When the use of the Tridentine form of the Roman Rite was expanded by B16, there was a lot of talk about the infamous Good Friday prayer. The pope’s instructions were that both the normative and tridentine expressions of the same rite should inform one another. I recall our Ordinary here, Archbishop Collins suggesting that perhaps some of the current prayers might be used in the Tridentine form. It certainly made sense to me and seemed to be in keeping with a sensitivity and respect to the Jewish people.
The recent announcement of a revised prayer for the Tridentine form of the Good Friday prayer is confusing to say the least. This new prayer although, not as caustic as the former, does not reflect the long road that JPII the Great travelled in reaching out to our elder brothers and sisters in faith. As the Tablet (Feb 6) writes:
Both the Tridentine Rite prayer and its replacement belong to a different theological era, when God’s covenant with his original Chosen People was seen as having been superseded by the arrival of the new covenant between Christ and the Church.
That’s certainly not the tone of Nostrae Aetate, nor of the Spirit of Assisi. What’s going on? The Tablet writes that Cardinal Bertone (Secretary of State) was in favour of using the Paul VI form of the prayer:
Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant.
Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your Church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
It does not shy away from praying for the “fullness of redemption” and is also, gentle, respectful in tone and language.
If Bertone was in favour of it… who convinced the Pope otherwise? There seems something strange happening at the Congregation for Divine Worship. Let’s pray for one another, for wisdom and grace!