...and with Your Spirit

Since the new Mass translation in 2011, I always hesitate at the priest's greeting, "The Lord be with you."
I just can't remember the response.  I want to say, because it makes more sense to me, "And also with you."  However, the correct response is, "And with your spirit."  This seems awkward.  We don't talk that way.  When we're greeted, we respond, "and you, too".  So I never remember what to say: the one that makes sense, or the awkward phrasing one.

This morning I was listening to Dr. Edward Sri, walk through the new Mass translation, again.  The CD is from 2011.  I'm listening again, because tomorrow I'm helping Father Al give some adult faith formation.  He's talking about the Mass.  So I've been reading up on it, and also listening to CD's.  Well, this morning I heard Dr. Sri speak of the Lord be with you and also with you.  Finally, his words didn't just pass through one ear to the other.  I understood.  I got it.  Eureka!  Epiphany!

As I always felt "and also with you" to be the correct response to a greeting, and it is.  However, we are not just exchanging pleasantries with the priest, we're doing something theological.  We are acknowledging that the priest has a gift of Holy Spirit, that we ordinary people, don't have.  He's been ordained to consecrate the bread and wine.  He has been given that power to call down the Holy Spirit. So at the beginning of Mass we tell the priest this in,"and with your Spirit."  The priest will soon be using that Spirit in the Canon of the Mass.

Hence, "and with your Spirit" is stressing an important theological concept, right at the onset of the Mass.

I don't think I'll confuse the two responses, any more.


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