July 2007--The phrase "perfidious Jews," which had appeared in the Good Friday liturgy, was removed by John XXIII from his first Good Friday service as pope in 1959. The 1962 missal, the last version of the Tridentine liturgy before Vatican II, did not include this phrase.

Some stories in the media expressed concern that the expansion of the use of the Tridentine liturgy by Benedict XVI would include the phrase "perfidious Jews" in the Good Friday liturgy. This is not the case, since the 1962 version does not include this phrase. It is the 1962 missal that was approved for limited use by John Paul II in his 1984 indult and presumably in Benedict's upcoming moto proprio.

The confusion in the media may have been caused by a typo. Some stories are saying that the phrase "perfidious Jews" was removed in 1969 when in fact it was first dropped by John XXIII in 1959. Or the confusion could have been caused by the further revisions made in 1969 that were implemented in the 1970 missal.

The treatment of the Jews in the 1962 missal was not ideal. It prayed for the "conversion of the Jews."

For the conversion of the Jews. Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, You do not refuse Your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of Your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.

It also prays for "heretics and schismatics."

The 1970 missal of Paul VI, which is used today, says:

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.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad