Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In persona Christi

chair-of-st-peter-largeAfter the sign of the cross the priest begins the Mass with one of three greetings. Perhaps the most commonly used greeting by priests is, “The Lord be with you.” After this greeting we find the first change in the new translation that we will have to get used to. The people now respond, “And with your spirit.” This is clearly a more accurate translation of the Latin but it also emphasizes the word “spirit.” Official commentators on the Mass have noted that the word spirit used here draws attention to the elevation of the priest’s spirit in the Sacrament of ordination. We are greeting the priest who acts in the person of Christ.

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