I have searched through Pray Tell in vain, looking for a thread that I thought I remembered about this topic. Perhaps it was on another forum. The discussion was about the replacement, in the proposed texts of what eventually became the 2010 Missal, of “our sacrifice” with “my sacrifice and yours”. If anyone knows where to find it, I should be grateful.
The reason “our sacrifice” originally substituted for “my sacrifice and yours” in the years following 1969 was because people came to realize that the latter phrase sounds as if it is making the non-ordained into second-class citizens, as well as possibly indicating to the unwary that there are two sacrifices, the priest’s and everyone else’s, whereas we know that we all offer a single sacrifice as one worshipping body.
The point of all this is that one of those posting in the thread that I have not succeeded in finding happened to mention that the translation we use of meum ac vestrum sacrificium is not really accurate. His argument hinged on the fact that the Latin ac is a rather stronger conjunction than the simple et. It binds words more closely together. The problem is that in English we only have the single word “and” to do duty for both.
To put it clearly, meum et vestrum sacrificium would mean “my sacrifice and yours”, but meum ac vestrum sacrificium doesn’t mean exactly that. It is the conjunction ac which makes meum ac vestrum function as if it were a single adjective. A good, literal translation would be “my-and-your sacrifice”, but that doesn’t work in good English. The nearest we could get would in fact be “our sacrifice” !
The French, of course, get round the problem neatly by saying “Let us pray together, at the moment of offering the sacrifice of the whole Church”, to which the response is “For the glory of God and the salvation of the world”. In German, the phrase is mein und euer Opfer, i.e. “my and your sacrifice”. Spanish-speakers have este sacrificio, mío y de ustedes, which would be “this sacrifice, mine and yours”. I am sure Pray Tell readers can provide many other languages, too.
I have heard a number of priests say “this sacrifice, which is mine and yours”. That is an improvement, if not yet as close to the Latin as “our sacrifice” would be. I suspect that those in Rome who insisted on changing “our sacrifice” back to “my sacrifice and yours” will not readily admit that they were in error in this regard, nor readily agree to change back. But something really needs to be done, if only to dispel the notion that the people’s sacrifice is not the same as the priest’s.