Listen to the Word
rinitarian life is described as united without confusion, distinct without division. The central core of this prayer is arranged in three sections, which are presented one at a time in the following.
Source:This Preface is assigned to the octave of Easter in the Gelasian Sacramentary com- posed between 628 and 715 for parochial use in Rome.
Analysis of literary forms The introductory formula concludes with reference to Almighty God, and a relative clause elaborates on the Trinitarian Unity. The clause makes two affirmations and then two contrasting confessions of faith. Double confession:The relative clause con- sists of juxtaposed confessions of faith, Qui cum Unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto unus es Deus, unus es Dominus, “who with your Only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, are one Lord”, given as, “For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit you are one God, one Lord”. Negated assertion: Non in unius singu- laritate personae, “not in the unity of one person”, given as, “not in the unity of a single person”. Third confession: Sed in unius Trinitate
substantiae, “but in the Trinity of one sub- stance”, given as, “but in a Trinity of one substance”. This first section describes Trinitarian life in its transcendence. The first two confessions affirm the distinction among the three persons of the Trinity while asserting their essential unity. The negative assertion denies that their unity admits of any confusion between the three persons of the Trinity. The third confession affirms the lack of division in the Trinitarian unity. Taken as a whole, this first section corres -
ponds to the maxim: united without confusion, distinct without division. The double refer- ence to Deus … Dominus, “God … Lord”, introduces the first two parts of the prayer in that “Lord” is a Latin equivalent for the Greek Pantokrator, “Creator of all”, and refers to out- pouring of divine life in Creation and the restoration of all things and confession of the “Lord of all” and so corresponds to the sec- ond and third part of the Preface. In this light the more general title “God” corresponds to the Preface’s first part. Revelation. The second and third parts comprise a new sentence. Both of these sec- tions include a premise or statement of the broader context. The second part describes Trinitarian life as revealed and per-
Distinct without division T
PREFACE ON THE MYSTERY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
Roman Missal 2010 … God. For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit
you are one God, one Lord: not in the unity of a single person,
but in a Trinity of one substance.
For what you have revealed to us of your glory we believe equally of your Son
and of the Holy Spirit, so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead,
you might be adored in what is proper to each Person, their unity in substance, and their equality in majesty.
© International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
ceivable to us as well as our response in faith. Premise: At the beginning of the second
part is an ablative absolute, revelante te. The study text preserves its absolute character, that is, its distinction from the rest of the sentence, by using dashes “– you revealing –”. The offi- cial text integrates the phrase as the subject and verb of the relative sentence, “what you have revealed to us”. Motor:The second part begins with the rela - tive clause, Quod enim de tua gloria … credimus, “For this which we believe concerning your glory”. The official text integrates this relative clause with the above ablative absolute, “For what you have revealed to us of your glory”. In doing so, the official text changes the subject and verb from “we believe” to “you have revealed”. Triple confession: “Hoc de Filio tuo, hoc
de Spiritu Sancto, sine discretione sentimus, “this we perceive without division concern- ing your Son, this concerning the Holy Spirit”, given as, “we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The verb sentimus refers to the process of perceiving and thus concerns the revelation of God in sensible ways through the Only-begotten and the Spirit.
Missale Romanum2008 … Deus. Qui cum Unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto
unus es Deus, unus es Dominus:
non in unius singularitate personae,
sed in unius Trinitate substantiae.
Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto, sine discretione sentimus. Ut, in confessione verae sempiternaeque Deitatis,
et in personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in maiestate adoretur aequalitas.
Study text … God, who with your Only- begotten Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, are one Lord, not in the unity of one person, but in the Trinity of one substance.
For this which we believe concerning your glory – you revealing – this we perceive without division concerning your Son,
this concerning the Holy Spirit
so that in the profession of the true and eternal Divine nature both the distinction in persons and the unity in essence and the equality in majesty may be adored.
Prepared in collaboration with Frs James Leachman OSB and Reginald Foster OCD.
Response: The third part is a compound purpose clause that indicates the response to the divine revelation on the part of human- ity and of all created things. Second premise: At the beginning of the purpose clause is a prepositional phrase, in con- fessione verae sempiternaeque Deitatis: “in the profession of the true and eternal Divine nature”, given as “in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead”. The noun “profession” implies the act of professing, which is not speci - fied as a human action, but is patient of a cosmic interpretation.
Summary. Human salvation, according to the early Greek tradition of divinisation, consists in sharing in this personal interrelationship proper to the Trinity. “Union without confu- sion and distinction without division” describes also the union of humanity with divinity in Jesus Christ and the union we share as members of the Church.
■Daniel McCarthy OSB is a monk of St Benedict’s Abbey, Kansas, who writes on and teaches liturgy.
18 June 2011 | THE TABLET | 15
We are invited on Trinity Sunday to reflect deeply on the nature of God. The divinity is three persons and one substance, and it is into this divinity that we are invited, through Christ’s sacrifice
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