Following Thursday’s approval of a new translation of the Mass in English, by the Bishops of the United States, several Catholics are wondering how the Mass changes will affect their experience.  Below are listed a few of the more notable changes to the words the congregation prays:

On of the most commonly used exchanges between priest and people during the Mass is currently translated "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you".  The new translation would read, "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit".  Bishop Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds (England) and Chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, briefly explained this change yesterday.  

The translation of the phrase “et cum spritu tuo,” Bishop Roche said, “cannot be understood without reference to St Paul, who will often address a person, for example Timothy, by referring to ‘your spirit’ rather than simply to ‘you.’ What is the significance of this? Well, he is addressing someone close to God who has God’s spirit. So when we reply, ‘and with your spirit,’ we are indicating that we are part of a spiritual community, it is God’s spirit that has gathered us together.

The prayer Catholics say prior to communion, which currently reads, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,” would now be translated, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”  This response, Roche said, is supposed to be reminiscent of the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. (found in Matthew 8:8 and Luke 7:6).

During the praying of the Nicene Creed Catholics would together profess their own personal faith, saying “I believe,” instead of “We believe.”

The penitential rite at the beginning of Mass would be expanded to mirror more closely the Latin translation.  Whereas Catholics currently say, "I have sinned through my fault," they would eventually say, "I have sinned greatly through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

Additionally, the wording of the “Sanctus” or “Holy, Holy” would change slightly, from, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might," to, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts."

Bishop Roche emphasized that the translation changes not only reflect more precisely the Mass in Latin, but also aim at faithfulness to the origin of the prayers.  “The prayers of the Mass, Bishop Roche said, “are mainly inspired and formed from Sacred Scripture, and the Commission of ICEL has accepted one very important point found in Liturgiam authenticam and accepted it as being crucial, namely the significance of the language of Sacred Scripture in our translation of the Mass.”