"More inclusive" language in prayers

I know some of the prayers have specific words that must be said and others the priest may put in his own words.

During the Gloria, my priest at times says “Glory to God in the highest and peace to God’s people on earth”. He also sometimes says “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” during the unending hymn of praise. He considers this “more inclusive” and when I pointed out that it, indeed, wasn’t “more inclusive” he grinned - I know this grin and it meant “I know you aren’t going to let me off the hook so we’ll talk later”.

I will talk to him about this more extensively but my question is: Are these prayers ones that should not be changed at all or is he allowed to make this change?

In this case, “inclusive” removes the accurate meaning of the words. Jesus was a man. He referred to His father in heaven. He called Him, Our Father. This is the reality we are presented with.

Hope this helps,

Wow, I was just thinking about this myself. At the parish here in town they say things like, “was born of the Virgin Mary and became flesh,” and “For our good and the good of all God’s church,” I’ve been living here for about a year and a half now, and when I first heard those I thought they were strange and was wondering if they could do that.

No, the priest is not allowed to change either of these parts of the Mass. They are part of the 1970s translation approved by the American Bishops and the Vatican. He has to use the exact words approved; he can’t ad lib. Of course, you can talk till you’re blue in the face, but that’s not going to get you anywhere. Just don’t give the parish any money, and send the money to a parish or seminary where you know they aren’t screwing around with the language. If enough people do that, they’ll stop all this monkey business.

“became flesh” is just wrong - Jesus was a man, as has been stated there’s no getting around this.

:rotfl: I’m not leaving the parish over it - I actually bring this up now because he DIDN’T do it today. :rotfl:

Hopefully he saw the light and knows it is not right to change the words! (Just a thought!) Glad you talked to him!

This kind of stuff makes me crazy.

I’m pretty careful where I go to Mass, so I haven’t heard much of it from Priests lately. However, there’s a guy who comes to the daily Mass close to my office who more or less shouts his supposedly “inclusive” responses during Mass, presumably to edify the rest of us.

The funny thing is that, if one scratches the surface just a little, his language isn’t much different from the correct language.


It is right and just to give him thanks and praise.

which, by a logic I don’t grok, is the ICEL translation for

Dignum et iustum est.

is elevated and improved by shouting man to be:

It is right and just to give the Lord thanks and praise.

But “lord” always refers to a man, right?. Like, a lord and his lady. I can’t think of any example of English usage in which “lord” refers to a woman. :shrug:

]Middle English laverd*, loverd
*]Old English hlaford
*]Latin Dominus (not Domina)


Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar

None of those changes is legitimate and they all serve to 1) divide the Church by making (illicit) local versions of the Roman Rite that differ from the Roman Rite the Church has given us, and 2) deviate from the faith of the Church (in the name of “inclusivity”) with vagueness and ambiguity.

There is one instance of inclusive language during Mass that I would not be opposed to:

During the Nicene Creed, we say: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven
I would not be opposed to saying: “For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:

Why? Language has evolved since the time translations were made. I would be comfortable saying that most people do not use the word “men” to describe all of humanity even if they use the word “mankind.” In my opinion, the intent and meaning of the prayer is reflected more accurately in using the alternate wording. I have even heard some people say “us people” rather than “us men.”

But, the Mass is not about us; it is about God. We need to be faithful to what the texts of the prayers state and not amend them to suit our personal idiosyncracies. Redemptionis Sacramentum notes that:

[7.] Not infrequently, abuses are rooted in a false understanding of liberty. Yet God has not granted us in Christ an illusory liberty by which we may do what we wish, but a liberty by which we may do that which is fitting and right.18 This is true not only of precepts coming directly from God, but also of laws promulgated by the Church, with appropriate regard for the nature of each norm. For this reason, all should conform to the ordinances set forth by legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

[8.] It is therefore to be noted with great sadness that “ecumenical initiatives which are well-intentioned, nevertheless indulge at times in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith”. Yet the Eucharist “is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity or depreciation”. It is therefore necessary that some things be corrected or more clearly delineated so that in this respect as well “the Eucharist will continue to shine forth in all its radiant mystery”.19

