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Begotten in Eternity But Incarnate in Time: Historical, Theological, and Liturgical Issues Underlying Greek and Latin References to the Son in the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed Lynne Courter Boughton For centuries, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (NC) has served the Church not only as a summary of theological principles communicated in sacred Scripture but as an articulation, within the eucharistic liturgy, of the concepts of substance, personhood, and incarnation intrinsic to a correct understanding of Christ’s presence in that sacrament. Vernacular translations of the Latin liturgical text of NC and other components of the Mass of the Roman Rite is nothing new. Since the nineteenth century ecclesiastical authorities have   The ecumenical importance of NC and of the Nicene Creed (N), the christological articles of which NC incorporates, has been affirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which cites the Latin text of both N and NC in its Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church Dominus Iesus (6 August 2000), Acta Apostolicae Sedis [AAS] 92 (2000) §1, pp. 742-43 and §10, p. 750.   There is also evidence of translations of the Mass of the Roman Rite or its local uses before the nineteenth century. In 1661 a hand missal was published in French but was suppressed later that same year by Pope Alexander VII because several of its renderings reflected the errors of Gallicanism. In some regions, devout Catholics compensated for difficulties in understanding the Latin by making use of paraphrases for the Roman Rite or one of its uses. In the use linked to the York region of England, a paraphrase of the rite in Middle English can be found in The Lay Folks Mass Book, or the Manner of Hearing Mass, ed. Thomas Frederick Simmons, Early English Text Society 71 (London: N. Trübner, 1879). Interestingly, this codex identifies NC as the “Mass-Creed” but, rather than translating or Antiphon 13.2 (2009): 132-158 133 Begotten in Eternity But Incarnate in Time endorsed, for use with editions of the Missale Romanum issued prior to 1970, the production of “hand missals” that contained, on pages facing a transcription of the Latin (and occasionally Greek ) texts of the Roman Missal, a parallel translation into a modern language. In this way, members of the congregation, including those who did not know ancient languages, could participate silently as the priest vocalized, at the varying levels of volume specified in rubrics and caeremonialia, the biblical passages and prayers transcribed for him in the Missal. Hand missals could also assist the faithful in understanding their own Latin proclamation of responses and statements, including the standard Latin text of NC, when these are voiced by the congregation in correctly-implemented celebrations of the Roman-rite Mass. Although mistranslations sometimes appear in these vernacular renderings of NC, the wording remains subordinate to the Latin text printed on the opposite page, and recited or chanted in union with the officiating priest in Latin. In the Missale Romanum of 1969/70 and its subsequent typical editions (1975, 2002), Latin remains the standard liturgical language of NC. Nevertheless, in this form of the Roman Rite, the widespread use of vernacular translations has given these very translations a prominent liturgical function. In the case of NC, Catholics throughout the world recognize its affirmation in their own native language as a participation in the universal Church’s profession of faith; hence the need for accuracy in translation is particularly important. paraphrasing it, instructs the faithful to say the Apostles’ Creed in English while the priest recites NC in Latin (pp. 18, 99).   The Kyrie of the Order of Mass, and the Trisagion which are recited in the Improperia of Good Friday.   The rubrics that John Burckard (c. 1450-1506, papal master of ceremonies 1483-1506) compiled in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries for the ordo missae, while encouraging Latin responses by the congregation (called interessentes), noted that NC was recited by the celebrant secrete (i.e., softly, but not mimed or whispered); this directive, however, was specifically pro celebratione Missae sine cantu. “Ordo Missae Ioannis Burckardi,” Tracts on the Mass, ed. John Wickham Legg, Henry Bradshaw Society 27 (London: Harrison...


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