Concede, misericors Deus,
ut, quod paschalibus exsequimur institutis,
fructiferum nobis omni tempore sentiamus.
This prayer was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum, but it is to be found, exactly as is, in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary. This does not seem to be based on a Scriptural or Patristic reference. Who ever composed this prayer was a master of the content and the language.
Remember that exsequor can mean a range of things from “follow, pursue” to “carry out, execute, accomplish”. Blaise/Dumas also reminded us a while back that exsequor can be applied to carrying out a ministry, fulfilling the commandments or celebrating the sacred mysteries. Fructifer is an adjective means “fruitful, fruit bearing”. I haven’t found any uses of it as a substantive, which helps us piece the thing together. Blaise/Dumas indicates that institutum has different shades of meaning in the plural and singular. In the plural it is “institution” and “ce qui a ÃƒÂ©tÃƒÂ© instituÃƒÂ© (par la Providence)”.
This ancient and dense little prayer could be taken is several directions. There is a great deal squeezed into it. I am quite interested to see what some of you might come up with.
O merciful God, grant
that we sense at all times as bearing fruit
that which we are celebrating by means of the paschal mysteries which were instituted.
Maybe you can come up with something for that paschalibus… institutis which gets at the reality of the Easter event, that is, the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord. Blaise/Dumas suggests a singular rendering of the plural instituta. Give it a try.