“And with your spirit”?

Pray Tell reader Jonathan Day calls our attention to the latest piece in Thinking Faith, the online journal of the British Jesuits.  Jack Mahoney explores the meanings behind the new response “And with your spirit”:

An explanation of Et cum spiritu tuo as referring to the grace of the Holy Spirit in the ordained celebrant seems to me fanciful and contrived…I wonder also if part of the modern popularity of this interpretation in terms of the grace of priestly ordination is because it can help to propagate the difference between priests and people which the Vatican Council tried so much to diminish and which others are now regrettably attempting to re-establish.

For the full text, please visit: ‘And with your spirit’? by Jack Mahoney SJ

While you’re on the Web site of Thinking Faith, you may also want to read:

‘Domine, non sum dignus’ by Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, a similar piece on the response before receiving the Eucharist; and

Words in essence by Frances Novillo, an overview of the new translation.



  1. Paul Turner, in “Web Catechesis,” specifically with regard to the subject of the grace of the Holy Spirit in the ordained person, alleges that there is evidence for this interpretation beginning in the Fifth Century.

    In general I have found Paul to be relatively even-handed; at least I don’t think he would manufacture something like that out of whole cloth.

    He’s probably in a tough spot, and like many with promising careers understands that one cannot be honest about the 2010 Vox Clara product without jeopardizing one’s future.

    On the other hand, I would tend to believe that there’s something to this if Paul reports a tradition for it from the Fifth Century.

    1. I have recently looked at Paul Turner’s piece on this same topic on the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy website (preparing to write a bulletin blurb of my own on “and with your spirit” for the campus Catholic community I work with).

      I guess I read him differently than you did (or maybe the piece for Notre Dame is more fully fleshed out). I understood him to be reporting the same background about St John Chrysostom discussed by Jungmann (as this piece by Fr. Jack Mahoney describes). And then, in that ND piece, Paul Turner uses the same scriptural references from St. Paul (that the blessing is most often addressed to whole communities, not an ordained presbyter, if there were such a thing yet) to defend a very similar interpretation to Mahoney’s instead. It just seemed like a piece of careful scholarship, not an endorsement of the priest-centered interpretation of St. John Chrysostom.

      It would be sad to think he believes he has to spin it differently, depending on which website the catechesis is appearing.

      1. When Fr. Paul Turner spoke at our CCMLA conference at St. John’s last summer, he very much put Chrysostom in context – it’s one explanation, not more, from our tradition. He said he wouldn’t make the viewpoint of one church Father the official reading for today.

    2. If I recall correctly, and I’m open to correction, I believe one can see this interpretation in Narsai, as well. But even in these patristic cases, it has all of the appearances of an after-the-fact construction — perhaps even a “fanciful” one.

      I think it perfectly reasonable to return to “and with your spirit”. These rationales for doing so, however, should be taken with a grain of salt.

  2. The translation “And with your spirit” is also used in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic liturgies. Maybe someone could help us ask them why they do so also.

  3. JDeJ –
    Yes, in nearly all Anglican liturgies, all of them except when the new 79 prayer book came out with rites one and two, we noticed rather sadly that in rite two our people had gotten on the trendy Roman bandwagon with ‘and also with you’. This always sounds like very casual street talk and grossly out of place in Christian liturgy. Most Anglicans were livid.
    Whatever the true import of ‘and with your spirit’, its ecclesiastical chachet and liturgical-theological sense would seem to purchase for it a paradigm status against which other forms are rather pale, yea, downright silly. I think it somewhat ironic that now that we are restoring ‘…spirit’ the Episcopalians (and Lutherans?) are stuck with ‘also with you’ in their rite two. Well, they did want to be chic…. and chic they are and will remain. Neither orthodox nor heterodox…. but always chic

    1. “…its ecclesiastical chachet and liturgical-theological sense would seem to purchase for it a paradigm status against which other forms are rather pale, yea, downright silly.”

      Forgive my woeful inadequacy with the English language, but what does this actually mean? I’m assuming that “cachet” is being used in the “superior status” meaning. I’m really not sure what “liturgical-theological sense” is. “Paradigm” means “an example serving as a model”, so I have no idea how “status” mates with this.

      Am I correct in summarising as “And with your spirit sounds more impressive than and also with you, so we should use that”? It seems a million miles from the carpenter who used fishing, breadmaking, shepherding and garment repair as examples in his teaching.

      1. Re: your last paragraph… Good point. Jesus did use examples from everyday life in his teaching. (Would that today’s homilists would do the same.) But what kind of language did he use when he was praying? Did he pray in Aramaic or in Hebrew when he went to the synagogue and to the temple? It seems to me that there are two paradigms (!) for liturgy. One is the Jewish Sabbath/Passover liturgy. “Familial,” comparatively informal, lots of lay involvement, amateur (in the best sense) driven. Then there’s the temple worship. Formal, full of pageantry, transcendent, priestly, highly trained ministers. Each group interprets the GIRM and celebrates the NO through the lens of their paradigm (often to the consternation of the other). The good news is that the NO is flexible enough to allow both approaches. But is that also its weakness? It tries to be both, and it seems to satisfy neither. Maybe instead of the NO being re-translated, it should be redesigned. Oh, but wait, liturgies are not designed, they grow organically from previous forms. 🙂

      2. The only examples we’re given, in Scripture, of Jesus’ choice of words during prayer are the Our Father and the prayer in Gethsemane: both use very simple language.

        Oh, and at the crucifixion. Again, simple, but I can understand that’s not really the place for finely structured sentences.

  4. M. Jackson Osborn: If anything ever sounded “like very casual street talk” surely it’s Sursum corda (“Hearts up!”) and Dignum est (not all that far from “Right on, man!”). Sassy. Would Vox Clara let Jesus call God Abba?

    1. Michael Aiguani – I would question seriously that your ‘sassy’ translations above represent the frame of mind of those who first used these words. I imagine they would have been far more reverent. But, of course, none of us were there. Is there any literary or artistic evidence that early masses were celebrated sassily? Probably not. All I have seen would point to the contrary.

  5. Well done Jonathan Day. I just read that and thought “The good folks at Pray Tell would enjoy this article,” so popped over here to spread the word and found that you already had.

    Hearts up!

  6. There are 3 issues here.

    1) Now that we are to say “and with your spirit”, how should we understand this? I was never convinced that it traditionally meant “and with your priestly spirit”, given that we also say it to deacons. The scriptural sources Fr Mahoney cites also seem compelling.

    2) Whether we should say “and with your spirit” or “and also with you”. I don’t think that “and also with you” is street talk or undignified. When Fr Weller translated the Rituale Romanum into English in 1964, this is the language he used. It’s not a bad translation, either – faithful to the Latin, and in clear and muscular English. As an example, here is the


    P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

    All: Who made heaven and earth.

    P: The Lord be with you.

    All: May He also be with you.

    Let us pray.

    Lord, bless + this creature, beer, which by your kindness and power has been produced from kernels of grain, and let it be a healthful drink for mankind. Grant that whoever drinks it with thanksgiving to your holy name may find it a help in body and in soul; through Christ our Lord.

    All: Amen.

    It is sprinkled with holy water.

    The Church has answered the second question, at least for now – we are to say “and with your spirit”. Fr Mahoney doesn’t dispute this.

    3) Whether this greeting can only be used by a deacon, priest or bishop. That is certainly the implicit understanding I have. At our Easter Vigil the Exultet is sung by a lay singer (a professional), who omits it. Is it written somewhere that a layperson may never use these words? I think there is a specific rubric for the Easter Vigil.

