Wherein Fr. Z drills into “And with your spirit” and makes a proposal

TwitterI have seen some posts on various blogs about a particular controversial – and major – change to the English translation of Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form: "And with your spirit … et cum spiritu tuo" as the response to "The Lord be with you".

I wrote about this issue in my columns in The Wanderer some time ago.  Here is something of what I wrote in two articles which I have stitched together.

I give some history of the phrase, explain why the new translation is better, and make a proposal:

One of the most controversial changes the clergy and faithful will experience is the new and more accurately translated exchange of greetings made by the clergy and returned by the congregation.  At key moments of Holy Mass the priest or bishop, and at times deacons, turn to the people and, with arms outstretched exclaim, “The Lord be with you … Dominus vobiscum (or Peace be with you… Pax vobis” in the case of a bishop).  The people respond, “Et cum spiritu tuo”.  From the point of view of Latin this literally means “And with your spirit.”   For nearly three decades people have been saying “And also with you.”  That is obviously not a literal translation of the Latin. 

But does it accurately convey the meaning of “Et cum spiritu tuo”?  How do we explain this change to people who will make this response?  The day the new translation comes into force, this is the first change people will hear.

For help we turn to the scholar of liturgy Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ (+1975) and his The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development (originally in 1948 Missarum Sollemnia) reprinted in two paperback volumes by Christian Classics in 1986)Fr. Jungmann has some dense pages on this greeting and response (cf. Vol. 1, pp. 359-366).

[...]

Jungmann drills into the reason for this salutation and why it is repeated throughout Holy Mass, each time there is to be some special announcement.  Is this a mere wish that God be near His people and that He accompany them as they pray?

One reason why we have this exchange is because it is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  Jungmann points out that “both the greeting and the reply are ancient, their origins hid in pre-Christian times.”  In Ruth 2:4 Booz greets the reapers with “Dominus vobiscum”.   The salutation was a part of everyday life.  We find it several times in Holy Scripture (Jungmann lists: 2 Timothy 4:22, Philemon 25, Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23).  The reapers of Booz reply (in the Latin Vulgate of course) “Benedicat tibi Dominus… May the Lord bless you.”  Jungmann offers that “we employ in its place a phrase which means almost the same thing: Et cum spiritu tuo, a formula which betrays its Hebrew origin and has many parallels in St. Paul”.  Jungmann adds in a footnote (p. 363, n 16): “This is a Semitism: Spiritus tuus = your person = you.” 

Jungmann points to the near equivalence of the Latin response of the reapers (in the Vulgate) and the Latin response “Et cum spiritu tuo”. 

Today many people who object to the more literal translation now in preparation point to this very argument. 

They make the claim – probably based in part on Jungmann’s standard reference work – that “And also with you” really is an accurate translation of “Et cum spiritu tuo”, and that therefore we should stick to “And also with you”, since “And with your spirit” will sound strange to people.
 
In response, we might suggest to those objectors that we read the whole page in Jungman’s explanation.  Jungmann’s next footnote says, and I will leave in the author’s references for those who want to pry more deeply into this (my emphases):

Still it is to be remarked that even [St. John] Chrysostom, In II. Tim. hom., 10, 3 (PG, LXIII, 659 f.) had already referred ‘thy spirit’ to the indwelling Holy Spirit.  In fact, in his first Whitsun (Pentecost) sermon, n. 4 (PG, L, 458 f.) he sees in the word ‘spirit’ in this counter-greeting an allusion to the fact that the bishop performs the sacrifice in the power of the Holy Spirit.  That is the reason the Dominus vobiscum was even at an early age restricted to those endowed with major orders, bishops priests and deacons, and not given to subdeacons who were numbered among the higher orders only since the 13th century….

On the one hand, some argue in favor of the Semitism, the Hebrew view of “spirit” as simply being the person, “you”. 

On the other hand, some argue in favor of the developing Christian understanding of the Eucharistic liturgy as Christ’s Sacrifice and of the significance of Holy Orders.  

