Glossary of words and phrases from New Missal

17 Oct 2011

Please see below a glossary of the new words and phrases used in the congregational prayers and responses. The glossary  is taken from a current Intercom article by Father Patrick Jones, Director of the National Centre for Liturgy at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth:

And with your spirit:  the most obvious change, used by the congregation at the beginning and end of Mass, before the Gospel, at the beginning of the Preface and at the Sign of Peace.  It reminds us of the greetings of St Paul, for example, to Timothy: ‘The Lord be with your spirit’ (2 Tim 4:22), a recognition of the spirit that is among us as Christians, a spirit that we must live, and, in greeting one another, it proclaims the presence of Christ among us.

Through my most grievous fault: restored to the Confiteor are words translating mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, as we have in Irish: ‘trí mo choir féin, trí mo choir féin, trí mo mhórchoir féin.’

The Word of the Lord:  the simple acknowledgement that in the Scripture readings at Mass are the Word of God.  Linked with similar expressions, The Gospel of the Lord, The Mystery of Faith, The Body of Christ, The Blood of Christ, the great moments and the movement of the liturgy are captured.

I believe: is the traditional beginning of the Creed when recited in the liturgy.  The singular form is not about individualism but associated with Baptism, it is a personal profession of faith.  The Missal speaks of the Apostles’ Creed as ‘the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church.’

Only Begotten: occurs in the Gloria and the Nicene Creed, translating the Latin Unigenitum and replacing the current translation, ‘Only.’ Though it might be regarded as an archaic word, we have said the word ‘begotten’ twice in the Creed for over forty years.

Incarnation:  this term expresses the fundamental Christian belief that the eternal Son of God took flesh from Mary and that He is fully divine and fully human.  In the Creed we say:  ‘he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.’

Consubstantial: at the Council of Nicea in 325AD, the Greek word homoousios was used to express the doctrine that Jesus, the Son of God, is of the same essential Being and substance as the Father.  In Latin the term is consubstantialis, as we sing in the Latin Credo, hence ‘consubstantial,’ a theological or technical word to express our faith in the nature of Christ.

For us men and for our salvation:  this line of the Creed is translated this way as it is coupled with the line ‘and became man.’ In Latin, homo and its plural homines may include females and males.  Jesus became man, homo factus est.  He was incarnate, propter nos homines, for our salvation.

He descended into hell:  hell here is not the place of eternal damnation but the underworld abode of the just who died before Christ.  ‘Hell’ was the Old English word for the place of the spirits of the dead.   In the icon, the harrowing of hell, the Risen Lord is depicted standing on the gates of the underworld, rescuing Adam and Eve, the prophets and kings of the Old Testament, proclaiming the victory of the resurrection and salvation to all who waited for the Redeemer.

My sacrifice and yours: as well as the addition of the word ‘holy’ in the congregational response to the invitation, ‘Pray, brothers and sisters, …’ before the Prayer over the Offerings, the Latin of the priest’s introduction is translated so that we have, ‘my sacrifice and yours.’  While we may indicate a difference between the priesthood of the ordained minister and the priesthood of the laity, a single sacrifice is understood.  The Latin verb fiat is singular.

It is right and just:  this is the people’s response to ‘Let us give thanks to the Lord our God’ in the Preface.  Immediately the priest takes up the people’s part and emphasises, ‘It is truly right and just, …’

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts:  The Hebrew word Sabaoth means the ‘heavenly host of angels,’  just as we sing at Christmas.  Some argue that it could have been left in Hebrew, like Alleluia, Hosanna, Amen.

Under my roof:  In the invitation to Holy Communion, the people’s response is the response of the centurion at Capernaum (Mt 8:9, cf Lk 7:6-7), substituting ‘my soul’ for ‘my servant.  ‘Under my roof’ is in the centurion’s response and is translated in the Irish version, ‘faoi mo dhíon.’