WDTPRS – Monday 2nd Week of Lent – “Prayer over the people” (2002MR)

In the 2002MR the ancient tradition of a "Prayer over the people" at the end of Mass has been revived.  Priests can use it NOW, though in Latin only…. so far.

This is a slight variation of a prayer in the ancient Liber sacramentorum Engolismensis, one the versions of the Gelasian.  It is probably older.

ORATIO SUPER POPULUM (2002MR):
Confirma, Domine, quaesumus, tuorum corda fidelium,
et gratiae tuae virtute corrobora,
ut et in tua sint supplicatione devoti,
et mutua dilectione sinceri
.

The ancient prayer had conserva instead of confirma.  I think the substitution of confirma was made probably to parallel corrobora.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL VERSION:
Embolden, O Lord, we implore, the hearts of Your faithful,
and strengthen them by the power of Your grace,
so that they may be devout in your supplication
and genuine in mutual love
.

At first I thought that this was perhaps a prayer of new composition.  It had a touchy-feely sound to it in that "sinceri in mutua dilectione".  I was overly suspicious.

Think about that phrase and how hard it really is to be genuine in love, what sort of courage it takes.

True love isn’t an ooey-gooey feeling, as is usually suggested in prevailing culture today.

Love is a choice, an act of the will.

Sure, our human sentiments and passions and appetites all play a role in our affections, but we can choose to love…. even an enemy.

This love we choose is far closer to the sacrificial love which is charity, the sort of love our Lord exhorts us to in His two-fold command to love both God and neighbor.

Isn’t that the point of this Lenten prayer?  Be devout before God and have sacrificial love for neighbor?

Inherent in this prayer is a prompting to examine our consciences.

We make our way in our Lenten discipline with help of the grace of God.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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7 Responses to WDTPRS – Monday 2nd Week of Lent – “Prayer over the people” (2002MR)

  1. Mickey says:

    Father,

    Is there a difference in connotation between “dilict-” and “amor”? Is “dilect-” more intimate than “amor”?

    Wondering because in my hand missal, 2002MR, I have Latin on the left and English on the right…and I see “dilect-” rendered as “love” very often.

  2. Margaret says:

    This confusion between sentimental “ooey-gooey” love (gonna have to steal that expression from here on out!) and radically sacrificial Love, as exemplified by our Lord on the Cross, is at the root of an awful lot of divorces, I suspect…

  3. Discipulus Humilis says:

    Mickey,

    I think you have the related verb: diligo diligere dilexi dilectum

    From a post on Catholic Answers:
    “I understand the feeling that amo is stronger, but that likely comes from (i) familiarity and (ii) its association with passionate love. Diligo is etymologically related to lego, legere which is typically translated as “to read”, but has a deeper meaning of “to choose, to select” (when you read, you pick out words on a page — Noteasywhentherearenospacesnorpunctuatio n ), so diligo is a more conscious decision (selecting one from among others) than emotional response.” -tee_eff_em

    Maybe there’s a connection there, especially in that diligo has the meaning of “to choose” which corroborates Father Z’s emphasis on love being an act of the will. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you. Pax.

  4. Discipulus Humilis says:

    I meant that lego has the meaning of “choose” which, according to tee_eff_em, informs diligo with a more conscious connotation. Sorry, I’m in a hurry.

  5. rinkevichjm says:

    Let’s be a bit more literal and use some Latin derived words: confirm, corroborate, virtue, devoted, sincere:
    Confirm, O Lord, Thy faithfuls’ hearts,
    and corroborate Thy grace by virtue,
    whomever is, to be in Thy supplication devoted,
    and in mutual delight sincere.

    Confirma is the root of confirmation, which is of course a reference to the Sacrament.
    “corroborate Thy grace by virtue” seems quite Lenten and appropriate for this season.
    In the Psalms, we hear about Israel being delighted in their God.

  6. jlarson says:

    The current U.S. Novus Ordo Sacramentary, in explaining the optional “Prayers Over the People” states that they can be used “at the discretion of the priest.” Is there anything to prevent a priest from using any of them at the end of any Mass?

    As far as I can tell, this is #23 in the current Sacramentary.

  7. Blackfriar says:

    Nothing at all, jlarson. I always use them on the weekdays of Lent. Some, of course, are more suitable than others. The prayers in the new Sacramentary will be additional to these, and distributed one to each day, as in the TLM, in Lent. I believe that at one time they were a feature of most Masses – older than the trinitarian blessing in fact – perhaps reflected in the way Good Friday ends (the one obligatory Prayer Over the People in the Paul VI Missal) – but became restricted to Lent … I’m not sure when (9th century? But that’s a guess…)