New translation of the Roman Missal

  The New Edition of the Roman Missal
On 25th March 2010, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments gave its 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 28th April 2010.  The Irish Bishops, at their general meeting in June 2o10 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 withthe 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”. 

Please click on Introducing the New Translation of the Roman Missal for weekly inputs for newsletters from Sunday 28th August 2011.

Please click on Introducing the New Missal’ QAs to obtain more information.  This leaflet may be downloaded. 

Please click on Introducing the New Missal to view the changes to people’s parts. 

Resources for Parish Newsletters, please click on Introducing the New Translation of the Roman Missal.

Diocesan Congregational Card including postures,please click on Congregational Leaflet


Fr. Patrick Jones from the National Centre for Liturgy has provided an afternoon’s input to the Diocesan Clergy to help them understand what challenges face them with the new translations. 

Ian Callanan has provided three music workshops for those involved in Music ministry in the Diocese and all three have proved successful and worthwhile.  During these workshops, Ian taught new mass settings, incorporating the changes in text in the Mass Parts e.g.  Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamation etc.  Liam Lawton has also provided a successful workshop, where his Glendalough Mass was taught to a large gathering. 

Three information evenings have already been provided by the Diocesan Liturgy Commission during the month of October, in three different venues throughout the Diocese. 

Answers to questions – prepared by the National Centre for Liturgy. 

What is the Roman Missal?
The term ‘Missal’ is used to refer to the book that contains all the prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Mass.  The Missal is first written in Latin and this Latin text is then translated into the particular language of the people.  In this way, while the mass may be celebrated into many languages across the Roman Catholic world, it is the same core Latin text that is being prayed by the Church.  We have been using our current Missal since St. Patrick’s Day, 1975.  Is is sometimes referred to as the missal of Pope Paul VI.

When and why are we getting a new edition of the Missal?
The new edition of the Missal will come into use over a period of time during the Autumn of 2011.  There will be time to introduce and explain the changes.  The new edition is necessary for a number of reasons.  Firstly, in the years since 1975 a numbef of additional texts have been made available for use in the Mass.  These include additional Eucharistic prayers as well as Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Masses for over 20 feasts that have been introduced into the Church calender (for example St. Pius of Pietrelcina – Padre Pio, Edith Stein, Maximillian Kolbe).  A revision of the detailed instruction for the celebration of Mass, found at the beginning of the Missal, was published in English in 2005 while Pope Benedict XVI also requeseted that new phrases be used for the words of dismissal at the end of Mass.   All of this material now needs to go into the Missal so that it can be used in our celebrations. 
Secondly, in recent years, Rome gave new directions as to how the Latin texts are to be translated.  Translators were asked to make the English text follow more closely to the Latin original in its wording and structure.  A particular concern was to strengthen the Biblical language and images of texts and to re-introduce some theological vocabulary that may have been lost over the years. 
Thus, we are getting ready for a new translation as well as a new, third edition of the Roman Missal. 

Aren’t there more important things we could be doing as Church?
The Church’s mission in the world is one of loving service and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This work is at the heart of the Church everyday and finds expression in a myriad of ways.  In the celebration of the Mass, we nurture and celebrate the faith that calls us to individually share in the mission of the Church.  The words and actions of the mass form the central act of the Christian community.  Together, they express our faith – we pray as we believe.  So our words and actions in the Mass matter deeply.  They shape our faith and lead us beyond the Mass to live out this faith.  The work of the Church continues in all sorts of ways.  Yet the importance of the Mass in the life of the Church demands that we give it time and attention and take great care in its words and actions. 

Change to text in the Holy Holy (Sanctus)
The only change is the phrase “Lord God of Hosts” instead of “God of power and might”.  “Hosts” or “armies” is theusual translation of the Hewbrew word Saboath meaning here the “heavenly hosts of angels”. 

Behold the Lamb of God……Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. 
The invitation to communion in our Missal begins with the Priest taking the host and holding it raised above th paten or above the chalice.  The new translations captures more the biblical working of John 1:29 and Revelations 19:9: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.  The use of Blessed rather than Happy is a stronger reflection to its biblical root and highlights that there is significant difference between being “blessed” and being “happy”…
The Priest and people respond together: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.  Again, this translates fully the Latin text in the Missal, which is taken from the response of the Centurion to Jesus at Capernaum (Matthew 8:9), substituting “my soul” for “my servant”.  The response “under my roof” may be confusing when we first hear it, but it makes more sense when we are aware of its biblical roots. 

 Some  resources to help understand

An interactive DVD is available from Veritas entitled ‘Become one body, one Spirit in Christ’.  Its aim is to deepen our understanding of the Eucharist in our lives and explores the depth, richness, and layers of meaning of the liturgical texts of the Roman Missal. 

  • Intercom Magazine – Fr. Paddy Jones offers a montly reflection on aspects of the new translation of the Roman Missal. 
  • ‘Sing the Mass’  – An Anthology of Music for the Irish Church produced by the National centre for Liturgy with the Advistory committee on Church Music.  A wonderful resource for choirs that has four new Mass settings, together with three current revised settings. 
  • ‘The New Missal – Explaining the changes’ by the National Centre for Liturgy, available from Veritas.
  • ‘Celebrating the Mass throughout the Year’  by the National  Centre for Liturgy, avialable from Veritas.
  • ‘Celebrating the Mystery of Faith – Revised edition’ by the National Centre for Liturgy, available from Veritas. 
  • ‘Come Gather and Celebrate’ by Maeve Mahon & Elaine Mahon,  a children’s resource, available from Veritas. 
  •  (US Bishops website)
  • A copy of the order of mass may be obtained at
  • (The England and Wales Bishops Conference)