“One” God no more

A few weeks ago Paul Inwood reported on the change of the collect conclusion in England & Wales. The December/January edition of Intercom the Irish Bishop’s semi-official “pastoral and liturgical resource magazine” contains this official notification that Ireland is also dropping the word “one” from the collects in the Missal. However, the missals that are already been printed and are in use, don’t have to be physically altered, but priests are simply invited to omit the word as they pray the Collect.

Revision of the Collect prayer in the Roman Missal

Having considered correspondence from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which was addressed to the Bishops’ Conferences of all English-speaking countries, the Irish Episcopal Conference, at its meeting on 6-7 October 2020, hasdecided to adjust the wording of the Collects (opening prayers) in the Roman Missal. From the First Sunday of Advent,29 November 2020, the word ‘one’ should be omitted from the end of the prayer. Instead of ‘one God, for ever andever’ the prayers will now conclude with the formula God, for ever and ever.

The word ‘one’ has appeared in the English version of the Roman Missal in both the earlier and the currenttranslations. However, it is not in the Latin original. There is a possibility that this could cause some confusion regardingthe identity of the Son within the Blessed Trinity. It could also be misinterpreted to mean that Jesus Christ is just ‘oneGod’ among others.

In this way, the English translation will mirror the Irish version as well as that of the other main European languages,which do not contain the word ‘one’. This new wording will also be included in future liturgical books that contain thisconclusion.

On a practical level there will be no need to physically erase the word ‘one’, which appears many times in the Missal.The celebrant will simply omit the word from the prayers as he prays them.

Mgr. Joe McGuinness


  1. Then shalt thou count to none, no more, no less. None shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be none. One shalt thou not count, neither count thou less than none, excepting that thou then proceed to none. Five remains right out.

    1. I certainly didn’t expect Monty Python (nod to a famous skit, there)! Given the origin of the story, though, it does match the country.

      Thanks for the morning chuckle. I’m gonna have that in my head for a while.

  2. And yet we say again and again and again that God is one, in three Persons. Methinks this one might be somewhere down there with the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

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