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LITURGY-EDUCATE Mar-1-2007 (430 words) xxxi

English-speaking liturgists design multimedia education project

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Although a new translation of the Mass probably is a couple years away from parish use, a group of liturgy specialists from the United States, England and Australia is designing a multimedia package to help Catholics prepare.

Msgr. James P. Moroney, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for the Liturgy, said the liturgy offices of other English-speaking bishops' conferences will be invited to participate in the education project, which could be ready by late 2008.

He said the project flowed from informal discussions about how little was done to prepare people for the Mass in English after the Second Vatican Council; many people felt efforts to get the original English Mass into use were "very hurried."

As the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, or ICEL, continues to prepare new English translations of the Mass prayers and as bishops' conferences await Vatican permission to use the translations they have approved, the group met in Rome in late February to continue outlining what members believe an education package should include.

The six participants began work in November, deciding they wanted to produce a DVD with video, slide show and text presentations, which would include the history of the liturgy, liturgical spirituality, liturgical language and how to preside at the liturgy.

"Ministry guides" and bulletin inserts also would be part of the package they hope would get "massive distribution in the English-speaking world," Msgr. Moroney said.

He said the materials would include suggestions "to help priests effectively proclaim the (new) texts, but a discussion about translations is only a very small part of the project."

Most Catholics, he said, are aware of the Second Vatican Council's call for "full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations" on the part of all the faithful, but many have overlooked the council's warning that participation is unlikely unless priests are "fully imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy and capable of giving instruction about it."

Msgr. Moroney said the group was not convoked by the Vatican or by the ICEL, although ICEL chairman Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, England, and its executive director, Msgr. Bruce Harbert, are involved.

The three other participants are: Father Allen Morris, secretary of the Department for Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales; Msgr. Peter Williams, executive secretary of the Australian bishops' National Liturgical Commission; and Msgr. Kevin Irwin, dean of the school of theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington.


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