    I once dined at the home of a traditional Catholic family, who said Latin prayers before and after the meal. The father said: Dominus vobiscum and we responded, et cum spiritu tuo. Not in any liturgical book, and some could argue as to whether this was a liturgical occasion, but it seemed appropriate nonetheless.

    1. The only occurrence of “Dominus vobiscum” in scripture is the salutation of Boaz (the household head) to his workers who are gathering the grain harvest in the fields of Bethlehem (city of bread). See Ruth 2:4

      In a course on Ruth by a local Rabbi he interpreted this salutation as an affirmation that we are a covenant people, and that it introduces the fact that they are about to enact a portion of the covenant namely that Ruth, the alien, has the right to glean in his fields (he in fact not only allows her to glean but imitates the Lord’s mercy above and beyond what is required by asking the workers to drop some extra grain bundles for her). The author of Ruth has already made clear that Ruth herself in her marriage and in choosing to follow Naomi has also imitated the divine mercy that acts beyond what is required, not simply the letter but the spirit of the law.

      So it is not implausible that this greeting might have come into the liturgy in the days of household churches when the household head was often the leader of the liturgy, the liturgical gathering was a sign of the harvest of humanity that has become one bread one body, and an affirmation of the new covenant.

      While the priest and people have mutually interdependent roles, I think the dialog is more about what they share together (the covenant, the same spirit) than how their roles differ. The dialogue affirms we are in this together.

      1. Jack, about the use of scriptural antecedents, that’s the wrong way to go about it I believe. You are taking a button and sewing a vest on it. I know it’s how the USCCB has done it, but I disagree with this strongly.

        It is just not plausible to me that the repeated greeting throughout the entire liturgy is based on one exchange in the book of Ruth. One has to look at the nature of the whole expression and ask where that occurs, and also how the texts were used and their relative prominence. The book of Ruth wasn’t important enough to be the primary source for that expression in the liturgy.

        To say the only precedent in scripture is Boaz is to take a concordance-vocabulary word-for-word approach, not a holistic approach. On the contrary, the best scriptural antecedent, and infinitely more fitting for Christian liturgy, is the greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary–transferred to a plural because of the assembly being plural in the liturgy. I’m not the first person to point this out. You can find this in scholarly studies. But I raise it because I think we are seeing too much cherry-picking from scripture to use as proof texts for the liturgical expressions, all supplied by a concordance and not by a holistic reading. The Pauline use of the expression has already been pointed out, and that is important as well. Several New Testament texts anchor that expression.

  7. While it is good to know our history, the most important factor is the meaning of the phrase today. If most congregants view it as an attempt to separate and/or elevate the clergy from the laity, then that has to be taken into consideration. Some will think that a good thing, some will think it a bad thing, but the elephant in the room shouldn’t be ignored!

  8. This discussion shows that the new words might have more meaning, but that additional meaning is obscure: experts ascribe different meanings to the same words, and the controversy is raging.

    What happens when the words are obscure? Yesterday at the MFA on Boston I saw medieval sculptures and paintings. The descriptions said that, at the time, religious authorities were trying to encourage artists to emphasize the human nature of Christ, to help the faithful feel emotionally close to him. The result is stunningly beautiful art. Breathtaking!

    Maybe there is a hidden grace that will emerge from the implementation of the new missal. Perhaps, to deal with the loss, people will turn to other ways to express their faith.

  9. “a baffling tripartite anthropology?”

    Perhaps the simplest understanding is to view the three terms as referring to different aspects of the individual person: the body denoting the physical component; the soul meaning the principle of life; and the spirit as referring to the intellectual, or thinking, dimension.

    The Origins of European Thought: About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time and Fate (1951) by R. B. Onians has an extensive discussion of ancient thinking about these issues.

    Obviously human beings have a material component: our bodies turn to dust when we die.

    We are in large part water when we are alive, and we slowly dry up when we die. The liquid thing that we loss is the life force, psyche in Greek. If we do not drink sufficient liquids we enter into a life threatening situation. This life force manifests itself in other liquids such as blood. When we bleed profusely we lose some of our life force. Oil (fat) is part of this life force, associated with abundance of life, richness, good health. Psyche (translated as self, soul) is human life as liquid with all its associations. Our sacramental system reflects this.

    But when live, we also breathe. When we cease to breathe we die. When we sleep our breath becomes shallow. Breathing more involves greater excitement and consciousness. Words are associated with mouth and consciousness. So spirit (breath) became associated with the consciousness, thinking, speech aspect of life

    The “unconscious” liquid life and the “conscious” breath life came together in the chest. Hence the importance of the heart and notions of integrity, e.g. a pure heart, hardness of heart, etc.

    In Eastern ordination prayers, prayer for the priest’s integrity (purity of heart) is central. The following prayer is a composite of those prayer phrases.


    So when we say “and with your spirit” we are praying for the priest’s integrity that he will live what he prays.

  10. I thought it was interesting, and I was a little surprised, that in all my meetings about the new language with parishioners, no one interpreted this as lay people saying something to the priest about his spirit. Almost universally, they generalized the “spirit” to be applying to everyone.

    I wonder if this is as a result of our history of saying “and also with you.” They see this dialogue, from that experience, as two halves of the same greeting, acknowledging, back and forth, the “also.” They are hearing “and with your spirit” in different context than someone who has never said “and also with you.”

    1. Yes, note that Paul never says ‘the Lord be with your spirits” as if each person’s spirit were to be different:

      The Lord be with your spirit’ (2 Tim 4:22);
      May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen’ (Gal 6:18);
      The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit’ (Phil 4:23 and Philemon 25).

      Now each person does have a “spirit” aspect a consciousness, thinking, reasoning and speaking aspect of their existence, but Paul expects that they will have a shared spirit “a common conscious, thinking, reasoning and speaking” in Christ and His Spirit. As Gutiérrez’ remarks in his treatment of “spirit” in Paul, it is often difficult to tell whether Paul is speaking of the human spirit or the Holy Spirit, the unity is that close.

      So the notion that the priest has a different spirit “ a different conscious, thinking, reasoning and speaking” from the Body of Christ is absurd since he is in fact speaking our common prayer.

      When we wish that the priest’s life will conform to the prayer that he is about to pray we are also expressing that our lives will also conform to that prayer and the priest’s greeting that the Lord (be) with us.

    1. When we began to think of the soul (psyche) as a ghost, we made a ghastly mess of the ancient tripartite anthropology!

      1. Well, ‘ghost’ lives on in the German word, ‘geist’, for spirit.
        And, perhaps due to my BCP upbringing, I still think of the Holy Ghost as somewhat more lively than the Holy Spirit. We only need to remember that ghosts are one and the same as the spirits all of us have: they do not only haunt creeky old mansions.
        Thanks to Karl Liam Sauer for this – may the Lord be with his ghost.

      2. Good example of how the “receving” laguage can change the meaning and intent of this simple dialogue. The German “geist” means something to the German culture that is very different from what “spirit” or “ghost” means to the American culture. That is the point.

  11. If the greeting and response were meant to be more or less reciprocal, they could have run “The Lord be with your Spirit – And also with yours.” As it is, with “you” on the one hand and “your spirit” on the other, the status of priest and congregation are clearly intended to differ. After all, anyone can wish “the Lord be with you” on anyone else as a sort of pious hope, but when a priest says it during mass, he does so with with authority and expectation, not just hope. His ‘spirit’ is delivering a blessing from on high, and when we reply, we piously hope that his spirit is up to it. Whether the Lord is with the priest himself we do not know and cannot command.

  12. M. Jackson Osborne: “most Anglicans were livid.”
    Anglicans don’t like to be livid very much. Too reserved for that! 🙂

    But really, it’s just not true that most were livid over “and also with you.” Mr Osborne is not reserved enough! Many were pretty upset as the changes came, but over time only a few were so livid that they left.
    Too often in these debates we confuse an individual emotion with some larger truth.

