Monday, October 31, 2011

Changes in the Prayers at the Preparation of the Gifts

Here are the prayers at the preparation of the gifts as they are presently said, compared to the new texts which will be put into use on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27. Although, on the surface, the changes are minimal, it seems to me that they make a real difference in the perspective they lend on our relationship to God. See what you think.

Present text: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.
New text: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.

Present: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.
New: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.

Present: Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.
New: With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.

Present: Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin.
New: Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Kingdom of God

From a sermon by Meister Eckhart:

“Our Lord says:  Know that the kingdom of God is close to you.  Indeed, the kingdom of God is within us; God is closer to me than I am to myself: my being depends on God’s being near me and present to me. So he is also in a stone or a log of wood, only they do not know it. If the wood knew God and realized how close he is to it as the highest angel does, it would be as blessed as the highest angel. And so man is more blessed than a stone or a piece of wood because he is aware of God and knows how close God is to him. And I am the more blessed, the more I realize this, and I am the less blessed, the less I know this. I am not blessed because God is in me and is near me and because I possess him, but because I am aware of how close he is to me, and that I know God. The prophet says in the Psalter: Do not be without understanding like a mule or a horse. Again the patriarch Jacob says: God is in this place, and I knew it not. We should know God and be aware that God’s kingdom is near to hand.”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Few Photos

These photos were taken at an EF Mass at
Our Lady of the Valley in La Grande, Oregon,
May 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Liturgiam Authenticam

I don't know anything about this other than what you see here. I got this from Mark's blog Dominican Idaho. As he notes, it "probably won't be playing at your local multiplex, but it ought to play at your parish!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beauty, Truth, and the Mass

Over at V-For-Victory, Anita has made some valuable comments on Bishop Morlino's recent statement about true beauty, and the beauty of Truth. Be sure to read the entire post, as well as Bishop Morlino's column.  Here are a few excerpts from Anita:

Beauty Is Truth, And Truth Beauty -- No, Really!

Any time I argue in favor of Gregorian chant at Mass, there always seems to be somebody around -- somebody, that is, of the Haugen-Haas mindset -- to inform me that my preference for chant is purely a matter of taste, and that other people have different tastes and opinions.  What never gets explained is why, if liturgical music is purely a matter of taste and opinion, their opinion always deserves to prevail over mine.  The answer, of course, is that where no one acknowledges universal standards, the party that prevails is always the one with the most power.  Thus, the ultimate end of relativism masquerading as "liberalism" or "tolerance" or "progressivism" is that might makes right.

Fortunately, however, there are universal standards; and even more fortunately, there are some in authority who stand up for them.  Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison in Wisconsin is one such, and his recent column in the diocesan organ, the Catholic Herald, addresses precisely the question of beauty and the liturgy.  The liturgy, he declares, "always requires beauty in its celebrations."

We must never forget that, being wounded by original sin, it is possible for us to take as good that which is not good.  We are not only capable of loving what is unworthy but also of rationalizing it.  Consider, for example, the ancient Roman taste for gladiatorial games, under the guise of admiring the combatants' skill and prowess.  Of course, the need to rationalize a taste for violence, or overt sexual displays, or low company, or other forms of spiritual trash, at least shows that the person caught in those snares still realizes, deep in his core, that these things are wrong.  Eventually, however, if we wallow long enough in baseness, that spark of conscience will be smothered and we will no longer see a need to rationalize.
When I enter a church built during the last century, do I feel as though I am in the portico of heaven?  Or do I feel like I'm in an airplane hangar?  Does the music make me feel as though I am at the foot of the Cross, or in the audience at a Broadway musical?  If I were an alien from the Andromeda Galaxy observing the sacred liturgy, would I guess by the vessels used at Mass that they contain Something precious?...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Altar Antependia

(Revisiting a previous post).

