Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Rest of Eucharistic Prayer II

Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial

of his Death and Resurrection,

we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life

and the Chalice of salvation,

giving thanks that you have held us worthy

to be in your presence and minister to you.

Humbly we pray that,

partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ,

we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.


Remember, Lord, your Church,

spread throughout the world,

and bring her to the fullness of charity,

together with N. our Pope

and N. our Bishop

and all the clergy.


Pretty similar to what we currently use, with some repositioning of phrases in a more Latin way.

A couple word changes that we saw in Prayer III -- "memorial" instead of "memory".

Also, "charity" instead of "love". I have to say, this latter is a sadness for me; "make us grow in love" expresses quite personally my own hunger for our Church, especially in these difficult times. I'm not really sure what "bring her to the fullness of charity" even means, but it seems quite different, more about our action vis-a-vis the world.

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Remember Your Servant...

Remember your servant N.,

whom you have called today

from this world to yourself.

Grant that he (she) who was united

with your Son in a death like his,

may also be one with him in his Resurrection.


As in the current translation, this piece is only used when saying a Mass for someone in particular. The first sentence is pretty much the same, with the nice addition of saying the person who has died has been called to God's self.


The latter sentence is pretty different. Our current formulation explicitly links the end of our life to our beginnings: "In baptism he/she died with Christ; may they also share his resurrection."


The new translation is doing the same thing; the "death like his" is the "death" of baptism. But lacking the clear reference to baptism, it sounds like we're saying what unites us with Jesus is just the fact that we, too, have died!


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Have Mercy On Us All...

Remember also our brothers and sisters

who have fallen asleep

in the hope of the resurrection,

and all who have died in your mercy:

welcome them into the light of your face.

Have mercy on us all, we pray,

that with the blessed Virgin Mary,

the Mother of God,

with the blessed Apostles and all the Saints

who have pleased you throughout the ages,

we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life,

and may praise and glorify you

through your Son, Jesus Christ.


This last verse cleans up our own translation a bit; rather than separating those who have died as Christians from everyone else, we offer one prayer for all of them together. And we substitute "light of your face" for the current "light of your presence".

I go back and forth on this second change. The image of God's face alight has scriptural roots, and it's poetic. But what does it actually mean to "welcome them into the light of your face?" How do you get welcomed into a face? It sounds like something Picasso might paint.

The final lines stick to the current translation's cast in terms of mercy. Instead of making us worthy we ask that we might be made to "merit" sharing in eternal life.

I'm not sure we can be made to merit something, as merit is based on one's earnings, not the gift of another. But to some degree the same was true with "worthiness" -- it's not so much that we're made worthy as God forgives us or embraces us in our unworthiness.

We end, as currently, with the hope that we may praise and glorify God forever
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