Offerte Vobis Pacem

From the Order of Mass, after the Peace of the Lord be with you always / and with your spirit, we have the following (optional) words:

Offerte vobis pacem. Offer one another the peace.

offerte = “Offer”, as a plural imperative. It is interesting to note that the verb offero,offerre comes from one of four root verbs (ducere,dicere,facere,ferre) with irregular singular imperatives (duc,dic,fac,fer). Of these, only the last has an irregular 2nd person plural imperative (ferte) while the rest employ the ordinary means (ducite,dicite,facite). We find the word offerte in Job 42:8, “Sumite ergo vobis septem tauros et septem arietes, et ite ad servum meum Job, et offerte holocaustum pro vobis.” / “Therefore, take seven bulls and seven rams for yourselves, and go to my servant Job, and offer a holocaust for yourselves.”

vobis = the dative or ablative (plural) form of vos. In this sentence it is dative, meaning “to yourselves” or just “yourselves.”

pacem = accusative form of pax. We encounter this word a moment later in the Mass at the conclusion of the Agnus Dei, in which we pray, “Dona nobis pacem.” / “Grant us peace.”

Recently the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued an instruction on the Sign of Peace in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They called for greater restraint and the elimination of four specific abuses, suggested that bishop’s conferences modify the gesture used to make its ritual nature more clear, and reminded that the sign of peace is optional and may be omitted, and on some occasions must be omitted.

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