New translation of the Mass

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The texts below are just some of the changes made in the new Order in 2011. There are many variations from the 1973 translation in the Eucharistic Prayers and the particular prayers for each Mass.

The 2011 translation is called The Roman Missal, Third Edition instead of The Sacramentary.


Previous editions of the Missale Romanum.

Latin Missal (novus ordo)


  • Tridentine Mass--a liturgical revision inspired by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1570. With few small changes, this was the Mass used in the Roman rite from 1570 until 1962.
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above.
  • International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was formed in 1964.
  • Between 1965 and 1972, various sections of the Mass were translated into the "vernacular" (local languages) in the Roman Rite.
  • Comme le Prévoit, 1969: "Instruction on the translation of liturgical texts for celebrations with a congregation." "The guiding principle of the document was 'dynamic equivalency,' which means to translate basic thoughts rather than words."[1]
  • The third edition of the Missale Romanum was published in Latin in 1972. The first complete English translation of the Sacramentary was in 1973.

Moral of the Timeline

1. The faith is translatable into any human language.

Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek are the founding languages.
Latin is a later language favored by the Roman hierarchy and embedded in the Latin rite. The translation of the Scriptures, Creed, and liturgy into Latin was a translation into a vernacular language. The purpose of the translation was to make the faith intelligible to believers. The very same impulse that gave us Latin drives us to keep on translating the faith into today's vernacular languages.
There are 3 Latin rites and 22 Eastern rites in the Catholic Church. There are many liturgical languages used in the Eastern rites. All of the Latin rites have been translated into local languages.
"Justin, one of the earliest and most reliable authorities on the Eucharistic rite of the primitive Church, already speaks of that fertility of dramatic inspiration which evidently surrounded the Eucharistic mysteries from the very beginning. The celebrant is said by him to offer up Eucharists with great abundance, as much as his strength allows, clearly pointing to a liberty of improvisation which had not been checked by definitive canons of the Liturgy."[2]
It seems to me that the miracle of tongues on the Day of Pentecost foreshadows the proclamation of the gospel to all of the children of God in all the languages of the world. God does not require us to learn Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or Latin in order to hear the good news.

2. Idiomatic translations ("dynamic equivalence") are, in principle, valid for the sacraments where the translations have been approved by the Church. Nothing extra is given sacramentally by using the Latin itself or a word-for-word translation ("formal equivalence"). The sacrament of the Mass is not being changed one whit by the change of the words and word order of the liturgy.

Some commentators call an idiomatic translation a "dumbing-down" of the literal translation. I think that mentality does more harm than good. It is not a "dumbing-down" to explain, for example, that "consubstantial" means "one in being." We have to speak English to English speakers if the gospel is to be preached effectively.

3. The 1972 English translators went off the deep end. In some cases, they abused the freedom given them to seek to express the meanings of the prayers in an English idiom and instead substituted their own spirituality for that of the Church. This is lamentable. Their excesses have brought about an extreme reaction in favor of word-for-word (even letter-for-letter!) translations.

4. The proposition that "the new translation is more accurate, beautiful, profound, and exalted than the old translation" is not an article of faith. I may question this assertion and withhold assent to any part of it without in any way acting against the faith. I accept the authority of the Church to tell me how to celebrate the sacraments; I do not accept the authority of the Latin literalists to tell me what is beautiful and appropriate for the liturgy.

5. When the Church translated from Greek into Latin, Latin was the vernacular language! The purpose of the translation was not to create a sacred language that would last 1600 years, but to make the Greek intelligible to the people. Latin was substantially the language of educated Europe up through the Renaissance. The fixity of Latin--the sense that it is something holy, sacred, different from our ordinary language--is something that has come into being only in the last few centuries. It is an historical accident.

6. There is no final, infallible, perfect, unchangeable version. The Church uses many languages and has many liturgies. This version is usable. As with pizza, "It does not have to be perfect to be good."

Serious problems with 1973 Sacramentary

Example of a loose translation

Opening Prayer for 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time[3]
Latin literal dynamic
Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis, O God, You who make the minds of the faithful to be of one will, Father, help us to seek the values
da populis tuis id amare quod praecipis, grant unto Your people to love that ... which You command, that will bring us lasting joy
id desiderare quod promittis, to desire that which You promise,
ut, inter mundanas varietates, so that, amidst the vicissitudes of this world, in this changing world.
ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia. our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are. In our desire for what you promise

make us one in mind and heart.

Omission of words and phrases from the Eucharistic Prayers

I need to get some examples ...

Et cum spiritu tuo

This dialogue between the priest and congregation takes place five times in the Mass:

"The Lord be with you." "And with your spirit."

  • Introductory Rite.
  • Before the Gospel.
  • In the Preface.
  • Communion Rite.
  • Dismissal.

