Missal Resources

New Roman Missal – Coming Advent 2011


November 11, 2011 – Four-part video presentation given by Fr. Bill Burke from the National Liturgy Office at the Study Day to the Clergy of the Diocese of Peterborough. These videos address the changes to the translation of the Mass. Check the sidebar on the right.

We’re getting a new edition of the Roman Missal…and some things have changed!

On November 27, 2011, the First Sunday of Advent, our Mass will sound a little different. We will be using a newly revised Roman Missal during the Mass. The Roman Missal contains the Order of the Mass, or the way we celebrate Holy Eucharist, with all its accompanying prayers and responses. During the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II promulgated a third edition of the Roman Missal first issued by Pope Paul VI.

Anyone who owns a house knows that any building needs to be repaired and renovated after a decade or two, so that the beauty of the original structure can be maintained or even enhanced. We give the walls a new coat of paint, strip and refinish the hardwood floors, put in more insulation, and perhaps include an addition or two to meet the needs of a growing family. Something similar is happening with our Roman Missal.

The upcoming third edition of the Roman Missal contains the same Order of the Mass that was promulgated after the Second Vatican Council. This Order of the Mass follows the Council Father’s mandate for liturgical renewal and reform. But many things have happened since the new Order of the Mass was promulgated in 1969, and even since the second edition was implemented for use in Canada in 1983. For example: we have received from the Holy See additional Eucharistic Prayers; many saints were canonised and their feast days were added to the liturgical calendar of the Church; and the rules for the way we translate the Church’s ritual texts from the original Latin into the vernacular have changed. All of these factors have required a new edition of the Roman Missal. Roman Catholic episcopal conferences, international committees, and the Holy See are working on implementation throughout the world.

One of the most noticeable adjustments that will affect all of us is the way the original Latin texts have been translated into the English language. In the earlier editions of the Roman Missal, the method of translation laid heavy emphasis on the way the receiving community would hear and understand the text. As a result, many of the prayers were substantially simplified to reflect contemporary English usage. Some texts were added which were not found in the original Latin editions. In 2001, the Holy See changed the manner in which liturgical texts are to be translated. Now, translators have to give particular attention to maintaining biblical references, employ inclusive language where possible, avoid simplifying the words and phrases into contemporary terms, and ensure as much continuity as possible between the original text promulgated in Latin and the translated text in English. In other words, the Holy See has a great desire to guarantee that translated texts in the English language mirror, as much as possible, the original texts found in the newest edition of the Missal promulgated in Latin.

What will this mean to our Parish Worship?

Over the past four decades, parish communities have memorised the prayers and responses sung or spoken during the Mass. We know them by heart. Once we implement the newest edition of the Roman Missal, we will have to learn the various new translations of those prayers and responses. Also, we will have to attune our ears to a more formal sound conveyed by the words and sentence structures of the prayer texts. We will need to refresh our attention skills and practice, again and again, our acclamations and responses until we know the new translations by heart. This will require time, effort, patience, and openness by the entire community.

Part of the Roman Missal also includes the way in which we celebrate the Mass. As most of us are aware, the Mass is comprised of many parts, rituals, and actions. It takes some guidance to ensure that all of these parts flow gracefully and in a unified fashion so that we may clearly and more fully experience the great mysteries that we celebrate and encounter during our Eucharist. There are instructions and rubrics in the Roman Missal that help the presider, others involved in various liturgical ministries, and the assembly to worship well. These instructions and rubrics for celebrating the Mass have also been re-examined to ensure that clarity, good order, and reverence are expressed by the entire worshipping community throughout our Eucharist.

The Diocese of Peterborough is committed to helping its parishes know and understand the revisions that are part of the newest edition of our Roman Missal. We will gradually post information on our website regarding these changes, so that all may appreciate the beauty of our Eucharist and enter more readily into its celebration.

Diocese offering workshops

The Diocese of Peterborough is offering a workshop on the new translation of the Roman Missal – offered in four locations for the convenience of as many people as possible. These presentations, open to everyone, will address some of the history of Liturgy, and translation in general, while considering the specific challenges the new text will raise for musicians and for the congregation as a whole. The workshop will seek to acquaint music ministers with some new and revised Mass settings for the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and put everyone well on the road to readiness for its implementation on November 27th. These workshops are listed below and start at 10AM and conclude at 2PM:

Sept. 10 – St. Joseph’s (Bowmanville) 905 623-3233
Sept. 17 – St. Alphonsus (Peterborough) 705 745-8623
Sept. 24 – St. Joseph’s (Bracebridge) 705 645-2294
Oct. 1 – St. Mary’s (Lindsay) 705 324-4828

We strongly encourage all those involved in music ministry to attend one of these workshops. Please call the parish (numbers indicated above) of your choice to let them know of your attendance for material preparation. Sessions will start at 10AM with refreshments and continue through to 2PM. A $5 donation to cover refreshments and lunch would be appreciated.