A Surprise for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 17, 2011

A wonderful surprise awaits Catholics on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. When I first discovered the surprise while looking over USCCB documents about the translation of the new Roman Missal I did not believe my eyes. But there it was!

If you look at the old translation, the translation we have used for the last 40 years you will discover that this was the opening prayer:


fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an Angel
the coming of your Son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his resurrection,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Now that same prayer reads as follows:

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
May by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

It’s the Angelus! The Angelus, a traditional, beloved Catholic prayer that evolved from a 12th century practice of reciting three Hail Mary’s following an evening bell, has been hiding in the old missal for the last 40 years, and I never knew it!

Dr. Timothy Brennan



About Dr. Tim Brennan

Dr. Timothy Brennan has written 3 post in this blog.

Originally a student of the Middle Ages, Tim was fortunate enough to fall in love with Christ and the Catholic Faith. He is fascinated by Sacred Scripture, the beauty of medieval art, the profundity of the sacred liturgy, and all other things Catholic.

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  • Tony

    I actually once had a prayer card of the Angelus with the inferior translation of the prayer, which somehow led me to figure this out a number of years ago. I remember being annoyed that yet another prayer had been lost in translation.

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