As the Church in Italy introduced its new translation of the Roman Missal on November 29, 2020, the bishop in charge of its creation hopes the changes will help Catholics rediscover the beauty of the Mass.
In a November 26 interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language partner agency, Maniago said “the hope, therefore, is that, by welcoming the new edition of the missal, the desire to take this opportunity to rediscover the beauty and fruitfulness of the celebration of the Eucharist, in which she experiences and announces to everyone that Christ is alive, may arise in the Italian Church.”
Maniago is the bishop of Castellaneta and president of the Italian bishops’ conference’s liturgy commission, which was responsible for putting together the third edition of the Roman Missal.
The Roman Missal is the book containing the texts and prayers for the celebration of Mass throughout the year. The new Italian translation was used for the first time at Masses on November 29, the First Sunday of Advent and the start of a new liturgical year.
The project has taken years, with the Vatican giving final approval of the translation in June 2019.
Most of the changes from the second to third edition are in the words of the priest, including several changes from “voi fratelli” (brothers) to “voi fratelli e sorelle” (brothers and sisters). But there are also changes to lines in the Our Father and the Gloria.
The reason for the changes, Maniago said, was to have “a greater fidelity to the Latin text, so that its original meaning would not be altered, but rather it should be more and more specific.”
He pointed to the change in the Our Father. “This text so dear to Christians would not have been altered, if not to underline the deeper meaning of the prayer that Jesus taught, that is, to show the fatherhood of God,” the bishop said.
The new edition translates the penultimate line of the Our Father, “ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem” (lead us not into temptation, in Latin), as “non abbandonarci alla tentazione” (do not abandon us to temptation). The previous version had translated it as “non ci indurre in tentazione” (lead us not into temptation).
In the Gloria, the line “in térra pax homínibus bónae voluntátis” (on earth peace to people of good will) will be translated as “pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore” (peace on earth to men, loved by the Lord). Previously it was translated “pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà” (peace on earth to men of good will).
Maniago said that, though the changes will be uncomfortable at first, he believed Catholics would welcome the new translation with “the awareness that the missal is not a book like any other, but the text that preserves the Church’s obedience to the Lord, who asked us to celebrate in his memory the text that rules every Mass so that it is faithful to this tradition.”