Blessed Joseph, her Spouse


In praying Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, the priest may include the name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In today’s Ash Wednesday Mass, the priest used Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I. After the Consecration, when this prayer mentioned “with the Blessed Mary, Mother of God”, Father inserted “Blessed Joseph, her Spouse”.

Is the name of Saint Joseph also included in Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I and Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II?


Correction: in EP II, III and IV, the priest must use that phrase, its insertion is now typical.


When the post-Vatican II missal began to be used it 1970, St. Joseph’s name appeared only in the Roman Canon (eucharistic prayer I), where it had been added by Blessed John XXIII in 1962. It did not appear in the other three eucharistic prayers, which were new at the time, or in the other eucharistic prayers that were added later, for Masses of reconciliation or with children. However, last year Pope Francis decreed that St. Joseph’s name would appear in the other eucharistic prayers, as well.


No. The way that the decree was worded stated that it would only be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.

The decree (oddly enough, at least to me personally) does not mention the other EPs.


Yes, in the Latin EP1 and the Roman Canon, John XXIII inserted

“et beati Joseph, ejusdem Virginis Sponsi,” (and of blessed Joseph, spouse of the same virgin) but the “same virgin” was simply replaced with “Her” in the vernaculars and just recently in EP2, EP3, and EP4)


Not just in the vernacular.

The new text reads in the typical Latin:

Eucharistic Prayer II: “ut cum beáta Dei Genetríce Vírgine María, beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, beátis Apóstolis

There is no “spouse of the same Virgin” in the newly-added Latin text either. This isn’t a matter of a bad vernacular translation (as we had before), but an accurate translation into the vernacular.


That’s correct for EP2,3,4. I was unaware of the change to the Latin EP1.


I just checked (to be sure before posting). The Latin text in EP I retains “ejusdem Virginis Sponsi.”

I didn’t notice this until you posted it, but the addition of St. Joseph follows one form for EP 1 in Latin and a different form for the new insertions into EPs 2, 3, 4.

So, the English for 1 is changed, but the English for 2, 3, 4 accurately follows the new text.

I wonder why? Why 2 different versions, and why change the English for 1? :shrug:


Well, I’m guessing that the “dynamic” ICEL translation back in the 60’s made it into the Spanish and Italian vernaculars and they’ve now used that as a basis instead of Pope John’s Latin. Meanwhile the Roman Canon (missal of 62) and the Latin EP1 have gone untouched.

That said, I don’t think “Her Spouse” is wrong but some of the theology behind it seems to be lacking somewhat. Maybe it was intentional; I don’t know.


It is odd that the corrected translation seems to have “missed” that one, but even more so that the new Latin (2013) uses the same form of simply “her spouse.”

I’ve always thought of the “her spouse” form as being a way of saying 'her spouse, but not His father." But this isn’t something I really started thinking about until this thread—or even took much notice. I’ve been using EP 1 in Latin for years, but never noticed the difference in English.

The Decree gives us some interesting history. This was originally Pope Benedict’s proposal but he never had time to promulgate it. I wonder (and I just wonder out loud here, just personal thoughts) if perhaps Pope Benedict had some reason for the slight change in text, and therefore, the corrected English translation (from 2011) is a reflection of this, rather than an outright mis-translation from the Latin?

Further musings:

  1. Will we see further modifications, to change the other Eucharistic Prayers? If so, when?

  2. Will the 2 forms (“spouse of the same Virgin” and “her spouse”) continue as is, or will we have a single, consistent form?

Just wondering…


Reason #845872 to use the Roman Canon in Latin.


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