Above: About 200 people attended a workshop during which they learnt about the rationale behind the new English translation of the Roman Missal. Inset: The DVD, Become One Body One Spirit in Christ, delves into the meaning of the missal’s texts.

SINGAPORE – Singapore Catholics will be able to use the Order of the Mass booklets containing the new English translation of the Roman Missal from the first weekend of September.

This is to help them become familiar with changes in the texts and responses before the official implementation of the new missal on Nov 27, the First Sunday of Advent.

However, there will be no singing or chanting of the texts for about a month. Instead, the congregation will recite the text to help them become familiar with it.

The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission made these announcements at a workshop for priests, seminarians and laypeople at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Aug 17 and 18.

Training for various district choirs on the chants for the new missal will begin from end of August until September. The purpose of using the chants is to allow for a more unifying repertoire and response on both the parish and archdiocesan levels, said the commission.

The commission said it recommends using the chants from the new missal for a year before choirs are free to use or write their own music.

Meanwhile, individual parishes will conduct their own catechesis for parishioners. Liturgical ministries are expected to have completed their formation by end of September while the rest of the laypeople should receive their formation from October to November.

About 200 people attended the Aug 17-18 workshop where they watched a DVD, Become One Body One Spirit in Christ. The video delves into the meaning of the liturgical texts of the Roman Missal.

Topics covered included an exploration of the Mass and its link to scripture, a look at the new missal through the principles of translation, and a commentary on text changes.

Ms Jennifer Anthoney from the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea said she found the sessions “enriching”. The choir member said it is important for laypeople to be catechised on the process behind the new missal.

Fr Stephen Yim of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, who is providing formation for parishioners, told CatholicNews there would be some initial unfamiliarity with the text. But they would soon get used to it.

He said it is important to understand the rationale behind the new translation and the workshop provided just that.

He added that new translation is a return to “the spirituality of the words” where it is about prayer, not just verbal articulation.

Copies of Become One Body One Spirit in Christ are now on sale. The DVD also includes other resources such as essays by experts on sacramental theology and liturgy.

By Darren Boon
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Click here for more information on the DVD, Become One Body One Spirit in Christ.