[UPDATE: I hadn’t read Father Zuhlsdorf’s comments on these propers before I wrote the following post. The comparison of his ideas and mine might be interesting. He is a much better latinist than me, and also knows more of the history of the texts:
Collect here and here and here
Super Oblata here
I am running a little late with this commentary, and I started with the hope that it would be short, but instead, it grew into a rather long post.
First, I have made a quick check of the online resources and apps with regard to the new translation of the missal.
The Universalis app and web page (British?) have been updated to the new order of the mass – you can even download an e-book format of the mass from there. Unfortunately, while the Universalis app neatly incorporates the proper prefaces and Eucharistic prayers into the order of service, it doesn’t (at this point any way) incorporate the proper antiphons and collects etc. Hopefully, one day, they will do this, and then Universalis will be all you need.
The Magnificat app and web page (American?) have been faithfully using the old ICEL order and propers all the way along, but if you download the resources for the First Sunday in Advent onwards, voila! There is the new order of mass and all the new propers. The only thing that doesn’t quite work here is the Psalm response and Gospel Acclamation, which are still in a different translation to our. We have to wait for a universal lectionary translation for that one, I think.
Then I went and checked on what was happening with our local boys, Liturgyhelp.com. I use this quite a bit, as our parish has a subscription to it (it ain’t cheap!). It is very helpful as an online resource, as it uses all the translations we have been using, providing all the propers and all the readings (not, note you, a full order of mass though for some reason…). BUT… when I clicked on the First Sunday in Advent, what did I find? OLD ICEL!!! I clicked on into the future, and, Sunday after Sunday, week after week, it’s still the outdated, outmoded, obsolete, defunct translation! Now, perhaps this is something they are working on at the moment. To be fair, they do have fourteen days to fix this little problem….
Anyway, on with the show. Here are the propers for this week:
The Roman Missal
Entrance Antiphon (cf. Jeremiah 29:11,12,14)
The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.
You will call upon me, and I will answer you,
and I will lead back your captives from every place.
Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness
to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, O Lord, we pray,
that what we offer in the sight of your majesty
may obtain for us the grace of being devoted to you
and gain us the prize of everlasting happiness.
Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon (cf. Psalm 72 (73):28)
To be near God is my happiness,
to place my hope in God the Lord.
Amen, I say to you: Whatever you ask in prayer,
believe that you will receive,
and it shall be given to you, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery,
humbly imploring, O Lord,
that what your Son commanded us to do
in memory of him
may bring us growth in charity.
Through Christ our Lord.
Ant. ad introitum (Ier 29, 11.12.14)
Ego cógito cogitatiónes pacis et non afflictiónis;
invocábitis me, et ego exáudiam vos,
et redúcam captivitátem vestram de cunctis locis.
Da nobis, qu?sumus, Dómine Deus noster,
in tua semper devotióne gaudére,
quia perpétua est et plena felícitas,
si bonórum ómnium iúgiter serviámus auctóri.
Concéde, quaesumus, Dómine,
ut óculis tuae maiestátis munus oblátum
et grátiam nobis devotiónis obtíneat,
et efféctum beátae perennitátis acquírat.
Ant. ad communionem (Ps 72, 28)
Mihi autem adhaerére Deo bonum est,
pónere in Dómino Deo spem meam.
Vel: (Mc 11, 23-24)
Amen dico vobis, quidquid orántes pétitis,
crédite quia accipiétis, et fiet vobis, dicit Dóminus.
Súmpsimus, Dómine, sacri dona mystérii,
ut, quae in sui commemoratiónem
nos Fílius tuus fácere praecépit,
in nostrae profíciant caritátis augméntum.
Entrance Antiphon (cf. Jeremiah 29:11,12,14)
The Lord says: my plans for you are peace and not disaster;
when you call to me, I will listen to you, and I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.
Father of all that is good,
keep us faithful in serving you,
for to serve you is our lasting joy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer over the Gifts
may the gifts we offer
increase our love for you
and bring us to eternal life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon (cf. Psalm 72 (73):28)
It is good for me to be with the Lord and to put my hope in him.
Or: (Mark 11:23-24)
I tell you solemnly, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
may we grow in love
by the eucharist we have celebrated
in memory of the Lord Jesus,
who is Lord for ever and ever.
There will be a surprise at the start of this week’s mass: an Entrance Antiphon that isn’t from the Psalms. It is from Jeremiah 29:11–14, which, in most English translations, reads something like this:
11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. (The Revised Standard Version)
Clearly what we have in this week’s Entrance Antiphon is an abbreviation of these verses. In the Nova Vulgata they read as follows (I have highlighted the bits that go to make up our Antiphon):
11 Ego enim scio cogitationes, quas ego cogito super vos, ait Dominus, cogitationes pacis et non afflictionis, ut dem vobis posteritatem et spem.
