USCCB news on the new translation

The artificially long process of preparing the new translation of the Missale Romanum had a small step forward.

USCCB News Release

09-159
July 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

All Four Pending Liturgical Items Pass; Work On The Translation Of The New Roman Missal Continues

WASHINGTON—All four liturgical item actions whose votes were inconclusive at the June general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are now approved. Support for the action items continues the work for the English translation of the new Roman Missal for use in the United States.

The deadline for the submission of ballots was July 16. These items require two-thirds (163) votes of Latin Church members for to pass, and subsequent recognition by the Holy See.

The translation of the Order of Mass II (of the Roman Missal) received 191 votes in favor, 25 against and five abstentions.

The translation of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions passed by 163 votes, while 53 bishops voted against it and five abstained.

The translation of the rituals for Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead passed 181 to 32 with two abstentions.

And the translation of the text for Ritual Masses received 186 votes in favor, 32 nays and two abstentions.

“This vote marks a steady and sure movement [halting and hesitant, due to some footdragging by member who will remain unnamed] toward the translation of the Roman Missal. The modifications and amendments made by the bishops should be very helpful to the development of the final translation,” said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the Secretariat for Divine Worship. 

In the fall, the bishops will consider the Proper of Saints Gray Book, The Commons Gray Book, U.S. Propers for the Roman Missal, U.S. Adaptations for the Roman Missal and Roman Missal Supplement Gray Book. A “Gray Book” is a revised translation proposed for final vote by the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

“The bishops will then have completed this section of the review process, and we would then await a recognitio from the Congregation of Divine Worship at the Vatican,” Msgr. Sherman said. “The time for this is not yet determined.”

Catechetical materials to educate the clergy and the faithful on the changes included in the new translation of the Roman Missal can be found at http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/missalformation/index.shtml.

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30 Responses to USCCB news on the new translation

  1. Maureen says:

    Hurray!

  2. Chironomo says:

    In the fall, the bishops will consider the Proper of Saints Gray Book, The Commons Gray Book, U.S. Propers for the Roman Missal, U.S. Adaptations for the Roman Missal and Roman Missal Supplement Gray Book

    This has been a point of concern for me in this whole process..the kind of place where there would be so many allowed exemptions that the rest of the project becomes a moot point. I recall the section on norms for the US Church in the 1972 GIRM was constant source of headaches…

  3. PreVatII says:

    Every time I read news from the USCCB, especially about the never ending “new” translation of the Roman Missal (Novus Ordo), my head starts to pound!!

    Thanks, but I’ll stick to the 1962 Missal and the TLM.

  4. Jordanes says:

    I breathed a sigh a relief when I heard this news yesterday — the translation passed by the slimmest of margins, but at least it passed.

    U.S. “adaptations” are unnecessary, and I like to dream about Rome just telling the U.S. bishops, “Sorry, but you’ll just have to do what everybody else does. . . . and how about you guys go back to celebrating the Ascension on Ascension Day?”

  5. halting and hesitant, due to some footdragging by member who will remain unnamed

    From the CNS post on the June meeting:
    …..
    In an interview with Catholic News Service Bishop Trautman singled out for example a phrase included in the translations for votive Masses and Masses for the dead: “May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Lord, cleanse our hearts and make them fruitful within by the sprinkling of his dew.”

    “What does that even mean?” he asked, citing frustration also with phrases such as “the sweetness of your grace.”

    “I don’t think the word ‘sweetness’ relates to people today,” at least not in the way the translation intends, he told CNS.
    …..

    I infer that His Excellency may not be a particular fan of the wonderful Latin verb

    irroro, to wet or moisten with dew, to bedew [from Lewis & Short, of course]

    of which I was reminded by this morning’s second O of R reading (for Tuesday of Week 16 per annum) from the letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians.

  6. Allan says:

    Does anyone know what the implications are for Canada and its conference? Would the new translation have to be adopted here too?

  7. Mickey says:

    Are we closer to being ransomed from the Modernists? I anticiapte these reforms will not be as speedily adopted in the USA as the previous “reforms” were. How much longer, O Lord will Your people suffer…

  8. Fr Smith says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jordanes that America does not need any adaptations, but let us remember that Rome (outside the Vatican) has celebrated Ascension on Sunday for years, ditto Corpus Domini. Paul VI gave that adaptation when it wasn’t even asked for, if I remember correctly.

