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Mysterium fidei (Latin phrase)

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Mysterium Fidei, a Latin phrase meaning mystery of faith or mystery of the faith, is a Christian theological term for an article of faith or doctrine which defies man’s ability to grasp fully. Examples such as the Trinity are mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1066-1068.

Phrase in Mass of the Roman Rite

The phrase mysterium fidei appears in the Roman Rite Canon of the Mass without a clear indication of what mystery it refers to.

In the Tridentine form of the Canon, it was inserted, within the Words of Institution, into the formula of consecration of the wine, as follows:[1]

Text (in Latin)
Simili modo postquam cenatum est,
accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem
in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas:
item tibi gratias agens, benedixit,
deditque discipulis suis, dicens:
Accipite, et bibite ex eo omnes.
Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei,
novi et aeterni testamenti:
mysterium fidei:
qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur
in remissionem peccatorum.
Haec quotiescumque feceritis,
in mei memoriam facietis.
unofficial English translation
In like manner, after He had supped,
taking also into His holy and venerable hands
this goodly chalice,
again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it,
and gave it to His disciples, saying:
Take and drink ye all of this:
for this is the chalice of my blood,
of the new and eternal testament:
the mystery of faith:
which will be shed for you and for many
unto the remission of sins.
As often as ye shall do these things,
ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

In the Tridentine Mass the people do not hear the phrase "mysterium fidei", because the priest speaks the words of the Canon of the Mass inaudibly.

Since the revision of the Roman Missal that was promulgated officially in 1969 and was actually published in 1970, the words "mysterium fidei" have been moved to immediately after the consecration, the showing of the chalice to the congregation and the priest's genuflection. The priest celebrating the Mass proclaims the words, and the people respond with one of the Memorial Acclamations. The same position is assigned to the phrase also in the newer Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite.

Thus, the corresponding text in the Roman Canon or First Eucharistic Prayer is now as follows[2] (here accompanied by the reductive 1973 ICEL translation, due to be replaced soon with a more exact translation):

Text (in Latin)
Simili modo postquam cenatum est,
accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem
in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas,
item tibi gratias agens benedixit,
deditque discipulis suis, dicens:
Accipite, et bibite ex eo omnes:
hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei
novi et aeterni testamenti,
qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur
in remissionem peccatorum.
Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.
Mysterium fidei.
ICEL translation
When supper was ended,
he took the cup.
Again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples,
and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

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