I suspect that if we were to quiz the first group, we would find a somewhat more “horizontal” theology, an emphasis on “liturgy” as “meal”, Eucharist as “thanksgiving” and perhaps a less sharp discernment of the roles of clergy and laity.  I also suspect that these same sets of characteristics might also describe in general both those who have been fighting against the new translation, with its closer adherence to the Latin originals, and those who support the new translation.  The second group would probably hold to a more “vertical” theology and stress the sacrificial dimension of Mass as well as a clearer distinction of roles of clergy and laity. 

The debate surely reveals the differences of cultures within the Roman Church, as well as the problems involved with bringing that which is ancient, coming from a culture long gone, into the present in a way that isn’t entirely foreign.

[..]

When you open an Italian edition of the Missale Romanum you find “e con il tuo spirito”, which I probably don’t have to translate for you.  In Spanish we find “y con tu espíritu”.  In Catalan, “i amb el vostre esperit”.  In French “et avec votre esprit”.  German has “und mit deinem Geiste”, Russian “i so dukhom tvoim”, Polish “i z duchem twoim”. Croatian and Slovak have the equivalents. All mean “and with your spirit”.  The Chinese say “ye yu nide xinling tongzai”.  Guess what that means. 

In pretty much every vernacular version for Holy Mass, people respond “and with your spirit”.   They seem not to have any problem with this.  The response doesn’t cause them to panic.  They don’t become disoriented and faint or run out of church.  Even though they refer to his “spirit”, they know they are responding to the celebrant or deacon. 

In time to come when people are greeted and must subsequently respond in the manner Christians have used since the early centuries of the Church, and as they actually do today across the whole of the globe, I doubt we will encounter, as enemies of the new translation suggest, cases of the vapors or rebellion in the pews.

When you make your own explanation of “et cum spiritu tuo, and you ought to be prepared to do so, you must recognize that “and also with you” is indeed correct in terms of a biblical, a scriptural approach to the Latin.  Spiritus has its roots in Greek psyche, or bodily life force, and Hebrew nephesh, or life essence. 

Recapping…. Jungmann correctly explained  how “et cum spiritu tuo” harks to a Semitism: Latin spiritus, translating the Greek and Hebrew, effectively means the person, “you”.  We all therefore admit that – NB:when you have your Scripture scholar’s interpretive glasses on, “and also with you” is an accurate translation of “et cum spiritu tuo” even though it isn’t a literal translation of the Latin.    

On the other hand, Biblical positivism is not the best approach in every case in translating a liturgical text, even one with its roots in Scripture

Latin liturgical texts constitute their own legitimate theological source.  The Latin must be respected.  This is why the norms for translation laid down in the document Liturgiam authenticam require a closer adherence to the Latin original. 

Translation of liturgical texts is not the equivalent of translation of Scripture, even when the liturgical text is taken from Scripture.  Once a text is used in the Church’s liturgical worship, it begins to live a life of its own, even though it is never divorced from its origin.  Joseph Ratzinger in his book Spirit of the Liturgy explained this in regard to a similarly controversial issue, the translation of “pro multis” in the consecration form for the Precious Blood. 

Regarding our text of interest, “et cum spiritu tuo”, there is a deep tradition, attested to in the Fathers of the Church (e.g., the preaching of St. John Chrysostom – +407), whereby spiritus is identified as a characteristic which distinguishes the ordained from the laity. 

This is not, as some might riposte, a kind of “clericalism”, an exaltation of the ordained over and against the non-ordained.  

When the congregation (which might include clergy) say “and with your spirit”, they recognize the special role the bishop or priest (at times deacon) has in the sacred action.   This is not an exaltation of the clergy.  Spiritus is that characteristic which marks certain men for ministry in the interest of the whole Body of Christ, the Church

This tradition is important enough, and old enough, that it simply cannot be overridden by a biblical positivistic approach, as if the aboriginal linguistic considerations evacuated the liturgical text of its own content. 

