Loading
September 20, 2011
'Through my most grievous fault'
By Dr. Edward Sri *

By Dr. Edward Sri *

In the prayer known as the Confiteor (which begins, “I confess to almighty God…”), the new translation of the Mass helps us cultivate a more humble, sorrowful attitude toward God as we confess our sins and accept responsibility for our wrong actions. Instead of simply saying that I have sinned “through my own fault,” as we have done in the old translation, we will repeat our sorrow three times while striking our breasts in a sign of repentance, saying: “I have sinned through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

But some people might wonder, “Why do we have to repeat this three times? This seems to be an awkward way of talking to God. Wasn’t the older translation simpler? And besides, this change will make Mass 2.5 seconds longer!”

Actually, the three-fold repetition reflects human communication more than we may realize. And if we understand the meaning of this change, the extra 2.5 seconds will be well worth our while!

When we are at fault over something small, we might simply say to the person whom we have wronged, “I’m sorry.” If, for example, I accidently step on your toe, I might say, “excuse me.” If I bump into you while waiting in a line, I might say a quick, “sorry” or “pardon me.”

But in a deep, personal relationship, things are different. If I have done something to hurt my wife, I don’t simply say, “Excuse me, honey!” or “Oh, sorry about that!” That would not go over well in a marriage! When we have done something wrong to someone we love, we do not merely make an apology. We deeply feel sorrow over our actions and we often apologize several times and in varying ways: “I’m so sorry…I really regret doing that…I should not have said that…Please forgive me.”

The same is true in our relationship with the Lord. This newly translated prayer in the liturgy helps us recognize that sinning against God is no light matter. We must take responsibility for whatever wrong we have done and whatever good we failed to do. At Mass, one does not simply offer an apology to God. The revised translation of this prayer helps the Christian express even more heartfelt contrition and humbly admit that one has sinned “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

The Gloria: “Only-Begotten Son”

The opening words of the Gloria echo the hymns of praise sung by the angels over the fields of Bethlehem on that first Christmas night: “Glory to God in the highest…” So the Gloria is somewhat like a Christmas song. Why do we singing a Christmas song at Mass? Because the mystery of Christmas is, in a sense, made present at every Eucharist. Just as the Son of God was made manifest to the world some 2,000 years ago, so He is made present sacramentally on our altars at the consecration at every Mass. Thus, it is fitting that welcome Jesus with words of praise that echo how the angels heralded Christ’s coming in Bethlehem.

One noticeable change in the new translation of the Gloria involves Jesus being addressed as the “Only Begotten Son.” We had been saying that Jesus was the “only Son of the Father,” but the new translation more closely follows the theological language used in the early Church to highlight how Jesus is uniquely God’s Son, sharing in the same divine nature as the Father. This also reflects the biblical language in John’s gospel, which uses similar wording to describe Jesus’ singular relationship with the Father. While all believers are called to a special relationship with God as his sons and daughters through grace (see John 1:12; 1 John 3:1), Jesus alone is the eternal, divine Son by nature. He is the “only begotten Son” of the Father (see John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18).

Dr. Edward Sri is Professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute and the author of several books. His latest is “Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross" (Image).
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: