By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops approved the English translation and U.S. adaptations of five final sections of the Roman Missal in voting on the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

With overwhelming majority votes, the bishops approved translations of the proper of the saints, specific prayers to each saint in the universal liturgical calendar; the commons, general prayers for celebrating saints listed in the “Roman Martyrology”; the Roman Missal supplement; the U.S. propers, a collection of orations and formularies for feasts and memorials particular to the U.S. liturgical calendar; and U.S. adaptations to the Roman Missal.

There was some debate on the floor about a separate piece of the translations — the antiphons — which has not come to the bishops for consideration, but instead has advanced through the Vatican’s approval procedures without the consultation of the English-language bishops’ conferences around the world.

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But the final five sections of the missal before the bishops passed with minimal discussion and only a handful of proposed amendments to the texts.

Each translation needed to pass by a two-thirds majority of the Latin-rite bishops. Each of the five pieces received at least 88 percent of the bishops’ votes.

It’s been nearly six years since the U.S. bishops began considering pieces of a new English translation of the missal. In June they approved four texts, containing prayers and prefaces for various occasions, votive Masses and Masses for the dead; solemn blessings for the end of Mass and prayers over the people and eucharistic prayers for particular occasions.

During the bishops’ spring meeting, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on spanine Worship, this summer warned the bishops that if they failed to approve the texts by the end of November, they risked being shut out of the process by the Vatican.

Each of the English-language bishops’ conferences has gone through or is going through the same process. Once all the information is received at the Vatican, the Congregation for spanine Worship must grant its “recognitio,” or approval, to proceed with the translations.