Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Translation of Mass Reflection #1: "And With Your Spirit"


In November 2011 (First Sunday of Advent), English-speaking countries will pray a more poetic and more biblical translation of the Latin “Et cum spirito tuo” in to the Mass in English. 

When the priest says, “The Lord be with you,” we will not say “And also with you.”

We will respond, “And with your spirit.”

Here are some points for reflection:

1.)    Jesus in Mt. 28 said that He will be with us until the end of time.  In Lk. 1, the Angel Gabriel says to Mary, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you."

2.)    “And with your spirit” has roots in St. Paul and the first Christians all the way down to our time today.

3.)    “And with your spirit” better captures the Pauline sense of “And with your spirit.”   

4.)    It’s NOT that the priest is saying “Hi everyone and good morning” and we reply “hey, Father, good morning to you, too”.  No, something awesome and mysterious is taking place.

5.)    Christ is present in the assembly of the baptized.  This is reflected in the priest’s Apostolic Greeting, “The Lord be with you.”  In a way, he’s saying “The Lord be with your spirit.”

6.)    The ordained priest acts “in persona Christi capitis” (i.e., “in the person of Christ the head”).  By replying “And with your spirit,” the assembly is asking the priest to be the spiritual father of the community in a sacred action about to take place.  The priest’s spirit was changed at his ordination.

7.)    There is an interdependence of the priest with the people at Holy Mass.  The priest, acting in the person of Christ the head, is interdependent with the people, who are the Body of Christ in some mystical way.  Just as you can't have a headless body walking around, so too you can't have a Church without clergy who act as the visible head of the Church.  We need priests!

HW: Study the Third Roman Missal.
Class dismissed.

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