Liturgy Newsletter — May 2006
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News from the Bishops’ Conference
At its Easter meeting the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales gave further consideration to the draft translation of the Roman Missal prepared by ICEL. Three sections of the Missal have now been submitted to the Conference. The bishops have considered the ‘grey book’ (ICEL’s own final version) of a portion of the Ordo Missae, and the ‘green book’ of the Proper of Seasons. Shortly to be circulated to the bishops is the green book for the remainder of the Ordo Missae (notably the Prefaces, and the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation and for Various Needs and Occasions). The process of consultation and deliberation is extensive, and has been valued by the Bishops’ Conference as providing opportunities for exercising control over the development of the translation. The Bishops have been pleased with the way that ICEL has taken on board the comments they have made and with the progress of the work.
The Department for Christian Life and Worship considered a wide-range of issues during its own Easter meeting. High on the list were the proposals for a syllabus of formation for lay liturgical ministers. The need for such formation has been recognised by the Bishops’ Conference and detailed proposals have been discussed by members of liturgy commissions from across England and Wales. They have now been approved by the Department, and will be worked up into a syllabus and formation materials by the Department’s Formation subcommittee.
The first meeting of the new International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary took place at Roehampton in April. Bishop Mark Coleridge, Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne was confirmed as Chairman of the Commission. At the close of the meeting the members of the Commission met with Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who was in London for a lecture at Westminster Cathedral.
The expectation is that the new translation will be based on the NRSV translation, but revised to conform with the requirements of the Lectionary, established in the Introduction to the Lectionary and in Liturgiam Authenticam.
After the Synod
The Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the November 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist met in January to assist Benedict XVI in his preparation of a postsynodal document. The council is made up of 12 members chosen by the synod (including Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor) and three others appointed by the Pope. It plans to meet again in June.