In cases where there is a sharp conflict of interpretations, greater consideration can be given to weighing the merit of the biblicist’s approach. But we must not be biblical positivists and fall into the trap of thinking that Scripture alone is sufficient to settle every issue.  To my mind, the “Semitic roots” element proposed by those who favor a more Scriptural approach is not strong enough to displace the millennium and a half tradition of the “role distinction” or “ecclesiological” element

Nor is there a conflict between these two ways of interpreting “et cum spiritu tuoThe two understandings of the response complement each other.  They can both be explained so as to enrich the congregation’s understanding of what they are saying. 

But the fact that the norms of Liturgiam authenticam require a closer adherence to the Latin original, the fact that the Latin original constitutes its own theological source, the fact of the centuries long tradition of interpretation of spiritus as marking the ordained, together outweigh – insofar as a liturgical translation is concerned – the positivistic approach of the biblical scholar or the argument that people are used to what we say now.

Let me take this in another direction.

“And also with you”, which – Semitism or not – is commonplace, doesn’t convey anything either very deep or even very interesting.   You say it as a matter of routine. You move on without a second thought.  “And with your spirit”, precisely because it is not commonplace, invites a person – and the priest who hears it – to be more engaged with the content of that response.  Something unusual and meaningful has just been uttered.

Here is a proposal. 

Let “and with your spirit” very quickly become for bishops, priests and deacons, an exhortation to humility and service

Every time the ordained hear this response, let them take it as both a mark of support from the congregation in their ministry as well as a plea, nay rather, a goad to serve them well. 

Lay people, when you begin saying “and with your spirit”, know that you are saying something profound about Christ’s will for Holy Church and your own role.  It is by Christ’s own design that men are ordained to put order into the Church and to serve.  They teach, govern and sanctify.  Lay people expect from the ordained what they need to fulfill their vocation to shape the world.   

I hope that “and with your spirit” will in time to come to be a part of a far more profound conversation than what takes place at present.  It will underscore the relationship between the priest or deacon standing in the liturgical action for Christ the Head with Christ the Body, both together through ordination and baptism and therefore differing complementary roles being Christus Totus, the Eternal Priest raising prayers and praise with the Holy Spirit to the Father.

At this point you should be well-prepared to explain the why “et cum spiritu tuo must be rendered as “and with your spirit”.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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37 Responses to Wherein Fr. Z drills into “And with your spirit” and makes a proposal

  1. anj says:

    must be rendered?

    Better is the hieratic “and with thy spirit”.

  2. “Latin liturgical texts constitute their own legitimate theological source. The Latin must be respected.”

    I agree with that… but is there some document of the Church which states as much? I encounter a fair amount of resistance to the authority of the Latin texts in certain liturgical-discussion circles.

  3. Elly says:

    Father Z, thank you- I was wondering about that.

  4. Jeffrey: As I wrote, above, “Joseph Ratzinger in his book Spirit of the Liturgy explained this in regard to a similarly controversial issue, the translation of “pro multis” in the consecration form for the Precious Blood.”

  5. Christopher Gainey says:

    I started using “and with your spirit” about 7-8 years ago, when I first became aware of coming changes. I just accepted it as more accurate. Now I understand it, thanks to this post. Thanks, Father.

  6. CharlesG says:

    Even if the phrase “and with your spirit” was originally just a Semitic parallelism, why shouldn’t that be a reason to keep it? What a wonderful evocation of Biblical Hebrew poetry and style of speaking, as well as a wonderful reminder of the Jewish milieu in which the liturgy first developed in apostolic times. Plus, keeping the phrase also leaves room for St. John Chrysostom’s interpretation as well for those who find that valuable.

  7. CharlesG says:

    Jeffrey Pinyan: I think Liturgiam Authenticam says something about respecting Latin liturgical texts.

