Bishops Present Coming Missal Changes

Web Site Aims to Familiarize Catholics With New Text

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WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 21, 2009 ( The U.S. bishops’ conference launched a Web site that aims to educate Catholics about the changes in the Mass that are coming with the new Roman missal translation.

A press release from the conference announced today that this site includes background on the liturgical texts, sample wording from the newly translated missal, and answers to frequently asked questions.

The conference’s Committee on Divine Worship expressed the hope that this will be a central resource for those responsible for implementing the text.

The committee chairman, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, said in an online introduction to the site: “In the years since Vatican II we have learned a lot about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and the new texts reflect this new understanding.”

He continued: “The new texts are understandable, dignified and accurate.

“They not only strive to make the meaning of the text accessible for the listener, but they also strive to unearth the biblical and theological richness of the Latin text.”

Over the past five years, representatives of the bishops’ conferences from various English-speaking countries have been working on the translation of the new version of the Roman Missal, issued by Pope John Paul II during the Jubilee Year 2000.

This November, the last sections will be reviewed and voted on by the U.S. conference, and will then be sent to the Vatican for the authoritative approval and permission to use.

The Web site stated that this final approval of the complete text is anticipated in early 2010.

Bishop Serratelli stated, “We have a great opportunity during this period not only to learn about the changes, not only to learn about the revised texts, but also to deepen our own understanding of the liturgy itself.”

He added, “We encourage priests, deacons, religious, liturgical ministers, all the faithful to avail themselves of the information that we are making available.”

The conference is offering a draft text of the new translation, which cannot be used liturgically but aims to familiarize priests and faithful with the forthcoming changes.

The Web site underlines the hope “that when the time comes to use the texts in the celebration of the Mass, priests will be properly trained, the faithful will have an understanding and appreciation of what is being prayed, and musical settings of the liturgical texts will be readily available.”

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