Saturday after Ash Wednesday: Super Oblata

We continue our Lenten journey through the prayers of Holy Mass with today’s

Suscipe, quaesumus, Domine,
sacrificium placationis et laudis,
et praesta, ut, huius operatione mundati,
beneplacitum tibi nostrae mentis offeramus affectum.

This prayer had its forerunner in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary for feria vii (Saturday) in Quinquagesima. This reminds is that this week was in ancient time before the beginning of Lent which really began on Sunday. The prayer was also in the pre-Conciliar Missale Romanum for Saturday after Ash Wednesday though it was slightly different: "Suscipe, Domine, sacrficium, cuius te voluisti dignanter immolatione placari: praesta, quaesumus;…" This is also used on the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Blaise/Chirat explains that operatio is fundamentally God’s creative work. Thus is can be applied to His acts such as miracles or the effects of grace in us, especially the effect of the Eucharist. It is action of grace. The great The Lewis & Short Latin Dictionary reveals that affectus means "A state of body, and esp. of mind produced in one by some influence, a state or disposition of mind, affection, mood: Love, desire, fondness, good-will, compassion, sympathy." I think for mens here, we ought to say "soul". Mens fundamentally means “mind”. In biblical language “heart” and “mind” are often interchangeable concepts. As a matter of fact, this “heart/mind” concept in biblical contexts can point to the whole person. In the work on liturgical Latin Blaise/Dumas we mind in the entry for mens “l’âme, l’esprit (opp. au corps)… soul, spirit (as opposed to body)”.


Accept, we entreat You, O Lord,
the sacrifice of appeasment and of praise,
and grant, that cleansed by this grace filled action,
we may offer the well-pleasing disposition of our soul.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tom says:

    NLC translation:

    Accept, we pray You, Lord, this sacrifice which we make to appease and praise You. May it wash away our sins and enable us to offer up hearts that are pleasing to You.

  2. Andrew says:

    Everyone has “accipe” as “accept”. I am not so sure. There is a difference between “accipe” and “suscipe” and I am not sure how to account for it, but I sense a slightly different connotation in “suscipe” which is more like “take up” and not so much “accept”.

  3. Lame duck ICEL version:

    receive our sacrifice of praise and reconciliation.
    Let it free us from sin
    and enable us to give you loving service.

    This is a notable ICEL prayer in that the word “sacrifice” survives in English, right there in plain view. Otherwise, more typically, we direct God to “receive” our … rather than entreating him to accept it, and of course “lov” gets in there by hook or by crook. Why does ICEL’s “reconciliation” instead of appeasement or “placation” seem to suggest the possibility of God getting right with us? Or at least a peer-to-peer transaction?

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