Saturday, April 16, 2011

Current and Forthcoming: Palm Sunday


Almighty God,
we pray you less these branches and make them holy.
Today we joyfully acclaim Jesus our Messiah and King.
May we reach one day the happiness of the new and everlasting Jerusalem
by faithfully following him
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Lord, increase the faith of your people
and listen to our prayers.
Today we honor Christ our triumphant king
by carrying these branches.
May we honor you every day
by living always in him,
for he is Lord for ever and ever.


Almighty ever-living God,
sanctify these branches with your blessing,
that we, who follow Christ the King in exultation,
may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Increase the faith of those who place their hope in you, O God,
and graciously hear the prayers of those who call on you,
that we, who today hold high these branches
to hail Christ in his triumph,
may bear fruit for you by good works accomplished in him.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Almighty, ever-living God,
you have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior
as a model of humility.
He fulfilled your will
by becoming man and giving his life on the cross.
Help us to bear witness to you
by following his example of suffering
and make us worthy to share in
his resurrection.

Almighty ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race to follow
caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross,
graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering
and so merit a share in his Resurrection.


Lord you have satisfied our hunger with this eucharistic food.
the death of your Son gives us hope and strengthens our faith.
May his resurrection give us perseverance
and lead us to salvation.

Nourished with these sacred gifts,
we humbly beseech you, O Lord,
that, just as through the death of your Son
you have brought us to hope for what we believe,
so by his Resurrection
you may lead us to where you call.

Comment: After doing these comparisons for so many weeks, I'm no longer stunned or alarmed by the differences here. They follow a pattern. In the current translation, we are instructed again and again to look to Jesus as a model to follow toward the goal of being happy, joyful, peaceful, charitable, etc. In the forthcoming Missal, we have the themes rendered theologically with all their attendant complexities, mysteries, and challenges. The difference is obvious throughout these comparisons but most strikingly above in the Collect: in the current version, God gave Jesus to us as a model and Jesus chose the cross. In the forthcoming version, we are startled to read something much more remarkable: God "caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross" and this should serve as an example of the need for us all to endure patient suffering.