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The Roman Missal Changes - Part 3

Give it To Me Straight: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Roman Missal Part 3

In a previous article, we described some of the most significant characteristics of the English translation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal: more allusions to scripture; a more elevated, formal language; closer adherence to the sentence structure, syntax, and cadence of the Latin; and a broader vocabulary. Without a doubt, these characteristics will be most evident in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

“And with your spirit”—a change in the new Roman Missal

The preface dialogue begins with the liturgical exchange we’ve already noted: “The Lord be with you / And with your spirit.” Then, after we have been invited to “give thanks to the Lord, our God,” the people will respond, “It is right and just.” This is a more concise translation of the Latin, and it creates an almost seamless transition into the rest of the Eucharistic Prayer, most of which follow with words such as “It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation…” (Eucharistic Prayer II)

There are two noticeable changes in the words of consecration in the new Roman Missal. Introducing the words of Christ, said over the wine, the priest will say, “…when supper was ended, he took the chalice…” Choosing the word chalice instead of cup emphasizes that this vessel is no ordinary cup. Indeed, it highlights the sacrificial character of this vessel which holds the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, shed for us out of love.

The difference between “for all” and “for many”

The next difference is in the words of Christ at the consecration of the wine as the priest says, “Take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood…which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The change of “for all” to “for many” maintains the words of Christ as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (26:28) and Mark (14:24), thus making the Scriptural allusion more obvious. At the same time, it does not change our Catholic understanding that Christ is the Savior of the whole world and that his sacrifice was made for all people (see John 6:51 and Catechism 606-623). This will be important as we catechize on the 3rd edition of the Missal.

The Mystery of Faith in the new Roman Missal

Read other articles regarding the changesOne significant change in the new Roman Missal is that the familiar acclamation “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again” will no longer be used as an acclamation to the Mystery of Faith. The reason for this is that the three options given for the acclamation are all addressed to the Lord (e.g., “We proclaim your Death, O Lord…”). They all note our relationship to Christ’s Paschal Mystery (“When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord…”). The acclamation “Christ has died…” does not follow this form; thus it was not included in the options. Likewise, instead of directing us to give the acclamation (“Let us proclaim…”), the priest will simply announce, “The Mystery of Faith,” acknowledging the reality that our acclamation is something that wells up, unsolicited. Notice, too, the similarity with two other equally profound pronouncements in the Liturgy: “The Word/Gospel of the Lord,” and “The Body/Blood of Christ.”

What does “enter under my roof” mean in the new Roman Missal?

The last noticeable change in the Liturgy of the Eucharist will be the invitation and response to Holy Communion. The priest will say, “Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” There are two key allusions to scripture here: John the Baptist identifying Jesus as the Lamb (John 1:29) and the angel’s declaration in Revelation (19:9) regarding those “called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” Our response, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed,” echoes the words of the Centurion, who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Luke 7:6-7, Matthew 8:5-13). As we are presented with the very Body and Blood of Christ, we are called to the same, deep level of faith as the Centurion.

In the next article we will explore the texts of the Concluding Rite in the new Roman Missal—in particular, the dismissal, to which Pope Benedict himself added his personal touch. 

Joe Paprocki is the author of several titles including the bestselling title The Catechist's Toolbox. Joe blogs about his work as a catechist at Catechist’s Journey.

D. Todd Williamson is the current Director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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