By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

In anticipation of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, the archdiocesan Office for Worship is conducting regional informational assemblies for the lay faithful April 15, 20 and 29.

“Everyone is encouraged to attend,” said the presenter of the workshops, Father G. Dennis Gill, director of the Office for Worship.

All three assemblies, held from 7 to 9 p.m., contain the same content. The first is Thursday, April 15, at SS. Simon and Jude Church in West Chester, Chester County. The second is Tuesday, April 20, at Visitation B.V.M. Church in Norristown, Montgomery County. The third is Thursday, April 29, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Southampton, Bucks County.

The Roman Missal is the entire book of Mass prayers and readings approved by the Holy See for use throughout the Church of the Latin rite.

The purpose of the workshops, Father Gill said, is to provide the laity a general overview of why there will be a revised translation of the Missal, an explanation of how the revisions were agreed upon as well as samples of the new text in both word and song.

Each session will conclude with a question-and-answer period.

“Learning about the revised translations will give them the opportunity to see the deeper meaning in the texts of the Mass, to help form their understanding of the sacred liturgy and to help them lead an even more fervent Christian life,” Father Gill said.

In addition, the assemblies will provide the general faithful a forum “to see how the liturgical texts themselves, in some way, are the Word of God spoken by the Church.”

Father Gill said that while all the faithful should plan to go to the April assemblies, those who assist their pastors in the sacred liturgy at their parishes should give special consideration to attending the gatherings, namely liturgy committee members, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, lectors and sacristans.

Since the fall of 2009, similar assemblies have been conducted for clergy and religious as well as for liturgical musicians and interpreters for the deaf. Additional assemblies will be held in May for directors and coordinators of religious education; in October for parish pastoral staffs; and in November for teachers, catechists and other parish members.

And the teaching will continue in churches across the Archdiocese. “Beginning in the fall of 2010 to Advent 2011, when we anticipate the use of the Revised English translation, there will be a comprehensive program for the priests and people in the parishes for an understanding and preparation for the use of the revised English translation,” Father Gill said.

According to an announcement at the Vatican in late January, the Congregation for spanine Worship and the Sacraments was compiling the final version of the English translation of the missal. Because bishops’ conferences approved the Roman Missal in sections, a final review and minor edits were needed to ensure consistency, said a congregation official.

Most English-speaking bishops’ conferences are preparing materials to introduce and explain the new translation with the hope that people will begin using it in parishes at the beginning of Advent 2011. The exact date for implementation in each country, however, will be set by the bishops’ conference in that country after final Vatican approval of the translation.

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or

– Catholic News Service contributed to this article.