Today’s reworking of an ancient prayer in the Novus Ordo

I was struck by the Novus Ordo today, the so-called "Prayer over the gifts".  It is, in the 2002MR, a reworking of a prayer in the 1962MR, in its own turn from the ancient Gelasian and Hadrianum and Paduense Sacramentaries.

Praesenti sacrificio, quaesumus, Domine,
observantiam nostram sanctifica,
ut, quod quadragesimalis exercitatio profitetur exterius,
interius operetur effectu.

This is a reworked version of a prayer in the 1962MR on Ember Saturday in Lent, in the 1st Week:

SECRET (1962MR):
Praesentibus sacrificiis, quaesumus, Domine,
ieiunia nostra sanctifica:
ut, quod observantia nostra profitetur extrinsecus,
interius operetur

Perhaps some of you will take a crack at these and determine what the differences are.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Given the liberal controlling value of “inclusivity,” it’s strking that it is the TLM prayer is more “inclusive” than the Novus ordo one, in the sense that it recognizes a plurality of sacrifices drawn into the one common observance.

  2. Ian says:

    I’m not the Latin scholar, but what I see here is:

    – The 1962 version employs “these sacrifices” instead of “this sacrifice”
    – The 1962 version specifically refers to “our fasts” as the action by which we ask God to sanctify the sacrifice later
    – The 1962 version then speaks of “observance”
    – The 2002 version refers to our “observance” specifically qualifying it as “Lenten exercises” in the next clause
    – The “ut” / “et” change

    It seems that the primary change is the deemphasis on fasting, substituting other unspecified “Lenten exercises” in its place. That would seem to correspond with the exterior change that we have seen since 1950 in Lent its observance.

  3. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    Ought we to be reading sacrificIo for sacrifiCO? [Of course.]


  4. crazylikeknoxes says:

    “Observantia” pro “ieiuniis.” Obviously fasting is no longer required for Lent (outside of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). Instead, we “observe” the season (whatever that means) more or less as we see fit.

  5. Certainly, there is a qualitative difference – a philosophically important one, between extrinsecus (1962) and exterius (2002). I cannot hash it all the way out, but the latter is rather spatial, while the former speaks to a kind of relationship.

    Also, and perhaps more importantly, the ’62 prayer concludes with an “ut” clause, suggesting a purpose desired and effected in the action of the prayer and sacrifice. The ’02 prayer simply makes a simple succession or requests regarding these. Purpose may of couse be claimed as implicit in the succession, but this raises the question as to why they abandoned the clearer construction in the former prayer.

  6. Roland de Chanson says:

    Slavishly literal OK? ;-)

    2002MR: By the present sacrifice, sanctify our observance, we ask, O Lord, and may that which our Lenten practice proclaims publicly work internally in its effect.

    1962MR: By the present sacrifices, sanctify our fasts, we ask, O Lord, and may that which our observance proclaims publicly, work internally.

    The difference is that the fasts are no more. Just the “lenten practice”, whatever that is.

  7. Thomas says:

    Sometimes I wonder why someone thought they should sit down and make such curious changes.

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I may be out of my depth here, but it seems to me that the 1962 version’s “ut” gives more of a sense of “in order that”, as opposed to “et” which is a simple “and”. Thus the Most High sanctification of the fast will produce the interior results, where the 2002 is a bit less specific in this regard.

  9. Roland de Chanson says:

    Chris Altiere: the ‘62 prayer concludes with an “ut” clause,

    I may be mistaked but I think the ‘et’ is a typo.

    The extrinsecus / exterius distinction may indeed be moot but simple parallelism would suggest “intrinsecus” in the 1962 version.

  10. crazylikeknoxes says:

    Any thoughts on why “effectu” would be added. Does it add to or alter the basic meaning of “interius operetur.”

    Chris A.: I think the difference between the coordinating “et” and purposeful “ut” is more than nominal. In the 1962 version, the Lord is asked to sanctify in order that the observance may have effect. In the 2002 version, we still want our observance/practice to have an effect, but this may or may not come about through the Lord’s sanctification. As with the addition of “effectu,” I would like to know what motivated the change.

  11. crazylikeknoxes says:

    Roland, if “et” is a typo I will have to laugh and get back to work.

    If anyone else needs a laugh, Michael Martin’s excellent Thesaurus Precum Latinarum has a fun article on Titivillus, “the Patron Demon of Scribes.” The link:

  12. ALL: That et should indeed be utThe titivillian effects of working very fast and multitasking. 

  13. Roland de Chanson says:

    crazylikeknoxes: I agree about effectu. Seemed pleonastic to me.

    Re the “et” as typo, see Or maybe that’s a typo. Fr. Z. can confirm which is right.

    Actually, neither of my translations reflects the “ut” properly; they should have read: sanctify …. in order that. Purpose (or result) clauses, not hortatory (or optative) subjunctive. Sesquilibra ex aliis, tres selibrae ex aliis…

  14. Roland de Chanson says:

    Oops — posts crossed in the ether. Fr. Z has confirmed it. Re the multitasking: I know what you mean!

  15. Margaret says:

    Titivillian?!??? I lack access to a “real” dictionary like the OED, and none of my quick on-line searches yield a definition. I’m assuming it derives from the Titans of Greek mythology in some fashion, but I’d love the precise definition.

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  16. “Titivillian” is the adj. form of the proper name “Titivillus,” which is that of the patron demon of scribes. That is, the demon who causes typographical errors. But you knew that, right?

  17. Margaret says:

    “Titivillian” is the adj. form of the proper name “Titivillus,” which is that of the patron demon of scribes. That is, the demon who causes typographical errors. But you knew that, right?

    Kewl! Learn something new every day! One of my kids is a horrible typist– he will get a big kick out of this.

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