from issue no. 10 - 2008

MISSAL. Interview with Cardinal Francis Arinze

Go in peace

The Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship explains the small changes introduced into the mass, with the reprinting of the third editio typica emendata of the Latin Missal of 2002: the “Ite, missa est” formula will be integrated with three others that indicate the benefits of the sacrament

Interview with Cardinal Francis Arinze by Gianni Cardinale

Since 1 November this year the Catholic Church has had a new reprint of the third editio typica of the Latin Missal published in 2002. This tertia editio typica emendata, the first copies of which were printed in October, was announced by the Official Bulletin of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Notitiae (number 501-502, May-June 2008, pp. 175-176), which made known a decree signed by Cardinal Prefect Francis Arinze and the Secretary Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith on 8 June 2008. In the decree in question, which was approved by Benedict XVI in an audience granted to Cardinal Arinze on 2 February, the changes in the reprinted Missal compared to the first version of six years ago are briefly mentioned.
To illustrate these variations 30Days asked some questions of Cardinal Arinze, who has headed the Vatican department that deals with the liturgy since 2002.

Cardinal Francis Arinze

Cardinal Francis Arinze

Your Eminence, as you said in an interview in L’Osservatore Romano last 17 October, the biggest change in this reprint of the third editio typica of the Latin Missal occurs on page 605 and covers the last sentence pronounced by the celebrant, the “Ite, Missa est”.
FRANCIS ARINZE: The formula “Ite, Missa est” is not abolished, it remains in force, but is supplemented by three other possibilities.
What are they?
ARINZE: “Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum”, or “Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum”, or “Ite in pace”.
Why this variation?
ARINZE: It is an outcome of the Synod on the Eucharist held in 2005. In number 51 of the post-Synod exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis Benedict XVI made plain that the farewell at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, with which the deacon or the priest takes leave of the people, enables a grasp of the relationship between the mass celebrated and the Christian mission in the world. “In antiquity,” the Pope recalled, “missa simply meant ‘demission’”. However, the expression has found in Christian usage a deeper meaning, that of “mission”. The farewell thus expresses the missionary nature of the Church and, accordingly, it is a good thing to help the people of God to go deeper into a dimension constitutive of the ecclesial life by drawing inspiration from the liturgy. With that in mind the Pope has deemed it useful “to have texts, duly approved, for the prayer and the final blessing of the people that make plain the link”. Not least because for many Catholics the “Ite, Missa est” seems to simply mean: “The mass is now over, go and rest”.
How were the three new formulas chosen?
ARINZE: Already at the Synod many Fathers, wishing for alternative expressions to express the missionary dimension of the final greeting, had suggested, for example, the following idea: “The Eucharistic celebration is over. Go now and live what we have heard, received, sung, prayed and meditated”. When asked by the Pope our Congregation launched a study which was followed by extensive consultation from which as many as 72 alternative formulas emerged. Before presenting them to Benedict XVI we reduced the number to nine, and out of those the Pope chose these three.
The reprinted Missal also has other changes ...
ARINZE: Not many. The desire was not to issue a veritable new edition of the Missal, but to correct some small misprints and imperfections – that only those directly involved had noticed – accents, punctuation, the use of black-red letters. And also to improve the graphic layout of the texts so as to facilitate the priest in uttering a prayer without the inconvenience of having to turn the page.
In the decree published in Notitiae reference is also made to variations in number 149 of the Institutio generalis...
ARINZE: It’s a change that does not affect the faithful but the way in which a bishop must mention himself in the Roman Canon and other Eucharistic prayers.
The decree also states that the reprinted Missal no longer contains the Eucharistic prayers for Masses with children ...
ARINZE: In fact it was decided that those two Eucharistic prayers are not considered mandatory for the whole Church. Perhaps it is not then so necessary to have special Eucharistic prayers for children. That said, if there are Bishops’ Conferences that want to keep them, they may do so in their national missals.
In contrast, however, a Supplementum with texts proper to other Masses has been added at the end of the tertia editio typica emendata...
ARINZE: That’s so. They are the texts for the Mass of the vigil of Pentecost – which, though published in 1988, were not by mistake included in the tertia editio typica of 2002 – and the prayers for the celebrations recently entered in the general Roman Calendar, namely: Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, on 23 September, Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, on 9 December, and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, on 12 December. The devotees of Padre Pio and of the famous Mexican shrine will be very happy. Finally there is an ancient Oratio super oblata added in the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 September, and in the per annum ordinary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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