The Celebrant’s Prayers – Examples of Changes


Below are listed examples used by Bishop Serratelli in an address he gave to the Federal Diocesan Liturgical Commission.  Although the texts he used are subject to minor alterations, it gives us a good example of the changes to come.  As you compare the following prayers, said by the Priest Celebrant, note especially these items for consideration:


Capitalization:  Although the new translation takes a “middle road,” it is clear that there was an attempt to capitalize many of the references to God in pronouns such as His and You, as well as those of the Sacred Body and Precious Blood.


God-centered v. self-centered:  This is the most noticeable change.  We see how the great majority of our current prayers in the Holy Mass are centered around us.  As Pope Benedict XVI says: “an exaggerated concept of ‘community’ predominates.”  The prayers return to a God-centered oration and petition, the Priest praying directly to God for the faithful.


Change in syntax:  The phrasing and verbage of the Latin often uses beautiful and poetic inversion, focusing the mind and language toward the end of the prayer.  In our current translation, much like modern English, we say the important words at the beginning of the sentence and then trail off to almost less important ideas, usually focused on us.  Part of the beauty and truthfulness of the new translation is in the restoration of the original Latin syntax, the basis of our and many other languages.


Biblical and Spiritual reference:  As opposed to a brief reference, the Biblical basis is clarified and in agreement with Spiritual writings of the Saints.  The current Sacramentary often obscures references by paraphrasing or leaving out altogether the Divinely inspired basis of the Mass Prayers.


Accurate from Latin:  Keeping in mind the English translation is not intended for one English speaking country, such as the U.S., the translation is clearly translated from the Latin first, and adapted for use secondarily.  In some cases, we may not use a word as often as another English speaking country, however the translation is not outside our understanding.  In addition, the vast majority of these prayers are over 100 years old, so it would be a non-organic development of the Liturgy to assert modern phrasing, as did the current Sacramentary.



Liturgical Day and Prayer

New Translation of the Roman Missal

(for study only)

Current Sacramentary

12th Sunday OT Postcommunion Prayer

Renewed by the nourishment 
of the Sacred Body and the Precious Blood,
we ask your clemency, Lord,
that what we celebrate with constant devotion,
we may attain with redemption assured.

Through Christ our Lord.

You give us the body and blood of your Son
to renew your life within us.
In your mercy, assure our redemption
and bring us to the eternal life
we celebrate in this eucharist.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

1st Tuesday of Lent
Postcommunion Prayer

Grant us through these mysteries, Lord,
that by tempering earthly desires
we may learn to love the things of heaven.

May we who receive this sacrament
restrain our earthly desires
and grow in love for the things of heaven.

Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church
Postcommunion Prayer

Let your consecrated people
reap the fruits and joy of your blessing,
Lord, we pray,
so that they may know 
that what they have offered in bodily worship
on this festival day they have received
in return as aspiritual gift.

Through Christ our Lord.

We know the joy and power of your blessing in our lives.
As we celebrate the dedication of this church, may we give ourselves once more to your service.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

The Baptism of our Lord

Opening Prayer

Almighty everlasting God,
You solemnly declared the Christ
to be your beloved Son
as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him
after His baptism in the River Jordan,
grant that your children of adoption
reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
may continue always
to be those in whom you are well pleased.

Almighty, eternal God,
when the Spirit descended upon Jesus
at his baptism in the Jordan,
you revealed him as your own beloved Son.
Keep us, your children born of water
and the Spirit, faithful to your calling.

1st Sunday of Advent

Opening Prayer

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that your faithful may resolve
to run forth with righteous deeds,
to meet your Christ who is coming,
so that gathered at His right hand
they may be worthy to possess 
the heavenly kingdom.

All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven.


In the Latin prayer, we find the word occurrentes, “running to meet”. Yet, our current text says nothing about running. It was lost in the translation. However, in the newly translated prayer, we now pray for the resolve to run forth with righteous deeds, to meet your Christ who is coming.


Running a race: the image is Pauline. In I Corinthians 9:24-26, Paul says: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”


Again in Galatians 2:2; 5:7 and Romans 9:16, Paul uses the same image. With the image of the race, Paul reminds us that the Christian life requires discipline and personal effort. Hence, the new translation is richer, fuller and more biblical than the translation we are using at the present.


Liturgical Day and Prayer

New Translation of the Roman Missal

Current Sacramentary

2nd Friday in Advent
Opening Prayer

Grant your people, we pray, almighty God,
to keep wide awake for the coming of your Only-Begotten Son, that as He Himself,
the author of our salvation, has taught,
we may be alert, with lamps alight,
and hurry out to greet Him as He comes.

All-powerful God,
help us to look forward in hope
to the coming of our Savior.
May we live as he has taught,
ready to welcome him with burning love and faith.

Ash Wednesday
Opening Prayer

Grant us, Lord, to begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service
that, as we fight against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with the weapons
of self restraint.

protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this day holy by our self-denial.