WDTPRS Friday after Ash Wednesday – Post communionem (2002MR)

WDTPRS Friday after Ash Wednesday – Post communionem (2002MR)

I am not sure about the origin of this prayer.  It seems to be comprised of prayers in ancient sacramentaries, such as the Gelasian and Veronese and the Hadrianum and Paduense manuscripts of the Gregorian.  I don’t think it was in the post-Tridentine editions of the Missale Romanum.

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,
ut, huius participatione mysterii
a delictis omnibus expiati,
remediis tuae pietatis aptemur.

I note especially that the prayer speaks not in terms of participation in the "mysteries", but in the "mystery".  Mysterium in liturgical prayer can often be interchanged with sacramentum

The verb apto, which is in the Super oblata for the First Sunday of Lent, can have complicated theological overtones. In L&S you will see that it means “to fit, adapt, accommodate, apply, put on, adjust,” etc.  It is often used with the dative: to make apt or fit for something.  It is also “to prepare, get ready, furnish, put in order” and is constructed with the dative or ad.  Sometime the ablative is used to indicate that with which something is fitted, furnished, or provided.   Thus, since remediis could be either dative or ablative we might argue that ut… remediis … aptemur means either, “make us apt/suitable/ready to for the sacraments/mysteries” or “make us fit by means of these remedies/cures.”  You might want to say “worthy” or “properly disposed.”   Sometimes you will see apto with sacramentis

Expio is "to make satisfaction, amends, atonement for a crime or a criminal; to purify any thing defiled with crime; to atone for, to expiate, purge by sacrifice".

Pietas when applied to man means "dutifulness".  When applied to God it means "mercy".

We beseech You, Almighty God,
that, having made satisfaction for all trespasses,
by the participation of this mystery,
we may be made properly disposed for the remedies of Your mercy

I am amused by the position of that comma: expiati, …. Perhaps some of you might have opinions.

We know that there was no punctuation in ancient times, but this isn’t really an ancient prayer.

Remember that every Holy Mass should be a participation in MYSTERY.  You will come and go and be in this mood or that.  But every Mass should at least an occasion for a meeting with mystery. If a Mass doesn’t offer you this, it has failed.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Joan Ellen says:

    “Remember that every Holy Mass should be a participation in MYSTERY.”

    When I attend a NO Mass I sit in the back, keep my head down with eyes closed, in order to listen, to connect and thereby to participate in the MYSTERY of the Mass.

    This seems to be rude, but is more peaceful for my soul. It sure helps to keep me focused on the MYSTERY and not on the space, time, and people where I am worshiping, or trying to worship.

    It’s better for my soul to lighten up after Mass in the vestibule or with coffee, etc. in the parish center.

  2. therese b says:

    I have just returned from a lovely Low Mass – and with only ten or so present, it was certainly silent enough.
    Interestingly, although my (St Andrew 1954) missal does not show the Latin next to the English for postcommunions, neither the prescribed nor the additional postcommunions seem to correspond to this. (Some of the translations elsewhere, say for the Prayer to St Michael) are a bit different as well).

  3. Athanasius says:

    Father, I’m not sure what your difficulty with the comma is. It simply marks off the whole of the participial clause (huius… expiati) from the ut clause that it is contained within, i.e. ‘so that, [when we have been] expiated through the participation in this mystery from all faults, we are made worthy of the remedies of your mercy’. It looks pretty standard to me.

    Apologies if I’ve missed something.

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