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The New Translation of the Mass

The changes in the text of the people's parts of the Mass

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Argentinians Rejoice As New Pope Celebrates First Mass At Vatican
Mario Tama / Staff

On the First Sunday of Advent 2011, Catholics in the United States who attend the Ordinary Form of Mass (commonly called the Novus Ordo or the Mass of Paul VI) experienced the first major new translation of the Mass since it was introduced on the First Sunday of Advent in 1969. This new translation, prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a much more faithful rendering in English of the third edition of the Missale Romanum (the definitive Latin text of the Mass and its associated prayers), promulgated by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2001.

(Looking for the text of the changes in the new translation of the Mass? Scroll down.)

The New Translation: Foreign Yet Familiar

The new translation of the text of the Mass may sound a little foreign to ears that have grown accustomed to the older, looser translation in use, with only minor changes, for over 40 years. And, for a while, it will likely trip up tongues that long ago memorized that older translation. On the other hand, for those who are familiar with English translations of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (the Traditional Latin Mass that was used before Pope Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae), the new English Mass text highlights the continuities between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.

That is one of the primary purposes of the new translation. In releasing Summorum Pontificum, his 2007 motu proprio restoring the Traditional Latin Mass as one of the two approved forms of the Mass, Pope Benedict XVI made clear his desire to see the new Mass informed by the "venerable and ancient usage" of the Mass of Pope St. Pius V, even as the latter will eventually gain new prayers and feast days added to the Roman calendar since the last revision of the Roman Missal for the Traditional Latin Mass in 1962.

The New Mass: Continuities and Changes

The changes (and their continuities with the older form of the Mass) are obvious from the first time the priest says, "The Lord be with you." In place of the familiar "And also with you," the congregation responds, "And with your spirit"—a literal translation of the Latin "Et cum spiritu tuo," found in both forms of the Mass. The Confiteor (the penitential rite), the Gloria ("Glory to God in the highest"), the Nicene Creed, and the dialogue between the priest and the congregation after the Agnus Dei ("The Lamb of God") and immediately before Communion all hark back to the older form of Mass—as well they should, because both forms of the Mass share the same Latin text for these parts.

Still, it would be a mistake to think (as some opponents have claimed) that the new translation significantly alters the Novus Ordo. The changes put in place by Pope Paul VI in 1969 remain, as do all of the major differences between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo. All the new translation does is tighten up some very loose translations of the Latin text, restore a certain dignity to the English text of the Mass, and reinstate a few lines at various points in the Mass that had disappeared in the earlier translation from Latin to English.

The table below summarizes all of the changes in the parts of Mass recited by the congregation.

Changes in the Parts of the People in the Order of Mass (Roman Missal, 3rd Ed.)

PART OF THE MASS OLD TRANSLATION NEW TRANSLATION
Greeting Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Confiteor
(Penitential Rite)
I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Gloria Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father
we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you, we bless you,
we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks,
for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Before the Gospel Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Nicene
Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Preparation
of the Altar
and the
Gifts
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good, and the good of all his Church.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.
Before the Preface Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right and just.
Sanctus Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Mystery of Faith Priest: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
People:

A: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
(No longer available in new translation)

B: Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.
(Response A in new translation)

C: Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free.
You are the Savior of the World.
(Response C in new translation)

D: When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory.
(Response B in new translation)
Priest: The mystery of faith:
People:

A: We proclaim your death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

B: When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your death, O Lord,
until you come again.

C: Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.
Sign of
Peace
Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
People: And also with you.
Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
People: And with your spirit.
Communion Priest: This is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.
Happy are those who are called to his supper.

People: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.
Priest: Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

People: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
Concluding
Rite
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Excerpts from the English translation of Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved.

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