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Removing “One”

Just before Lent this year, I received an email from the Archdiocese’s Office of Worship informing us of the removal of the word “One” in english collects (opening prayer of Mass).

“The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) has decreed that as of February 17, 2021, the wording of liturgical collects in English—the opening prayer at Mass, Funerals, Weddings, the closing prayer in Lauds and Vespers in the Liturgy of the Hours—is to be changed. From now on, the word “one” in the doxology is Omitted”

All this basically means that the familiar:

“...through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.”

Would be changed to:

“...through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.”

My first reaction to reading this email was to go into a rant about how the Church can waste so much time on such trivial wording changes and what difference does it really make. I even considered writing a blog post on what I considered at the time a ridiculous single word change.

Now I am glad I waited on writing such a post. During the weeks of Lent hearing and proclaiming the new collect ending I was struck by how much better it sounded and felt saying the revised prayer. Removing the word “One” just seemed to make sense and in harmony with our understanding of the Trinity. I must admit that I was caught off guard with my reaction and how such a simple single word change could really make a difference for me during a liturgy.

It still seems like the Church does spend a lot of time with what would seem like very insignificant changes to wording and translations when we should be out proclaiming and being the presence of Christ in the world. But, in the future, I am a bit more willing to not react so strongly and take any new working changes for a test ride before passing judgment.

Also, a good reminder to me not to overreact to new situations and events and take some time to absorb, pray, and think about them. 

Peace, Blessings, and Love

Deacon Richard


  • Phyllis MergenPosted on 5/06/21

    Well written and thoughtful as usual, Deacon.
    I appreciate the nudge to myself to wait and think more before I am so quick to share my immediate reaction which is not always prudent.



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