U.S. bishops launch website on new Mass translation

For the most part we have not seen the Church’s leadership using the internet all that effectively.  I think the situation will be improving.

Here is one enormous improvement.

From CNA:

U.S. bishops launch website on new Mass translation

Washington D.C., Aug 21, 2009 / 11:14 am (CNA).- After years in the making, the English translation of the new Roman Missal is nearing its completion and is now awaiting the final approval of the bishops and the Vatican. In an effort to begin educating the faithful and clergy on the new translation, the U.S. bishops have launched a website.

The new website, which was launched on August 21, includes background material on the process of the development of liturgical texts, sample texts from the Missal, a glossary of terms and answers to frequently asked questions.

A press release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) says that content will be added to the website on a regular basis over the next several months.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, welcomes the faithful to the new site in a video, saying, "In the years since Vatican II we have learned a lot about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and the new texts reflect this new understanding."

Describing the translation, Bishop Serratelli says, "The new texts are understandable, dignified and accurate. … They not only strive to make the meaning of the text accessible for the listener, but they also strive to unearth the biblical and theological richness of the Latin text."

The process of translating the new Missal began in 2003 and has been ongoing since then.

Now that they have studied, reflected and adjusted the translation for five years, the bishops are expected to conclude their review and approve the final portion of the translated texts at the end of this year, the USCCB says in a press release.

Following the approval of the bishops, the translation will require a final approval (recognitio) from the Holy See before the texts can be published and used in the liturgy.

Speaking in the video, Bishop Serratelli explains that he sees this time of waiting as an opportunity for the faithful to learn and prepare.

"We have a great opportunity during this period not only to learn about the changes, not only to learn about the revised texts, but also to deepen our own understanding of the Liturgy itself," he says. "We encourage priests, deacons, religious, liturgical ministers, all the faithful to avail themselves of the information that we are making available."

The website dedicated to the new translation can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/romanmissal.


Brick by brick, folks.

It is happening.

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  1. quovadis7 says:

    “The new website, which was launched on August 21, includes …a glossary of terms.”

    Might said glossary include the term “ineffable”?

  2. becket1 says:

    I wish they would completely do away with the NAB translation. And replace it with the RSV CE. A much more orthodox translation.

  3. patrick_f says:

    Vivat Jesus!

    And about bloody time. Its definately a step in the right direction. see “Behold I make all things new”

    God is fixing things folks, just be patient!

  4. becket1 says:

    This translation is only a starting point. There is way more in the OF Mass that needs to be fixed. Mandatory ad-orientum, no communion in the hand, restoring Gregorian Chant, getting rid of altar girls and EMHCs’. Using a more orthodox Bible translation, like the RSV CE. Bringing back a sense of reverence. The translation seems good. But if everything else doesn’t get fixed. It will be only a little better.

  5. Mattiesettlement says:

    Nice website and some great translation improvements.
    As a priest I am very excited about these changes for Mass in English.
    Giving how slow things can move in the Church sometimes I am amazed that things are improving as fast as they have been. As I type this I am watching the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the EF on EWTN. :)

    Thank you dear Lord.

    Fr. Wade

  6. jfk03 says:

    I am a pre-Vatican-II convert. I remember the abruptness of the changes in the mid-60’s. I remember how many of the faithful walked out, never to return, though this was no credit to them. 40 years later, I find myself impatient for reform of the reform. But Ratzinger is right. The “waiting” is a means of avoiding the same abruptness that caused many to leave in the 60’s. The waiting is tough but also necessary. The gradual approach is much better. I hope I live long enough to see it bear fruit.

  7. Thomas G. says:

    When will the new Missal be placed in effect? The website states, “The English translation of the revised Roman Missal is nearing completion, and the Bishops of the United States will vote on the final sections of the text this November.”

    If there are still sections to be voted on in November, then I assume we won’t actually begin to use the new translation until at least then, and probably much later due to time required for printing, publishing, distributing, familiarizing, etc.

