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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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Why do we never sing “De Spiritu Sancto” (St. Athenogenes) in our churches? There are a dozen translations in English verse. Where could anyone find a better evening hymn than this, coming right down from the catacombs? Our hymnbooks know nothing of such a treasure as this, and give us pages of poor sentiment in doggerel lines by some tenth-rate modern versifier.
— Rev’d Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

Repetition in the Roman Missal
published 14 February 2016 by Fr. David Friel

T IS NO SECRET that I am an enthusiastic fan of the 2011 translation of the Roman Missal in English. It is not perfect, to be sure, but it is such an enormous improvement over the former Sacramentary that it warrants ongoing celebration.

One of the things I appreciate most about the new translation is the inclusion of some of the repetitions that are found in the Latin original. These repeated words and phrases were, it seems, not valued by those who crafted the 1970 Sacramentary. Their return is a wonderful thing, and I believe there is something particularly prayerful about them. (I have posted about the value of these repetitions once before).

Beyond the spiritual & liturgical value of repetition, one can also argue that repetition holds great literary significance. Christopher Carstens has made this very argument in a recent article in Adoremus Bulletin:

“All the fun’s in how you say a thing”—Repetition in the Roman Missal, by Christopher Carstens (Vol. XXL, No. 5 – January 2016, pages 4-5)

Carstens, who serves as Editor of Adoremus Bulletin, defines and points out liturgical occurances of such wonderful literary tools as anaphora, symploce, diacope, anadiplosis, palindrome, epanados, and chiasmus.

Not sure what some of those devices are? Neither was I. The article is well worth a read for any lover of the English language.