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The New Missal: Explaining the Changes

ISBN13: 9781847302724

ISBN10: 1847302726

Publisher: Veritas

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  • Changes? The Mass is not changing but we are going to use a new edition of the Roman Missal, the prayer book at Mass, in a new English translation. In changed words, we gather as the body of Christ in celebrating the Eucharist, fulfilling the Lords command to do this in memory of me.

    The New Missal has been put together by the National Centre for Liturgy to provide a user friendly explanation of why we have a new edition of the Missal and an account of what is new in this Missal as it replaces the edition we have used since 1975. It explains the changes to texts that we will experience in a new translation of its prayers.
  • National Centre for Liturgy

    The National Centre for Liturgy was founded to promote liturgical formation in the light of Vatican II. It was established in 1973 when the late Mgr Sean Swayne was appointed National Secretary for Liturgy.The National Centre for Liturgy houses the National Secretariat for Liturgy which works on behalf of the Episcopal Conference and the Irish Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and co-ordinates the work of the various consultative agencies on liturgy, church music, sacred art and architecture and liotuirge in nGaeilge. New Liturgy is the quarterly bulletin of the Secretariat. The National Centre for Liturgy has been engaged in the work of liturgical formation since 1973. The Centre also conducts shorter courses at other centres.

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    On 25 March 2010, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments gave its recognitio or approval of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, the book of prayers used at Mass. A presentation edition was given to Pope Benedict XVI on 28 April 2010. The Irish Bishops at their general meeting in June 2010 noted the completion of this stage of a translation project that began with the publication of a new edition of the Latin Missale Romanum in March 2002. The text in its new translation was received by Presidents of English-speaking Bishops Conferences towards the end of August along with the decree authorising publication and use. Some editing continued and a copy of the Order of Mass and its music was received in mid-November 2010, with the rest of the material being received just before Christmas 2010. Various aspects of publication have been attended to and the full implementation of the new Missal, as the June 2010 statement of the Bishops said, is towards the end of 2011.

    The new edition of the Missal replaces the book we have used since 16 March 1975. Though the vernacular had been introduced into the Mass on the First Sunday of Lent 1965, the Eucharistic Prayer remained in Latin until 1 December 1968. The introduction of the vernacular was well received and has proved to be one of the great blessings of the reform and renewal of the Churchs liturgy. The vernacular has become, in the words of Pope Paul VI, the praying voice of the Church, and the Missal we have used for thirty-five years has enabled this to happen.

    Now we move towards a new edition of the Missal and a new translation.


    The new edition is necessitated by the publication of a new Latin edition in 2002, amended and reprinted in 2008. This is the typical edition (editio typica) which is used for translation into the vernacular. The Missal we have been using is a translation of the first Latin edition of 1970. (A second Latin edition was published in 1975, with some extra Mass texts, for example, the Dedication of a Church and an Altar, and Mary, Mother of the Church, and some paragraphs on the role of the acolyte and reader in the introductory documentation, replacing what had been said about the sub-deacon.)

    A new edition will contain what is in the Latin editions of 1970 and 1975 and the additional material added since then. It will also be in a new translation according to more recent norms and guidelines on translation.


    The early Church used the principle, lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer [is] the law of belief) and was conscious of the need for orthodoxy and good practice. The prayers used in the liturgy were collected into libelli or booklets, the most important of which is the Verona Sacramentary from the late sixth century, originally a collection of prayers used in the papal liturgies. Larger collections developed into sacramentaries, the best known being the Gelasian Sacramentary and its several variants. It is named after the late-fifth century Pope Gelasius but dates from the mid-eighth century. The term sacramentary is well known as it has been used for many years in the United States as the title of what we have simply called the Missal. Many of the prayers of these ancient books are still used today.

    The term missal is used of those liturgical books which contained the prayers, readings, chants and rubrics, or instructions, for the celebration of Mass. They developed in the monasteries in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and soon became the Mass book for priests in parishes. The first book with the title Missale Romanum dates from 1474. The most famous edition is that of 1570, after the Council of Trent. This Missal, often called the Missal of Pope Pius V, was promulgated for obligatory use throughout the Roman Rite.

