Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mixed Pronouns

The Second Readings at Mass always seem to be the most difficult.  The First Reading is from the Old Testament and is easy to understand.  But the second reading has the most convoluted grammar.  Often it is nigh near impossible to wrap your tongue around the sentence.

This Sunday's reading is one example.  It is a reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 10: 5-10.  Now, I have the advantage of looking up the Reading, and reading what comes before--the background. But when reading to the congregation in a church, I'm pretty sure that they're listening to this reading "cold."

The question is: How do I convey the pronoun antecedents?  How do I make it clear that I'm speaking in a passive voice and then later switch to active?  How can YOU be indefinite, impersonal, or generic, when I'm not sure myself?

I am so tempted to change the words to make who is Who, clear.  I just want to change a few pronouns to proper nouns.


Look at this Reading.

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,       How do I convey that YOU is God?
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll,     "I"--are we switching antecedents?
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"

First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings,       Is the narrator speaking?  Who's he?
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in."
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will."    Same questions
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated              Now it's we?????????  Is the narrator speaking?
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


Please pray for the congregation.

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