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Mass prayers seem conversational rather than "worshipfull"?
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Author:  ThyKingdomCome [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Mass prayers seem conversational rather than "worshipfull"?

I know. "Worshipfull" probably isn't a word. Anyway, here's an example:

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

To me, it feels like the congregation and the priest are having a conversation about what a good idea it would be to thank and praise, God, But we're not actually saying, "Thank you God. We praise you." So it seems conversational, rather than "worshipfull" to me. There are other similar interchanges throughout the mass, where I wonder why I feel like we're just patting ourselves on the back talking about how we worship God.

Why are the prayers worded that way? Have the words been accurately translated from the latin, or is the latin less conversational? Am I missing something here? Why when the priest tells us to thank and praise God don't we talk directly to God?

Author:  Cowboy Max [ Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the "Dominus vobiscum - et cum spiritu tuo" dialogue is a very ancient part of the Mass. Also this discourse at the opening of the Preface that ThyKingdomCome mentions seems very old and traditional in origin. In Latin it goes like this:
Priest: Dominus vobiscum (The Lord with you).
People: Et cum spiritu tuo (And with your spirit).
Priest: Sursum corda (Let us lift hearts).
People: Habemus ad Dominum (We have them towards the Lord).
Priest: Gratias agamus Domino, Deo nostro (Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God).
People: Dignum et iustum est (Worthy and right it is).

And right after this the priest goes on to address God and praise him and thank him for his good deeds in the preface. So, the whole discourse is to prepare us for giving that praise.

The problem you mentioned is also quite common when praying with the Psalms (in the Liturgy of the Hours, e.g.). While many of them address God directly, many others talk about him in the third person (Psalm 110) or address other people (Ps 95) and some even address objects like mountains and rivers (Psalm 114).

Author:  ThyKingdomCome [ Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:14 pm ]
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Thanks for the reply, Cowboy Max. Hmm, interesting. So my problem is is my attention span then? :oops: I'll have to try not to let myself get distracted (wish me luck with my kiddies) and really look for the actual praise part. I wonder though, if alot of mass-goers have the same trouble as I do, and end up not really doing as much worship. Maybe that's one of the reasons I appreciate when the priest faces away from the congregation in the TLM (which I rarely attend).

Author:  matteo d'basio [ Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:25 pm ]
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The translations from Latin done in the 1970s tend to flatten the language, and make it colloquial. The Mass texts are being retranslated, and will have greater fidelity to the Latin originals. Expect to hear these changes sometime in 2009 or 2010.

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