Please fast and pray every Thursday for the renewal of the Catholic Church in America. Please note: The Cybersociety will fast on Fridays beginning January 2013, in accordance with ancient custom.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Haec ergo dona, quaesumus,
        Spìritus tui rore sanctìfica.

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray,
     by sending down your Spirit like the dewfall.

The Eucharistic Prayer II of the 1969 Paul VI Mass in Latin was either adapted from the prayer of St. Hippolytus, or was inspired by the prayer of St. Hippolytus, or was concocted by a sinister committee at the instigation of Cardinal Bugnini. No one is really sure, as it happened in the mists of the last century. But no matter what you think of it, the word rore ("like the dewfall") was in there all along. The old ICEL chose to ignore it, although, as one wag gently put it, both Caesar and Vergil seemed to like the word just fine. I like the touch of poetry. I also like the more potent phrasing of the new translation: "Make sending down your Spirit," rather than the more passive-sounding "Let your Spirit come upon..." I mean, we're talking God the Father here, right?

Let's give St. Hippolytus himself a say: "Certainly it is not necessary for [the bishop] to recite the exact words we have set down....Rather, let each one pray according to his ability. Indeed, if he is able to pray in an accomplished manner and with a lofty style of prayer, it is well. But even if he has only a moderate ability in praying and in giving praise, let no one forbid it, so long as his prayer is of sound faith."

Hath the rain a father?...
                                                                                          Who hath begotten the dew?--Job 38:28

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