English Translation of Roman Missal: So Far, So Good

Vox Clara Committee Sees an «Excellent Start»

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Work on the English translation of the latest Roman Missal is off to an «excellent start,» says an episcopal commission advising the Holy See.

The Vox Clara Committee met for the fourth time from Nov. 18-20 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in Rome, according to a press statement issued by the dicastery.

This committee of senior bishops from around the English-speaking world was established in July 2001 to advise the congregation on translations of Latin liturgical texts into English, and to strengthen cooperation with episcopal conferences in this regard.

«In the course of their meeting the committee sought to advise the congregation on ways in which to expedite the completion of an English-language edition of the ‘Missale Romanum,’ ‘editio typica tertia,'» the press statement states.

«The committee heard reports concerning the October 23, 2003, meeting in Rome of Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the congregation, with the presidents of English-speaking conferences of bishops, the recent approval of the statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) by the congregation, and ICEL’s plans for the translation of the ‘Missale Romanum,'» it adds.

«Having examined sample ICEL translations from the ‘Missale Romanum,’ the committee expressed its gratitude for the excellent start made by the mixed commission in translating the ‘Missale Romanum’ in an English style which is in conformity with the spirit and the specific provisions of the instruction ‘Liturgia Authenticam,’ approved by the Holy Father on March 20, 2001,» the statement continues.

«The committee, likewise, made numerous recommendations to the congregation in regard to specific strategies by which all parties might focus more closely on the completion of the Roman Missal for the English-speaking world,» it explains.

«These strategies involved processes for the review of translations of the Roman Missal in segments by conferences of bishops and the Holy See, the development of explanatory materials, the timetable for the completion of the Roman Missal, and the relationship of the Roman Missal to other ICEL projects,» it explains.

The next meeting of the Vox Clara Committee, chaired by Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, is scheduled for the spring.

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