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New Mass translation to be used in parishes from September

By on Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, chairman of ICEL, oversaw the drafting of the new translation (Photo: CNS)

Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, chairman of ICEL, oversaw the drafting of the new translation (Photo: CNS)

The new English translation of the Order of Mass will be used in parishes in England and Wales from September, it was announced today.

The bishops’ conference said it would be introduced into parishes three months before the new Missal is published in Advent and would thus provide an opportunity for “in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration”.

The bishops also announced the creation of a website and a DVD to prepare the faithful for the transition.

They confirmed that the new Roman Missal was complete and that the Holy See had given its recognitio.

Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), which drafted the new text, said it was “a tremendous opportunity for the Church in England and Wales to learn about our faith and the Mass”.

The bishop said: “The new translation is a great gift to the Church. The Mass is at the heart of what the Church is, it is where we deepen our faith in Christ and are nourished by him so that we can glorify the Lord by our lives.

“In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.”

The bishop said he hoped people would use resources provided by the bishops’ conference to prepare for the new translation.

He cited a DVD produced by ICEL, called Become One Body One Spirit in Christ, which has already been sent out to parishes. It features six hours of footage of experts talking about various aspects of the Mass. Bishop Roche said it would help people “uncover the riches that the Eucharist offers us”.

  • http://twitter.com/Greg_Collins Greg Collins

    All change at Holy Mass. Hope (& pray) people won’t get to hot under the collar about it.

  • Mark H.

    So this is the new ‘New Mass’? How many further corrections/revisions are we going to endure before sanity returns to the Church and we restore the old Mass?

  • Robpatsy

    we in new zealand started on the 1st. sunday of advent 2010, books were handed out,the only 2 i have difficulty in remembering off by heart are the gloria and the creed , all other replies now are easy to say

  • Jeannine

    It actually more of a literal translation from the Latin, the original language of the Novus Ordo. You might like it. Parts of it take some getting use to but it does sound more reverent.

  • Toby


    What would you say has been the general response to it on the pews and amongst the clergy?

  • Geoffreybede

    I shudder each time I come across “richness” i respect of the
    Novus Ordo etc

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTCKAYXC6V65WVJUPZFYCCUEUU Lee

    A New Mass when we already have the Mass of All Ages aka Tridentine Mass which goes back to the first century in its substance ! Please My Lord rid us of this hideous Protestant liturgy and beliefs.

  • Kyriakos

    “In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.”

    I hope so.And when will the priests and faithful start turning together to altar and praying together ad oreintum.Hope such a change will come back to the Latin rite mass as we have in our Syriac tradition.

  • Neville DeVilliers

    Let us hope that by September, Catholic people will have cried out ,”From the Roman Missal (3rd edition), oh Lord deliver us! Then, perhaps, at long last, we can move on to translating both the Extraordinary Form and Official Form of the liturgy into hieratic English. All of it ready for the first Sunday of Advent, 2011.

  • Neville DeVilliers

    Lee, If it is a liturgy from the Ist century AD you’re looking for, you surely won’t find it in the Tridentine Latin Mass of St. Pius V. You will find it , however, in the liturgy of St. Justin Martyr and in Greek too. Perhaps, Pope Benedict will call for a return to the classic simplicity of St. Justin’s day.

  • Signingnun

    I am profoundly Deaf and wonder if the DVD will be subtitled? Most of the time, Deaf people are excluded. Most Deaf people find it hard enough to understand English anyway, so will this new translation make it harder or easier?? I am seriously worried. I love the Mass and when the new Mass came in from Latin to English lots of Deaf people happier but some of it hard to follow for many Deaf people (Capital D – Deaf people are those who use British Sign Language as their main communication). Also I am worried about the cost of the new missals and each parish will have to pay out lots of money for new missals and we are in a recession!

  • Paddy

    Lost in translation?

    Irish priests who have read it express disapproval:
    “Priests say missal is ‘sexist and elitist’ ” http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0204/1224288985722.html

  • Ennab

    Where can I find a resource that tells me what the changes are to be?

  • Veronicamartin

    Why is Latin seen as being superior ? It is n’t and you know what ? Jesus did not speak it . Maybe Mass should in Arameic .

  • Jan Z

    There was a good translation of the Latin Mass in use from 1965 to 1970.  Why was this changed to the current one which now has to be changed again?

  • Tom Carty

    The fuss and disruption which the new translation of the ordinary form of the mass will inevitably cause, hte squabbles and misunderstandings over literal translation against paraphrase and whether faithful translation into English from Latin need be so latinate which will fill the pages of the catholic press and fogeyish blogs is a tiresome prospect indeed. Just when (thanks to the pope’s briliiant compromise solution to the last liturgical war between the tridentine and pauline forms of the mass) we thought it was safe to assume the most important thing in our lives would no longer be the object of factional overheatingng. Let’s be clear:
    1.No translation can communicate exactly what a text  in another language says.
    2. Vernaculars change and what sounds ok now will have to be translated again in a couple of decades
    3. If you compare either English text not with the Latin original but with the translations in use in other languages, you find differences and not always insignificat ones. 
    SOLUTION: unchanging Latin used for both extraordinary and ordinary forms. You know it make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Why change the words – we pray with the heart and understand the context – the words may be changed but the people for the most part  will think and pray with the words they have grown accustomed to using. There are other more important concerns for the faithful that the vatican should be be addressing and in doing so perhaps  will win the hearts  and co-operation of the faithful who sadly for the most part consider the Vatican live in an ivory tower and are far from being in tune with the grass roots.   Mairead , Derry

  • Rob Hardman

    It will just hasten the decline of the Church!

