SAU CFDD
Feb 172010
 

Father Michael Spiekermeier recites the Eucharistic Prayer during a Mass at Assumption High School in Davenport. (Photo by Anne Marie Amacher)

By Deacon Frank Agnoli

In this column, I will focus on the responses that the people are asked to make during the Eucharistic Prayer and Preparation for Communion. Some of these — such as the Great Amen, the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) and the Lord’s Prayer — are not changing. Others, like the Memorial Acclamation (now referred to as the Mystery of Faith) and the invitation to Communion, will be different.

The first thing that we see with the Mystery of Faith is that the priest’s introduction has changed. The current version makes it sound as if what follows is something that we all do together. More accurately, the new translation shows that this is a dialogue: the priest says one thing (“The mystery of faith”) and the rest of us respond in one of three (or four) ways.

The Latin version of the Missal contains only three responses; the fourth — “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” — is a U.S. adaptation. The bishops have asked that it be included in the new Missal, but that decision has not yet been made in Rome. The concern is that the acclamations are addressed to Christ; the U.S. adaptation simply states what Christ has done.

The new translations of the acclamations highlight the fact that we are addressing Christ and make the connections to the Scriptures easier to grasp. The first and second acclamations are both based in 1 Corinthians 11:26, while the third comes from John 4:42.

The more literal rendering of the invitation to Communion also makes the various connections to the Scriptures more clear: John the Baptist’s identification of Jesus as the Lamb of God in John 1:29, the supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:9, and the healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7:6-7 (and Matthew 8:8).

The reference to the roof of the centurion’s home may make us chuckle if we think the phrase refers to the roofs of our mouths. Rather, the point is that we should have the same attitude as the centurion as we prepare to welcome Christ into the “home” of our bodies, our very selves: humility, faith, gratitude.

It is interesting to notice that the phrase “this is” has been removed. Just as we no longer say, “This is the word of the Lord” at the end of the readings or “This is the Body of Christ” at Communion because the word “this” seems to limit Christ’s presence, it is good to see that it has been deleted from here as well. In addition, “behold” makes for a more poetic rendering, and is more suggestive of the sacred, as is “blessed” instead of “happy.”

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

Present Text

PRIEST:

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

PEOPLE:

Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life.

Lord Jesus, come in glory.

or

When we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

we proclaim your death,

Lord Jesus,

until you come in glory.

or

Lord, by your cross

and resurrection,

you have set us free.

You are the Savior of the World.

or (in the United States)

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. 

New Text

PRIEST:

The mystery of faith. 

PEOPLE:

We proclaim your death, O Lord,

and profess your Resurrection

until you come again.

or

When we eat this Bread

and drink this Cup,

we proclaim your death, O Lord,

until you come again.

or

Save us, Savior of the world,

for by your Cross

and Resurrection,

you have set us free.

(approval yet to be decided)

Present Text

PRIEST:

This is the Lamb of God

who takes away

the sins of the world.

Happy are those who are called

to his supper.   

PEOPLE:

Lord, I am not worthy

to receive you,

but only say the word

and I shall be healed.

New Text

PRIEST:Behold the Lamb of God;

behold him who takes away

the sins of the world.

Blessed are those called

to the supper of the Lamb.

PEOPLE:

Lord, I am not worthy

that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word

and my soul shall be healed.

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