Introductory Rites

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion [vs. "fellowship"] of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


New Ordo Old Ordo
I confess to almighty God

and to you, my brothers and sisters,

I confess to almighty God,

and to you, my brothers and sisters,

that I have greatly sinned, that I have sinned
[And, striking their breast, they say:]

through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;

through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,

all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,

all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

[The absolution of the Priest follows:]

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.

Confessing more grandly and more humbly

"The new translation does have us express more grandly the seriousness of our sin and the sincerity of our contrition. It offers a humbler way to collect ourselves before stepping any further into prayer."
I don't feel the humble grandeur of the new translation nor do I picture myself 'stepping ... further into prayer' after the Penitential Act. More power to those who do see and feel things this way.

Alternative Penitential Act

New Ordo Old Ordo
P: Have mercy on us, O Lord. P: Lord, we have sinned against you: Lord, have mercy.
R: For we have sinned against you. R: Lord, have mercy.
P: Show us, O Lord, your mercy. P: Lord, show us your mercy and love.
R: And grant us your salvation. R: And grant us your salvation.


New Ordo Old Ordo
Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

We praise you,

we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,

we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Common ending to Collects

New Ordo Old Ordo
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

Prayer for the Deacon

May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips
that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well,
in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Priest's Prayer

Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God,
that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.


New Ordo Old Ordo
I believe in one God,

the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial[4] with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

We believe in one Lord,

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate

of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born

of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


"New Translation: What's Changed and Why."
The Creed was originally in the plural, because it the was the Council of Nicea's statement of faith. But it entered the Mass through the Rite of Baptism, in which the candidate to be baptized would recite the Creed (in the singular) as a confession of his or her faith. We now pray the Creed in the singular to emphasize that these aren't just the beliefs of the Catholic Church, but are things that each of us actually believe in. This is also how it is in the Latin (Credo), and throughout the rest of the world.


  • Latin, consubstantialis: "an adjective used in Latin Christian christology, coined by Tertullian in Against Hermogenes 44, used to translate the Greek term homoousios. 'Consubstantial' describes the relationship among the Divine persons of the Christian Trinity and connotes that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are "of one being" in that the Son is 'generated' ('born' or 'begotten') 'before all ages' or 'eternally' of the Father's own being, from which the Spirit also eternally 'proceeds.'"
  • Substance vs. accident.
  • Transubstantiation.
  • "Consubstantial" is just a transliteration of a translation. It still has to be explained in plain English. If all we can do is transliterate, it would be better to transliterate (and explain) the Greek original: homoousios (ὁμοούσιος).
"'Consubstantial.' This word is a mouthful. In the entire revised translation of the Mass, this is probably the one word that will raise the most eyebrows. It replaces the expression 'one in Being,' and it describes the relationship between Jesus and the Father. In the previous translation, 'one in Being' was thought to be more comprehensible and closer to the original Greek of the Creed. However, the revised translation chooses a word that lies closer to the Latin equivalent, consubstantialis".[5]
There are pretty good reasons for thinking that "one in Being" is "more comprehensible and closer to the original Greek of the Creed." The Greek is ομοουσιος (homoousios), meaning "same being." The Latin translation of the Greek means "substantial with." Which is "more comprehensible and closer to the original Greek"? "One in Being" or "substantial with"? "Consubstantial" necessarily was intended to mean "ομοουσιος."
"'Consubstantial' is a very unusual word. We don't use it for anything else. But it is describing a very unusual thing--the nature of Jesus Christ. He is not like anything or anyone else."[6]
In other words, we are inflicting a word that has no natural meaning in English in place of an excellent phrase that captures the teaching of the Nicene Creed. I think this is mere pedantry.
Turner is also theologically inaccurate in saying that this phrase is about "the nature of Jesus Christ." It is a doctrine about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who is one-in-being with the Father before all time because of His divine nature and who assumed a human nature when He took flesh in the Virgin's womb. Jesus Christ is a single Divine Person who possess two natures, not one. In His divine nature, He is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit; in His human nature, He is not.

God the Son Suffered

"'Suffered death.' This replaces two verbs in the previous translation, "suffered, died." The Latin is ambiguous. Literally, it says, he suffered and was buried ["passus et sepultus est"], and the word suffered implies his dying. Because the verb died is not there in the Latin, "suffered death" seems a better way to express what happened to Jesus. The point here is that he really died, and that is what gives his Resurrection its full meaning" (22).
After all of Turner's praise of the precision and excellence of Latin and his insistence on the need to bend English to the patterns of the Latin language, both in word order and in the choice of vocabulary derived from Latin roots, he here defends inserting a word that is not in the Latin and in such a way that a beauty of the old translation is lost.
If all that the Nicene Fathers intended to say was that Jesus died, they could have done so either in Greek or Latin. The emphasis on His real suffering on the Cross was part of the Church's rejection of docetism. Because I am not a Latinate literalist, I don't mind adding a word in English to clarify that Jesus died before He was buried; I much prefer the old translation to the new. The Church has the authority to tell me what words to say in the Creed; it does not have the authority to say, "You must believe that this is 'a better way to express what happened to Jesus.'"
The old translation indicated that Jesus "really died." But it separated the fact that He really suffered from the fact that He died. The new translation runs those two separate ideas together--without any justification in the text for doing so.

