New Words for Worship Part 18: Liturgical Texts for Trinity Sunday

Liturgical Texts for Trinity Sunday

Again this week I have set out texts for today’s feast – Trinity Sunday – from the current Missal together with those in the revised Missal which will be used in future. These three examples illustrate clearly how different the ‘sound’ of Mass will be when the new presider’s texts are introduced.

Current Opening Prayer:
Father, you sent your Word to bring us truth
and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know the mystery of your life.
Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons,
by proclaiming and living our faith in you.

Revised Collect:
God our Father, who by sending into the world
the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification
made known to the human race your wondrous mystery,
grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith,
we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory
and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty.

Current Prayer over the Gifts:
Lord our God,
make these gifts holy,
and through them
make us a perfect offering to you.

Revised Prayer over the Offerings:
Sanctify by the invocation of your name,
we pray, O Lord our God,
this oblation of our service,
and by it make of us an eternal offering to you.

The word ‘oblation’, which is not used in the 1973 translation, appears frequently in the revised Missal. ‘Oblation’ is closely related to ‘sacrifice’ and means an offering to God, as indicated in the final line of the prayer.

Current Preface of the holy trinity:
We joyfully proclaim our faith
in the mystery of your Godhead.
You have revealed your glory
as the glory also of your Son
and of the Holy Spirit:
three Persons equal in majesty,
undivided in splendour,
yet one Lord, one God,
ever to be adored in your everlasting glory.
Revised Preface of The Mystery of the most holy trinity:
For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit
you are one God, one Lord:
not in the unity of a single person,
but in a Trinity of one substance.
For what you have revealed to us of your glory
we believe equally of your Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead,
you might be adored in what is proper to each Person,
their unity in substance,
and their equality in majesty.

At 83 words, the new Preface is much longer than the present version (49 words). It will require careful preparation and practice on the part of the presider if it is to be proclaimed with conviction and intelligibly.


Elizabeth Harrington