Church in UK Readying for New Translation

«Praying the Mass» Program Gets Under Way

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LONDON, FEB. 3, 2011 ( The Diocese of Westminster has launched this month a new initiative to help the faithful prepare for the new translation of the Roman Missal.

«Praying the Mass» is the title of the initiative, now under way. It will continue until at least the summer of 2012 — several months after the new translation is in use — as a means to provide support as the faithful adapt to the changes.

Father Allen Morris, chair of the Diocese of Westminster’s Liturgy Commission, is coordinating Praying the Mass.

He explained that it will provide parishes and schools with «resources to renew our understanding and love of the Mass, and it will help us take the steps necessary to prepare for the new translation of the Mass which we will begin using later this year.”

The bishops of England and Wales decided to begin using parts of the new translation — particularly that of the Order of the Mass (those that are the same from week to week) — in September.

The publication of the new Missal is expected for Advent. From September until December, there will be catechesis in parishes both on the new translation and on the Mass itself.


Stage 1 of Praying the Mass will run until July. It focuses on the understanding of the Mass and how it is prayed. Resources for the first month emphasize the Introductory Rites and «how they assist us to be personally present to the Lord who is present to us in the prayer and worship of the Church,» the bishops’ Web site explained.

Three handouts are available with this first stage: one for priests and other parish leaders, one for all adults of the parishes, and a third for children age 10 and up.

“Before we begin to familiarize ourselves with the new translation of the Roman Missal, it is important that we take the opportunity to remind ourselves of what we do and what we are part of when we celebrate the Mass,» the archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, reflected.

More stages

Stage 2 will start in June and begin to introduce the new translations and musical settings of the Missal texts.

«[E]ach month offers a chance to re-consider the nature, meaning and function of the different parts of the Mass,» Archbishop Nichols said. «There is an opportunity to look again at how the parish celebrates, as well as for reflection — as individuals or in groups — on the theology of the Mass.»

When Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom last September, he urged the bishops to use the new translation as an opportunity for catechesis.

He made the same recommendation in «Sacramentum Caritatis»: «I encourage you now to seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration. ‘The more lively the eucharistic faith of the people of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples.'»

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On the Net:

Praying the Mass, Stage 1 resources:

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