New Roman Missal Presented to John Paul II

Fruit of 7 Years of Work Includes New Memorials of Saints

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 18, 2002 ( Vatican officials have presented the new Roman Missal to John Paul II, a text he approved in April 2000.

Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, explained the novelties of the new work today in a statement to Vatican Radio at the end of the presentation ceremony. The congregation published the missal.

“It is a text that is in continuity with the missal that was reformed following Vatican Council II and promulgated by Paul VI,” Archbishop Tamburrino said.

“Obviously, after seven years, the missal has undergone some touching up, especially in the calendar of saints´ days, as 16 feasts have been introduced — or rather memorials — in the universal calendar of the Church; hence, they had to be included in the missal,” he added. “These 16 memorials are spread over the year, and refer especially to saints and patrons.”

The rest of the changes, Archbishop Tamburrino explained, are “small necessary touch-ups, following the promulgation of the ´Varietates Legitimae´ instruction which provided for the possibility of some adaptations, particularly in mission areas.” The Vatican congregation published that instruction in January 1994.

“Moreover, what was allowed in some national missals has been integrated in the ordinary of the missal, namely, the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation, and Eucharistic Prayers for different needs,” the archbishop concluded.

In statements published by ZENIT on Aug. 25, 2000, Archbishop Tamburrino clarified that the “Institutio Generalis,” the theological and normative part that introduces the missal, addresses key issues on the evolution of liturgical legislation.

“For example, the whole question of lay ministries is specified better,” he said at the time.

The “Institutio Generalis” may be read in Latin on the Web page of the U.S. bishops´ conference at (

The Congregation for Divine Worship has sent a note to bishops explaining that No. 283 of the new missal “contains various dispositions that extend the possibility to distribute Holy Communion under both species, only in the ambit of the Roman rite.”

The task of translating the missal lies with episcopal conferences. Translations must be approved by the Vatican congregation before being published.

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