    I don’t know why, as the greeting developed in the liturgy it was “you” and “your spirit.” Maybe it had little to do with later arguments. Fact is, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t orginally about that.

    If it is about the priest being having a spirit, but the laity’s spirit is not important enough to mention. . .
    That’s awful. No respect for Holy Baptism, I’d say.

    1. Mark – a nice observation, but! you are not a very good Anglican if you don’t know how to be livid and reserved at the same time!
      Still, et cum spiritu tuo has been used in connection with prayers and collects since very, very early times. Why should it have been changed by some trendy liturgical tamperers of the 1970s? It would seem obvious that this was just another target for these gentlemen whose concern above all was to be ‘contemporary’ and rid the mass of as much archaic (to THEIR minds) baggage as they could jettison. They could not be satisfied with their mission to produce a fine translation. No, they thought it was their job to recast the mass into casual American speech rather than translate the grace and richness of the Latin into real English language. ‘And also with you’ is silly because it is an irrational and ridiculously transparent substitue for ‘and with your spirit’.

  13. It seems to me to make more sense if the priest said ‘These Lord be with your spirit’ (addressed to a collective group as in Paul) and then we responded ‘and with your spirit’.

    Question: if you are a lay person leading a liturgy of the Word, should the lay person say ‘ the Lord be with you’ and the people respond ‘and with your spirit’?

    1. JP – in fact, it is quite common for Anglicans to use this dialogue as an invitation to prayer whether in or out of mass or the church; and whoever is leading the prayer, priestly or not, intiates the dialogue. In this manner, as you suggest, the proper spirit is invoked upon the person leading the prayer.
      Of course, as Anglicans, we were taught at an early age the meaning of this dialogue and its reference to the particular spirit present with the priest. We were always astonished that Roman Catholics seemed not to have been taught these things – and a lot else.

      1. My grasp of Latin has grown weak over the decades, but according to my little Latin dictionary (Pocket Oxford), “spiritus” bears the sense of the breath of life. The word calls to mind God’s breathing of life, soul, spirit into human flesh in Genesis. Jordan Zarembo’s use of πνεύματος in his Nov. 17 5:56 pm post seems to support this understanding. In this sense, I take “Et cum spiritu tuo” to refer specifically to the priest’s responsibility for the Liturgy of the Word. Within the priest’s hearing, the people pray, in effect, that he will preach the gospel and deliver a homily in clear, intelligible words. That a presbyter does this task well through the power of the Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the giver of life,” who “has spoken through the Prophets,” signifies not a special character of his ordination but a special task assigned by the faithful: to practice the spoken word, the “breath” that originates with the priest and flows outward to all gathered in the church.

        As part of the Episcopal (Book of Common Prayer) ordination service, the people promise their bishop to “uphold” the person they present for ordination “in this ministry.” Presumably this support would include praying that the Lord may be with the priest’s spirit throughout the Mass. And the bishop’s examination of the ordinand focuses on ability to proclaim the Gospel, preach, declare God’s forgiveness to penitents, pronounce blessings, and to a lesser extent on administering the sacraments, a responsibility which does not challenge the priest’s personal powers of communication as explicitly as explaining and applying the words of the gospel.

    2. A lay person will not use the usual dialogue used by a Priest or Deacon.

      In the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium, editio typica altera, there is a separate chapter for the rite to use when a lay person assists in a mariage in the absence of the ordained minister. The introduction to the gospel reading is quite different from the usual greeting.

  14. James – excellent question that probably highlights the different approaches.

    My reply – “YES”

    Why? because the scriptural, historical, and theological meaning is not this recent identification to the clerical presider and his ordination. As the Jesuit researcher indicates, this dialogue is between a prayer leader/gatherer and the community – it is a response about the community’s spirit.

    Others who are more expert (Inwood, AWR, jfr) can articulate that this Jesuit writer’s analysis is some of the research and background that the original ICEL used when it made the reform/change in the early 1970’s?

    Baptism gives you the “right” to say this greeting.

  15. .from the original post……it can help to propagate the difference between priests and people which the Vatican Council tried so much to diminish and which others are now regrettably attempting to re-establish…..

    Aha! 🙂

    So many defenders of the 70s ICEL translation insist that it was simply dynamic equivalence that made it what it is, i.e. there was no theological agenda. Now the truth comes out….that the English translators had an agenda. —diminishing the difference between priests and the people— one that was not shared by translators of the 999 other vernacular translations of the missal.

    1. Source for this claim about the defenders, please?

      First off, defenders of the 70s ICEL are very few. Attacks on ICEL. otoh, oftentimes pretend that the 1980s and 1990s work of ICEL never happened, and all those “liberal” critics of the coming missal are defenders of 70s ICEL.

      Second, it’s been clear to anyone following this that dynamic equivalence did allow for bringing in theological concerns in the 70s. But note, by the 1990s much had changed, and ICEL operated much differently – i.e., following the Latin much more closely – than in the 1970s.

      Difference between priest and people: I hope we all realize this is a very dififcult issue, not least because the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus do not provide explicit justification for a sharp difference.

      As for the other 999: I hope we all realize that EVERY translations without exception always brings in some agenda or the other from the worldview of the translators. Because we’re dealing with two cultures (that of source text, that of reciever text), 100% transference is not possible.

      I’m increasingly concernred when it is claimed that the coming text is “accurate.” First off, the sort of accuracy seemingly claimed doesn’t exist in translation. Second, according to the standards for accuracy given in Liturgiam authenticam, the coming text fails badly and is not accurate in the way the 2001 document demanded.


    2. I think that if the 1970s translators had an agenda, it was this:

      (a) to make the Church’s liturgy accessible to people who have not been to seminary or earned theology degrees;

      (b) to protect us from the 6th-7th century spirituality of many of the prayers of the Missal and bring them into our own time. If we had actually seen what these prayers were saying, we would probably have said, very vocally, that they were not a medium through which we could pray in the 20th century. We have moved on, and we would have asked, quite persistently, for something else. Quite apart from the klunky language issue, that, it seems to me, is what is going on now.

      Are these texts and their sentiments actually pray-able? If not, what are we going to do about it?

      1. (b) to protect us from the 6th-7th century spirituality of many of the prayers of the Missal and bring them into our own time.

        I can’t decide if that’s more silly or outrageous (not your comment, but that intention on the part of the translators.)

        The Missal had been revised! Where the liturgical authorities wanted different prayers they had them.

      2. SLH – why? Part of this reform was ressourcement and moving the liturgy to its basic necessary parts while shaving off accoutrements from various historical periods. These folks looked at the context and all historical periods without any bias that any one period had preference.

        Also, Paul’s first point must be understood – that principle was comprehensive and probably is most jarring for folks who think “literal”; “latin only”; or give short shift to enculturation.

      3. Bill, it’s bad because the update was supposed to be done by the update of the Missal, not by the translators. If it still needed updating by the time it got to the translators, then the Novus Ordo itself is a failure.

      4. No, the Novus Ordo was not a failure. In fact it has been a resounding success, judging from surveys asking people what they feel about it.

        What might be called into question, however, is the Church remaining stuck in traditions as opposed to Tradition.

        I would personally be very happy to see the Church in a position where it could say “Yes, we had the Gelasian Sacramentary, etc, etc, but we have moved on beyond that, rather than remaining locked into texts which no longer speak to us. They were an important part of our development, and a springboard for where we are now. But there is no reason for us to perpetuate the mindsets of those who went before us. Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, and they are dead. We now feed on the living body of Christ. So we will use these texts as a seedbed, but not feel bound to them in every particular, especially after a gap of 1300 years.”

