USCCB CDW progress report on the new translation of the Missale Romanum

In the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worships newsletter for February 2009 there is an update on the status of the new translation of the Missale Romanum now in preparation.

Holy See to Facilitate Expeditious [gotta love it… only a church committee of some kind] Approval for the Roman Missal

The Committee on Divine Worship, at its November 2008 meeting, indicated that the USCCB would complete its review and approval of the texts of the third edition of the Roman Missal by the end of 2010, and noted that once the recognitio was issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, publishers would need as much as one year to prepare, publish, and distribute the Roman Missal for use in parishes. On December 15, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., USCCB President, received a letter from Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation, in which he expressed a desire to facilitate a more expeditious completion of the approval process for the English translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, and see the publication of the Roman Missal in English by the end of 2010.

So, the Prefect of the CDW, Card. Cañizares, wants a new edition of the Roman Missal published by the end of 2010.  The USCCB’s CDW is saying it can finish their work of approving texts by the end of 2010.

Just give the job to me.  I’ll get it done by the end of next month.

There is an interesting table in the newsletter, a timetable of what has been done and what must be completed.

The table suggests that voting on several "gray books" will take place at the June 2009 meeting and then again at the November 2009 meeting. 

I find it very interesting that the work on Antiphons, introductory material and Appendices is to be "completed by the Congregation for Divine Worship in conjunction with ICEL and Vox Clara".

The table indicates that work on "Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children" is "Delayed – awaiting action on separate text from CDWDS."

Also of note in the USCCB CDW newsletter:

Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life

After receiving a request from Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, the Committee considered the possibility of adding a Mass formulary concerning Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life to the Gray Book of the Masses for Various Needs and Intentions as a U.S. adaptation of the text. The Bishops of the United States had adopted this Mass formulary in November 1992 and submitted it to the Holy See for recognitio. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments commended the text for further study and consideration, but it is noted that in the new Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, there is no formulary for such a Mass.

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  1. Tom Pernice says:

    Father, what is the difference between the Order of the Mass I (which has Recognitio) and the Order of the Mass II? Thank you.

  2. Cathy says:

    I wish they would give this job to you. I don’t understand why the Church doesn’t employ such simple and straight forward solutions to problems like this. The Holy Father and, I’m assuming the folks at the CDWDS, want the work to be done well. I bet they know you would do a good job. Why not just let you do it and avoid delay and wrangling? I know the answer to my question. Because the Bishops would oppose it. So, my next question is why do we have bishops who oppose the Holy Father and CDWDS? It’s not like the liturgy is trivial matter. I know, the answer to this question is complicated. But, I don’t see why it has to be so hard. Why can’t they just appoint good bishops. Why don’t they make it a top priority to get bishops in place who are on the same page with the Pope?

  3. Tom Lanter says:

    What good if any, has ever come out of the USCCB? To me they have done nothing but cause the Church in America problems.

    Tom Lanter

  4. Joseph Mary says:

    I attended a liturgical conference last weekend that covered all the updates and better translations.

    Why, oh why, must the faithful continue to wait on better translations?

    I know of certain ones who have held them up for improper translations affects our faith with bad ones detracting from it.

  5. RANCHER says:

    Procrastination is, unfortunately, something the USCCB is very good at. In fact, it’s probably what they are best at. Waiting (stalling) to take a strong stance on life issues is likely what caused to many Catholic voters to vote for the culture of death. Plus, if they moved at a reasonable pace they might “upset” someone and that would be totally inconsistent with their desire to be loved by everyone. Perhaps someone should introduce them to the concept that the worst possible decision is to make no devision at all.

  6. Michael J says:

    I cannot think of a good reason for such a delay. What’s the big deal about publishing the correct translations?

    Perhaps the USCCB can take some advice from the Eastern Catholics for a good solution?

    I had the opportunity a while back to attend a Divine Liturgy. I noted that the creed had been updated by simply pasting the new text over the outdated text with mailing labels. A simple, effective and inexpensive solution.

    The change, by the way, was to remove the Filioque from the creed.

  7. RC says:

    I’d like the bishops to give us the Roman Missal, and put aside for several years any American inventions, including for civil-religion holidays such as Thanksgiving. We can get along just fine with the regular Mass propers for the day, thank you.

    Considering that these holidays are at times bearers of mythology concerning our country, it wouldn’t hurt us to examine them critically. If Thanksgiving is a celebration of the American colonial founding, we need to identify the elements deserving of commemoration, and anti-Catholic sectarians are probably not among them.