  8. I think that the connection to the indellible charachter of the ordained is impotant not to forget. So too, the indellible character of the baptized as being the eternal soul connected to our triune God and even our confirmed enscripted soul that is to march as God’s army on Earth. So often we center life upon nd around people. This character of our soul is the incarnation of our lives by God by which we are animated (nb: animation is ensouled or as Webster puts it “Full of Life”). Without this life from God, we are still only dust. Sadly and all too often, we want to just exist or be known for who we are, and not He who does great things, is all good, all loving and what he can do through us.

  9. luiz says:

    In Portuguese, the answer is “Ele está no meio de nós” (He is among us) and not “E com o vosso espírito” or “E com o teu espírito” (both meaning “And with thy spirit”). [In Brazil? Portugal?]

    Actually, there are lots of errors in the portuguese translation of the missal. Father Luís Gonzaga da Silveira d’Elboux published a list of 114 mistranslations in the archdiocesan newspaper “A Cruz” (Rio de Janeiro, November 11th, 1969). For example:

    Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem: E peço à Virgem Maria
    Et cum spiritu tuo: Ele está no meio de nós
    fiet potus spiritualis: se vai tornar vinho da salvação (is going to be the wine of salvation)
    meum ac vestrum sacrificium: o nosso sacrifício (our sacrifice)
    corporali jejunio: pela penitência desta quaresma (for the penance of this lent)
    in unius Trinitate substantiae: Três pessoas num só Deus (Three persons in one God)
    vitam nobis donavit aeternam: deu-nos a vida (has given us the life)
    haec dona, haec munera: estas oferendas (these offerings)
    haec santa sacrificia ilibata: none
    in primis… pro Ecclesia tua sancta catholica: pela vossa Igreja (for your Church)
    et hunc praeclarum calicem: o cálice (the calix)
    hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam: o sacrifício perfeito e santo (the holy and perfect sacrifice)
    famulorum famularumque: dos vossos filhos e filhas (of your sons and daughters)
    et cum spiritu tuo: o amor de Cristo nos uniu (the love of Christ has gathered/united us)
    et sanabitur anima mea: e serei salvo (and I will be saved)
    Ite, missa est: Vamos em paz e o Senhor nos acompanhe (Go in peace and may the Lord be with us)

  10. Tom in NY says:

    In Ruth 2:4, both Boaz and his reapers greet each other with the Tetragrammaton, which the LXX brings through as Κυριος. Natually, the Vg. follows as Dominus. The four citations from St. Paul have πνευματος. The Vg. follows with spiritus. But how is spiritus a descendant of a semitism?
    Our liturgy doesn’t need to be Bible word-for-word. The quotation from Chrysostom is apt. The recommendation for clerics is indeed a high-powered idea.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  11. PghCath says:

    Fr.,

    I think your idea of viewing “and with your spirit” as an “an exhortation to humility and service” is great. While I’ve long understood the theology of the phrase, I’ve never thought of it as an exhortation.

    On an unrelated note, I love the “Keep Calm and Wdtprs.Com” picture you’ve been using lately. Have you thought of making that into a mug or t-shirt – especially in light of the Holy Father’s visit to the UK? I’d buy one. . .

  12. When Jewish people drill into the Torah or their traditional, non-Biblical prayers, they are the first ones to seize upon every little word and parallelism and poetic device as having deep meanings on the surface and deeper meanings as you go along, and connect to other usages of the same word.

    There isn’t any “it’s just a synonym” in either traditional Jewish or Catholic interpretation styles. The medium has always been considered an important part of the message, and nothing is considered as just a chance of language or poetic choice. That’s part of what “inspired” is all about.

    Even if you were just considering the Mass as literature, you would be forced to consider the wording important to the intent. How much more should we be impressed by the distilled teaching of the Church down the centuries, leading to such an exchange of greetings being continued from the earliest times?

  13. Pgh: Have you thought

    Thanks for that feedback. Yes, indeed I have! I am trying to figure out the best approach.

  14. luiz says:

    In Brazil!

