Quam oblationem tu, Deus, in omnibus, quaesumus, benedictam, ad†scriptam, ra†tam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris: ut nobis Corpus, et San†guis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi.
Do Thou, O God, deign to, bless what we offer, and make it approved, effective, right and wholly pleasing in every way, that it may be for our good the Body, and the Blood of Thy dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.1
Which oblation do Thou, O God, we beseech Thee, vouchsafe to make in all things blessed, approved, ratified, reasonable, and acceptable: that it may become for us the Body and Blood of Thy most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.2
And do Thou, O God, vouchsafe in all respects to bless, consecrate and approve this our oblation, to perfect it and to render it well-pleasing to Thyself, so that it may become for us the body and blood of Thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.3
Missale Romanum 1970
Quam oblationem tu, Deus, in omnibus, quaesumus, benedictam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris: ut nobis Corpus, et Sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi. (Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.)
Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and truth Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son our Lord. (Through Christ our Lord. Amen.)4
The often repeated criticism of the ICEL translation of this prayer that it somehow expresses Protestant theology of the Eucharist is completely unfounded. The implication by detractors of the phrase “for us” does not take into account that this is the same translation of Rev. Dr. Gihr, Fr. Lassance, and Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Stedman. In fact it is the literal translation of the latin phrase “nobis” which means exactly “for us”. Given that fact, there can be no criticism of the ICEL translation on this point. The additions of “an offering in spirit and truth” are interpolations in that text which seem to me to allude to the prayers which preceeded especially “In spiritu humilitatis”.5 Again I see no reason to oppose this interpolation on purely theological grounds.
“If the oblation is so constituted as to be conformable to Holy Scripture, to the will and command of Christ (Hoc facite), then necessarily it is also an “oblatio rata”6, that is, a true or valid sacrifice 7; for with this presupposition all the features and elements are at hand requisite for the existence of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.The contents of the above three words (benedicta, adscripta, rata) are now stated more correctly and emphatically, in this that the Sacrifice is called a “spiritual”, or “reasonable oblation” (oblatio rationabilis). In the liturgies the Eucharist is often designated as a “spiritual sacrifice” (hostia spiritualis) or as “a reasonable and unbloody worship of God”. This expression is borrowed from Holy Scripture; in its liturgical use it refers as well to the way and manner of offering, as to the sacrificial gift, and characterizes it as endowed with life, spirit and reason, in contrast with the Old Testament offerings of irrational animals and inanimate things. The Eucharist is therefore a “reasonable oblation”, because on the altar the living Lamb of God, the God-Man Jesus Christ, is sacrificed, He who is, indeed, the eternal reason, in uncreated and personal wisdom of God.
If the Eucharistic Sacrifice has these four qualities, it is then infallibly and in the highest degree also “pleasing to God”, dear, precious and acceptable to the Heart of God (oblatio acceptabilis). The explanation of the obscure antecedent clause follows or lies in the concluding words, “that it may be made for us the Body and Blood of Christ,” (fiat=transeat in), which denote and implore unequivocally the change of the substance of the matter of the sacrifice. The little word nobis (“for us”), moreover, adds a new idea; for it proves that the Body and Blood of Christ take their place of bread and wine, that is, become presentunder their appearances for us, for our sake, for our salvation and blessing and advantage. For us the Saviour offers Himself on the altar, to us He gives Himself in Holy Communion. Totus mihi datus (Dominus) et totus in meos usus expensus est.8 In like manner the angels announced to the sheperds: “This day is born to you a Savior” (Luke 2, 11)."9
Not only does Rev. Dr. Gihr concur with the implicit sense in which the oblation is an offering in spirit and in truth, so that the ICEL interpolation makes explicit what before only liturgists may have understood, but also debunks totally any pretension of the phrase “for us” bearing a Protestant connotation of the theology of the Eucharist; for him, these words in fact prove that transubstantiation takes place.
1 My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Msgr. Joseph F. Stedman, 1962
2 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Dogmatically, Litugically and Ascetically Explained, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr, 1877 1st edition, 1897 6th edition, translated from German ©1902, printed 1924, page 627.
3 The New Roman Missal, Fr. Lassance, 1993 reproduction of the 1945 edition, page 779.
4 Daily Roman Missal, Rev. James Socias, Midwest Theological Forum, 2003, pages 754-755.
5 In spiritu humilitatis et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, Domine; et sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu tuo hodie, ut placeat tibi, Domine Deus. (ICEL translation: Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.)
6 Ratus (from reor) = intended; transferred to = determined, valid, true’ legal. – Quod nostro geritur ministerio, ratum habeas, ac si sine nobis manibus tuis idem ageretur (Robert. Paulul. De offic. Eccles. 1, 2, c. 31).(Because we have carried out our office, consider valid, and in fact if without us your hands therefore have tilled.) Translation mine.10
7 Praeterea postulatur, ut per consecrationem fiat rata, i.e. vera; non enim est haec vera sacrificalis oblatio, nisi consecratio valida sit et efficax; quomodo dicere solemus, sacramentum esse ratum, quando vere factum (Suarez 1.c.). (Moreover, we ask, in order that for the consecration to be valid, i.e. true: by no means can we be sure these are true sacrificial offerings, except the consecration be effecacious and valid; in what way are they called perfect, the sacrament to be valid, when truly made?) Translation mine.10
8 Your All for me is given, O Lord and Your All is to my advantage paid out. St. Bernard, translation mine.10
9 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Dogmatically, Litugically and Ascetically Explained, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr, 1877 1st edition, 1897 6th edition, translated from German ©1902, printed 1924, page 629.
10 I may have been both too loose and too rigid in my translations, but should have been able to get the main gist of the latin across.