“The Lord Be With You”


Why do we often repeat “The Lord be with you – and with your spirit”?


Dominus vobiscum
Et cum spiritu tuoThe response to the “Dominus Vobiscum” is “Et cum spiritu tuo” (cf. 2 Timothy 4:22; Galatians 6:18; Philippians 4:23)

Morrisroe, Patrick. “Dominus Vobiscum.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.
21 Jan. 2014 newadvent.org/cathen/05114a.htm
The phrase "and with your spirit” acknowledgees the grace and presence of Christ present and operative in the spirit or soul of the celebrant.

It is a traditional greeting, taken from Ruth, that is near the start of each major part of the Mass.

*]Introductory Rite, greeting
*]Liturgy of the Word, gospel
*]Liturgy of the Eucharist, eucharistic prayer
*]Communion Rite, sign of peace
*]Concluding Rite, greeting
Five Parts:



On a side note, since starting to go to the EF I have to always remind myself to say And with your spirit instead of Et cum spiritu tuo. It gets difficult because they’re so close :p.


And it’s “Y con tu espiritu” in the Spanish Mass.

And I don’t know why people raise their hands when they say this.


During the celebration of Mass, the “orans” posture of hands-raised is used by, and only by, the priest and any concelebrating priests. It does not accompany “And with your spirit” and is not mandated for use by lay people.


Good point - it just demonstrates that they have completely misunderstood the liturgical significance of the exchange.


Vico, this is a super cool post. I’m sorry I didn’t see it earlier. Thank you for taking the time to post it. The Catholic Encyclopedia article is fascinating.



Interestingly enough though, at the beginning of Mass, the new English text reads

P. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of
God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with
you all. (The Latin is still “Dominus vobiscum”.)
A. And with your spirit

( At some other point in the Mass, it still is

P. The peace of the Lord be with you always.
A. And with your spirit.)

Different liturgical setting, same response.


Interestingly enough at the beginning of the Mass, the English now has “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Other vernaculars follow this thought.

The Latin AFAIK is still “Dominus vobiscum.” (or maybe this was changed in 2002?)


That is one of the options in the Novus Ordo. Another is, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The final is “The Lord be with you.” These also exist in the Latin Order of the Mass, so it isn’t just in the English


Thanks. I found it.



Whoa…I think that’s the same site I used to make sure I wasn’t blathering nonsense! Cool :thumbsup:


The other posters have done a great job of delving into its use in the Liturgy. I will approach it from a different way. How many times do we need to hear, “The Lord be with you” for it to sink deep into our hearts, minds, and spirits? This is one of the basic truths that God has revealed to us throughout salvation history. Repetition is used to call us to prayer, call us to deepen our relationship with the Lord.


“The Lord Be With You” is also really the highest and holiest forms of well wishes. Telling someone that you wish God to be with them is a big deal. Most people don’t seem to really put it together though.

Just like when we say “and with your spirit” we acknowledge the grace and presence of Christ present and operative in the spirit of the celebrant, who as we know performs the mass in persona Christi.

In the same way, when we hear “The peace of the Lord be with you” it’s the same idea. God only does works in us in peace. God gives us the ultimate peace in our souls if we wish to accept it. The peace of God is a peace doesn’t mean bad things not happening. The peace of God is a peace that exists within someone whether things are good or bad. When healthy or unhealthy. This is a peace that is unlike any worldly peace.


It wasn’t nonsense.

I was reading where the ICEL, in using its dynamic approach to the translations, proposed “(May) the spirit of the Lord be with you” to which the response “And also with you” would have made more sense, but eventually only the ICEL response remained and the old subjunctive “The Lord be with you” remained. Contrast that with the “The Lord IS with thee/you” in the Hail Mary and other languages, such as Polish, where it’s “Pan z wami” or “The Lord IS with you.”


It is interesting that “Dominus vobiscum” has been translated into the subjunctive mood in English…I think it is similar to the Divine Praises: “Benedictus Deus” is rendered “blessed be God.” I’m used to seeing things like that in Latin translated into the indicative mood, meaning “Dominus vobiscum” would be put down as “The Lord is with you”; perhaps I see this because I am a student of classical Latin, rather than of ecclesial Latin. But then again, “Dominus tecum” in the Hail Mary is rendered “the Lord is with you,” so I really have no idea where that distinction is made. Perhaps reference to the original scriptural languages brings this about; e.g., the Greek in the Gospel according to Luke has the angelic greeting follow the indicative lines rather than the subjunctive, and likewise Paul’s greetings, only following subjunctive lines. I really have no idea, because I’m no New Testament Greek scholar :shrug: but that’s just some musing :o

On a side note, “May the Lord be with you” is not an entirely objectionable translation, in my humble and insignificant opinion; however, adding “the spirit of” is taking too much liberty with translation.


Consistency of mood (whether subjunctive or indicative) seems to be a theory that works in the Gloria prayer, where the verb in some cases was suppressed altogether in the English, like we don’t say “Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace be to men of good will.” We’re used to saying “Glory to God in the highest” without the verb.

It also works in the second half of the Pater Noster prayer, because even though “Et ne nos inducas in tentationem” is subjunctive, it translates to a command “Lead us not…” Maybe the translation to the entire Pater Noster will be revisited some day but I guess the Church has decided the current version, even though it was not originally translated by the Church, is just too ingrained in the Anglophone mind to change it. The same probably goes for “The Lord be with you.”


** A Catholic totally destroys the protestant arguments in this recent Youtube debate. Here is the link…

youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1vC1Ez-OI **


Yes, certain phrases are just so engraved into our minds. That makes sense


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