The revised Roman Missal will be implemented on the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011
Same Mass. But some new words for an even
The way we celebrate Mass and the parts of the Mass are not changing.
The Scripture readings are not changing.
The Prayers of the Faithful are not changing.
The hymns are not changing.
What will change is some of the words to prayers that we say and hear at Mass. All the words and prayers that we say or sing at Mass come from a red book called the Sacramentary (Roman Missal). The revised translations pertain to the Sacramentary book, which is the English version of The Roman Missal. The book will now be referred under one name – The Roman Missal. The revised translation will achieve a greater adherence and translation of certain words to the original Latin than the former translation, which was originally translated after Vatican II. The guiding principle is to achieve a translation that better evokes what the original Latin says, and thus it will give deeper meaning. The broader vocabulary of the new translation reflects the extensive vocabulary of the Latin. Another reason for the changes in certain words is to make more clear and obvious the biblical origin of many of the prayers we use during Mass.
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Some of the prayers will sound humbler and a bit more modest in the presence of our awesome God. They acknowledge the majesty of God and the boldness of us human beings talking and praying to God. As you know, for many centuries, Catholics prayed the Mass only in Latin. After the Second Vatican Council, the liturgical texts for Mass were translated for the first time into the vernacular (language) of the people for different countries. After the Second Vatican Council, when the Mass took the shape that we know today, the Vatican issued the official Latin book for the new Mass called The Roman Missal. This Latin book is the original text which has been translated into other languages, including English. Pope John Paul II approved a 3rd edition of the Roman Missal (Missale Romanun) during the Jubilee year 2000. This Latin text is the version from which the new English translation has been done. It also includes some prayers for the celebration of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic prayer, and additional Masses and prayer for various needs and intentions. The revised translations will have more depth. And as people hear and say the new words, they will come to appreciate their faith even more.
The words of the Mass frequently allude to passages from the Bible. And the new translation of some of the words from the Sacramentary (Roman Missal) will better connect it to the Lectionary, which is the book which we read the Scripture readings from. Worshippers will grasp more clearly that the traditional words we use for prayer in the Mass, arise from expressions in the Word of God. And, the texts will express more clearly how we present ourselves before God.
These changes in some of the words may be uncomfortable at first, since the current words come so automatically to our lips. But with use, we will be accustomed to the new words and phrases, and in doing so, we will come to a deeper appreciation of what the Church intends to say by them. We will come to a fuller participation in the mystery of the Eucharist we celebrate.
The translation currently in force has served us well. It helped us make the jump from praying Mass in Latin to praying it in English. It gave us a better understanding of the faith we share. It laid a foundation for vernacular worship (worship in the common language). Although it was a good translation that helped enhance the prayer of individuals and of entire congregations, the re-translation of certain words to adhere more perfectly to the original Latin text, will make it all that much more rich. The Latin prayers were crafted with a poetry of vocabulary, rhythm, structure, and sentiment. Just as many Catholic Churches are adorned with stained glass and other great works of art to please the eye, so the words of worship were shaped to please our senses. The beauty of the language proclaims the beauty of God. And the revised translation of certain words gives us that beauty even more so.