A Catholic church cannot be a church without an altar. This is where the Holy Sacrifice takes place. This is where the host is transubstantiated into the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Christians, and it is at Mass where we see the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
What then should be the primary visual focal point in the sanctuary?  The altar!
Making the altar a dignified and awe-inspiring element of the sanctuary helps us to achieve a greater sense of reverence concerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
How should an altar be decorated? The answer, truly, is not at all. However, an altar may and should be “vested” just as the priest is vested appropriately for Mass. A traditional way of creating a “vestment” for the altar is the antependium or frontal.
It is always nice to see a properly vested altar! Here are some examples from my own experience:

I think it's rather majestic-looking, but too bad this altar hides a wonderful high altar and reredoes!

Nice little altar in a nice little chapel...

Same altar, same chapel, different antependium.

They're not all perfect examples of altar/sanctuary arrangements, but they are pleasing, I think.

Here are some examples of what NOT to do to altars:

Well-intentioned, I guess, but showing a complete lack of understanding of what the altar is really all about.

To what is your attention directed?! The altar? What altar? I see a bed sheet being used as a backdrop for the floral arrangement!

Do I really need to say anything? Okay: Ugh.

And NOT use the altar as a desk or catch-all for the priest's notes, etc.

 Here are some links to great articles at The New Liturgical Movement blog:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What the New Translation Could Mean for Music at Mass

On The Chant Café is posted the full text of Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth's speech at the 2010 Southeastern Liturgical Music Symposium, August 21, 2010. It’s well worth reading in its entirety. Here are some of his comments (my emphases):
…I am sure that many of you here today were among the first to recognize that a change of translation, a change which implies a difference of style, register and content, would have considerable implications for our liturgical music. I am sure it will have occurred to you that it would not just be a matter of adapting our current settings and songs to the new texts, rather in the way that one might alter an old and well-loved garment to meet the demands of an increasing or decreasing waist-line! But rather, the new texts would quite naturally inspire new music which responds more directly to the character of the texts themselves, reflecting in an original way their patterns of accentuation, their cadence and their phrasing. Is it too much to hope that this might be a wonderful opportunity for reassessing the current repertoire of liturgical music in the light of our rich musical patrimony and like the good housekeeper being able to bring out of the store treasures both new and old?
Unfortunately, I am seeing in our diocese a tendency to want to do just exactly what Msgr. Wadsworth suggests is a mistake: adapting current musical settings to the new texts. The new translation – the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal – contains more music than any previous edition. And folks, it is NOT music by Marty Haugen and Bob Hurd! And we do have a “rich musical patrimony” to draw from, but it is NOT meant to be accompanied by guitars, tambourines, and/or trumpets. It is Gregorian chant. In the new Missal, it is Gregorian chant in both Latin and English; it is simplified and certainly singable (and will make you thirst for the authentic Latin stuff!). It makes sense in the context of the Mass itself. What a concept!
Having attended a workshop which utilized some materials from the Mystical Body, Mystical Voice program, I understand exactly what Msgr. Wadsworth is saying in this next paragraph:
Maybe the greatest challenge that lies before us is the invitation once again to sing the Mass rather than merely to sing at Mass. This echoes the injunctions of the Council Fathers in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and reflects our deeply held instinct that the majority of the texts contained in the Missal can and in many cases should be sung. This means not only the congregational acclamations of the Order of Mass, but also the orations, the chants in response to the readings, the Eucharistic prayer and the antiphons which accompany the Entrance, the Offertory and the Communion processions. These proper texts are usually replaced by hymns or songs that have little relationship to the texts proposed by the Missal or the Graduale Romanum and as such a whole element of the liturgy of the day is lost or consigned to oblivion. For the most part, they exist only as spoken texts. We are much the poorer for this, as these texts (which are often either Scriptural or a gloss on the Biblical text) represent the Church’s own reading and meditation on the Scriptures. As chants, they are a sort of musical lectio divina pointing us towards the riches expressed in that day’s liturgy. For this reason, I believe that it is seriously deficient to consider that planning music for the liturgy ever begins with a blank sheet: there are texts given for every Mass in the Missal and these texts are intended for singing.
In the workshop I attended, which was sponsored by the Society of St. Gregory the Great, participants were reminded of the rich Catholic heritage that lies beneath the surface of the Liturgy, building on 2000 years of Christianity as well as several thousand years more of our roots in Judaism. The Mass is more than it appears on the surface, and participants were led into a renewal of their understanding of the liturgy's spiritual depths and its true meaning. Instruction in singing the Mass was also included, making use of all that music in the new edition. This highlighted the fact that the USCCB is encouraging priests and the faithful to reclaim some of the lost traditions of the Church by singing the Mass from start to finish.
So…from my scattered memories of my initial Catholic music experience, coupled with my experience with chant over the last few years, and joining that to the potential of the new translation, I must simply urge you:
Go! Run – do not walk! – to the nearest “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice” workshop (or use the on-line resources)! But SING THE MASS!!!
If you live within a half-day’s drive of Bend, Oregon, plan on attending the “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice” workshop there on Nov. 11-12. See the sidebar and a previous post on this blog for details.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Smoking" Section!

