A year from now, the liturgical celebrations of the Advent and Christmas seasons will have a different sound, as the new English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal begins being used in U.S. parishes.
In a decree of proclamation sent to the U.S. bishops in August, Chicago Cardinal Francis George, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, 2011. From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America.”
The transition to the new translation took up most of the past decade and has not been without its rough patches, with some bishops, priests and laypeople criticizing changes in wording meant to bring the translation more closely into alignment with the Latin original.
But Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., who, as chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship for the past three years, shepherded the missal through its final approval by the Vatican in 2010, said just before stepping down as chairman that catechetical preparation to implement the new translation was proceeding in U.S. parishes “with much enthusiasm and wide acceptance by both clergy and laity.”
Other stories that garnered a share of national headlines were the massive oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico, the naming of two Mexican-born bishops to the sees of Los Angeles and San Antonio, the signing of the controversial health-care reform legislation, the gains by the Republican Party in the midterm elections, and the approval of an apparition of the Blessed Mother in Green Bay, Wis.
See the print paper for year-in-review pictures with national, global and papal significance.