        Or something like that.

        To my mind, that is how liturgy develops, in the same way that we do not mindlessly reproduce what the folks of the Didache were doing back in the 1st or 2nd centuries but pray in a way that is authentic to us today, one which has developed from the traditions of our ancestors without us having to pretend that we are still living in that era.

      5. Sorry, SLH, we will have to agree to disagree. You are still stuck on the concept that the latin “original” has some perfect translation, meaning, etc.

        Some have suggested that you do need the best latin missal – and then, you need experts to translate this latin missal into each vernacular in the best poetic and proclaimable manner. But, to think that the latin conveys the whole meaning and that translation is just a simple method of changing this to the vernacular – ignores anything about the art of translation.

      6. S.J. Howard, your posts make you sound like the type of person who would have been outraged by the creation of the targumim, whose function was to present the Hebrew texts in the language of the people, Aramaic, when Hebrew was dying out as a spoken language.

        I don’t think God is the control freak your posts here frequently make God out to be.

      7. I would personally be very happy to see the Church in a position where it could say “Yes, we had the Gelasian Sacramentary, etc, etc, but we have moved on beyond that, rather than remaining locked into texts which no longer speak to us. They were an important part of our development, and a springboard for where we are now.

        Paul, that’s what did happen. We have repeatedly changed the missal. The prayers of the missal now are not what they were in 1962. The point is that this change is made by changing the prayers in the Latin missal, not by changing the prayers in the translation.

        I didn’t say that the Novus Ordo was a failure, I said that if the missal, with its changes so failed to reflect the current theology of the Church that the translators had to correct the theology when they translated it into English then it would be a failure (in some limited sense). Since I don’t think they had to do so, I don’t think it’s a failure in that way.

        Sorry, SLH,

        Bill, it’s “SJH,” not SLH.

        You are still stuck on the concept that the latin “original” has some perfect translation, meaning, etc.

        I don’t think there’s a perfect translation, and perhaps there isn’t a “perfect meaning,” but there certainly is a meaning. Even untranslated, the Latin missal is the Roman Rite (just as the English missal is). If its prayers are deficient in theology in Latin, then they’re deficient. If they are deficient in this way, such that we need “[protection] from the 6th-7th century spirituality of many of the prayers” then the revisers, who wrote a Latin missal for use, have failed.

        Mary, if you have comments about the type of person I am, you can make them privately, my e-mail is easily available.

        As for the targumim, it’s precisely my point that I’m in favor of making that kind of translation. I want the English text “to present the [Latin] texts in the language of the people,” not protect them from the meaning of the Latin texts.

      8. The targumim are probably the earliest examples we have of dynamic equivalence. Many of them are also much more. They don’t aim to ape the Hebrew original or try to replicate the syntax of that language.

        The type of person you may be is of little relevance here.
        It’s the idols/images of God as a control freak which are more at issue.

        As someone once said, God made human beings in God’s own image and likeness and human beings soon returned the compliment.

    3. I never realized before reading these discussions how many changes had been made in translating the Latin into English back in the 70’s. However, consider the importance of liturgy to the life of the Church. How we pray determines to a large extent what we believe. So my question is; who approved the original translations? I’m assuming it was the English speaking bishops of the period. Surely they knew enough Latin to notice the many subtle changes. If it was the bishops who approved the combination translation/revision, then we must ask why they made the changes they did. For example, did they see a danger in exaggerating the difference between priests and people, and was the response “and also with you” meant to prevent that?

      1. Wise comment, Brigid. The whole order of bishops approved the old translation, and now they’ve approved the new translation. Although individually I guess not many of the old order are still alive, surely they were no less considerate of the liturgy then than they are now. it smacks of dire hypocrisy for them (or are they all younger than 45?) to categorise the 1973 version as banal, flat, inaccurate, inadequate and just plain wrong, while the new translation is what we should have had all along. To my mind, it was this attitude, rather than the new translation itself, which has sparked all the furore against it.

      2. who approved the original translations? I’m assuming it was the English speaking bishops of the period. Surely they knew enough Latin to notice the many subtle changes.

        If it was the English-speaking bishops at the time:

        1. Is it certain that they read the whole translation? It’s reported on PTB (or strongly implied) that few of today’s bishops actually read the whole new English translation of the Missal as it was being voted on and amended. “Many of the bishops – some say a majority – claim they voted on the various ICEL drafts without having read them.” (Chris Grady)

        2. Is it certain they knew enough Latin? It has been reported on PTB from numerous people (J.R. Francis, C. Grady, X. Rindfleisch) that Cardinal Cushing and Cardinal Spellman spoke in unintelligible Latin. “The notion that most priests (and many bishops) before the Council knew Latin well cannot be credibly sustained.” (John Robert Francis)

        If it was the bishops who approved the combination translation/revision, then we must ask why they made the changes they did.

        Making the changes and approving the changes are two distinct processes. They didn’t make the changes, they approved the changes made by ICEL.

        The story of how “spirit” got dropped out of the greeting is told by Msgr. Bruce Harbert: originally, the word “spirit” was transferred to the priest’s words (e.g. “The Spirit of the Lord be with you.”) but then it was dropped out altogether.

      3. JP – sorry, but find your comparison of the two groups of english speaking bishops (conferences) to be an over-generalization. (Believe that the “famous” quotes about specific bishops from the 1960s was in response to these bishops and their very public statements at Vatican II that opposed vernacular or, at least, did not approve of the reformed liturgy – what I think you can conclude is that more bishops had a facility with latin in the 1960s than we can say today) …you are mixing apples and oranges, again)

        The process for the reformed liturgy involved, at a minimum, eleven english speaking conferences (with involvement of more conferences that use english for their liturgical translations). Keep in mind that most of the bishops voting for the reformed liturgy had attended some of Vatican II; had probably been exposed or attended periti and experts explaining liturgy and the proposed changes; the reform was much broader and more comprehensive than just translation; and more bishops were involved in the actual changes vs. process than compared to 2008-2010.

        Now, compare that to this last 2008 process – shorter; most bishops never attended Vatican II and who knows how much education/exposure they have had to the periti of Vatian II when it comes to liturgy; they voted over a briefer period (and, yes, we have many recorded comments and even USCCB votes that describe, at least, the US conference as less than invested in the translation (was this because they acceeded to Rome their own responsibility and accountability?)?

        So, my conclusion is to say that your snippets over-generalize; give the wrong impression and conclusion in comparing the two USCCB/NCCB conferences and the process to approve liturgical changes.

      4. Bill, it may well be that priests and bishops in the 60s had a better grasp of Latin than today, but that doesn’t mean the overall grasp in the 60s was particularly great: “The notion that most priests (and many bishops) before the Council knew Latin well cannot be credibly sustained,” says John. I am depending, of course, on the veracity of his remark, which only M.J. Osborn questioned at the time.

        When did the MR3 translation process begin? I only ask because the MR1 Latin was completed in 1969 and the English translation was ready in 1973; how much longer was that process than the MR3 translation process?

      5. Would say that the MR process in 1960s and 2000 was about the same but the historical context and the amount and volume of changes was astronomically different. Also, the challenge of dynamic translation vs. a literal – well, it would seem that one would take more work.

        Finally, have been waiting on someone to interfect or add to Habert’s simple explanation of the “and also with you.” Something seems to be missing?

  16. Has anyone investigated to what degree other vernacular translations of the Roman Missal do (or do not) “propagate the difference between priests and people”? For example, many other translations have rendered “spiritu tuo” literally. How do these other translations fare elsewhere, such as in the Orate fratres? I know the French translation of that is rather egalitarian:

    P : Prions ensemble, au moment d’offrir le sacrifice de toute l’Église. [Let us pray together, at this moment of offering the sacrifice of the whole Church.]
    A : Pour la gloire de Dieu et le salut du monde. [For the glory of God and the salvation of the world.]

