought that perhaps "it becomes" might be a circumlocuation for "it is appropriate to," but that is a stretch of plain-meaning English. I know it can be so read, but is that what is meant, do you think or know?

      I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm losing my "poetic sensibility" or whether this is another sign of the decline in hymn text-writing (or perhaps both).

      Peace
      Dwight Penas
      Minneapolis
      ____________________________
      "Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular cases." --A. Lincoln (1858)
      ________________________________________________________________________
      Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lee Tuck Leong
      A problem of translating Dutch into English? ... From: DJP4LAW@aol.com To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 11:16 PM Subject:
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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        A problem of translating Dutch into English?

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: DJP4LAW@...
        To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 11:16 PM
        Subject: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


        On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the following first verse:

        What is this place where we are meeting?
        Only a house, the earth its floor.
        Walls and a roof sheltering people,
        Windows for light, an open door.
        Yet it becomes a body that lives
        When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.

        A little research has revealed that the text was written by "Huub Oosterhuis," about whom I know nothing. And apparently it will appear in the new ELCA worship resource, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," which troubles me (because of the next two verses -- but that's not my point here).

        But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense? Does it not say that the "church building" "becomes a body that lives"? Can we say that? It sounds foolish to me, to be frank: Nothing that I know of in any tradition suggests that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.

        I thought that perhaps "it becomes" might be a circumlocuation for "it is appropriate to," but that is a stretch of plain-meaning English. I know it can be so read, but is that what is meant, do you think or know?

        I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm losing my "poetic sensibility" or whether this is another sign of the decline in hymn text-writing (or perhaps both).

        Peace
        Dwight Penas
        Minneapolis
        ____________________________
        "Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular cases." --A. Lincoln (1858)
        __________________________________________________________
        Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gregory Holmes Singleton
        Concerning a hymn in ELW, Dwight Penas poses the following:
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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          Concerning a hymn in ELW, Dwight Penas poses the following:



          <<But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense?
          Does it not say that the "church building" "becomes a body
          that lives"? Can we say that?>>



          First, let me voice my disgruntled ELCA-type Lutheran
          curmudgeonly dyspeptic knee-jerk reaction: Something in ELW
          doesn't make sense? Imagine my surprise.



          OK. Now that I got that out of my system, this seems to be
          simply another conflation of Church [either from the Latin
          circa (rounded portion of a room where Eucharist was
          celebrated in pre-Nicean house gatherings) or the Greek
          Kyriake Oikia (Lord's house)] and ekklesia. The former, of
          course, refers to physical structures in which worship takes
          place. The latter refers to those gathered. It is the
          latter that Paul seems to have in mind when he speaks of the
          "body of Christ."



          Thus, I would have fewer problems with the verse Dwight
          quoted had the last two lines been:



          Yet we become a body that lives
          When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.



          On the other hand, this change of one word would then raise
          the question about whether we are the body only when
          gathered in the assembly.



          Greg

          Gregory Holmes Singleton, Ph.D.
          Professor of History, Emeritus
          Resident Old Curmudgeon
          Northeastern Illinois University
          http://www.neiu.edu/~ghsingle/





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • James O'Regan
          ... The suggestion that through use something becomes enlivened or quick or with the spirit is, in my view, none other than vestigial sacrality that, over
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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            Dwight wrote and I snipped:

            > Nothing that I know of in any tradition suggests
            > that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.

            The suggestion that through use something
            becomes enlivened or quick or with the spirit is,
            in my view, none other than vestigial sacrality
            that, over time, becomes attached to a place
            where sacred action happens. It is, in part, why
            there is a reservation of hosts as the body of
            Christ, why we tend to see ministers as somehow
            "special," why we see the lectionary or bible that
            is used in liturgy as a holy object. Holiness is a at
            least function of use. There is no need to appeal
            to the poetic. It is much more physical than
            metaphorical-spiritual, yet leads to a spirituality.

            As they say in New Brunswick, Canada, "worry-
            pas ta brain" on this one.