"Worship" vs. "Adore"

Latin liturgical version of the Creed.
Et in Spíritum Sanctum, Dóminum et vivificántem:
qui ex Patre Filióque procédit.
Qui cum Patre et Fílio simul adorátur et conglorificátur:
qui locútus est per prophétas.
Etymology of "worship"
Old English worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (West Saxon) "condition of being worthy, dignity, glory, distinction, honor, renown," from weorð "worthy" (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of "reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being" is first recorded c. 1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful "honorable" (c. 1300).

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Offertory Prayers

Prayers over the gifts

Prayer over the bread
new ordo old ordo
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for through your goodness we have received Through your goodness we have
the bread we offer you: this bread to offer,
fruit of the earth which earth has given
and work of human hands, and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life. It will become for us the bread of life.
Prayer over the wine
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for through your goodness we have received Through your goodness we have
the wine we offer you: this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands fruit of the vine and work of human hands
It will become our spiritual drink. It will become our spiritual drink.

Accept our sacrifice

Lord God,
With humble spirit and contrite heart
may we be accepted by you, O Lord, we ask You to receive us
and may our sacrifice in your sight this day
be pleasing to You, and be pleased with
the sacrifice we offer you
Lord God.
with humble and contrite hearts.
Remarks on the changes:
1. Changed word order in several places.
2. An additional "O Lord" added in the middle.
3. "Humble spirit and contrite heart" vs. "Humble and contrite hearts." Note the difference in number between the new "heart" and the old "hearts."
4. "May our sacrifice in your sight this day" replaces "the sacrifice we offer you."
5. "Suscipiamur" is translated as "accept" instead of as "be accepted." This is less literal than the old translation! The Latin is clearly passive voice, not active.


Wash me, wash away
O Lord,
from my iniquity my iniquity;
and cleanse me cleanse me
from my sin. from my sin.

Pray, brethren

Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), Pray, brethren
that my sacrifice and yours that our sacrifice
may be acceptable to God, may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father. the almighty Father.


P: The Lord be with you.

R: And with your spirit.

P: Lift up your hearts.

R: We lift them up to the Lord.

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

R: It is right and just.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts [vs. "power and might"].

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


See my notes on the Institution Narratives for a more extended treatment of the pro multis phrase.

New Ordo Old Ordo
Take this, all of you, and drink from it,

for this is the chalice of my blood,
the blood of the new and eternal covenant,
which will be poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in memory of me.

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:

this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.

Mysterium fidei

"The mystery of faith" [vs. "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith"].

We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.


When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord,
until you come again.


Save us, Savior of the world,
for by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set us free.

Eucharistic Prayers

The Latin rite has a multitude of forms:

  • The extraordinary form (Tridentine Mass)
  • Four basic Eucharistic Prayers
  • Two Eucharist Prayers for Reconciliation
  • Four Eucharistic Prayers for use with Masses for Various Needs
  • Three Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children

That is 14 official (licit) versions of the Eucharistic Prayer.

Eucharistic Prayer II

You are indeed Holy, O Lord, Lord, you are holy indeed,
the fount of all holiness. the fountain of all holiness.
Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy,
by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,
so that they may become for us so that they may become for us
the Body and + Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
At the time he was betrayed Before he was given up to death,
and entered willingly into his Passion, a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and, giving thanks, he took bread and gave you thanks,
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
See the notes on the Consecration and Anamnesis
Therefore, as we celebrate
the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, In memory of his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord, we offer you, Father,
the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
giving thanks that you have held us worthy We thank you for counting us worthy
to be in your presence and minister to you. to stand in your presence and serve you.
Humbly we pray
that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit. be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.
Remember, Lord, your Church, Lord, remember your Church
spread throughout the world, throughout the world;
and bring her to the fullness of charity, make us grow in love,
together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop together with N. our Pope, N. our Bishop
and all the clergy. and all the clergy.
[In Masses for the Dead, the following may be added:]
Remember your servant N.,
whom you have called (today)
from this world to yourself.
Grant that he (she) who was united with your Son in a death like his,
may also be one with him in his Resurrection.
Remember also our brothers and sisters Remember our brothers and sisters
who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again;
and all who have died in your mercy: bring them and all the departed
welcome them into the light of your face. into the light of your presence
Have mercy on us all, we pray, Have mercy on us all
that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the blessed Apostles, with the apostles,
and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, and with all the saints who have done your will throughout the ages.
we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life,
and may praise and glorify you May we praise you in union with them, and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ. through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Per ipsum

New Ordo Old Ordo
Through him, and with him, and in him, Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, all glory and honor is yours,
almighty Father,
for ever and ever. Amen. for ever and ever. Amen.

