Introduction of revised missal going smoothly in English-speaking nations
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bit by bit, the third edition of the Roman Missal is being introduced in parishes throughout the English-speaking world.
From Canada to southern Africa to New Zealand, Catholics have seen parts of the revised missal introduced at various times – most since January, but some earlier – so that by the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, the transition to a new set of prayers and liturgical music will be as seamless as possible for the faithful.
As the implementation moves forward, the liturgists charged with overseeing the missal's introduction in seven of the 10 English-speaking countries and regions outside of the U.S. making the transition said their efforts have eased concerns that the translation is a step back from the Second Vatican Council's vision for liturgy.
"The bishops here took the view that there should be an incremental approach to implementation," explained Father Peter Wiliams, executive secretary of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy in Australia.
The process began with the introduction of new musical settings in January, followed by the spoken parts of the Mass at Pentecost in June, Father Williams said. The Eucharistic prayers and other parts of the missal will be introduced Nov. 1 so that by Advent the transition will be completed.
The pace of each phase was left to local pastors, with some parishes moving more quickly and others more slowly depending on how well congregations welcomed them, Father Williams said.
The introduction of the English translation of the missal – under development since 2002 – is occurring in countries represented by the 11 bishops' conference members of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Member conferences include the U.S., Canada, Ireland, England and Wales, Scotland, southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana), India, Pakistan, Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.
The most recent translation of the Roman Missal is the third since Vatican II's call for the "full, conscious and active participation" of all Catholics in the liturgy. In introducing the third Latin translation in 2002, Pope John Paul II said it more closely matched the vivid language used throughout Church history.
The English translation took nearly seven years as representatives to ICEL debated the proper words that reflected the sacred language found in the latest Latin edition of the missal. The Vatican approved the English translation in 2009.
Disagreements emerged among U.S. bishops as the final translation was reviewed before it was sent to Rome for approval. Some bishops deemed it as elitist or remote from everyday speech. Despite the concerns, the American bishops overwhelmingly approved the translation.
In Ireland, the Association of Catholic Priests, which represents about 10 percent of the country's clergy, continued to object to the translation into 2011. In a March 28 statement, the association charged that the translation was "too complex and too cumbersome" and included sexist language. It also questioned its "theological veracity" and described the translation process as flawed.
Such challenges have not delayed implementation, however.
In New Zealand, where the introduction of the missal began last Advent and was to take one year, the attitude among the country's 560,000 Catholics largely has been to "just go on with the business," said Father Trevor Murray, director of the National Liturgy Office for the country's bishops.
"There are some people who are really happy about it and others not so happy," Father Murray said. "That's true of the priests as well as the people. But the majority of people are pragmatic about it."
Around the world the implementation has been boosted through workshops and meetings with key Church leaders aimed at explaining what the changes entail and their significance. Each bishops' conference has developed its own resources, including laminated cards in pews for worshippers, seminars and Web sites.
Perhaps the most widely used resource has been "Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ," an interactive DVD developed by ICEL. It explores the richness of the liturgy, explains the changes and examines why the changes are being made.
In Canada, Father William Burke, director of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Liturgy Office, has found people accepting of the changes – once the reasoning behind them is explained.
Father Burke has visited 27 Canadian dioceses to explain the changes and said he has found some anxiety and animosity over the revised text at each stop. As he reviews the translation and offers the reasoning behind them, he said he has seen the uncertainty wither.
"By and large," he said, I hear people saying, 'What's all the fuss about?' People realize this is not the devastation (of the liturgy) we heard."
Patrick Jones, director of the National Center for Liturgy in Ireland, said preparation for the revised missal began in early 2011 with workshops for priests followed by the introduction of the changes to diocesan and parish liturgy committees, parish council members and music ministers.
Parts of the Mass that directly involve the Irish faithful were to be introduced Sept. 11.
"This will enable Massgoers on Sundays and weekdays to be familiar with those changed parts" prior to the full implementation in Advent, Jones explained.