            James O'Regan
            http://www.jamesoregan.com
            tel 613-824-4706
          • James O'Regan
            ... Two answers: 1. don t change the wording since it works fine per vestigial effects, 2. one can argue, per vestigiality, that we remain the body because we
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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              Greg wrote and I snipped a lot:

              > On the other hand, this change of one word would then raise
              > the question about whether we are the body only when
              > gathered in the assembly.

              Two answers: 1. don't change the wording since it works fine per
              vestigial effects, 2. one can argue, per vestigiality, that we remain
              the body because we have been the body at liturgy.

              I suspect that much of sacramental theology had its beginnings in
              the vestigial power of the liturgical experience. Writers began to
              see the liturgical-effect outside of liturgy and so began to see God's
              extra-liturgical work in that light. Then they began to draw
              conclusions and set up suppositions about how it all fit together.

              As liturgical referents dropped away, for example, the assembly,
              the theology looked for other evidence of what it meant to be
              church - since the lay component was not in evidence. The rest you
              know <g>.

              James O'Regan
              http://www.jamesoregan.com
              tel 613-824-4706
            • Jan J.H.Hofland
              Hello Dwight, Huub Oosterhuis, Dutch theologian, poet and hymn writer, is perhaps the world s most translated present day hymn writer. He is well-represented
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                Hello Dwight,

                Huub Oosterhuis, Dutch theologian, poet and hymn writer, is perhaps the
                world's most translated present day hymn writer. He is well-represented in
                our ecumenical hymnal as well as the (217 hymn) supplement to this hymnal
                which was published last year. You'll find a number of his hymns in "Gather
                Comprehensive" and in a number of other recent U.S. and Canadian hymnals.

                I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by word
                translation:

                Just a roof above some heads,
                deur opened to silence.
                Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                searching for hope and a new dawn.
                House which becomes a living body
                when we enter
                to appear before God as we are.

                As others have indicated, the poet (as the Bible) does the same as in both
                Dutch and English in which the word "church" can be used for the building as
                well as the community that gathers there. A good translation would have set
                you on the right track when the poet all of a sudden talks of a house that
                has "walls of skin" and "windows like eyes". Besides, every mortal knows
                that a building is not and will not every become a living being. That is to
                say, just like mountains and trees in the Bible cannot dance, except in the
                imagination of the psalmist. But it's more than imagination, it tries to
                give all things an extra dimension to express the glory of the Lord's
                presence. The church is indeed just a building, "Just a roof above some
                heads". But it's the faith of the builders and the worshippers as well as
                the presence of God which is sensed there, which makes it more than just a
                building.

                The following two stanza's, which you seem to dislike, only strengthens the
                above image. Again a literal translation:

                "Words from afar, falling stars,
                sparks from the ages sown right here.
                Names for Him, dreams, signals
                blowing by from the dephths of existance.
                Mouths of earth hear and see,
                remember, spread it forth -
                God's liberating and light-giving Word.

                Table of One, bread to know
                that we are given to each other.
                Miracle of God, people at peace,
                old and forgotten new mystery.
                Breaking and sharing, being what can't be,
                doing the unthinkeable,
                death and resurrection."

                This is truly a song to cause one to ponder.
                To find new meaning everytime it is sung.
                To become aware of the mystery of faith,
                to wonder and believe,
                to be on the way "till we have faces (C.S.Lewis)"

                Beats: "Jesus loves me, yes I know" anytime :-).

                Jan





                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <DJP4LAW@...>
                To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:16 PM
                Subject: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