    Various editions have been published since 1570, noting here the 1962 edition, sometimes called the Missal of Pope John XXIII. This Missal includes the changes made in the liturgies of Holy Week in 1956 and is the last edition before the Second Vatican Council. It is the Missal that is used in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, often called the Tridentine Mass.

    The Missal of 1970, the Missal of Pope Paul VI, contains the revisions mandated by the Second Vatican Council.


    The new English language Missal is a translation of the third edition of the Latin Missale Romanum, published in 2002, with an amended reprint in 2008. It contains what is in the Missal in use since 1975 but with many additions. However, it omits texts that are not in the Latin Missal, most notably, the alternative Opening Prayers for Sundays which were composed for the 1975 Missal. The additions include:

    - Three additional Eucharistic Prayers, that is, the two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation, introduced for the Holy Year of 1975, and the Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs, which was approved for Ireland in 1995; - Some Mass texts included in the second edition of the Latin Missal in 1975;
    - Prayers over the People for the days of Lent, reviving an old liturgical tradition;
    - New formularies for the dismissal which Pope Benedict XVI requested in order to show the link between the celebration of the Eucharist and living the Eucharist;
    - Masses for over twenty feasts that have been placed on the General Calendar since 1975, for example, St Maximilian Kolbe, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Our Lady of Guadalupe;
    - The Patrons of Europe, which are noted;
    - Though not in the Latin Missal, our National Proper, that is, the prayers for Masses of our Irish Calendar, placed in sequence within the General Calendar. These prayers and also readings where given have been published as the National Proper for Ireland in 2009;
    - some extra Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mostly taken from the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary published in 1987;
    - some extra Mass texts for Votive Masses and Masses for Various Needs and Occasions;
    - the extended Vigil of Pentecost;
    - the inclusion of music in place where it is used rather than in appendices;
    - the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal. This was published in 2005.


    Eucharistic Prayers
    The new edition of the Missal has seven Eucharistic Prayers. The 1975 Missal contains four Eucharistic Prayers, that is, the Roman Canon, which had been our one Eucharistic Prayer for over 1,500 years, and three Eucharistic Prayers composed for the new Latin Missal of 1970. The new edition of the Missal will contain these four Prayers and three more approved since 1975. The four Eucharistic Prayers of the 1975 Missal are placed in the Order of Mass and the three new Eucharistic Prayers are added in an appendix to the Order of Mass. More accurately they are only new in being included in the Missal as these Eucharistic Prayers have been in use for some years. Inclusion in the Missal makes for more frequent use.

    - Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation were issued for the Holy Year of 1975 and the texts were prepared to illustrate aspects of reconciliation, which was the theme of the Year and may be the object of thanksgiving. The Missal suggests their use during Lent and in Masses in which the mystery of reconciliation is conveyed in a special way, as in several Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, for example, for promoting harmony, for reconciliation, for the preservation of peace and justice, in time of war or civil disturbance, for the forgiveness of sins and for charity, and in Votive Masses of the mystery of the Cross, of the Eucharist, and of the Most Precious Blood. Although these Eucharistic Prayers are provided with a proper Preface, they may also be used with other Prefaces that refer to penance and conversion, for example, the Prefaces of Lent.

    - Eucharistic Prayer for use in Masses for Various Needs has its origins in a Eucharistic Prayer approved for the Swiss Synod of 1974. Other countries sought and received permission to use it. When a Latin editio typica was made available, an English translation was made. This interim translation was approved for Ireland in May 1995. A new translation is included in the new edition of the Missal. This Eucharistic Prayer has four Prefaces and corresponding intercessions and the Missal publishes the Eucharistic Prayer in four complete forms. The Eucharistic Prayer is given four themes and examples of use with Masses for Various Needs and Occasions are given:

    I. The Church on the Path of Unity , suggested with Mass formularies such as: for the Church, the Pope, the Bishop, a Council or Synod, for Priests, for Ministers of the Church, and for a spiritual or pastoral gathering;
    II. God guides his Church along the Way of Salvation , suggestions include with Mass formularies such as: for the Church, vocations, the family, religious, etc.;
    III. Jesus, the Way to the Father , appropriately used with Mass formularies such as: for the evangelisation of peoples, for those in public office, for the progress of peoples, etc.;
    IV. Jesus, who went about doing good , appropriately used with Mass formularies such as: for refugees and exiles, in time of famine, for the sick and dying, and in any need.

