roman missal

Missal translations expected to draw Catholics closer to heart of Christ

Roman MissalAs the new English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal is introduced to the Church in the United States next year, one thing is certain: The words we say during the Liturgy are filled with meaning and aim to join our hearts closer to Christ's.

That was the sentiment echoed to more than 500 people — including priests, deacons, religious, educators and others who attended the 2010 Gateway Liturgical Conference last weekend at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. The two-day conference, "Mystical Body, Mystical Voice," was presented by the archdiocesan Office of Sacred Worship.

Among the speakers were Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Father Douglas Martis of the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Ill., Christopher Carstens of the Office of Sacred Worship in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and Msgr. Kevin Irwin of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The conference laid a foundation for preparing Catholics on what to expect when the new English translation of the Roman Missal is rolled out in parishes across the United States on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, 2011. The new translation will include new responses by the people in about a dozen sections of the Liturgy, as well as some changes to the words used by the priest.

Carstens and Father Martis, who have been giving workshops around the country on the Missal translations since September, explained that all of the words we say during the Liturgy are filled with meaning and ultimately are a reflection of what we believe as Catholics.

In fact, the words we say are sacramental signs of the Word, Jesus Christ, said Carstens.

Continue reading about the Roman Missal in the St. Louis Review »

Catholics Learn about Changes in the Mass

November 4, 2010
For more information contact: 

Archdiocese of St. Louis Hosts Workshops for Priests, Others to Learn About Changes

WHAT: The Archdiocese of St. Louis is sponsoring the Gateway Liturgical Conference, which is a two day series of workshops designed to educate Catholics about the upcoming changes in the Roman missal

WHEN: Friday, November 5, 2010. The media will be invited from 1-2:15 PM.

WHERE: Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive in Shrewsbury

St. Louis, MO – Beginning November 2011, every English speaking Catholic around the world will change some of the words they use and some of the songs they sing, and will hear changes in the prayers recited by the priest. Recently, the Vatican approved changes in the translation of the Roman Missal, which is the text for the celebration of Mass.

The process of implementing a new edition of the prayers of the Mass is not new, but has occurred numerous times throughout the history of the Church as the Liturgy developed and was adapted to particular circumstances to meet the needs of the Church.  In the earliest centuries of the Church, there were no books containing prescribed liturgical prayers, texts, or other instructions.  Because the faith of the Church was (and still is) articulated in liturgical prayer, there was a need for consistency and authenticity in the words used in the celebration of the Liturgy.

The most recent change to the Roman missal was approved by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

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Liturgy will be more formal, theologically deeper

The Roman MissalBy Jerry Filteau

When a new English translation of the Mass is introduced in the United States – at the start of Advent in late 2011 – the style of worship will be more formal. But it will also be deeper theologically and more evocative emotionally and intellectually.

The Vatican’s intention was not so much to make the liturgy more formal as to make the English version conform more closely to the original Latin, says Father Paul Turner, a Missouri priest who is former head of the North American Academy of Liturgy and frequently writes and lectures on liturgical questions.

“I think what’s intentional is getting to a closer interpretation of the Latin” from which all modern liturgy translations in the Roman Catholic Church emanate, Father Turner says.

He said the result may sound more formal than in the past 40 years because the new translation rules inevitably lead in that direction.

The original translation of the Roman Missal into English was carried out under 1969 Vatican rules that stressed simplicity, modernity and other factors that would make the language of the liturgy more comprehensible and participatory.

Newer rules, set out by the Vatican in 2002, emphasize greater fidelity to the original Latin.

Msgr. John H. Burton, vicar general of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., and board chairman of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Coordinators, says there was concern “that the language has been too laid back” and failed to convey the rich liturgical heritage of the Roman rite.

The new translation shows an effort “to heighten the language a bit” and capture “the transcendence as well as the imminence of God,” he says.

Church ministers will play crucial role in implementing new translation

The Roman MissalBy Kate Blain

Now that the U.S. bishops and the Vatican have approved new English translations of the Roman missal, the book of prayers used at Mass, experts say the next step is educating church ministers – from lectors to musicians – to better serve at liturgies.

Father Richard Hilgartner, associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, says the new adaptations of the missal will offer laypeople an opportunity to explore the great spiritual richness that can be found in these prayers.

“Just as priests who preside will have to prepare their proclamation of the prayers since the style is different from what is now prayed,” he says, “the laity will experience some immediate changes in the responses they say at Mass.”

For example, when the priest says, “The Lord be with you,” the old response was, “And also with you.” Now the people will respond, “And with your spirit.”

Since church ministers serve at liturgies, says Father Hilgartner, they will be responsible in part for guiding the people in the pews to understand and adapt to these changes. To prepare for this, he says, lay ministers should “reflect on the new translation for their own spiritual growth and development.”

He suggests that church ministers refer to the new texts during meetings at parishes and even open meetings by reciting some of the prayers from the new translation to become more comfortable with them and “gain access to the richness they contain.” Doing so during special liturgical seasons like Advent and Lent, he adds, may smooth the transition further.

The Roman Missal: the Church’s common treasure

The Roman Missal is a treasure for the Catholic Church.By Lynn S. Williams

The new English translation of the Roman Missal, the official manual for the Roman Catholic Mass, has been approved, and soon familiar prayers and responses said in churches around the English-speaking world will change. Priests will follow newly translated instructions. Prayers used throughout the Mass and some responses of the congregation will change. Sacred chants and music used in worship will also be updated. 

The full texts of the English translation received recognitio, or approval, from the Vatican in June and July of 2010. The new translation will be implemented in U.S. dioceses in Advent 2011. It will be the most significant change to the Mass in over 40 years.

An occasion like this raises the question: Why is the Roman Missal so important?

“The Roman Missal is a common treasure,” says Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director at USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship. “It is the book that provides us with prayer text. It serves as a point of unity that keeps us all together, presenting the prayers that are used around the world, in many languages, during universal feasts or holy days.”

Latin is the core text of the Roman Missal, evolving from oral tradition to written words. During the 15th century, in the era of the first printing press, the earliest book called Missale Romanum appeared. After the Council of Trent in 1570, Pope Pius V issued the edition that set the premier standard of uniformity used by celebrants of the Catholic faith.

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