28 November 2020

ADVENT SUNDAY = LITURGICAL CHANGE (This needs a little Latin) (1)

Well, that's how it was in the 1960s. The Congregation for Divine Worship keeps this venerable tradition going, and, tomorrow, Advent Sunday (as we call it in the Patrimony), a new decree comes to us from the CDW via those always reliable messengers, the CBCEW.

It come with a Rationale signed by +George Stack, who I know must be Irish because, in the name George, the minuscule r is written majuscule R, more Hibernico. I am very pro-Irish.

It concerns the way we end Collects in vernacular forms of the Roman Rite. The basic Latin is:

Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Archbishop George describes this as 'doxological', which I don't think is quite right, But we'll let that pass.

The point of the Decree is that, in the hitherto English ICEL translation of this formula, the Deus is translated "one God". From today henceforth, the "one" is to be omitted.

A paragraph explains the reason for this. Sadly, as a Convert, I often don't quite understand the finer and richer points of Catholic Theology. The CDW point seems to be that the hitherto rendering suggests that "Jesus ... is one god among many". Because I don't understand this, we'll let it pass. But I will remind you that I have a great admiration for the S John Paul era document Liturgiam authenticam. And the new CDW requirement follows that document in conforming the English translation verbatim et litteratim to the Latin. So I can hardly be too critical of that, can I?

Apparently, foreigners don't add "one" to their vernaculars. But ... some of you will be squealing ... we're leaving the EU ...

I'll finish this tomorrow. But one completely non-ironic query: Jungmann says (with scant evidence) that the deus entered the formula in the late Middle Ages. George Stack says that the "doxological phrase was coined in Africa during the fourth century as a means to combat the Arian heresy". Does anyony have the facts about this?


Jhayes said...

I thought the English "one God" was a shortened version of "who are (plural) one God" since the statement is not about Jesus alone but is addressed to the Father ("Filium tuum", te[cum]), and mentions Jesus and the Holy Spirit who (all three Persons) are one God

In other words, it is an affirmation of the Trinity

E sapelion said...

This stems from a letter from Cdl Sarah of CDWDS.
The inclusion of the word ‘one’ before ‘God’, Cardinal Sarah wrote,
"can serve to undermine the statement of the Son’s unique identity within the Trinity which the Latin formulas so strongly convey and, on the other hand, it can also be interpreted as saying that Jesus Christ is “one God”. Either or both of these interpretations is injurious to the faith of the Church.
It is clear from the Latin texts that the doxology emphasises the divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son, who intercedes on our behalf, as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, to the Father and which prayer is made in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Son’s role of priestly mediation is made clear. To transfer the Trinitarian relational element in unitate as meaning unus Deus is incorrect."

I am unpersuaded. Looking at different editions of Challoner's Garden of the Soul I see some have "one" and some do not, so Catholics have not had a consistent usage.

Jhayes said...

I have now seen an excerpt of the Bishops' letter. It includes the statement "'Deus' here refers to the earlier mention of 'the Son". Obviously, this differs from my view that "Deus" refers to all three Persons of the Trinity.

Autenrieth said...

It is interesting that other languages have not included 'one'; I wonder if this is partly because many languages (or at least many European languages) use identical or similar words for 'one' and the indefinite article. That certainly would run the risk of making it sound as though God were one god among many. By contrast, there is no such problem in English. I think the corresponding risk must be pretty minimal.

ibericus said...

In the Spanish version, the divinity of the Son is emphazised with an implicit relative clause: Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who (...) and [who] is God ("Por nuestro Señor Jesucristo, que vive y reina contigo en la unidad del Espíritu Santo y es Dios por los siglos de los siglos")

motuproprio said...

Archbishop George Stack is of impeccable Irish ancestry, the land of his birth in the City of Cork.

Adrian Furse said...

Origen de Oratione 33.1 recommends that prayer should end with the invocation of the Trinity, and he's long before the Arians. Certainly the earliest Roman orationes are 3rd century, so possibly contemporary with this, but as to when the practice started I do not know.

Robin said...

This is not directly related to the above but is a request for information about the gospel for Advent Sunday. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer has Matt.21-the cleansing of the temple-which my commentaries tell me is the same as the (pre-Reformation) Sarum Missla. But my copy of this has Luke 21-part of the prophecy of the destruction of the temple-which pre-Vatican II also had. Were the commentaries or my Sarum Missal wrong?
Robin Davies

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I have made a couple of slight adjustments in the hope that nobody will feel irritated.

I think some criticism fails to discern a light-hearted style in this post.

E sapelion said...

On the light hearted approach -
Out late Archbishop was often referred by clergy as 'plus Michael', by way of contrast with his predecessor 'Cyril by the grace of God'

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Robin
Dunno. The Sarum on my shelves has rhe Mt 21 Gospel on Advent I; and Liturgy and Worship lists this Goospel for Advent I Murbach as well as for Sarum and York.

Robin said...

Yes you are quite right. I was looking at what I thought was a copy of the Sarum Missal but was not. Sorry about that. Robin Davies