Pope Benedict XVI told the Vox Clara Committee on Wednesday that he welcomed the news that the new English translation of the Roman Missal "will soon be ready for publication." While expressing his hope about the arrival of the new edition, he also highlighted the need for a transition with "due sensitivity."
The Pope met over lunch today with members and consultors of Vox Clara, which he recognized for its role of advising and assisting the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in completing the English translations of liturgical texts.
After thanking all who have contributed to the process, the Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at the news that the Roman Missal's new English translation would "soon" be published. He welcomed the announcement because “the texts you have worked so hard to prepare” will soon “be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world."
However, he continued, with its publication comes the "new task" of preparing the clergy and lay faithful for the reception of the changes. Though this task is not specifically within the scope of Vox Clara operations, the Pope observed, “in one way or another will involve all of you."
Noting the difficulty many will have in adapting to the modifications that are said to be more literal translations from Latin, the Pope emphasized the need for a gradual introduction with "due sensitivity," accompanied by catechesis.
He prayed that "in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world."
Anticipating the transition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created a section on its website dedicated to the coming change, which will be expanded upon the new Missal's release.
The USCCB calls for the implementation process to "be a time of deepening, nurturing, and celebrating our faith through our worship and the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy."
The Pope closed his address at the lunch by underlining his gratitude to the contributors and telling them that "soon the fruits of your labors will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere."
The new English translation of the Roman Missal, completed but awaiting the full approval of the bishops, is the third such edition, the last being released in 1975. Vox Clara has been working on this project for the last eight years.