Why now?

There was a great desire following the Second Vatican Council to celebrate the renewed liturgy in the vernacular, for people to pray the Mass in their own language. The initial translation, which we now have been using for about 40 years, was produced quickly in response to this demand. From the beginning it was recognised that the translation would need to redone.

It is widely recognised that though our current translation has served the Church’s prayer for the last 40 years but that it could be improved. The original translators following the Church’s guidelines on translation chose a direct, plain style. This was achieved by often simplifying the texts of the prayers. One thing that people will notice with the new translation is that it is richer in style, in content and in such things as scriptural allusions.

There have two further important developments that highlighted the need for a new translation. The Holy See published a new, third edition of the Latin Missal (see more details below) and it also produced new guidelines of translating liturgical texts – Liturgiam Authenticam. The guidelines stressed the need for translations which are faithful and accurate, which respect the structure and the content of the Latin text and find ways of doing this in the vernacular which can ‘pray well’ in the liturgy.

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Timeline for Roman Missal 216.63 kB
Comme le prevoit 84.19 kB
Liturgiam Authenticam