    Prayers over the People
    These prayers developed as early as the fourth century as part of the formal ending of the Mass when the blessing was given and the people were dismissed. From the seventh century they were retained in the Mass during Lent. The 1975 Missal contains twenty-six prayers which can be used at any occasion. Increased to twenty-eight in the new Missal, they are placed with Solemn Blessings at the end of the Order of Mass.

    In restoring the old Roman tradition, each day of Lent is also given a Prayer over the People. The Prayer for
    Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent is:

    Pour out a spirit of compunction, O God,
    on those who bow before your majesty,
    and by your mercy may they merit the rewards you promise
    to those who do penance.
    Through Christ our Lord.

    New formularies for the Dismissal
    In the Latin Missal, the concluding rites have included a dismissal of the people with the words, Ite, missa est. These words have given us the most common name for the Eucharist, the Mass. The phrase can be translated as a dismissal, such as, Go, you are sent, or that the Mass has ended or it can refer to mission. This was noted at the Synod of Bishops held in 2005 and in Pope Benedict XVIs post-synodal document, Sacramentum Caritatis. He wrote, These few words succinctly express the missionary nature of the Church. The People of God might be helped to understand more clearly this essential dimension of the Churchs life, taking the dismissal as a starting-point. In addition to Go forth, the Mass is ended, the 2008 reprint of the Missale Romanum added the following:
    Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
    Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
    Go in peace.

    New Feasts
    Feasts, using the word in a general way, are classified by their importance and are called solemnities, feasts and memorials. Solemnities are the days of greatest importance and have their own readings and proper prayers. Several solemnities have their own Vigil Mass, celebrated in the evening of the preceding day. Feasts are of the second order and also have their own readings and prayers. Memorials are of the third order and are observed in combination with the celebration of the weekday on which they occur. Usually, when the memorial is classed as obligatory, the Collect of the memorial, the Prayer over the Offerings and the Prayer after Communion are said with the readings of the day. Many memorials are classed as optional and their observance is at the discretion of those who are celebrating the Mass of the day.

    In addition to the feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), the following new saints are included as obligatory memorials:

    - St Maximilian Kolbe (14 August), who died in the concentration camp of Auschwitz in 1941;
    - Ss Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions (20 September), 103 Korean martyrs, 1839, 1867;
    - St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (23 September), died 1968, Capuchin friar, stigmatist, confessor, friend of all who suffer;
    - Ss Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (24 November), 117 Vietnamese martyrs of seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries canonised in 1988.

    The following Saints are included as optional memorials:

    - St Josephine Bakhita (8 February) , brought as a slave from her native Sudan to Italy. Later became a nun, died 1947;
    - St Adalbert of Prague (23 April) , bishop of Prague and later a missionary among the Prussians. Martyred 997;
    - St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort (28 April) , priest and great promoter of praying the Rosary;
    - Ss Christopher Magall?ínes and Companions (21 May) , twenty-five Mexican martyrs executed in 1927;
    - St Rita of Cascia (22 May) , after her husbands murder, entered the Augustinian convent in Cascia;
    - Ss Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions (9 July) , 120 Chinese martyrs, many executed during the Boxer Risings;
    - St Apollinaris (20 July) , second century bishop of Classis in Italy and martyr;
    - St Charbel Makhluf (24 July) , Lebanese monk and hermit;
    - St Peter Julian Eymard (2 August) , founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, died 1868;
    - St Peter Claver (9 September) , Spanish Jesuit priest who worked with the slaves in Colombia;
    - Ss Lawrence Ruiz and Companions (28 September) , sixteen Japanese martyrs, died 1633, 1637;
    - St Catherine of Alexandria (25 November) , martyred in 310 at Alexandria. Her body is venerated at the monastery on Mount Sinai;
    - St Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin (9 December) , saw the vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 1571.