I found this on The Chant Cafe, but it is originally from this website, along with the commentary below the photo. Imagine being able to advertise your own parish this way!

Where we participate in corporate worship and the experience that we find there has a major effect on our experience of the Christian life with God and shapes our theology and spirituality.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Liturgy "By the Book"

Many people in many parishes seem to be under the impression that what goes on at Mass is determined by the Liturgy Committee. Not so! With the new translation of the Roman Missal coming into use on the first Sunday of Advent, the fact that there really is a "right way to do it" may get a little more exposure.

Here are a few important points about the liturgy:

1. The Catholic Church is not a democracy. There are instructions, mandates, and guidelines that we either must or should follow with regard to the liturgy.

2. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) tells us how to “do” the Mass. It is an instruction, not a suggestion!

3. There are specific guidelines for the music in the Liturgy. We should not look at it as what “we” want for “our parish”, but rather, what the Church has in mind for liturgical music. This applies also to the furnishings and decoration of the church and sanctuary; the GIRM contains a chapter on this.

4. There have been several instructions on music in the liturgy issued from the Vatican. Many of the mandates contained in them have gone by the wayside in the US. This does not excuse us from knowing what we are supposed to do. We can read them for ourselves.

5. Canon law supports the right and the duty of Catholics to request and to be granted an authentic liturgy. We should ask that things be done properly, and we should make known to the proper authorities when things are not done properly. So if a person or group asks for a liturgy that follows the rubrics, their request has canonical authority behind it. Asking for things that are not provided for in the GIRM or other documents, or which are prohibited, carry no weight at all and amount to an attempt to hijack the liturgy for one’s own purposes.

6. Latin is the official language of the Church. Vatican II documents on the liturgy and music stated explicitly that the people should be able “to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 54, #1 – Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). The "Ordinary" includes the Gloria, Kyrie, Sanctus (Holy holy), and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). We should all know those, in Latin!

7. As adults in the Church, we should all be actively seeking to grow in our faith. We cannot effectively pass on the faith to our children if we don’t know any more than they do. When we bring the liturgy down to the level of the children, we are not doing them any favors. They will come to see "church" as something "for little kids".

8. The music and the furnishings and décor of any Catholic church – the environment in which we celebrate Mass – should suggest and be conducive to awe and reverence. It's not about creating a "friendly" or "comfortable" atmosphere; our churches should reflect the fact that they are sanctuaries of God - the King of the Universe!

9. Maybe all of this, or most of it, or some of it, is new to you. If you did not know about these things before this, now I have given you the information, even if past, current, or future pastors did not or do not. What you do with it is up to you, but we are all held accountable by God to know these things. You can read the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

The treasury of our Catholic heritage is rich. It's time to rediscover it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some notes from the GIRM

The numbered paragraphs below are from the 2003 GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal).There is a new translation of the GIRM, just as there is a new translation of the Roman Missal; however, I believe the sections noted below remain largely unchanged.

