A new English translation of the Roman Missal next year will replace text used at Mass that is familiar to church-going Catholics. The changes will begin on the first Sunday of Advent 2011.
The Missale Romanum (the Roman Missal), the ritual text for the celebration of the Mass, was first promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as the text of the reformed liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. A second edition followed in 1975. Pope John Paul II issued a Latin revised version of the Missale Romanum in 2002.
The English translation of the revised Roman Missal has been completed, and the bishops of the United States approved the final sections of the text in November 2009.
The new translation is a more faithful translation of the Latin prayers and considered a more beautiful rendering of Latin into English that allows Catholics to worship with more reverence, beauty and devotion.
The original English translation was more in keeping with the way English in spoken, the Rev. Vernon P. Decoteau, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Belchertown, explained.
“But a lot of the richness, theology and beauty of the Latin text did not come across in the original English translation. It was shorter, to the point, functional and how we’d say it as an American.” The new translation, he said, is more faithful to the Latin and thus “a more beautiful translation of the prayers, more spiritual rather than cut and dry.”
The English translation of the Roman Missal also will include updated translation of some of the well-known responses and acclamations of the people and of some existing prayers, including The Creed, for example, which will begin “I believe” rather than “We believe” to be more in keeping with the sense of the Latin “Credo.”