By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Archdiocese is launching a comprehensive, yearlong parish-based plan of preparation to receive the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

Catholics in the United States will begin using the third typical edition of the long-awaited missal at English language Masses in the United States the first Sunday of Advent in 2011, which falls on Nov. 27.{{more}}

“This is a rich time for the Church,” said Father G. Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocesan Office for Worship.

At the direction of Cardinal Justin Rigali, the worship office is coordinating the translation’s implementation across the Archdiocese.

“We need to see this always as an opportunity to be further renewed in Christ, renewed in what Christ offers us, renewed in Christ’s Mystery in the Eucharist,” Father Gill added.

The missal, announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and first published in Latin in 2002, has undergone a lengthy and rigorous translation process through the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, followed by discussions pertaining to particular wording at general assemblies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through much of the past decade.

“This is an occasion not to be puzzled by or suspect of something new; rather, to more profoundly know the Mystery of Jesus in the Mass with a more faithful translation,” said Father Gill.

“The present English text translates more of the concept from the original text, whereas the new translation is more faithful to the original Latin itself,” he added.

The first of the three-part plan consists of general introductory programs.

First among the programs is a workshop for priests, permanent deacons, parish liturgical leaders and catechists to provide the tools to teach others about the sacred liturgy and the new words that will be prayed at Mass with the revised English translation.

The workshop, titled “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice,” is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in the parish hall of St. Helena Church in Blue Bell, Montgomery County.

Co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Office for Worship and the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein, Ill., Archdiocese of Chicago, the workshop inaugurates the archdiocesan period of immediate preparation for the use of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal.

The second part of the preparation plan is a parish-based liturgical catechesis for the diocese titled “Know the Words, Know the Meaning, Know the Mystery.” A liturgical resource created by the worship office, the catechesis begins the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 28, 2010, and continues each subsequent month through November 2011.

The parish-based catechesis – including a 12-month calendar of more than 30 liturgical topics – will be available to all priests and people of the Archdiocese in an electronic format via the web site of the Office for Worship.

The catechesis is designed for pastors to utilize throughout their parishes – in adult faith formation programs, elementary schools, religious education programs, senior citizens clubs and other parish-based groups – to form inspaniduals in both a deeper understanding of the sacred liturgy and to receive the missal’s revised English translation.

The third part of the preparation plan includes workshops in parishes and institutions across the Archdiocese specifically designed for priests, permanent deacons, men and women religious, music ministers and the general lay faithful.

The spiritual shepherd of the Archdiocese will assist the faithful in receiving the revised translation. Cardinal Rigali will record audio messages pertaining to the missal to air on local and national Catholic radio networks. The messages will also be videotaped and available on the Cardinal’s Facebook page, and the archdiocesan web site,

For more information, contact Father G. Dennis Gill, director of the Office for Worship, at 215-587-3537 or visit the web site, then click the icon “Roman Missal Catechesis.”

To register for the Oct. 16 “Mystical Body, Mystical Voice” workshop in the parish hall of St. Helena Church, call the worship office or click the “Events” icon on the worship office web site.

Read a Q-and-A on the Roman Missal via the web site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at

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