Roman Missal

In 2002 the Holy See published the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal. The Bishops of England and Wales are presently collaborating with other English-speaking Conferences in preparing a translation.

Preparing a new translation of the Missal

Bishop Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, is Chairman of ICEL, the International Commission of Bishops entrusted by Bishops’ Conferences with the work of preparing the translation of the Church’s liturgical books into English. The work of ICEL is presently focused on the translation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal, published in Latin in 2002.

The work of translation is a painstaking work. It is necessarily so for two reasons. Firstly the texts of the liturgy are often some 1500 years old, from societies very different to ours, and filled with allusion to the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. Expressing this richness in contemporary English, even in the relatively formal style suited for liturgical worship, is far from easy. Secondly the importance of the liturgy in the life of the Church is such that the translation must be faithful and accurate, well-suited for the worship of the English-speaking Church throughout the world.

For all the difficulties faced by the bishops it is important that they meet the challenges. They have an important role to play in ensuring that worshippers of today to find in the liturgy the authentic tradition of the Church, so that they will be nourished and formed by the liturgy for the life and mission to which Christ calls his Faithful.

Bishop Roche recently made a presentation to the United States’ Catholic Bishops’ Conference in which he explored some of the challenges faced by ICEL and Bishops Conferences as they engage together in the work of preparing and approving liturgical translations.

Bishop Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds and chair of ICEL, addressed the US Bishops' Conference at its June 2006 meeting in Los Angeles about the task of translating the Missal.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal

The English translation of the General Instruction of the Missal has already been published and is being used by the Bishops as a focus for the continuing liturgical formation of the Church in England and Wales.

Current edition

Roman Missal