SAU CFDD
Feb 032010
 

Deacon Agnoli

By Deacon Frank Agnoli

While the prayers that the priest says during the preparation of the gifts will change slightly, most of us in the congregation will first notice the differences in the invitation to prayer and preface dialogue.

The new translation of the invitation to prayer makes the point that it is not just the priest who offers the sacrifice of prayer, but that he in his way is joined by the people in their way in offering Eucharist. As the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (§78; see also §96) reminds us:

The priest invites the people to lift up their hearts to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving; he unites the congregation with himself in the prayer that he addresses in the name of the entire community to God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the meaning of the prayer is that the entire congregation of the faithful should join itself with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice.

In the response, the adjective “holy” — which was removed in our current translation — is returned.

The opening dialogue of the preface also reflects changes in translation. The first change was covered in an earlier article. The second change reminds us that it is not only good (“right”) to give thanks to God, but it is also our duty (“just”) to do so. As was put forth in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II (§14).

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people” (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

This change will also take care of the division manifested in some communities where some say “give him thanks,” and others say “give thanks” or “give God thanks” in order to avoid the masculine pronoun. (As an aside, I would hope that, for the sake of unity, everyone will make the response to the invitation to prayer as written; if the masculine pronoun for God can at times be avoided there is no reason why at times it should not be used. God transcends gender.)

The Prefaces, which have all been retranslated, will now begin, “It is truly right and just…” — which will make the connection to the dialogue more obvious. In a sense, the people will hand the priest the words with which to open the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer he will pray out loud on their behalf. The people will than ratify, in a sense, what he has prayed by the Great Amen (it is important to note, then, that the Amen is said or sung by the people — not by the priest).

Finally, the translation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy) has changed slightly. The opening line more accurately reflects the ancient prayer of the church, and more clearly reflects Isaiah 6:3, by referring to “Lord God of hosts.” There was some concern that people may think that “hosts” refers to communion, but all we need to do is recall the second verse of “Silent Night” to realize that the word refers to the angelic beings which surround God.

(Deacon Agnoli is director of liturgy for the Diocese of Davenport.)

The Prefaces

Present Text

PRIEST:

Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters),

that our sacrifice

may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

PEOPLE:

May the Lord accept the sacrifice

at your hands

for the praise and glory of his name,

for our good,

and the good of all his Church.

PRIEST: The Lord be with you.

     PEOPLE: And also with you.

PRIEST: Lift up your hearts.

     PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord.

PRIEST: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

PEOPLE:  It is right to give him thanks and praise. 

New Text

PRIEST:

Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters),

that my sacrifice and yours

may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

PEOPLE:

May the Lord accept the sacrifice

at your hands

for the praise and glory of his name,

for our good

and the good of all his holy Church. 

PRIEST: The Lord be with you.

    PEOPLE: And with your spirit.

PRIEST: Lift up your hearts.

     PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord.

PRIEST: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

PEOPLE: It is right and just.

Sanctus (Holy, Holy)

Present Text

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

New Text

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

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