    Spanish is more aligned with the Latin:

    S. Orad, hermanos, para que este sacrificio, mío y vuestro, sea agradable a Dios, Padre todopoderoso. [Pray, brethren, that this sacrifice, mine and yours, may be acceptable to God, the Father almighty.]
    T. El Señor reciba de tus manos este sacrificio, para alabanza y gloria de su nimbre, para nuestro bien y el de toda su santa Iglesia. [May the Lord receive from your hands this sacrifice, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and that of all his holy Church.]

    (I am interested to see where English differs widely from the other vernaculars; e.g. the shortening of the Gloria.)

  17. I apologize, Father, for lumping you in with the 70s ICEL defenders….Bishop Trautman and …. Mr. Haas….and…I guess that’s about it!

    But we are attacking “and with your spirit”, are we not?

    and…the 70s ICEL did get us out of the habit of saying that.

    I apologize for generalizing. Let me concentrate…

    You are in a position to know this: How many of the other 999 translations of the missal edit out ‘spirit’?

    Your blog makes legitimate criticisms, but then rebounds to old form in discussions like this one — where it seems, if you had your way, our English translation would stick out like a sore thumb.

    1. (a) There are nothing like 999, but you knew that.

      (b) The current Portugese translation, to name the first that springs to mind:

      The Lord be with you.
      He is in our midst.

      Recalls the Anglican formula

      The Lord is here.
      His spirit is with us.

      1. Thanks, Paul…JP, when did we arrive at the point that every vernacular had to be exactly the same via translation? Who kows what we will end up with when other language groups begin their translations?

        Also, if liturgy is supposed to be developed in the context and value of enculturation, your comment makes little sense. Or go back to Fr. Ruff’s earlier comment – you need to account for both the latin MR3 and the receiver language.

      2. Bill, I didn’t say every vernacular had to have the exact same translation. I said I was curious how they differ from English (and from one another).

        To that end, I’m looking at 15+ translations of the Mass.

      3. Here is what I have assembled so far. I’ll be adding Romanian and Dutch over the weekend, I think.

        I’m only looking at nine parts of the Mass in particular:

        1. “Et cum spiritu tuo”
        2. “Quia peccavi nimis … mea maxima culpa”
        3. The Gloria
        4. Selections from the Creed
        5. The Orate fratres and Suscipiat Dominus
        6. The Preface Dialogue and the “Vere dignum…”
        7. “Sanctus … Sabaoth”
        8. Selections from EP I’s consecration of the wine
        9. The Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus

      4. JP – you do realize that these other vernaculars are the translations from MR2 – they haven’t begun to do the “new” MR3 translation; so, you are comparing apples to oranges.

      5. Bill, I also have the 1973 English translation in there, so I can compare apples to apples.

        The fact that they are not translations of MR3 has not discouraged Paul Inwood from mentioning the Portuguese translation of “The Lord be with you / He is in our midst”, nor has his doing so raised anyone’s apples-and-oranges alarm.

        These other vernaculars, written under the same translation legislation (Comme le prevoit) as the 1973 English translation, manage (in varying degrees) to avoid the “extremes” of the English translation.

        For example:
        * the current English has “through my own fault” (reducing the Latin triple to a single);
        * Croatian, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Tagalog retain the triple;
        * Czech, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Swedish use a double;
        * French is somewhere between a double and a single: “j’ai péché … qui, j’ai vraiment péché.”
        * Catalan and Norwegian are most like English, with a simple single.

        The Gloria is another example. The current English translation reduces the five praise-verbs to three, and reduces the triple to a double… but Catalan, Croatian, Czech, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Tagalog retain the five verbs and the triple.

      6. Hi Jeffrey,

        I will have to go back to check some of the texts for the Chinese translation. But I remember the following in the Chinese texts:

        (1) “And with your spirit” as the response in the dialogue (although one of the forms had an alternative).

        (2) The “mea culpa” is translated thrice.

        (3) The creed is in the singular, although consubstantialem is obviously a problem – I will have to check how they rendered that.

        On this blog, some people will choose to turn a blind eye to the weakness of another’s argument if they support the conclusion. And some will throw all kinds of silly accusations (there is a Chinese proverb for this: picking stones in an egg) if they disagree with your position. But I guess this is common human nature.

      7. Ok. Managed to take a look at the Chinese translation of the Missal. There are two major translations, one used in Taiwan, and another revised one in interim use in Hong Kong. The former is more prevalent. I will mention any significant differences between the two.

        1. “Et cum spiritu tuo”
        Translated as “And with your spirit”.

        For the Taiwan text, the response to “Grace and peace from God the Father and the Christ be with you” is “And also with you”. This is not an option in the revised Hong Kong text.

        2. “Quia peccavi nimis … mea maxima culpa”
        Translated as “I have sinned in my thoughts, words, deeds, through my fault, through my fault, through my grevious fault”

        3. The Gloria
        Not sure what you’re looking for specifically. But it follows the Latin accurately, including the repetitions.

        4. Selections from the Creed
        Translated as “I believe”. Consubstantialem is interestingly translated as “of the same nature and substance”, although the word used for substance can also mean “body”.

        5. The Orate fratres and Suscipiat Dominus
        “Meaum ac vestrum” is translated as “my and yours”.
        In the response, no “holy Church”. Only “the whole Church”

        6. The Preface Dialogue and the “Vere dignum…”
        Translated as follows:
        The Lord be with you.
        And with your spirit.

        Lift up hearts.
        We have given our whole hearts to the Lord.

        Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
        This is right and worthy to do so.

        Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and everliving God, it is indeed right and worthy that we give you thanks, always and everywhere, through Christ our Lord, and it redounds to human [HK: our] salvation. etc

        7. “Sanctus … Sabaoth”
        Translated as “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of all creation”. For the record, “hosanna” is not transliterated, but rendered as “Cries of jubilation”

      8. 8. Selections from EP I’s consecration of the wine
        Translated as: “Take this all of you and drink from it, this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal/everlasting covenant, which will be shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. You must do this, in memory of me.”

        9. The Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus
        Translated as
        “Behold, the Lamb of God. Behold, the one who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the sacred banquet.

        Lord I am not worthy that you should enter into my heart, if you but say the word, my soul will be healed.”

      9. Thank you, Simon!

        These are the specifics of what I am comparing and contrasting across the various languages:

        Et cum spiritu tuo – speaks for itself

        Confiteor – “nimis”; ways of sinning; “mea culpa” triple (Did they really omit “omission” in the Chinese translation?)

        Gloria – Curious about the rendering of “hominibus bonae voluntatis”, the five verbs of praise, and the three supplications.

        Creed – Interested in: “I” vs. “we”; visible and invisible; how “… in one Lord Jesus Christ” begins (“and”, “I believe”, “We believe”); born of the Father; consubstantial; “For us …” (what word is used, and is it the same as the one used in the Gloria for “hominibus”); the “incarnate” line (and the phrase used for “homo factus est”, re “hominibus” and “homines”).

        Orate fratres – Mine and yours; “holy Church”; how integral the translation is overall (compare Czech, French, Norwegian, and Swedish to the other languages).

        Preface dialogue – The dialogue on how the priest incorporates the people’s final response into the preface.

        Sanctus – “sabaoth” (interesting note about “hosanna”…)

        EP I/wine – how is the cup/chalice described, how are Jesus’ hands described; pro multis; mysterium fidei

        Ecce agnus – rendering of “supper of the Lamb” (e.g. completely omitted in Slovenian); rendering of “intres sub tectum meum” and “anima”

    2. I will happily identify myself as a defender of the current translation. It is beautiful and it is poetic. It was developed in a very open process and has served the English-speaking Church very well. And as the Tridentine Mass has proven, the current translation will live on in some way or another.

