In manus tuas, Dómine, comméndo spíritum meum

This post and the two that follow will cover the responsory, or Responsorium breve for Night Prayer. This prayer is prayed daily throughout the year and does not vary, with the exception of the Allelulia’s added during the Easter season. The full text to be prayed is as follows:

V. In manus tuas, Dómine, * Comméndo spíritum meum.

R. In manus tuas, Dómine, * Comméndo spíritum meum.

V. Redemísti nos, Dómine Deus veritátis.

R. Comméndo spíritum meum.

V. Gloria Patri, et Filo, et Spiritui Sancto.

R. In manus tuas, Dómine, * Comméndo spíritum meum.

First, just an analysis of the first versicle:

In manus tuas, Dómine, * Comméndo spíritum meum. Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

On the cross, the Lord Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” In manus tuas = into your hands. manus,us = hand. In this phrase, manus is accusative, plural and feminine, as is tuas which describes it.

Commendo = I commend, from commendo,are, to entrust, to commit, to commend. We are entrusting our spirit, or soul, into the Lord’s hands.

The word spiritus can have a variety of meanings including breath, wind, air, soul, life. It can refer to the human soul as the animating principle and form of the body. It can refer also to the Holy Spirit, usually written Spiritus Sanctus.

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