Sunday, April 20, 2014

The piety of God, the marvelous deeming-worthy of his dutiful care for us

O mira circa nos tuæ pietatis dignatio!
O inæstimabilis dilectio caritatis: . . .

O marvelous dignation [(deeming-worthy)]
     of [this] dutifulness of yours that encompasses us!
O dilection [(love)] of inestimable charity: . . .

2010 Roman missal:
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling, . . .

1979 Book of common prayer:
How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, . . .

     Ex(s)ultet.  Pietas is the love and duty (dutiful conduct, even fealty) owed to a superior.  Hence the condescension ("humble care") of the most recent translation of the Roman missal.
     For the Ex(s)ultet in an early 20th-century edition of the Missale Gothicum (c. 700), go here (there are later critical editions, but they are not online):
     O mira circa mos tuae pietatis dignacio
     O instimabilis dileccio caritatis
     But the Ex(s)ultet itself may well be earlier still.

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