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The New Translation of the Mass 2011

Updated on May 8, 2014
St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Washington, DC.
St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Washington, DC. | Source

A Parishioners Review of the New Translation of the Mass

Catholic churches in America have been preparing their parishioners for the upcoming changes in the prayers and liturgy of the Mass for half a year now. The melody of the songs we sing have changed already, even though the words are the same. "The Glory Be" prayer is now being sung instead of reciting it. I tend to like this better because it's more of a worship prayer. They are slowly preparing us for the changes which will become permanent on November 27, 2011. They chose that date, because it is the first Sunday of Advent when the church starts its new liturgical year.

What I'm writing here is from what I learned from the church meetings and the handbook they gave us to help along the way. Every parish should have had these meetings by now. For those that don't go to church except for Christmas and Easter, are in for a big surprise when they go back.

What They are Telling Us and Why?

They are assuring us, that the essence of the Mass is not changing, but the way it is celebrated will be noticeably different. The new English translation from the original Latin will help enhance our worship of God and deepen our reverence for God in the liturgy.

The Mass was spoken in Latin for many centuries starting in Rome. People in Rome and other countries understood the language, but Americans didn't. So the Americans had to endure many Masses said in Latin without knowing what was being said. Thank God the Second Vatican Council in 1962, saw the need to translate the Mass into English so the people in American and other English speaking countries could understand the Mass. But in doing so, they paraphrased a lot of the spiritual metaphors and images into the common language of the people.

Then in 2001, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II, wanted a more precise translation without omissions or additions of the original Latin but to, preserve the original meaning of the Latin text. Thus, clearly defining many biblical concepts without paraphrasing. This has been 10 years in the making and is finally coming to pass this November 2011.

So you see, this is really nothing new, but the old being re-born.

What's New?

The changes are fairly minimal in the prayers that include; the Nicene Creed (Apostles Creed), the Gloria and the repentant prayer. These are only minor changes to some of the words in the prayers to coincide with the original Latin. The priests words at the breaking of the bread will change slightly to better reflect the Last Supper, but the words of Jesus will always remain the same.

What to Expect?

When the new translation of the Mass begins, it will take some time to become familiar with the new text and the music. We are creatures of habit and it is never easy to accept change. I'm sure many Catholics won't be happy with learning the new translation of the Mass. But in time they will realize how important it is to really understand the true meaning of the Mass that is fundamental to the Holy Scriptures.

Even the priests have to get used to the changes too. Let's see how long it takes them to memorize it?

Post November 27, 2011


As I attended last week's mass, I didn't find reciting the new changes that difficult. They placed cards in the pews of the changes for people to follow along. The priest handled it pretty good, at least the one that I attended. I heard from others that one of the priest was stammering a little and people laughed along with the priest for his apology.

Later that evening on the news, they reported from Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on people's response to the changes. Most of the people they interviewed liked the changes and felt it was more revenant and personal. I have to agree with that also.

Take the Poll

Do you like the new translation of the Mass?

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What is your feeling on the changes?

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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      To me I don't think I will notice that much difference. That might be because I am old enough to have been an alter server in the days of the Tridentine Mass. To most people I don't think they will notice some differences in the translations.I wish they had kept some of the Latin phrases that just sound better in Latin.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image


      6 years ago

      I've known about the tridentine Latin Mass since I was fourteen and it's nice to hear that their rite will be more accurate.


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