                > On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the
                > following first verse:
                >
                > What is this place where we are meeting?
                > Only a house, the earth its floor.
                > Walls and a roof sheltering people,
                > Windows for light, an open door.
                > Yet it becomes a body that lives
                > When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.
                >
                > A little research has revealed that the text was written by "Huub
                > Oosterhuis," about whom I know nothing. And apparently it will appear in
                > the new ELCA worship resource, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," which
                > troubles me (because of the next two verses -- but that's not my point
                > here).
                >
                > But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense? Does it not say
                > that the "church building" "becomes a body that lives"? Can we say that?
                > It sounds foolish to me, to be frank: Nothing that I know of in any
                > tradition suggests that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.
                >
                > I thought that perhaps "it becomes" might be a circumlocuation for "it is
                > appropriate to," but that is a stretch of plain-meaning English. I know it
                > can be so read, but is that what is meant, do you think or know?
                >
                > I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm losing my "poetic sensibility"
                > or whether this is another sign of the decline in hymn text-writing (or
                > perhaps both).
                >
                > Peace
                > Dwight Penas
                > Minneapolis
                > ____________________________
                > "Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there
                > is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular
                > cases." --A. Lincoln (1858)
                > ________________________________________________________________________
                > Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security
                > tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web,
                > free AOL Mail and more.
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Walt Knowles
                Jan, Wow! Talk about translator is traitor . I almost walked out the first time I encountered this hymn, but it is really rich in images that are quite
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                  Jan,

                  Wow! Talk about "translator is traitor". I almost walked out the first
                  time I encountered this hymn, but it is really rich in images that are
                  quite wonderful. Any chance you could make a singing translation? I'd
                  love to use it. (and yes, I know there is that little thing called
                  copyright).

                  Walt Knowles
                  GTU
                  Berkeley, CA

                  Jan J.H.Hofland wrote:
                  > I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by word
                  > translation:
                  >
                  > Just a roof above some heads,
                  > deur opened to silence.
                  > Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                  > searching for hope and a new dawn.
                  > House which becomes a living body
                  > when we enter
                  > to appear before God as we are.
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jan J.H.Hofland
                  Hi Walt, Thank you for appreciating my attempt to point out the beauty of this particular hymn. I agree that it does take a bit of getting used to since many
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                    Hi Walt,

                    Thank you for appreciating my attempt to point out the beauty of this
                    particular hymn. I agree that it does take a bit of getting used to since
                    many so called 'new' hymns still follow the pattern of the classic golden
                    oldies. Oosterhuis is refreshingly new in creating new images eand leaving
                    something to discover, almost every time you sing it. Some American poets
                    and composers have picked up the cue, examples of which can especially be
                    found in "Gather Comprehensive", GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, 1994,
                    available in pew as well as full music editions. Well worth the expense!

                    As to making a more accurate translation which can be sung, I suppose I
                    could try. I have have made many translations from German and English hymns
                    into Dutch and a number of Dutch hymns into English, a number of which were
                    published. But right now I am busy engraving the full-music edition of our
                    supplementary to the Dutch ecumenical hymnal which is to be published in the
                    spring of next year, I have very little time left. But perhaps one of these
                    days when I feel like burning the midnight oil . . .

                    As to copyright, the music is no problem. The music is an old traditional
                    Dutch tune. And as to my possible translation, as long as you keep it
                    restricted to your own congregation and do not spread it around, there is
                    very little if anything to worry about.

                    Jan

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Walt Knowles" <waltk@...>
                    To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:35 PM
                    Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


                    > Jan,
                    >
                    > Wow! Talk about "translator is traitor". I almost walked out the first
                    > time I encountered this hymn, but it is really rich in images that are
                    > quite wonderful. Any chance you could make a singing translation? I'd
                    > love to use it. (and yes, I know there is that little thing called
                    > copyright).
                    >
                    > Walt Knowles
                    > GTU
                    > Berkeley, CA
                    >
                    > Jan J.H.Hofland wrote:
                    >> I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by word
                    >> translation:
                    >>
                    >> Just a roof above some heads,
                    >> deur opened to silence.
                    >> Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                    >> searching for hope and a new dawn.
                    >> House which becomes a living body
                    >> when we enter
                    >> to appear before God as we are.
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                    > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                    > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Hugh Graham
                    I think I m right in saying that Oostrerhuis is or was a Jesuit. There is a eucharistic prayer written by him in the United Reformed Church s (UK one) 1980
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                      I think I'm right in saying that Oostrerhuis is or was a Jesuit.
                      There is a eucharistic prayer written by him in the United Reformed
                      Church's (UK one) 1980 Service Book.

