Toan Joseph DoDecember 19, 2008 - 2:21pm0 comments
I have been celebrating the Eucharist in German since moving to Münster from Louvain, Belgium, in December 2006. I came to improve my German and to do research for my New Testament studies. In the course of that time, I’ve had several discussions on the inclusive meaning of the Latin words pro multis in the Eucharistic Prayer, which are used during the consecration of the chalice.
The English equivalent for the Latin phrase is “for many.” Yet for almost four decades, since the Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI was promulgated, this Latin phrase has been rendered “for all” in the English version: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven” [emphasis added].
An important area of discussion among German Catholics has to do with a letter sent by Francis Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to presidents of the world’s conferences of bishops on October 17, 2006. Cardinal Arinze concluded his letter with the instruction: “The bishops’ conferences of those countries where the formula ‘for all’ or its equivalent is currently in use are therefore requested to undertake the necessary catechesis of the faithful on this matter in the next one or two years to prepare them for the...