Which Missal, Lectionary, and Rubrics?

I am confused. I suspect that I am not the only one.

In England and Wales, where I live, I believe we use the English language version of the Missale Romanum (second edition) because the English vernacular translation of the third edition has not been promulgated yet. (I think the Holy See has given it recognitio but I am not sure.) Just to digress, I do not even know whether there has been a translation into Welsh, yet.

If a Mass is celebrated in Latin (ordinary form) would the Missale Romanum (third edition) be the correct one to use? Or, do we have to wait until the third edition is promulgated for use in England and Wales or once the Holy See promulgates a new edition in Latin can that be used immediately everywhere in the world?

Is it only the Missale Romanum that has been changed? Does the Lectionarium Romanum (1980 edition) remain in force?

If my last assertion is correct what in fact is being changed is the Sacramentary. Would that mean that when missals are published they will contain the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (third edition), ordinary and propers of the Mass (third edition) and Lectionary (second edition).

What about the “rubrics”, i.e. Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani. Do we follow the previous edition until the new Missale Romanum in English is promulgated or do we use the new Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani because that has been issued in English?

If we use the previous Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani for English Masses, would we use the new Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani for Masses in Latin?

Please keep answers simple for this poor soul.

You should ask your diocese; here is a list of the Dioceses in England and Wales;


I’m not sure I’ll answer all your questions, but I’ll try to paint a clear picture as I understand it. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure about England, but here in the U.S., we are still using the English translation of the first edition of the Roman Missal. My understanding was that there never was an English translation of the second edition.

You are correct, though, that the Missal (referred to by many as the Sacramentary) and the Lectionary are two separate things. This new English translation of the Missal coming down the pike will not change the Lectionary at all. Everyone should still be using that same Lectionary until such time as that is revised (and I’m not sure if or when that will happen). I thought that there were some changes made to the English translation of the Lectionary in the late 90’s, but that may have just been in the U.S. Some changes needed to be made because the U.S. primarily uses the NAB and some of the passages of the NAB weren’t in conformity with the most recent translation guidelines. I think the U.S. is really the only place using the NAB, though (naturally ;)).

I’m not sure about when to use which Latin edition. Someone else will have to answer that for you. I agree that contacting your diocesan offfice would probably be the way to go.

No, the Lectionary is not being affected, only the Sacramentary which will, in the future only be referred to as the Roman Missal.

Unless Rome decides to impose one translation to be used world-wide, each national Bishops’ Conference will continue to decide, with Rome’s approval, which translation it uses. The US uses the Revised NAB; Canada uses a revised NRSV; I think there are still countries using the Jerusalem Bible translation which is what Canada was using before it implemented the NRSV and, since Pentecost 2009, the revised NRSV.

As for the Roman Missal, after Rome approved the final book it still required editing so, except for the Ordinary of the Mass, we haven’t yet seen all of the changes. It can’t be implemented until Rome gives the OK. It’s possible that Great Britain will hear a Mass in the new translation when Pope Benedict visits in September but that will in all likelihood be celebrated with the help of a published-for-the-occasion book for the altar, not the new Roman Missal.

we do use the English translation of the first edition of the roman missal in britian and Ireland as joe 5859 said.

When the “Editio Typica Tertia Emendata” was promulgated in 2008 it became the standard latin text for the whole church. Any latin-rite Catholic saying Mass in latin uses this new text. In a similar way when the English translation of this text is promulgated it will become the standard English text (with approved regional variations) and so we will use the new translation. Deo Gratias

My view is that the liturgical book comes into effect when it is published in Latin. The Roman Missal was published in 2002, with some updates in (I think) 2008, so that is what should be followed.

My understanding is that there is not yet an approved English translation of the 1984 Ceremonial of Bishops. Despite this it should be followed because there is an approved Latin edition.

With the approval of a translation into English there are likely to be modifications which the Conference of Bishops have made. These come into effect with the publication in English. So, for example, there will be a different version for Australia, England and Wales, and the USA.

In is also used in the Philippines. While I have no documentation, I suspect the NAB is also used in some smaller countries in the Caribbean, Oceania, and Latin America.

We’re using a revised NRSV are we? I thought I’d heard that before but I wasn’t sure. We were really using the JB before that? I never knew that. I wonder what the US used before the NAB.

Yes, until the early 90s Canada was using the Jerusalem Bible translation. If you look at some of the booklet on marriage put out by Novalis, you’ll find that they still contain the Jerusalem translation for the readings.

When Canada started using the NRSV back in the early 90s Rome gave them 5 years to come up with a new translation, saying that the NRSV was not to be used in Liturgy. Some 16 years later Rome and the CCCB finally came to an agreement about changes to be made to the NRSV to remove much of the inclusive language and to translate more accurately some things that had been sticking points.

The format of the Passions has also changed. Where before you had a Narrator, Jesus, S1, S2 & S3, you now have Narrator, Jesus and one person to do everything else and finally, no participation from the congregation which kept us glued to our missalettes waiting for our cue rather than listening with attention.

I don’t know what the US used before the NAB and the Revised NAB.