                      Hugh Graham

                      On 10/31/06, Jan J.H.Hofland <jjh.hofland@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi Walt,
                      >
                      > Thank you for appreciating my attempt to point out the beauty of this
                      > particular hymn. I agree that it does take a bit of getting used to since
                      > many so called 'new' hymns still follow the pattern of the classic golden
                      > oldies. Oosterhuis is refreshingly new in creating new images eand leaving
                      > something to discover, almost every time you sing it. Some American poets
                      > and composers have picked up the cue, examples of which can especially be
                      > found in "Gather Comprehensive", GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, 1994,
                      > available in pew as well as full music editions. Well worth the expense!
                      >
                      > As to making a more accurate translation which can be sung, I suppose I
                      > could try. I have have made many translations from German and English hymns
                      > into Dutch and a number of Dutch hymns into English, a number of which were
                      > published. But right now I am busy engraving the full-music edition of our
                      > supplementary to the Dutch ecumenical hymnal which is to be published in
                      > the
                      > spring of next year, I have very little time left. But perhaps one of these
                      > days when I feel like burning the midnight oil . . .
                      >
                      > As to copyright, the music is no problem. The music is an old traditional
                      > Dutch tune. And as to my possible translation, as long as you keep it
                      > restricted to your own congregation and do not spread it around, there is
                      > very little if anything to worry about.
                      >
                      > Jan
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Walt Knowles" <waltk@...>
                      > To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:35 PM
                      > Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question
                      >
                      > > Jan,
                      > >
                      > > Wow! Talk about "translator is traitor". I almost walked out the first
                      > > time I encountered this hymn, but it is really rich in images that are
                      > > quite wonderful. Any chance you could make a singing translation? I'd
                      > > love to use it. (and yes, I know there is that little thing called
                      > > copyright).
                      > >
                      > > Walt Knowles
                      > > GTU
                      > > Berkeley, CA
                      > >
                      > > Jan J.H.Hofland wrote:
                      > >> I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by word
                      > >> translation:
                      > >>
                      > >> Just a roof above some heads,
                      > >> deur opened to silence.
                      > >> Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                      > >> searching for hope and a new dawn.
                      > >> House which becomes a living body
                      > >> when we enter
                      > >> to appear before God as we are.
                      > >>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                      > > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                      > > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Jan J.H.Hofland
                      Hi Hugh, Yes, Huub Oosterhuis started out as a Jesuit priest. He happened to fall in love with a wonderful woman. He got permission to marry on the condition
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                        Hi Hugh,

                        Yes, Huub Oosterhuis started out as a Jesuit priest. He happened to fall in
                        love with a wonderful woman. He got permission to marry on the condition
                        that he would no longer exercise any priestly functions (under John 23).
                        Since he already was a pastor for university students (already then an
                        ecumencical function) he could stay on, sanctioned by the other ecumenical
                        partner churches. Up to this day he is R.C., still active in the student
                        pastorate, pastor to the Dutch (Protestant) royal family and featured
                        speaker at the Deutsche Evangelische Kirchentage (attracting 100.000+
                        visitors biannulally). All but one of the Dutch R.C. bisschops, when
                        questioned about his status state that they're not entirely sure. In the
                        meantime, he's by far the most popular Dutch (and world-wide?) hymn writer
                        of all times. In practically all denominations. Looks like he also appears
                        in many, if not most, U.S. hymnals, R.C. and Prot., since the 1980's.

