In this new series Josephine Bredon looks at some of the key language we use in transmitting faith.
Command, Mandate, Precept, Authority
This is a new mini-series on words, words that have an often-forgotten richness of meaning, a richness which, once known, deepens and clarifies the meaning of the faith we thought we knew. Knowing the ‘language of faith’ is of very great benefit for catechists and is both important and fascinating for every Catholic.
The idea of the series sprang from a conversation about a phrase in the new translation of the missal. Just before the Lord’s prayer the priest says: ‘at the Saviour’s command …’. Someone asked me, ‘Why has the Church chosen the distasteful word ‘command’? Is it not out of love that Christ gave us the Lord’s prayer?’ ‘What a shame’, many say, ‘that the Church has reverted to the authoritarian word ‘command’.’