Tuesday, 4 December 2012



Prepare our hearts, we pray, O Lord our God,
by your divine power,
so that at the coming of Christ your Son
we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life
and merit to receive heavenly nourishment from his hands.

Based on a prayer from the Gelasian Sacramentary. Not in the 1570 Missal. Greatly altered for the 1970 Missal. Here is a translation of the text as it stands in the Gelasian:
Powerfully gird up, we pray, Lord our God, the loins of our mind [cf. 1 Pet 1,13] with your divine power so that, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life, and merit to receive from him promotion to heavenly dignities.
‘From his hands’ (ipso ministrante) recalls Luke 22,27 ‘I am among you as one who serves’.


May the sacrifice of our worship, Lord, we pray,
be offered to you unceasingly,
to complete what was begun in sacred mystery
and powerfully accomplish for us your saving work.

This prayer is found in many manuscripts from the Veronese on, and occurs in both 1570 and 1970 Missals as the Secret or Prayer over the Offerings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent. 1570 and most manuscripts had mirabiliter (‘wonderfully’) in the last line, but the 1970 revisers replaced it with potenter (‘powerfully’), which is the reading of the Veronese.
Also, 1570 had in nobis (‘in us’), which is found in a few manuscripts, but others have simply nobis (‘for us’), and this reading was adopted for 1970.
The third line is difficult to interpret, and other translations that have been offered include Adrian Fortescue’s ‘that it may (...) fulfil the institution of this sacred mystery’ and ‘so that the end for which thou didst ordain this holy rite may be fulfilled’ from O’Connell and Finberg.


We implore your mercy, Lord,
that this divine sustenance
may cleanse us of our faults
and prepare us for the coming feasts.

The Post-Communion Prayer for the 3rd Sunday of Advent in both 1570 and 1970, found in the Gelasian Sacramentary and some other manuscripts for use in Lent. These have haec divina ieiuniorum subsidia, ‘this divine sustenance in fasting’ in the second line, but many others put the prayer in Advent, and lack ieiuniorum. These were the ones followed for 1570 and 1970.