12 Et invocabitis me et ibitis; et orabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos.
13 Quaeretis me et invenietis, cum quaesieritis me in toto corde vestro.
14 Et inveniar a vobis, ait Dominus, et reducam captivitatem vestram et congregabo vos de universis gentibus et de cunctis locis, ad quae expuli vos, dicit Dominus; et reverti vos faciam ad locum, de quo transmigrare vos feci.
So you can see that it is a bit of a scissor and paste job. I don’t know the history of this antiphon and its use prior to the Missal of Paul VI, so I can’t say anything about that. I am not exactly sure why this antiphon has been chosen for this time of year either; perhaps it is an eschatological theme? One interesting thing is that instead of “scio cogitationes”, the Antiphon has “cogito cogitationes”. “Cogitatio” is “a thinking, considering, deliberating” (LS) so it is as reasonable translation of the Hebrew as “plans” is in the RSV. But whereas the Hebrew, the RSV and the Vulgate (both Nova and Clementine) have “scio” (“I know”), our Antiphon has “cogito” (“I think”) giving us a clumsy “I think thoughts”. Perhaps this is a result of the cutting and pasting (“ego scio cogitationes pacis” would not have worked), but I do think it rather ugly in English. Forgive me for going on about it, but even the old Gregorian Missal (also used by the Simple English Propers project) recognises this and has “I am pondering thoughts of peace”. The new ICEL is absolutely spot on accurate, and maintains perfectly the double use of the stem “cogito”, but I wish they had found something better. Old ICEL was definitely influenced by the original Hebrew of Jeremiah 29:11 (and majority English translations), in giving “my plans for you are peace etc.”, but admittedly, this wasn’t a translation of the Latin antiphon. The new Missal is not adverse to straying from the Latin for the sake of keeping with the new Revised Grail when the antiphons are from the Psalms – perhaps they could have permitted themselves to stray a bit here too… Another point on which one may quibble is the phrase “your captives”. This is, of course, a correct translation of “captivitatem vestram”, but it might sound like “captives” which the Israelites have taken, rather than “captives” who are Israelites. Note that few English translations translate the Hebrew word here as “captives”, but rather as “fortunes”. The Vulgate is a literal translation of the Hebrew, however. Old ICEL fudged right over this phrase.
On to the Collect. In the Collect we see a theme that emerges in several places in this week’s propers – in the new English translation anyway – that of “happiness” arising out of “devotion” to God (it occurs again in the Prayer over the Offerings; see also the first Communion Antiphon). The Latin actually uses different words for “happiness”: “felicitas” in the Collect, “beata perennitas” in the Super Oblata (literally “blessed everlastingness” – the new translation turns the noun and adjective around to result in “everlasting happiness”), and “bonum” (“good”) in the Communion Antiphon. The translators follow the form of the Latin Collect exactly, but this does give rise to a rather awkward “it is” expression, when a simpler translation might have been:
for to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good
is full and lasting happiness.
The old translation conflated “to rejoice” (“gaudere”) with “felicitas” (effectively leaving the latter out entirely), and put the final phrase “bonórum ómnium auctóri” (“author of all good things”, translated inaccurately as “Father of all that is good”) into the address at the beginning. All in all, Old ICEL was not really a translation at all. Note also how the overused term of address “Father” instead of “Lord our God” has crept in here to as usual. The “O” before “Lord our God” is there because of the strong vocal stress on “pray” which precedes it. This is standard in the new translation. The only other time when the vocative “O” is used is when the term of address is a single syllable, such as “God” (becomes “O God”) and “Lord” (becomes “O Lord”).
We have already said something about the Prayer over the Gifts. Old ICEL wasn’t a translation of this prayer. We see the usual things dropped: “grace”, “majesty”, and “devotion” (the latter becoming “our love for you”). In the old translation “blessed everlastingness” became “eternal life”. The new translation puts greater stress on the “blessedness/happiness” of this “everlastingness” than the old did, thus connecting it with the thought of the Collect. I don’t know about using the term “prize” for “effectus” (the Latin asks that we “acquire the effect of blessed everlastingness”), but that does fit with the “race” imagery that we have seen in the propers for this time of year to this point, so I won’t quibble about that. Non-Catholics will be scandalised by the theology here: that our offerings of bread and wine might obtain this eternal reward. The prayer in fact does a bit of a “thought jump”. Bread and wine of course have no such power as an offering to achieve this effect in themselves.The full thought is that when God takes these gifts which we offer (bread and wine) and transforms them into the Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, then they will have the power to “acquire” for us “the effect of blessed everlastingness”.
