Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and sacramental theology and director of the Sacerdos Institute at the Regina Apostolorum university.
Q1: I am a deacon. In my former parish, we always sang at the end of Mass the “Go in peace, Alleluia, Alleluia” during the entire Easter season. My associate pastor in my new parish has told me not to sing it — that it is only sung during Easter week and Pentecost. I could not find the instructions in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Could you help me out as the Easter Season is almost over? — G.S., Wildwood, Florida
Q2: When do we use “per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum” instead of just the simpler form “per Christum Dominum nostrum.”? — C.M., Cavite, Philippines
A: Since these two unrelated questions are fairly technical and can be answered with relative brevity, I have opted to deal with them together.
With respect to the first question, the associate pastor is correct. The formula “Go in peace, Alleluia, Alleluia” is used exclusively during Easter octave and on the feast of Pentecost. It is used both at Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours and thus would close the Easter season with vespers of Pentecost.
Although not in the GIRM, it is indicated in the rubrics at the end of the Easter vigil Mass in which, after presenting the music for the dismissal with the double Alleluia, says: “This practice is observed throughout the Octave of Easter.”
It is also indicated at the end of the Mass of Pentecost.
With respect to the conclusion “per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum (through the same Christ Our Lord)” it would no longer be used in liturgical texts of the ordinary form of the Roman rite. It is still used in devotional texts which retain the older liturgical formulas.
The criteria regarding the conclusions of the collects can be found in the GIRM No. 54, and in No. 77 for the prayers over the offerings. The English missal now prints these texts in full so all possible confusion is avoided.
“54. Next, the priest invites the people to pray. All, together with the priest, observe a brief silence so that they may be conscious of the fact that they are in God’s presence and may formulate their petitions mentally. Then the priest says the prayer which is customarily known as the Collect and through which the character of the celebration is expressed. In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, the Collect prayer is usually addressed to God the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and is concluded with a trinitarian ending, that is to say, the longer ending, in the following manner:
“• If the prayer is directed to the Father: Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum (Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever);
“• If it is directed to the Father, but the Son is mentioned at the end: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum (Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever);
“• If it is directed to the Son: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum (You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever).
“The people, uniting themselves to this entreaty, make the prayer their own with the acclamation: Amen. There is always only one Collect used in a Mass.”
“The Prayer over the Offerings
“77. Once the offerings have been placed on the altar and the accompanying rites completed, the invitation to pray with the priest and the Prayer over the Offerings conclude the Preparation of the Gifts and prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer.
“In the Mass, only one Prayer over the Offerings is said, and it ends with the shorter conclusion: Per Christum Dominum nostrum (Through Christ our Lord). If, however, the Son is mentioned at the end of this prayer, the conclusion is Qui vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum (Who lives and reigns forever and ever).
“The people, uniting themselves to this entreaty, make the prayer their own with the acclamation: Amen.”
For the prayer after Communion, it is the same short conclusion as that of the prayer over de Offerings.
In the extraordinary form, the rules are more complex and the post-communion prayers follow rules similar to that of the collects.
With respect to the conclusions of the collect prayer the following possibilities are used depending on the prayer’s structure:
— Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum
— Per Eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum
— Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum
— Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum
If mention of the Holy Spirit is made in the prayer the conclusion is modified to say: “in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.”
Therefore, the criteria for adding “per eundem” in the extraordinary form is roughly the same as the second model of the ordinary form: a prayer directed to the Father with a mention of the Son. As mentioned earlier, this can also be applied to other prayers such as the prayer after communion.
A well-known example of this is the post-communion prayer of the feast of the Annunciation which is also used in the recitation of the Angelus:
“Orémus. Grátiam tuam, quÇ½sumus, Dómine, méntibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Ángelo nuntiánte, Christi Fílii tui incarnatiónem cognóvimus, per passiónem eius et crucem, ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur. Per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum.”
“Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”