    So maybe . . . 2011?

  8. vox borealis says:

    The USCCB has provided a very nice internet resource, and generally their page has some valuable information (like the GIRM). Up north, the CCCB page is practically worthless, and has posted almost NOTHING about the new translation for the last several years.

  9. Ernesto Gonzalez says:

    The website is good, and it has nice layout.

    The strangest thing about the site is that there is a section in Spanish. Why? To whom does this section cater? Are there catholics who speak Spanish natively and who attend English Masses regularly enough to know the responses well, and yet cannot understand the English section of the site?

    The Spanish section does not even address a supposed hispanic reaction to the translation. Except for the translations of sabaoth, pro multis, mysterium fidei III, & ecce, most hispanic catholics who read Spanish well enough to read the Spanish on the site will only remark that the English translation now sounds like the Spanish one.

  10. Agnes says:

    This is exciting. I sent it to my pastors. This is a great resource for catechesis.

  11. jfk03 says:

    Why not a section in Spanish? Is it not one of the great languages of the Catholic faith? Is it not a good thing for Spanish speakers to see how the English translation is being brought into conformity with the Latin original, and hence, the Spanish?

  12. Deo Gratias! Any word on when this will begin being used in the liturgy?

  13. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I checked out the web site, it’s very helpful.

    My one suggestion–in case anyone reading can do anything about it–would be to revisit the FAQ section and write shorter answers, maybe break them up with more posed questions.

    The first question–why a new translation–is the key one, and the answer could be more pithy and helpful.

    But this is definitely a good sign!

  14. mpm says:

    Comment by Ernesto Gonzalez — 22 August 2009 @ 8:52 am

    I’m not a native Spanish speaker, but I speak it. And I had your exact same reaction to that tab!

    jfk03: I think you are absolutely correct about the “waiting” and the Pope’s reasons for it. As to the “Spanish” tab, I think it’s just ironic, the Spanish was rather faithful to the Latin from the “get-go”!

  15. mpm says:

    Fr. Z, with regard to the Church making effective use of the internet, it has occurred to me to wonder why things like this translation project need to wait for the bi-annual meetings of the bishops to handle all the details. There exists secure networking software that would allow these votes and suggestions to be accumulated even in real-time, which would cut down on these seemingly interminable delays.

  16. Mickey says:

    I agree with the comments above…as impatient as I am for “reform of the reform”, I think the Holy See is wise to ensure this is “growth” and not “re-formation” (although, now that I type this word, ‘re-formation’ might be a good idea for some parishes…)

    Also wholeheartedly agree with withdrawl of permission for communion in the hand, communion under both species, and EHMCs. We attend a parish near here sometimes that has THREE priests (Franciscan friars), yet there is a veritable army of EMHCs in the Sanctuary whilst the good friars watch from the back of the church.

    I also wish for turning the altars back around to where they were for 1,970 years…”40 years I endured that generation…”

  17. Timbot2000 says:

    More things to get rid of in the OF so it is no longer the laughing stock of the East:
    Handshake Time! (ditch it, or move it to before the offertory, and make it only mandatory between the clergy, change the body language too)
    No more reading, chant everything..yes it is our tradition too, or was until stupidity and philistinism took over in the West.
    Intinct, or lose the cups
    Somebody tell me how an “acclamation” can be a “proclamation”, and vice versa.
    If they could mandate freestanding altars then, they can mandate ciboria over said altars now.
    Immediately prior to the MHSotM, devotions, litanies, and/or the office should be chanted, thereby killing the idle chit-chat, and reminding everybody “oh yeah! THis is the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of the most high, maybe I should shut up and pay attention.
    I’m sorry, but 5 minutes into any Mass outside of St. John Cantius or St. Agnes and I turn into Eric Cartman “I……am……so…..p*****ed…….off!!!!!!!” And I cannot help but carry this anger around with me because, when no sooner was I baptized was I robbed, and every HSotM in the OF just drives home how impoverished I as indeed by this theft, by those who claimed to be the caretakers of the most precious gift they could give me. Now all I can do is teach my little girls the meaning of “Super flumina Babylonis”

  18. Jayna says:

    Sean: “Deo Gratias! Any word on when this will begin being used in the liturgy?”