  18. This is one of the changes I hate most of all. It sounds like the priest has a spirit and we do not.

    Why doesn’t the priest say “The Lord Be with Your

    Don’t we have spirits?

    1. This is a question for the underlying Latin and Greek texts. It’s found as far back as Hippolytus.

      I think I have seen some old anaphoras that have the priest say “… with your spirit(s)” to the congregation, but I’d have to go through my notes and find them.

      1. It’s an issue of translation which depends both on the source language and on the target language. There are two valid considerations which depend on the nature of the language in question. When each person has only one of that which is being referred to, some languages prefer the singular, others the plural.
        In my view it makes less sense to defer to the preference of the source language than to respect the custom of the target language.

    2. Re: Jeffrey Pinyan on November 17, 2011 – 2:57 pm

      According to Bernard Botte, Greek recensions of the preface dialogue in Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition begin:

      Priest (S): ὁ κύριος μετά πάντων ὑμῶν
      People (P): μετὰ του πνεύματος σου

      S: The Lord [be] among all of you
      P: [and] with your spirit

      (c.f. Bernard Botte, “la tradition apostolique de Saint Hippolyte”, Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen 39, Münster, Westfalen, 1961, 12.) My brackets, trans.

      The Latin plural vobiscum implicitly identifies the greeting’s recipients. μετά πάντων (among all) explicitly identifies the greeting’s recipients as the worshiping congregation.

      The Greek greeting acknowledges the plural nature of the congregation and the singular nature of the celebrant. The Latin is more vague, as the plural vobiscum is not given a precise definition (more than one of what?). The vague nature of vobiscum might be one reason why many struggle with the response “and with your spirit”. Even so, it is dangerous to look at the eucharistic liturgy of the Apostolic Tradition and conclude that μετά πάντων should be conflated with vobiscum. Nevertheless, the Greek recensions of AT might shed some light on the Latin greeting’s ambiguity.

  19. I think you can use correction in two ways, the “ethos” of the new English translation is closer to what one would experience if one understood Latin and thus the model of translating corrects the earlier model that allowed for dynamic equivalency but not necessarily accuracy in “ethos.” Certainly when one uses “corrected” translation that can have a variety of interpretations and certainly much is corrected but not everything is corrected well, and there are some down-right wrong translations–the work of human hands? I think we can say that about various aspects of the Synoptic Gospels that get certain things differently (perhaps wrong) while maintaining the “message.”
    I am curious though about the insistence that Liturgiam authenticam had to be followed slavishly. It seems that most would be grateful for that flexibility in not slavishly following it was subsequently allowed whereas the previous method of translating originally was followed a bit too slavishly. None of this is to deny that there weren’t or can’t be better “corrected” translations, but what is, is (if we agree on what “is” is) until some other type of correction or corrections are made in near or distant future which I presume and hope will occur.

  20. To James Potter at #31: Good question. Just reached for “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest” (2007), which is approved by the USCCB for use in the U.S.A. Chapter II outlines Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word [With Holy Communion]. The concluding rite provides that a deacon says “The Lord be with you” before giving a blessing, but a lay leader of prayer is to say, “May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life” (SCAP 214). According to the book, there is no “The Lord be with you” at the beginning of this celebration.

    1. Thanks, Shelby – see #34 above. Would characterize the USCCB document as following along the choice that there is a difference between clerical presider (priest or deacon) and all others. What else would you expect from the USCCB?

      Note – what happens in those situations (and they are increasing in number) where the local bishop has appointed or named a religious sister or qualified lay person to lead the parish, mission, community……it means that this leader (who is recognized as such by the community; may have the community’s trust, etc.) has to depend upon a visiting priest to do a complete eucharist or funeral with eucharist; same with witnessing a marriage ….and when they do lead the celebrations; they must use a different dialogic formula?

      Why? Can you see what this does in terms of ecclesiology? How it impacts our sacramental theology? What comes first – cleric or sacraments?

      Do you think that God cares? Does this weaken the catholic priesthood when those missions and rural parishes must have designated lay leaders?

  21. One more take on And with your spirit and I hope Michael Joncas will weigh on this because I heard this from him. I want to make sure I state this correctly. He (and others?) have suggested this is an example of “phatic” speech. I say “Thank you” and you say “You’re welcome”. Or better, I ask “How are you” and you say “Fine”. It’s the polite and expected response. One rarely answers the question “How are you?” with an honest response; this is not the time to talk about your bursitis, your sick aunt in the hospital or your frazzled mental health. One simply responds “fine”. Could it be we are looking to read too much into this exchange? Is it nothing more than a verbal secret handshake? We prove to each other that we are “in this together” by offering the “correct” resopnse to the initial greeting. Mike, please help us out…

    For those who want to assume it has something to do with the spirit bestowed at ordination (then where’s the capital “S” in spirit….) Jean Corbon (in his Wellspring of Worship) does poetically suggest that the ordained are the “servants of the epiclesis”. A pretty thought, if not wholly correct.

    1. This is like the former English greeting “How do you do?”, to which the correct and polite response in social etiquette is not “Very well, thank you” or “In rapid decline, but thank you so much for asking”, but — “How do you do!”

      1. Here in Ireland there are three stages of terminal decline:
        1. You are poorly.
        2. You are very poorly.
        3. You are looking great.

  22. We are forgetting that the Latin text chose to translate the semitic greeting (probably via Greek) literally. The phrase would have made as much sense to the early gentile Christians as to non-Christians (and apparently, many Christians too). But they kept the literal expression, and the interpretation of this text has subsequently been enriched through the ages.

    The Church has always been hierarchical from her origins. A hierarchy isn’t a synonym for oppression. I welcome this change which highlights the importance and roles of both the ministerial and baptismal Priesthood. It doesn’t make me, a laity, feel inferior. Instead, it highlights the special love of God who chooses unworthy men to be his instruments, and is a humbling call for Priests to recognise their need to depend entirely on God for their ministry.

  23. Bill deHaas :
    Good example of how the “receving” laguage can change the meaning and intent of this simple dialogue. The German “geist” means something to the German culture that is very different from what “spirit” or “ghost” means to the American culture. That is the point.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.
    Still, the Germans refer to ‘die Heiligen Geist’ – is this really different in meaning from what an informed person means by ‘Holy Ghost’? And, how do they translate ‘et cum spiritu tuo’?

    1. The German translation is literal: und mit deinem Geiste “and with thy spirit”, though the 2nd familiar singular is much more integral to German prayer than the obsolete 2nd familiar singular in English, which is often used as a ornament without theological importance.

      I would say that etymologically “ghost” in English, and especially American English, is no longer synonymous with “Geist” as used in German to refer to the third person of the Trinity. “Geist” in modern German can also mean “ghost” as in phantom, mirage, deceit, or illusion in a way similar to English. The unfortunate neologism Geisterfahrer, or an inebriated or mentally unstable person who drives the wrong way on the autobahn (I’m sorry if this is inappropriate, it was the only neologism I could think of at the moment), illustrates this. A “phantom driver”, perhaps.

      The Latin-derived alternate English word, “spirit”, has retained the theological meaning of the third person of the Holy Trinity, while the Germanic-derived “ghost” has been reduced to a secular meaning. I think this is sufficient reason to use the phrase “Holy Spirit” exclusively rather than “Holy Ghost” despite the aesthetic allure of the former.

  24. I went through the anaphoras contained in Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed (Jasper and Cuming) and I did not find any in which the presider says “with your spirits” to the congregation.