  8. Allan says:

    Anyone know what the Canadian Conference is doing about the new translations?

  9. Fr. BJ says:

    RC: Considering that these holidays are at times bearers of mythology concerning our country, it wouldn’t hurt us to examine them critically. If Thanksgiving is a celebration of the American colonial founding, we need to identify the elements deserving of commemoration, and anti-Catholic sectarians are probably not among them.

    Then again, most of our civil holidays are devoid of meaning now anyhow. Nobody knows what they mean anymore. Thanksgiving is that day when the Pilgrims, wearing neat hats, made friends with the Indians (wearing feathered headdresses), and they ate stuffed roast turkey with cranberry sauce and corn muffins together.

  10. TJM says:

    Just attend the EF or the OF in Latin. This is getting so tiresome. I wish they had taken this long back in the 1970s with the ICKY translation. Tom

  11. Timbot says:

    If this committee method had been used in antiquity, we would still be preparign rough drafts of Terence’s plays and the Vulgate would still be sitting in Bishop’s conferences. Risible.
    When the 1970 Ordo was translated into Polish, the Polish translation was simply overseen by VSOG Stefan Kardinal Wyschinki, who simply sent out assignments to the translators of his choosing, consulted when needed, and approved the missal on his own authority as Primate of Poland. The resulting mass text was far, far, superior to the Committee garbage.

    For example the “memorial acclimation”, one of the worst sections of the English Ordo (how does an “acclimation” become a “proclamation”? The Real Presence is totally obscured by the English. Gotta love the English-speaker “Successors of the Apostles”.)
    The Polish says “Behold the Holy Mystery of Faith”, and the laity acclaim, as in cry out TO the Mysterium Fidei now present on the altar. A lot of Traddies get all worked up about the English consecration, that was never much of an issue for me, but the sheer linguistic dishonesty and theological misrepresentation of the acclimation really make me hang my head in shame.

  12. Christopher says:

    I have a question…Where are they getting the Eucharistic prayers for children? Are they in Latin in an original translation, or were they just made up in English?

  13. Jordanes says:

    Christopher, I could be mistaken here, but I think the current children’s Eucharistic prayers are kiddy versions of the current mistranslated prayers. They may want to do that with the new translation, though I wish they wouldn’t. There is no pastoral need for children’s Eucharistic prayrs and children’s lectionaries. Quite the opposite — there’s a pastoral need that we not have such things. Priests are not little children and should not be talking to the Father in made-up babytalk.

  14. toomey says:

    Christopher; I take exception of your post. Fr. Matthew Fox and I worked more than 20 years ago to program children, I mean to compose Eucharistic prayers in the Mass for children. How dare you insinuate there may be something awry here.

  15. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Allan: Anyone know what the Canadian Conference is doing about the new translations?

    According the CCCB’s Liturgical Newsletter (English Sector) for Fall 2007, all texts were to have been put to canonical vote by the end of 2008. The following policy was also established: “[T]he Bishops of Canada have decided that they will not seek recognitio separately for each and every “Grey Book”. When all the “Grey Books” have been approved by the Bishops, the whole Roman Missal will be sent to the CDWDS for recognitio. As well, it is the approach of the Canadian Conference to make a text public only after it has received the approval of the Bishops and the Holy See and is therefore the definitive and official text for use in Canada. The aim of this approach is to minimize the possibility of “semi-official” texts being mistakenly considered as definitive.”

    I can’t find anything more recent. Being the beginning of 2009 I suspect they’re slightly behind schedule or are waiting on the recognitio. The policy does sound wise in light of Fr Z’s post about South Africa. Wait until the whole thing is finished!

  16. Greg Smisek says:

    The note regarding the translation of the Eucharistic Prayers for Children, “Delayed — awaiting action on separate text from CDWDS,” confirms the earlier revelation (reported by Fr. Z) that the CDWDS is planning to drop these texts. Adoremus has a brief history of these truly unfortunate texts.

  17. Rob says:

    Meanwhile, they keep saying that proper catechesis will be needed to introduce the changes to the laity, but their delays only keep the new translation out of the hands of priests who could teach their flocks.

    This delay is a tactic to make these changes seem arbitrary and forced by the Vatican. When the changes go through, there will be anger and hurt among people who do not understand why there needed to be a change. The enemies of the translation will go to the press, like in Africa right now, and parade their outraged parishoners in front of a microphone.

