Msgr. Bruce Harbert was Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy from 2002 to 2009.
In the new version of the Collect for the Immaculate Conception we pray that ‘we, too, may be cleansed . . .’. ‘Too’ implies a comparison with the Blessed Virgin, of whom we say earlier in the prayer ‘you preserved her from every stain’. But if she was preserved from every stain, as the Faith teaches, she could not have been cleansed – there was nothing to cleanse her from. The Latin doesn’t say ‘cleansed’ but rather ‘mundos,’ which means ‘pure.’ Like Mary, we can be pure by God’s gift, but, unlike her, we need to be cleansed. So a more faithful translation of the clause in question would run ‘we, too, may be pure’.
The prayer could be further improved by replacing ‘too’ by ‘also,’ since ‘we, too’ can be misheard as ‘we two’. The commas introduced in an attempt to exclude that ambiguity give the text a clumsy and cluttered appearance.
who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son,
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from every stain
by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw,
so, through her intercession,
we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence.