STEUBENVILLE, OH—Describing the New Roman Missal as
the most important liturgical change in over 40 years, Bishop Arthur Serratelli
addressed an attentive audience in Franciscan University of Steubenville's
Christ the King Chapel.
the Church and the United States and the rest of the other English-speaking
countries are preparing for perhaps the most significant change in the liturgy
since the introduction of the New Order of the Mass back in 1970," Bishop
Serratelli's talk, "The New Roman Missal: A Moment in the Church's Liturgical
Renewal," was the first of five talks at the "Supper of the Lamb:
Mass as Heaven on Earth Conference" at Franciscan University of
Steubenville. The Paterson, New Jersey, bishop discussed the implementation of
the New Roman Missal during the October 15th day-long conference. Subsequent
speakers discussed topics such as the architectural, sacrificial, and musical
elements of the Mass.
Serratelli helped to translate Pope John Paul II's third edition of the Roman
Missal from its original Latin to the English vernacular, alongside bishops and
linguistic scholars from 11 English-speaking nations. As chairman of the
Committee on Divine Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops, Bishop Serratelli discussed the impact and the characteristics of the
New Roman Missal.
explained that though people may have grown accustomed to the texts used during
the Mass and may hesitate to change, the very nature of life is change.
liturgy is people," said Bishop Serratelli. "The liturgy is life. And
so the language of the liturgy can change as people change."
Serratelli explained how the method of translation has shifted in recent years.
Previously, translators focused on making the texts accessible to those who
would listen to them. For the most part, the Latin texts were not translated
through the current mode of translation, much closer attention is paid to the
rich vocabulary of the Latin liturgy. It shows a greater respect for the
scriptural and patristic (relating to the early Christian theologians)
allusions in the Latin text. This translation is more literal, but unearths
both spiritual and biblical richness, Bishop Serratelli explained.
new emphasis has saved us and has added a needed balance, so that the
liturgical language does not become impoverished as we're constantly trying to
adapt it to modern circumstances," Bishop Serratelli said.
around the world aided in the long and careful process of creating the New
Translation of the Roman Missal.
introduction of a liturgical book is of immense importance for the
Church," Bishop Serratelli said. "It deserves all the attention it
was given. It is not left to the competence or preference of the few to express
the faith of the whole Church."
prayers of the new texts are not casual, but honor God in a noble language,
worthy of him.
goal of the arrangement is to provide prayers that are focused, that are
unadorned, and that are thoughtful without being over-burdened," Bishop Serratelli
said. "In one continuous thought, our heart pours itself out to God,
without interruption, directly and simply begging God's help."
Serratelli highlighted many characteristics of the New Roman Missal. He said
that the prayers are more biblical, putting the exact words of Scriptures on
the lips of those praying.
using the exact words, nothing is lost in the meaning, but a sense of poetry is
gained, and we are using the very words of Scripture itself," he
the text will be used in many different English-speaking countries, it was
important that the preferences of one country were not reflected more prominently
than those of another in the text. The text does not bear any cultural stamp,
Bishop Serratelli explained.
the New Missal is a product of many years of growth and understanding, Bishop
Serratelli said that it will not be perfect.
will come when the liturgy on earth gives way to the liturgy of heaven, where
all the saints speak with one voice in praise of God," Bishop Serratelli
conclusion of Bishop Serratelli's talk was greeted by a standing ovation from
more talks were given at the liturgy conference. Dr. John Bergsma, associate
professor of theology at Franciscan University, gave a talk titled "The
Mass as Marriage Supper: Square Brides and Sheepish Grooms in Scripture."
Dr. Denis McNamara, architectural historian and liturgical design consultant,
presented "New Heaven and New Earth: Church Architecture as Sacramental
Participation in the Heavenly Banquet." Adam Bartlett, sacred music
director and editor of the Sacred Music Project, gave a talk titled
"Perspectives on Liturgical Music." Dr. Scott Hahn, Franciscan
University theology professor and founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical
Theology, presented "Paschal Sacrifice: A Heavenly Banquet for Earthly
conference was co-sponsored by the Diocese of Steubenville and Franciscan
University of Steubenville, with assistance from the St. Paul Center for