DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 165

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Vatican officials have confirmed that several new important liturgical texts-- including a new edition of the Roman Missal-- will be published in coming weeks.

        Bishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, told reporters that the Latin "editio typica"-- or authoritative version-- of the Roman Missal will be available before the end of the year. At an August 31 interview with reporters from the I Media news agency in Rome, he said that the new edition of the Missal, along with other texts, was to be available for the Jubilee Year.

        The third edition of the Roman Missal will be the first edition published during the pontificate of John Paul II. The first two editions, following the liturgical renewals of Vatican II, were issued under the aegis of Pope Paul VI.

        Bishop Tamburrino said that the new Missal itself is now being printed. An introduction, he said, is still in the editorial process.

        The Latin-language "editio typica" is a "point of departure" for the translations, which will follow. He said that the new Missal would contain no innovations, but would bring the Roman Missal up to date by incorporating two sorts of material: the new feasts for those who have been canonized or beatified under Pope John Paul II, and the responses to liturgical directives issued since the appearance of the second edition. For example, he said, the new edition would acknowledge the possibility that women could be altar servers. The new text could also include more explicit guidelines on involvement of "lay ministers" in the liturgy.

        The Missal, however, is only one of several new texts that will be issued in coming weeks by the Congregation for Divine Worship. The Congregation is also preparing a new Latin edition of the Lectionary, or book of Scriptural readings for liturgical celebrations. This will be the second authoritative edition of the Lectionary; the first appeared shortly after Vatican II.

        The new Lectionary, Bishop Tamburrino said, will be based on the latest revised version of the Vulgate: the original Latin text of the Bible as translated by St. Jerome nearly 1600 years ago. The new Vulgate, the bishop said, has been prepared with the help of the monks of the famous abbeys of Clairvaux and Solesmes. Again, he said, there would be no major changes, but "certain refinements" in the text.

        The Congregation for Divine Worship has plans to release several other texts in time for the Jubilee:

    • - a new Latin edition of the Gospels-- the first such text to be published since Vatican II, containing the Gospel texts together with instructions for chanting them;
    • - a new volume of texts from Scripture and the Church Fathers, to be used in the Office of Reading, prayed each day by priests and religious;
    • - a new martyrology, or listing of saints and martyrs with their feast days;
    • - a guide proposing norms for the discernment of popular traditions and customs which may be encouraged and adapted within the liturgy, and recognizing those customs which are inappropriate to the sacraments; and
    • - a guide for priests on the proper way of celebrating the Mass.

        The last text-- the guide for priests-- is still in outline form, Bishop Tamburrino said. He explained that the text would be an effort to help priests "more fully to use the resources of the Roman Missal."

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September 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 165


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