WDTPRS: Thursday 2nd Week of Lent – Post communionem (2002MR)

We continue our project of looking at the Post communions of Lent:

Thursday – 2nd Week of Lent

This prayer was in the 1962MR on the Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent.  But it was the Secret!  Astonishingly, Bugnini’s all-consuming experts moved it to be a Post Communion.

Haec in nobis sacrificia, Deus,
et actione permaneant,
et operatione firmentur.

Actio can refer to an "action" or, more precisely, to liturgical celebrations of the sacred mysteries.  Sometimes the Eucharistic prayer is called an Actio.  In a sacristy you might see a little pro memoria card framed for priests indicating the name of the local bishop so that the priest can say his name properly "infra Actionem … during the Eucharistic Prayer".  Interestingly, operatio is not simply a "work" or "labor" but also a "religious performance, service, or solemnity, a bringing of offerings".  That meshes nicely with the deeper Christian meaning of actio and gives us a hint as to how to translate this prayer with something more than just a superficial rendering.  There is a conceptual connection between actio and operatio.

Permaneo, which is basically, "to stay to the end; to hold out, last, continue, endure, remain; to persist, persevere" is also, interestingly, "to abide in a way, rule, or mode of life, to live by, to devote one’s life to" as is attested to in the Vulgate.  The L&S confirms that firmo means, “to make firm or fast, to strengthen, fortify, support” and also, “to strengthen in resolution, to encourage, animate” or even “to confirm, show, prove; to affirm, assert, declare, promise the correctness or truth of a circumstance, statement.”  There is a conceptual connection between permaneo and firmo.

The Daily Missal (Baronius Press – 2007):
May these sacrificial offerings, O God,
both endure in us in action
and be confirmed in effect.

The words actio and operatio, conceptually related "doing" connected to the verbs ago and operor, both have a connotation of sacred liturgical service.  At the same time, they can simply point to our own daily undertakings.  These layers of meaning overlap and show us how there must be a continuity between how we participate at Holy Mass and how we act outside of the sacred precincts of the church or chapel we frequent.   The highest form of active participation is the reception of Holy Communion in the state of grace following a willed, active receptivity to what has been carried out in the sacred action of the Mass.  Christ is the ACTOR par excellence in the Mass.  In the actions of the priest, Christ is acting as the Head of the Body.  In the actions and receptivity of the congregation, Christ is in action as the Body, responding to and being directed by the Head.  Both together form Christ, Christus Totus, raising sacrifice on high to the Father.  Our participation then must be first and foremost active receptivity so that we have what is good to give back to God.

The et… et construction and the connects in concept between the pairs of words is high evocative.  Perhaps you will have some ideas about this.


actio <–> permaneo  ongoing
operatio <–> firmo    solid


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in LENT, WDTPRS. Bookmark the permalink.