Introduction to the Lord's Prayer

Latin literal translation New Ordo Old Ordo
Praeceptis salutaribus moniti, Admonished by the precepts of salvation, At the Savior's command Jesus taught us
et divina institutione formati, and formed by divine institution, and formed by divine teaching to call God our Father
audemus dicere: we dare to say: we dare to say: and so we have the courage to say:

Libera nos

I call this "Libera nos" from the first two words in Latin. Another liturgical name for the prayer is "the embolism," which is from the Greek for "thrown in" or, perhaps, "interjected" or "inserted." An "embolism" in our modern medical culture is an obstruction in a blood vessel; it doesn't seem to me like a useful name any longer for a most beautiful prayer.

Latin New Ordo Old Ordo
Líbera nos, quǽsumus, Dómine, ab ómnibus malis,

da propítius pacem in diébus nostris,
ut, ope misericórdiæ tuæ adiúti,
et a peccáto simus semper líberi
et ab omni perturbatióne secúri:
exspectántes beátam spem
et advéntum Salvatóris nostri Iesu Christi.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,

and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy
keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:11-14:

11 For the grace of God has appeared, saving all

12 and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

13 as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ,

14 who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

The Latinist who constructed this version of the phrase treated the Greek "kai" as the Latin "et," both of which may be legitimately translated as "and" in English. The translator of the passage in the New American Bible saw that "kai" could also mean "also" or "namely," and dropped the conjunction altogether. The word-for-word mentality shows its failings here. "If there is a word in the Greek, there must be a corresponding word in Latin; if there is a word in Latin, there must be a corresponding word in English. The right word theologically is "namely": we await the joyful hope, namely the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The "joyful hope" is not something different from the coming of our Savior. What we hope and long for IS the coming of the Savior: "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." The word "and" in English makes it sound as though there are two separate realities that we are waiting for instead of one.
The English translation of "Sacrosanctum Concilium" fixes the problem by using "expectation of" instead of "awaiting" and then adds a second "of," which is contrary to the grammar but in keeping with the meaning of verse: "Within the cycle of a year, moreover, she unfolds the whole mystery of Christ, from the incarnation and birth until the ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of blessed hope and of the coming of the Lord" (§102).


"For the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are Yours, now and forever" (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).

Some inspired genius added these words to the Lord's Prayer. They are not found in any of the gospel versions.

Kiss of peace

New Ordo Old Ordo
Lord Jesus Christ,

who said to your Apostles,
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,
look not on our sins,
but on the faith of your Church,
and graciously grant her peace and unity
in accordance with your will.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.

Lord Jesus Christ,

you said to your apostles:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
Look not on our sins,
but on the faith of your Church,
and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom,
where you live for ever and ever.

Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always.

People: "And with your spirit."

Communion rites

Prayers of the priest

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
who by the will of the Father
and the work of the Holy Spirit,
through your Death gave life to the world;
free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood,
from all my sins and from every evil;
keep me always faithful to your commandments,
and never let me be parted from you.


May the receiving of your Body and Blood,
Lord Jesus Christ,
not bring me to judgment and condemnation,
but through your loving mercy
be for me protection in mind and body,
and a healing remedy.

Behold, the Lamb of God

new ordo old ordo
Behold the Lamb of God, This is the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world. who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. Happy are those who are called to his supper.
The Centurion's Prayer
new ordo old ordo
Lord, I am not worthy Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof, to receive you
but only say the word but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed. and I shall be healed.

Latin: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum.

"Servant" vs. "soul" vs. "I".

In defense of the decision to institute a strict translation of "pro multis" as "for many," Cardinal Arinze argues that "'For many' is a faithful translation of pro multis, whereas 'for all' is rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis."[7] Would that the same line of reasoning had been applied here! In my view, the connection of the Centurion's Prayer to the 1973 translation is the kind of thing "that belongs properly to catechesis." I much prefer the liturgically-based interpretation, "Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed." In the liturgical moment, we are not about to ask Jesus to "come under our roof" (i.e., enter our house) but to enter into the very core of our being. We are about to receive Jesus in our heart of hearts. The imagery that the Centurion used was perfectly appropriate to his situation; the 1973 interpretation was perfectly appropriate to the liturgical situation.

Communion prayers of the priest

May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Purification of the vessels

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord,
may we possess in purity of heart,
that what has been given to us in time
may be our healing for eternity.


Go forth, the Mass is ended.


Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.


Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.


Go in peace.

