Saturday, September 13, 2008

Latin: Prayers of September 14, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

This Sunday, what would be "just another Sunday in Ordinary Time" is a feast of the Lord! September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and it falls on a Sunday this year. It also happens to be the date on which Summorum Pontificum went into effect last year, so it is the first anniversary of Pope Benedict's motu proprio which liberated the usus antiquior, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

I will be leading an RCIA session after Mass tomorrow; the topic is "Who is Jesus?" For the opening prayer, I will use my own translation (with assistance from Fr. Z, of course) of the Collect for the Feast. Here it is as found in the 2002 Missale Romanum:
qui Unigénitum tuum crucem subíre voluísti,
ut salvum fáceret genus humánum,
praesta, quaesumus,
ut, cuius mystérium in terra cognóvimus,
eius redemptiónis praemia in caelo cónsequi mereámur.
The ICEL translation we hear is pretty good, I must say:
God our Father, in obedience to you, your only Son accepted death on the cross for the salvation of mankind. We acknowledge the mystery of the cross on earth. May we receive the gift of redemption in heaven.
That translation fittingly supplements the Latin with the phrase "in obedience to you", tying in the Second Reading (Phil. 2:6-11) which mentions how Christ was obedient to the Father, even to death on a cross. It doesn't make the precise connection between the "mystery of the cross" and the "gift of redemption" which the Latin does, though. Here is my translation:
O God, Who willed that Your only-begotten Son should endure the cross, so that he might save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have come to know the mystery of the Cross on earth, may merit to attain its prize of redemption in heaven.
I like the structure of this prayer; first, take note of the phrases which are in bold. The opening clause mentions the cross and the ensuing salvation; the closing clause again mentions the cross (its mystery) and the prize of redemption. Second, note the words in red: they show the link in the Latin between the Cross and redemption. Third, note the words in green: as Christ's suffering on the Cross was earthly, and accomplishes our salvation by his offering of that sacrifice before his heavenly Father, so we come to know the mystery of the Cross on earth and only truly realize its prize of eternal salvation in heaven.

Here's the super oblata, the Prayer over the Offerings:
Haec oblátio, Dómine, quaesumus,
ab ómnibus nos purget offénsis,
quae in ara crucis totíus mundi tulit offénsam.
Here is the ICEL:
Lord, may this sacrifice once offered on the cross to take away the sins of the world now free us from our sins.
Here is my translation:
May this sacrifice, we pray, Lord, cleanse us from all sin, which on the altar of the cross took away the sins of the whole world.
I wish the ICEL translation had retained the word "altar".

And the Post-Communion prayer:
Refectióne tua sancta enutríti,
Dómine Iesu Christe, súpplices deprecámur,
ut, quos per lignum crucis vivíficae redemísti,
ad resurrectiónis glóriam perdúcas.
Here is the ICEL:
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the holy bread of life. Bring to the glory of the resurrection the people you have redeemed by the wood of the cross.
Here is my translation:
Having been nourished by your holy repast, we humbly pray, Lord Jesus Christ, that those who you redeemed by the wood of the life-giving Cross, you would lead to the glory of the resurrection.
For our closing prayer, I will use the Introit and Offertory antiphons as found in the Gradual:
Nos autem gloriari oportet, in cruce Domini nostri Iesu Christi: in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra: per quem salvati et liberati sumus.

Protege, Domine, plebem tuam, per signum sanctae Crucis, ab omnibus insidiis inimicorum omnium: ut tibi gratam exhibeamus servitutem, et acceptabile tibi fiat sacrificium nostrum.
Here's the translation I'll use, borrowing somewhat from the 1962 Saint Joseph Daily Missal my mother gave me at Christmas:
It is right that we should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, our life, and our resurrection, and by whom we are saved and made free.

Lord, by the sign of the Holy Cross, protect your people from every snare of every enemy, that we may offer you worthy service and our sacrifice may be acceptable to you. Amen.
And here's a YouTube video of that Entrance Antiphon... beautiful!

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