Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Most Holy Name

By mistake, I read the ferial Office yester-day, when I should have said the Office of the Holy Name of Jesus (according to my Dominican Diurnal and Breviary); so, instead of reading the ferial Office to-day, I'm saying the Office of the Holy Name.  "Office for Office", after all, is the principle.  In addition, to-day, the 3rd, is the Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name in the Ordinary Form, so Lauds in my Diurnal coincided with the Mass I attended.

I was struck by how the very long-winded and indeed rather bizarre orations in the Extraordinary Form (though not in the Dominican Rite – alas, I live far from a friar) have been replaced by, frankly, rather better ones in the Ordinary.  For example, the Postcommunion in the 1962 Missal is:

Omnípotens ætérne Deus, qui creásti et redemísti nos, réspice propítius vota nostra: et sacrifícium salutáris hóstiæ, quod in honórem nóminis Fílii tui, Dómini nostri Jesu Christi, majestáti tuæ obtúlimus, plácido et benígno vultu suscípere dignéris; ut grátia tua nobis infúsa, sub glorióso nómine Jesu, ætérnæ prædestinatiónis titulo gaudeámus nómina nostra scripta esse in cælis. Per eumdem...
(Almighty eternal God, Who hast created and redeemed us, graciously regard our desires, and deign to receive with a placid and benign countenance the sacrifice of the saving Victim, which we have offered to Thy majesty, in honour of the Name of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; that, Thy grace infused into us, we may rejoice that our names are written in heaven, under the glorious Name of Jesus, a pledge of eternal predestination. Through the same...)

Is this not a terribly overlong prayer, hardly fitting the expected concision of the Roman Mass?

This, I believe, has been abbreviated to advantage, to become the Prayer after Communion in the current Missal, which I append in the Latin and in the new English translation:

Hostia sumpta, Domine, quam Christi nomen honorantes tuæ obtulimus majestati, gratiam tuam, quaesumus, nobis infundat uberrime, ut et nostra in caelis esse scripta nomina gaudeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
May the sacrificial gifts offered to your majesty, O Lord, to honour Christ's Name and which we have now received, fill us, we pray, with your abundant grace, so that we may come to rejoice that our names, too, are written in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

I have underlined the words common to the new and old forms of this prayer, demonstrating how the one derives from the other, the necessary grammatical changes being made.  The new is definitely a tighter, more effective composition, whereas the older was too diffuse.

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