    When I asked my priest about putting a link to this site on the parish website, he said that the projected date is Advent 2011. I don’t know how reliable that information is, but it’s a possibility. He said to hold off on putting the link up, but now that this site is totally up and running, I may push to put it up sooner rather than later. (That and I made an awesome image to link to it!)

    I’m glad the USCCB recognizes the fact that people need to be informed about these changes and, more importantly, told why the new translation is necessary.

  19. Will D. says:

    Well this is still somewhat worrisome:

    Priest: The mystery of faith.
    [People: Christ has died… a U.S. adaptation yet to be decided by Holy See]

    I devoutly hope that the Vatican does not approve this corny adaptation.

  20. TNCath says:

    I am glad to see the bishops finally start to acknowledge to the faithful that the translations are imminent and inevitable.

    My biggest fear is that individual priests will once again start “doing their own thing,” just as they have always done with the previous translation.

  21. RichR says:

    In my town, there is no TLM. There is no ad orientem, no Latin, no Gregorian chant on a regular basis, rarely incense, most parishes see altar girls, EMHC’s, and EPIII. The music is usually Protestant praise and worship with an occasional bongo drum.

    While things are slowly changing, I’m trying not to let it affect me personally. I bring a 1956 St. Joseph’s Daily Missal to Mass with me and pray that quietly during the Mass. I try to stop and start to keep in sync with the OF Mass, and I pause at the consecration.

    This has been helpful for me as I await the “changes”. I will try to give them a fair shake, but as stated above, CitH, altar girls, EMHC’s, versus populum, and banal hymns continue to be a major barrier to experiencing the Divine. I won’t complain in public, but people need to know that this translation is not going to solve all our liturgical problems.

  22. John Enright says:

    I think your link knocked CNA offline, Father!

  23. TJM says:

    I hope Mahony accepts the changes. Tom

  24. wmeyer says:

    I am delighted to see the USCCB give more support to this translation. I remain impatient, and like Jayna, will be inclined to push for more local support. We share the same pastor, and while not interested in Latin, he is also not so liberal as many of his parishioners. I am very tempted to make the drive to the one parish with a Latin Mass, 35 miles away, but I pray that if I remain in this parish, I may contribute support for a return to more traditional practices.

  25. Sandy says:

    True, it’s hard to wait for improvements. I pray that when all is finalized the pastors will educate the flocks and really use the correct translations. We have a missalette :( with the prayers in black and white for all to see, and the priest still leaves out the word “men” in the Credo.

  26. Rellis says:

    I think we can induce (or is it deduce?) the implementation date based on several factors:

    1. The deadline for the USCCB to get the remaining major gray books to CDWDS is Nov 2009.

    2. The recognitio is going to come out sometime in the first half of 2010.

    3. The USCCB claims (suppress laugh here) that it will take the publishers one year after the recogitio to get new texts. I’m sure this is some sort of money-grubbing on the part of the bishops. That takes us to the first part of 2011.

    4. The USCCB must approve the texts after this. That should take at least through 2011 for the most part.

    5. The books must be purchased, etc.

    6. The Church likes to start things at the beginning of its “fiscal year” (1st Sunday of Advent).

    I hate to say it, but I think it might be Advent 2012, folks. 2011 if we’re lucky.

  27. Mitchell NY says:

    Roman Missal for the English speaking world, US adaptations yet to be decided…We speak English here. With Latin still the norm for Mass I think all Missals should be printed with the mandatory Latin with the translations in a secondary font to remind people what the norm is..Also so they get accustomed to seeing it. Then maybe, just maybe, a Priest will sneak some in and it will not be the shock that never having seen it would be.

