A diaconal perspective on the new English translation of the Roman Missal

Michael D. Phelan

The history and background to the new translation of the Missal is traced from the Second Vatican Council to its implementation in 2011. Michael D. Phelan is a retired Deacon of Northampton Diocese.

Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
The first document promulgated by the Second Vatican Council was the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which stressed that what the Church desired was ?full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgical celebrations? by ?all the faithful?. Accordingly, local bishops? conferences were to be commissioned to put the Council?s wishes into practice and their decrees were then to be confirmed by Rome. So for the Second Vatican Council, local bishops? conferences were clearly understood to be in the driving seat of the liturgical translations of the Roman Missal into the vernacular.
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ICEL History
To understand how the new translation of the Roman Missal into the vernacular in the English-speaking world came into being, we need to look back into the history of the original translation process from after the Second Vatican Council to the subsequent radical changed instructions.

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