Missal Changes, Part Two: The Gloria and the Creed

In the next section of the Gloria, we meet the added new words to describe Jesus as the "Only Begotten Son," emphasized by their capitalization.

. . . Lord Jesus Christ
Only Begotten Son . . .

The Latin translation uses capitalization, and now, the English will too. This emphasizes the importance of this title and position that the Son has within the Trinity. Most importantly, it transmits the theological and ontological reality that Jesus shares the same divine nature of the Father. (We'll meet this concept again when we discuss the Creed.)

These words hearken back to the language used by the early church, as found in the text of John's Gospel and First Epistle. (See Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:9.) It reiterates that Jesus indeed has a special relationship with the Father, as the Eternal Son who becomes the first of many sons and daughters of God. (And if I may expand on that, recall that what Jesus is by nature, we become by the graces afforded us in baptism.)

One final observation about the Gloria is the pluralizing of the word "sin."

. . . you take away the sins
of the world . . .

As the word is also pluralized in the Creed, so it is here now. This small change takes a general category of sin and helps us personalize it. Jesus takes away all of our sins, both corporate and personal.

My sins are forgiven. Indeed, another reason to rejoice, in the Gloria.

The Creed
The words of the Nicene Creed, or the Profession of Faith, are a systematic summary of our Christian beliefs, composed by the early Church in the face of heresy. The changes to the Creedare linguistic only. There are no changes to any of its articles or doctrines of faith. The truth found in the Creed is unchanging—but word changes in the new translation yield greater emphases to those truths.

By way of review, let's look at the current translation, followed by the new translation.

Current translation:

We believe in one God
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
with the Father and Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

The new translation (with changes in bold):

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the power of the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

10/5/2011 4:00:00 AM