By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — It’s full steam ahead for the implementation of the new English translation of the Mass.
Deacon Ralph Wehner, director of the diocesan Office of Sacred Worship, said the first meeting Feb. 8 of a special commission appointed by Bishop Robert W. Finn to assist the office and parishes in implementing the changes was “jam packed.”
“It was extremely productive and very positive,” said Deacon Wehner, who said the session at the chancery lasted more than two hours.
Meanwhile, the official publishers of liturgical texts have received from the Vatican the approved translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, and are expected to have their work completed by Oct. 1, well in advance of Nov. 27 (First Sunday of Advent), when the new translation will be implemented for the first time at all Masses in the United States.
Deacon Wehner said that a major task before the eight-member diocesan commission will be planning a series of “Train the Trainer” workshops throughout the diocese that will focus on preparing key people, such as music ministers and liturgists, in every parish.
Those “trainers” will be in charge of preparing, in the manner best suited to each parish, parishioners for the implementation of the new translation.
In addition, the diocesan commission will review and recommend resource aids for parishes, ranging from music to pew cards containing the new translation, Deacon Wehner said.
Deacon Wehner also promised a series of articles in The Catholic Key and on the diocesan Web page.
“These will cover topics such as: why a new missal, how have the Mass texts been revised, the Biblical roots of the Mass and how these root us more deeply in the Scriptures, and how the translations were done,” he said.
Deacon Wehner said that parishioners can learn about the changes online at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Web site, www.usccb.org/romanmissal.
“You can visit the USCCB Web site and view the Order of the Mass with both the priest and people parts, and see what has changed,” he said.
Deacon Wehner said the new English translation is a more literal translation from the Latin of the Third Roman Missal promulgated by Pope John Paul II in the jubilee year of 2000. It also contains prayers for the celebration of recently canonized saints, additional Eucharistic Prayers, and additional Masses and prayers for special intentions.
In one example of the new translation, the people’s response to “The Lord be with you” will be “And with your spirit” to match the Latin “Et cum spiritu tuo.”
“These new words will give us deeper meaning, bring out more clearly the Biblical roots of the Mass, and have greater faithfulness to the Latin,” Deacon Wehner said.
“It will give us a chance to enter more deeply our praying of the Mass,” he said.