Friday, July 23, 2010

Bracing up for the new Roman Missal

THE Vatican has given “recognitio” or statement of acceptance to the English version of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.

In a formal gathering held at the Vatican on April 28, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI was handed a copy of the complete version of the English translation that contained the “recognitio,” dated March 25, 2010, and signed by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament.

At first blush, this may appear Greek to Filipino Catholics, especially down the Basic Ecclesial Community levels, who have been too much engrossed, perhaps not unlike Martha, with issues of social import such as political education, environment and even family and life, to name a few. That is not to deny, of course, a PCP-II observation that a greater number of Filipinos are too cultic, or say sacramentalized, to be found even wanting in social concerns.

Little did everybody knew that for the past 9 years the Philippine bishops have been too involved in this English translation so that in much of their Plenary Assemblies (when the media thought they were just talking about politics or unconcerned about pressing issues) they have reviewed the four While Book translations of Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, as produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) containing Masses for Various Needs and Intentions, Ritual Masses, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead, and the Order of Mass II.

This initiative started with the late Pope John Paul II when he announced a revised version of the Missale Romanum during the Jubilee Year 2000. In 2002, the definitive Latin text of the third edition of the Roman Missal was published. It is to this Latin text that the present English translation is based which, according to some liturgists, is more faithful and with a deeper meaning.

Closer to the Latin “Et cum spiritu tuo,” the people’s response to the greeting will no longer be “And also with you” but “And with your spirit.” Before communion, the congregation’s response will now be “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

There will be a lot of adjustments indeed. But Pope Benedict XVII cautions, “Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly 40 years of continuous use of the previous translations…which is why the change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity.”

While the Vatican has already approved the use of the overall text of the English translation, the editions with specific adaptations for each country are still pending. But this early, there is a need to brace up for its eventual implementation.

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