In the United Kingdom, which includes the bishops' conferences of Scotland and England and Wales, the implementation was to begin Sept. 4.
For Father Andrew McKenzie, secretary of the National Liturgy Commission in Scotland, the success won't be measured for quite some time.
"The real result will be seen after a couple of years on how well it is accepted," he said.
— Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service
Mecklenburg County Bar honors diocesan attorneyLucey recognized for distinguished service to families CHARLOTTE — It's hard to surprise a seasoned attorney, but the Mecklenburg County Bar managed to pull off an unexpected award presentation for Diocese of Charlotte attorney Richard Lucey...
PHOTO GALLERY: Crowning Mary during Family Rosary ProcessionCHARLOTTE — Patricia Jane (P.J.) Pickhardt crowns a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during the Family Rosary Procession sponsored by the Charlotte Catholic Women's Group on May 3 at St. Ann Church. Pickhardt, a parishioner at St. Ann Church,...
First healing Mass to be offered at St. Margaret ChurchMAGGIE VALLEY — Everyone is invited to a healing Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley. This first-ever healing Mass, sponsored by the Holy Spirit Charismatic Prayer Group, will be celebrated...
Monroe pastor leads pilgrimage to National Shrine of St. DymphnaMONROE — On a blustery day in March, Father Benjamin Roberts made good on a promise made to St. Dymphna more than 14 years ago. Father Roberts, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe, boarded a charter bus with 52 pilgrims from North...
Charlotte food pantry gets refrigeratorsCHARLOTTE — Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte's food pantry in Charlotte now offers perishable goods to clients, thanks to several refrigerators that were recently set up in the pantry at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Charlotte. Catholic...
Asheville parishioners honor Father Thomas on his 40th anniversary as priestASHEVILLE — Member of Asheville's historic St. Lawrence Basilica filled the church's Laurentine Hall recently to honor their pastor, Father Wilbur Thomas, on his 40th anniversary as a priest. Pictured: Father Wilbur Thomas, pastor and rector...
Holy Cross in Kernersville responds to call for life, liberty and marriageKERNERSVILLE — Parishioners at Holy Cross Church in Kernersville have been active in the U.S. bishops' campaign "Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty" that began earlier this year. The campaign launched by the U.S. Conference...
Consecration to the Sacred HeartHUNTERSVILLE — Latino Catholics gathered at St. Mark Church in Huntersville on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, for consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary. A similar gathering was held on Dec, 8, the Feast of the Immaculate...
St. John of Avila, diocesan priest, graces Our Lady of Lourdes ChapelMONROE — Thanks to an anonymous donor and the work of a talented North Carolina artist, parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Church have an original commissioned image of St. John of Avila in the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel. Father Benjamin...
Sacraments celebrated at St. Elizabeth of the Hill CountryBOONE — On May 1, 22 young adults at the parish received the sacrament of confirmation during Mass at St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Church in Boone celebrated by Bishop Peter J. Jugis. Eight children received their first Holy Communion...
Bishop Morneau: 'Gratitude is the key to good stewardship'CONCORD — Gratitude is the key to good stewardship. That was the message from Auxiliary Bishop Robert F. Morneau of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., to more than 225 stewardship leaders from the Carolinas and Georgia who gathered in Concord...
Sylva Knights volunteer, raise money and give it awaySYLVA — Members of Knights of Columbus Council 9722 of Sylva volunteered April 12 at the Veterans Restoration Quarters in Asheville, a residential facility providing housing, food, job training and counseling to veterans who need a helping...
Marquette University honors Alzheimer's advocateCHARLOTTE — Ellen Nowak Belk, whose career includes working on behalf of individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia, has been honored with the James T. Tiedge Memorial Award from Marquette University's Diederich College of Communication. Belk,...
Celebrating the Ascension: Eastern, Western Catholics observe different datesCHARLOTTE — The traditional day to celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church is the Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, or 40 days after Easter. But not all Catholics celebrate the feast on this day. That doesn’t...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy