for the Eucharistic Prayers, additional Votive Masses and Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions, and some updated and revised rubrics (instructions) for the celebration of the Mass. The English translation of the Roman Missal will also include updated translations of existing prayers, including some of the well–known responses, prayers and acclamation of the people.
Why do we need a new translation of the Missal?
The Missale Romanum (the Roman Missal), the ritual text for the celebration of the Mass, was first promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as the definitive text of the reformed liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. A second edition followed in 1975. Pope John Paul II issued a revised version of the Missale Romanum during the Jubilee Year 2000. These definitive texts are written in Latin and are the source from which we receive our translations in the vernacular (i.e. English, Spanish, French, etc.)
When the liturgy was reformed after the 2nd Vatican Council, a group called the International Commission on English in the Liturgy or ICEL was charged with the translation of the Latin texts into English. Because they had a very short time in which to translate the texts, some of the language that they used was imprecise and sometimes inelegant. The translators used a process called “dynamic equivalent” in which the translation, rather than keeping close to the original Latin, took the every-day, spoken language of the people into account. Using this dynamic equivalence, the Latin response, Et cum spiritu tuo (and with your spirit) was translated "And also with you." Unfortunately, the English translators were the only major language group to use the process of dynamic equivalent and so our translation diverged from that of other languages. This can be easily seen in the Spanish response "Y con tu espiritu." or the French, "Et avec votre esprit.", both of which are direct translations of the Latin for “and with your spirit.”
The 1970 translation of the prayers into English was always meant to be re-addressed. The new English Missal that we inaugurate the first Sunday of Advent will conform more closely to the translations in other languages and include both the beauty of the original prayers while adding the prayers for feasts of Saints canonized since 1970. In our parish, we will be using a common setting for the sung prayers of the Mass (Gloria, Sanctus, Acclamations) so that we can get used to the word changes. There will be cards in the pews with the Creed, Penitential Act, etc. so that you can familiarize yourself with the changes. If you would like to learn more about the changes, the United States Bishops have a very helpful website at www.USCCB.org