Diocesan bishops will be allowed to gradually introduce the musical settings for Mass parts from the new Roman Missal beginning in September, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans announced June 16.
“I ask you to encourage this as a means of preparing our people and helping them embrace the new translation,” Archbishop Aymond told the bishops during their Spring Assembly near Seattle.
This announcement primarily affects the “Gloria,” the “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the “Memorial Acclamations” of the liturgy. The change will allow parish communities to learn the various parts of the new translation “in a timely fashion and an even pace.”
The bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, which Archbishop Aymond chairs, made the decision in response to several bishops’ requests to allow early preparation ahead of the full-scale implementation scheduled for Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.
Some bishops suggested that the various acclamations could be more effectively introduced throughout the fall so that when the full Missal is implemented the congregation will already be familiar with the sung prayers.
The new English translation of the Roman Missal – the official book of prayers and instructions for the celebration of the Eucharist – follows the original Latin more closely while using richer and more accurate language. The new version involves the most significant changes to the liturgy since 1974.
Bishops in the U.S. have also made efforts to prepare for the upcoming implementation of the revised missal by offering workshops to priests and diocesan officials throughout the last year, as well as launching a website dedicated to the new translation.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has also planned an early start. Catholics there will begin using the changed portions of the Mass in September.