Pastor's Page: October 9, 2011
"Roman Missal: Two Months and Counting—Part I
Roman Missal: Two Months and Counting
On November 27, the First Sunday of Advent, the Roman Missal, Third Edition, the ritual text containing prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Mass, will be implemented in the United States of America.
If you have been hearing the buzz but are not completely up to speed on the new Roman Missal, here are ten things you need to know:
It is not a new Mass, it is a new translation for a new edition of the Missal. Because a new edition of the Missale Romanum, the Latin Roman Missal, was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 2000, it was necessary for all the countries of the world to translate this missal into the various local languages. The new missal has added features: prayers for the celebration of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic Prayers, additional Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions, and some updated and revised rubrics (instructions) for the celebration of the Mass. In the case of the English-speaking world, a common translation of the common text was sought through the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) to ensure uniformity.
Vatican guidelines for translation. The translation of the new Roman Missal was carried out under the newest Vatican guidelines for translating prayers into modern local (i.e., vernacular) languages. These were given in the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, published in 2001, urging a stronger adherence to the original Latin wording and structure than earlier directives. In the new translation, the unique style of the Roman Rite is closely maintained. The texts are marked by a heightened style of English speech and a grammatical structure that follows closely the Latin text. In addition, many biblical and poetic images—such as “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” (Communion Rite, taken from Matthew 8:8) and “…from the rising of the sun to its setting” (Eucharistic Prayer III, taken from Psalm 113), that were lost in the 1973 translation—have been restored.
Particular adaptations to the U.S. are included. The new English-language Missal also includes Vatican-approved adaptations requested by the Bishops of the United States as well as texts for observances that are proper to the United States (such as the prayers for the Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and prayers for Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day).
“And with your spirit.” The translation of several phrases in the Order of Mass had been previously decided by the Vatican in the instruction Liturgiam authenticam. Among these are “certain expressions that belong to the heritage of the whole or of a great part of the ancient Church, as well as others that have become part of the general human patrimony…” Such is the case of the response “Et cum spiritu tuo.” What had originally been translated in 1973 as “And also with you” becomes now “And with your spirit.” This places the English translation in line with the way this has always been translated in most other languages, including Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
Changes in the people’s parts. In addition to the response to the greeting “The Lord be with you”, people are going to find a number of other changes in the translation of common prayers throughout. This includes the various parts of the Penitential Act (“I confess to Almighty God…”), the Gloria, the Creed (both in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed), the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), the Mystery of Faith, and the invitation to Communion. (Samples of comparative texts for the new and old responses can be found at the USCCB Roman Missal website, http://old.usccb.org/romanmissal/samples-people.shtml)
Continued next week
Peace and love,