May 15, 2010

News and Views

Online Edition: May 2010
Vol. XVI, No. 3

News and Views

Vatican Approves English Missal Translation | Vox Clara Presents — DVD On New Roman Missal | ICEL Chants for Mass | Archbishop Aymond on Liturgy Changes | Bishops Give Directives on Tabernacle Placement | Gestures & Postures at Mass

Vatican Approves English Missal Translation

The English translation of the Roman Missal received official approval from the Holy See. The recognitio, dated March 25, was announced at the nineteenth meeting of the Vox Clara committee held April 28-29, 2010. The press release from Vox Clara, received just as this issue of AB was going to press, said, in part:

The meeting opened with the happy announcement that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had completed its work of reviewing the English language edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia. Following careful consideration of the advice provided over the past eight years by the members of the Vox Clara Committee, a final text was arrived at by the Congregation, confirmed by a decree dated 25 March, 2010 (Prot. 269/10/L) and signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect, and Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., Secretary to the Congregation.

Pope Benedict XVI’s address thanking Vox Clara members for their years of work on this occasion is on page 3 of this issue.

The English translation of the Liturgy of the Hours is expected to be the next project the Vox Clara group will oversee.


Vox Clara Presents — DVD on New Roman Missal

A video presentation, “A New Translation for a New Roman Missal”, provides detailed information about the new English translation of the Missal in a most interesting way. A unique aspect of this DVD is that it features comments by both the current and past Cardinal Prefects of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW), as well as from bishops from English-speaking countries who are members of Vox Clara, the committee that has been working with the CDW on the English Missal translations since the first drafts appeared.

The principal presenter is Monsignor James Moroney, of Worcester, Massachusetts, who is executive secretary of the Vox Clara committee, and who also served in that capacity at the US bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship from 1996-2007. He is also a consultor to the CDW.

Monsignor Moroney gives a highly informative introduction on the historical background of the Roman Missal. He explains why the new translation is important and how it developed. He also gives an in-depth look at the changes to various prayers of the Missal, including the Confiteor (“I Confess…”), the Gloria, the Ecce Agnus Dei (“Behold the Lamb of God…”), and four Eucharistic Prayers.

The DVD features brief interviews with several members of the Vox Clara committee, and more extensive commentary by the following:

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the CDW, 2003-2009
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, current Prefect of the CDW
Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, president of Vox Clara
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, member of Vox Clara
Archbishop Alfred Hughes, emeritus archbishop of New Orleans, member of Vox Clara and
Father Anthony Ward, SM, under-secretary of the CDW.

This DVD, produced by the Midwest Theological Forum, provides an opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation for the Sacred Liturgy. It will be a very useful tool for pastoral preparation and catechesis before the new translation of the Missal is introduced.

Information on the DVD from Midwest Theological Forum:


ICEL Chants for Mass

Chant settings for the new Missal texts produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) are readily accessible on the ICEL web site:

A notice on the ICEL site states: “It is important to note that the texts and music available on this site are for study rather than immediate liturgical use as definitive versions will not be available until the bishops’ conferences have determined a date for the implementation of the Missal.”

Last May, Monsignor Anthony Sherman, director of the secretariat of the US bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, in a note to publishers, stressed that the new ICEL music “is provided for catechetical purposes”.

While chant settings (also produced by ICEL) are included in the edition of the Missal in current use, Monsignor Sherman’s note also said that it had not yet been determined if these particular chant settings will appear in the final edition of the English translation of the new Missal.

Information about ICEL’s copyright rules is also available on the web site:


Archbishop Aymond on Liturgy Changes

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, chairman-elect of the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW), commented in a March interview on the new Missal translation and changes.

The interview appeared in the March 6 edition of the New Orleans archdiocesan newspaper, the Clarion Herald.

Vox Clara committee member Archbishop Alfred Hughes is archbishop emeritus of New Orleans, a coincidence his successor noted in the interview.

Archbishop Aymond noted that the BCDW will next be overseeing the translations for the Lectionary and other sacraments — pointing out that he will be chairman of the BCDW for only three years, but “this is a committee that has its work cut out for it for many, many years to come”.

The archbishop commented on some of the forthcoming changes in the new Missal:

As far as “sounding” different, most of the prayers that we say in common and many of the prayers that the presider says will have changes in language.

People will ask, “We’ve been using these prayers since Vatican II, so why is there a need for change?”

This is where we must recognize that we are not the church of the United States or the church of Asia or the church of Brazil. We are the church of the world. There was concern throughout the world that there be a better translation.

The translation we will be using will be a more literal translation of the Latin instead of a paraphrase. Obviously, the meaning does not change, but in some cases it will be clearer. In other cases, the new English-language translation might at first sound a little bit different, but these new prayers will become a habit.

Just as we have learned these prayers since Vatican II, we can learn new ones. Sometimes little changes like this can help us take another look at the whole prayer and say, “Oh, this is what it means”, instead of just taking it for granted.

Asked about his reaction to early liturgical changes, the archbishop commented,

The biggest change I can remember is when I was in eighth grade at St. James Major when we turned the altar around and
celebrated the Mass in English.

That was a big deal. I remember as an altar server going to presentations for the whole parish where this was talked about and we were prepared.

I do think one of the challenges that we saw after Vatican II is that we did not prepare people adequately for the changes, and so there were a lot of people who felt left out and did not understand.

That’s one of the things we’re trying to make sure we address appropriately and accurately this time.

Archbishop Aymond will succeed Bishop Arthur Serratelli as chairman of the BCDW following the US bishops’ November 2010 meeting.

A note at the end of the interview in the Clarion Herald said that questions for Archbishop Aymond can be e-mailed to [email protected].


Bishops Give Directives on Tabernacle Placement

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria issued a statement on Holy Thursday concerning placing the tabernacle in churches in a central position. In a letter to the clergy and parishioners of his diocese Bishop Jenky wrote,

The Mass, of course, is our most important act of worship — the very source and summit of all we do as a Church. A profound reverence for the Reserved Sacrament is also intrinsically related to the Eucharistic liturgy.

The Reserved Sacrament must therefore be treated with the greatest possible respect, because at all times the Blessed Sacrament within that tabernacle, as in the Eucharistic Liturgy, is to be given that worship called latria, which is the adoration given to Almighty God.… The Sacrament is reserved not only so that the Eucharist can be brought to the dying and to those unable to attend Mass, but also as the heart and locus of a parish’s prayer and devotion.

Bishop Jenky wrote,

I am therefore asking that those few parish churches and chapels where the tabernacle is not in the direct center at the back of the sanctuary, that these spaces be redesigned in such a way that the Reserved Sacrament would be placed at the center.

Bishop Jenky makes allowance for cases where this would pose serious difficulties, and allowed five years for parishes to comply. His directive on tabernacle placement is accessible on the web site of The Catholic Post:

Last year, on the feast of Corpus Christi (June 14, 2009), Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend issued a detailed pastoral letter on tabernacles, “Norms for the Placement and Design of the Tabernacle in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend”.

Bishop D’Arcy’s letter gives guidelines for placement, outlines principles of design, and provides a review of relevant Church documents. This letter, which provides useful information for parishes, is accessible on the diocesan web site:


Gestures & Postures at Mass

In response to reader requests, the list of gestures and postures during Mass that appeared in the February 2010 issue of Adoremus Bulletin is now especially formatted for printing (8 1⁄2” x 11”, two-sided). This is available as a PDF file on our web site or you can download from google documents.



The Editors