With Advent approaching, parishes will begin planning for changes in church "decorations" as well as music. Many committees will go with the same thing they've done year after year. But is it really correct? It's worth reviewing what is the mind of the Church as we contemplate seasonal changes in decor!

From the GIRM: 

18. …the entire celebration is planned in such a way that it leads to a conscious, active, and full participation of the faithful …of the sort which is desired by the Church and demanded by the very nature of the celebration… 

289. …[I]n commissioning artists and choosing works of art to be admitted into a church, what should be required is that true excellence in art which nourishes faith and devotion and accords authentically with both the meaning and the purpose for which it is intended.

292. Church decor should contribute toward the church's noble simplicity rather than ostentation. [There should be]…an intent to foster the instruction of the faithful and the dignity of the entire sacred place.

305. …During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this season, without expressing prematurely the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions.   Floral decorations should always be done with moderation and placed around the altar rather than on its mensa.

306. Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the mensa of the altar: namely, from the beginning of the celebration until the proclamation of the Gospel, the Book of the Gospels; then from the Presentation of the Gifts until the purification of the vessels, the chalice with the paten, a ciborium if necessary, and, finally, the corporal, the purificator, the pall, and the Missal.
The Importance of Singing

41. All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.50

Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is fitting that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, set to the simpler melodies.

Get Ready for the New Translation!

Some of the prayers of the Mass are changing.
We invite you to learn more about it.

Mystical Body, Mystical Voice is a unique program based on an appreciation of the sacramental nature of the liturgical rites.

This program will
     • let you know what changes are coming;
     • open you to the riches of the liturgy;
     • lead you to participation that is fuller, deeper, and more conscious.

Find out more! Come join us!

Where: Bend Armory, 875 SW Simpson Ave., Bend

When: Friday, November 11, 6:30-9pm
Saturday, November 12, 9am-4pm

Contact: Stephanie Swee, 541-550-0832
or email

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Re-Post: New Mass, Old Mass...and New Translation

This post appears on the blog Philothea on Phire which is written by Jay Boyd. Dr. Boyd also serves as vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Society of St. Gregory the Great, in addition to editing this blog!

Most of this post is excerpted from my article "We've Been Robbed!" which appeared in Homiletic and Pastoral Review in May 2008. Comments about the new translation have been added.

The present situation in my parish is not much different from that in many parishes, I suspect: before Sunday Mass begins, the Rosary is prayed. This is wonderful. Then there follows something of a “social” time, which seems to me to detract from the preparation for the Mass that the Rosary has just afforded us. People in the pews chat for a few minutes before the announcer stands before the microphone and bids us “good morning” and other platitudes meant to welcome us and make us feel good. He or she announces the name of the priest, the acolyte, and tells us who is singing. We are invited to “take a moment of silence to prepare out hearts and minds for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” (although a few announcers cannot bring themselves to say “holy sacrifice” and deviate from the script by substituting “celebration”). After 30 seconds or so, the “opening hymn” is announced, and Mass has officially started. Personally, this scene makes me feel like I've turned on the TV to watch a talk show,

This is in stark contrast to the start of Mass in the forma extraordinaria. The Mass is not "announced"; it begins.When the Asperges is included, this seems to me to be a wonderful preparation. It reminds us of our sinfulness and of God’s mercy in cleansing us of that sin. In fact, throughout the prayers of the Mass of the extraordinary form, I find this constant reminder of the tension between our sin and the mercy of the Father. Not only this, but the penitential rite of the forma extraordinaria continues this examination of conscience and petition for forgiveness in a more intense way than occurs in the Novus Ordo, or forma ordinaria.