  15. luiz says:

    Nowadays, instead of “Vamos em paz e que o Senhor nos acompanhe” (Let us go in peace, and may the Lord be with us). The latest form is “Ide em paz e que o Senhor vos acompanhe” (Go in peace and may the Lord be with you).

    I think Father D’Elboux used the first edition of the MR Portuguese translation for his comparison.

    There is also a very common liturgical abuse. Priests use to say “O Senhor esteja com vocês” (instead of “O Senhor esteja convosco”). Você is a contraction of Vossa Mercê, used for polite treatment (like Vossa Santidade, Vossa Alteza, Vossa Majestade, Vossa Graça etc). In Brazil, it is the ordinary form of treatment (it has lost the original meaning of majestatic plural), but in Portugal the distinction remains. I myself try to use ‘tu’ only with my friends and family…

  16. Nathan says:

    Father Z, your argument and proposal is full of clear logic and reasoning, as usual. I suppose I’m being naive and nostalgic, but this discussion makes me long for the days when something like “and with your spirit” would be accepted simply because that was what we received from prior generations of Catholics, especially from the saints.

    In Christ,

  17. Dave N. says:

    Seems to me that an unresolved issue in the English translation is that the biblical text in Ruth doesn’t say “The [tetragrammaton] BE with you, but rather a recognition that, [tetragrammaton] IS with you (language similar to “immanu-el”).

    In Biblical Hebrew there are perfectly good ways of expressing wishes, desires or polite commands, and they aren’t used here–the “BE” or “MAY HE BE” would be expressed through the use of a jussive form of the verb “to be” rather than a simple copula (X “is” Y). And of course the same could be said of “Dominus vobiscum” and the Greek citations listed by Jungmann–they all use the copula.

    We really shouldn’t be appearing to order God around in the liturgy, imo, and there’s no textual justification for it that I can find.

    Of course this is only a(nother) problem in the ENGLISH translation. If we stick to Latin, no problem. :)

  18. SonofMonica says:

    Fr. Z,

    Make the whole shirt red, instead of a red block on a white shirt, and I’ll buy one :-)

  19. Denis Crnkovic says:

    “we employ in its place a phrase which means almost the same thing: Et cum spiritu tuo, a formula which betrays its Hebrew origin and has many parallels in St. Paul”

    Here Jungmann makes a leap of logic that doesn’t seem to hold up on examination. As Tom in NY and Dave N. have pointed out, the linguistic connexions between the Hebrew of Ruth, the Greek of the Septuagint and the Greek and Latin of the cited passages from the NT are not that strong. The Hebrew contains no specific reference to the spirit or nephesh, so that the relationship between Booz’s greeting to the reapers and the greetings of the Apostles to the disciples are not really the same. Indeed, Jungmann has to hedge his wording by asserting that the phrases “mean almost the same thing.” “Almost” is the key term here and leaves open the possibility that a crucial nuance of meaning is missing when the word “spirit” is left out. I think it difficult to call the phrase “And also with you” an accurate translation of the Latin, when it really represents a paraphrase of the translation “And with thy spirit”.* Nor am I certain that the paraphrase gives a complete representation of the original Latin spiritus or of the original Greek expressions using pneuma, since both these words clearly emphasize the spiritual aspect of human nature.

    These things having been said, the new translations are more welcome than the old. I recall the transitional days in the late 1960s, before the introduction of the so-called Paul VI Missal in 1971, days when entire congregations of Catholics responded using the translation “And with your spirit,” without confusion or awkwardness.

    ———
    *I use the singular “thy” here not to make a statement, but to reflect the singular form tuo in the Latin.

  20. Dave N. says:

    The Hebrew contains no specific reference to the spirit or nephesh

    Correct (nor “ruach”–e.g Gn 45:27, nor “neshamah” or anything of the sort). Jungmann’s semitism argument is weak unless he presents more than we don’t have here.

