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Pastoral Letter on the New Translation of the Roman Missal

My Dear People

At this time in all English-speaking countries of the world, the New Translation of the Mass is being introduced.

Some countries have already introduced the new texts, including some Australian Dioceses.

After some consideration the Western Australian Bishops decided to wait until the new Altar Missal is available before introducing the changes to the priests’ part of the Mass. It is expected that the Missals will arrive in parishes by the first week of Advent, 27th November 2011.

As a way of preparing for the New Missal, the Peoples’ Responses will be introduced in all parishes on the 31st Sunday of the Year, 30th October 2011. From that date the people at all celebrations of the Mass will be using the new responses, this will include all Catholic school celebrations. The parish or school will provide either the written responses or overheads to assist the congregation to respond. This will allow congregations to become familiar with the new responses.

The preparation of the New Translation has taken many years. Time was needed to make sure that the new texts were not only accurate translations of the Latin but also elegant and prayerful, helping us to penetrate deeper into the mysteries we celebrate.

It is hoped that the New Translation will serve the Church for many years to come.

It is important for me to stress that the old translation of the Mass that has served us well for over thirty years will become obsolete after the First Sunday of Advent this year. From that date on only the New Translation can be used.

The introduction of the new Missal is an opportunity for extensive catechesis on the nature of worship, the theology of the Eucharist and the purpose of its liturgical celebration. Over the past year the Archdiocese has offered catechesis on the new texts, “train-the-trainer” sessions for parish and school leaders, instruction on the use of the DVD “Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ”, information sessions for our priests, and has also provided parish bulletin inserts.

Most parishes have offered some catechesis on the Eucharist. I encourage all parishes to continue this catechetical exposition of these central truths of the Faith so that the new Missal will correspond with a deeper knowledge and love of the Blessed Eucharist.

This is a moment of grace. Let us welcome this New Translation of the Roman Missal and use this opportunity to deepen our love for the Mass.

Most Rev B J Hickey
Archbishop of Perth
30 October 2011
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time