[9.] Finally, abuses are often based on ignorance, in that they involve a rejection of those elements whose deeper meaning is not understood and whose antiquity is not recognized. For “the liturgical prayers, orations and songs are pervaded by the inspiration and impulse” of the Sacred Scriptures themselves, “and it is from these that the actions and signs receive their meaning”.20 As for the visible signs “which the Sacred Liturgy uses in order to signify the invisible divine realities, they have been chosen by Christ or by the Church”.21 Finally, the structures and forms of the sacred celebrations according to each of the Rites of both East and West are in harmony with the practice of the universal Church also as regards practices received universally from apostolic and unbroken tradition,22 which it is the Church’s task to transmit faithfully and carefully to future generations. All these things are wisely safeguarded and protected by the liturgical norms.

[10.] The Church herself has no power over those things which were established by Christ Himself and which constitute an unchangeable part of the Liturgy.23 Indeed, if the bond were to be broken which the Sacraments have with Christ Himself who instituted them, and with the events of the Church’s founding,24 it would not be beneficial to the faithful but rather would do them grave harm. For the Sacred Liturgy is quite intimately connected with principles of doctrine,25 so that the use of unapproved texts and rites necessarily leads either to the attenuation or to the disappearance of that necessary link between the lex orandi and the lex credendi.26

[11.] The Mystery of the Eucharist “is too great for anyone to permit himself to treat it according to his own whim, so that its sacredness and its universal ordering would be obscured”.27 On the contrary, anyone who acts thus by giving free rein to his own inclinations, even if he is a Priest, injures the substantial unity of the Roman Rite, which ought to be vigorously preserved,28 and becomes responsible for actions that are in no way consistent with the hunger and thirst for the living God that is experienced by the people today. Nor do such actions serve authentic pastoral care or proper liturgical renewal; instead, they deprive Christ’s faithful of their patrimony and their heritage. For arbitrary actions are not conducive to true renewal,29 but are detrimental to the right of Christ’s faithful to a liturgical celebration that is an expression of the Church’s life in accordance with her tradition and discipline. In the end, they introduce elements of distortion and disharmony into the very celebration of the Eucharist, which is oriented in its own lofty way and by its very nature to signifying and wondrously bringing about the communion of divine life and the unity of the People of God.30 The result is uncertainty in matters of doctrine, perplexity and scandal on the part of the People of God, and, almost as a necessary consequence, vigorous opposition, all of which greatly confuse and sadden many of Christ’s faithful in this age of ours when Christian life is often particularly difficult on account of the inroads of “secularization” as well.31

When we feel that we can make changes to the Mass, then we imitate Adam and Eve who preferred to snatch at divinity than to humbly receive what God had given them.

The Greek text of the Creed uses the pair of words ανθρώπους and ενανθρωπήσαντα. Note the common unit there ανθρώπ (anthrop). In the Latin, that pair is translated as homines and homo. In the English translation, these are rendered as “men” and “man”: “For us men … [He] became man.”

Our English translation respects the linguistic features of the Greek original and official Latin translation by using “men” and “man”. It avoids overgeneralizing the translation of ανθρώπους/homines by using a word like “mankind” or “humanity” instead of the simple plural “men”. It also avoids being theologically inaccurate by using the word pair of “people” and “person”, since the Son has ALWAYS been a Person; He did not become a Person at His Incarnation, He became man.


:thumbsup: Thank you for the documentation :D.

benedictgal and japhy both bring up valid points, but I’m not sure that you entirely understand my point.
I suppose to understand where I am coming from, one must know that the English language (along with other languages) has greatly evolved since the time translations have been made–it has even evolved greatly within the last few decades. (If you have interest in how language works–literally-- I’d suggest reading “The Language Instinct” by Steven Pinker.)

So in essence, what I’m getting at, is that if we made the first translations of from the original Greek today, in Modern, 21st century English, linguists would more than likely say “us humans” rather than “us men” because our it is rare to find the word “men” used nowadays while referring to both men and women.

Also, if I am not mistaken, “homo” can also be translated as “human being.”

