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Mark your calendars: that’s the date the new translation of the Roman Missal will debut in a parish near you.

Details, from CNS:

The missal, announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and first published in Latin in 2002, has undergone a lengthy and rigorous translation process through the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, followed by sometimes heated discussions over particular wording at USCCB general assemblies during much of the past decade.

The USCCB said April 30 that the Vatican has given its “recognitio,” or confirmation, of the new English translation of the missal, but final editing by Vatican officials was continuing at that time.

In a decree of proclamation sent to the U.S. bishops Aug. 20, Cardinal George said, “The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, 2011. From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America.”

He added that the U.S. Catholic Church “can now move forward and continue with our important catechetical efforts as we prepare the text for publication.”

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, expressed gratitude about the final Vatican approval.

“I am happy that after years of preparation, we now have a text that, when introduced late next year, will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the sacred liturgy in our parishes,” he said.

The changes to be implemented in late 2011 include new responses by the people in about a dozen sections of the Mass, although changes in the words used by the celebrant are much more extensive.

At several points during the Mass, for example, when the celebrant says, “The Lord be with you,” the people will respond, in a more faithful translation of the original Latin, “And with your spirit.”

The current response, “And also with you,” was “not meant as ‘you too’ or something like ‘back at you,'” Father Richard Hilgartner, associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, told Catholic News Service. Rather it is “an invocation to the priest as he celebrates the Mass, a reminder that he is not acting on his own, but in the person of Christ” — a distinction that the new language will highlight, he said.

“The order and structure of the Mass will not change at all,” he added, but Catholics will see some new texts for prayers, new observances for saints added to the church calendar in recent decades and such additions as a Mass in thanksgiving for the gift of human life and an extended vigil for Pentecost, similar to the Easter Vigil.

There’s more at the CNS link. And, for a preview, you can visit the USCCB website devoted to the new missal.

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