Hoc est ENIM corpus meum

In the Mass, both Ordinary and Extraordinary forms, the Words of Institution spoken over the bread to transform it are, in latin:

Accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes,
Hoc es enim corpus meum

The Ordinary Form, of course, continues to say, “quod pro vobis tradetur.”

The question I have is the translation of the “Hoc es ENIM Corpus Meum.”

In the ICEL translation, it says, “This is My body.” The Extraordinary Form Missals I’ve seen say, “For this is My Body” and apparently the new translation of the Ordinary Form will say the same thing.

I’ve looked up the word ENIM and it can me “for” but it can also mean, “truly” or “in fact.” Question: wouldn’t it be a better translation to say:

“This is, in fact, My Body” or “This is truly My Body.”

It seems to convey the theological truth of the Sacrament a bit more than “for this is My Body.”

Just a thought.

[quote=LCMS_No_More]I’ve looked up the word ENIM and it can me “for” but it can also mean, “truly” or “in fact.” Question: wouldn’t it be a better translation to say:

“This is, in fact, My Body” or “This is truly My Body.”

No. The word “enim” means “for” and it’s grammatically unnecessary to the sentence. I recall hearing more than once that it’s not needed for the validity of consecration because it doesn’t change the meaning of what’s being said. Translating it as “truly” would be a mistranslation, though not nearly as obvious or as rendering “pro multis” as “for all.”

No need to translate. If you stick to the promulgated form, that is, in Latin, there can be no doubt as to its validity.

So, if a priest can say a Latin Mass without a bishop’s permission, why can’t he say the Latin consecration in the middle of a vernacular Mass, without having to wait for the newer translations that are released? Would he be disobedient?

According to my Latin-English dictionary, “enim” has more than one meaning, including “for, truly, in fact.” I agree, however, that it is grammatically unecessary in English to make sense.

Actually, my pastor says the words of Institution and the “Through him, With Him, In Him” in Latin while saying the rest of the Eucharistic Prayer in English. He says that he plans on learning the Extraordinary form of the Mass in the near future. :slight_smile:

I HIGHLY anticipate that day!

[user]LCMS_No_More[/user] is correct that the postpositive conjunction *enim *can be translated as for, truly, indeed. I would not call any translation of the words of institution more correct than another except in so far as it meets with the approval of the Church.


That should be *Hoc est enim corpus meum *(*es *would translate as “For you there, sir, are my body”)

Perhaps a moderator could correct the thread title?


The original words of consecration were, almost certainly, in Hebrew. Your English is a translation of Latin from Greek from Aramaic (probably) from Hebrew. Nuances get lost.

From The Great Sacrilege, by Fr. Wathen, p.89

Perhaps you do not see the ambiguity. In the True Mass, the priest says, “Take and eat ye all of this, for this is My Body.” The omission of the word, “for” (in the Latin, “enim”), and the stopping of the sentence with the colon, make the words this and it of the faulty translation refer to their antecendant, bread. This ambiguity does not exist in the Latin of the “Novus Ordo” because “hoc” is both neuter and singular and can refer only to the neuter, singular noun, “Corpus” (“Body”).

Enim does mean “for,” but the “truly” and “indeed” are a little stronger than what my classical teacher taught us to understand as “you see.” That seems weaker than the more emphatic “indeed.” At any rate, it’s the sort of thing that could be left out of a translation so long as the sense was somehow conveyed, but I think it best to use the “for.”

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