Monday, June 04, 2007

Trinity in Unity, Credo in unum deum

Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours for Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, had a responsory that caught my attention:

Let us adore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
-let us praise and exalt God above all forever.
Since the response is a direct quote of the repeating refrain in Dan 3:57-88, which is read for Morning Prayer on the first and third Monday of the four week Psalter, the “change” in the usual rendering struck an odd note, like fingernails on the blackboard. To change one word in “let us praise and exalt him above all forever,” usually makes me suspicious of the work of the inclusive language sentiments, but this time instead was a different thought entirely. Since it was Trinity Sunday, the impact was the observation that the Trinity, a mystery of three Persons in one God, is reflected in that regardless of whether the word “God” or “Him” appears, both choices are singular, because there is only one God, although there are three persons.

Thus, going back to an earlier discussion on the Credo, when it is said by the Church that the translation of the creed at mass will say “I believe…” the Holy Trinity gives us an insight into why this is so, for although there are many persons who make up the body, there is only one mystical body of Christ.

And just as there is no way that the finite intellect can plumb the infinite depths of the mystery Trinity, but can respond to the invitation to:

adore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
-let us praise and exalt Him above all forever.
I find it sufficient to my understanding, that the Church has said this is how Credo in unum deum is to be understood, although we are free to plumb the depths of the mystery of the mystical body of Christ.

Liturgiam authenticam,

65. By means of the Creed (Symbolum) or profession of faith, the whole gathered people of God respond to the word of God proclaimed in the Sacred Scriptures and expounded in the homily, recalling and confessing the great mysteries of the faith by means of a formula approved for liturgical use.[42] The Creed is to be translated according to the precise wording that the tradition of the Latin Church has bestowed upon it, including the use of the first person singular, by which is clearly made manifest that “the confession of faith is handed down in the Creed, as it were, as coming from the person of the whole Church, united by means of the Faith.”[43]

I will confess, however, that the responsory above entails a bit of sorrow every first and third Sunday morning when I read Dan 3:57-88,

57. Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

Apparently the Liturgy of the Hours editors thought the repetition of “praise and exalt him above all forever” was too much repetition, or too boring, or something else, and they dropped it off. Whatever the reason, this always sorrows me a bit because the motto of the Order is “To Praise, to Bless, and to Preach” – and one place where God Himself has taught us how to sing His praise, someone thought it better not to use His own words…

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