An exploration of two Collects, Extraordinary Form and Ordinary

This morning I used the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for Holy Mass, as is my wont, and therefore celebrated the feast of St. John Eudes.   But one of our long-time readers alerted me to the differences between the Collect of the EF and the Collect for St. John’s day in the Ordinary Form (also today).

Shall we have a look?

Let’s compare the Collects for St. John Eudes in both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form.

1962
Deus, qui beatum Ioannem, Confessorem tuum,
ad cultum sacrorum Cordium Iesu et Mariae rite promovendum,
mirabiliter inflammasti,
et per eum novas in Ecclesia tua familias congregare voluisti:
praesta, quaesumus;
ut, cuius pia merita veneramur,
virtutum quoque instruamur exemplis
.

2002 (1970 etc):
Deus, qui beatum Ioannem presbyterum
ad annuntiandum investigabilies Christi divitias
mirabiliter elegisti,
da nobis, eius exemplo et monitis,
ut, in tua scientiae crescentes,
secundum Evangelii lumen fideliter conversemur
.

1962:
O God, Who wondrously enkindled St. John, Your Confessor, to promote the religious veneration of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and through him willed to found new religious families in the Church; grant, we beseech You, that we may honor his holy merits and may learn from the example of his virtues.

1973 ICEL:
Father, you chose the priest John Eudes to preach the infinite riches of Christ. By his teaching and example help us to know you better and live faithfully in the light of the gospel.

2011 ICEL:
O God, who wonderfully chose the Priest Saint John Eudes to proclaim the unfathomable riches of Christ, grant us, by his example and teachings, that, growing in knowledge of you, we may live faithfully by the light of the Gospel.

You see… it isn’t just the faults of the 1973 that changed the theology of prayers.  The Latin prayers themselves were changed.

Observations?

What sense do you get from the different prayers?

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15 Responses to An exploration of two Collects, Extraordinary Form and Ordinary

  1. jasoncpetty says:

    1962: Amen.
    1970: Aw man.

  2. Gregory DiPippo says:

    When the feast of the Immaculate Heart was extended to the universal Church by Pope Pius XII, it was a double of the second class, i.e., second of six grades of feasts. With the reform of 1960, now known as the Extraordinary Form, it became “II class”, i.e. second of three grades (still fairly respectable). With the rite of Paul VI, it was downgraded to the lowest of four grades (optional memorial), and I suspect this downgrading of the Immaculate Heart is the motive behind the elimination of all reference to the great life’s work of St. John from his collect. (In the most recent revision of the new missal, Immaculate Heart was bumped up to obligatory memorial.)

  3. teevor says:

    My two cents:
    1. The prayer has been stripped of its specificity and complexity, and made more generic, doubtless to make it more “accessible”
    2. It has been made less Catholic, by de-emphasizing the veneration of St. John himself and (obviously) removing reference to the devotion to the Sacred Heart
    Another example of how, while the Novus Ordo itself can be quite beautiful and reverent, the EF is always just that much more beautiful, reverent and of course, Catholic.

  4. Pachomius says:

    My first thought on reading the 1970s Latin was that I wasn’t aware of the feast of St John the Presbyter.

    One thing the ‘reform of the reform’ could do which would (a) upset very few people, but (b) satisfy quite a lot of others (since, frankly, most people who aren’t priests don’t notice/care about the collects much either way) would be to restore the EF collects to their proper feast days in the OF, and, if possible, reseat the OF on the old calendar as far as is possible (obviously, allowance for new saints since the OF would need to be made, and their appropriate ranking be considered).

    The only problem I can see about this is that it would spark (a) certain quarters to talk endlessly about how we should all just go back to the EF anyway, (b) grumbles in other quarters about being ‘backwards-looking, and (c) would open up all sorts of arguments over the quality of the collects (certain… unusual bloggers being of the opinion that “Munificentissimus Deus” and the Holy Week reforms make Pius XII an Antichrist…). But provided it was done quietly and slowly enough, I doubt most people would notice it was happening.

  5. digdigby says:

    teevor:
    Elegantly precise and sublimely calm and thoughtful ‘two cents’.

  6. O God, Who wondrously enkindled St. John, Your Confessor, to promote the religious veneration of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and through him willed to found new religious families in the Church; grant, we beseech You, that we may honor his holy merits and may learn from the example of his virtues.

    This prayer tells me a bit about St. John: he promoted devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, and he founded multiple religious orders. It also encourages me to form a devotion to said Hearts, and teaches that religious orders are part of God’s will for the Church. This implies to me that the Church is not about a generic one-size-fits-all spirituality, but about a celebration of many members with different charisms.

    O God, who wonderfully chose the Priest Saint John Eudes to proclaim the unfathomable riches of Christ, grant us, by his example and teachings, that, growing in knowledge of you, we may live faithfully by the light of the Gospel.

