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Bishops study new Mass text

Bishops in English-speaking countries are studying the draft of a new English translation of the Ordo Missae (Order of the Mass) which has been approved by the episcopal board of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Sydney's archbishop Cardinal George Pell told the Catholic Weekly that he is "delighted" with the draft.

The cardinal heads the Vatican's Vox Clara Committee, which was established to advise the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments on translations of Latin liturgical texts into English.

The Order of the Mass includes the prayers that are used at every Mass, such as the Gloria, the Creed and the Eucharistic prayers. It does not include all prayers that change each week during the liturgical year.

The new text is the first English translation of Mass prayers resulting from the 2002 publication of the third edition of the Roman Missal in Latin and from new translation rules contained in the 2001 Vatican instruction, Liturgiam Authenticam (Authentic Liturgy).

Vox Clara saw sections of the translation in November, at the invitation of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

"The Vox Clara Committee was delighted by the elegance of this translation and its fidelity to the Latin," says Cardinal Pell. "It accorded with the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam, which are no longer in dispute, at least at the commission.

"So far, so good; indeed, excellent."

Bishops have been sent copies of the draft for comment by 15 May so that the commission can consider suggested revisions during its July meeting.

Liturgiam Authenticam asked for some specific changes, including the return in English translations of the Creed return to the first person singular - "I believe" - which is used in the original Latin and most other languages.

The Vatican also suggested a more literal translation of the standard response to the priest saying "The Lord be with you", with the people answering "And with your spirit".

Bishops study new Mass text (Catholic Weekly 4/3/04)

Commission says new Missal translation "off to good start" (CathNews 9/12/03)
Vatican prevails on the English Missal translation (CathNews 3/3/04)
Progress on liturgy - at a cost (The Tablet 1/11/03)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Liturgiam Authenticam

4 Mar 2004