Notable changes

Thomas Kocik, "The 'Johanno-Pauline Missal'":

New or restored memorials

  • Most Holy Name of Jesus (Jan. 3)
  • St. Josephine Bakhita (Feb. 8)
  • St. Adalbert (Apr. 23)
  • St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort (Apr. 28)
  • Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima (May 13)
  • Ss. Christopher Magallanes & Companions (May 21)
  • St. Rita of Cascia (May 22)
  • Ss. Augustine Zhao Rong & Companions (July 9)
  • St. Apollinaris (July 20)
  • St. Sharbel Makhluf (July 24)
  • St. Peter Julian Eymard (Aug. 2)
  • St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Aug. 9)
  • St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (Aug. 14)
  • St. Peter Claver (Sept. 9)
  • Most Holy Name of Mary (Sept. 12)
  • Ss. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & Companions (Sept. 20)
  • Ss. Lawrence Ruiz & Companions (Sept. 28)
  • Ss. Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions (Nov. 24)
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria (Nov. 25)

Other additions and modifications

  • New preface for martyrs
  • New options for prefaces of the Common of the B.V.M.
  • Four new Eucharistic Prayers Pro Variis Necessitatibus (Appendix to the Order of Mass, pp. 687-702) and three new Eucharistic Prayers Pro Missis cum Pueris (Appendix VI, pp. 1271-88), in addition to the two Eucharistic Prayers De Reconciliatione (Appendix to the Order of Mass, pp. 675-85); these last two are contained in the Missal of 1975.
  • Mass for the Remission of Sins (from the 1962 Missal)
  • Mass for Continence (from the 1962 Missal)
  • Three new votive Masses of the Divine Mercy
  • Octave Sunday of Easter ("Low Sunday") termed Divine Mercy Sunday
  • Each weekday of Advent has its own orations
  • Each weekday of Easter has its own orations
  • The Orationes super populum (Prayers over the people) for Lenten weekdays are restored (mainly from the 1962 Missal)
  • Gregorian chant no longer relegated to an appendix



I accept the authority of the Church to provide directions on how the sacraments are to be celebrated. I will submit to the Church's decisions with as much enthusiasm as I can muster for the project, for "God loves a cheerful giver" (1 Cor 9:7).

The obedience of faith requires me to say the Mass as the Church wants it to be said. I am not obliged to agree with the aesthetic theories advanced by advocates of the change. I retain my freedom of judgment about the quality of the translation and of the arguments advanced in its favor.

I don't believe that adjusting the language of the liturgy will renew the Church. The translation done in 1973 may well have been heavily influenced by modernism; merely undoing some small part of the work of the modernists will not root them out of the Church.

I was an English major in my undergraduate work at Boston College. My honors thesis was on poetics. I am not a poet myself, but I have some feel for how sound and sense work both in English and Latin. My heart sinks as I read the new texts. I am not thrilled by the turn to Latin roots.

Besides my work in English literature and poetics, I have studied Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, French, German, and Russian at some length; I dabble in a few Italian and Portuguese phrases. I also taught myself assembly language (ASM), BASIC, Pascal, C, C++ (Object Oriented Programing--OOP), PHP, MySQL, and javascript. I think I understand how translation works.

The liturgists who ushered in the 1973 translation almost certainly wrote pamphlets and books celebrating the wonders that would result from their work, just as the liturgists are doing with this translation. I don't believe that the liturgists as a group possess the gift of prophecy. If good fruit comes from this change, thanks be to God; if not, I will do my level best to pick up my cross and follow Jesus wherever He leads me.

Piety can't be imposed by law

Changing the words of the liturgy won't bring about a change of heart in the impious. They may give lip-service to the new texts but remain unrepentant within. Dissent and assent are incompatible. Dissenting Catholics have made a fine art of superficial adherence to the Church's teachings.

"There never was a time since the apostles’ day when the Church was not; and there never was a time but men were to be found who preferred some other way of worship to the Church’s way. These two kinds of professed Christians ever have been--Church Christians and Christians not of the Church; and it is remarkable, I say, that while, on the one hand, reverence for sacred things has been a characteristic of Church Christians on the whole, so, want of reverence has been the characteristic of the whole of Christians not of the Church" (John Henry Newman).


Are the critics just "ugly Americans"?

Paul Turner, Understanding the Revised Mass Texts, second edition (Chicago: Archdiocese of Chicago, 2010).

"Citizens of the United States of America ... have a well-earned worldwide reputation for being rather poor at speaking languages other than English. Many students take only the minimum number of hours required for foreign language classes. Those who speak more than one language are considered remarkable by that standard alone. States promote English-only legislation to protect citizens from having to use a second language. Americans expect a person from a different country to speak English whether they meet one another at home or abroad! This phobia concerning foreign languages probably spills into the Church, where some American Catholics regard those who possess a knowledge of Latin with a certain degree of suspicion."
I have studied Spanish, French, Latin, Russian, Middle English, NT Greek, Hebrew, and German; I'm toying around with Italian, too, on and off. I have no "phobia concerning foreign languages." My criticisms of the liturgical pedants are based on other grounds.

Expect frustration

"You can count on some frustration when the revised texts appear" (6).
This prophesy is fulfilled in my reading!

Spare us, O Lord

"The word 'O' has been added throughout the Missal before words such as 'Lord' and 'God' in sentences that are prayers. It slightly lengthens the one-syllable form of address to God, and intends to show respect."
They don't add the elegant 'O' in the Penitential Rite, which retains 'Lord, have mercy' and 'Christ, have mercy.' I guess the extraneous 'O' didn't fit in with the grand humility of that part of the new translation.

