For someone who makes a sincere effort to "Say the Black and Do the Red," I made an interesting error at Mass this morning.
I was preaching on the sin of Saul, on God's right to the spoils of war, and what it might look like to examine our consciences on the issue of sins against the sovereignty of God. (Obviously, I got up too early.)
In the course of this I had a parenthesis on the heavenly armies: 'Sometimes we don't think about this too much, and yet we acclaim God as the leader of the heavenly armies in each Mass when we pray the Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts." The hosts, of course, are the angelic armies.
Trouble is, we don't say this in the Mass at all!
Our American English Sanctus says instead, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might," our current rendering of the familiar Latin text Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth from Isaiah 6:3. In translating this divine title, "Lord Sabaoth" the LXX transliterates it, and so too the Roman rite in its ordinary language. We should note, however, that St. Jerome did translate it, as his rendering of Isaiah 6:3 is sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus exercituum, "holy, holy, holy Lord of armies." (Now you know I got up too early. Something is up when both LXX and Vulgate are off the shelf already.)
So what was I thinking? Do I not know the texts of the Mass which I sing and pray each day? Am I reflecting across languages at some deeper level? Was I looking forward to the forthcoming new translation in which the "hosts" will be restored? (Among many other good things.) It's a funny thing I did. Luckily, nobody called me out on my error after Mass!