                        Jan

                        Jan

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Hugh Graham" <hughf.graham@...>
                        To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 10:54 PM
                        Subject: Re: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


                        >I think I'm right in saying that Oostrerhuis is or was a Jesuit.
                        > There is a eucharistic prayer written by him in the United Reformed
                        > Church's (UK one) 1980 Service Book.
                        >
                        > Hugh Graham
                        >
                        > On 10/31/06, Jan J.H.Hofland <jjh.hofland@...> wrote:
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> Hi Walt,
                        >>
                        >> Thank you for appreciating my attempt to point out the beauty of this
                        >> particular hymn. I agree that it does take a bit of getting used to
                        >> since
                        >> many so called 'new' hymns still follow the pattern of the classic
                        >> golden
                        >> oldies. Oosterhuis is refreshingly new in creating new images eand
                        >> leaving
                        >> something to discover, almost every time you sing it. Some American
                        >> poets
                        >> and composers have picked up the cue, examples of which can especially
                        >> be
                        >> found in "Gather Comprehensive", GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, 1994,
                        >> available in pew as well as full music editions. Well worth the expense!
                        >>
                        >> As to making a more accurate translation which can be sung, I suppose I
                        >> could try. I have have made many translations from German and English
                        >> hymns
                        >> into Dutch and a number of Dutch hymns into English, a number of which
                        >> were
                        >> published. But right now I am busy engraving the full-music edition of
                        >> our
                        >> supplementary to the Dutch ecumenical hymnal which is to be published in
                        >> the
                        >> spring of next year, I have very little time left. But perhaps one of
                        >> these
                        >> days when I feel like burning the midnight oil . . .
                        >>
                        >> As to copyright, the music is no problem. The music is an old
                        >> traditional
                        >> Dutch tune. And as to my possible translation, as long as you keep it
                        >> restricted to your own congregation and do not spread it around, there
                        >> is
                        >> very little if anything to worry about.
                        >>
                        >> Jan
                        >>
                        >> ----- Original Message -----
                        >> From: "Walt Knowles" <waltk@...>
                        >> To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                        >> Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:35 PM
                        >> Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question
                        >>
                        >> > Jan,
                        >> >
                        >> > Wow! Talk about "translator is traitor". I almost walked out the first
                        >> > time I encountered this hymn, but it is really rich in images that are
                        >> > quite wonderful. Any chance you could make a singing translation? I'd
                        >> > love to use it. (and yes, I know there is that little thing called
                        >> > copyright).
                        >> >
                        >> > Walt Knowles
                        >> > GTU
                        >> > Berkeley, CA
                        >> >
                        >> > Jan J.H.Hofland wrote:
                        >> >> I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by
                        >> word
                        >> >> translation:
                        >> >>
                        >> >> Just a roof above some heads,
                        >> >> deur opened to silence.
                        >> >> Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                        >> >> searching for hope and a new dawn.
                        >> >> House which becomes a living body
                        >> >> when we enter
                        >> >> to appear before God as we are.
                        >> >>
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at
                        >> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                        >> > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                        >> > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                        >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >> >
                        >>
                        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > Visit the liturgy-l homepage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/To
                        > write to the owners/moderators, please send an email to:
                        > liturgy-l-owner@yahoogroups.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • mjthannisch
                        Perhaps Jan could give us the original in Dutch so we can comare? +Michael Joe Thannisch mjthan@quik.com ... From: Lee Tuck Leong To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                        Message 11 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                          Perhaps Jan could give us the original in Dutch so we can comare?

                          +Michael Joe Thannisch
                          mjthan@...

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Lee Tuck Leong
                          To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 9:56 AM
                          Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


                          A problem of translating Dutch into English?

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: DJP4LAW@...
                          To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 11:16 PM
                          Subject: [liturgy-l] Hymn question

                          On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the following first verse:

                          What is this place where we are meeting?
                          Only a house, the earth its floor.
                          Walls and a roof sheltering people,
                          Windows for light, an open door.
                          Yet it becomes a body that lives
                          When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.

                          A little research has revealed that the text was written by "Huub Oosterhuis," about whom I know nothing. And apparently it will appear in the new ELCA worship resource, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," which troubles me (because of the next two verses -- but that's not my point here).

                          But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense? Does it not say that the "church building" "becomes a body that lives"? Can we say that? It sounds foolish to me, to be frank: Nothing that I know of in any tradition suggests that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.

                          I thought that perhaps "it becomes" might be a circumlocuation for "it is appropriate to," but that is a stretch of plain-meaning English. I know it can be so read, but is that what is meant, do you think or know?