Of course, the Novus Ordo also offers an opportunity to examine and confess our sins in a meaningful way. The problem is that liturgical abuses have so marred the ordinary form that the differences between it and the extraordinary form are exacerbated. The fault lies not in the Novus Ordo itself, but rather in its implementation, in the flagrant disregard for the norms set forth in the GIRM.

Returning to some of the differences between the two forms, let us examine, for example, the offertory prayer. From the forma ordinaria, we hear “Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation; through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.”

But in the forma extraordinaria, we find a much richer prayer: “Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, this unspotted Host, which I, Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my countless sins, offenses, and negligences: on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may avail both me and them as a means of salvation, unto life everlasting.”

To me, the difference between the two prayers is like the difference between sending a text message on a cell phone, and having an actual face-to-face conversation with the Person. Have we reduced ourselves to prayers of the form “Tnx. Pls bless r gifts”?

The difference between the prayers points to something greater than the spoken (or silent) words for me. For one thing, the prayer of the 1962 missal seems to imply a much greater God than the newer prayer. Also, our sins are acknowledged and forgiveness asked within the context of the offertory. And finally, the older prayer underscores the role of the priest: the very words tell us that he is making the offering on our behalf, and acknowledging our sins as well as his own, and asking for us and for himself “life everlasting”.

This issue of the role of the priest is an important one, and, to my way of thinking, it constitutes a major difference between the two forms of the Mass. This was an issue I pondered before I knew about the forma extraordinaria: the priest as priest versus the priest as narrator and commentator. The more I experience the "old Mass", the more I see the priest in the Novus Ordo - as it is currently practiced in the parishes I attend - is that of a talk show host.  

Some of these disparities will be addressed by the new translation. I am looking forward to hearing all the changes. The talk show host mentality, though, in my opinion, will be expunged only by a return to ad orientem worship: when the priest and the faithful face God together, things are different. The priest leads, rather than announces. He prays, rather than performs. He's a priest, rather than a lay person in special garb.

And finally, if the Mass is sung, as the new Roman Missal encourages us to do, the "logic" of how the liturgy is constructed becomes more clear; the priest's parts are followed by the people's parts in a less disjointed way. The beauty of the liturgy is enhanced.

My preference is for the extraordinary form of the Mass. But I have high hopes for the ordinary form - if the changes in the new translation are faithfully implemented.

That's a big "if".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Choice of Liturgical Music

Here's what I should have heard for the "opening hymn" (the introit) at Mass last Sunday:

Here's what I heard instead:

The musicians are really much better than they sound on the video, but still...the music is simply not good music. And bad music sung well is still bad music. In addition, the text of the song the choir chose to sing does not at all resemble the text of the official antiphon the Church designates as the choice for the Mass of the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The song was chosen because it was about eating, and the readings were about eating, so that must make it a good choice...right? Wrong!

We must learn to think with the mind of the Church, instead of picking and choosing according to our own desires and preferences. There are still options, but they are more limited than OCP and other "liturgical" publications would have us believe.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Important Links for Singing the Mass

There is an official music of the Mass! And it may come as a surprise to many to find that the official music is NOT found in "Breaking Bread", "JourneySongs", or other similar publications from OCP.

The official music of the Church is found in the Graduale Romanum (Roman Gradual), which has the proper antiphons for every Sunday of the year. What are the "propers"? Those are the antiphons we are to sing at the places in the Mass where we currently have an "entrance hymn", a responsorial psalm, the alleluia verse, the offertory hymn, and the communion hymn. There are now English versions of these propers set to simple Gregorian chant melodies. They are available as "Simple English Propers". That's a page of the Musica Sacra website where you may download to entire book. For lots of general information and resources, visit the main page at Musica Sacra website. This is the official website of the Church Music Association of America.  You may also access the Graduale Romanum at this website; see the "Chant Books" tab.

Back to the Simple English Propers: you may visit The Chant Cafe to hear them sung, Sunday by Sunday. There are plenty of other good resources and articles here, so be sure to explore the site.