That being said, I’m not advocating for a change in the language of the Nicene Creed (Just like I would rather use the word “Thy” than “Your” in the “Our Father”)–I’m just pointing out that it could be changed and retain the original meaning.

I think Father Mitch Pacwa says it best (and regularly) that he is a “paint by numbers and stay within the lines kind of Priest”

The Liturgy, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is not open to deviation. It is Jesus’ Liturgy, not theirs. They are not at liberty to change a single word nor gesture.

There are many liturgical abuses that you will come across. Familiarize yourself with the GIRM, containing the rubrics or instructions for Mass, and also a great document entitled “redemptionis sacramentum” found at: vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html

By fostering true devotion, respect, reverence and love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with your personal public witness (say recieving the Sacred Host on your tongue while kneeling- you’re not obligated to do so, but it’s very reverent indeed) we will bring about a restoration to the fullness of the Catholic faith, and orthodox belief of all that She teaches on Faith and Morals. No ear tickling in the Sanctuary, please.

Yes, but even with this evolution, words like “man” and “men” can still mean both males and females. Must we talk about “person-eating sharks” or “human-eating sharks”?

Consider this example:
Does that mean males cannot litter, or that adult males cannot litter? No, it means no one may litter, male or female, young or old.

However… if the figure in that picture had noticeably female attributes (dress, body shape), seemingly out-of-the-blue (for equality’s sake, of course), it would seem a bit specific, no? The genderless figure in the image above is meant to represent men and women. The genderless words for people in the English language happen to be “man” and “he”. This is no slight against women.

If it’s rare, it’s because people have been taught against it (possibly with a feminist agenda) instead of taught about it. We haven’t “corrected” our Declaration of Independence yet to say “all men and women are created equal”, but still, isn’t “men” exclusive of young males? No, it’s not, just like “men” is not necessarily exclusive of females.

And some feminists would not like to use “human” either, simply because it’s got the word “man” in it. But catering to their particular tastes is no-man’s-land. Pun deliciously intended.

But the English language has not “evolved” when it comes to political-correctness. Using the word “evolved” connotes a natural process of gradual change of a language. People speaking a language change the way they speak it. That is not what we have experienced. Our language has not evolved in recent decades, it has been manipulated by academics, publishers, and the political correctness gangs of thugs who have forced their own notions of what language should be upon the rest of our English-speaking society.

The change from thee and thou to you is an example of language evolving; but political correctness “gender neutrality” is not an example of evolution but genetic manipulation. There is quite a difference.

I guess I’ve failed to represent my point effectively. English has evolved much more than most people realize. English, like modern French and Spanish, used to have a gender for all nouns. English used to have inflection (like Japanese). Our vowels have changed considerably. The list goes on and on.
Whatever the case may be, you should know that language evolves by common usage.

Ex: Younger speakers of English noticed that the past tense of drive, is drove, and thus many speakers in certain regions have adopted an “incorrect” past tense of the word “dive”–dove. The “correct” historical past tense follows the general linguistic rule of adding a syllabic [d] (this is in IPA) to [daɪ̪v] resulting in the word **dived ([daɪ̪vd] **.

Dove is now a commonly accepted form of the past tense for American speakers of English. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dove#Verb
My point being that English evolved by common usage.

Check out this Encarta article if you actually want to know more about what I’m talking about:

In the new translation of the Mass, there will be a new (and according to Jimmy Akin, Karl Keating, and others on CAL more accurate) translation of the Nicene Creed. Here is a link to it: usccb.org/romanmissal/examples.shtml I think at this point, if the USCCB had thought that using ‘mankind’ were outdated, they would have changed that. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the info. I should probably clarify that I’m not saying that a change is necessary–I’m saying that if the change I have presented was made, it would not, in any way, alter or dilute the meaning behind the creed.

EDIT: I don’t see any recent changes to the translation in the link provided. Are you saying that there is going to be another revised translation at some point in the future?

Here is the new translation of the Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake
he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life, who proceeds
from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
And one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

I hope that this will help you.

It is not a matter of what we prefer; rather, it is what the Church requires and what she mandates.

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