The bishops of Pennsylvania’s Latin-rite dioceses recently wrote a letter to all their priests concerning the forthcoming revised translation of the Roman missal. An excerpt of the letter follows:

After a lengthy process, the new English translation of the Roman Missal has been approved by the Holy See. This revised translation will go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent in 2011. Now is the time for liturgical education and formation. {{more}}

We write to you, our brother priests, because of the important role that you play in the liturgical life of the Church and her people. This is a significant opportunity of grace for us as priests who lead our people in prayer. This is an opportunity to renew our own commitment to the prayerful and worthy celebration of the Eucharist and to promote the faithful reception and use of the new missal.

We know that many will find a change in the Liturgy challenging. Our Holy Father acknowledged that fact when he addressed the Vox Clara Committee saying: “Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation.”

Precisely for that reason do we, as teachers in the Church, have the obligation to prepare the faithful entrusted to our care. The scope of that preparation goes beyond the new translation and should encompass a renewed prayerful understanding of the Eucharistic Mystery itself.

Pope Benedict XVI has stated: “The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.”

Unlike other prayers, the texts of the Eucharistic Liturgy are not ours to adjust according to our own perspectives. The Mass is the prayer of the Church worshipping throughout the world in unison and in accord with the Roman Missal.

Each diocese will be implementing formation programs for the reception of the new Roman Missal. We, your bishops, ask that you be pastorally attentive to these catechetical opportunities. We also depend on your fidelity and leadership in seeing that the new missal will be an instrument that promotes unity and peace. Personal preferences must not become a source of spanision.

We are deeply grateful, brother priests, for your dedicated ministry.