UK Bishops: New Missal Brings "Moment of Grace"

Say Changes Reflect Greater Fidelity to Liturgy

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LONDON, MAY 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The bishops of England and Wales are calling the new English translation of the Roman Missal, which will be used throughout the English-speaking world beginning at Advent, "a special moment of grace in the English-speaking world."

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales made this statement in a National Pastoral Letter, to be read at Masses over the weekend.

Over 700 Bishops have been involved in the process of the new translation in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and the USA.

The new English translation of the Roman Missal will be published for the dioceses of England and Wales by the Catholic Truth Society. The full use of the published Missal will begin during Advent, but the Order of Mass will begin in September.

For the three months from September to November, the Church in England and Wales will become familiar with those parts of the translations that are prayed at every Mass, and this will be accompanied by catechesis on the Mass and the new translation.

"The changes in the language now to be introduced," the bishops write in their pastoral letter, "do not represent change for change's sake, but are being made in order to ensure greater fidelity to the liturgical tradition of the Church."

The bishops ask, "What does this new translation offer?"

"First of all," they write, "there is a fuller expression of the content of the original texts. Then, there is a closer connection with the sacred Scriptures, which inspire so much of our liturgy. Also, there is a recovery of a vocabulary that enriches our understanding of the mystery we celebrate."

The bishops describe the publication of the new translation of the Missal as a special moment of grace in the English-speaking world because "it offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the mystery we celebrate each week."