Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And With Your Passage: The "New Mass" Train Rolls On

As an American arrived in the Vatican post that'll oversee the English-speaking church's global transition to the controversial new rendering of the Roman Missal, the US bishops did their part to keep the process moving, approving each of the four action-items on the new text presented last month in San Antonio... albeit on mail ballot given the meeting's "inconclusive vote" from the floor:

The translation of the Order of Mass II (of the Roman Missal) received 191 votes in favor, 25 against and five abstentions.

The translation of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions passed by 163 votes, while 53 bishops voted against it and five abstained.

The translation of the rituals for Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead passed 181 to 32 with two abstentions.

And the translation of the text for Ritual Masses received 186 votes in favor, 32 nays and two abstentions.

As things didn't go so smoothly last year, this is progress.

Come November, the USCCB will take its final votes on the 2002 editio typica in English. From there, so they say, it's not without possibility that Rome's recognitio (confirmation) for the completed Missal could arrive even before year's end.

To date, however, just two of the eleven Anglophone conferences have green-lighted the entire revised package of Mass-texts, which prematurely appeared in South Africa late last year. Once the Holy See grants its blessing to the "new" Mass -- which, in a change from present practice, will utilize the same text across the English-speaking world -- it falls to each national conference to fix an implementation date.