    I did notice one peculiarity, though. In the liturgy of Addai and Mari, the dialogue begins thus (p. 42):

    Priest: Peace be with you.
    Answer: And with you and your spirit.

  25. An article from the Catholic Herald from January of this year has a compilation of explanations of “your spirit”:

    “In saying ‘and with your spirit’ […] they do not refer to his soul, but to the grace of the Holy Spirit by which his people believe that he is called to the priesthood.” (Theodore of Mopsuestia, Baptismal Homilies, 15, 37)

    “The people answer the priest lovingly and say: ‘With you, O priest, and with that priestly spirit of yours.’ They call ‘spirit’ not that soul which is in the priest, but the spirit which the priest has received by the laying on of hands. By the laying on of hands the priest receives the power of the Spirit so that he may be able to perform the divine mysteries. That grace the people call the spirit of the priest and they pray that he may attain peace with it and it with him.” (Narsi of Nisibis, Exposition of the Mysteries Homily 17 A; c. 5th century)

    “And afterwards the people reply to the priest: ‘to you also be peace with the spirit of the priesthood which you have received’.” (Abraham bar Lipheh, Interpretation of the Offices; c. 7th-8th centuries)

  26. James Potter :

    Question: if you are a lay person leading a liturgy of the Word, should the lay person say ‘ the Lord be with you’ and the people respond ‘and with your spirit’?

    I’m thinking “no.” I used to be a presider for my parish’s Children’s Liturgy of the Word about once a month for seven years or so. We presiders were given permission to say “The Lord be with you” (with the children, of course, replying as normal) prior to proclaiming the Gospel reading.

    In 2001-2002 we were left without a priest for 6-8 weeks, so we had lay-led liturgies during that time. I was surprised to hear that the “The Lord be with you” exchange was skipped entirely at these celebrations.

    I e-mailed our prior priest and asked him the reason for this, seeing as how there is no real difference between me proclaiming the Gospel at Children’s Liturgy and another lay person proclaiming it at a full Liturgy of the Word.

    He informed me that the reasoning is, a priest is present at the celebration of Mass but not at a lay-led liturgy. Since Children’s Liturgy took place within the context of Mass, the Children’s Liturgy presiders “stand in” for the priest or deacon and are therefore entitled to use the Dominus vobiscum exchange. He went on to say that this reasoning was “not logical,” and I agree.

    Be that as it may, I think this is a pretty good indicator that it must be skipped when a lay-officiated liturgy is celebrated.

    1. At Mass, the deacon only offers the Dominus vobiscum once, at the Gospel.. At all other times, the celebrant offers the greeting. The dismissal is a good example. There, the celebrant sings the greeting and the deacon sings the dismissal.

      I would be interested to know if deacons are offering the sacerdotal blessing at the end of “priestless” communion services. A deacon may use .nos (we) instead of vos (you) at the blessing. A deacon may sign himself while pronouncing the prayer, A deacon may never offer a priest’s gesture of blessing. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if deacons are offering the sacerdotal blessing at the end of communion services. Fortunately, I live in a part of the world where priests are still relatively plentiful, daily Mass is plentiful, and communion services almost unheard of. Nevertheless, a conflation of diaconal and sacerdotal privileges will inevitably happen at deacon-lead services. Maybe it would be better for the deacon to expose the Sacrament, sing the Benediction hymns, and recite a short office instead. Then again, a deacon is also forbidden from offering a blessing with the monstrance.

      1. Jordan, your remarks here don’t reflect the current Roman Rite discipline for the OF books.

        I would be interested to know if deacons are offering the sacerdotal blessing at the end of “priestless” communion services. A deacon may use .nos (we) instead of vos (you) at the blessing. A deacon may sign himself while pronouncing the prayer, A deacon may never offer a priest’s gesture of blessing.

        I don’t have a copy of “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence…” handy, but the Book of Blessings allows the Deacon to give blessings in the sacerdotal form. See for instance the “Order for a Blessing to Be Used in Various Circumstances” on the USCCB web site.

        At the end of the rite:

        2009 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying:

        May God, who is blessed above all,
        bless you in all things through Christ,
        so that whatever happens in your lives
        will work together for your good.

        R. Amen.

        Then he blesses all present.
        And may almighty God bless you,
        the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

        R. Amen.

        2010 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:
        May God, who is blessed above all,
        bless us in all things through Christ,
        so that whatever happens in our lives
        will work together for our good.

        R. Amen.

        I believe that a deacon who presides a the Liturgy of the Hours also blesses the people in this way.

        Maybe it would be better for the deacon to expose the Sacrament, sing the Benediction hymns, and recite a short office instead. Then again, a deacon is also forbidden from offering a blessing with the monstrance.

        This is also not correct. According to “Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass” (from a pdf of the 1973 version on the web site of the Diocese of Crookston):

        91. The ordinary minister for exposition of the eucharist is a priest or deacon. At the end of the period of adoration, before the reposition, he blesses the congregation with the sacrament….

      2. Re: Samuel J. Howard on November 18, 2011 – 2:06 pm

        Thanks for correcting me Sam. Certain liturgical actions once prohibited or only allowed in extraordinary circumstances for deacons in the EF are now always licit in the OF.

        If a deacon (who, after the Council, is now an ordinary minister of Baptism) can bless within the baptismal rite, it is logical that he could also offer the Benedicat, for example.

        I don’t know if I am entirely comfortable with the blurring of the diaconal and sacerdotal roles in the reformed rite. My sentiments are irrelevant when compared with licit practice. I must accept it.

      3. I believe a deacon can offer Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with the Eucharistic blessing also. But if I’m wrong please correct me as I’ll have to make some in-house corrections!

      4. Why would there be a difference between deacons and priests? If the response is about the Spirit given by ordination, both were ordained.

      1. ‘Tis a common proof,
        That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
        Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
        But when he once attains the upmost round,
        He then unto the ladder turns his back,
        Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
        By which he did ascend.
        (Julius Caesar) 2.1.22)

        Just a thought for the day for you, Fr Allan!

    1. Don’t worry, Fr was well informed, or he has the instinct for good liturgy.

      The ordinary minister for exposition of the Eucharist is a priest or deacon. At the end of the period of adoration, before the reposition, he blesses the people with the Sacrament. (HCWEOM n. 91)

      The minister of exposition of the blessed Sacrament and of the eucharistic blessing is a priest or deacon. In special circumstances, the minister of exposition and deposition alone, but without the blessing, is an acolyte, an extraordinary minister of holy communion, or another person deputed by the local Ordinary. (CIC 943)

  27. Mary Burke :
    ‘Tis a common proof,That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;But when he once attains the upmost round,He then unto the ladder turns his back,Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degreesBy which he did ascend.(Julius Caesar) 2.1.22)
    Just a thought for the day for you, Fr Allan!

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Mary Burke – an apropos observation from the often-visionary, always astute, Shakespeare: here is a similar thought from Meister Eckhardt —
    If thou seekest aught of thine own… thou art seeking something with God, making a candle of God… with which to find something, and then, having found it, throwing the candle away. [Sermon XL]

      1. M.J.O. “An apropos (sic) observation”
        That is the first time I have heard of an adverbial phrase being used attributively as an adjective and I must say it’s a barbarism.

        And why use such an out-of-date translation of Eckhart?

  28. Does anyone know if the English translation of Liturgiam Authenticam was guided by its own principles? If so, it will no doubt be full of obscure literalisms, long sentences, and words which although apparently simple actually require a theological seminar to interpret…

  29. Referring to reply #51:

    ” Is it certain they knew enough Latin? It has been reported on PTB from numerous people (J.R. Francis, C. Grady, X. Rindfleisch) that Cardinal Cushing and Cardinal Spellman spoke in unintelligible Latin. “The notion that most priests (and many bishops) before the Council knew Latin well cannot be credibly sustained.”

