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December 5, 2007


The Vox Clara Committee met for the fifteenth time from November 30 - December 5, 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; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Bombay (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Ottawa (Canada); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia) and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland). Bishop David McGough was present as a pro-tempore representative of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary Also a member of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, is Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA).

The members were assisted in their work by the following Advisors: Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Monsignor Gerard McKay (Rome), Reverend Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA) Also an advisor to the Committee, but not present was Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA). The customary support and assistance of officials of the Congregation was once again gratefully noted.

A major part of the work was devoted to a review of ICEL Green Book (draft) translations for Masses for the Dead, Votive Masses, Proper of Saints II, and the Antiphons of the Roman Missal. The members found the texts to be of a high quality, while providing the Congregation with a number of recommendations. Extensive studies of a number of terms were completed, including the use of mereor throughout the Roman Missal.

Considerable time was also devoted to a careful review of the ICEL Gray Book for the Proper of Seasons in the light of those recommendations provided to the mixed commission by the Congregation following Vox Clara’s review of the ICEL Green Book for this segment last year. This review was conducted in preparation for the submission of White Book translations following the canonical approval of these texts by the English-language Episcopal conferences in the coming months and the subsequent and concluding review by the Congregation in preparation for the granting of the recognitio.

Several other items were placed before the members by the Congregation concerning the confirmation of the Order of Mass, including the fine-tuning of several points of translation in the Eucharistic Prayers.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation, expressed the thanks of the Congregation for the contribution which the members and advisors have given in assisting the Congregation with the completion of the English-language edition of the Roman Missal. In particular, the Prefect indicated his thanks for the advice of the members of the Vox Clara Committee and shared their satisfaction that the completion of the project is in sight.

The Committee will meet again in September 2008 at the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.