Must we all say the "same words"?

"Catholic profess the Creed each Sunday in various languages all around the world. Especially for this part of Mass, it is important that we all say the same words; there is one faith (Ephesians 4:5)."
If what Turner says were true, then 1) we would all be obliged to say the Creed in Greek, the original language of the New Testament and of the Council of Nicea, and 2) there would be no option to use the Apostles Creed in place of the Nicene Creed. I think that one of the greatest glories of Christianity is its commitment to being translated into any and all human languages. What must be preserved is the meaning, of the Creed, not the words.

Two kinds of sacrifice and priesthood in the Mass

"You will notice [in the Offertory Rite] the expansion form the words 'our sacrifice' to 'my sacrifice and yours.' In keeping with the Latin text, this implies that more than one sacrifice is being offered. On the one hand, the Mass is a single sacrifice offered by all present. On the other hand, each baptized member of the assembly is offering a sacrifice, in keeping with his or her priestly role; however, each participate in the one sacrifice of Christ" (25).
This is the second remark of Turner's with which I wholeheartedly agree.

Sursum corda

"The next part of the dialogue has not changed at all. The priest says, 'Lift up your hearts,' and you answer, 'We lift them up to the Lord.' There was some discussion about changing this translation. In Latin, the words are very spare, and they literally mean something like, Hearts aloft! We hold [them] up to the Lord. In the end, it was thought that the previous translation seemed to achieve the same sense. Because people know these lines so well, no change was recommended."
I wish that the same merciful and compassionate thinking had been employed in the translation of the Creed.


"It brings a smile to the face of many Catholics to know that in the midst of all these changes the translation of the word Amen will be the same. In fact, the word is not translated at all. It's the same word in Latin."
Yes, I am grateful that they left unchanged a word here and there. I am not grateful for Turner's patronizing tone toward those who disagree with him about the beauty, depth, elegance, grandeur, and humility of the new translation. I think there were other places where things could well have been left alone except for the joy that the changes bring to the Latin literalists.

Per ipsum

"The doxology [at the end of the Eucharistic prayer] will be slightly different. The main difference here is the word order, which more nearly imitates the flow of the Latin" (35).
From the work of such imitators, spare us, O Lord!


"The only difference [in the Consecration] is the insertion of the words 'of' and 'for.' The meaning is basically the same, but the new translation expresses that we all share some 'of' the same bread. By partaking of one bread, we become one body in Christ (see 1 Corinthians 10:17). Furthermore, the reason we share this food is because it is the Body of Christ, given up for us. The word 'for' draws out this purpose."
The word enim, translated as "for," is an insertion in the Latin rite. It is not found in the Scriptures nor in the Eastern rites. This is not a word that has a clear and precise meaning in English, let alone in theology.[8] As with all of the other Latinisms in the new translation, I will stick to the script, but I don't think it is an improvement in the old translation.
"Instead of 'shed' the revised translation uses 'poured out.' The new verb underlines the ambiguity of the phrase were it occurs. Either a cup or blood may be 'poured out.' The sentence may mean either one. However, only blood can be 'shed'; the previous translation misses this ambiguity in the text" (37-38).
That is a nice touch. Why didn't this delicacy and tact apply to the translation of 'enim' as 'for'? That translation imposes a meaning on a word that is very subtle--and negligible!--in Latin.


"[After the Consecration,] the priest then announces 'the mystery of faith.' You are accustomed to hearing him say, 'Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.' But this is more than what appears in Latin. ... By omitting the words 'Let us,' the new translation should help the priest keep centered on his role" (39).
So what? When it pleases them, the translators provide "more than what appears in Latin"--as in the case of "The Lord be with you" and "suffered death." This is the kind of small-mindedness on the part of our Latinists that irritates me to no end. I have nothing charitable to say about this kind of reasoning, so I will not say it. Let us pray for our enemies as Jesus taught us to pray.
"Besides, 'Let us' implies that the priest will also be making the acclamation, which the previous translation has encouraged him to do. But the acclamation is yours to make. The priest is not supposed to join you in it, any more than he should make the response to 'The Body of Christ.' He has made an announcement, and you make an acclamation" (39).
This is mind-boggling. I cannot find anything in the GIRM that supports this prohibition of the priest joining in the acclamation of faith. By what means will the congregation decide which acclamation to use if the priest does not cue the response? Is the priest not a member of the congregation? What does his participation in the acclamation take away from the congregation?

The Lord's Prayer

"The Lord's prayer itself has not changed. You will continue to use the same words you have prayed all through your Christian life. Some scripture scholars think they could make a better translation of this prayer from the original Greek of Matthew's account of the Gospel (see 6:9-13). Some people think that the prayer should at least be updated to change the word thy to your. But the Lord's Prayer we know has achieved a level of holiness that cannot be replaced. English speakers have used this translation for many, many years, so no change has been made."
Another small victory at which the faithful may smile, except that Turner would then accuse them of being small-minded ugly Americans. It's best simply to bow before the wisdom of the liturgists and say, "Yes, father; of course, father; whatever you think is best, father."
I wish we would use the Lord's Prayer as a model for liturgical prayer. It is simple and straightforward. There is no gazing at ourselves in the mirror--"I humbly pray." It is not ornate.

