WASHINGTON (June 21, 1998) -- U.S. Catholic Bishops have completed their action on a new edition of the Lectionary for Mass, voting to submit Volume II of the Scripture readings used at Mass for Vatican confirmation.
Final action by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will provide Catholics in the United States with a new edition of the book of Scriptures read at Mass for the first time since 1971.
The Bishops cast their ballots Friday during their annual Spring meeting held in Pittsburgh. With 179 votes required for passage, or two-thirds of the active Latin-rite Bishops in the United States, the action item passed on a 196 to 6 vote. There were two abstentions.
The new Lectionary incorporates a revised translation of the New Testament available since 1986, and retains the 1970 New American Bible translation of the Old Testament, including the Psalms. In cases where the original text was not gender specific, certain words and phrases (such as "whoever" and "anyone") were used to achieve greater inclusivity, but maximum fidelity to bibilcal texts was a fundamental criterion in preparing the revised edition of the Lectionary. The new Lectionary never changes the biblical text in order to make it more inclusive.
In addition, the revised Lectionary includes an extensive introduction to provide theological and practical background, and additional readings for some solemnities and additonal options for Masses for Various Needs.
Volume I of the Lectionary for Mass, which contains readings for Sundays and Solemnities, was confirmed by the Holy See in October and has been approved for use in the Liturgy from the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 1998. Volume II, which contains readings for weekdays and other Masses, will be submitted to Rome in the next few weeks. A reply is anticipated before the end of the year.