  28. wmeyer says:

    Mitchell, I like the way you think. ;)

  29. Sam Schmitt says:

    I’m excited about the new translation but am wondering – what will prevent priests from changing the wording of the mass after the new translation is implemented just as they do now?

    I am afraid that many of the liturgical abberations will continue, though I am cofident that things are moving in a positive direction as Fr. Z is reposrtiong daily!

  30. Dave N. says:

    Rellis–I’m thinking that the bishops will allow a generous year for catechesis–which will be good in the long-run and may reduce some priests’ temptations to ignore some of the changes. So, my money is on first Sunday of Advent, 2013.

  31. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Last Sunday, for the collect, the Spanish missal used the word “ineffable” (“Oh Dios, que has preparado bienes inefables para los que te aman..” Oh God, who has prepared inefable goods for those who love you…”

    The Mexican missal is beautiful also, but not as eloquent as the missal from Spain. It is great to read some of the new English translations and to see how they will truly elevate the liturgy. Traditional Catholics who do not have access to the EF Mass will, I believe, be very pleased if they can attend a devoutly celebrated OF Mass with this new translation.

  32. Glen M says:

    As Father likes to say, brick by brick. It is easier to dumb down then to smarten up. Rebuilding the liturgy will take time and hopefully the history books will look back at the post-Vatican II chaos in sympathetic eyes. Most of us were deprived of our rightful tradition and customs for nearly forty years. Thankfully, God is bringing us back to the proper forms of worship.

  33. becket1 says:

    Quote by Tom “I hope Mahony accepts the changes.”

    I highly doubt he even cares. I wonder how this will effect his 2010 Religious Education and Liturgical Dance Convention.

  34. chironomo says:

    The “smart money” (OK…and a good friend of mine who would know) says that the currently accepted implementation date is ADVENT of 2011… that is, two years from this coming November IF there are no snags in the upcoming votes. The biggest “delay” is that after all of this is approved and “in the can” as it were, the completed texts need to get to publishers to include them in the NEXT year’s publications. As such, even if everything were ready to go by November of 2010, the publisher’s will need a complete one year cycle to prepare materials. There is also the issue of the USCCB training programs. I have only heard rumors about what that will involve… we’ll see!

  35. Glen M says:

    Becket, I was hoping you were kidding, but alas…there were two dance workshops at the 2009 convention and one on IVF. And people say the SSPX act outside the Church.

    Born to Dance: Live Life Fully from the Inside Out

    In our hearts, we are all dancers. God wants us to be our true selves – joyous, aware and living each moment with arms wide open, responding to the love of the Beloved, a reflection of the glory of God that is within us. So why do we live guarded and afraid, our days filled with hurry and noise? Fear labels and restricts our lives. The voice of Grace tells us that we are more than our labels, more than our fear. The Hopi say, “To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak.” So, let’s dance. Terry Hershey will help us learn what it means to dance free from our limitations of fear, insecurity or pain. Join in as we dance for laughter, for tears, for hopes. We are dancers, we create the dreams.

    Terry Hershey

    Terry Hershey is a Protestant minister and a landscape designer on Washington’s Vashon Island, near Seattle. He lives, writes and teaches the subject of his eighth book, “Sacred Necessities: Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose and Grace.” Hershey, as founder of “A Few Things That Matter” Seminars and as a national speaker, has presented throughout the country on the topics of relationships, spirituality … and gardening.


  36. Jordanes says:

    RichR said: I bring a 1956 St. Joseph’s Daily Missal to Mass with me and pray that quietly during the Mass. I try to stop and start to keep in sync with the OF Mass, and I pause at the consecration.

