Q. Why is the translation of the Mass changing?
A. When the official English translation was issued in the 1970's it was translated using a principal called “dynamic equivalence.” The result of this translation method was that the English translation conveys the general meaning of the original Latin text instead of being a word-for-word translation.
In 2001 the Vatican issued the document Liturgiam Authenticam which required that translated texts for the liturgy use “formal equivalence,” or a translation method that attempts to translate the original source literally.
Q. When does the new translation take effect?
The new translation goes into effect the first Sunday of Advent in 2011 (Nov 27, 2011). The surprise will actually come at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve when the new Gloria will be sung for the first time.
Q. Who is affected by the new translation?
This translation will be used by all English-speaking countries for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. There aren't any changes being made to the Extraordinary Form (1962 missal). This will also affect other languages that used dynamic equivalence as those countries work on revised translations. For example, the words of consecration for the Spanish missal will be changing to match the Latin.
Q. When will new Sunday and daily missals be available?
Several publishers have already announced that new altar Roman Missals will be available in October of 2011. We haven't been given any release dates for Sunday and daily missals for personal use. Because of this we are selling $10 pre-order vouchers so you can reserve a copy of the new missal. Please read about our Missal Shield program for more details or order your Sunday missal voucher or daily missal voucher now.
Q. How significant are the changes? Will I notice?
If you aren't paying attention and following along with a missal or some other worship aid, you are going to get confused. The major prayers that you say during the Mass including the Confiteor, Gloria, Creed and Sanctus are all changing. The very common “And also with you.” is changing to “And with your spirit.” If you want to see what parts are changing along with explanations, I recommend ordering a copy of Understanding the Revised Mass Texts. You can also order our exclusive holy cards with the major revised prayers on the backs.