    Is the Sanctoral Cycle the only left in this tedious process?

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    Allan: I believe the answer to your question regarding Canada is “yes”. That — apart from minor “local adaptations” — a single English translation is intended for the whole English-speaking world.

    Incidentally, the USCCB link that Father Z includes gives the translations of the Order of Mass and the four EP’s which — as I understand it — have already received final Vatican approval. And, if so, are now set in concrete for Canada and everywhere else.

  10. Agnes says:

    I look forward to a more accurate translation for the OF. That will certainly help us in a more solemn worship! It just seems like common sense, and the politics are indeed cause for a migraine.

  11. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Please, Rome, do not give the recognitio to “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again [and repeat].”

    Please, Rome, do not give the recognitio to the other various American “adaptations” to the Mass which are actually attempts to retain the BAD TRANSLATION and its FABRICATED TEXTS.

  12. LCB says:

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the precise reason the Church should never be democratic in its structure.

  13. Matthew says:

    If the good bishop cannot understand high school level (at best)English, maybe it’s time for him to retire–or better yet take a sabbatical, perhaps, and enroll in a few courses in English literature. (I’m not being sarcastic, Fr Z, I’m really not.) I’m sure the good sisters at Mercyhurst College (what’s that, a 5 minute walk from the Bishop’s office?) would be happy to waive the usual audit fees. Bishop, here is the website of Mercyhurst English department. The good news for you and for all of us is that, “…with a curriculum focused on both literature and composition, along with Mercyhurst’s liberal arts core, students are equipped with the tools needed not only to master the English language, but to master life.” http://english.mercyhurst.edu/

  14. Allan says:

    “Allan: I believe the answer to your question regarding Canada is “yes”. That—apart from minor “local adaptations”—a single English translation is intended for the whole English-speaking world.

    Incidentally, the USCCB link that Father Z includes gives the translations of the Order of Mass and the four EP’s which—as I understand it—have already received final Vatican approval. And, if so, are now set in concrete for Canada and everywhere else.”

    Interesting. I hope our Bishop’s conference agrees….

  15. Warren says:

    Good news.

    Let’s hope that a solid catechetical program precedes the introduction of the new translation. In the diocese in which I live (Victoria, B.C.), the rector of the cathedral has for several months been publishing snippets of the coming changes by listing the before and after versions in two columns. The material is properly cited from an American source and is straight forward and thorough. It would seem prudent that, with regards to the people\’s parts/responses of the Mass, every parish should be engaged in publishing bulletin inserts as part of a necessary pre-activity to help foster literacy.

    I also hope that he bishops include convincing material that emphasizes adherence to the rubrics and, more strongly, convincing teaching that the days of innovation (sloppy liturgy) are coming to an end. I.e., a more accurate translation must be accompanied by a more accurate (faithful, artful, reverent) celebration of the Mysteries. Next brick: purge the liturgy of syrupy devotional music and require presentation of the propers.

  16. Jordanes says:

    Fr Smith, I do believe I’d heard that about Rome and the Ascension. It’s partly why I said, “I like to dream.” I know it’s not a realistic hope in the foreseeable future.

    Allan, I’m not sure, but I thought I’d read somewhere that pretty much all of the other English-speaking bishops’ conferences have approved the new, correct translation, and that it is the U.S. bishops (or a certain troublesome group of them) that have caused this process to drag on as long as it has.

  17. Mark09 says:

    I can’t wait till the period when everyone will get to pray both the old and new translations of the collects on the same day between the Missal and the Divine Office.

  18. Will says:

    Jeff Pinyan, it’s not set in stone, I guess, but it looks like that acclamation has been stricken. I don’t know what my choir director will do without it, she’s used it nearly every single Sunday for three years.
    Here’s the relevant bit from the USCCB site, for Eucharistic Prayer III:

    112. Then he says:
    The mystery of faith.
    And the people continue, acclaiming:
    We proclaim your death, O Lord,
    and profess your Resurrection
    until you come again.
    Or:
    When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
    we proclaim your death, O Lord,
    until you come again.
    Or:
    Save us, Savior of the world,
    for by your Cross and Resurrection
    you have set us free.

  19. Henry Edwards says:

    Will: … it’s not set in stone, I guess, but it looks like that acclamation has been stricken.

