Chrism Mass 2014, Diocese of Rome

Here is the leaflet for the Chrism Mass Pope Francis will celebrate tomorrow: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. I expect you’ll have comments on some of the English translations – and not only that.



  1. I must be missing something. I didn’t look over it with a magnifying glass, but here’s what I saw: “And with your spirit,” “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault,” the correct collect, the correct preface, EP1 with the full list of saints and “we offer you … or they offer for themselves,” and “for you and for many.”

    Is there some news here?

  2. Oh, yes, there is news.

    I noticed that the Vatican uses the minor doxology during the Liturgy of the Hours (Terce). Can this be interpreted as the restoration of the minor doxologies in the offices of the Triduum?

    I noticed the confusing verses of the entrance song; where did they come from? The ‘we’ and “us” of the Chrism Mass are all the baptized and confirmed and not just the ordained.

    Verse 1: The spirit [sic] of the Lord has been given to me, the Lord has anointed us, as a sign of his love.

    Verse 2: The Father loves us and delivers us from evil, in his Christ we are priests, shepherds, and servants of all.

    Verse 3: ‘This text is being fulfilled’, conformed, to Christ in order to live, die and rise with him.

    Verse 4: Let’s become the pleasing fragrance of Christ, living in the one who calls us: Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    I noticed that the Introit is sung after the entrance song.

    I deeply appreciate the use of the text of the Introit from the new Roman Missal, even if it is neo-gregorian.

    I noticed the loss of the ancient places for the blessings of the oils and consecration of chrism in favor of the new position after the Liturgy of the Word.

    I noticed that each kind of oil is presented separately. The Chrism is premixed?

    I noticed an offertory chant! The Sicut in holocaustis from ordinations and religious professions—another nudge of this liturgy in the direction of clericalizing?!

    A strange Mode IV Dilexisti at communion. Not the Mode IV Dilexisti of the Roman Gradual nor the simpler Mode VIII Dilexisti of the Simple Gradual.

    I noticed the Adoro te devote as a communion song—really?

    I noticed the Ave Regina Caelorum before the closing hymn. Unnecessary, IMO.

    1. @Paul Ford – comment #2:
      Paul, could you please explain about the minor doxology? Should it be omitted during the Triduum? I’ve always recited it, thinking that that peculiarity had been suppressed…

    2. @Paul Ford – comment #2:
      The “closing hymn” is in fact the processional hymn for taking the oils back to the sacristy – see Liber Usualis after Pius XII’s reforms, p.665-666. Obviously, the old tradition of singing more verses of the hymn after the blessing/consecration has been re-introduced at the celebration in Rome.

  3. And the English doxology is the old one we all grew up with saying the Rosary, not the approved one in our liturgical books, which I don’t think is quite according to the official Roman policy. May be an accidental mistake. Or a sign of coming re-translation change of it?

    1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #3:
      I think the translations might have been taken from the UK ‘Divine Office’ but I don’t have the book in front of me, at the moment so perhaps someone else can verify? They seem to do this in other places as well, such as on Vatican Radio [for the Scripture Reading and Intercessions in the Latin offices when English is employed].

      1. @Joshua Vas – comment #5:
        Yes, what I have checked agrees with the British “Divine Office” English translation of the LOH used in many or most English-speaking countries outside of North America. Including the familiar old form of the doxology in English. No evident change here, just a matter of which officially approved English translation was selected to include in the vernacular translations in the guide. (Of course, it appears itself that the liturgy itself will be mostly all-Latin for this occasion.)

  4. Good catch, Father; I didn’t see that.

    Me too, Joshua; but the monastery where I am an oblate still suppresses it during the Triduum. I’ve consulted various sources but I can’t find anything definitive. That’s why I mentioned it.

  5. I thought I already read somewhere that the doxology in the new liturgical books was going to be changed to conform to the traditional English (as used in the Rosary). While I’ve said elsewhere that “world without end” is a little difficult to understand, I don’t think this altogether a bad thing. If the sensus fidelium has for the most part retained it in popular devotions, then perhaps we should restore it liturgically.

  6. There is an assembly response, “Deo gratias” after each oil is announced. I don’t see that in the interim Pontifical published by Vox Clara. Is that response found in the Latin editio typica?

  7. I was told by the monk who led the translation of the new psalter that he had been asked by a certain Cardinal (who is a member of an elite group of 8) if, with the next translations of the Office, we Americans, “could go back to saying the gloria Patri the way that the rest of the world does.”

  8. The psalm translation used is Grail I, not the RGP, and the scripture translation is Jerusalem Bible. In this respect, everything follows the UK and Ireland Lectionary.

    The English translation of the office hymn for Terce is quite bizarre.

    The renewal of commitment to priestly service and the other Missal texts all appear to be in the MR 3 translation.

    As has been extensively noted, the Gloria Patri used is the standard version for the British Isles.

    (The only other one in common use there is the Grail one:

    Give praise to the Father almighty,
    to his Son, Jesus Christ the Lord,
    to the Spirit who dwells in our hearts,
    both now and forever. Amen.

    which was written to fit the Gelineau psalm tones.)

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #14:
      The French translation of the Gloria Patri normally used at the introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours translates literally into English as
      “Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
      the God who is, who was and who is coming. Amen.”

