January 18, 2012

New Translation: Prayer for Various Needs

Today I had my first chance to use the new translation of the good old 'Swiss Synod' prayer, formerly called in English the "Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions," appearing in the typical edition Missal as "prex eucharistica quae in missis pro variis necessitatibus adhiberi potest" and now similarly Englished as "Eucharistic Prayer for use in Masses for various needs."

It's a free day in the calendar today, at least where I am, so I took the ordo's suggestion to offer the Mass for the unity of Christians # 17A, which I presume is a way to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Generally speaking, it's fairly close to the previous English translation as it appeared for use in the United States in 1995. So if you're one of those who doesn't like the new translation and misses how things were before last Advent, this is the eucharistic prayer for you.

I especially like the new version of the post-consecratory epiclesis. Here's the old version:

Look with favor on the offering of your Church
in which we show forth the paschal sacrifice of Christ
entrusted to us.
Through the power of your Spirit of love
include us now and forever
among the members of your Son,
whose body and blood we share.

And the current one:

Look with favor on the oblation of your Church,
in which we show forth
the paschal Sacrifice of Christ that has been handed on to us,
and grant that, by the power of the Spirit of your love,
we may be counted now and until the day of eternity
among the members of your Son,
in whose Body and Blood we have communion.

I appreciate the stronger and more explicit eschatological language in the new translation. Our communion with Christ in the Eucharist is not just 'now and forever' but 'now and until the day of eternity.' This eternity is the blessed destiny to which Jesus Christ has blazed a trail through the death we have earned for ourselves with our sin. By passing through, with the humanity he borrowed from us by the consent of our Blessed Mother, all of our misery up to and including the searing grief of knowing oneself alienated from the Father, the Son of God has made the blessedness the Trinity himself available to our humanity. This is the eternal life we both have now and towards which we journey in the holiness of communion.

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