For the "full meal deal" - that is, for the Latin chant propers (for the ordinary form of the Mass), as well as the ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Agnus Dei, Sanctus, Credo) visit the Chabanel Psalms website.

More links and resources will be listed soon!

"Mystical Body, Mystical Voice" workshop

What does the opening scene of the movie The Voyage of the Dawntreader have to do with the new translation (3rd edition) of the Roman Missal? Parishioners at St. Peter Church in The Dalles can probably explain it after their participation in a workshop sponsored by the Society of St. Gregory the Great on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8.

The workshop concerned the changes in the Mass that will be evident starting the first Sunday of Advent when the third edition of the Roman Missal is formally and officially put into use. St. Peter's parish bulletin has been running short articles about the changes in the people's responses for several months, so the workshop participants were familiar with some of them. An important focus of the workshop, however, was the reason behind the changes, the importance of our choice of words and manner of speaking in the Mass, and the value and beauty of a "sung" Mass.

The presentation included both video segments of speakers addressing the issues, as well as a "live" presenter. Participants were reminded of the rich Catholic heritage that lies beneath the surface of the Liturgy, building on 2000 years of Christianity as well as several thousand years  more of our roots in Judaism. The Mass is more than it appears on the surface, and participants were led into a renewal of their understanding of the liturgy's spiritual depths and its true meaning. Instruction in singing the Mass was also included, as the new edition of the Missal contains more music than the previous editions, and the USCCB is encouraging priests and the faithful to reclaim some of the lost traditions of the Church by singing the Mass from start to finish.

So, what does The Voyage of the Dawntreader have to do with all of this? It's worth your time to attend a workshop and find out! To schedule one in your parish, contact Stephanie Swee at 541-550-0832, or email her at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Changes in the Mass Coming Soon!

There is an informative article on the USCCB blog concerning the new translation. The official implementation date is the first Sunday of Advent. Here's an excerpt:

4. The translation of several phrases in the Order of Mass had been previously decided by the Vatican in the instruction Liturgiam authenticam. Among these are “certain expressions that belong to the heritage of the whole or of a great part of the ancient Church, as well as others that have become part of the general human patrimony…” Such is the case of the response “Et cum spiritu tuo.” What had originally been translated in 1973 as “And also with you” becomes now “And with your spirit.” This places the English translation in line with the way this has always been translated in most other languages, including Spanish, French, German, and Italian

5. Changes in the people’s parts. In addition to the response to the greeting “The Lord be with you”, people are going to find a number of other changes in the translation of common prayers throughout. This includes the various parts of the Penitential act (“I confess to Almighty God…”), the Gloria, the Creed (both in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed), the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), the Mystery of Faith, and the invitation to communion. (Samples of comparative texts for the new and old responses can be found at the USCCB Roman Missal website.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

16th Sunday after Pentecost

In the extraordinary form of the Mass, we use the "old calendar", and today is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost. In the ordinary form (the Novus Ordo), the "new calendar" is used, and this is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings differ for the two forms, as do the prayers.

On his blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf regularly examines the translation of the prayers of the Sunday Mass, especially the collect (or "opening prayer" as it is often referred to in the ordinary form). Today, Fr. Z examines the collect of the 1962 Mass.

The following is from Fr. Z's blog; go there to read the full article, which includes details about the history of the prayer, the Latin words used and their extended meanings, and more.


Tua nos, quaesumus, Domine, gratia
semper et praeveniat et sequatur,
ac bonis operibus iugiter praestet esse intentos


We beg, O Lord, that Your grace
may always both go before us and follow after,
and hence continuously grant us to be intent on good works

On the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time you who frequent parishes where only English is used will hear the following lame-duck version for the LAST TIME next week.  It is a nice little prayer for use on a grade school playground.

our help and guide,
make your love the foundation of our lives.
May our love for you express itself
in our eagerness to do good for others

Yes… I did a double-take too.

May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined
to carry out good works