                          I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm losing my "poetic sensibility" or whether this is another sign of the decline in hymn text-writing (or perhaps both).

                          Peace
                          Dwight Penas
                          Minneapolis
                          ____________________________
                          "Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular cases." --A. Lincoln (1858)
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                        • Tom Poelker
                          The implications of etymologies fascinate me. Here is the derivation of church. [bef. 900; ME chir(i)che, OE cir(i)ce Î Gk k&ri(a)kón (dôma) the Lord s
                          Message 12 of 13 , Oct 31, 2006
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                            The implications of etymologies fascinate me. Here is the derivation
                            of "church."

                            [bef. 900; ME chir(i)che, OE cir(i)ce Î Gk k&ri(a)kón (dôma) the Lord's
                            (house), neut. of k&riakós of the master, equiv. to kéri(os) master
                            (kîr(os) power + -ios n. suffix) + -akos, var. of -ikos -IC; akin to D
                            kerk, G Kirche, ON kirkja. See KIRK]

                            The NT testament word "ecclesia" meaning assembly/gathering has many
                            other implications than does the English word. It appears that in
                            English the community has taken the name of the building, but I have
                            despaired of finding a better English that would be recognized if used
                            above the local congregation/community/assembly level. "Assembly" looks
                            a bit like "ecclesia" but they are not related etymologically.

                            Tom Poelker
                            St. Louis, Missouri
                            USA
                            ---
                            Falling in love consists merely in
                            uncorking the imagination and
                            bottling the common-sense.
                            --- Helen Rowland



                            Roc1940@... wrote:

                            > Concerning a hymn in ELW, Dwight Penas poses the following:
                            >
                            > <<But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense?
                            > Does it not say that the "church building" "becomes a body
                            > that lives"? Can we say that?>>
                            >
                            > First, let me voice my disgruntled ELCA-type Lutheran
                            > curmudgeonly dyspeptic knee-jerk reaction: Something in ELW
                            > doesn't make sense? Imagine my surprise.
                            >
                            > OK. Now that I got that out of my system, this seems to be
                            > simply another conflation of Church [either from the Latin
                            > circa (rounded portion of a room where Eucharist was
                            > celebrated in pre-Nicean house gatherings) or the Greek
                            > Kyriake Oikia (Lord's house)] and ekklesia. The former, of
                            > course, refers to physical structures in which worship takes
                            > place. The latter refers to those gathered. It is the
                            > latter that Paul seems to have in mind when he speaks of the
                            > "body of Christ."
                            >
                            > Thus, I would have fewer problems with the verse Dwight
                            > quoted had the last two lines been:
                            >
                            > Yet we become a body that lives
                            > When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.
                            >
                            > On the other hand, this change of one word would then raise
                            > the question about whether we are the body only when
                            > gathered in the assembly.
                            >
                            > Greg
                            >
                            > Gregory Holmes Singleton, Ph.D.
                            > Professor of History, Emeritus
                            > Resident Old Curmudgeon
                            > Northeastern Illinois University
                            > http://www.neiu.edu/~ghsingle/ <http://www.neiu.edu/%7Eghsingle/>
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >



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                          • Lee Tuck Leong
                            Thanks Jan. I wasn t terribly impressed by David Smith s translation of Zomaar wwn dat wat hoofden but your literal translation is spine-tingling. Dynamic
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 1, 2006
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                              Thanks Jan.

                              I wasn't terribly impressed by David Smith's translation of Zomaar wwn dat wat hoofden but your literal translation is spine-tingling. 'Dynamic Equivalence' can be tediously boring.

                              I'm curious, though about the clause: 'Mouths of earth, hear and see'. Is it as strange in Dutch as it is in English?

                              By the way, I'm preparing part of the liturgy for Christmas and apart from drawing from Janet Morley's All Desires Known, it would be good to have for reference his anaphora which you translated for this list years ago.

                              Thanks.


