Let’s look at the so-called “Prayer over the gifts” or Super oblata in use during this 1st Week of Ordinary Time.
Grata tibi sit, quaesumus, Domine, tuae plebis oblatio,
per quam et sanctificationem referat,
et quae pie precatur obtineat.
Ambiguity abounds. The trick in this prayer is the verb refero. It means an avalance of things revolving around the idea of giving something back. So, it is used in phrases of thanking, conveying news, or indicating a source (as in the English word “refer” and “reference”). You need to puzzle over sanctificationem referat, the subject of which is a little hard to discern. It might be oblatio, in which then would mean that the plebs is the means through which sanctification comes, or it might be the plebs making reference to the source of sanctification. The per quam doesn’t help us much, grammatically at least, because both oblatio and plebs are feminine. It helps that precor is nearly always deponent, rather than passive. If precatur is active in meaning then clearly the plebs is begging for something, which makes sense. The oblatio can’t pray. If precatur is a passive (from the rather seldom used preco) then the quae is the thing prayed for and we are again all at sea.
So, resorting to a theological solution I have come up with this:
We beseech You, O Lord, may the offering of Your people be pleasing to You,
by means of which it both may ascribe its sanctification anew,
and it also may obtain what it has dutifully prayed for.
If anyone has another idea feel free to post it. Also, right now I don’t have an ICEL Sacramentary at hand, so I can’t see what sort of hash they made of this rather sticky prayer.