The bishops have completed their approval of the new translation of the Roman Missal. At the November 2009 meeting they considered the Supplement which contained texts, such as the Pentecost Vigil, which have been added to the Missal since the publishing of the 3rd edition in Latin in 2002.
Since 2002 ICEL, the international agency of English speaking Bishops’ Conference which prepares the translation of liturgical texts, has been working on the English text of the Missal. During this time parts of the Missal were sent out at regular intervals. Bishops first commented on draft translations beginning in 2004. The challenge is to produce a text which both faithfully translates the Latin and is suitable for prayer. Following the bishops’ comments a revised text was prepared for voting on. The first text which was approved by the Bishops, in 2006, was the Order of Mass which includes the prayers said at every Mass. Since then the bishops have approved a further 11 sections of the Missal.
The complete text will now be submitted to the Holy See which oversees the translation of all liturgical texts. It is hoped that the Missal will be published during the course of the next 18 months.
Bishop Arthur Roche, Chairman of the Department for Christian Life and Worship said:
‘This is an important moment in the life of the Church in this country. The celebration of the Mass is at the heart of the Church’s life. We can look forward to using a translation which is both more faithful and prayerful. I am very grateful to both ICEL and my brother bishops for the dedication and care they have shown over the last five years in shaping this text..
‘It will be important that the new translation is introduced well. The bishops are working on a programme for implementation which will be supported by catechetical resources and other materials for use in parishes.’