Word of consecration changed - still licit &/or valid?

There’s an elderly priest who sometimes subs at our parish. I’ve noticed that in the prayer of Instituion (during which the priest consecrates the wine), he changes what should be said, “many” to “all”. On one occasion, he emphasized, “all”.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

Is this still valid and licit? Should I ask him why he does this?

There are other irregularities at our Masses as well.

Thanks in advance for the replies,

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I don’t know enough to answer your question, but before the recent revisions the old text did use the word “all”.


My guess, being charitable, is that the priest being elderly has used the old formula for so long he’s almost on autopilot when he says it.



You mean “many” that appears after the “all.”

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I would say that it is certainly valid. In fact, until the new translation came out about ten years ago, the word “all” was used, not “many”. Either way, it doesn’t intrinsically mess with the consecration itself.

Is it licit? Eh… I don’t know. Since there is a new Missal translation in effect, the wording in the Missal should be followed. I want to be charitable to the older priest, as @OraLabora said, but we’ve had this new translation for almost ten years. It’s not like it came out yesterday. There tends to be a lot of politicization of the words “all” and “many”. There’s those out there who don’t like that it was changed to “many” (even though it’s the more accurate translation).

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Wrong “all.”

I think what the OP is referring to is the part that says “poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The old Missal translation Said “poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.


What is the harm in asking him why he does it or if he is aware of it? Then you can have clarity on the answer.


What missal is he using? If he’s using one from 1969 - 2011, then he’s using the wrong missal. Maybe someone should get him a newer missal with the correct translation.

If it still continues after that, then maybe a fellow priest can talk to him. Last resort, respectfully write to the bishop and explain the situation.

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We had an older priest in our parish, and using a newer missal he always used the older responses, I think it was because he kind of “auto-piloted” into them, personal preference, and he was old enough its possible he simply didn’t see a value in trying to change it in his head (if he is still alive, he s in his 80s or 90s).

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The point Jesus is making is that he is doing this not just for the people at the table with him, but for a larger group. “For you…and for many” and “For you …and for all” both mean “For you…and for others not present.” The nuance of all and many have been discussed for centuries. Neither is “wrong” though for many is the correct translation of the Latin prayer.

Benedict XVI wrote a good summary of this issue in an essay printed in his book about the Eucharist:

Both formulations, “for all” and “for many”, are found in Scripture and in tradition. Each expresses one aspect of the matter: on one hand, the all-embracing salvation inherent in the death of Christ, which he suffered for all men; on the other hand, the freedom to refuse, as setting a limit to salvation. Neither of the two formulae can express the whole of this; each needs correct interpretation, which sets it in the context of the Christian gospel as a whole. I leave open the question of whether it was sensible to choose the translation “for all” here and, thus, to confuse translation with interpretation, at a point at which the process of interpretation remains in any case indispensable. There can be no question of misrepresentation here, since whichever of the formulations is allowed to stand, we must in any case listen to the whole of the gospel message: that the Lord truly loves everyone and that he died for all. And the other aspect: that he does not, by some magic trick, set aside our freedom but allows us to choose to enter into his great mercy.
Joseph Ratzinger. God is Near Us


Ask him about it personally if it bothers you. Ask others.

Assess the importance of the issue. If you think the issue merits it, call the bishop.
Also, whatever level of alarm you raise, be ready to let it go and offer it up, at whatever level is appropriate.

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I believe that the priest would have to make far more significant changes to the wording before it invalidated the sacrament. Indeed, he is using a word that once was in the English translation.

If he is making a simple error and using the word that was once there I do not see why a simple mistake would render it illicit. I think if the priest knows full well what word he should say and is changing it for some reason he has that strays into acting illicitly.

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Thank you, Dovekin. Perhaps I can send an email and reference this excerpt.

Blessings to all.

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In my opinion, he’s probably on auto-pilot…I remember when “mistakes” when Pope JPII passed, Benedict stepped down and we got a new Bishop…there was a long pause or a correction to the correct name.

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BlockquoteThere tends to be a lot of politicization of the words “all” and “many”. There’s those out there who don’t like that it was changed to “many” (even though it’s the more accurate translation).> Blockquote

This is the impression I get, since he once emphasized “all”. Since then, I pay attention to that prayer since I knew it had been amended to “many”.

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You could I suppose, but why? It is may just be a slip into prior practices, the autopilot thing. If it is intentional, it is not heretical or anything, just a minor infraction that he may even be doing to emphasize a valid point.

In any event, if he is a senior priest, you are not likely to change his mind. Be thankful that he comes to pray with you; don’t jeopardize that by making him feel unwelcome.


We have a priest so old he still commemorates Pius I on auto-pilot…

That may be a joke.

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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.

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Very interesting. Thank you.

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We had a similar situation in my former parish where one of the priests, an elderly man, consecrated the Precious Blood with the words “for you and for ALL PEOPLE so that sins MIGHT be forgiven”. He did this every time he said Mass, and he did it deliberately, so it was not a slip of the tongue. He is now deceased, and I never asked him about it, it was obvious that he fully intended to do it, and my questioning it wouldn’t have changed his mind. He did this both before and after the change to the ICEL translation of “pro multis” to “for many”. Again, his enunciation indicated that he fully meant to do it, as though he was saying “I know what the missal says, but I don’t care, I’m going to do it my way instead”. The only explanation I could think of, aside from the “my way” scenario, is that perhaps he was expert in Aramaic, and he thought that his wording more closely reflected what Our Lord actually said.

I have noticed that younger priests tend to stick pretty much to the rubrics. The theological and liturgical mavericks of the 1960s and 1970s are dying out. Requiescant in pace.

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