The New Missal: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I have been considering the texts for the 30th Ordinary Sunday for some time, as I am rostered on music in my home parish this Sunday. I have already posted my setting of the Communion Antiphon and Psalm, and I have discovered that the Entrance Antiphon can quite easily be sung to the tune of Michael Herry’s “Give us Hearts Renewed in Love” (I don’t know about the legitimacy of using tunes composed for other texts… there may be a law against it.) For the Offertory, I intend to use the song “Sing Praise to our Creator” by Omer Westendorf (right click here to download score) and sung to the tune of “Gott Vater sei gepreisen” (Right click here to download midi file). I just happen to like this hymn and think it worthy of being sung as often as possible. And for the recessional, yes, mea culpa, a David Haas song, “Come Live in the Light”.

Anyway, Here are texts for the coming week, the 30th Ordinary Sunday, from the new Roman Missal. A brief commentary follows (although, as I say, don’t expect a Fr. Z. job!):

Entrance Antiphon:
(cf. Psalm 104 (105):3-4)
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice;
turn to the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.

Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise.
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
Look, we pray, O Lord,
on the offerings we make to your majesty,
that whatever is done by us in your service
may be directed above all to your glory.
Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon
(cf. Ps 19 (20):6)
We will ring out our joy at your saving help
and exult in the name of our God.
(Eph 5:2)
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us,
as a fragrant offering to God.

Prayer after Communion
May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray,
perfect in us what lies within them,
that what we now celebrate in signs
we may one day possess in truth.
Through Christ our Lord.


Antiphona ad Introitum:
(cf. Ps 104 (105):3-4)
Laetétur cor quaeréntium Dóminum.
Quaerite Dóminum, et confirmámini,
quaerite fáciem eius semper.

Omnípotens sempitérne Deus,
da nobis fídei, spei et caritátis augméntum,
et, ut mereámur ássequi quod promíttis,
fac nos amáre quod praecipis.
Per Dominum…

Prayer over the Offerings
Réspice, quaesumus, Dómine,
múnera quae tuæ offérimus maiestáti,
ut, quod nostro servítio géritur,
ad tuam glóriam pótius dirigátur.
Per Christum…

Communion Antiphon
(cf. Ps 19 (20):6)
Laetábimur in salutári tuo,
et in nómine Dei nostri magnificábimur.
(Eph 5:2)
Christus diléxit nos, et trádidit semetípsum pro nobis,
oblatiónem Deo in odórem suavitátis.

Prayer after Communion
Perfíciant in nobis, Dómine, quaesumus,
tua sacraménta quod cóntinent,
ut, quae nunc spécie gérimus,
rerum veritáte capiámus.
Per Christum…


Entrance Antiphon:
(Ps 104 (105):3-4)
Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
Seek the Lord and his strength,
Seek always the face of the Lord.

Almighty and ever-living God,
Strengthen our faith, hope, and love.
May we do with loving hearts
what you ask of us
and come to share the life you promise.
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 Offerings
Lord God of power and might,
Receive the gifts we offer
And let our service give you glory.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon
(Ps 19 (20):6)
We will rejoice at the victory of God
and make our boast in his great name.

(Eph 5:2)
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering to God.

Prayer after Communion
bring to perfection within us
the communion we share in this sacrament.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


The Entrance Antiphon is taken from the Revised Grail Psalter, as we have come to expect. But the Communion Antiphon from Psalm 19 (20):6 is not, although it is clearly inspired by it. The Latin Communion Antiphon in the Missal is taken from the Vulgate, and the English is a translation of the Vulgate verse. Interestingly, the old ICEL translation was in fact closer to the Hebrew of Psalm 19 (20), rather than a translation of the Latin. I think both the Entrance and Communion antiphons in the new translation are very singable (as evidenced by my setting of the Communion Antiphon). I was listening today to a program on Catholic Answers on the liturgy, and the point was made there that the translators kept the singing of the texts in mind when the translations were done. This fact may explain many things that would seem strange otherwise.

Looking at the Collect, there are two things of note. First, the phrase “fídei, spei et caritátis” is translated as “faith, hope and charity” rather than “faith, hope, and love” as in the Old ICEL. This reflects the policy of the new translation to use a variety of words for “love”, and in this case “charity” accurately translates “caritas“. Note that in the second Communion Antiphon, “Christus diléxit nos” is rendered “Christ loved us” – “dilexit” is another one of those “love” words used in the Missal. The Vulgate translated the same Greek word (the noun “agape” and the verb “agapao“) with “caritas” on the one hand and “dilexi” on the other.

Secondly, note the use of the word “merit” in the new translation of the Collect (translating “mereámur“). We have commented on the fact that Old ICEL avoided translating “gratia/grace” on many (if not all) occasions. As if to balance this omission, the Old ICEL also removed all language of merit. One Protestant complaint of the traditional Collects in the Roman rite is that they contained a lot of “merit” language, which is, of course, anathema to Protestant ears. But in Catholic theology, “merit” and “grace” are closely connected, and both are required for accurate theology of our relationship with God. Our “merit” is solely the gift of God’s “grace” – we do not “earn” salvation – but what God gives by his grace truly becomes ours and does not remain purely “extra nos”, and thus is for us “merit”.

