WASHINGTON—USCCB Office of Public Affairs
The Catholic bishops of the U.S. met June 16-18 for their Spring General Assembly, in a virtual format. Their meeting agenda included votes on nine action items, three of which concerned liturgical topics.
The Latin Church members of the Conference voted to approve three translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) for use in the dioceses of the United States. They included a vote that concerned materials for the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, which was approved with 188 votes in favor, 2 against, and 0 abstentions. This memorial was added to the liturgical calendar in 2018 and is observed on the Monday following Pentecost. The second vote was on a collection of intercessions and prayers for the Liturgy of the Hours, which was likewise approved with 186 votes in favor, 3 against, and 1 abstention.
The retranslation of the Liturgy of the Hours is a large and ongoing project, and there are still several groups of texts that will need to be approved by the bishops in the coming years before the entire project can be completed. The bishops approved a new translation of the Order of Penance, with 182 votes in favor, 6 against, and 2 abstentions. This liturgical book is usually not needed for individual confessions but is particularly useful in the planning of parish penitential services. The votes for these three texts required affirmation by two-thirds of the Latin Church members and are subject to the confirmation of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.