Roofs & souls

"Some Catholics may confuse the word 'roof' with the roof of one's mouth, which may be why the previous translation omits this word. By quoting the centurion, you're telling Jesus of your sins and that you are not worthy to have him enter the place where you live. Your words are about your sinfulness, not a part of your body."
That is why the old translation is vastly superior to the new revision. What we are about to do when we say this prayer is receive Jesus into our bodies and souls, not have him come under the roof of the place where we live. In the original account, Jesus did not enter under the centurion's roof. In Communion, He does enter our hearts despite our unworthiness to have Him do so. I cannot express strongly enough how much I prefer the 1973 translation: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you."

Even Virgil nodded

The Latinizers set standards that they do not keep.

They are inconsistent in their translations.

They add words not in the Latin.

They translate the same word different ways in different contexts.

They do not follow the same word order when translating words that are in the same word order in the Latin.

"Men of good will"

Populus: definitely means "people." It's used in the rubrics for the parts said by the "people."

Homo, hominis: definitely means "man," not "people."

Pater omnipotens

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipoténtem, ...
sedet ad déxteram Dei Patris omnipoténtis,
Orate, fratres
Oráte, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum sacrifícium acceptábile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipoténtem.
  • Only one sacrifice, not two! The one sacrifice belongs both to the priest and the people.
  • Word order: "God [the] Father almighty."
Roman canon
et elevátis óculis in cælum ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipoténtem,
Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso, est tibi Deo Patri omnipoténti, in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, omnis honor et glória per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.

Heart and soul

Quod ore súmpsimus, Dómine, pura mente capiámus, et de múnere temporáli fiat nobis remédium sempitérnum.


Where the Greek and Latin transliterate from Hebrew, both English translations provide interpretations. We are forced to live with the transliteration of "consubstantial." Why is Sabaoth not transliterated? That would be more faithful to the Scriptures and to the Latin original of the Mass.

Arbitrary insertion of English Vocative

This is a stylistic imposition on the Latin text.

I can accept an "O" when the Latin requires it.

But since we have been sternly lectured against supplying English words where none exist in the Latin, I am shocked--shocked!--to find our Latinist antiquarians inserting words into the translation that have no ground whatsoever in the original text.

I haven't yet found a rhyme or reason by which to guess when I should say "O Lord" instead of "Lord." This makes memorization much more difficult.

Let's be charitable toward the 1973 translation

"In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas."[9]

My own vocation comes from predominantly the period of the Novus Ordo--from the hippy Masses, from half-English half-Latin, from the 1973 translation. I think I'm about as orthodox as you can get. I don't think that the aesthetic or linguistic problems with the Mass deprived me of God's love and mercy.

My experience does not cause me to be upset with the 38 years of the Novus Ordo.

The thought that there are magic words that we have to say to render God benevolent is magical thinking--as if God does not understand our hearts, first, last, and always. He interprets what we say according to what is in our hearts. The Latinization of the Mass really makes no difference. What matters is whether I have a pure heart and am looking to GOD for everything that I need and desire.

I hate the view that my years of the priesthood were in some way stunted because I wasn't saying the Latinish words. The contempt for the Novus Ordo seems contemptible to me.

Like the little boy striking the street pole at the moment the lights went out in NYC. "Post hoc non est propter hoc." The change of language came when the Church was crumbling under the storms and sins of the modern age. Of course, some of the same currents that have been at work in the destruction of the foundations of the Church found expression in the modernizing (and abuse!) of the Liturgy--it could not be otherwise. To think that we can win people back from lives of sin by Latinizing the Mass is insane.

That we can win people back to purity of heart, chastity, piety, generosity, magnanimity, by changing the words of the Mass strikes me as ludicrous. The culture of death has been doing a better job of evangelization than we have over these last sixty years: pornography, hedonism, narcissism, psychologism, materialism, scientism--all transmitted by the modern media.

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I testify to it that its works are evil" (Jn 7:7).
"If they hated me, they will hate you, too" (Jn 15:18).

I guess I'm a bitter old Jesuit cynic. I'm not all thrilled and joyful with the change. May God Almighty Himself have mercy on me a sinner, and show me what He can do with the new magical Latinish words.

The Latinizing of the Mass is very "Harry Potterish"--as if Latin itself is more sacred than any other human language. That proposition is not part of the official teaching of the Church. Latin has proved useful for the conduct of the Church's life in the West, but it is not, in principle, holier than Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or the other languages of the world. I can't think of any saying of Jesus that suggests that prayer is a matter of saying the right words in the right language.

