Draft Translation of the Ordo Missae
On February 13, 2004, the Bishop members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops received a draft translation of the Ordo Missae of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, as prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). In accordance with the statutes governing ICEL, a consultation of all member conferences precedes the completion of a final draft of any translation. The text the bishops have received, therefore, is referred to as the "Green Cover Translation." Once the bishops have returned their comments on this draft, the Episcopal board of ICEL will then produce a final edition of the translation. This second text will then be submitted to each member Episcopal Conference for a deliberative vote. The last stage of the process involves the review of a conference-approved text by the Holy See for the requisite confirmatio.
Bishop Arthur Roche, the Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds and Chairman of ICEL, noted in his letter to all English-speaking Conferences of February 2, 2004 that ICEL has done its best to ensure that the translation meets the requirements of Liturgiam authenticam (LA) and other relevant directives of the Holy See.
To assist the bishops in their evaluation, Father Bruce Harbert, the Executive Director of the ICEL Secretariat, prepared a video presentation which accompanied copies of the draft text. In his remarks, Father Harbert provided a summary rationale for a number of the changes being introduced. Additionally, brief written notes accompanied the ICEL text.
The ICEL draft translation of the Ordo Missae has observed the specific directives of Liturgiam authenticam, 56 regarding the translation of two important elements of the liturgy: "Certain expressions that belong to the heritage of the whole or of a great part of the ancient Church, as well as others that have become part of the general human patrimony, are to be respected by a translation that is as literal as possible, as for example the words of the people's response Et cum spiritu tuo [And with your spirit], or the expression mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa [through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevous fault] in the Act of Penance of the Order of Mass."
As well, the ICEL draft text of the Creed is now rendered in accordance with the directive of LA, 65: "The Creed is to be translated according to the precise wording that the tradition of the Latin Church has bestowed upon it, including the use of the first person singular, by which is clearly made manifest that the confession of faith is handed down in the Creed, as it were, as coming from the person of the whole Church, united by means of the Faith." Hence, the Creed now begins with the words, I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty.
Other changes have also been proposed. The draft translation of the Gloria can be seen to parallel the Latin structure of that prayer more closely than the present English text does. The Preface dialogue is notably different in proposing that the second of the three exchanges between priest and people be revised from its present, Lift up your hearts/We have lifted them up to the Lord, to a new text, Let our hearts be lifted high/We hold them before the Lord. The first line of the Sanctus would read, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of mighty Hosts, rather than in its present form, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. In the Communion Rite, the people's response to the This is the Lamb of God would be altered from Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed, to Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed -- echoing more clearly the words of the centurion (Mt.8.8) from which the prayer was taken. A number of changes in the texts used by the priest have also been proposed.
Responses from individual bishops will be received by the ICEL Secretariat in preparation for review by the ICEL Episcopal Board in July, 2004. Following its consideration and revision of this proposed draft, as mentioned above, ICEL will then issue a final draft translation for consideration by all English-speaking Episcopal conferences.
Texts for the Liturgical Commemoration of Saints and Blesseds
In recent years, the Secretariat for the Liturgy has received repeated inquiries concerning the liturgical commemoration of recently canonized or beatified individuals. Such requests have come from diocesan Bishops, congregations of religious, and even individual priests.
Following the beatification or canonization of a founder of a religious congregation, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will frequently be called upon to confirm a set of Mass prayers for the liturgical commemoration of the saint or blessed. Customarily, a single collect is approved for a blessed (with the remainder of the Mass set taken from the common of the saints) and a full set of collect, prayer over the gifts, closing prayer and related texts will be confirmed for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours commemorating a canonized saint. Such texts may be used only by the religious community seeking the Congregation's confirmation and by those communities upon whose calendar the saint or blessed is inscribed. The texts may not be published, distributed or used by any other community or priest.
Other religious communities or dioceses may seek to inscribe the name of a particular saint or blessed on their calendar. After approval of the particular calendar by the proper superior or Bishop, such calendars require confirmation by decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Once the saint or blessed has been inscribed on a confirmed calendar, the approved and confirmed texts may be published and distributed for liturgical use. Such texts should, however, clearly note that the prayers may not be used in Masses outside the territory or community for which they have been approved.