Really? We definitely had a narrator, Jesus (by the priest), and 2 speakers (I was one of them). At another parish they had 3 people I think doing the speaker parts, but no congregation for either (I don’t mind that. When I’m not a reader I prefer to just listen anyways).

This past Easter was the first time the new format for the Passion was used.

Until early 2008, the CCCB was selling copies of the Passion with the Jerusalem translation. That might be what you were using because I do believe that in those Passions there were only 2 readers besides the Narrator and Jesus.

The Lectionary that was retired last year had 3 besides N & J.

The new one has only 1.

Communications with my local diocesan liturgy office and the National Liturgy Office are met with absolute silence. I was pleased to ‘stumble’ upon this forum because I cannot find out anything from official sources!

I have found out from the web site of the Liturgy Office England and Wales liturgyoffice.org.uk/ that the following are the current liturgical books. The site does not give edition numbers but it does give the names of the publishers and the ISBN. I got the publication dates shown below by entering the ISBN numbers into Amazon. But, Amazon does not give edition numbers either.

I admit that I may be wrong but for some reason I was under the impression that we were on the second edition of the Sacramentary (Roman Missal Altar Book) and the second edition of the Roman Lectionary and that the new Sacramentary (Roman Missal Altar Book) in the pipeline was the third edition.

Anyway here’s what I found off the Liturgy Office website:

  1. Roman Missal (Sacramentary) published on 15th August 2002

  2. Roman Lectionary published in 3 volumes (I. Proper of Seasons and Sundays in Ordinary Time; II. Weekdays in Ordinary Time, Proper of Seasons and Commons; III. Rituals, Masses for Various Occasions, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead) on 1st January 1982 using the Jerusalem Bible excluding the Psalms which are the Grail version



I concur. I have checked my copy. It says that it was translated into English by ICEL and was published in USA by the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota. However, it does not contain the usual statements, such as “Approved for use in the dioceses of …”, there’s no decree of promulgation for its use in any country and no reference to any Notitiae approving its use.

The Roman Missal coming down the pipe IS the Third Edition but the Second Edition was never translated. They were working on that when the Latin Third Edition was promulgated so they had to start translating that one instead.

You’re right about the Lectionary – it is the second edition. I hadn’t realized that until I went to look it up. I doubt that it was ever pointed out to the PIP at the time of its promulgation but I look at the dates and realize how long it took us (Canada & US) to actually see the English versions of the second edition. It took Canada 11 years and the US 17+ years for its entire Lectionary; England and Wales had their translation the very next year. That was probably due to sticking to the same Bible translation as they’d used for the first edition thus needing only to add and not totally retranslate.

**OLM69 **= Ordo Lectionum Missae, editio typica. Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1969. **OLM69 **is based on the **Vulgate **(ancient Latin) edition of the Bible, which is very different from the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, especially in the versification of the Psalms, Sirach, Esther, Tobit, and other biblical books.

**OLM81 = Ordo Lectionum Missae, editio typica altera. Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1981. OLM81 **is the official second edition of the “Order of Readings for Mass” in Latin, promulgated on January 21, 1981. It corrected most of the typographical errors of the OLM69, as noted below, but also incorporated many other changes and additions to the Lectionary. OLM81 and the revised Lectionaries based upon it are sometimes referred to as “second generation” liturgical texts.

**OLM81 **is based on the **Neo-Vulgate **edition, which is significantly different from the Vulgate in the wording and versification of some passages; it is often (but not always) closer to the wording and the versification of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles.

I found my references on the following site which provides a detailed overview of the Lectionary by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Thank you Phemie for clearing that up for me.

I do believe that we have always had the Jerusalem Bible as the authorised version of the Scriptures for use in England & Wales (I always have to be careful to remember we have 3 separate national hierarchies covering the UK). So as you say that was probably why England & Wales were able to update the Lectionary so quickly.

I’ve just clicked onto the website you cited. Looks interesting and I shall be having a good browse.

Thanks again, MH.

So the 3 conferences are England & Wales, Ireland, and Scotland?

Yes, England and Wales covers England and Wales and the following which are technically not part of the UK but are known as Crown Dependencies: Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Scotland covers the whole of Scotland. Ireland covers Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and a separate country the Republic of Ireland. An anomaly for this latter one would be like Canada and the USA having the same national hierarchy.

Just to confuse the issue even more the Apostolic Nuncio in London is the diplomatic representative of the Holy See for the whole of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) but only the pastoral representative for England, Scotland, and Wales. The Apostolic Nuncio in Dublin deals diplomatically with the Republic of Ireland but for pastoral purposes covers Northern Ireland as well.

Fascinating. So if there were say a kidnapping of a Vatican official in Northern Ireland, the nuncio in London would deal with the matter, but the pastoral care of the victim’s mother at the site would be handled by the nuncio in Dublin?

I looked up some other colonies, and I see that the Falklands is an Apostolic Prefecture, while St Helena, etc are a Missio sui Iuris - both are served by the same bishop and are within England and Wales. Bermuda is part of the Antilles Episcopal Conference. Gibraltar appears to be part of England and Wales, but I can’t tell for sure.

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