March Meeting of the Committee on the Liturgy
On March 23, 1998 the bishop members and bishop consultants of the Committee on the Liturgy met at the NCCB headquarters in Washington, D.C. Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB, Chairman of the Committee, opened the meeting with a discussion of general issues related to the translation of liturgical texts and the approval process presently in use. During the discussion Father James Moroney, Executive Director, presented a preliminary report on the Translation Consultation requested by the Committee at its November 1997 meeting. He reported that he and Mr. Dennis McManus, Associate Director of the Secretariat for the Liturgy, had just returned from a two-week consultation with staff of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The meetings with the Congregation were very helpful in surfacing and clarifying areas of concern and agreement on issues surrounding the translation of liturgical texts and the confirmation process. Father Moroney also reported that he and Mr. McManus had met with members of the ICEL Secretariat and had consulted with a variety of other scholars and translators in preparation for the meetings in Rome. A report on the Translation Consultation will be presented to the Committee at its meeting in June.
Following the discussion of translation issues, the Committee received a progress report on the final editing of the second volume of the Lectionary for Mass. Volume II of the Lectionary, which contains the readings for weekdays, for votive Masses, and for the Commons, is approximately 3,300 pages in length. This second and final volume of the Lectionary will be discussed at the plenary session of the NCCB in Pittsburgh this June.
Bishop Roberto Gonzalez, OFM, updated the members of the Committee on several issues related to the Spanish translation of liturgical books. The Hispanic Liturgy Subcommittee is working on the final editing of the Sacramentario in preparation for submitting the text to the Congregation for Divine Worship for the confirmatio. At the June 1998 meeting of the Committee in Pittsburgh, the Hispanic Subcommittee will present a translation of the Appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals containing the texts for cremation. This Appendix is a Spanish translation of the English version already approved by the NCCB and available for use when cremation is chosen. If the Committee approves the text this June, the Appendix in Spanish will be presented to the NCCB for approval at the November 1998 plenary session.
Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB, Chairman of the Committee, informed committee members that he had met with representatives of the Committee on African American Catholics to discuss issues concerning cultural adaptation and liturgy. During 1999 the Liturgy Secretariat will work with the Committee for African American Catholics and other groups to discuss issues related to cultural adaptation in the liturgy and to help provide resources and assistance in this area.
The Committee received a rather extensive report on the form and composition of candles and oil lamps presently available for use in the liturgy. The staff of the Secretariat will continue to research the topic.
As part of his department report, Father Moroney informed the Committee that a new Staff Assistant, Mrs. Sharon L. Washington, had been hired to fill the position previously held by Mr. Sean Murphy. Mrs. Washington, a native of the District of Columbia, will join the Secretariat staff on April 1, 1998 and will handle meeting coordination, computer services and the Web page as well as general office duties.
The final action taken by the Committee on the Liturgy was the approval of the Secretariat's proposed Plans and Programs for 1999. These plans are used in the preparation of the Secretariat's budget and to determine priorities for the coming year.
Lectionary for Mass: Update
On February 13, 1998, the Secretariat sponsored a meeting with publishers interested in producing ritual, study or computer editions of the first volume of the second typical edition of the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America. After that meeting a preliminary date for "first use" of the new Lectionary for Mass on the First Sunday of Advent 1998 was proposed to Bishop Pilla. Licenses were recently signed with various publishers.
At the next plenary session of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 18-20, 1998, the bishops will discuss the second volume of the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America and conclude discussion of the translation of the Introduction. Should the bishops act favorably on the second volume, it will be immediately submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disicipline of the Sacraments for the requisite confirmatio.
Lectionary for Mass: Requirements for the Ritual Edition
On June 17,1997, the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy approved the following Editorial Requirements for granting the concordat cum originali for ritual editions of the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dicoeses of the United States of America. Three publishers have begun preparations for the publication of ritual editions. The following are the requirements which all ritual editions of the revised Lectionary for Mass must observe:
"Along with the ministers, the actions, the lectern, and other elements, the books containing the readings of the word of God remind the hearers of the presence of God speaking to his people. Since in liturgical celebrations the books too serve as signs and symbols of the sacred, care must be taken to ensure that they truly are worthy and beautiful" (General Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass [GILM], number 35).
In fulfillment of its obligation to ensure that each published edition of the Lectionary for Mass is worthy of its role in the liturgy, the Committee on the Liturgy through its Secretariat requires that certain conditions be met before approval is given for publication. Each of these requirements is set forth in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the Scriptural text and in order that each edition might reflect "the dignity of the word of God" (GILM 37).
- The full and integral typical text (including all front matter) must be included in each edition.
- Sense lines, as exemplified by the typical edition, must be observed in all cases.
- When multiple readings are printed on one page, page-breaks must allow each reading to be proclaimed in full, without page turns, to the extent this is possible.
- The format as it appears in the typical edition is to be followed. Any exception is to be given prior approval by the Secretariat for the Liturgy.
- Rubrics and editorial materials are to be printed in appropriate colors designating them as explanatory material. Texts intended for proclamation must be printed in a color, font and size suitable for proclamation. Samples of such texts should be submitted to the Secretariat at an early stage in the development of the edition of the Lectionary for Mass.
- The paper and binding of each edition of the Lectionary for Mass must be of an appropriate quality and durability. Cover and internal artwork must also be approved by the Secretariat for placement and appropriateness.
- Final judgments regarding suitability of a manuscript for approval by the Committee on the Liturgy rest with the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy.
- Three copies of each manuscript for which a publisher seeks the concordat must be submitted to the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy at least six weeks prior to the date the manuscript is needed by the publisher for printing.