There is a lovely antiphon for the Benedictus at Morning Prayer for Trinity Sunday:
O Holy and Undivided Trinity, Creator and Ruler of all that exists, may all praise be yours now, forever, and for ages unending.
I am well familiar with it. Just read it yesterday morning. But alas, I am lazy, I confess it, and pray in English; little did I know the theological bombshell the English text was concealing. That is the trouble with English, or rather with the imprecise, translations pushed by those Liturgiam Authenticam folk who are responsible for the current Liturgical texts and who use the liturgy to push their own sexist ideology. I should have listened to Archbishop Lefebvre after all and kept to the lingua materna of the Church. Well no, not actually, as that would be Greek. But the wicked stepmother tongue. Latin.
After my posting yesterday about the Maryland Maven rallying the torch and pitchfork crowd against Father Dan Fitzpatrick of Durham in England and his “heresy” of referring to the Holy Spirit in the feminine, a reader sent me an extraordinary comment pointing out that the Benedictus Antiphon for Trinity Sunday Lauds—in the pre-conciliar breviary (and of which our previously cited novus ordo vernacular antiphon is a translation, and a poor and misleading one at that)—is a truly remarkable exposition of the femininity not only of the Holy Spirit, but the Godhead Hims—whoops, Herself. Get a load o’ this!
Benedícta sit creátrix et gubernátrix ómnium, sancta et indivídua Trínitas, et nunc et semper et per infiníta sæculórum sæcula.
I don’t even know where to begin! Trust me on this, the Latin text is infinitely superior to the English Translation just on the literary level. I mean, as Latin goes, it is exquisite. It just cries out to be melodiously chanted by virginal monastics who have been made eunuchs for the sake of the liturgy. But, that aside, let’s unpack it theologically for a moment.
Trinitas in Latin is feminine. I knew that. But I presumed like nauta (sailor) and agricola (farmer) it is a feminine noun referring to a male being and therefore taking adjectives in the masculine form. All languages have their idiosyncrasies. But no, I should have remembered that it is a sancta et individua, that is to say, feminine Trinitas. Moreover, whoever composed this antiphon way “back in the day” went way overboard to push the feminine theme using the feminine creatrix rather than the masculine creator and the feminine gubernatrix rather than the masculine gubernator. This antiphon then refers to God, Creator and Ruler of All –as a lady creator and a lady ruler. I mean it is just incredible!!! And Sister Joan Chittester had nothing to do with it!!!! Neither did Elizabeth Johnson!!!! In fact, almost certainly it was some guy who did it. The Krazies will assure me that he was almost certainly gay. Damn gender-benders!
Pope John XXII established the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity for the universal Church in the 14th century, but the feast itself and the proper office to it is much older, having been composed by Stephen of Liege in the early 10th century. I don’t know that this particular antiphon referring to the Creator and Ruler of the universe in the feminine goes back that far—though as it appears in the Rite of York as well as in the Liege ceremonial, an indication that it is pretty ancient, undoubtedly long before Quo Primum and Pius V— it is certainly pre-12th century. Ol’ Steve of Liege and his buddies were way ahead of their time. Can you imagine if they were to be members of the upcoming Synod??? Why those ol’ battle axes from Les Femmes and Restore DC Catholicism would be joining up with the ladies in lavender from Rorate Caeli and New Liturgical Movement to bar access to the Synod Hall to these heretics. Creatrix indeed!!! I bet ol’God is going to hitch up the coleos divinos and smite a few of these liberal pansies who called him a creatrix et gubernatorix.