USCCB News Release
May 12, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bishops To Vote In June On English Translation Of 'Proper Of Seasons' Prayers From The Roman Missal
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops will vote at their June general meeting on the English translation of the Proper of Seasons portion of the Roman Missal. The Proper of Seasons contains the proper prayers (the opening Collect, the Prayer over the Offerings, and the Prayer after Communion) for the Masses of the Seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter as well as the Sundays of Ordinary Time and the Solemnities and holy days of obligation.
This text is the second of twelve sections or units of material into which the content of the Roman Missal has been divided for translation purposes. The first section, the Order of the Mass, was approved by the bishops in June 2006. The Committee on Divine Worship anticipates presenting several units (or "Gray Books") at each plenary meeting in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
As each unit is approved, it will be submitted to the Holy See for confirmation (recognitio) by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Once all the sections have been approved, the Roman Missal will be published and promulgated for use in the dioceses of the United States.
The process is usually meticulous and fully consultative. For this particular section, early in 2006 the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) sent to the English-speaking conferences of bishops (including the USCCB) the first draft (or Green Book) of the Proper of Seasons, which was then forwarded to all Latin Church members of the USCCB for review and comments. A total of 583 particular suggestions came from bishops. The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy organized and summarized them and sent a synthesis of the bishops' concerns to ICEL.
Among the concerns expressed by the Committee were the form of English-language conclusions, the use of certain arcane words and phrases, and the difficulties for proclamation and memorability which result from the translation of single-sentence Latin prayers.
ICEL then provided a second draft (Gray Book) which strives to maintain a balance between fidelity to the original Latin text and resolving problems of syntax and vocabulary in the English language pointed out in earlier comments and observations. The draft was then sent again to the bishops who had until May 10 to offer final modifications or amendments.
Approval of this item requires the positive vote of two-thirds of the Latin Church members of the USCCB and subsequent confirmation by the Holy See.
The Bishops' spring meeting will be held June 12-14, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. To request credentials or information, contact the Department of Communications at 202-541-3200.