22/05/2012 16:26

New English Missal slowly being introduced

By Fr Victor Roche, SVD. Agnes lives in Port Moresby, but she is from Vunapope near Rabaul. She went to visit her family back home during the Easter holidays. She was surprised to hear the following response in the English Mass:

Priest: The Lord be with you

People: And with your Spirit (not the usual “And also with you”).

She was wondering why the Catholic Church changed these words, which were being followed for almost 40 years since 1973 after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-‘65).

The reason for changing some of the prayers and responses in the new Missal is that the Church saw the need of bringing some uniformity in our responses in different languages. Most of the European  languages like German, French, Italian etc. had the original translation from Latin. But the English version did not closely follow the original Latin text.

In Latin, the response is thus:

Priest: Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you)

People: Et cum spiritu tuo (And with your spirit).

The Catholic Church has introduced the new missal for Mass with new translation for some parts of the Mass. There are some changes in the prayers that the priest has to say in the Mass. But there are very few changes in the responses of the people. Most of the responses remain basically the same.

In many countries people have started using this new missal from the first Sunday of Advent 2011. Catholics have accepted the changes wholeheartedly.  In some countries, they are introducing the new language of the Mass slowly after lots of awareness for the people.

In Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands some dioceses like Rabaul and Alotau have started using the new Missal in English and Pidgin. It is good that Catholics accept these changes with enthusiasm and follow them in the Mass. (CBC Communications 220512 – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)