    This prayer does not tell me anything specific about St. John, or particular to him. He’s just one of many saints whose example (what example?) and teachings (what teachings?) help us live faithful Christian lives.

  7. For some time, I’ve examined daily both the OF and the EF collect in both Latin and English, and have come to the conclusion that the collects generally were weakened even more in going from the (EF) 1962 Latin to the (OF) 1970 Latin, than from the 1970 Latin to the 1973 ICEL English.

    As a result, one sees essentially the same weakness (as in this post) when you compare the new corrected 2011 English with the 1962 Latin for a typical feast.

    Today’s collects illustrate the pattern that the dilution frequently is greatest on saints’ days, when what is particular about the individual saint’s merit and glory–and often pertains to some specific feature of traditional devotion (like the sacred and immaculate hearts today)–is deleted from the collect, and replaced with generic phraseology that could be applied to most any saint.

    With this done to collects throughout the missal, the result is a collective loss of much of the traditional flavor of the liturgy.

  8. everett says:

    To follow up on Henry’s point comment, the removal of specifics doesn’t just lose the “traditional flavor” – it also costs us valuable catechesis on the saints. There are so many wonderful saints in the history of the Church, and the prayers of the liturgy are one more way to give brief overviews of who they are/what they did.

  9. Dr. Eric says:

    The shift in the prayers makes me think that it’s a good thing that I believe in the Petrine Primacy and in the 22 Councils of the Church, otherwise I’d be Orthodox. They are at least smart enough and venerate their Liturgies enough not to monkey around with them. In the last 70 years it has been “anything goes” with the Latin Liturgy- it’s like Cole Porter is writing the parts.

  10. Centristian says:

    It seems to me that the pre-reform collect was a bit forced. Those details perhaps render it a bit unwieldy. Not alot of poetry to it. Not very liturgical sounding, at least in my opinion.

    The 1973 version is better in some ways; it’s more Christocentric, for one thing. Like most of the texts of the current Sacramentary, however, it’s just too simplistic.

    The current translation corrects the over-simplification seen in the bare-bones 1973 version while retaining the Christ-focused flavour of it. Of the three, this collect, to me, has the most liturgical “aroma” about it.

    @Pachomius:

    “(certain… unusual bloggers being of the opinion that “Munificentissimus Deus” and the Holy Week reforms make Pius XII an Antichrist…).”

    You make me laugh. That’s too funny.

  11. tealady24 says:

    The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are only mentioned in the 1962 prayer; there is no sense in the more current versions that it will be through these two hearts that the world will be converted and we need to keep praying always for this. Also, there is a humility about the 1962 prayer that I don’t feel with the others.
    Just sayin’

  12. Centristian: “It seems to me that the pre-reform collect was a bit forced. Those details perhaps render it a bit unwieldy. Not alot of poetry to it. Not very liturgical sounding, at least in my opinion.

    Of course you realize that the pre-reform English translation–to which I assume you’re referring–is simply an unofficial hand missal translation. Hence, intended more to render the literal meaning for silent reading and to assist in understanding the Latin, rather than to present a “liturgical sounding” prayer in the post-reform sense of one that is smoothly proclaimable aloud.

    In pre-reform days, the whole poetic emphasis was in the Latin, that being the version that was proclaimed liturgically. For a vernacular translation to actually be used in vernacular celebration of the older Mass, one would expect an effort to provide the poetry that was never a goal in hand missal translations. (And, indeed, I think one can see this in Anglican missal translations.)

  13. JonPatrick says:

    This morning I attended a nearby EF Mass and Father gave a short homily about St. John Eudes, about his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, and about how he fought against the heresy of Jansenism which was quite prevalent at that time. It’s funny, when I started out this morning, I looked at my missal and thought “St. John who?”. By the time Mass was over I understood just how significant he was, and how all these saints are saints for a reason. That’s what I love about Catholicism, there is so much richness to it, so much to learn. (Also it was wonderful to be able to go to confession and unburden myself of a sin that had been bothering me all week, and I felt so much peace after receiving the Body of Christ.)

  14. Ioannes Andreades says:

    The gerund phrase (why not gerundive?!), “ad annuntiandum investigabiles Christi divitias,” harkens back to the phrase from Ephesians, “…in gentibus evangelizare ininvestigabiles divitias Christi.” Am not clear on whether the word should be ininvestigabiles or investigabiles. Elsewhere investigabiles retains its literal sense, being used to modify gressus and viae, so the use in Ephesians seems somewhat catachrestic. On the other hand, the delightful metaphors inflammasti and congregare have been done away with as well as the connection of Christ with his mother and the phrase, “novas in Ecclesia tua familias.” So why would this echo with Ephesians have been introduced? Why would it be helpful to draw the parallel between St. John Eudes and the epistler to the Ephesians? Am not an expert on St. John Eudes. Any ideas or is it a distracting red herring?

  15. Pachomius says:

    Centristian – Sadly, the person in question seems to genuinely believe it.