From a reader:
I’ve been having a friendly disagreement with a priest that I know, and maybe you can give me an answer: at the end of Mass, the priest will say the word “Prosit,” and the servers respond “Pro omnibus et singulis.” I was taught to say it thus, but the priest I know contends that that way makes no sense, and it should be “pro singulis et omnibus.” (Singulis and omnibus are switched) Do you have a resource that I could refer to for the history of this small prayer? Or even access to a book about the Mass that would have it recorded, so that I can settle this in my own mind?
A fine custom which should be revived everywhere.
First, I have always heard “omnibus et singulis“, not the other way around. Also, you really don’t need the “pro“, although it doesn’t hurt anyone severely. The verb prosit would have a dative “object” (though it isn’t really an object).
I have also heard in places a simple “tibi quoque” or “vobis quoque“.
In any event, one of the servers could also add, as he kneels, “Iube, Domne, benedicere!”, by which he asks for the priest’s blessing for the servers (or for himself alone as the case may be).
The paring of “omnibus et singulis” isn’t all that common in ancient texts. You find them, of course, but not usually quite like this. I suspect this is a later, juridical common phrase.
In any event, it should today be a daily common phrase, heard in every sacristy in the world.