  • Peter hickson

    Confusion, betrayal of Vatican 2, unreal set
    Of liturgical priorities and abrogation of the involvement of
    The laity in the year of the laity
    I object specifically to the unreal references to with your spirit, consubstantial and the loss of community in the creed with I replacing We
    The new text is demoralising and deserves
    A proper consultation with the people




  • Albert Nygren

    I see that also the Pope has decided to use Latin as the language in certain parts of the Mass in English speaking countries. I was a convert and don’t know Latin so that part is gibberish to me. I also believe that even cradle Catholics don’t really know the meanings of the Latin in the Mass so that the Spiritual meaning of that part of the mass is lost to them also.

    I have read that one of the reasons for the new translation of parts of the Mass is that they are closer to the meanings of the original Latin Mass. I hope that all clergy know that Latin was was not the “original” language of the Mass. That the Mass done in Greek for the first 300 years and was changed to Latin because the people no longer understand Greek. Latin was the common language of the people on the street, hence, St. Jerome’s translation of the Greek Bible into Latin was called the Vulgate Vulgate comes from the Latin vulgar which means “common”.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with these changes.  They are unnecessary and are making people feel alienated.  I feel as if I have hung on to my faith in the face of much adversity and negative publicity only to be asked to jump through some more hoops.  Also, I have noticed that some people who are poor readers, short sighted etc. are having real difficulty in praying along with everyone else.  All you are doing is excluding people from being involved in the mass.

  • Kelleybrown

    You say “we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text.”  How about a text that is more faithful to the teachings of Jesus?

  • Peace2you28

    to get it closer to the latin text.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_226HJFSQTAXRVXOUNCBCDKTT6A Hans J

    The Mass evolved over centuries. It isn’t something that “we do” for God, it’s something that God does for US. Yet some priests and people since Vatican II, have tinkered with it as if it were a “thing” that could be made more “meaningful” with increased “involvement” and hand clapping all around. Christianity is a MYSTERY religion. Intellect and understanding take us only so far. There is a point where belief kicks in, independent of “understanding”, and our mystery of faith is tied to majesty. Majesty isn’t expressed by receiving the Eucharist as if it were a snack food. Whatever kind of Mass we attend, Tridentine, Novus Ordo, or Eastern Rite, Christ is present on the altar. If revising the text and order of Mass make it more reverent, perhaps people will remember that Christ is on the altar, and give the same (or more) respect and ceremony  to Him that they would give to a visiting head of state or a pop star.

    When one plays Bach on the organ, one doesn’t ask if the music is meaningful or relevant, or tinker with the notes. One gives himself/herself up to the music and submits “self” to its demands. The “return” is immeasurable. So to is the “return” that we get when we submit “self” to the Mass, which is a VEHICLE of GRACE, connected to our ancestors and the Church Triumphant, as well as to “us” in the here and now. Writer Annie Dillard (a Protestant) once attended a Catholic Mass. She was surprised at its lax and informal atmosphere, and said that if those present really believed that God was present on the altar, they would have fallen to their KNEES.

  • Peterdblyth

    Mass in Arameic would be so much more intelligble – of course. The Passover meal involved the use of hieratic Hebrew – just how fluent are you in either of these?

  • Will

    I was unaware of anyone concerned that the mass might be an inferior Latin translation. There must be more important things for people to be doing than this fiddling.

  • Alnrn78

    The Bishop says, “In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in it’s theological content and allusions to the scriptures.” I am not arguing that the new changes are not better but asking, what is it with the Churches infatuation with Latin? The New testament scriptures were written in Greek and the Mass was conducted in Greek for the first 300 years; why would the Latin translation of the Greek text be better than the Greek text itself?

    It is my experience that no translation is better than the Original so why not go back to the Original Greek? I have that same question as to why the Church in America is including more Latin in the Mass. I don’t know Greek but I don’t know Latin either. For me as an English Native Speaker, I get the most inspiration and education in all of the Mass being in English. It is a real loss for me to have some of the richest and most meaningful of the responses of the Mass changed into a Language (Latin) that I don’t understand. It is like jibberish to me and it reminds me of St. Paul’s message that it is better for something said in the mass to have meaning rather than that which has no meaning to the participant (He was talking about speaking in tongues but I think it applies here also).

    You might tell me that I should learn the meaning of the Latin responses that are now included in the Mass but even if I do that, they will still not have the richness of meaning that the English translations of the original Greek have. It is ironic that in the 300′s the mass was changed to the Latin because the “people no longer could understand Greek and Latin was the language of the people back then. Now English is the language of the people in the USA but parts of the Mass have returned to the Latin which the people no longer understand.

