So if by chance you haven’t heard, come Advent 2011 the Catholic Church in the US (and other English speaking countries) will be using a revised translation of the Roman Missal, the text followed when saying Mass. After Vatican II the Missale Romanum (Latin for Roman Missal) was set as the “definitive text” of the Liturgy. Since it was in Latin, it obviously had to be translated into other languages, and apparently there were quite a few, umm, liberties taken by those who translated it into English. So after about 40 years with a mediocre translation, efforts were made to better align the English text with its Latin counterpart.
As a result, our Roman Missal has undergone more than a dozen changes (far more than other countries such as Spain, whose Missals are also being slightly revised). Though these changes have already been approved by both the USCCB (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome, the new Missal won’t be used until Advent 2011 to allow time for the education of both clergy and laity.
So a few notable changes:
- “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” added in the middle of the Penitential Act
- When the Priest says, “The Lord be with you” and we respond “And also with you”, we will now respond “And also with your spirit”
- A few changes in the Nicene Creed (“of all things visible and invisible”, “consubstantial with the Father”)
- Different Mysteries of Faith (“Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.”, “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.”)
- “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, only say the word and I shall be healed” is replaced with “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. (I’ll cop to being a little sad about this change – that was my favorite line of the whole Mass!)
For those of you familiar enough with the Mass that you know by heart some of the Eucharist prayers, they are completely different. So in some ways the Mass will feel a little foreign. But as we are One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the texts followed at a Mass in the US should match as perfectly as possible the texts read at a Mass in Europe or Africa or Latin America. These changes are ultimately a good thing, they’re making our text more true to Tradition, the Bible and/or the Mass as the universal Church celebrates it.
Check out the new Roman Missal so you can start to familiarize yourself with it. And share the link with your Catholic friends because we need to help the Church spread the word!
I’ve since written a longer post on the changes to the Mass, which includes more of the changes to the texts: More Changes to the Mass. You may also want to check out: To A Deeper Understanding of the Mass. God bless!