As we mentioned earlier this year, a new English translation of the Roman Missal is being prepared. This will be used in English speaking countries throughout the Catholic Church. Just recently, this translation was released in final form for the United States of America, meaning it can be published and implemented in American parishes next year. It is likely that the same will happen for Australia in the not too distant future.
To help us learn more about this new translation, we’ll try to answer some of the key questions here over a period of time.
Is the Order of Mass going to change?
Essentially, this work of preparing a new edition of the missal centres around new translations of the prayer texts. As such, there are not going to be changes to the different parts of the Mass, or the order in which they occur during Mass.
You may recall a few years ago that two small changes were made to the Mass which affected everyone, namely standing immediately after the invitation to prayer after the gifts are prepared (that is, before saying “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands…”) and bowing before receiving communion. There were also some other changes that affected the roles of specific liturgical ministers. These are included in the introduction to the new missal, entitled the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. As the Vatican asked for the instruction to be translated and implemented separately, these changes have been in place now for some time before the release of the rest of the missal.
So when we finally do receive the new edition of the missal in published form, we will find that Mass will be celebrated in much the same way as we celebrate it now. There will be new words to us to say and listen to, but it will be the same Eucharistic celebration.