US Bishops Offer Seminars on Missal Changes

Highlight Role of Priestly Celebrant in Liturgy

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WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 18, 2010 ( Beginning in April, the U.S. bishops’ conference will be offering a series of seminars nationwide to introduce changes in the forthcoming revised Roman Missal.

A conference communiqué reported today that these workshops will be offered through November to prepare priests and diocesan leaders to implement the changes.

The latest version of the Roman Missal contains the «most significant changes in the liturgy since 1974,» the conference noted.

The seminars will include content about the missal’s history and theological context, and will help participants to deepen their understanding of the new translation’s «depth and richness.»

The press release noted that these workshops will «highlight the role of the priest celebrant in both proclaiming and singing the next texts.»

Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the «impact of change on both priests and laity and suggest strategies for implementation of the missal locally.»

The series is being sponsored by the conference’s Committee on Divine Worship along with the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

Other collaborators include the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

The sites of these seminars include: Cincinnati; Richmond, Virginia; Phoenix; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Helena, Montana; St. Paul-Minneapolis; Denver; Orange, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Baltimore; Milwaukee; Trenton, New Jersey; San Francisco; Oklahoma City; Boston; Seattle; Alexandria, Louisiana; Albany, New York; Honolulu; San Antonio; and Orlando, Florida.

The bishops are sponsoring additional efforts for this educational campaign, including informational articles and an implementation guide due for publication once the missal’s text is approved by the Holy See.

The text translation has been under way for several years, and the prelates completed the task of voting on its various sections in November.

With this approval, the texts were sent to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for the final «recognitio» (permission); once the Holy See responds, the new translation will be implemented.

At the November assembly, Cardinal Francis George, the conference president, affirmed that with the coming changes, «there is a tremendous moment of religious renewal that is possible now.»

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