Preparations in diocese begin for new missal translation

With the Vatican’s approval of the new translation of the Roman missal and the implementation date set for the First Sunday of Advent 2011 comes an invitation, according to the director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship.

“This is not just a matter of opening the book and reading different words,” said Msgr. Stanley Deptula. “If that’s all it were, I guess it would be simple.

“But this is an invitation to go deeper in our appreciation for the sacred liturgy and our love of the sacraments that are celebrated in the liturgy, to go deeper in our love for the church,” he told The Catholic Post. He quoted Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, who says, “We do not form the liturgy, the liturgy forms us.”

“So we receive from the church this new invitation to joyfully be formed in a fresh way by liturgy,” Msgr. Deptula said.

In the Diocese of Peoria, that formation will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 21, with “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice,” a one-day workshop for priests presented by the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. Msgr. Deptula said this would give them a “diocesan vocabulary” for how the clergy and lay faithful can talk about this “moment of renewal.”

At Bishop Jenky’s request, the Office of Divine Worship, the Office of Catechetics and the Office of Catholic Schools have been talking about formation opportunities for parish and school leaders, directors of religious education, teachers and catechists, and the people they serve.
Conversations are being held with the permanent diaconate community as well.

There’s no doubt that the new translation will “shake things up,” Msgr. Deptula said.

“Words are powerful. These are the words that people have prayed for 40 years,” he told The Post. “For about a generation-and-a-half, these are the only words they’ve known.”

This doesn’t mean the church has been praying wrongly, he said, but language changes.

“Hopefully this will freshen things up, freshen our hearts to better come to experience the eternal truths, the eternal mysteries that no language can adequately begin to express,” Msgr. Deptula explained. “Here’s a chance at the beginning of the 21st century to try to express it a little better, to try to celebrate it a little deeper.”

Another thing to keep in mind, he said, is that this is not the first new missal the Roman rite has ever had and it won’t be the last, “unless Christ comes in glory sooner rather than later.”

To help people prepare, Msgr. Deptula offered a few suggestions for what to do and what not to do over the next 15 months:

— Don’t panic. “What we should not do is overreact, become scared, turn off or deny this moment of renewal, but do our best to see it for what it is — an excuse to go deeper in our love for the Mass.”

— Don’t get caught up in the hype. “There will be people, especially in the secular media, who like to find the chink in the Catholic armor and highlight our differences,” he said. “The Mass brings people together. More than anything, this new translation is a chance for us all to be united in one heart, one voice praising God.”

— Do read Bishop Jenky’s 2011 festival letter. Published each January, this year’s document will explore the new translations. The working title is “And With Your Spirit.”

— Do seek out resources. Msgr. Deptula said pamphlets and bulletin inserts should become available when the new missal is published. He also recommended checking the Web site of the U.S. Catholic bishops on a regular basis. Information on the missal can be found at

— Do pray. “Find the prayers for Mass. Pray through these new prayers. Internalize them over the next 15 months,” Msgr. Deptula said. “Pray for the church. Pray for our priests. Pray for those who will see translation as a stumbling block.”
“If we are united in prayer, then we are fulfilling what those words are meant to do,” he said.

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