Missale Romanum

“The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as well as the connection between them, may be more clearly shown, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.”

Sacrosanctum Concilium

The Missale Romanum, or Roman Missal, has retained this title ever since texts of this nature were first collected in this format in the year 1474.

As the title implies, the texts are all in Latin. Their use in vernacular languages did not become widespread in the Catholic Church until after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The most notable changes to the Order of the Mass at that time aimed to enhance the participation of the people, while making the purpose of the parts of the mass more accessible.

The Roman Missal, Third Edition, the ritual text containing prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Mass, has been approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

What will we notice as “different” about the new translation?

  • Many of the rich scriptural quotes and images present in the original Latin prayers which were lost in the previous English translation have been recaptured in the new one;
  • Many of the prayers, following the Latin originals, are made up of long sentences broken up into subordinate clauses, unlike everyday English. This is characteristic of the language of the Roman Rite which we use.
  • Some words which came to have a precise doctrinal meaning in the Church have been retained in their English form, whereas the previous translation sometimes replaced them with more common but less precise words.
So in essence the new translation provides new words, a deeper meaning but the same Mass.
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