Highlights of New Translation Resources Available to MHR Community
· New Music Arrangements (rehearsed with congregation
since October 2)
· Congregation Response Sheet (mailed home to
all parishioners week of November 6)
· Congregation Response Sheet (placed in pews
on November 27)
· Bulletin Updates with revision details
(November 6, 13, 20)
· Download PDF versions of the bulletin inserts below
From the November 6th Insert:
The history of the Roman Missal (from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
The Roman Missal is the book containing the prescribed prayers,
chants, and instructions for the celebration of Mass in the Roman
Catholic Church. Published first in Latin under the title Missale Romanum,
the text is then translated and, once approved by the Vatican
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,
is published in modern languages for use in local churches
throughout the world.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced a new edition of the Missale
Romanum (editio typica tertia, the “third typical edition” [since the
Second Vatican Council]) for use in the Church. Soon after, the complex
work of translating the text into English began.
As the Church in the United States and throughout the Englishspeaking
world prepares to introduce the new edition of the Missal,
so does the Church in other countries as the Missale Romanum is
translated into other languages.
The process of implementing a new edition of the prayers of the
Mass is not new, but has occurred numerous times throughout the
history of the Church as the Liturgy developed and was adapted to
particular circumstances to meet the needs of the Church.
In the earliest centuries of the Church, there were no books containing
prescribed liturgical prayers, texts, or other instructions. Because
the faith of the Church was (and still is) articulated in liturgical
prayer, there was a need for consistency and authenticity in the
words used in the celebration of the Liturgy. Collections of prayers
developed gradually for use in particular locations and situations
such as for a particular monastery, for the Pope, or for other local
churches. Such collections
were contained in libelli
(“booklets”) which over
centuries were drawn together
into larger collections
Eventually more organized
collections of prayers were
a s s e m b l e d i n t o
contained some, but not all,
of the prayers of the Mass.
The earliest of these sacramentaries were attributed to Pope Leo I
(440-461), and Pope Gelasius (492-496), but surviving versions of
those sacramentaries date from centuries later.
Other early manuscripts contained detailed descriptions of the celebration
of the Mass with the Pope in Rome. Those written accounts
may have gradually served as instructions or rubrics for the celebration
of Mass in other settings. Liturgical books grew as they passed
from one community (a local church, a diocese, a monastery, etc.) to
another, often with prayers added in margins or in blank spaces. The
process of sharing text was by copying by hand. This was a laborious
task which at times led to inconsistencies and errors.
The first true liturgical books which could be called “missals” were
found in monasteries beginning around the 12th and 13th Centuries.
A missale contained not only the prayers
but the biblical readings, the chants, and
the rubrics for the celebration of Mass.
It is difficult to trace exact origins of the
first missal. The first book bearing the
name Missale Romanum appeared in
1474, perhaps not coincidentally in the
same century as the invention of the
printing press by Johannes Gutenberg
(1440). But it was not until after the Council of Trent that Pope Pius
V, in 1570, promulgated an edition of the Missale Romanum that
was to be in obligatory use throughout the Latin Church (except in
cases where another rite had been in place for at least 200 years).
This marked the first official attempt at uniformity in the celebration
of the Mass in the history of the Church.
Since that time, to accommodate the ongoing evolution and development
of the Liturgy, new editions of the Missale Romanum were
promulgated by Popes for use in the Church:
·1604 – Pope Clement VIII
·1634 – Pope Urban VIII
·1884 – Pope Leo XIII
·1920 – Pope Benedict XV
·1962 – Pope John XXIII
·1970 – Pope Paul VI
·1975 – Pope Paul VI
·2002 – Pope John Paul II
In addition, there were a number of other minor revisions to the text,
published as “reprints” which incorporated minor changes. The most
recent of these were in 1957 after Pope Pius XII’s revisions to the
rites of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum in 1955, and in 2008,
when Pope Benedict XVI incorporated a number of additional
prayers, included those for recently canonized saints as well as for the celebration of an extended Vigil for Pentecost.
From the November 13th Insert:
The Language of the Liturgy:
Frequently Asked Questions
It is through this series of bulletin inserts that we hope to provide various
perspectives on the upcoming mass translation which will be introduced on the
first Sunday of Advent, November 27th. We invite parishioners to engage with
the changes through prayer and conversation, learning about the various
perspectives surrounding the words we use at mass
everyday. Today’s edition will focus on some of the
most commonly asked questions regarding the
Is this a new Mass?
