Much of my current work is to do with preparing for the use of the new translation of the Roman Missal which we will begin to use in September this year. If you want to know more of the whys and wherefores look at the FAQs on the Liturgy Office website.

I want to highlight four aspects that relate to those supporting RCIA:

  • experience
  • catechesis
  • liturgical catechesis
  • liturgical formation

Experience

The first is a longterm reflection. Though it sometimes that the Rite thinks people come to us with no experience of Church many who come will already have been to Mass. From September part of that experience will be the new translation. Indeed they might even come to Mass becasue they have heard about this new translation. One thing that I have found in looking at the text with groups is that there are usually a wide range of opinions and the importance for those who lead RCIA is to recognise that their response might be different to others.

Catechesis

For teams that use the Creed as the foundation of their catechesis it is worth noting that there is a new translation of the Creed — both Nicene and Apostle’s. An aim of the translation is to give us a text which is not just more faithful to the Latin but is theologically precise. For those interested in the changes Paul Turner’s booklet Understanding the revised Mass texts provides a good introduction.

Liturgical Catechesis

The whole new translation is going to offer opportunities for catechesis as enquirers and catechumens ask questions about the new translation. Dioceses, deaneries, parishes will be providing formation in the new translation and it would be good if some of the team were able to avail of these opportunities. The translation will also offer a resource for catechesis. We are used to using scripture and the Lectionary as a source for major events in the life of Christ, to this we will able to add the texts of the liturgy such as the Preface as helping us to understand what we are celebrating.

Liturgical Formation

One of the ‘tasks’ of the Catechumenate is to form peoples in the habits of a disciple and this includes participation in the Mass and in particular Sunday Mass. This suggests that teams are preparing people for the translation, seeing as assisting them in participating through prayer and action and reflecting with them on the experience of the new translation.