CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
VOX CLARA COMMITTEE
September 6, 2007
The Vox Clara Committee met for the fourteenth time from September 3-6, 2007 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the Congregation on July 19, 2001, in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.
The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by Cardinal George Pell, Sydney (Australia). The participants in the meeting were Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Bombay (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Ottawa (Canada); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); and Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia). Also a member of the Committee, though not able to be present at this meeting, is Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland).
The members were assisted in their work by the following Advisors: Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA), Reverend Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA). The customary support and assistance of officials of the Congregation was also appreciated.
The members and advisors conducted a review of the most recent “Green Book” (draft) translations of Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, as produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Following their discussion of the ICEL renderings of Masses for Various Needs and Intentions, Ritual Masses, and the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, the Committee submitted a report summarizing its recommendations to the Congregation. The members found the texts to be excellent, although suggestions were made for ways in which the choice of alternate words or phrases could render a few sections more faithful to the Latin original or easier to proclaim and comprehend.
The Committee noted the helpfulness of the latest schedule adopted by the mixed commission and looked forward to the publication of the final Green Book translation by next spring. Based on this schedule, it is the hope of the Vox Clara Committee, that the approval and confirmation of the new Roman Missal will be completed by the end of 2009.
The members also responded to requests from the Congregation for advice on the few remaining issues to be decided prior to the confirmation of the Order of Mass. This first segment of the Roman Missal has been submitted to the Congregation for confirmation by the respective English-language conferences of Catholic Bishops. In this regard, various initiatives to assure the effective reception and implementation of the new Roman Missal were also discussed by the Vox Clara Committee.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, expressed his gratitude to the members and advisors for their work and discussed a wide range of issues related to the completion of the English-language edition of the Roman Missal. In particular, the Prefect stressed the need for the accurate translation of “words that have deep doctrinal meaning,” thanking the Committee for its assistance in assuring the completion of accurate and proclaimable translations.
The Committee will meet again in December 2007, at the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.