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Jan J.H.Hofland
                              To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 2:40 AM
                              Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Hymn question


                              Hello Dwight,

                              Huub Oosterhuis, Dutch theologian, poet and hymn writer, is perhaps the
                              world's most translated present day hymn writer. He is well-represented in
                              our ecumenical hymnal as well as the (217 hymn) supplement to this hymnal
                              which was published last year. You'll find a number of his hymns in "Gather
                              Comprehensive" and in a number of other recent U.S. and Canadian hymnals.

                              I must admit, the translation less than brilliant. Here's a word by word
                              translation:

                              Just a roof above some heads,
                              deur opened to silence.
                              Walls of skin, windows like eyes
                              searching for hope and a new dawn.
                              House which becomes a living body
                              when we enter
                              to appear before God as we are.

                              As others have indicated, the poet (as the Bible) does the same as in both
                              Dutch and English in which the word "church" can be used for the building as
                              well as the community that gathers there. A good translation would have set
                              you on the right track when the poet all of a sudden talks of a house that
                              has "walls of skin" and "windows like eyes". Besides, every mortal knows
                              that a building is not and will not every become a living being. That is to
                              say, just like mountains and trees in the Bible cannot dance, except in the
                              imagination of the psalmist. But it's more than imagination, it tries to
                              give all things an extra dimension to express the glory of the Lord's
                              presence. The church is indeed just a building, "Just a roof above some
                              heads". But it's the faith of the builders and the worshippers as well as
                              the presence of God which is sensed there, which makes it more than just a
                              building.

                              The following two stanza's, which you seem to dislike, only strengthens the
                              above image. Again a literal translation:

                              "Words from afar, falling stars,
                              sparks from the ages sown right here.
                              Names for Him, dreams, signals
                              blowing by from the dephths of existance.
                              Mouths of earth hear and see,
                              remember, spread it forth -
                              God's liberating and light-giving Word.

                              Table of One, bread to know
                              that we are given to each other.
                              Miracle of God, people at peace,
                              old and forgotten new mystery.
                              Breaking and sharing, being what can't be,
                              doing the unthinkeable,
                              death and resurrection."

                              This is truly a song to cause one to ponder.
                              To find new meaning everytime it is sung.
                              To become aware of the mystery of faith,
                              to wonder and believe,
                              to be on the way "till we have faces (C.S.Lewis)"

                              Beats: "Jesus loves me, yes I know" anytime :-).

                              Jan

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: <DJP4LAW@...>
                              To: <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:16 PM
                              Subject: [liturgy-l] Hymn question

                              > On Sunday, our congregation sang as our offertory hymn a song with the
                              > following first verse:
                              >
                              > What is this place where we are meeting?
                              > Only a house, the earth its floor.
                              > Walls and a roof sheltering people,
                              > Windows for light, an open door.
                              > Yet it becomes a body that lives
                              > When we are gathered here, and know our God is near.
                              >
                              > A little research has revealed that the text was written by "Huub
                              > Oosterhuis," about whom I know nothing. And apparently it will appear in
                              > the new ELCA worship resource, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship," which
                              > troubles me (because of the next two verses -- but that's not my point
                              > here).
                              >
                              > But here's my question: Does this verse make any sense? Does it not say
                              > that the "church building" "becomes a body that lives"? Can we say that?
                              > It sounds foolish to me, to be frank: Nothing that I know of in any
                              > tradition suggests that the building/gathering-place becomes enlivened.
                              >
                              > I thought that perhaps "it becomes" might be a circumlocuation for "it is
                              > appropriate to," but that is a stretch of plain-meaning English. I know it
                              > can be so read, but is that what is meant, do you think or know?
                              >
                              > I'm just trying to figure out whether I'm losing my "poetic sensibility"
                              > or whether this is another sign of the decline in hymn text-writing (or
                              > perhaps both).
                              >
                              > Peace
                              > Dwight Penas
                              > Minneapolis
                              > ____________________________
                              > "Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there
                              > is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular
                              > cases." --A. Lincoln (1858)
                              > __________________________________________________________
                              > Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security
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                              > free AOL Mail and more.
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