It is not a new Mass, it is a
new translation for a new
edition of the Missal. Because
a new edition of the Missale
Romanum, the Latin Roman
Missal, was issued by Pope
John Paul II in 2000, it was
necessary for all the countries
of the world to translate this
missal into the various local
Why was there a need for
a new translation?
The Missale Romanum (Roman
Missal), the ritual text for the
celebration of the Mass, was
issued by Pope Paul VI in
1970 as the definitive text of
the reformed liturgy of the
Second Vatican Council.
That Latin text was translated
into various languages for use
around the world; the English
edition was published in the
United States in 1973.
The Holy See issued a revised
text in 1975. Pope John Paul
II issued the third edition of
the Roman Missal during the
Jubilee Year in 2000.
Among other things, the third
edition contains prayers for
the celebration of recently
canonized saints, additional
prefaces for the Eucharistic
Prayers, additional Masses
and Prayers for Various
Needs and Intentions, and
some updated and revised
rubrics (instructions) for the
celebration of the Mass.
Who completed the work
The process of translation
was a highly consultative
work of several groups. The
on English in the Liturgy
(ICEL) is chartered to prepare
English translations of
liturgical texts on behalf of
the conferences of bishops of
The USCCB and the other
member Conferences of
Bishops received draft translations
of each text and had
the opportunity to offer comments
At the level of the Vatican
(the Holy See), the Congregation
for Divine Worship and
the Discipline of the Sacraments
examined texts and
approval. The Congregation
was aided by the recommendations
Clara, a special committee
of bishops and consultants
The Vox Clara Committee
is chaired by Cardinal
George Pell (Sydney).
Bishop Thomas Olmsted
Oswald Gracias (Bombay),
Bishop Arthur Serratelli
(Paterson), Cardinal Justin
Emeritus), Cardinal Francis
Alfred Hughes (New Orleans,
Neary (Tuam), Archbishop
Terrence Prendergast, S.J.
(Ottawa), Bishop John
Tong Hon (Hong Kong),
and Bishop David
What’s new or particularly different
about the revised translation?
The unique style of the Roman Rite
should be maintained in translation. By
“style” is meant here the distinctive way in
which the prayers of the Roman Rite are
expressed. The principal elements of such
a style include a certain conciseness in
addressing, praising and entreating God,
as well as distinctive syntactical patterns, a
noble tone, a variety of less complex rhetorical devices, concreteness
of images, repetition, parallelism and rhythm. The texts of
the revised translation of the Roman Missal are marked by a
heightened style of English speech and a grammatical structure
that closely follows the Latin text. In addition, many biblical and
poetic images, such as “Lord, I am not worthy that you should
enter under my roof…” (Communion Rite) and “…from the rising
of the sun to its setting” (Eucharistic Prayer III) have been
What will happen after the texts are used in liturgical celebrations?
The long-term goal of the new translation is to foster a deeper
awareness and appreciation of the mysteries being celebrated in
the Liturgy. The axiom lex orandi, lex credendi—“what we pray is
what we believe”—suggests
that there is a direct relationship
between the content of
our prayers and the substance
of our faith. It is hoped that
writers will start to provide
materials reflecting on the
rich content of the text. These
contributions might encourage
priests to use the content
of the prayers as a basis for
their homilies or to supplement their homilies on Sundays.
Those giving retreats or days of recollection can use the new texts
of the missal as a resource for their presentations. All can make
use of the texts for deepening their prayer life.
What are some of the changes in the people’s parts?
Perhaps the most common dialogue in the liturgy of the Roman
Rite consists of the greeting: “Dominus vobiscum, et cum
spiritu tuo.” Since 1970, this has been translated as: “The Lord
be with you. And also with you.” As a part of the revised translation
of the Roman Missal, now taking place, the translation of
this dialogue has been revised, to read: “The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.”
Where does this dialogue come from?
The response et cum spiritu tuo is found in the liturgies of both
East and West, from the earliest days of the church. One of the
first instances of its use is found in the “Traditio Apostolica” of
St.Hippolytus, composed in Greek around A.D. 215.
What does the priest mean when he says “The Lord be with
By greeting the people with the words “The Lord be with you,”
the priest expresses his desire that the dynamic activity of God’s
spirit be given to the people of God, enabling them to do the
work of transforming the world that God has entrusted to them.
What do the people mean when they respond “and with your
The expression et cum spiritu tuo is only addressed to an ordained
minister. Some scholars have suggested that spiritu refers
to the gift of the spirit he received at ordination. In their response,
the people assure the priest of the same divine assistance
of God’s spirit and, more specifically, help for the priest to use
the charismatic gifts given to him in ordination and in so doing
to fulfill his prophetic function in the church.
