Ten years of work and consultation are now concluded with the introduction all over the English-speaking world in 2011 of the new translation of the texts of the Mass. The immediate timeline for introduction in the Diocese of Lismore, as throughout the Dioceses of Australia, is now presented.
By way of background it may be recalled that last March in the Bishop’s Letter in Catholic Life I announced that these new English texts were imminent, and the planning underway to prepare for their introduction in the Diocese. At the Clergy Conference in Yamba last November the priests and deacons became familiar with the explanatory resources for use in each parish, and shortly afterwards, at their November meeting in Lismore, the lay members of the Diocesan Parish Council from across the Diocese also learned the plans for commencing with the new translation. I have learned also that many parishioners have already been researching the new texts on the internet, and learning of the reasons why they are necessary and how they were prepared.
In the months ahead the priests in each parish will be leading the introduction process. A magnificent and very complete DVD resource of study and explanation is available in every parish for group and home use. (a computer is required). It is titled Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ. It is a fine instrument, not simply for introducing the whys and wherefores of the new text itself, but also to help everyone revisit their own understanding of the real meaning and power of the Mass in their faith and their life as a Catholic.
We are moving ahead with the whole Church in each English-speaking country. For everything to happen effectively, a great deal will depend on the practical programme each parish undertakes, and on the interest and participation of active Mass-going Catholics.
For instance, strong emphasis is placed, on Sundays and feasts especially, on singing the texts of the Mass itself, rather than just singing hymns at the beginning and end of Mass, and a few between. The main singing should be the dialogue responses between the priest and people throughout the Mass, and the texts of the Kyrie (Lord have Mercy), the Gloria (Glory to God), the Sanctus (Holy), and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). New music for all these texts, from the simple to the choral, is already available. Other settings which the Church has commissioned from composers will be approved for use as time goes on.
Stage One: The new settings of the above-mentioned texts of the Mass may be introduced immediately. The list of these settings was distributed to each parish on 8 December 2010.
Stage Two: Pentecost Sunday, 2011 (12th June) – the introduction of the responses and dialogues between priest and people. Between Easter and Pentecost immediate preparation organised in each parish should be undertaken, drawing upon the DVD resource. Laminated pew cards will be distributed in all churches during this time. Bear in mind that the actual changes for the people are quite small and quite few, such as "And with your spirit" instead of "And also with you." Some occur also in the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the ‘Lord, I am not worthy.’
Stage Three: The First Sunday of Advent 2011 (27 November) – The introduction of the full texts of the entire retranslated Missal. These include all the prayers, principally those prayed by the presiding priest and concelebrants.
A great moment approaches in which we can deepen and enliven our experience and appreciation of the power of the Eucharistic worship and praise of the One True God, in the community of our believing brothers and sisters in every parish. Let us all seize the opportunity and let the new texts speak to the depths of our Catholic faith.
Catholic Life March 2010 Pages 3 and 4: New English Texts
Catholic Life March 2010 page 18: New Mass will address current deficiencies