    That’s also what I’ve been doing for quite some time (only I have a 1961 St. Pius X Daily Missal). Last month a traditional Latin Mass started up at a nearby parish, so we’ve begun dividing our Sundays between parishes.

  37. wmeyer says:

    Brick by brick, indeed. Another brick is laid today in my parish, as our church now has a proper crucifix in the sanctuary, to replace the risen Christ.

    It may only have been my imagination, but before Mass today as the not yet blessed crucifix lay at the foot of the the altar, believe there was actually a reverence and quietude breaking out, in contrast to the more common noisy chatter.

  38. jaykay says:

    There is really very little on the website of the Irish Catholic Bishops


    There seems to be a reference in the “Liturgy” section, in their “Liturgy” publication in 2008, about the new texts having been approved, but you can’t access it online. I would guess, in any event, that the whole ethos is rather dominated by SoV2ism, which is pretty much the spirit of the Church in Ireland anyway. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I very much doubt that the new translations will be greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm. There has been deafening silence about the whole issue over here.

    Nevertheless, now that the USCCB has put up such good pages on its site, and since we in Ireland are very much influenced by developments in the US, I hope our Bishops will take a similar initiative.

  39. JPG says:

    Part of the delay is the prudence of the Holy Father part may be resistence on the part of Liberal or modernist bishops (recall his excellency from Erie who seems to think one is incapable of looking up “ineffable”). I still foresee a bit of resistence. on the part of the clergy comfortable with the banal translation and the ability to alter adlib and feeling justified to do so. Likewise a laity justifiably wary of any change.

  40. moon1234 says:

    I have read thru this new translation and I have to say that I dislike this MORE than the previous version. There are some improvements, but there are new innovations and more “loose” translation, especially in the Roman Canon.

    Why is there so much latitude on the Confiteor? It just drives me nuts when I attend a Novus Ordo Mass and the priest just “skips” it. There is no confession of sinfulness at all. Just a simple “Let us call to mind our sins”, a brief pause and then right on to the Kyrie. It is as if they are making an effort to avoid any recollection in the faitful that we are all sinners. Maybe this is part of the reason from the very low confession rate and almost universal reception of communion.

    Another thing I don’t understand is why is genuflecting being downplayed or not done at all? What is with all of the bowing? This seems to be a direct borrow from the eastern rights. What is the traditional roman custom of genuflecting not being honored?

    “The Mystery of Faith” is still left out of the consecration of the blood of Christ. Will this ever be fixed?

  41. moon: Many of your complaints really don’t have anything to do with the new translation. However, one which does concerns the Canon. Could you point out what innovations and “loose” translations you have found in the new version of the Canon?

  42. ssoldie says:

    “What happened after the council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and REPLACED it- as in a manufacturing process- with a fabrication, a banal on the spot liturgy”. Exert from the preface to the french edition by Joseph Cardinal Ratzenger: Gamber’s “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy” J.A. Jungmann, one of the truly great liturgist of our century, defined the liturgy of his time, such as it could be understood in the light of historical research, as a “liturgy which is the fruit of development”…

  43. John V says:

    On 22 August, Fr. Sotelo said “Last Sunday, for the collect, the Spanish missal used the word “ineffable” . . . .

    I guess Juan y María Católicos are a bit brighter than John and Mary Catholic.

  44. Greg Smisek says:

    Sandy: We have a missalette :( with the prayers in black and white for all to see, and the priest still leaves out the word “men” in the Credo.

    I thought that “men” had been excised from the new translation. I am happy to see that it has returned (along with that hard word “consubstantial”). The problem with leaving out “men”, apart from infidelity to the Latin text, was less that people would take the unqualified term “us” too broadly (us animals or physical beings, including Fido, planet Earth, gamma particles, etc.) than that people would take it too narrowly (us nice folks here at Mass, us parishioners of St. Fides, et al.), missing the fact that our Lord came for the salvation of all human beings and that at Mass we implore God’s mercy for the entire human race.

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