The response Et cum spiritu tuo is only addressed to ordained ministers, never to a layman, so it can’t just mean “and also with you” as if to say “you too” or “right back atchya!”“And with your spirit.”
Another common response is made five times during the Mass: after the priest’s greeting at the beginning of Mass, right before the Gospel is read, during the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, at the Sign of Peace, and right before the final blessing. The older English translation of the Mass rendered it as “And also with you,” but the new translation properly conveys the true sense of this response:[INDENT]Et cum spíritu tuo.
And with your spirit. (Gal. 6:18; 2 Tim. 4:22)When the priest says “The Lord be with you,” he is not simply saying the religious equivalent of a secular “Good morning” or “How are you?” Our response, then, cannot be misunderstood as a “You too.” This greeting from the ordained minister and our response to him say more than any secular greeting or exchange of pleasantries can; the proper liturgical greeting also grounds the celebration of Mass firmly in the business of Heaven (the presence and power of God) rather than the business of earth (the weather and our personal dispositions). These words connect us to the sacred act we are participating in, drawing us out of our common worldly surroundings.
Why “your spirit” instead of “you”? ***** This question was addressed by the USCCB in the August 2005 issue of the newsletter of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy:The expression et cum spiritu tuo is only addressed to an ordained minister. Some scholars have suggested that spiritu refers to the gift of the spirit he received at ordination. In their response, the people assure the priest of the same divine assistance of God’s spirit and, more specifically, help for the priest to use the charismatic gifts given to him in ordination and in so doing to fulfill his prophetic function in the Church. (Vol. XLI, question 7)Why does the priest say “The Lord be with you” rather than “The Lord is with you”? Twice in Scripture, an angel appears to someone with the greeting, “The Lord is with you.” (Judg. 6:12; Luke 1:28) These angels were delivering a message from God Himself. But there are also times in Scripture when a man says “The Lord is with you” and he turns out to be wrong! One such example is Nathan, a prophet during the reign of King David. (cf. 2 Sam. 7:3-4)
In the New Testament, only the Mother of the Lord is told that the Lord is with her; every other time the phrase is used (by St. Paul in his letters), he writes it as a prayer: “The Lord be with you.” The difference is that whereas the angel Gabriel had it on the highest authority (God) that the Lord was truly with the Blessed Virgin, St. Paul offers a prayer that the Lord be with his fellow Christians, rather than simply presume that He was. Therefore, the priest at Mass begs God for His presence with His people, and the faithful respond with the same prayer in mind.
- “English is the only major language of the Roman Rite which did not translate the word spiritu. The Italian (E con il tuo spirito), French (Et avec votre esprit), Spanish (Y con tu espíritu) and German (Und mit deinem Geiste) renderings of 1970 all translated the Latin word spiritu precisely.” (USCCB Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, vol. XLI)
[RIGHT]Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People, pp. 28-30[/RIGHT][/INDENT]