Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In your book Ars Celebrandi, p. 58, I don’t remain sold on your 1973 usage [footnote 9] of the circular letter (seemingly replaced with later liturgical documents/directives that revised RM; even if at level of a canonical Instruction, letter been replaced) regarding the priest may vary the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer without these or similar words. 


A: In that footnote I cite another of my books, In These or Similar Words, where I make a more extended argument that the priest may use “similar words” to introduce the Lord’s Prayer at Mass. I may not be able to convince those who think otherwise, but I still hold that that particular introduction is variable. The 1973 circular letter from the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship listed it among the parts of the Mass that “need not be given word for word as set out in the Missal.”

The third edition of the missal changed nothing in the rubric that introduced the Lord’s Prayer. The first and second editions did not explicitly state “these or similar words” either. Nor did the previous English translation in the Sacramentary. It gave four sample introductions, but did not expand on the permission in the rubric. The missal’s rubrics never incorporated what the CDW had clearly explained. The Order of Mass in the third edition changed nothing.

Given the wide range of introductions to the Lord’s Prayer in other liturgical books, and the intended nature of the one in the missal interpreted just a few years after its introduction, I still maintain that a variable introduction is faithful to its intent.