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Celebrating the Mass with the New English Roman Missal in India
Your Eminence/Grace/ Excellency,
Greetings of Peace and Love!
The Eucharist occupies a central place in the life and mission of the Church. In this most holy Sacrament, "the work of our redemption is accomplished" (SC 5), and "the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, is present" (PO 5). In the celebration of the Mass, we join with Christ in the offering of himself in total obedience to the Father, and we ourselves are transformed by the Holy Spirit.
The Eucharist is a gift, a priceless treasure; something we receive from God through the Church. The text and the rites used in the celebration of the liturgy have been carefully preserved and faithfully handed on from generation to generation. They are of great importance because these words and rites manifest and transmit the faith of the Church. The familiar Latin axiom "lex orandi, lex credendi' contains a deep truth: there is an intimate connection between what we pray and what we believe. That is why Vatican II reminds us that we cannot add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on our own initiative. (SC 22)
After the Second Vatican Council the celebration of Mass was permitted in the vernacular and translations were quickly made in several local languages. The current English translation that we are using was prepared in 1973. While it has served us well and we are now quite familiar with the words and phrases therein, it also has its limitations. Besides, there has been much development in our understanding of the liturgical texts themselves and of the issues involved in their translation.
Taking into account the Church's experience with the use of the vernacular in the liturgy in the last few decades, the Congregation for the Divine Worship issued an instruction Liturgiam Authenticam in 2001, addressing the issue of translation of liturgical texts. The Third edition of the Roman Missal, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 2002, was translated keeping in mind these guidelines. This process took several years and was truly a diligent and collegial effort. These texts received the formal "recognitio" last year (Prot No 962/07/L) and will be officially used from the first Sunday of Advent this year i.e., 27 November 2011 as decided by the 23rd Plenary Assembly. May I request all the Bishops to make public the use of the new English Roman Missal.
This new translation offers us a fuller expression of the content of the original Latin texts. It also brings out more 'clearly the underlying scriptural allusions and the rich biblical imagery embedded in these prayers. Further, the vocabulary used contributes to deepening our understanding of the mystery we celebrate. Some of the terms that have been recovered will make us more aware of the continuity that exists between our worship today and the whole of the Church's tradition. The style and tone of the prayers will help us keep our focus on God, drawing us into the transcendent and the divine, and leading us to contemplation.
The publication of the new English translation of the Missal is a special moment of grace in the life of the Church. The new translation is not merely about changing words; it is a new phase of liturgical renewal. It offers an opportunity for catechesis and reflection on the nature of the liturgy and on the interior attitudes necessary for fruitful participation in
As we wholeheartedly welcome this new Missal, let us ask our Blessed Mother, the Woman of the Eucharist, to intercede for us, so that this book may help us enter into a fresh appreciation of the riches of the Roman Rite and commit ourselves to a meaningful, prayerful, faithful and vibrant celebration of the Liturgy.
Invoking God's blessing, I remain,
+ Telesphore P. Cardinal T oppo
MILESTONE IN THE LITURGICAL LIFE OF THE CHURCH
On Thursday 24th November 2011, Most Rev Jude Gerald Paulraj A, Bishop of Palayamkottai and Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Liturgy, along with Most Rev Dominic Jala, sdb, Archbishop of Shillong and former Chairman of the Commission, presented His Excellency, the Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio to India, with a specially bound copy of the English translation of the Roman Missal according to the third typical edition. They were accompanied by Fr Savio Rodrigues, Secretary of the Commission for Liturgy, and Fr Reji Tom Antony, sdb, Manager of Bosco Society for Printing and Graphic Training, which printed the work.
Bishop Jude Paulraj A. read out a message on this occasion, and Archbishop Jala gave the background to the whole project and briefly explained how the work had taken shape. The Missal was then formally presented to the Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio. In his response, His Excellency expressed his pleasure at receiving this special copy and congratulated the CCBI Commission for this milestone in the liturgical life of the Church in India. He acknowledged the tireless effort and dedication on the part of those who prepared this momentous opus, and expressed his hope that the new English translation would help deepen our understanding and appreciation of the most Holy Eucharist.
The publication of the English translation of the Roman Missal according to the third typical edition is indeed a special moment of grace in the life of the Church. This text had received the recognitio from Rome last year (Prot. n. 962/07/L), and Archbishop Dominic Jala, sdb, was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the Missal for India. He is the representative of this Episcopal Conference on ICEL and until recently was the Chairman of the CCBI Commission for Liturgy. The Missal will be used in liturgical celebrations across this country from the new liturgical year (the First Sunday of Advent) and it is hoped that the implementation of these new texts will serve as an opportunity for a deeper catechesis on the liturgy and be an occasion for all of us to commit ourselves to a more prayerful, faithful and vibrant celebration of the sacred mysteries.