  21. Fr. W says:

    Not counting the Prayers at the Foot and the Last gospel, ‘Et Cum Spiritu Tuo’ is repeated 7 times. Gihr refers to this, saying ‘this formula of salutation does not occur seven times, as is often erroneously asserted, but eight times.’ – But it depends on how you count! So it is possible that during the development of the Mass, some holy men got it up to 7 times to call to mind the Holy Spirit (later developments changing that number.)

    Bottom line, Gihr reminds us that Chrysostom says ‘by the cry ‘And with Thy Spirit’ we are reminded that he who stands at the altar does nothing, but that the grace of the Holy Ghost is present and, descending on all, accomplishes this mysterious Sacrifice.’

    Vatican II scholars were embarrassed that we in the west do not invoke the Holy Spirit much at Mass (compared to the East). They failed to notice that the Holy Spirit is continually called upon.

  22. A red KEEP CALM WDTPRS shirt is almost ready for purchase.

    KEEP CALM WDTPRS.COM

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    Can’t wait to use the new translation. =)

  24. polski says:

    I don’t get why it’s such a big deal to keep the literal translation and why it was changed. I belong to a Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic church and we always say and with your spirit. We changed the venacular to English yet we still preserve the literal tranlation. I cannot for the life of me understand why people would be upset by this. You would think that people would like an authentic translation. That’s life I guess. I’ll just continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide this new translation and bring the faithful to embrace the literal translation.

  25. catholicmidwest says:

    Funny Catholic moment:

    Years ago, I went to see Star Wars at a movie theater when it was brand new. The first time some character in the movie said, “The force be with you,” there was a definite, confident and subconscious reply by about 1/4 of the audience sitting there in the dark: “And also with you,” followed by giggling, lots of giggling. You could just about tell how many Catholics were in the movie theater that night.

    Perhaps “And with your spirit” is more religious and sensible. I can’t imagine that having been the reply that night. “And also with you,” is so…well, casual.

  26. Manuel says:

    Thank you for the explanation Fr. Z. As a Classicist and native Spanish speaker I have always wondered why Spanish preserves the literal translation but the English is way off. Sometimes I compare the collects also (with your detailed explanations) and have found that the Spanish is much closer to the Latin than English. I think it is good they are finally fixing all of this, of course we could just go to all Latin all the time but that’s just me.

  27. Grabski says:

    It’s not ‘and also with you’ in Polish! It’s ‘and with your spirit’

    Why did ICEL cut us off from the rest of the Catholic world. As with ‘We believe”, et al.

    It’s about time we edge back from Roman Protestantism.

  28. AnAmericanMother says:

    Father, I really, really like that shirt!

  29. AnAmericanMother says:

    Catholicmidwest,

    My daughter says it out loud. She hangs out with a bunch of Star Wars geeks. She’ll have to change it to the new translation, I guess.

  30. steve14530 says:

    For what it is worth the Anglicans used “And with your spirit” until after V2. It is still used in the traditional language version of the BCP 1979.

  31. AnAmericanMother says:

    Steve,

    Slight correction: it is “and with thy spirit” in both the old BCP and the “Rite One” in the ’79 book.

    I still mourn the passing of the second-person singular in English. It was very useful – more of that “setting apart” of the holy.

  32. How about a more ‘mechanical’ interpretation. “The Lord be with you”? Great. “And with your spirit”. Even better. Closer. More blessing. God within a man’s soul. Few things better than that.
    The Hebrew of Boaz’s greeting clearly says: “God with you”–literally. The “be with you” implied but not said. The reapers’ response: “May God bless you” is also literally what is said. It’s not just about hierarchy or pneumatology. Most landowners and reapers of the time weren’t thinking about stuff like that. But there is an increase, a ‘raising of the ante’, as it were. Not only has good Boaz let us reap these fields according to the law, he has wished God to be with us. He didn’t have to do that, according to the law. What a cool dude! Let’s do something even better for him. Let’s ask God to bless him. “God bless you, good Boaz”. The priest, as representative of the Master of the Harvest, not only allows us to feed, but greets us. We ought to respond with even greater gratitude. Just a thought.

