Welcoming the New Roman Missal

New Words, Deeper Meaning, Same Mass

.- The new English-language translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition has received Vatican approval and will be implemented on the first Sunday of Advent 2011, Cardinal Francis George has announced. One bishop said the new text will enable the “ongoing renewal” of the liturgy in parishes.

Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), announced the Vatican’s approval in an August 20 letter to the U.S. bishops. According to a Friday press release from the USCCB, he issued a proclamation that the use of the third edition of the Roman Missal will begin in U.S. dioceses on Nov. 27, 2011.

“From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America,” the proclamation reads.

“We can now move forward and continue with our important catechetical efforts as we prepare the text for publication,” the cardinal commented.

The date of implementation was chosen to allow publishers time to prepare texts and to allow parishes and dioceses time to educate parishioners.

The approval of the Missal was accompanied by a June 23 letter from Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The Congregation also provided guidelines for publication.

“I am happy that after years of preparation, we now have a text that, when introduced late next year, will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in our parishes,” remarked Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.

Staff of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship will prepare the text of the missal for publication and will collaborate with the staff of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

ICEL has been preparing the chant settings of the Missal texts for use in the celebration of the Mass, the USCCB reported.

Before the new text is first used, pastors are urged to prepare parishioners with previously released resources and with newly released ones. Resources listed by the USCCB include “Parish Guide for the Implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition” and “Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ,”  a multimedia DVD resource produced by ICEL in collaboration with Anglophone bishops’ conferences.

“A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States, along with the other necessary resources, has begun,” commented Msgr. Anthony Sherman, director of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Divine Worship. “Even as that work is underway a full-scale catechesis about the Liturgy and the new Roman Missal should be taking place in parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”

On July 24 the Vatican also approved several adaptations to the Missal, including additional prayers for the Penitential Act at Mass and at the Renewal of Baptismal Promises on Easter Sunday. It also approved the texts of prayers for days specific to the U.S. such as Thanksgiving, Independence Day and the feasts of saints such as Damien of Molokai, Katharine Drexel and Elizabeth Ann Seton.