WDTPRS Tuesday in the 3rd Week of Advent

Here is the Collect for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent:

Deus, qui novam creaturam
per Unigenitum tuum nos esse fecisti,
in opera misericordiae tuae propitius intuere,
et in adventu Filii tui
ab omnibus nos maculis vetustatis emunda.

This was in the Gelasian Sacramentary, but not in pre-Conciliar editions.  Keep in mind that creatura is not just “a creature”, but also “creation”.  There is a parallel structure starting with the prepositional phrase beginning with in and leading to the verbs intuere and emunda.

Vestustas, as your never distant Lewis & Short Dictionary reveals, concerns “old age”.  In our Latin prayers it can also suggest the old cults of false religions.  It is often paired with the concept of “error”.  However, here it is clearly a reference to the “old things” of  2Cor 5:17.  In Christ we are “new creations”.  Old things pass away and become new.  Similarly, in Colossians 3, Paul instructs us to put off the “old man” and put on the “new” using the image of a garment which been cleansed of any stain and is now pure.

O God, who made us to be a new creation
through Your Only-Begotten Son,
regard us graciously in the working of Your mercy,
and cleanse us from every stain of the old man
in the Coming of Your Son.

You can decide about the following.

O God, who have made us a new creation
through your Only Begotten Son,
look kindly on the handiwork of your mercy,
and at the coming of your Son
cleanse us from every stain
of the old way of life.

O God, who through your Only Begotten Son
have made us a new creation,
look kindly, we pray,
on the handiwork of your mercy,
and at your Son’s coming
cleanse us from every stain
of the old way of life.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I prefer A.. The other one is awkward.

  2. jaykay says:

    Yes, I think I prefer A. It has a smoother flow. B’s putting of the adverb clause first breaks the flow (“who through your only-begotten S0n have made us…”). A’s version reads better.

    Also, where did B get the “we pray” from? I know that one of the criticisms of the 70s ICEL version was that it deliberately took out the “supplicatory phrases” but version B seems to be adding this one in just for the sake of it!

    That said, I wouldn’t have any great objection if B is what we finally do end up with.

  3. robertotankerly says:

    How ’bout…

    O God, Who hast made us to be a new creation
    through Thine Only-Begotten Son:
    In the working of Thy mercy,
    look graciously upon us,
    and in the Advent of thy Son
    cleanse us from every stain of the former way of life.

  4. Andrew says:

    In Christian Latin “creatura” is another word for “homo” i.e. “a human being”. All translations above render it as “creation” which is not quite the same.

  5. Sam Schmitt says:

    Once again, the version that everyone agrees is more awkward (“who through”) is the one going into the final edition of the Missal (as far as anyone can tell). No one knows why or how the changes were made.

    “New creation” is a reference to St. Paul (2 Cor 5:17), and it’s arguable that it simply synonymous with “human being” (see Rom 8:22 – all creation / every creature is groaning (“omnis creatura ingemiscit”). St. Paul uses the term “new man” (novum hominem) elsewhere (Eph. 4:24).

  6. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    Six of one, have dozen of the other, I’d say. Maybe I’d give a slight edge to B; it sounds a bit more formal.

  7. The Cobbler says:

    A and B are pretty much identical in content, but A is far smoother. Some of the sentence structures attempted in B are archaic sorts that can be smooth when used skillfully, but here they are not.

    I’m rather partial to Fr. Z’s version, though; but at least what we’re getting now can at least be called a translation, to judge from examples such as this.

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