A helpful “cheat sheet” for priests for Mass translation changes

Priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo in English might be interested in this.

Here is a "cheat sheet" put together by a priest who sent it to me to share with priests.

This sheet puts in a convenient format some of the alterations of texts, according to the new translation of the Ordo Missae, the priest is to say during Holy Mass.

Using a sheet like this could be a handy way of getting familiar before hand with the new texts.

You can get the document here.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Cappadocian Sister says:

    Does the wording for the invitation to the Penetential Act mean that there will be just ONE set of words and no room anymore for ramblings……………by ramblings I mean all those convoluted mutterings mentioning everything but sin and sacrifice……..you will know the sort of thing one has to put up with sometimes at the start of Mass………”we as a community of believers have at times been less than what we should be to realise our full humanity and looking to be closer to our neighbours we say…blah, blah, blah.”

  2. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Yes, sister, the invitation to the Penitential Rite as well as the third form of it, have only one option- as does the invitation to the Our Father. Deo Gratias!

  3. Papabile says:

    When ICEL sends you a cease and desist, I would recommend that you respond with fair use, and execute a letter right back to them, with a demand for copies of any an all correspondence pertaining to this matter.

    They may well ding your provider too.


  4. LCB says:

    It seems many issues might be solved by a clear directive, at the start of each section: “No substitutions, insertions, modifications, removals, paraphrases, summaries, ad libs, or changes of any sort are permissible.”

  5. Fr. Z, other priests:

    I think you will understand my question…

    In the rubrics of the Ordinary Form, there are places where a priest may “use these or similar words”; and there are places where the priest is supposed to use the specified words, but he can “for pastoral reasons” make an alternation–i.e., provide brief explanatory remarks…

    So here’s my proposal: what about beginning to use some of these texts, where they correspond to places where the options I described above, exist? I’m not trying to be sly (i.e., I think it would be wrong to substitute these texts beforehand, where the rubrics make clear one is to use the texts given in the Missal), I want to do this in good faith and conscience; I see this as a way to transition to the new texts and begin to get the benefit of them as soon as possible.


  6. Fr Martin,

    Careful! ICEL may charge a performance tax!


  7. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Fr. Fox,

    Those were exactly my thoughts this morning. In fact, I have gathered the newly translated texts together that I will use for the legitimate options, namely, the intro. to the penitential act as well as the third option for it, and the private prayers of the priest. It’s a good way for the priests to learn some of the new texts and put them to use where the current translations allow for “these or similar words”. Of course, this is if the priests do not currently say the private prayers in Latin.

  8. Fr. Martin,

    I like your idea, and I thought the same thing, but I wonder if that would be crossing the boundaries that the CDWDS set up prohibiting use of this translation until they give the approval. When celebrating Mass this morning, it was tempting to take copies of the introductions to the Penitential Rite, the Pater Noster, and other parts where the “these or similar words” phrase exists. I didn’t as my gut feeling is to wait until the CDWDS gives approval to use the text. I guess my instinct is to do it by the book, both literally and figuratively, until the new translation is approved for use.

  9. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Fr. Cory,

    The rubrics are clear in certain places that one may use “these or similar words”- (and the intro to the Pater Noster is NOT one of them). In those places it is perfectly acceptable to use the new translation. It would be “by the book”. However, where there are no legitimate options, you cannot use the new translation. This is what the CDWDS is prohibiting.

  10. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Maybe Section 22 of Sacr. Conc. could be inserted as you suggest, just to reinforce that whacky additions and modifications are not part of Vatican II’s “spirit”:
    3. Absolutely no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the
    liturgy on his own authority.

    The introductions to all three penitential rites are identical. For the third option of the penitential rite, the rubrics read, “The Priest, or a deacon or another minister, then says the following OR OTHER INVOCATIONS with Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy).” Am not sure whether you thought there was only one legit set of invocations (as I mistakenly read at first). These invocations are usually so banal, I wish there were only two options were the Confiteor or the sprinkling rite.

  11. sacedosinaeternum,

    I tend to be a fairly cautious person by nature. That’s why I wonder if it’s crossing the boundary the CDWDS set up. Yes, I am very familiar with the fact that the “or similar words” is in the rubrics in places (I couldn’t remember if the Pater Noster introduction had that or not – obviously not, thanks for the reminder), but I tend to have a bit of “Rubric Blindness” on that part, choosing for the most part to use only the texts as published in the Sacramentary. The way that I read the letter from the CDWDS is that the texts were only released for catechetical purposes, with nothing from the texts to be used during Mass, including the the “these or similar words”. I could be wrong, and would be more than glad to use the new translation whenever possible, but I’d rather error on the side of caution.

  12. Fr. Steve says:

    Fr. Z,
    Can you get on the red Bat Phone and ask why the words of institution are different in the Roman Cannon from those of the others? Is this a type-o? “which will be shed” and “which will be poured out.” Which is it? I think “effundetur” can be translated either way. But wont this be confusing?

  13. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Ioannes Andreades,

    You are correct that according to the rubrics provided with the new translation, other invocations may be used for the third option of the Penitential Act. I had overlooked that rubric at first. My main point was that in the current english translation where similar words may be used, priests can employ the new translation. The Penitential Act is a good example.

  14. Sylvia says:

    That’s an awesome idea! I mean, it could only just begin to make up for the times where priests have used “similar words” to make the Mass floofy or less dignified (as Cappadocian Sister recalls). . . and it’s certainly in the spirit of the rubrics, as the words are not only similar but actually apparently the SAME words only translated differently.

  15. What about us laity? When do we get cool cheat sheets? I may have just missed it, but the most details I’ve gotten have been from the USCCB website.

  16. Fr. BJ says:


    How is it that we could begin using the new text for the private prayers? Is it permitted to change those? So far as I can tell, the only things we could begin using at this point would be the introduction to the penitential rite, and the new translation of option 3 (you were sent to heal the contrite of heart) on those days when we use option 3.

  17. Fr. BJ says:

    With regard to the private prayers, in any case, my goal is to memorize then in Latin, thus obviating the need for a better translation.

  18. mpm says:

    I have to take my (notional) hat off to the priests on this thread
    discussing the possibilities of where it might be legitimate to begin
    using certain of the new translations! 45 years ago, many priests were
    not so downright conscientious!

  19. Fr. BJ says:

    Fr. Steve: Can you get on the red Bat Phone and ask why the words of institution are different in the Roman Cannon from those of the others? Is this a type-o? “which will be shed” and “which will be poured out.” Which is it? I think “effundetur” can be translated either way. But wont this be confusing?

    I think if you go back to the USCCB site and download it again, you’ll see that it has been corrected. According to the document info, it looks like they uploaded a corrected version last night. All four prayers now say “poured out”.

  20. caleb1x says:

    Ah, the cheat sheet forgot a modern classic: Go in peace to serve the Lord and each other. What gives?

  21. An American Mother says:

    Our new priest has already swung into action by using the Latin wherever \”similar words\” are permitted . . . .

    . . . I like it. So does the choir, we sing it right back (we were warned ahead of time!)

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