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Archbishop's Desk

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  • Growing as a human person in the presence of God

    Last month, I was happy to join other bishops from New England for our annual retreat. One...

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Milestones

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  • Bristol native makes first vows as School Sister of Notre Dame

    WILTON – During a eucharistic celebration attended by more than 200 friends, family members and...

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Youth

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  • Northwest Catholic's freshmen come from 27 towns, one foreign country

    Members of the Freshman Contact program who helped the newcomers adjust. (Photo submitted) WEST...

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MsgrLiptak_TNQ. So many questions occur to me concerning the new English Mass. Why is it that perfectly usual expressions, even in Latin, have all but disappeared? One example is the Latin phrase, Ite, Missa est, meaning, "Go, the Mass is ended." Why do I sometimes feel that familiar expressions are being taken away, more and more?

 

A. The familiar Latin phrase, from the close of Mass, Ite, missa est, is ironically, not easy to translate into English. Even though, almost from time immemorial, it has been rendered as, "Go, the Mass is ended," it is, in fact, all but untranslatable. Clearly it is an idiom, about which an enormous amount of commentary has developed. But the commentary itself allows for diverse theories. Its original meaning, evidently referring to the conclusion of the Eucharist, as well as a eucharistically empowering mission, is more readily understood, in my opinion, in the context of the theory that the Latin Missa (English, "Mass") was a code-word for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. However, some scholars of the liturgy are reluctant to affirm even this, arguing that Missa did not signify "Mass" until about the sixth century.

On the other hand, the new English translation does retain a few usual, and presumably "comfortable" expressions. One is the Latinized form of the Greek petition, Kyrie, Eleison, i.e., "Lord, have mercy." Interestingly, use of Greek here, as traditional as it may seem, is not that ancient, but really dates later than the year 500. (The year 500, according to one chronology, marks the end of antiquity; i.e., that which can be properly called "ancient"; after the year 500, time is described as "medieval." (The difference is obvious when traveling from Athens or Rome, where "ancient" scenes abound, to (for example) France, where "medieval" is the usual descriptive for artistic treasures of the past.

To return to the Greek Kyrie, Eleison of the Mass, it probably was added in early medieval times (e.g., sixth century) rather than in the beginning of the Roman Rite Mass, when, ironically, the Eucharist was celebrated in Greek, not in Latin.

Yet another "usual" reference in the new translation of the Missal is the return of the word "chalice," instead of "cup." To me, this represents more of an emphasis on noble language, rather than anything else. I have been somewhat surprised, however, by an expressed preference by some Catholics for "cup." Another option, based on Old English roots, would have been "grail"; e.g., "holy grail," about which so many works of art have focused (e.g., the legends about King Arthur; also, the opera, Parsifal). "Chalice," from the Latin calix, is a fortunate translation – a noble, meaningful rendering.

 

 

Events Calendar

September 2014
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12:00 AM
Archbishop O'Brien Library , Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library will participate in a community-based project with Life Choice Donor Services, a non-profit organ procurement organization, during September, to raise awareness for organ [...]
Date :  September 01, 2014
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06:00 PM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
Date :  September 19, 2014
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08:30 AM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Catholic High School open houses at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20,  7 p.m. Oct. 8 and at 10 and [...]
Date :  September 20, 2014
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11:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
Applications are being accepted for the 2014 Catholic Youth Spectacular (CYS), set for Sept. 21 on the [...]
Date :  September 21, 2014
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12:00 AM
The Archdiocese of Hartford is participating again in the national Family Day program launched by [...]
Date :  September 22, 2014
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11:00 AM
Wampanoag Country Club, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The 22nd annual Archbishop John F. Whealon Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Sept. 23 [...]
Date :  September 23, 2014
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06:00 PM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Hamden , Hamden, United States
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Hamden will have its monthly Pro-Life Holy Hour Novena from 6-7 p.m. September 24.The Holy Hour will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, pro-life rosary, [...]
12:00 AM
Hartford GYN Center, Hartford, United States
The Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford will participate in the international 40 Days for Life campaign from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2. The success of the campaign is evident in [...]
Date :  September 24, 2014
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06:00 PM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
"Know Greater Joy" is the theme of a Men's Weekend Retreat being offered Sept. 26-28 at Holy Family [...]
07:30 PM
St. Therese Church, Branford, Branford, United States
LYRA, an a cappella group of four professional vocalists from St. Petersburg, Russia, is returning to [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 26, 2014
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09:30 AM
Holy Angels Parish Center, South Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – The Meriden-Wallingford Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a catered breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at Holy Angels Parish Center in South Meriden. Guest speaker Deacon Thomas J. Davis [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 27, 2014
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01:00 PM
Polish-American Club, West Haven, United States
NEW HAVEN – St. Stanislaus Parish will have its annual picnic/harvest festival from 1-8 p.m. Sept. 28, rain or shine, at the Polish-American Club at 194 W. Spring St., West Haven. Polish and [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014
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07:00 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center will offer a New Life Seminar for the separated and divorcd from 7-9 p.m. on nine [...]
Date :  September 29, 2014
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