From the November 20th Insert:
The Language of the Liturgy: The Creed ( as excerpted from SF Archdiocese Office of Worship)
As we all become accustomed
to the new words
and responses from the
revised Roman Missal,
one of the texts that may
cause most of us to trip
over our tongues is the
revised wording of the
The profession of faith,
or creed, is said after the
homily and before the universal
prayers (prayers of
We most often recite the
Nicene Creed but some
churches use the Apostles’
Creed. A number of
small but significant
changes raise numerous
theological and linguistic
questions. A few are discussed
Why will we say “I believe”
rather than “We
Right from the beginning
of the revised translation
of the creed there is a significant
change: from “we”
to “I.” Since the creed was
added to the liturgy in the
11th century, the Latin has
always used the singular
(credo). Most other
language groups also use
the first person singular to
begin the creed. English
now matches the rest of
the world. The singular
form also echoes what we
say when we renew our
baptismal promises (we
say “I do” after each
question) and acts as a
personal attestation of
this profession of faith.
How is “visible and invisible”
“seen and unseen?”
This change is one of the
nuances of the revised
translation that allows us
to be much more specific
in the use of words. Linguistic
pointed out that there are
some things that are
“unseen” in most cases
but do exist (the nucleus
of a cell or the cosmos).
This is opposed to things
that are invisible (such as
angels). The intention of
the line is to say that God
created not only those
things that are capable of
being seen, but that God
whether it is visible to the
human eye or not. This
can seem like splitting
hairs, but the new translation
has allowed us to get
more specific and precise
in language which was
not always the case previously.
Why is it important to
say that Jesus is the
“Only Begotten Son of
Commonly, the 1970
translation of the Roman
Missal, the Latin term
Filium Dei Unigenitum
was translated as “only
Son of God.” This is incorrect
since God has
many sons and daughters
(all baptized persons).
Therefore, in the
new translation, every
time the Latin term Filium
Dei Unigenitum is
used, it is translated as
“only begotten Son” to
emphasize, as the Latin
does, that Jesus was the
only son created by God.
This same change from
“Only Son” to “Only Begotten
Son” is also in the
People keep mentioning the word
“consubstantial.” What does it mean
and why all the fuss?
We have changed from “one in being” to
“consubstantial” – a word we probably
don’t use very often in day-to-day speech.
Consubstantial is a highly theological word
which is a direct translation of the Latin
(consubstantialem). It means Christ possesses
the same divine nature as God the Father. The word
can be a tongue twister and may seem foreign to most of us,
but often in liturgy we use words and phrases that refer to
theological and doctrinal matters and they are quite specific
and perhaps unfamiliar to us. Many have objected to the use
of a word that is not in our regular vocabulary, but this happens
in many places in the liturgy (such as “hallowed” or
“hosanna”), and liturgical language has always been more formal
and multifaceted than everyday speech.
What does it mean when we say Jesus “suffered death?”
In the past we said Jesus “suffered, died, and was buried.” In
fact, the Latin does not include the word death or died at all; it
says he “suffered and was buried.” This is one exception when
what we are used to in English (referring to the death) was
allowed to be part of the translation even though it doesn’t exist
in the Latin. The slight change of phrase was made to emphasize
that it is not Jesus’ suffering in general (his painful
execution) that is key, but
rather that he, a divine being,
suffered death for our
Doesn’t “in accordance
with the Scriptures” mean
the same thing as “in fulfillment
of the Scriptures?”
Not quite. This is another instance where the new translation
is trying to be much more specific and exact. Christ certainly
fulfilled the prophecy of a Messiah from the Old Testament,
but he also was the incarnation of all that was said in the New
Testament. We therefore say “in accordance with the Scriptures”
meaning both the Old and New Testaments, rather than
just as a “fulfillment” of something that was promised in the
past. FYI – The creed used in Britain since 1970 has used
“accordance with” since 1970 – something that has tripped up
many a tourist in the United Kingdom.
“I confess one baptism?”
Catholics don’t just “believe” that baptism exists, we
“confess” that it is effective and important. It is because
of our confession of baptism that we have this
profession of faith to say and be proud of.
What does “look forward to the resurrection of
the dead” mean?
To look forward to something has always meant that we anticipate
it – usually with pleasure, hope and great expectation. It
was felt that to “look for” made it seem that we were passively
sitting back and trying to find this elusive thing, rather than anticipating
and striving for it with joy.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.