    Are we all arguing about the correct translation of Latin prayers that the cardinals themselves did not understand? I doubt that’s what Jeffrey meant to imply, but there it is. Regardless of the beauty and meaning of the words in the original language, if the person using them doesn’t understand what he is saying, it is so much gibberish. I will go out further on a limb to say this: even if the words are in the English language, if the community using the words doesn’t understand the meaning, then those words are also so much gibberish. I respect those who have the time, skill and dedication to study the roots of our Church. However, words and phrases that require a Master’s degree in liturgy or theology to understand do not belong in the Mass! This doesn’t mean we must resort to the language of the nursery; our communal prayers should be adult but also readily accessible to most adults.

    1. Jack Feehily @ 2011-11-19 13:28:00

      Brigid, truer words have never been spoken. Our friends who disagree have a conviction that the only thing that really counts is that all the right words done with all the right gestures are directed entirely to God. Oh, and as long as it looks beautiful and the music is chant or from the hymnody of olde.

  30. I only wish they would have opted for “And with Thy Spirit” just as some formality was retained in the Our Father. “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. But otherwise I have read what the literal translation means and better understand how the previous tranlsation of “any also with you” led me to think I was responding to the Priest in a general greeting type of way. As in “Good Morning” and the response is “Oh, Good Morning to you to Father”. So if anything, the new translation has provoked me to dig deeper into what I have been saying for a long time.

    1. Oddly, someone wrote into my archdiocesan newspaper complaining about the “thys” in the “new” translation of the Pater Noster, but not in the other places. How does the new translation achieve uniformity, she had written, when we say “and with YOUR spirit”? But she was trying to drive at the opposite conclusion from you.

  31. I worry about a slippage of the eucharistic assemblies into a creeping Docetism with the response, “And with your spirit.”

  32. JP – Why dualism? Has, then, around 17 or so hundred years of liturgy in Latin affirmed dualism by saying ‘et cum spiritu tuo’? It has never been perceived as doing so, has it? One cannot escape concluding that the objections to the obvious translation of these words arise more from some visceral and mere dislike of it, rather than from a genuine concern for what the actual meaning is.

  33. One of the odder (or so it seemed to me) explanations for “and with your spirit” takes the allusion to ordination even further. The speaker claimed that the dialogue in the greeting is the way the priest bestows the Spirit on the assembly — it sounded very close to the presider’s transforming the people present into a worshiping assembly, almost in parallel with the invocation of the Spirit over the bread and wine during the EP — the presider’s priestly authority to transform (or to call upon the Spirit to transform) the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ extended to the ability to transform those gathered into the Body of Christ.
    The speaker did not cite any sources — it wasn’t an academic gathering — but as a theology of ordination and a corresponding ecclesiology, it would not be one that I would find compelling. The Spirit-filled identity of the members of the Body, gathered in the name of Jesus, is theirs by virtue of their baptism, not in virtue of the powers of ordination.
    (Did anyone comment on the use of “The Lord be with you” as restricted to the ordained? That has been my understanding — and the rubrics for the Exultet have it being omitted when sung by someone other than a priest or deacon.)

  34. Mary Burke :
    M.J.O. “An apropos (sic) observation”That is the first time I have heard of an adverbial phrase being used attributively as an adjective and I must say it’s a barbarism.
    And why use such an out-of-date translation of Eckhart?

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    MB – How right you are: it is, indeed, a glaring barbarism, isn’t it? Would you like to assess some appropriate penance for me?

    But (now here you are not right) in the matter of the translation of Echardt: I (and, surely, I am not alone) do not think of translations as being out of date; at least, I do not judge them by the dates they bear. It doesn’t seem to me that the passage from Eckhardt was either in or out of date because with a deft use of quite understandable English it expressed lucidly Eckhardt’s observation. “Out of date’ says nothing of substance about the translation, but much about the true and educated liberality of she who has said it negatively. Good language, like a Duncan Phyfe sofa, a Fra Angelico, an exquisitely bound book, or…. is never out of date. It may be antique (but not antiquated), it may be of an older time, but not ‘old’ or archaic. The Eckhardt translation came from the edition of him that I have – I find the language wondrously potent and engaging – and: you were able, thereby, to apprehend the import of his perspicacity, were you not? So it’s not ‘out of date’ – it is always new.

    (P.S.: I, um, did notice that you yourself used Shakespeare’s outdated language [and I’m glad].)

  35. Monsignor Ronald A. Knox, The Holy Week Book, Burns & Oates, Sheed & Ward, 1951

    Glory to God in high heaven,
    and peace on earth to men that are God’s friends.

    I believe in one God, the Father almighty, that made heaven and earth,
    things seen and things invisible.
    And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
    by the Father engendered before time began;
    God sprung from God, Light sprung from Light,
    true God as from true God he came.
    Begotten is he, not created, one in substance with the Father
    who created all.
    Who for love of us men,
    because he would bring us salvation,
    came down from heaven,
    by the power of the Holy Ghost took flesh of the Virgin Mary,
    and became Man.

    Look at this Qui pridie:
    An offering blessed and dedicated, a sacrifice truly done,
    worthy of our human dignity (rationabilem) and thy divine acceptance –
    this, O God, do thou make of it,
    body and blood that shall be, for our sakes,
    of thy own well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Lord be with you.
    And with you, his minister.

    Lift up your hearts.
    We hold them out to the Lord.

    Give we thanks to the Lord our God.
    Right it is and seemly.

    Lord, I am not worthy to receive thee under my roof;
    my soul will be healed if thou wilt only speak a word of command.

  36. How very beautiful!
    What rhythm, what poetry!
    There is something almost Hopkinsian about it.
    What a pity that the likes of Msgr Knox were not asked to provide us with the translations we need.
    Could we see more of this? The entire mass?
    Should there not be a comma at ‘…substance with the Father, who created all.? (It was ‘he’, the Son, by whom all things were made.

    1. There is no comma at that point in the book I have.

      Te igitur:
      And so, most merciful Father,
      in humble prayer we approach thee;
      praying thee, for the love of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
      this gift of ours,
      this tribute of ours,
      this holy sacrifice, virgin-pure,
      to welcome with thy blessing.
      And above all else,
      for thy holy Church universal we offer it;
      peace and unity grant her,
      thy guardianship and thy guidance, all the world over.
      On all alike have mercy, N., our Pope, and N., our bishop,
      and all right-thinking folk
      that hold the Catholic and apostolic faith in reverence.

      Remember, Lord, thy servants and handmaids, N. and N.
      Remember all who here stand about me;
      their faith, Lord, thou hast tried,
      their love thou knowest.
      For them we do sacrifice in thy honour,
      and they too offer it for themselves and all they love;
      for their souls’ ransom and their safe-keeping from all harm;
      they too would pay their vows to thee,
      who art God eternally, the living and true God.

      Qui pridie:
      He, on the eve of his Passion, took bread
      in those holy, those worshipful hands;
      to thee, his Father, God omnipotent, lifted his eyes heavenward,
      to thee gave thanks,
      then blessed, and broke, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
      Take and eat this, all of you:

      Simili modo:
      So too, when supper was done,
      into his holy and worshipful hands
      he took this cup all the world holds in honour;
      once more he gave thanks to thee,
      blessed and gave it to his disciples, saying:
      Take and drink of this, all of you,

      1. Per ipsum:
        Through him, and together with him, and in his name,
        to thee, Father Almighty,
        in the bond of the Holy Spirit,
        all honour and praise is given.
        World without end.

        Obedient to our Saviour’s command,
        and with his teaching for our model,
        thus we make bold to pray: Our Father . . .

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