Christmas Cookies Recipe (revised translation)

Christmas Cookies Recipe

(According to the Revised Translation)

Serves:  you and many.

Cream these ingredients, that by their comingling you may begin to make the dough:  1 chalice butter, 2/3 chalice sugar.

In a similar way, when the butter is consubstantial with the sugar, beat in:  1 egg.

Gather these dry ingredients to yourself and combine them, so that you may add them to the dough which you have already begun to make:  21/2 chalices sifted all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix the precious dough with your venerable hands.

Into the refrigerator graciously place the dough so that it may be chilled, for the duration of 3 or 4 hours, before the rolling and cutting of the cookies.

When, in the fullness of time, you are ready to bake these spotless cookies, these delicious cookies, these Christmas cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough and, taking up a cookie cutter or stencil of your choosing, fashion the cookies into pleasing forms.

Sprinkle colourful adornments over cookies like the dewfall.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies have just begun to manifest the brownness that is vouchsafed to them by the oven’s heat.

May these cookies be found acceptable in your sight, and be borne to a place of refreshment at your table, there to be served with milk or hot chocolate, or with your spirit.


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  1. Wendy Murphy says:

    Thank you so much for this (laughs out loud)
    Happy Christmas!

  2. Soline Humbert says:

    Can these cookies be made by female hands?
    Will they not lack validity?

  3. Gabriel L. Gore says:

    Very clever, and did give a bit of a chuckle.

    But instructive too, about how language uses different registers in different contexts. Just as a lofty register seems out of place in a cookery context, so a casual register seems equally out of place in a sacred liturgical context; only in the latter case one doesn’t laugh, one cries!

    Happy Christmas!

  4. Paul Booth says:

    Wickedly funny, and very much to the point.

  5. John Collins says:

    Trying to remember to put my teeth in when “trying” to speak such bad English in the new translation (using the word loosely) your recipe brings a welcome cheer. Thank you all in ACP for your hard work and Happy Christmas.

  6. The cookies sound nice – maybe somebody should bake them and post the pictures?

  7. Soline Humbert says:

    You are right: It is the will of God that Christmas Cookies confecting be reserved to men alone for ever! It is a grave crime against the faith for a woman to even attempt to do so….

  8. If that is the revised translation here is how it would sound in the superseded translation:

    Christmas Cookies Recipe
    (According to the Superseded Translation).

    Put in a bowl, some lovely yellow fatty stuff, some nice sweet white stuff, and an egg(presiding cook’s note -although the book says to beat the egg don’t do it, cause I don’t like that) mix all that lovely stuff. [The remaining ingredients have been left out of this translation to avoid unnecessary repetition and detail weighing us down]

    After some time put the cookies in the warm cooking thing.

    Cook then serve with marty haugen(-dazs) iScream.

  9. Joe O'Leary says:

    See, Diffal? It is very difficult to parody the 1973 translations, because they are so plain.

    Marco Politi’s brilliant analysis of the Ratzinger pontificate is a must read for more light on the dysfunctional system that has given rise to the imposition of these appalling translations.

  10. Bernard O'Callaghan says:

    Thank goodness we no longer have the same sort of language for the liturgy as we have for banal everyday uses. The old ICEL translation addressed the Most Holy God like a civil servant two grades higher up the ladder. The new one may yet teach us some humility and dependence on heavenly grace, instead of trying to inculcate social activism and this-worldly salvation by human works.
    Don’t be so patronising as to think that the laity can’t take on board the new translation. You, the priests, should be teaching us about it and deepening our faith and appreciation of the Holy Mass, not griping about it.

  11. I wasn’t trying to be funny, I was simply comparing it to parody of the new translation. There is nothing funny about using bland and inaccurate translations in the Liturgy. Time to move with the times and embrace the new translation!

    As Bernard O’Callaghan said above, maybe we the laity are more intelligent that you give us credit for. We can handle the complexity and the richness of the new translation.

  12. Wendy Murphy says:

    Unfortunately Bernard and Diffal are being patronising in their turn by imagining that we (the laity) are unable to tell the difference between ‘complexity and richness’ and the pompous verbosity, pseudo-religiosity, cringingly grovelling, anti-communal, anti-God-as-loving-Father, sexist, ecumenically and otherwise exclusive, downright clunky, pastorally disastrous and altogether distasteful new translation. I could go on.

  13. As a Religious I know said (and she has going for 70 years profession under her belt) – no one can make the liturgy more meaningful. The meaning is brought by the individual. Which is great for those of the laity who do appreciate the complexity and richness of the new translation. But not so great for those who do not have that level of education, or those who have hearing/sight problems, or those who simply do not understand why a new translation was needed in the first place, because the old one fulfilled their spiritual needs.

    Personally, I quite like the new translation, for the most part. But I have third level education, and an interest in classical literature, languages and linguistics. For many people, it is elitist, and a turn off – just as Bach is for Beyonce fans and Webster is for folks who watch Eastenders.

    Those who appreciate the new translation could do well to think on that – and remember that many people may use the form of the new translation as the basis of their complaints, but their real problem is the way in which it came about.

  14. Sorry folks – but I have to dissent here. Sure there are some laughs in the above but, having hesitated to post a comment for the past few days, I still feel that words like ‘chalice’ and ‘precious dough’ with their obvious reference to the Eucharist, borders on blasphemy. As people who genuinely long for a more meaningful and inclusive celebration of the Eucharist, I don’t think we’re doing ourselves any favours, in terms of credibility, by distractions such as these. It reminds me of the ‘cynical caricature’ (Martin 2012) which can take the place of constructive – and even satirical – criticism!

  15. Peter Hunter says:

    Like most of the people who go to mass, I am not a theologian. I rely on my understanding of the words spoken in the mass to give it meaning. I can see nothing in the new translation that improves my understanding. Is “consubstantial” different in meaning from “of one Being with”? – perhaps, but not to me. When I say “And with your spirit” does this mean I don’t want the Lord to be with any other part of the celebrant? And as far as I’m aware, the only roof I have isn’t with me in church.

    Had there been discussion and explanation in advance of the change, I think it likely that the hierarchy may have been able to choose words that achieved their purpose without antagonising their flock. I applaud any attempt by the clergy to high-light the folly of imposing change without explaining the need for it first.

  16. Shouldn’t there be a cautionary note to not overcook the cookies, lest they be greatly burned through your fault, through your fault, through your most grievous fault?

  17. DHG, I think you hit the nail on the head about the way in which this new translation was constructed and rolled out.
    Whenever people tell me I should be obedient to Rome, I remind them who Pontius Pilate was, and that St Peter himself had to be corrected on an important matter in Acts 10.
    I seek Christ, and this awkward translation is a barrier to me. I can translate the Latin for myself, and the meaning is easily lost if you translate each word on its own.
    Repetition and ornate phrases may indicate sanctity to a Latin speaker, but to an English speaker they indicate insincerity. The new translation often leads me to ask myself, “Who are they trying to convince?”.
    I am not opposed to change. I acknowledge that the previous translation had some errors, but the new translation is Jansenist and dualist.
    I do not understand why some of us cling to Latin as though it had its own power. Scripture has never originated from Latin sources. We use it in official Church documents for the same reason that most programming and scripting languages are based on English. I have read the 1998 translation, and find it to be far more precise, and far more beautiful. We need to commission a new translation, and we need to let the Church’s many scholars of language and theology decide its content, as well as to allow the process to be observed by all.
    By disregarding the 1998 text, approved by English speaking Bishops, Rome has ignored common sense in favour of throwing its weight around. I want to love Christ’s Church, but I can’t see how he would have wanted this.

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