WDTPRS: Presentation

Forty days (there’s that number again) out from the Feast of the Nativity we come to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, called also the Purification of Mary as well as the Feast of Meeting by some of our Eastern brethren.   Today is also called “Candlemas”, for we bless candles and light them against the darkness.  And today is and even called YPOPANTI AD SANCTAM MARIAM!

Today’s Collect was in the 1962 Missal and is based on one in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary amidst the prayers “in purificatione sanctae Mariae” on the date iiii Nonas Februarias (read 2 February).

In the Gelasian it goes like this:

Deus, qui in hodierna die unigenitus tuus in nostra carne quam adsumpsit pro nobis in templo est praesentatus, praesta, ut quem redemptorem nostrum laeti suscipimus, uenientem quoque iudicem securi videamus: …

When you go to your church for Candlemas, you might be privileged to hear this:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
maiestatem tuam supplices exoramus,
ut, sicut unigenitus Filius tuus
hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia
in templo est praesentatus,
ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari.

Almighty and everlasting God,
we humbly beseech Your majesty,
that, just as Your only-begotten Son
was on this day in the substance of our flesh,
presented in the temple,
so too You may cause us, once our minds have been purified,
to be presented unto You.

Here is a great version from the …

1559 Book of Common Prayer

(the first version ever brought to North American by the settlers at Jamestown):
Almyghtye and everlastyng God,
we humbly beseche thy Majestie,
that as thy onelye begotten sonne
was this day presented in the Temple
in the substaunce of our fleshe;
so graunte that we maie bee presented unto thee with pure and cleare myndes;

How does the version in Latin compare with what you usually hear in churches these days?

All-powerful Father,
Christ your Son became man for us
and was presented in the temple.
May he free our hearts from sin
and bring us into your presence

What will we hear eventually?

Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore your majesty
that, just as your Only Begotten Son
was presented on this day in the Temple
in the substance of our flesh,
so, by your grace,
we may be presented to you with minds made pure

You decide.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Corrected ICEL. Easiest 2 second decision of my life.

  2. I like the corrected ICEL… although it would be nice if we could get Fr. Z’s slavishly accurate translation for everything :)

    Just out of curiousity, is it required to have musicians/altar servers, etc. for a feast day such as this? At my parish this morning we had Fr. all by himself, no procession, no music, no nothing. He repeatedly apoligized for not having a procession into the church and a blessing of the candles. He said the people at the parish office “were too busy” to get stuff together for the Feast of the Presentation.
    But oddly enough, they’ll be ready for the blessing of the throats for the feast of St. Blaise tomorrow…..
    Is something wrong here or I am just reading too much into it?

  3. Fr. B says:

    I had one server, and 4 people in the assembly today, and still did the solemn entrance (if you can call it that with 6 people). Blessed the candles and celebrated the Sacred Liturgy accordingly.

  4. Pigeon Street says:

    Those lame-duck translations are beyond a joke at this point. I just throw my hands up when I read them. I think it must say something about the esteem the translators held the faithful in. We were just too dumb to take in anything other than this.

  5. Acolythus says:

    I’d go with Deus, qui in hodierna in a heartbeat.

  6. Archicantor says:

    Hooray for the Anglican Patrimony! I wonder how that would sound with an Elizabethan accent…

  7. BobP says:

    What Acolythus said.

  8. Ed the Roman says:

    Why is it that the current translation seems constrained by a requirement that everybody of sound mind over the age of eight be able to understand all of it with no explanation?

  9. WBBritton says:

    I use the Anglican Breviary a good bit, and the collects are translated very well.

  10. palecap says:

    adsumpist? adsumpsit? [Thanks for catching the obvious typo. I corrected it. Do typo catchers also look at the content of the post?]

  11. Of course, the first version of the prayer would have been brought to North America would have been in Latin and said by Spanish Catholic priests… but here’s a question. Did anybody say Mozarabic or Braga Rite Masses in the early days in the New World? I presume the Franciscans were using Latin Rite, but maybe I’m wrong.

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    Dear old Cranmer is the gift that keeps on giving.


    There’s a strong minority that contends that the Elizabethans sounded more like the speech you hear from old-timers in isolated areas of the Appalachians . . . . which from a historical view makes a lot of sense. It certainly sounds better – at least to me with all my East Tennessee and North Alabama ancestors!

  13. moon1234 says:

    Still prefer the 1962 version best. Seems more regal.

  14. irishgirl says:

    I like the ‘corrected’ ICEL version-more reverent.
    The ‘lame duck’ version is so banal.

  15. asophist says:

    During Holy Mass, I prefer to hear the 1962 Latin version of the prayers. Reading in English, though, I prefer Fr Z’s slavishly literal translations. The Corrected ICEL isn’t bad, but loses some of the force of WAITING to be presented to God until our minds have been made pure, as in the phrase “once our minds have been purified”. I think we know what unpleasant process that will entail for most of us!

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