In new translation, we see the word “happiness” spring up for the third time – this time translating “bonum est”. The old translation had “be with” for “adhaerére”, the new one has “to be near”. “Adhaere” actually means “to cleave or stick to a thing” (LS), which is stronger than either translation. I don’t know what would have been wrong with “to cling to God”. Oh, I was forgetting! When we check the Revised Grail version of Psalm 73:28, we find:
To be near God is my happiness;
I have my hope in the Lord God.
That explains the first line, but the new Missal doesn’t follow the RG in the next line – unhappily I think. Note the way in which “to place my hope in God the Lord” is left hanging? Indeed that is exactly how the Latin is written but the Psalmist’s style of parallelism shows that “bonum est” actually governs both halves of this verse. Thus:
It is good for me to cleave to God,
to put my hope in God the Lord.
Actually, had they gone this way, I could have understood another odd little detail here: why did they use “God the Lord” for “Dominus Deus” instead of “the Lord God” as in the RG?
Anyway, there we are. The second Communion Antiphon is, as usual, taken from the New Testament, this time Mark 11:23-24. Actually, it is really only verse 24, with the “Amen dico vobis” from the beginning of verse 23 thrown in. Old ICEL used “I tell you solemnly”; most English translations would use “Truly I tell you”; the new translation preserves the original Aramaic “Amen”, which was also kept both in the Greek and Latin New Testaments. There is a significant difference between the old translation and the new with the tense of “receive”: the old translation had “believe that you have received it“, whereas the new translation accurately translates the Latin future tense “that you will receive“. It seems here that there was some variation in the Greek manuscripts of this passage. The RSV went with the aorist (past or present) tense, but the English Standard Version (a contender for the new lectionary translation) goes with the future. The Vulgate definitely went with the future tense, and that is the tense in the Missale Romanum, so the translation here is accurate.
Finally (yes, this is a very, very long post), the Prayer after Communion. This is a very strange “prayer” even in the Latin, because it doesn’t have a petition. It simply tells God what we have done, and the hope in which we did it! Old ICEL “rectified” this “problem” by turning it into a petition. Old ICEL also (as usual) replaced “this sacred mystery” with “this Eucharist”. It also talks about the Eucharist which “we have celebrated” rather than the mystery of which “we have partaken”. Finally, it leaves out the line “nos Fílius tuus fácere praecépit”, “your Son commanded us to do”. Was that superfluous, do you think? The only other thing (characteristic of the new translation) is that “caritas” is actually translated as “charity”, rather than the overused word “love”.
The Introit for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Ordinary Form (as you gave above) is that of the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form, with the following Psalm verse:Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob (Ps 84:2).
That is the verse that is given with this Entrance Antiphon in the Gregorian Missal too, Josh.
Thanks though for giving me the heads up on the source of the Antiphon. It obviously wasn’t invented by the reformers then. Perhaps the odd wording, and its inclusion in the old missal as well, points to a very ancient origin, even before the time of the Vulgate?
Yes, that’s exactly right – the Introits &c. often come from the Old Latin version that predated the Vulgate.
The way the text is drastically abbreviated is actually proof of its antiquity: one of Baumstark’s laws of liturgy is that “the older the text, the less literally it quotes the Scriptures”, which sounds odd but isn’t!
For instance, the Liturgy of St Basil more literally quotes Biblical texts than does the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, and so is not as ancient, despite what tradition would claim; and the Roman Canon, having an even smaller proportion of direct quotations from Holy Writ, is demonstrably older than both.
As for the practice in the Roman Mass of adapting or centonizing texts, the most famous example is the ‘Epistle’ Ecce sacerdos magnus from the Mass Statuit from the Common for a Confessor Bishop (very Lutheran that, to refer to a Mass by the opening word of the Introit – it is of course simply the traditional Catholic practice) – this ‘Epistle’, in the technical sense of the pre-Gospel reading at Mass, is in fact a selection of verses from Ecclesiasticus 44 and 45.
There are several articles online about it, as I recall – do google it if interested.
Thanks, Josh. You mention the first word of the introit giving the name to the mass or Sunday ( eg Requiem or Gaudete). Somewhat akin to this, i have decided to call this Sunday “Happiness Sunday”! What do you think?
David, re the Communion Antiphon: only a speculation but perhaps they thought the second line scanned better, keeping the iambic rhythm “to GOD – the LORD” rather than finishing the line on a spondee :the LORD GOD”. For chanting purposes?
