Changing words of consecration


At the parish I formerly attended, one priest consistently changed the words of consecration of the Precious Blood. He ended the consecration prayer like this:

"…for you and for all people so that sins might be forgiven"

This priest is now deceased. I attended his Masses but never felt right about this. Did this render the consecration invalid or doubtfully valid?

I realize that the only essential words of consecration are “this is My Body” and “this is the cup of My Blood”, but then again, nothing can be added or changed that would change the meaning of the consecration. Does this change the meaning?

I would also add that this priest was a Maronite Catholic, though he celebrated the OF Roman Rite Mass. Is it possible that he had an indult to make this change due to rite?


When they changed the English translation of the Mass, “cup” was replaced with “chalice”, and the word “all” was replaced with “many”.

How long ago was this?

current language:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it:

for this is my body which will be given up for you.

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:

for this is the chalice of my blood ,

the blood of the new and eternal covenant.

which will be poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in memory of me.


the older translation (1970/1975-2011) of Eucharistic Prayers I-IV:



One of my local priests does something similar and it really irks me. But I keep quiet because it doesn’t invalidate the consecration. If I complained about every liturgical abuse I witness, I’d lose my voice.


It was within the past 10 years. IIRC the priest continued with the same words even after the change in the English translation from “for you and for all” to “for you and for many”. He passed a couple of years ago.


The question of “for all” or “for many” is an old one. Joachim Jeremias deals with it at considerable length in his book The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, published in 1966. Very briefly, the argument is this: the Greek text of the NT says pollon, meaning “many”. But this is a translation of the words that Jesus actually spoke, in either Aramaic or Hebrew. In those languages there is no word for “all” in the plural sense. In Jeremias’ own words,

While “many” in Greek (as in English) stands in opposition to “all”, and therefore has the exclusive sense (“many, but not all”), Hebrew rabbim can have the inclusive sense (“the whole, comprising many individuals”). This inclusive use is connected with the fact that Hebrew and Aramaic possess no word for “all”.

A footnote goes on to explain:

Hebrew kol/Aramaic kolla is distinguished from our word “all” in that it designates the totality, but not the sum. Accordingly, it has no plural.

Because of this doubt about Jesus’ real meaning, the CDW and the Liturgy Departments in national bishops’ conferences around the world tend to change their minds from time to time, switching from “many” to “all” and then a few years later switching back again.


You see that many?


I do know that he was a very learned man, and was probably familiar with the arguments you cite. I have even wondered if he, being Lebanese, was versed in Aramaic and felt that the ICEL translation was defective and that his revision was closer to the Aramaic that Jesus spoke.

Regrettably, he is no longer around to be asked that question.

I do not condone any variance from the church-approved OF vernacular translations, but it is entirely possible that he had solid theological reasons for thinking that his rendition more correctly reflected the mind of Christ.

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