WASHINGTON — The Vatican has given its “recognitio,” or statement of acceptance, of the proposed U.S. version of the new edition of the Roman Missal. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) now must decide when to authorize its use in dioceses and parishes in the United States.
In a letter from Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated March 25, 2010, (Protocol Number 269/10L) the text of the English translation of the Roman Missal, third edition, has been approved with the requiredrecognitio.
In addition,a series of adaptations and proper texts for the Dioceses of the United States also has been approved. Cardinal Francis George, OMI of Chicago, USCCB President, was in Rome to attend meetings of the Vox Clara Committee, of which he is a member, and received the decrees personally. The complete text of the Roman Missal is still undergoing final editing by Vatican officials. It is expected to be forwarded to Conferences of Bishops later this spring, at which time it will be prepared for publication.
Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, voiced gratitude for the approval.
“I am happy that after years of study and review, the Congregation for Divine Worship has concluded its work and provided us with a text that will enable the ongoing renewal of the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in our parishes,” he said.
In the coming weeks, the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship will offer to Cardinal George its recommendation regarding the date of the implementation of the new translation. Once the final decision is made, Cardinal George will announce the date to the bishops. It is also expected that a suggested implementation timeline and process will be offered to the bishops for implementation within their dioceses.
The receipt of the recognitio marks the beginning of the proximate preparation for the implementation of the Roman Missal. During the time leading up to actual first Sunday of use of the new text, pastors are encouraged to make use of the wide variety of resources available to prepare parishioners for the reception of the new text. Some of these resources have been made available already in the remote preparation, while others are being released now, including the Parish Guide for the Implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, from USCCB Publishing. In addition, the Office of Divine Worship has launched Website to provide up-to-date information about the Missal:www.USCCB.org/romanmissal.
Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship, said work already is in progress so that priests and congregations will be prepared for the first substantial changes in the Mass in decades.
“A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway now among the publishers of liturgical books, along with the other necessary resources by publishers of liturgical music and catechetical resources,” he said. “Even as that work is underway a full–scale implementation of catechesis for the new Missal should be taking place in the parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready.”
Currently the Office of Divine Worship is leading a series of workshops for clergy and diocesan leaders as a first step in preparation for the changes.