The New Translation of the Roman Missal

Has the Mass changed?

The structure of the Mass has not changed, nor have the actions of the Mass.

The readings at Mass, which are often printed in Sunday and Weekday Missals, have not changed,
nor have the hymns we sing. However, with the introduction of the new translation, there have been changes in what we say at Mass.

A significant number of the texts have changed, sometimes by a few words, sometimes by much more.

Prayers said by the priest also sound different. Musical settings which use the words of the Mass
have changed to reflect the new translation.

Whose idea was it anyway?

Until the early 1960s, Mass was celebrated in Latin throughout the world. At the Second Vatican Council (1962-5),
the bishops of the world agreed that Mass could be said in the language of the country in which it was being celebrated.

This was to enable people to understand more fully what was being said and help them to participate more fully.
In 1970 Pope Paul VI agreed the official Latin text that would be used for the Mass, which was then translated
into different languages.

An English translation was made available as quickly as possible, but it was intended to be temporary.

We used this "temporary" translation for some 40 years! From September 2011, we have been using a new,
more"considered" translation.

To see a comparison of the 1973 text against the new translation, there is a handy guide on the Liturgy Office website.

You may also like to read the Pastoral letter from the Bishops of England and Wales on the new translation.

Wonderful opportunity!

The style of language we now hear and pray may seem more formal to us, and perhaps more complex.
However, the new translation is a wonderful opportunity for us to ‘hear again’ texts with which we have become
familiar, and perhaps discover new richness and meaning in them.

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