by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced that the full text of the English-language translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, has been issued for the dioceses of the United States of America and will debut just in time for Advent 2011.
According to a USCCB press release, the text was approved by the Vatican, and the approval was accompanied by a June 23 letter from Cardinal Llovera Antonio Cañizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
In addition, on July 24, the Vatican gave approval for several adaptations, including additional prayers for the Penitential Act at Mass and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises on Easter Sunday. Also approved are texts of prayers for feasts specific to the United States such as Thanksgiving, Independence Day and the observances of feasts for saints such as Damien of Molokai, Katharine Drexel, and Elizabeth Ann Seton. The Vatican also approved the Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life, which can be celebrated on January 22.
Cardinal George announced receipt of the documents in an August 20 letter to the U.S. Bishops and issued a decree of proclamation that states that “The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011. From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America.”
The date of implementation was chosen to allow publishers time to prepare texts and parishes and dioceses to educate parishioners.
“We can now move forward and continue with our important catechetical efforts as we prepare the text for publication,” Cardinal George said.
Before first use of the new text in Advent 2011, pastors are urged to use resources available to prepare parishioners. Some already have been in use; others are being released now. They include the Parish Guide for the Implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, and Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ, a multi-media DVD resource produced by ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) in collaboration with English-language Conferences of Bishops. Both will be available from the USCCB. Information on resources can be found at www.usccb.org/romanmissal.
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, voiced gratitude for the approval.
“I am happy that after years of preparation, we now have a text that, when introduced late next year, will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in our parishes,” he said.
Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the Secretariat for Divine Worship of the USCCB noted, “A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States, along with the other necessary resources, has begun. Even as that work is underway a full–scale catechesis about the Liturgy and the new Roman Missal should be taking place in parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”
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