In the Eucharistic Rite of Paul VI (the Novus Ordo, the ordinary rite of the Roman Catholic Church), if we use one of the three universal Memorial Acclamations, directly after the Consecration, as we proclaim the Mystery of Faith, we say:
Dying, you destroyed our death,
rising you restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.
When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory.
Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Savior of the world.
You destroyed our death. Until You come in glory. You are the Savior of the World.
At the very moment of the representation of Our Lord's One Sacrifice to the Father, we as a whole people speak directly to Jesus. We address Him both directly and personally, the source of all our hope, not as one whom we merely remember, but as the Crucified and Risen Lord, fully present, right now, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in our midst, perfectly able to hear us, and to hear our faith in Him and in His Sacrificial Work which continues in our time, among us.
Yet, if we employ the fourth Memorial Acclamation, which is not universal in the Church but which was added to the English-language rite, we no longer speak to the Lord; we merely, only, speak about Him:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
If we use Memorial Acclamation A ("Christ has died...."), an opportunity to speak directly, publicly, and personally to our Lord, Jesus Christ, at the very moment of the representation of the New Covenant, simply disappears.
One might wonder how the committee of experts who composed this Memorial Acclamation could have missed this evident difference between their effort, and the three universal Acclamations. However, everyone, including experts, misses things all the time. It was a mistake; everyone makes mistakes.
On the other hand, other than the brute fact that using Memorial Acclamation A robs the entire congregation of a precious gift and a special duty at the very moment of the representation of the New Covenant, there is nothing wrong with the Acclamation. It is not contrary to the faith. It is not infelicitous or vapid or unknowledgable (note the precise, accurate use of the present participle in "Christ is risen").
Memorial Acclamation A is merely utterly tone-deaf. The experts who composed it had no awareness that, compared to the three universal Acclamations, what they had concocted forces the entire congregation to sing completely off-key, so much so that what is thus Proclaimed completely eliminates an evident dimension of the inherent meaning and pastoral significance of that moment when we proclaim the Mystery of Faith: our public and yet intensely personal address directly to Him.
Can anyone who reads these words ever again recite Memorial Acclamation A, without sensing the loss -- without knowing that it forces us all to sing off-key, that it actively prohibits the pastoral fullness of that precious moment when we proclaim the Mystery of Faith?
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