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The Roman Missal

Jacqueline Gill

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In 1965, Vatican II resulted in the most revolutionary change in the Catholic Church ever- the translation of the Mass from Latin to the native language of each individual church. Now the Church is taking a step back by making changes to the mass that will be instituted on November 27.


When the Mass was originally translated into English, the translators simply interpreted the general sense of each phrase or sentence so that the Mass could be spoken in conversational, everyday language. Now, about 45 years later, the English-speaking Catholic Church has decided to re-translate the Mass, or the Roman Missal, word for word.


The structure of the Mass will not change, only the language. This might mean a slight difference in the wording of a phrase, or the change of an entire response. For example, the opening line of the Nicene Creed simply changes from, “We believe in one God,” to “I believe in one God.”


“It’s the same Mass, the order is not changing, there will just be different words, which I think is refreshing,” said religion teacher Mr. Buell, who is responsible for instituting the changes at Pres.


The new phrasing of the Roman Missal will be more closely related to the original Mass, and to the texts in the Bible. As a result, the wording of the Mass will be consistent with that of the French, Spanish, Italian, and German churches.


Because the responses have not changed for over forty years, many Catholics respond to the priest’s cues as if reciting a script. Many Catholics, including Mr. Buell, believe that this will be a positive change in the Church.


Father Varghese of St. Eugene Parish in Chepachet, RI said in a message to his parish, “Oftentimes, we don’t always think why we are doing things, and so now we have an opportunity to once again remind ourselves of what the liturgy is all about.”


The transition from the old texts to the new will be strange at first, but churches around the English-speaking world are working to make the transition a smooth one.


Presentation girls need not worry about sitting through the Mass embarrassed and unaware about why everyone else is saying something different. The linguistic changes to the Mass will be addressed in all religion and interdisciplinary classes. In addition, each student will receive a pamphlet explaining each individual change.


Like all new things, these changes will take some getting used to, but as Mr. Buell said, “We will have to be more aware of what we are saying at mass, and I think it’s a good thing.”


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Jacqueline Gill, Copy Editor

Jacqueline Gill is a junior here at Presentation who enjoys reading, cuddling with kittens, and owning too many blankets. In fact, in the winter, she hoards...

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