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VOX CLARA Mar-16-2007 (390 words) xxxi

Vox Clara advisers urge quick completion of English Mass translation

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and a committee of congregation advisers have urged the quick completion of the new English translation of the Mass.

The Vox Clara Committee, a group of English-speaking bishops who advise the Vatican on English translations, met March 12-15 at the Vatican.

A press release about the meeting repeatedly referred to hopes that the translation of the Roman Missal, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 2002, would be completed quickly.

The International Commission on English in the Liturgy, or ICEL, is preparing the translation in several sections. When individual bishops' conferences approve the texts translated into English from Latin, they request Vatican permission to use them.

The new translation of the Order of the Mass, which contains the main prayers used at every Mass, has been approved by all the English-speaking bishops' conferences.

The Vox Clara press release said Vatican permission to use the text is expected "in the near future," although most bishops' conferences have said they would wait until the entire Missal has been approved to begin using the new translation.

Vox Clara members also said they discussed a report on "musical considerations" involving the translation of the Order of the Mass and proposed "appropriate revisions" to the texts.

The Vatican had asked musicologists to evaluate how easily and smoothly the translation of the people's parts of the Mass -- for instance the Gloria and the Sanctus -- could be set to music.

It was expected that in granting permission for the new translation to be used the Vatican could make minor changes to the translation or word order to facilitate singing the texts.

Vox Clara also called for the preparation of "accurate and accessible formational materials" to introduce the new translation to priests and congregations before the new Mass prayers are used.

In reference to the principles used for liturgical translations, Vox Clara members conducted their final review of the congregation's proposed translation style guide, the "'Ratio Translationis' for the English Language."

"The 'Ratio Translationis' was first proposed in draft form to all conferences of bishops in June 2005," the Vox Clara statement said. "Following widespread consultation, it is anticipated that the congregation will promulgate the 'Ratio' in its final form in the near future."


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