MR Prefaces: Ordinary Sunday VI

I’m not usually a fan of liturgical themes, slogans, mottos, or what-have-you. “The pledge of the eternal Passover” is how this preface is labelled. It tells the tale, true enough.

This preface is strongly Pauline with two New Testament references. Roc O’Connor melded the citation of Acts 17:28 into his setting of the Kenosis Canticle of Philippians–that’s where many US Catholics hear this phrase “live and move and have our being” outside of this utterance. The St Louis Jesuit applies this passage to Christ, but Saint Paul, finding himself in Athens, refers to the God of Israel, as does the Missal.

Here is the MR2:

Fairly close in wording. A bit more succinct. No sign of that weird “for” added in by ICEL or Vox Clara. Three sentences–one more than the Latin, I notice. For the effect of good communication, this seems good to me, especially if the priest were to draw out the Acts reference slightly. For contrast, here is the current version:

For in you we live and move and have our being,
and while in this body
we not only experience the daily effects of your care,
but even now possess the pledge of life eternal.

For, having received the first fruits of the Spirit,
through whom you raised up Jesus from the dead,
we hope for an everlasting share in the Paschal Mystery.

MR2 substitutes “Each day” for the more accurate “while in this body.”

The MR2 also uses a stronger active voice for that second phrase, incorporating “possessing” in a direct phrasing of the idea expressed as “having received” in the new Missal.

We have yet another reminder of the Paschal Mystery in this preface. The reference to “first fruits” is a Jewish one in the apostle’s thinking. Romans 8:23 is part of an extended narrative where Saint Paul presents his history in Judaism and his love of the faith. He is likely recalling the Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks. Just as ancient farmers offered the first produce from their fields, God provides the first of the qualities of the Spirit (Cf. Galatians 5:22-23) in the believers.

We get two Easter mentions here: Resurrection and Pentecost. My suggestion for use would be a Mass observing some aspect of the academic year in the Sunday assembly. A baptism at Mass, certainly. The best harmonization might be if Christians were being received into Full Communion at an Ordinary Sunday Mass.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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