The 1973 translation contained no doctrinal errors. It was certified as sound by the very same pastoral authorities that now certify the soundness of the new translation. Those who used the 1973 translation obediently used it in good faith. It is wrong to slander those obedient people by stereotyping them as modernists. Some were; some weren't.

I accept the new translation on exactly the same grounds that I accepted the old translation: This is what God, in His Providence, has allowed the pastors of the Church to set before us. The old translation was not perfect and unchangeable; neither is the new one. It is not on par with Sacred Scripture or any element of the Deposit of Faith. The old translation was authorized as a text free from doctrinal error that was required for use in the celebration of the Eucharist in the Novus Ordo. The new translation is authorized as a text free from doctrinal error by the very same authorities who authorized the 1973 edition. I am subject to the pastoral authority of the bishops acting in union with the Pope. Just as I accepted the authority of the text from 1973 to 2011, I will accept the authority of the new text from now on.

God doesn't say anywhere that we must say the right words with the right gestures in order to be pleasing to Him. He doesn't meter out His grace according to the aesthetics of the ritual. A baby baptized by a grandmother under a faucet is just as baptized as a baby baptized by the Pope in St. Peter's. What Jesus gave His People through the 1973 Sacramentary was His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity--just as He does now.

Don't sweat the small stuff

Some differences make no difference.

Jesus has been offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass continually in, with, for, and through His Body on Earth since His Ascension into Heaven.

I find myself raging over trivia--essentially matters of lip service.

It seems to me that others are doing the same thing.

I don't want to strain the gnat and swallow the camel. Obsessing about fine points of grammar and syntax (straining the gnat) causes me to sin against piety and charity (swallowing the camel). The most important actions in the Liturgy take place at an entirely different level.

All of the changes that have been made are "small stuff." They are trivial and superficial compared to the reality of the Sacrifice of the Mass. They are "second things," not "first things." Formulas are necessary for formal worship, but they are not the essence of worship. God gazes on the secrets of our hearts and knows whether our offering is truly humble and contrite. I served the Lord as best I could with the 1973 translation; I will serve the Lord as best I can with the new translation.

Let's uncharitably suppose that all of the modernists are diabolically inspired and are all antichrists. Nothing in the gospel licenses me to hate them. If they are our enemies, we are obliged by the gospel to pray for them with real mercy and love in our hearts.

Merely changing the words we say won't change our hearts. Love can't be legislated. We need God's power to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves--to cause us to love one another as Christ has loved us.

The bitterness of the modernists is ugly.

So, too, is the smug triumphalism of the Latinists.

"What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. I have come for the sick and for sinners, not for the healthy and self-righteous."

"Out of my sight, you evil-doers. I never knew you."

All things being equal, I prefer a more aesthetically pleasing Mass to one that is less pleasing. But it is very wrong to measure what God is doing by what appears to the sensibility of an aesthete.

May God have mercy on us all.

What is good about the new translation

  • It is different. The change will provoke some reflection and discussion.
  • It is much closer to the Latin original. The Latin and English words can be lined up more or less in a one-to-one correspondence.
  • Some of the poetic imagery is more appealing.
  • The irritation caused by the changes can help us aspire to "worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4).
  • The application of "formal equivalence" circumvented efforts by the International Commission on English (ICEL) in the Liturgy to impose "inclusive language"[10] in the Roman Missal. "Bishops from English speaking countries attending the Second Vatican Council set up the Commission in Rome in 1963. On 15 September 2003, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments formally established ICEL as a mixed commission in accordance with the Holy See's Instruction Liturgiam authenticam."[11]

Time will tell

"Post hoc non est propter hoc."

It is hard to tell the difference between cause and effect in human relationships.

It may well be that the modernist translation of the Mass produced bad spiritual effects; it may well be that the new translation will produce good spiritual effects. I have my doubts on both counts.

I don't believe that the script of the Mass prohibits or guarantees piety and "fear of the LORD." Saying that we are humbly praying does not mean that we are, in fact, humbly praying. The rhetoric about the former translation seems to me to verge on Pharisaism, rubricism, and legalism. Those who measure the Novus Ordo against the Tridentine Mass will not be satisfied by the new translation. Some of them want to reinstitute the whole of the old Ordo, preferably in Latin.


  1. "Timeline of the Roman Missal."
  2. Abbot Vonier, A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist, p. 160.
  3. "21st Sunday of Ordinary Time."
  4. USCCB FAQ on "Consubstantial."
  5. Paul Turner, Understanding the Revised Mass Texts, second edition (Chicago: Archdiocese of Chicago, 2010), 22.
  6. Paul Turner, Understanding the Revised Mass Texts, second edition (Chicago: Archdiocese of Chicago, 2010), 22.
  7. Cf. the section on "Pro Multis." for the full text of Arinze's letter.
  8. Jimmy Akin, "Enim?"
  9. Wikipedia, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas."
  10. "ICEL Snapshots."
  11. "What is ICEL?"