WDTPRS – 22 December COLLECT (2002MR)

We are closing in on our goal.   Let’s look at the Collect for 22 December in the 2002MR.  The Roman Station today is the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles.

Deus, qui, hominem delapsum in mortem conspiciens,
Unigeniti tui adventu redimere voluisti,
praesta, quaesumus,
ut, qui humili eius incarnationem devotione fatentur,
ipsius etiam Redemptoris consortia mereantur.

Consortium is a compound of the preposition cvm and sors, which has to do with "lot", as in casting "lots" for determining something by chance. Thus it comes to mean "community of goods" and therefore "fellowship, participation, society", according to the mighty Lewis & Short. If we look in Blaise/Dumas we find plural consortia having a meaning of "union" almost as if it were conjugal union.

O God, who, gazing upon man fallen into death,
desired to redeem him by the Coming of Your Only Begotten,
grant, we beseech You,
that, those who profess His incarnation in humble devotion,
may merit participation in Him also as Redeemer.

Once again we are seeing the "janus"-like backward/forward perspectives, looking back to the First Coming even as we look forward to the Second.

We look, simultaneously, back to the Fall and the First Adam, and forward to the summation of the cosmos by the Second Adam.

There is a development of thought from the fall, to death, to the Nativity, through humility and solidarity, to ultimate redemption.

The Lord came into the world at the fullness of time.  We often associate Christmas with stillness.  In these days before Christmas, it almost feels as if the Church, even as there is a sense of acceleration in the Coming, Christ to us, us toward Christ, there is at the same time a – how to put it – slowing of the pendulum.  It is like a perfect and mysterious anti-entropy, which is perfect stillness and yet is not static.

There is a balance point in the fullness of time.

There was a before for His Coming and there is the after

In that moment of His birth, all is still.

At the perfect point of stillness is His Mother. 

Closest to the point is Joseph.

The angels and humble shepherds draw close, and all the nations represented by the Magi… nearer and nearer, they will come until they are still, close to God With Us.

Where are you?

The Church’s year acknowledges the stillness with an Octave, when liturgical time stops, the pendulum will not swing as we rest in the mystery which embraces past, present and future.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Tom in NY says:

    Almost in conjugal union? Who should injure a married person, and cause loss of full family relations can be sued for “loss of consortium”
    in civil court.

    Don’t we strive for a powerful relationship with the Deity? Oremus ut ipsa consortia mereamur.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  2. James Locke says:

    Sigh…., sometimes, I fin myself inexplicable in love with the powers of Latin…

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    Whereas those who attended Mass celebrated in English this morning heard the following instead:

    God our Father,
    you sent your Son
    to free mankind from the power of death.
    May we who celebrate the coming of Christ as man
    share more fully in his divine life.

    No fall (delapsum), no redemption (redimere), no beseech (quaesumus), no humility (humili), no incarnation (incarnationem), no devotion ( devotione), no merit (mereantur) in this lame duck ICEL version.

    But otherwise, not as bad as usual?

  4. O God, who, gazing upon man fallen into death,
    desired to redeem him by the Coming of Your Only Begotten,
    grant, we beseech You,
    that, those who profess His incarnation in humble devotion,
    may merit participation in Him also as Redeemer.

    What is the antecedent of “also”? In other words, what is it doing there? (What does the prayer gain by its inclusion?) Maybe it’s just the location that’s throwing me off. Would it be proper to translate the second half of the prayer as: “that [1] those who profess His incarnation in humble devotion may also [2] merit participation in Him as Redeemer”? So we are asking that as we profess faith in His incarnation, we might also receive the benefits (“participate in”) of His coming to redeem us?

  5. And, a more general comment:

    There are some who would say, in response to remarks (like Mr. Edwards’) about the tone of the ICEL translations, that such words like quaesumus and devotione and mereantur, etc., are “the Latin way of praying” and we Americans need “the American way of praying” — to the point that we should have our own collects that are not translations of (or based on) the Latin texts.

    Would it be fair to respond to those people by distinguishing between “the Latin way of praying” and “the Roman way of praying”? I mean, we are ROMAN Catholics, that is, Catholics of the Roman Rite. No matter what language the Roman Rite is translated into, the style of prayer should be retained, and that style includes the wording (word choice) and tone of the prayers. If you were to compare vernacular translations of the Eastern Rites of the Church, I would expect you find that the tone of the prayers is retained no matter the language. It still sounds Byzantine, for example.

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    Jeffrey: etiam, also, too

    Being slavishly literal; why etiam is there in the original Latin is another question. Or is this the question you raise?

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Jeffrey @ 12:04,
    An excellent point. One might refer to the “ethos” of a rite, which should be preserved in whatever language it is translated.

  8. @Henry Edwards (12:06)

    Yes, the presence of etiam in the Latin original is my question. As I see it, it’s joining the verbs fatentur and mereantur, rather than joining our participation in Christ as Redeemer with some unmentioned participation.

  9. Henry Edwards says:


    My copy of Fr. Stravinskas’ Latin-English “Lauds and Vespers” (Newman House Press 2006), which I had open as I said Lauds in Latin this morning, has

    O God, Who considering man fallen into death,
    willed to redeem him by means of the coming of Your Only-Begotten,
    grant, we beseech,
    that we who profess with humble devotion His Incarnation,
    may likewise merit the fellowship of that very same Redeemer.

    Thus following your suggestion to use etiam to link the verbs in the last two clauses.

  10. Okay, thank you, Henry!

Comments are closed.