    Unfortunately, I’ve been told that re-insertion of the folk-song originated “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again” is one of the requested American adaptations that the U.S. bishops have submitted to Rome for approval. If so, we can only hope Rome insists on Liturgiam Authenticam’s requirement that only accurate translations from the Latin original be included.

  20. Jonathan says:

    The U.S. adaptations to the missal would include those feasts which are particular to the American Church but not the Universal Church (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. John Neumann, Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe as Feast rather than Memorial, proper texts for Independence Day and Thanksgiving day, etc.). As such, this section is a necessary and proper part of the Missal.

    I do not, however, know if it would allow for other extraneous things to be included, such as “Christ has died . . .” as a Memorial Acclamation. One would hope that it would not. I am unsure, but I believe that when the previous Missal translation was rejected by CDW back at the beginning of the decade, this particular acclamation was cited as something which was inappropriate.

    At any rate, under the provisions of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Vatican has the right to grant, or not, the requests for adaptations from the U.S. Bishops.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Henry, I think that I should amend my comment, given your information. I had heard that there would still be attempts to throw that text back into the Mass. Nevertheless, I don’t think the Vatican has any favor for it.

  22. Marcin says:

    In an interview with Catholic News Service Bishop Trautman singled out for example a phrase included in the translations for votive Masses and Masses for the dead: “May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Lord, cleanse our hearts and make them fruitful within by the sprinkling of his dew.”
    “What does that even mean?” he asked, citing frustration also with phrases such as “the sweetness of your grace.”
    “I don’t think the word ‘sweetness’ relates to people today,” at least not in the way the translation intends, he told CNS.

    For the Old Testament understanding of “dew” and “sweet fragrance” (with reference to Christian sacramental one) one may read:
    http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/TheHolyAnointingOil.pdf

  23. Frank H. says:

    Concerning the Memorial Acclamation “Christ has died…” it may be my imagination, but I think I am hearing that one less often these days. Perhaps some priests are subtly preparing us for its disappearance?

  24. JML says:

    Can anyone tell me when the Consecration got renamed to the “Institution”????

    Father, forgive me, but I am going on a rant here. IMO, Protestant churches Institute. Catholic churches Consecrate. When the prayers are over, they still have bread and wine, we have the Body and Blood of Christ. There HAS to be a difference in nomenclature to distinguish why we are different.

    OK, rant’s over.

  25. OPfriar says:

    While in general I too dislike most of the American adaptations, it is worth pointing out that one of the adaptations those of a more traditional mindset often enjoy is the fact that in America we kneel throughout the entire Eucharistic prayer. This is not done in most of the rest of the world–it is an American adaptation. Most of the rest of the world kneels for a much briefer portion, essentially only for the consecration itself.

    The point being, in general when people hear the phrase “American adaptation” they assume it means “wacky bizarre stuff.” And quite often (in the past, at least) that has been true. But there are at least a few items such as this that perhaps we ought to consider keeping…

  26. Dave Wells says:

    Does anyone know if Marty Haugen and David Haas have been given the texts of the new translation? I’m sure they will want to produce music that closely adheres to the new texts.

    Yeah, right.

    As much as I welcome the new translation of the Missal (whenever we get it), I’m afraid that the dissonance between the elevated language of the liturgy and the “happy-clappy ditties” that we will still be forced to sing will simply make my head explode.

  27. Andy says:

    Can anyone tell me when the Consecration got renamed to the “Institution”????

    It didn’t. The Consecration happens at the “Words of Institution,” those words Jesus used at the Last Supper. So no, there are no mincing of words that we consecrate.

  28. tired student says:

    I think the one lasting achievement of the ‘new’ English translation of the Missale Romanum is the vastly superior translation of the Roman Canon versus the 70′s translation. It approaches the poetic power of the Latin and uncovers the theological intricacies well. I pray that this will encourage more priests to say the Canon at the OF, but I know that EP II will reign supreme.

    My only other hope is that publishers of the new English Missal include the original Canon Missae before the English translation (right in the middle of the missal with the other eucharistic prayers, rather than an addendum at the back.) Again, this might encourage priests to say the Canon in Latin. I don’t know if there is much of a demand for the other eucharistic prayers in Latin, but I guess they could be included also.

  29. RCR says:

    Father, do you know what the current plan is for the New American Bible since it would impact the Lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours? Or might it be the other way around if they work on the Lectionary and/or the LOTH first?