It may be noted that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 355, provides for the following liturgical commemorations:
b. On the weekdays of Advent before December 17, the weekdays of the Christmas Season from January 2, and the weekdays of the Easter Season, it is possible to choose either the weekday Mass, or the Mass of the Saint, or the Mass of one of the Saints whose memorial is observed, or the Mass of any Saint listed in the Martyrology for that day.
c. On the weekdays in Ordinary Time, it is possible to choose either a weekday Mass, or the Mass of an optional memorial which happens to occur on that day, or the Mass of any Saint listed in the Martyrology for that day, or a Mass for Various Needs, or a Votive Mass.
In applying this provision, it should be kept in mind that the priest electing to celebrate a saint in the Roman Martyrology (i.e., any canonized saint) who is not inscribed on the particular calendar which governs his celebration of the Mass should use only the texts from the common of the saints. In addition, the provision in GIRM, no. 355 applies only to canonized saints, and not to blesseds, who may not be liturgically commemorated except in those places where they have been inscribed on an approved and confirmed calendar.
Meeting of National Liturgy Secretaries
The National Liturgy Secretaries of nine Conferences of Bishops where English is spoken met with representatives of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy at the English College in Vallidolid, Spain on February 8-11, 2003. In Attendance were Mr. Larry Willet (ICEL), Rev. Patrick Jones (Ireland), Rev. Camille Jacques (Canada), Rev. Andrew McKenzie (Scotland), Mr. Toshimitsu Miyakoshi (Japan), Rev. Peter Williams (Australia), Sr. Jordanna Maher, O.P. (South Africa), Rev. Allen Morris (England), Mr. Peter Finn (ICEL), Monsignor James Moroney (USA), Bishop Donald Reece (Antigua), Bishop Arthur Roach (ICEL chair), Bishop Peter Kihara (Kenya), and Rev. Bruce Harbert (ICEL Director). Also in attendance were the National Liturgy Secretaries of Germany and Japan, and Reverend Dennis Gill of the North American College in Vatican City.
The secretaries reported on recent liturgical agenda items of their respective Conferences and were introduced to the new ICEL translation of the Order of Mass. Since the early 1970's the secretaries of English-speaking countries have customarily met every five years.
Vox Clara Committee Press Release
The Vox Clara Committee met for the fifth time from March 9-11, 2004 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from around the English-speaking world was established on July 19, 2001, to give advice to the Congregation regarding matters of liturgical translations of Latin liturgical texts into the English language, and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.
The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Sydney (Australia). Present at this meeting were Members Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Agra (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Westminster (England); Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia), and Archbishop Terence Prendergast, S.J. Halifax (Canada). Other Members of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, are His Eminence Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland), and Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., Prelate of Infanta (Philippines). In attendance were the following Advisors to the Committee: Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Monsignor Gerard McKay (Rome); Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA),;Professor Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA).
In the course of their meeting the Committee provided advice to the Congregation to expedite the completion of an English language vernacular edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia. A report was received on the progress and processes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
At the request of the Congregation, the Committee examined a translation of the Order of Mass recently completed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. While the details of the text are presently under consideration by the Bishops of the member Conferences of ICEL, the Committee was able to abstract certain observations and questions in regard to the mixed commission's application of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam to this translation. The general assessment of the text was positive, with many sections exhibiting a fine grasp of the precision and memorability required of vernacular editions of Roman liturgical books. To ensure the development of a strong and contemporary English style, general suggestions for improvement of the text were offered to the Congregation as an assistance and support to the mixed commission. The Committee expressed appreciation to ICEL for the significant progress it has made thus far and acknowledges the formidable task which still remains.
Finally, the Committee, at the request of the Congregation, reviewed a series of responses gathered from a consultation of the Bishops of English-speaking Conferences of Bishops on the Ratio Translationis for the English Language. This instrument describes the principles of translation of the Roman editiones typicae into the English language and is intended to benefit Bishops, translators, and other specialists engaged in this important work.
His Eminence Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments addressed the Committee on March 10, 2004 and, expressing the gratitude of the Congregation to the members of the Committee, engaged in a discussion with the members of the Vox Clara Committee concerning their work.
The next meeting of the Vox Clara Committee is scheduled for November, 2004.