    Some Days of Devotion are added, as optional memorials:

    - The Most Holy Name of Jesus (3 January). He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb [of Mary] (Lk 2:21);
    - Our Lady of Fatima (13 May) , recalls the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children in 1917 with the message of doing penance and praying the Rosary;
    - The Most Holy Name of Mary (12 September) , an observance restored to the General Calendar honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary under her name;
    - Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 December) , the patron of the Americas. This memorial recalls the apparitions in December 1531 on Tepayac Hill, near Mexico city;

    and an additional title:

    - Divine Mercy (2nd Sunday of Easter) , added to the Second Sunday of Easter by Pope John Paul II in 2000 at the canonisation of St Faustina, who promoted devotion to the divine mercy of Jesus.

    The Immaculate Heart of Mary is raised to an obligatory memorial, if the date, the day after the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is available.

    Patrons of Europe
    - St Benedict. In 1964, Pope Paul VI declared Benedict patron of Europe, calling him messenger of peace, architect of European unity and mentor of its civilisation, above all herald of the Christian religion and father of Western monasticism. He founded the monastery of Monte Cassino where he died in 547. Feast: 11 July.

    - Ss Cyril and Methodius. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them patrons. They lived in the ninth century and were brothers from Thessalonica, Greece. They are honoured as the apostles of the Slavic people. They preached the gospel in Moravia, using their own translation of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the local language. These translations into Slavonic were based on an alphabet they invented, now called Cyrillic. Feast: 14 February.

    Three new patrons were announced by Pope John Paul II in 1999.

    - St Bridget of Sweden, 1303, 1373 , a devoted wife and mother of eight children. After being widowed, she founded a religious order, known as the Bridgettines. She is remembered for her asceticism, her dedication to reform within the Church and her lifelong mystical experience of Christs passion. Feast: 23 July.
    - St Catherine of Siena , born in Siena in 1347, died 1380. She entered the Dominican Order as a young girl and became an influential leader, working for the reconciliation of Church and state and the reform of the Papacy. Though unable to write, she is remembered as a spiritual teacher, mystic and reformer of religious life. Feast: 29 April.
    - St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) , born in 1891 into a prosperous Jewish family in Breslau, Germany. She was baptised into the Catholic Church in 1922, taking the name Teresa, and later became a Carmelite nun in Cologne, taking the name Benedicta. She died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942. She was canonised in 1999. Feast: 9 August.

    National Proper
    The National Proper for Ireland, as approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was published as an interim supplement to the Roman Missal in 2009 and is incorporated into the new edition of the Roman Missal.

    The National Calendar, revised and approved in 1972, had only five observances, including one solemnity (St Patrick) and four feasts (St Brigid, St Columba (Colm Cille), All the Saints of Ireland and St Columban). In 1976, a sixth observance was added with the inclusion of the feast of the then newly canonised St Oliver Plunkett.

    In the work of a revision of the National Proper in the mid-1990s, a fuller calendar was proposed. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) confirmed the proposed Proper Calendar of Saints for Ireland in October 1998. This revised Calendar allows the celebration of Irish saints in the national calendar rather than just as diocesan celebrations. This revision, therefore, allows for a greater Irish identity to be given to the Calendar. It has one solemnity (St Patrick), three feasts (St Brigid, St Columba, All Saints of Ireland) and memorials which commemorate diocesan patrons and others. There are seven obligatory memorials: St Ita, St Kevin, Bl. Irish Martyrs, St Oliver Plunkett, St Ciaran, St Malachy and St Columban. Additions to the Calendar include Saints Fursa, Gobnait, David, Aengus, Enda, Davnet, Moninne, Willibrord, Aidan of Lindisfarne and Fergal.

    As a general norm, solemnities and feasts are regarded as exceptional, with full Mass prayer texts and readings. The Solemnity of St Patrick has been given a three-year cycle of readings. This solemnity and the three feasts also have proper Prefaces and Solemn Blessings. The obligatory memorials are given a Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Prayer after Communion as well as their own entrance and communion antiphons. The optional memorials only have a Collect.

    The Collect for the feast of All the Saints of Ireland (6 November) is:
    Lord God,
    as we celebrate the power of the Gospel
    that you displayed in the Saints of our land,
    work for us, we pray, new wonders of your grace:
    that the faith may grow stronger among us,
    and true charity bind us in peace.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

    The Calendar for Ireland is given in Appendix I.
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