    Sincerely Albert Nygren

  • AnomynousCatholic

    at school ive learnt the old mass and now its changing 
    its just confusing

  • Terezia

    There are fewer and fewer Catholic priests nowadays and the existing ones are generally older men. In our area they are aged between 50 and late 70-s and not in the best of health, but still soldiering on. My heart goes out to them as they struggle through a now convoluted Mass, having to stand for even longer and having to read carefully every word of the mass because of these changes. Some are well beyond retiring age. The Church should show them consideration and gratitude instead of burdening them further. It doesn’t go unnoticed by us, parishioners. Didn’t Jesus Christ say that in our communication with God we should keep to the point and not use longwinded language?

    “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”, this is the most beautiful expression of faith in Jesus Christ and sums up the meaning of the communion perfectly. and to replace it with a ridiculous attempt of literal translation is, in my mind, equal to verbal vandalism (if there is such a thing).We, parishioners, are not Roman centurions and are not asking Jesus to heal our servant from a distance because of feeling unworthy to invite him to our abode. We are, similarly to the centurion, professing our unworthiness of receiving Christ in the host but asking him to heal us, believing that he can heal our own spiritual, emotional,  and physical injuries and ills caused by life around us and by our own human failings. To talk about a roof in this context seems totally inappropriate to me and I feel quite sore about it.

    It has been good to be able to say the Apostles’ Creed in this Easter period, as it is so much more clear and to the point than the other, convoluted creeds.

    If there was anything that perhaps should have been changed in the Mass, it would be the timing of the hand-shaking. If only it could be after the communion and not before it! Sometimes I shuddered as I was about to shake the hands of people who had been sneezing and coughing into their hands not to mention other none too clean acts which is unhygienic and in some cases can even be revolting. I do think that shaking hands with fellow parishioners is a good thing, and I welcome it, as long as it happens after communion.
    It comes down to consideration, again, and maybe changes that are made should also carry signs of consideration, which means in effect: signs of compassion.

  • Nonsumdignos

    Funny, people are so worried of themselves that they no longer see the true meaning of being catholic, We are Catholics called to obedience to Christ our Lord and to His Church, which He called the 
    ‘Ground and Pillar of Truth” where in He gave the primacy to St. Peter and the power of binding and losing, and He said “he who hears you, hears Me, and hears the one who sent Me” 
    Now, some are complaining about the translation for the reason as they stated that there are more important concerns, that its a betrayal of the laity and abrogation of involvement of the laity, that its hard to follow, that there’s no money to buy a new missal, that it is sexiest and elite. 
    Please i say to you the Holy Mass is the MOST IMPORTANT CONCERN since it is the prayer of the Church, how can you possibly enjoy the prayer if its meaning is very far from what it originally intend to  mean, would you appreciate Shakespeare’s literature if its re-writin in hockey pockey English? how can you call this a betrayal and abrogation of the involvement of the laity? its only a translation of the English Missal!! no prohibition for the participation of the laity is stated therein; and its only proper that we use “I” in the creed instead of “We” since the creed is a Personal Confession of belief, each people are called to profess what they believe that’s why the Church used “I” (Credo). 
    No money? well do you doubt the Goodness of God? or you just lose Faith in Him? God WILL PROVIDE!!. Sometimes we tend to limit God’s Goodness with our narrow and human mind. And for the old priest, they are doing their job as a servant of Christ and the Church, soon Christ will comfort them with this words “You have done well my faithful servant” and what joy will it be. 
    And lastly that it is sexiest, The Church had always uphold the rights of Men and Women, in the Gloria when you say “peace to men of goodwill” It DOES NOT excluded women, by “Hominibus” we mean all people, when you say mankind do you only refer to men? no! as I’ve said women rule in the Church is very important, and the Church had already allowed to much freedom for them, even allowing altar girls.
    We must remember that what is important here is not what “I Believe or I think” it should be what “Christ taught us through the Holy Church” we are obliged to obey, Religion is not a choice it is an obligation, a continued commitment to Truth, Hope and Love.

    laudetur Jesus Cristus et Maria Imaculata in saecula saeculorum.Amen

  • Joe

    We live our lives now.   Faith is in our hearts and it’s what we believe.  Instead of marginalizing groups as the Church has always done why is it not more embracing.  Does it matter if the words we say are in the language we use today. MOVE ON  It is the message that is important.  Latin is not taught in most of our schools.   So to pass on our faith accordingly we should talk to our children accordingly.  It does not make you more reverent to start spouting in Latin.  Let people find God in a way that is comfortable for them.  That is Truth, Hope and Love

  • Marion Jones7

    Another step backwards I feel - are there not other more important isssues to address

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Albert-Nygren/100000252252388 Albert Nygren

    I already typed it but I don’t see it here yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Albert-Nygren/100000252252388 Albert Nygren

    It’s interesting that my remarks are not posted as I was not more critical of the article than others just more lengthy.