  9. In any event, it seems to me that this discussion of the English translation is without any import in regard to policy implications. Because the “Booklet for the Celebration” posted at

    appears to indicate that the whole liturgy–including the Chrism Mass and the preceding Terce (as given on the odd-numbered pages)–will be celebrated in Latin, apart from the first and second readings, the responsorial psalm and the renewal of priestly promises.

    So the English and Italian vernacular translations on the even-numbered pages are provided only for the benefit of the congregation (or remote readers like us). As I understand it, when a liturgy is celebrated in Latin, the vernacular translation in a bilingual worship aid for the congregation can be any official or unofficial translation selected by the editor of the worship guide. For instance, the old EF Latin-English missals show a considerable variety of individual vernacular translations. And as a worship aid for the occasional Latin OF Mass supported by my Latin Mass community, we provide the “Mass of Vatican II” Latin-English booklets published by Ignatius Press, which includes the older CREDO English translation of the Order of Mass, which” has not been approved for liturgical use and is printed here only as aid to understanding the Latin texts”.

    Of course, in preparing afresh an English-Latin worship guide for a modern OF celebration in Latin, it does seem a bit odd not to simply use the officially approved 2011 ICEL translation, especially since it is so eminently suited for literal understanding of the official (setting aside all questions of elegance, personal preference, or proclaimability).

    1. @Henry Edwards – comment #15:
      You make an interesting point about the provision of vernacular versions as an aid to translation. ‘Translation aid’ is about as good a shot at determining the genre of the current official English version of MR3 as there is. It may ultimately turn out to be its legacy.

  10. I didn’t watch the broadcast (and it is probably still going on as I type), but a friend who did emailed me to say “Dear Lord – I got through five minutes of the Gloria and gave up – Francis is standing there looking prayerful – possibly masking his boredom.”

    The assembly parts in the booklet are de Angelis, the choral parts are given as just text. Did the choir sing choral effusions for their parts?

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #18:
      I also noticed Francis in deep prayer at times and at times bored or looking kind of like “can we get this moving a bit faster?”. It was interesting to contrast his behavior at this event to the later Mass where he washed the feet of the elderly and disabled. He was more engaged and seemed more at ease. I sometimes think the official papal liturgies are a bit of a trial for him. The only time his face changes expression is when little kids come up with the offertory gifts with their parents. I think he does not like the layers and layers of clergy that separate him from the people when he is in St. Peter’s for the higher level Liturgies. It is really worth the time to watch the latter Mass with the washing of the feet but I had to wince every time he got on his knees…he has said they are bad…and then to watch it need both MC’s helping him to get up. Msgr. Guido got a workout!!

  11. from Louie Macari
    A few comments from the translation of the Italian
    1. From the dialogue before the Preface: e cosa buona e jiusta meaning it is right and good and closer to the original English used in other liturgies – it is right and fitting. Using iustum = just is possibly using a false friend and slavish trnaslation.

    2. From the translation of the Italian versionof the part of the canon: Pro quibus tibi offerimus …
    For them we offer you AND they also offer you this sacrifice of praise and they raise the prayer to you eternal God, living and true, to obtain for them selves and their dear ones redemption …
    This seems easier to understand than the correct translation of vel=or.

    3. at the words of institution over the wine
    this is the cup of my blood for the new and eternal covenant poured out for you and for all …
    While I was initially worked up about the use of many instead of all I am coming round to the idea as many is used in most of the other liturgies and it is a reasonable translation of the original Greek. Whether it is a reasonable interpretation of the meaning is another matter!

    4. at the Domine non sum dignus (note dignus here is translated as worthy in the English cf 1 above)
    Translation of the Italian
    O Lord I am not worthy to participate at your table but say only one word and I will be saved.
    I am afraid that when it comes to this response at home I do not use the English but the Italian quietly to myself.

    Buona Pasqua to all

    1. @Louie Macari – comment #19:
      I watched the chrism Mass and I thought the words over the cup were “pro multi” as he was saying the Mass in Latin. When he says Mass in Italian, it is definitely “per tutti” which, even in my crude skill in Italian, is “for all”. I wrote a letter about a month ago to Pope Francis…doubtful that he got it…noting the difference between what the English…for many..versus the Italian is. Then I asked him if Jesus died for all Italians but only for many English-speaking folks. The question may merit me extra time in purgatory…..

      1. @Reyanna Rice – comment #21:
        From the Latin text of the Mass he would have said “..qui pro vobis et pro multis..” which is “..which for you and for many..”
        The transliteration of the ‘original’ Greek text is “ peri pollon ekchunnomenon..” meaning “..that which for many is being shed..”
        The argument is whether “pollon” = “many” really means “all”.
        Even Pope Benedict in his book on Jesus appears to concede that “all” is a valid translation. The problem is that if one has to stick to the sense of the Latin then “multis” = “many”!
        What is required if “many” is to be retained is explanation. As I mentioned in my first comment other traditions seem to use mainly “many” although the Scottish Episcopal church uses “all”

  12. Doesn’t Scripture say explicitly that Jesus died for “all”? So why do the translators insist on translating a text that doesn’t reflect Scripture itself?

    Many people are very disturbed by this change, and I can see why.

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