Not So Fast

It’s anybody’s guess when the new English missal will be approved. My crystal ball is at the shop for a checkup so I can’t make any predictions today. But it could take a bit longer than we thought. Did you know that Vox Clara, the committee advising the Vatican worship congregation, in fact IS meeting in April? It had been thought that they were done this past January. People at the congregation are making no promises about an April approval and are emphasizing just how extensive and time-consuming their work of examination is. People at the USCCB liturgy office have long said that something like August is more likely – Msgr. Sherman jokes that important mail from Rome usually seems to come during his August vacation. Sometimes Rome moves more quickly than expected – it’s reported that that happened once under Pius X and (this is now hearsay) twice in the 18th century. Other times, Rome moves more slowly than expected. We shall see.



  1. I opined a while back that Vox Clara/Holy See “review” might be a bit more than a rubber stamp and may take a bit longer than was supposed. The “New Missal” as some call it may be more “new” than just a different translation of same old words. It might be good to re-read the very specific wording of LA. For the good of the faithful, the Holy See reserves to itself the right to prepare translations in any language, and to approve them for liturgical use and so, even though it is highly unlikely, the Holy See can change whatever it deems necessary even at this point. All the haggling about “pro multis” was really a Red Herring the size of a whale…it would be revised regardless of what was submitted.

  2. It has been known for quite some time (several months) that Vox Clara would meet at the end of March/beginning of April, and intended to complete its work then. The Congregation confidently expects to give recognitio at the end of April, along with recognitio for the revised Grail psalter. We shall see.

    At its January meeting (which was apparently not originally on the schedule), it appears that Vox Clara made changes to the Missal text that the English-speaking bishops had signed off on, and it is expected that they will make further changes in March/April. No one at this stage knows if they will list all the changes they have made (which would assist publishers) or leave it to publishers to go through the text line-by-line…

  3. For what it’s worth, the grapevine is now predicting the end of July for recognitio.

    That’s often a time when controversial things appear from the Vatican (remember GIRM in 2001?). It’s the time when all the Romans go away on vacation so there’s no one around to deal with any ensuing furore. By the time they come back, everything has died down and they quietly shove it all to one side.

    It didn’t work in 2001 because the powers-that-be had not realized that liturgists across the world have instant communication with each other in cyberspace.

  4. Yep…I think the end of July sounds just about right. Unless of course there is some reason to delay it for a while more, perhaps awaiting some specific items that aren’t yet finished?… I still get the impression that there will be some surprises coming up in the next several months.

  5. Will the new missal be accepted by the few remaining persons in the pew? Will they notice the difference? Will they just continue to kneel down and get on with their rosaries?

    1. Two myths about the new translation. 1. It will magically bring back all of those people who have been lost over the last 45 years. 2. It will drive away all of those who remain. Neither is true.

    2. Who are you referring to as “continuing to kneel down and get on with their rosaries”?

      1. I can’t speak for the person who posted this, but it does occur to me that people are saying Rosaries during Mass at EF celebrations. I’ve seen it. So it is continuing, and/or returning. For me that makes the rhetorical question an interesting one.

      2. I’ve seen people praying the rosary during Ordinary Form Masses too. Usually I see them doing this because I’m facing them when I celebrate the Mass. However, I think people are sometimes praying the Holy Rosary when I celebrate the EF Mass but I’m not as sure, because I’m not facing them. I’m joining them in facing the same direction. And as the priest-celebrant, I’m representing the rosary pray-ers, the actively praying out-loud pray-ers and the day dreaming ones too. They have good representation at the altar. But still we do need to catechize about the right way to participate in all forms of the Mass. I’m just happy in the EF Mass I don’t see all the shenanigans going on! I’m distracted to no end by what I see every Sunday at the OF Masses I celebrate and the distractions are based upon them praying the rosary!

      3. Correction to my comment above: My last sentence about distractions should have read, …the distractions are NOT based upon them praying the rosary. I should have added, chewing gum, getting up to go to the bathroom at the words of consecration, whispering to a neighbor, etc…. distract me to no end at Ordinary Form Masses.

  6. John Quinn’s ‘rhetorical question’ is a sneering dismissal of others that shows disrespect to a form of prayer dear to the hearts of many. It clearly upset Fr. Costigan. It’s also largely irrelevant to discussion of the new translation of the Missal, as the recitation of the Rosary during Mass is, as you point out, a practice more associated with the EF than the Novus Ordo. This makes your justification of your failure to remove John’s remark all the more odd. Such partiality might not be agenda-driven, but it sure waddles and quacks like it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.