In the Prayer over the Offerings, we note that the new translation again includes “your majesty” (translating “tuæ…maiestáti“). Old ICEL clearly judged this as an insufficiently intimate way to speak to God. The new translation clearly judges that it is appropriate, and not only accurate, to translate the prayer in this way. It is a reminder that when we stand in God’s presence in the Sacred Liturgy we are in fact standing in the royal court of the King of Heaven.

It is notable that whenever the Missal gives an alternative Communion Antiphon it is almost always (I haven’t yet found an exception) taken from the New Testament. I can’t find yet any exact pattern in the choice of these verses, but this one is especially appropriate as a Communion Antiphon, stressing the self-offering of the Son to the Father. The translation is word for word the RSV (omitting “and sacrifice”/ “et hostiam“, according to the Missal text – I don’t know why this was omitted from the Antiphon, as it too would have been very appropriate).

The Old ICEL translation of the Post-Communion Prayer was quite clearly more of a paraphrase than an exact translation. The Latin doesn’t mention anything like “the communion we share”. It instead speaks of “species” – ie. “appearances”. I don’t much care for the word “signs”. We do speak of the sacramental “species”, namely, the “appearance” of bread and wine. Together with “sacramenta” this is the classic Augustinian doctrine of the Sacraments: that behind (Lutherans would say “in, with and under”) the species is the heavenly reality which empowers the Sacrament with grace. Interestingly, the plural “sacraments” is used – although I don’t think in this context we are supposed to think of the seven sacraments, but rather of the “sacraments” of Christ’s body and blood. “We may one day possess in truth” may sound a little like suggesting that we don’t “in truth” possess Christ’s body and blood here and now, and that is unfortunate, but “in truth” is an accurate rendering of “veritate“. The idea is that we will one day possess these hidden gifts in the face to face reality of the presence of Christ in the Wedding Feast of Heaven. I don’t know how else this could be better expressed. In any case, this Collect is an excellent example of “lex orandi, lex credendi” – the prayer expresses exactly our Catholic faith concerning the Sacraments.

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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4 Responses to The New Missal: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  1. Peregrinus says:

    “In the Prayer over the Offerings, we note that the new translation again includes “your majesty” (translating “tuæ…maiestáti“) . . . The new translation clearly judges that it is appropriate, and not only accurate, to translate the prayer in this way. It is a reminder that when we stand in God’s presence in the Sacred Liturgy we are in fact standing in the royal court of the King of Heaven.

    I dunno.

    Etymologically, the Latin maiestas is the root of our word “majesty”, but it has a much wider meaning; it means “greatness” or “glory”, and it has no particular kingly connotations.

    The association of majesty with kingship is comparatively recent. The Emperor Charles V adopted the form of address “Your Majesty”, to emphasize his superiority over ordinary kings and queens, then addressed as “Your Highness” or “Your Grace”. In an early example of grade inflation the “majesty” style of address was promptly adopted by Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France and, pretty soon, almost every crowned head in Europe. Since the sixteenth century it has been used almost exclusively with respect to kings and queens.

    The word occurs several times in the Vulgate with reference to God: e.g. in 2 Chron 7:1, Ez 43:4. In English translations as diverse as the Authorized Version and the New Jerusalem it usually corresponds to “glory” (as in “the glory of the Lord”).

    The prayer over the offerings, of course, is not scripture; it’s a much more modern composition. Nevertheless the point remains. the English word “majesty” has acquired strong royal connotations; the Latin word maiestas much less so. And here we see one of the pitfalls of attempting excessively close translation. Because “majesty” is derived from maiestas it looks like a very literal translation, but in fact it isn’t. The choice of “majesty” here introduces strong evocations of royalty which are not found in the original text.

  2. John Nolan says:

    David, your musical choice is certainly eclectic, but you know what works in your parish! You don’t say what settings you use for the Ordinary, or whether you employ the missal chants for the priest/people dialogues, Preface, and Pater noster (with the embolism). Unless these become embedded, we are still in the ‘low Mass with singing’ territory, and the labours of Mgr Wadsworth and the new ICEL will have been in vain.

    • Schütz says:

      Unfortunately, I have to deal with what the priest and pastoral associates etc see as fitting in this circumstance. My “eclectic” choice is not so much my own choice, as a compromise I have adopted – the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, so to speak! I have managed to introduce the missal chant for the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei, but that is the sum of it. I am not allowed to use a sung Gloria, nor do they ever sing the Our Father. As it is, the priest has told me that there is too much music when I lead the singing mass… Over the last six years as cantor in my home parish, I have had one battle after another. They have come to tolerate the sung psalm and Gospel acclamation; they have tolerated the occasional traditional hymn; they have even tolerated a little bit of the chant. But I have reach the absolute limit – theirs and mine. So this is why I am doing only one more rostered turn as cantor in my home parish, and after that I am intending to worship at another parish, a bit further away, where I actually feel at home.

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