Setting the Context for the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition

Eliot Kapitan, director of the office for worship in the diocese of Springfield, Illinois, discussed the missal with a gathering of religious educators.

His discussion is in three parts:

  • What have you heard about the new missal?
  • What are the characteristics of the new missal?
  • What are the promises made in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy?

Watch the full presentation here (76 minutes), courtesy of the Diocese of Springfield.   –ca

Setting the Context for the Roman Missal, third edition from Diocese of Springfield in IL on Vimeo.


  1. Sorry, he appears to have been sipping from the Vox Clara Kool-Aide. To be fair and given his audience, not a bad start if your mission is to “sell” the new product.

    Some concise observations:
    – he spent more time on the shift from latin to english between 1963 and 1975. (Please, used the same english missal from 1967 onwards; not much change – he makes it seem as if it took ten years and 1975 was the point in time?)
    – his “advertising” phrase: “we are not going backwards” sounded like a sales job complete with his own version of the translation process – he then inserted LA (notice he never name it); only alluded to ICEL and Vox Clara at the very end and basically skipped over 30 years of ICEL and the 1998 approved by 11 conference missal (how convenient but it fits his – “we are not going backwards”
    – he casually dismissed the “inclusive” language issue (made it sound as if the new translation is just as inclusive)
    – he wrote his own historical version of the gray, green, and white books with March, 2010 Pope ceremony and then said that August was the final, final version (really?)
    – never mentions ICET or ecumenical partnership and input on prior translations and missals?
    – to be fair, in discussing 1998 he did say that there were two areas for grief: alternative collects and the 3 yr. cycle
    – his childrens’ EPs needed the latin to be changed (really?)
    – he described Vox Clara as language/liturgy experts (really?)
    – he does mention psalms and the Psalter (he indicates that psalms and current hymns can still be used – how is this consistent with LA?)
    – his focus is on the new translation – no big picture on liturgy; not sure his ending with SC was very good?
    – no mention of chant, anthems, singing (seems to skip over that part of liturgy completely while highlighting a couple of changed people’s parts)

    So, not sure that he really shows the value of liturgy and how translations impact this beyond his link to scruptire (that was…

    1. “his focus is on the new translation – no big picture on liturgy;”

      My office at the diocese hosted this meeting, and, well, that’s what we asked him to do. The previous meeting with DREs was on liturgical catechesis in general — including an excellent presentation by D. Todd Williamson of the Archdiocese of Chicago. This January meeting was designed to a) make sure all the DREs of our diocese have a common understanding of the history of the Roman Missal, b) help DREs answer some common questions, and c) discuss how the diocese in general and parishes specifically are preparing to implement the revised Roman Missal. (That latter part was not recorded.)

      I wouldn’t fault him for not speaking on a subject he never claimed he would address.

    2. he casually dismissed the “inclusive” language issue (made it sound as if the new translation is just as inclusive)

      Wouldn’t you say that the new translation is at least as inclusive as the current translation (or was the comparison with 1998, which was much more scrupulous about inclusive language)?

  2. Thanks for the clarification – OTOH, my initial comment stated that this was his “narrow” goal and thought he had done it well.

    You indicate three goals – not sure that my approach to (a) would have been the same as his; guess it depends upon how much MR3 history you want to share – he limited his and used the framework of the latin to english change. Okay but the comparison limps at best.
    (b) there were very few questions on the tape – common questions that many think that we will run into can best be captured by the post above – “From a Diocesan Worship Director” – who comes at this very differently than your presentor did. Not sure that his glossing over and “cute” stories on certain “hot button” words/phrases that have changed will give your DREs sufficient background or confidence to answer “concerned and educated” catholics who care about liturgy.

    (c) it would have been helpful to have heard the third section – that is where the rubber meets the highway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *