An enhanced translation of the private priestly prayer before communion on Good Friday

The silent prayer before Communion, to be said by the celebrant of the Liturgy of Good Friday, is based on the second option of the two prayers given in Mass (between the “Lamb of God,” and “Behold the Lamb of God”).  In the Latin text for the prayer of Good Friday there is a specific alteration in the text, in that “et Sanguinis” is omitted.  I.e., the text for Mass begins: “Perceptio Corporis et Sanguinis tui, Domine Iesu Christe,” (May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ); but the text for Good Friday begins: “Perceptio Corporis tui, Domine Iesu Christe,” yet the English translation is the same!  In other words, the priest on Good Friday still prays that the reception of Christ’s Blood may not bring him to judgment, even though the Precious Blood is not reserved or received.

Now one can argue about the declarations of the Council of Trent about both the body and blood being received via either species, but one must agree that the Latin texts are different!

It seems odd that other texts have been scrutinized for unwarranted additions, but this addition snuck through!

Father Dennis C. Smolarski, SJ  is the author of several books about liturgy.


  1. I don’t have the EF missal or the OF Latin missal in front of me, but I believe the revision of the second private prayer in the Ordinary Form, before the priest’s communion (which is the second option, but both options derived from the two prayers mandated in the EF Mass) in the Latin’s Ordinary Form adds “et Sanguinis'” which is not in the EF’s version of this somewhat same second prayer. Since the EF Mass is from Trent, that’s all the more interesting.

  2. Back in days of the Baltimore Catechism I was taught that regardless of whether you received from the plate or cup or both you receive the whole Christ: “body, blood, soul and divinity.” This is in no way intended to defend communion under one species as a regular practice, but it is a defense of the theology of the English text.

  3. Even in light of the doctrine of concomitance, our ritual texts respect the species/form/kind by which one receives communion. Eucharistic ministers do not say “The Body and Blood of Christ” unless they are giving communion by intinction. It’s either “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ.”

    Good discovery, Fr. Smolarski.

  4. The story of the 2011 introduction to English-speaking Catholics of a hybrid Latin-English “English” translation of the missal will go down in church history as an abuse by a dicastery of the Roman curia and those who colluded with it, of the People of God and of the English language. And, at the same time, it will be recognised for what it is: a subversion by the same dicastery of the respective roles of bishops’ conferences and the Roman curia set up in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council to organise liturgical translation.

  5. Claire wonders whether people are done talking about the translation travesty that is MR3. My suspicion is that they are too busy in these days preparing for and now working through the Liturgies that we are currently celebrating. Liturgies that should be, given the richness of the mysteries we celebrate, a source of many graces and spiritual nourishment for the celebrant and the faithful. The rubrics for these days, which have also been tinkered with, are a minefield, and even with the guidance offered so eloquently and graciously by Paul Turner in his recent book, “Glory in the Cross” (Liturgical Press, 2012), I am sure there will be a few liturical howlers committed right across the English speaking world.
    And as a relatively regular celebrant of the Eucharist in English, though ministering in Japan, can I just say that, along with a few other colleagues whose liturgical ministry finds us regularly celebrating for the expat or migrant worker community, it can be exhausting work trying to sing, proclaim, pray MR3. More than once as I have finished a multi-lined, multi-claused prayer, particularly the Prefaces, I find myself saying – “Hope they understood that”, since I would need time to unravel it. And I say that as a priest now in his sixties, who until recently was also a high school teacher of Religion and English.
    I am sure that as we continue to move through the Liturgcal Year there will be further occasions when questions will be raised about the numerous problems inherent in the new translation. Silence shouldn’t be interpreted as accepting or condoning MR3 and the current translation, this I would hope is just a lull in an ongoing conversation we need to have for the sake of a more pastorally responsive liturgy, but one that is also faithful to the fulness of tradition.

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