Immaculate Conception


Embracing Change in the Liturgy-The New Roman Missal

Bulletin Inserts:
Oct. 9 - Definitions and New Words
Oct. 16 - New Text -Greeting/Penitential Act

The structure of the Mass (the order of the elements, the actions of the priest celebrant, and so forth) remains unchanged in the new edition of the Roman Missal. However, the translation of the prayer texts will change to more closely reflect the original Latin texts. In some cases, new options for prayers may be available, and some old options may no longer be present.

In the third edition of the Roman Missal, almost every prayer in the Mass—those spoken by the priest and those spoken by the people—has been retranslated from the Latin to English. Some prayers now recited by memory will need to be relearned, and the familiar language of many prayers recited by the priest will change. In preparing the new translation, the translators were asked to make the English texts conform more closely to the Latin originals and to retain traditional theological vocabulary that communicates important concepts of the faith. The language that the faithful will hear and pray is more formal and somewhat more complex than the language of ordinary conversation. It conveys rich theological concepts and retains biblical language and images.

Some of the differences will be obvious immediately. We will have to learn new musical settings for the various parts of the Mass. We will learn new words for common prayers, such as the Creed. Those of us who began saying the Mass prayers by heart long ago will need to rely on printed texts again, at least for a while. In the early months of the transition, we may find it more challenging to pray with one voice as people adjust to the new texts and gradually commit them to their hearts. But these surface differences will give way to deeper and more significant changes. If we use the time of preparation well, we will make the changes with a deeper understanding of the Liturgy and a renewed reverence for and appreciation of the Mass. We will hear the prayers with new ears and with new hearts. Our Liturgy will be filled with new life and new spirit as we celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Christ made present for us.

The USCCB website is a good source of information and resources that will assist in the transition
into the new translation of the Roman Missal.

Roman Missal


Based upon Roman Missal Formational Materials provided by the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2010.