Worshippers at Spanish-language Masses in U.S. won’t use new missal yet

WASHINGTON – Although the third edition of the Roman Missal will become standard at English-language Masses in the United States beginning in Advent 2011, those participating in Spanish-language Masses here will have to wait a little longer for a new translation.

While the Vatican has given its “recognitio,” or confirmation, to the English translation that will be used in the United States, the Mexican bishops’ conference is still awaiting approval of its translation of the Latin text of the missal, said Father Richard Hilgartner, associate director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat on Divine Worship.

Once the Mexican text receives approval, the U.S. bishops “plan to take a good look” at it and might publish a Spanish-language edition of the Roman Missal for the United States based on that translation, although no final decision has been made, he said.

But the Mexican bishops are about two years behind the United States in the translation and approval process, Father Hilgartner added.

Even after the new Spanish-language text comes into use, most Catholics attending U.S. Masses in Spanish will not hear any many differences in wording as English-speaking Catholics will. That’s because the Spanish missal translations currently in use do not diverge as sharply from the original Latin as some English translations did.

For example, Father Hilgartner said, English-speaking U.S. Catholics will be learning a new response when the priest says at several points during the Mass, “The Lord be with you.” Instead of the current response of “And also with you,” the people will say, “And with your spirit.” But the Spanish has always been “Y con tu espiritu,” which translates to “And with your spirit.”

The new English translation of the Roman Missal “helps us to recognize that the text of the liturgy is bigger than any one culture or any one country,” the priest added. “The church of this generation may seem to have been separated by language, but we’re celebrating the same liturgy in our own local languages.”

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.