US Bishops Approve Litany of Saints for Marriage Ceremonies

Also Vote to Use Mexican Missal as Base for Spanish-Language Missal in US

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved five liturgical items presented by the Committee on Divine Worship during the annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 12. The approved items include the use of the Mexican missal to draft the U.S. Spanish-language missal with appropriate adaptations, adding adaptations to the marriage ceremony and on proposed English-language translations of the Order of Celebrating Marriage and the Order of Confirmation.

With 193 votes in favor, 11 opposed and 4 abstained, the U.S. Bishops approved the use of the Spanish-language translation of the Misal Romano from Mexico as the base text for the U.S. version of the Spanish-language Missal, which will include additional texts and adaptations. 

Those approved adaptations include replacing the Mexican calendar with the liturgical calendar for the United States; translation of the U.S. Norms for Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds; adding translations of liturgical texts and prayers for U.S. saints, including Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos; adding 20 Latin American patronal feasts for use by immigrant groups from those respective countries; and adding the U.S. adaptations for the General Instructions of the Roman Missal.  

The bishops also approved the Order of Celebrating Marriage by 212 votes in favor, 5 votes against and 1 abstaining. The final translation from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), includes some prayers and rites not previously included in the first edition, for example, an additional text that may be used after the exchange of vows, and a rite for the renewal of marital commitment on anniversaries. Upon approval, the book will be sent to Rome for recognitio and later published as the English-language ritual for marriage. 

Also approved by a 218-5-2 vote, were four adaptations to the Order of Celebrating Marriage. Those include the option of an alternative forms of vows (already an option in the current Rite), the option of moving the Nuptial Blessing to follow the Prayer of the Faithful during Mass, the option to include a Litany of the Saints (including the invocation of many married saints) at the beginning of the Marriage Rite, and translating into English the Hispanic cultural adaptations of the Exchange of Coins and the Blessing and Placing of the Lazo or Veil over the couple during the nuptial blessing.

The bishops also voted 213-4 on the Order of Confirmation. This is a retranslation by ICEL of the order of Confirmation according to the norms of the document Liturgiam authenticam.  

The U.S. version of the Misal Romano in Spanish would be available by late 2014 or the spring of 2015.

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