23-March-2002 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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NEW ROMAN MISSAL PRESENTED FOR USE

VATICAN, Mar 22, 02 (CWNews.com) -- The new Roman Missal was presented to the media at a news conference in Rome on Friday.

The new edition-- the third "editio typica" or authoritative version of the Roman Missal since Vatican II-- is the product of a 10-year process. This edition will now be the basis for new translations into other languages, so that a new Missal will be available throughout the world.

The most noteworthy changes in the new Roman Missal are the expansion of the possibility for the faithful to receive the Eucharist under both species; the inclusion of prayers honoring the saints who have been canonized since the promulgation of the last edition; and the addition of some new prayers, such as a prayer for sexual continence.

Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, introduced the new "editio typica" at the press conference. He pointed out that with its promulgation, this Roman Missal is now in force as the official standard for the liturgy in Latin. The "editio typica" is now being sent to the bishops' conferences of the world, to be translated into the various vernacular languages. These translations must be approved by the Holy See before they come into force.

Cardinal Medina also observed that the new Roman Missal allows for some adaptation of the liturgy to the circumstances of different countries, at the discretion of the bishops' conferences. The Missal itself sets out the principles that should guide and limit any such adaptation. Any change, he said, should be "an exception," and should be introduced only for "the spiritual good of the individual churches, safeguarding the substantial unity of the Roman rite."

The 1,320-page volume, which is the official directory of prayers and readings for the celebration of Mass in the Roman rite, is already on sale in Rome. It replaces the previous "editio typica," which was promulgated in 1975.

During the 25 years since the last official edition, the cardinal pointed out, there have been 300 new saints added to the canon. In some cases, these saints take on special importance for the Church in particular areas. For example, he cited the Chinese martyrs, as well as St. Charbel Makhluf, a Lebanese Maronite, and St. Josephine Bakhita, a former slave from Sudan. Also he mentioned Sts. Edith Stein, Brigitte of Sweden, and Catherine of Siena, who are now honored as patrons of Europe.

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