At the recent meeting of the Catholic Academy for Liturgy in Vancouver, as is customary, there was an update on the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
- The bishops of the eleven bishops’ conferences who belong to ICEL met twice in 2017. It is a time of transition and some uncertainty in the wake of Pope Francis’s apostolic letter Magnum Principium.
- There are prayer texts in the 2011 Roman Missal that also appear in other rites (e.g. marriage, confirmation). Previously such texts would be carried over without change. But now the ICEL bishops wish to revisit such texts for possible improvement. One bishop observed that this could be the beginning of a process to revise the missal – although it remains an open question whether or not such Missal texts will be revised in other rites.
- The eleven ICEL bishops work well together and hope that their conferences will continue to work jointly on translation – though now each conference possesses new authority on translatations in its country.
- It was the ad limina visit of various conferences that inspired Pope Francis to establish a commission to review the translation process, which ultimately led to Magnum Principium.
- Translations of both Christian Initiation of Adults and the Baptism of Children are quite advanced. ICEL had included editorial layout enhancements. But the Congregation for Divine Worship restated that ICEL had no authority for such editing – even to include, for example, the combined rites of baptism and reception of validly baptized candidates at the Easter Vigil. Now, of course, it appears that the conferences will have more say in the ﬁnal product.
- The Liturgy of the Hours project is continuing. Considerable work was done this year on hymns, antiphons for the gospel canticles, and intercessions. The size of the work is enormous and its timelines is difﬁcult to predict.
- A supplement to the Missal and the Liturgy of the Hours is well underway which will supply texts for Saints Mary Magdalene, John XXIII and John Paul II.
- The commission just began work on the revision for the Rite of Penance.
- The Rite of Pastoral Care of the Sick is at an even earlier stage.
- To date, there is no revised ratio translationis (a sort translation guidebook for a particular language) which ICEL had received from the Vatican. So the path ahead is still unclear.
- It seems that ICEL bishops want texts that are less Latinate in length of sentences and complexity of grammatical structure. They have also succeeded in producing more translations that respect gender inclusivity.
Featured photo: ICEL facilitator and note-taker Fr. Paul Turner with Pope Francis.