Latin Words of Consecration Differ from Scripture?


#1

The Latin words of Consecration seem to differ from what I read in Scripture.

In the Vulgate, we read (St Luke 22:19-20):

Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur: hoc facite in meam commemorationem. Similiter et calicem, postquam cœnavit, dicens: Hic est calix novum testamentum in sanguine meo, qui pro vobis fundetur.

The Roman Missal reads:

Accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes; Hoc est enim corpus meum, quod pro vobis tradetur'; ...] 'Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.'

I wondered for what reason some words were added or changed in the Missal. I highlighted them above. Can you tell me more about this? :)


#2

It is exceedingly rare to find an Institution Narrative, across all liturgical rites, that matches verbatim one of the scriptural accounts. It is a narrative, not some magic formula that has to correspond directly with a scripture passage. Each narrative seeks to highlight certain theological points more emphatically.


#3

Neither Scripture nor the liturgy were originally in Latin.


#4

Good point. The words of consecration are part of the Roman Canon, which remained unchanged from its earliest record (about AD250, if I recall) until St. Joseph’s name was added in 1962.

The Vulgate was translated a few centuries later.

So as far as we know, the Latin liturgy predates the first Latin Bible–it couldn’t have copied the words directly from scripture.


#5

The words come from four different accounts. For example, (sorry, I don’t have the Latin with me)

Matthew 26:27-28: “Drink of it, all of you: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the foregiveness of sin.’”

Mark 14:24: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Luke 22:20: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

1 Cor 11 25: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”

(Synopsis of the Four Gospels, United Bible Societies)


#6

The Catechism of Trent gives reasons in the section on the Eucharist. Here are some excerpts:

We are then taught by the holy Evangelists, Matthew and Luke, and also by the Apostle, that the form consists of these words: This is my body … With regard to the consecration of the wine … Of these words the greater part are taken from Scripture; but some have been preserved in the Church from Apostolic tradition.

It goes on to give a doctrinal / theological explanation of the words used. Worth reading.


#7

The words come from four different accounts. For example, (the English translations will vary):

Matthew 26:28: Hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the foregiveness of sin.’”

Mark 14:24: Hic est sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur.“This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Luke 22:20: Hic est calix novum testamentum in sanguine meo, qui pro vobis fundetur. “This is the chalice the new testament in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

1 Cor 11 25: *Hic calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine: * “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”


#8

I would posit that the texts of the various Liturgies are actually also critical texts on par with the books that eventually became the Bible and that they did not copy their texts from the Bible (excepting those parts that are explicitly Biblical, such as the antiphons and readings), but rather developed alongside it and are textual authorities in their own right. So for example, I would say that the Roman Canon is itself a standalone account of the Institution that did not draw its text from Scripture, but rather was an original development from the Divine Liturgy as celebrated in Rome.


#9

I would agree with that. We know the Roman Canon doesn’t go all the way back to Christ because of all the saints mentioned in it.


#10

True, hence my mention of “development” before it “froze” at some point in antiquity.

But my reasoning would justify, for example, the inclusion of the phrase “mysterium fidei” in the Words of Consecration for the chalice. If one were to say that the words were not found in Scripture, then on those grounds the words are alien, but only if we were to be of the opinion that the Roman Canon (and the other anaphoras) drew their texts from Scripture. But if we are to hold that the Roman Canon is itself an original development (and therefore a critical text) parallel to the Scriptural texts, then that phrase “mysterium fidei” is actually an original and inherent to the Roman Canon, which, in this mindset, stands as another tradition of the Institution alongside Scripture and not based on it.

This is not to say the Church was wrong to shift “mysterium fidei” in 1969, but I’m just saying that it was not wrong, on Scriptural grounds, for the Roman Canon to have had “mysterium fidei” where it was in the past.


#11

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