Yes, I think you are right about this, Stephen. Only I think the whole thing would have worked better then as
which I think has a very nice rhythm to it indeed.
I have just come from 9.30 Mass at St patricks -,where incidentally at the 11am 40 adults are being confirmed. I sang the congregational parts as indicated by the cantor-a lady with a most excellent voice- and i think where I was seated I was the only one singing in that part of the Cathedral- towards the back.
Sing up loud then, Matthias!
One never knows whether other worshippers appreciate enthusiastic singers such as ourselves. At St Phillip’s this morning, there was no organist for the 9am service, but the hymns for the 11am service were printed in the bulletin. Fr Dillon, as is his practice, chanted the responses of the Liturgy and led the rest of us in singing the Taylor setting of the Sanctus and Agnus Dei (I don’t think this works well unaccompanied – the chant would be better down the line), but I asked for permission before mass began to lead the singing of the hymns as printed, and everyone did a fairly good job even unaccomapanied. I didn’t know whether this would be appreciated, but did have a couple of thank yous afterward. I guess those who didn’t appreciate it don’t say anything anyway, so this is no guideline…
Today I’ve been down to Hobart and back, for to M.C. at the monthly EF Mass, the one and only permitted in the Archdiocese (whatever a certain Supreme Pontiff may have decreed).
In any case, not to belly-ached but to celebrate, I was indeed privileged to stand at the priest’s side throughout the Liturgy (but for the prayers at the foot of the altar, the Consecration and my own Communion, naturally), and doing so made me suddenly aware (as I pointed it out for Father in the Missal) that the Postcommunion of the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost is – that of the 33rd per annum in the Novus Ordo!
It is actually quite rare to find any prayer or chant occurring in both forms of the Roman Rite on the same day, so my curiosity was piqued.
The first thing to note is an important change of address made by the revisers: in the traditional Missal, the Postcommunion is as follows:
Súmpsimus, Dómine, sacri dona mystérii, humíliter deprecántes, ut, quæ in tui commemoratiónem nos * fácere præcépisti, in nostræ profíciant infirmitátis auxílium. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre…
I have highlighted the words subsequently changed, and inserted an asterisk where two new words were inserted in the reform – obviously, the prayer was redirected, so as to address God the Father rather than God the Son (and if I recall correctly that was itself a change made centuries earlier, from the initial almost total address of all such orations to the Father, to also addressing the Son if the prayer seemed to better suit it):
Súmpsimus, Dómine, sacri dona mystérii, humíliter deprecántes, ut, quæ in sui commemoratiónem nos *Fílius tuus* fácere praecépit,
in nostrae profíciant caritátis augméntum. Per Christum…
The other interesting, and, I am afraid, all too predictable modification was that made to the intention of the prayer: no longer do we pray for aid for our weakness, but for an increase of charity. Now, both intentions are good and orthodox, but unfortunately the semi-Pelagian feel of “Gaudium et Spes” (to quote the current Pope when commenting when yet a priest on the Council documents!) has here made itself manifest: we do not confess our weakness, but perhaps too complacently ask for a boost to our lovingkindness.
In other news from today’s Mass, the choir was without its usual director, and the threat of having only a Low Mass was upon us – but I reminded the 2.i.c. that as a bare minimum the Propers could simply be monotoned, advised them to sing the most familiar setting of the Ordinary (Missa VIII – de Angelis – and Credo III), and suggested that any other Latin ditties they knew could be sung to fill in the time at Offertory and Communion, so the good old Salve Regina and Adoro te devote saved the day. We even sang “Faith of our Fathers” as a fitting recessional. Best of all (as Catholics say) Mass was a bit faster than usual, taking just an hour.
Deo gratias et Mariæ!
Oh, and I would disagree with your last paragraph in your post, David – of course the Postcommunion has a petition: the petition is “may [our communion] bring us growth in charity”, or, in the EF, “may [it] help our infirmity”.
No, read it carefully, Josh. It tells God about a prayer we made while we were partaking of the sacred mystery; it doesn’t actually present that prayer anew.
The Magnificat app and web page (American?) have been faithfully using the old ICEL order and propers all the way along, but if you download the resources for the First Sunday in Advent onwards, voila! There is the new order of mass and all the new propers.
Indeed they do, David! I just renewed my subscription to Magnificat, I love that beautiful publication. All the texts I will need on the first Sunday of Advent are there!
I am also tickled that Father Z has a countdown going on at WDTPRS of days, hours and minutes to November 27.
Matthias, belated welcome to the Catholic Church!