  33. rinkevichjm says:

    Fr Z:
    Your analysis lacks an understanding of Church Latin and Indo-European (IE) Languages. [Indeed?] In Latin “cum” is a preposition that takes the ABLATIVE and forms what is/was an instrumental expression in most IE languages, implying that it’s object is subservient to (or commanded by) the noun in the nominative: in this case the noun Dominus (Lord) and thus the people are responding by saying that the Lord is in charge of the priest’s spirit (thus implying he is to lead the people) this doesn’t come across in the English translation “And with your (thy) spirit” and a far better translation would be “And leads with your spirit” Also “Dominus vobiscum” would be better translated “The Lord commands you” for similar reasons. [It may be that you have over-analyzed this. But it is interesting.] Liturgical translations should be literary and not merely literal. OTH the Lithuanian translation “Ir su dvasia” is not only a literal word for word translation it’s also literary as it is equivalent to “Ir dvasia” as dvasia is an instrumental word (dvasia(=spirit)) (the preposition su is used to emphasize that it is instrumental and not a nominative as they have the same pronunciation and spelling).

  34. pH says:

    Forgive this rant but I/we have had to put up with: The Lord is with you (after the Deacon has said, The Lord be with you); Almighty and ever-LOVING God; the deletion of “men” in the Symbol of Faith (the pastor thinks he is an ecumenical council and has even given us copies of “Good Goats” – the Apocatastasis/Universal Restoration lives;all the lectors, servers, and misters of Holy Communion gathering around the “table” for the Our Father; the deletion of the beautiful prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles…”; and changing his communion to “The Body of Christ, to which all the people say, “Amen.” Just a few years ago, the pastor changed the words of institution to, “This is my body, broken for you.” At least he stopped doing that.One might well wonder whether that was a valid consecration. “It is enouch,” as Elijah/Mendelssohn exclaimed. All the above is/are so blatantly disunitive, one need not wonder why the two churches in our parish are about to implode.

    ph

  35. pH says:

    I wanted to add that when we begin to respond, “And with your spirit,” our pastor may become increasingly aware not only of who he is during the Litugy but also that he may remember the vows/promises of obedience he made to the Bishop and Holy Mother Church,i.e., the whole Church, and not just those of us gathered together in the church at the moment.

    Please remember that Benedict XVI has said more than once that we must translate the Latin texts of the Mass and not Sacred Scripture, e.g., “pro multis” must be translated as “many” and not “all.” The Priest and Deacon will have ample opportunity to explain the meaning. May the Holy Spirit be with them.

    That is enough for me.

    pH

  36. Adam W. says:

    I had dinner the other night with an older couple from the church I grew up in (they were sort of my surrogate grandparents). Somehow, the new translation comes up- they are very upset about the whole thing.

    One of the issues that came up was “and with your spirit.” Argument against? Not a horizontal theology, not a loosening of the roles of ordained and lay. Just, “It’s stupid.” By which I assume was meant, “It’s different, and I don’t like things that are different.”
    I think that attitude is much more common among the dissenters than any problem with the theological implications of the translation. In fact, I think any theological arguments against the new translation are really just second-hand justifications for an irrational dislike based on, “This is different, and I don’t like different.”

    And it is possible to be a liberal/progressive and still prefer (or at least see the value of) the new texts. There’s at least me, for example.
    And there are plenty of liberals, progressives, and out-right heretics who pray in a much-better-translated romance language or in Latin itself. “Your spirit,” “pro multis,” and “under my roof” hasn’t stopped any of them from their horizontal theology or anti-clericalism or whatever, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

    And the idea, oft-touted by my fellow liberals, that (their) theology should influence translations from Latin is not just absurd, but scary: If liberals can hijack the liturgy to promote their theology, then everyone else can too. Let the text speak for itself. (Say the black, do the red.) Then, at least, we can be arguing about the same thing.