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VOX CLARA Sep-11-2007 (350 words) xxxi

Vox Clara Committee hopes missal translation completed by 2009

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- An international liturgical committee that advises the Vatican reported progress in its work on the new English translation of the Mass.

After meeting at the Vatican Sept. 2-6, the Vox Clara Committee said it hoped the English translation of the Roman Missal would be completed and approved by the end of 2009.

It was the first time a specific date had been anticipated for the completion of the lengthy project. The third edition of the Roman Missal was promulgated in Latin by Pope John Paul II in 2002, and work on the English translation began soon afterward.

A Vox Clara statement said its meeting reviewed the most recent draft translations of the Roman Missal, as produced in English by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, or ICEL, which is preparing the translation in several sections.

The material included Masses for various needs and intentions, ritual Masses, and the eucharistic prayers for Masses with children.

"The members found the texts to be excellent, although suggestions were made for ways in which the choice of alternate words or phrases could render a few sections more faithful to the Latin original or easier to proclaim and comprehend," the statement said.

It said the final draft translation for the missal should be published by next spring. Then ICEL will complete a second draft, taking into account the reactions of English-language bishops' conferences and the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

After that, the bishops' conferences vote on the second draft. The Vatican's worship and sacraments congregation then takes final action, considering any eventual amendments that are proposed by bishops' conferences.

Church sources said that, in the end, most experts expect the Vatican to come up with a single, consensus version of the missal to serve the entire English-speaking world.

The Vox Clara Committee, made up of English-speaking bishops, is chaired by Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, and works closely with the worship and sacraments congregation. The committee's next meeting is scheduled for December.


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