  18. Hung says:

    On the one hand it is laudable that the bishops want to recognize the importance of Human life in a mass. That being said, this IS purely arbitrary!! One complaint I have heard about the TLM is that some of the “dusty” things that have crept into the missal were at some point introduced with no apparent reason. Whatever the original intentions way back when, it stuck. Deal with it.

    But these prayers and mass formularies and “adaptations” are absolutely arbitrary. They are making things up for the sake of making things up (motivated no less by “liturgical committees” from some diocesan Worship Office). Pure and simple. This then allows for a broader interpretation because these adaptation texts are written by said conference and will have minimal guidelines I’m sure. Way to open the door for more rubbish.

  19. yeoldeacolyte says:

    Why not simply paste the English translation of the Roman Missal as found in the Anglo-Catholic missal? It is very beautiful, but oh no!! The American bishops don’t want anything with a “protestant” pedigree to it. This type of thinking has to change, or real ecumenism deteriorates into Kibuki theater. A stage show of insincere,and empty gestures.

  20. Kaneohe says:

    I should live so long as to see this completed!

    All in favor of Fr. Z completing the job say “Aye!”

  21. Kevin says:

    I’ve never understood why it takes them so long; I could have the whole thing done (and done well, I might add) in less than two weeks.

  22. Fr. Steve says:

    I’m curious about what the Introductory Material and Appendices would include.
    Does this include the GIRM?
    Could some changes be a coming?
    And the antiphons; are these possibly going to be changed to be in accord with the Roman Graduale?
    I could only hope.
    Does anyone have any inside scoope?
    Fr. Z? ;)

  23. ssoldie says:

    I really don’t care what they do, as I am one of those Trads and love the (active) of the “Gregorian Mass” all the sences that God gave us,see, hear, smell, stand, sit, kneel,sign of the cross, beating of breast,oh, yes! very active,and music that lifts the soul to heavenly thoughts ,the reverance and the awesome silence of prayer.

  24. Jeff says:

    Just to give a bit more input from the Canadian perspective.

    First of all, as of Oct. 2008, all Grey Book draft translations have been completed by ICEL. You can see the progress made on the ICEL website,

    There are significant differences between how Canada and the United States are approaching the approval the draft. The United States bishops only vote on material at the bi-annual meetings, then once approved, they submit the section approved for recognitio right away. In Canada, all approval for material is being conducted via mail in ballots. So as soon a CCCB receives a new draft they mail it to each bishop with a ballot. The bishop has a month or so to study the draft and then mail in their ballot. Thus in this way, the CCCB is not constrained to approving texts only at their meetings. Which puts them significantly ahead of the United States. I suspect Canada has not finished approving all Grey Book texts. Canada is probably now working on their national adaptations to the GIRM, and then Canada will submit the complete text for recognitio. From my reading, a number of countries are ahead of the U.S. in approving the text. Perhaps this is what is behind the CDW’s push on the U.S. Either catch up, or the texts will be approved without considering your adaptations. It is interesting the Vatican acted on the U.S submission for OM I, and then approved it without waiting for other countries submission. Rome is really keen on getting this texts done.

    My guess for the Introductory Texts, Antiphons, and Appendices, and the consultation has to do with two things. First of all, the Introductory Text include the GIRM, which various national conferences can adapt in certain ways. Also, the GIRM texts currently approved for the U.S., Australia, and Great Britain are now considered interim, so I suspect Rome wants consensus on them. For the Antiphons and the Appendices, these are texts that are intended to be set to music. Perhaps there will be discussion on how this will be done. There are differences in existing Sacramentaries. For example in the U.S. the music for the introductory dialogue of the Preface and the Doxology of the EP, is different from Canada. The U.S. version is based upon the Latin Ferial Tone, where in Canada it is based upon the Latin Solemn Tone.

    Now that ICEL has finished its task of translating the Missal. It will be interesting to see what they tackle next. I have been told by the Director for Litrugy for the CCCB that ICEL wishes to revise the Liturgy of the Hours, but there is resistance to this as their next project. There is still the second typical edition of the Order of Marriage, and while the US has an approved version of the Rite or Ordination, no one else does.

  25. Michelle Marie Romani says:

    We just need to get this thing over and done with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we hve certain bishops who, sadly, simply want to derail the train and maintain the status quo. I spent my day-off watching the deliberations and there were times that I wanted to throw something at my 61-inch HD whenever I heard someone make a rather poor argument regarding the terminology. At some point my new hero (and fellow Texan) Daniel Cardinal DiNardo tried to put an end to the silliness, encouraging the USCCB to vote the thing out as is.

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