The following statement has been issued by the Communications Office of The Bishops' Conference of England & Wales
Before leaving England, Pope Benedict XVI asked the Bishops of England & Wales to prepare for the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal. The Missal contains the texts which are prayed by priest and people every time Catholics come to Mass. Work on the new translation has been ongoing since the publication of a new Latin edition of the Roman Missal in 2002. The Holy Father thanked the bishops for the contribution they had made, ‘with such painstaking care, to the collegial exercise of reviewing and approving the texts. This has provided an immense service to Catholics throughout the English-speaking world’.
The translation of the Roman Missal is now complete and the Holy See has given its recognitio on the text. The bishops, following the Holy Father’s encouragement that this new translation is an opportunity for ‘in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration’, have decided that from September 2011 the Order of Mass in the new translation will be used in parishes in England and Wales. The Order of Mass contains those texts of both priest and people which are constant at each celebration of Mass. For 3 months from September 2011 until December 2011 there will be catchesis in parishes both on the new translation and on the Mass itself. This will precede the publication of the new Missal which at the earliest is expected by Advent 2011.
To assist parishes and other communities to prepare for the new translation and to assist them in its introduction and catechesis a number of resources are being prepared. The first of these, the interactive DVD Become One Body One Spirit in Christ has already been sent out to dioceses.
Bishop Arthur Roche, bishop of Leeds and chairman of the Department for Christian Life and Worship said:
“The new translation is a great gift to the Church. The Mass is at the heart of what the Church is, it is where we deepen our faith in Christ and are nourished by him so that we can glorify the Lord by our lives. In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Church in England and Wales to learn about our faith and the Mass. I hope that parishes over the coming months will prepare for the introduction of the new translation with resources, such as Become One Body One Spirit in Christ and the materials being prepared by the Department for Christian Life and Worship and others. When the completion of the text was first announced Pope Benedict said: ‘Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.’ I invite people to unite their prayers with those of the Holy Father for the introduction of the new translation.”
Further information on the new translation of the Missal can be found here: http://www.missal.org.uk/