Liturgiam Authenticam 106-107

On composing new liturgical texts in the vernacular:

106. Regarding the composition of new liturgical texts prepared in vernacular languages, which may perhaps be added to those translated from the Latin editiones typicae, the norms currently in force are to be observed, in particular those contained in the Instruction Varietates legitimae.[VL 25] An individual Conference of Bishops shall establish one or more Commissions for the preparation of texts or for the work involved in the suitable adaptation of texts.  The texts are then to be sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the recognitio, prior to the publication of any books intended for the celebrants or for the general use of the Christian faithful.[VL 36]

107. It is to be borne in mind that the composition of new texts of prayers or rubrics is not an end in itself, but must be undertaken for the purpose of meeting a particular cultural or pastoral need. For this reason it is strictly the task of the local and national liturgical Commissions, and not of the Commissions treated in nn. 92-104 above. New texts composed in a vernacular language, just as the other adaptations legitimately introduced, are to contain nothing that is inconsistent with the function, meaning, structure, style, theological content, traditional vocabulary or other important qualities of the texts found in the editiones typicae.[GIRM 398]

The need may also be liturgical: the new catechumenate rites in the recent past, and today, the need for a Lectionary-harmonized set of auxiliary Mass texts (especially the Ordinary Time propers and presidential prayers). The blind spot of the CDWDS here is the thinking that the liturgy is somehow a set piece in no further need of reform–indeed, that we’re entering a steady-state period where we might see more calcification.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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