What is the date of implementation for the new edition of the Roman Missal?
The date of implementation of the new Missal will be the first Sunday of Advent 2011. The publications team here at the CCCB have done some remarkable work these past few months to make this possible.
Will the responses be the same as in the United States?
The responses at the Eucharist will be the same for the entire English-speaking world, although we will have the proper Canadian spelling of some of the words. We are happy to report that you will be able to have your own copy of them by March - they will be published as part of Celebrate in Song, our new music and liturgy resource which is designed to supplement CBW III in the era of the new Missal. Not only will we have the new responses, we will have three musical settings of the responses which we have commissioned by us for use in Canada. They are by Canadian composers and it is my hope that they will become fairly standard in parishes across the country. This way we will be able to feel at home in each others' churches. The chant setting from ICEL is also included for the same reason.
What should parishes do to prepare for the new edition of the Roman Missal?
Fr. Burke of the National Liturgy Office (NLO) has been working tirelessly to prepare the clergy of the country for the new edition of the Roman Missal. He has done workshops from coast to coast to coast. It is our hope that the local clergy and diocesan offices will take a prominent role in the implementation process in our churches and schools, and so this training has been a huge part of the NLO strategy around the Missal. For your parish, consider the following:
- A DVD with a teaching Mass has been approved for publication and should be available by the Fall. This could form part of an information evening held by parishes or deaneries
- Fr. Bill’s workshop will form part of one of the catechetical resource DVD’s that we are preparing, and can be used in the same way
- Music ministers: cantors, organists, instrumentalists of all kinds, choirs, should start learning our new Canadian Mass settings in Celebrate in Song
In addition there are several other resources:
- NLO has entered into an agreement with Novalis to prepare a Missal resource for youth which will be a unique resource for young people to learn about the Mass.
- For all Catholics the Publications Service has published the ICEL resource, Become One Body One Spirit in Christ, which will help everyone better understand the new edition
- For priests, the Publications Service has made an agreement with World Library Publications to distribute a CD recording of the new translations of Eucharistic Prayers I-IV
All of these can help us to prepare for the new edition of the Roman Missal in our own communities.
I heard that there is a new translation of the Mass that is coming out. Is that true?
Yes, it is indeed true. Even though we often look to the Church for stability in this rapidly changing world, and although it’s not always easy to accept, the Church’s prayer and worship have also changed over time.
Following many years of work and consultations (see the following question for details), changes have been made to the Mass and its translation. As we are now at the point where we need to get ready to receive this new translation, a series of questions and answers will be presented in the next few months to offer a better understanding of the changes and to prepare for them.
Change is rarely easy and it doesn’t happen automatically. You might find the upcoming changes challenging. However, we invite everyone to accompany us in this series of articles with an open mind and an open heart. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and . . . together, let us enter into the dance!
Why are we getting a new translation?
In the 1960's, as the bishops of the world met for the Second Vatican Council, they called for a major revision of the rites of the Mass and opened the door to the celebration of Mass in the many languages used around the world.
In the years that followed, much work went into those revisions. The translation of Mass texts from Latin to all those languages proved to be a major task. As time was pressing and it was important to make those translations available as soon as possible, a first translation was prepared, which did not pretend to be either perfect or permanent. In February 1974 the first English translation for use in Canada was approved.
Eventually, work began on a number of additions to the Mass and revisions to the translations. In 2001 new directions in the translation of texts from Latin were established by the Church and in March 2002, a new edition of the Order of Mass in Latin was published.
Since then, great strides have been made to prepare faithful translations, to get the proper approvals and to make them available to all English speaking people in a timely fashion. Therefore, in the near future those changes will be implemented.
How will the new translation affect me?
When the new translation of the Mass comes about, it will affect all of us, although in different ways. Priests and deacons will need to adapt to the revised texts - some texts contain very subtle differences while others have been modified considerably. Therefore, everyone will need to listen so much more carefully and to hear differently.
Members of the assembly will need to learn new or modified responses. This requires practice and patience. Music used during Mass (i.e.: “Glory to God”, “Holy, Holy”, etc.) will need to be adapted to the new texts, requiring that we learn new music.
Moreover, changes being brought to the Mass are not limited to spoken or sung texts. They also touch some actions and postures during the Mass. Therefore, we will need to learn them and the times during the Mass where they occur.
Where does the new translation come from?
Official texts of the Mass are promulgated by the “Holy See” (the official authority of the Roman Catholic Church). A Latin edition (editio typica) is prepared and published under the title Missale Romanum (Sacramentary or Roman Missal in English).
Then, the Conference of Bishops of each country (or group of countries) in the world is responsible to prepare proper translations in the language(s) used in its country and to get them approved by the Holy See. Usually, a team of experts and bishops from various countries using the same language work together on such an enormous task. The International Committee on English in the Liturgy (usually referred to as ICEL) is responsible for the English translations. All the bishops of participating countries then get to critique, modify and approve that work.
Each Conference of Bishops also prepares a certain number of local adaptations as required by the Holy See or as requested by the bishops. Then, each Conference of Bishops must approve the translations and adaptations for use in its country/region, and present them to the Holy See for final approval.
These steps led to the new Mass translation that we will be getting.
Do we have to use the new translations?
This kind of question is always hard to answer! A hard-line answer would simply be: “Of course we have to!” However, we are invited to enter into the spirit of the law and not only its letter.
The changes being brought to the Mass apply to Roman Catholics around the world. Although the number and the nature of the changes will differ from one language to another, in all of this we need to be aware that the intention stems from a constant concern to maintain the unity of our faith and worship within the whole Church. Yet, there remains a provision for creativity and adaptations which require a spirit that respects the whole celebration and the universality of the Church. Unity doesn’t always involve uniformity, but does require concerted effort and a common heart.
Are we going back to Latin?
The vernacular will most certainly continue to be used as the language of worship as established by the Second Vatican Council and reaffirmed by the NEW General Instruction of the Roman Missal. The Preamble to GIRM (2008) states in paragraph 12: “The eagerness with which this measure (use of the vernacular) was everywhere received has certainly been so great that it has led under the guidance of the Bishops and the Apostolic See itself, to permission for all liturgical celebrations in which the people participate to be in the vernacular, so that the people may more fully participate.
Who initiated the change of translation?
In response to concerns expressed by local Bishops’ Conferences, the Congregation for Divine Worship initiated a period of study and reflection upon the current translations being used throughout the universal church. This period resulted in the document entitled Liturgiam Authenticum (2001) in which specific guidelines were established for all future translations from Latin to the vernacular.
The International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in collaboration with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, following a long period of intense study and reflection, established a General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) and the resulting new translation of the Ordo Missae (Order of Mass) for the Canadian Church. These documents were then submitted to the Congregation of Divine Worship for approval.
I thought they were done with changes!!! Why more changes now?
In the years following the Second Vatican Council, the urgency with which texts had to be translated from Latin to the vernacular languages resulted in new texts that did not always convey the full meaning of the original Latin text and omitted some very rich scriptural and patristic images. Consequently, certain key responses and prayers have now been re-translated to better express a clearer understanding of the original text. This has resulted in a new Roman Missal (Ordo Missae) which is to be used during all liturgical celebrations in the Roman Rite.
The changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council are on-going. Therefore, in a Church that is alive with the Holy Spirit, we can expect that the process of change will always be present.