John Lilburne's journal commenting on Bishop Jabale's statement on the new Roman Missal.



About John Lilburne




1418 L Sat 30 Mar 2002

Since the press conference on the new Roman Missal on 22 March I have only found one bishop's statement about it. This is by Bishop Jabale, Chairman of the Department of Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

He wrote:

... The Missal currently in use in our parishes is a book produced as one of the first fruits of the renewal of our liturgy called for at the Second Vatican Council. That Missal was published in 1970. ...

However Mass can be celebrated in Latin or English in the parishes. If Bishop Jabale celebrates Mass in Latin today he should use the 2002 Roman Missal, which he was presented with by Cardinal Estevez. He should also follow the liturgical laws in that missal. The 2002 edition should be "currently in use" in that sense.

It should also be noted that the 2002 Roman Missal is the third edition. Before its publication liturgical laws of the second edition of 1975 should have been followed (with instituted lectors and acolytes) not the first edition of 1970 (with sub-deacons).

The General Instruction was published in 2000 and since then there have been statements (such as from Santa Fe) saying the new liturgical laws do not take effect until the Roman Missal is promulgated. Now that this has happened, it seems to me, the new liturgical laws take effect.

But Bishop Jabale does not make such a statement. He does not talk about the new laws. Instead he writes of the "guidance for celebration that this book offers" and:

... But before the new Missal reaches the parishes of the world there is much work to be done. There is also the work of ensuring the edition of the Missal produced for use in each local Church is adapted as necessary for the conditions of that Church. This work of adaptation is anticipated by the Holy See. An innovation of the Third Typical Edition is Chapter Nine of the General Instruction which explicitly calls the attention of all to the need for this work ...

Chapter Nine has what adaptations can be made, who can make them, and (for some) that unless you have the recognitio of the Apostolic See you do not have an authorized change.

Bishop Jabale concludes:

Once this work has been completed, and there is a text which meets the needs of the Church in England and Wales, the Bishops' Conference will submit it to Rome for its formal recognition, its confirmation that this is truly the prayer of the Church rendered in a form fitting for the Church in England and Wales, and at one with the prayer of the whole Church. That day of the granting of that formal recognitio will not be very soon - it is likely to be as much as two years away - but on that day as on this there will be much thanksgiving for work well done.

I hope "as much as two years" is correct. The Caeremoniale Episcoporum (Ceremonial of Bishops) was published in 1984, but (to the best of my knowledge) there is still not an approved English translation 18 years later. Bishop Jabale seems to being saying that there was not a published translation of the 1975 missal in England. If so that did not happen in 27 years.

If for the next 20 years bishops are trying to change the liturgical laws and failing to promulgate the current laws because they may change, then there will be further problems for the unity of the Roman Rite.

There are changes between the 1975 and 2002 Roman Missal that people should be taught about. For example:

1975 n. 40 Sequence before the Alleluia,
2000 n. 64 Sequence after Alleluia

1975 cruets could be put on the altar,
2000 n. 306 cruets not to be put on the altar

1975 n. 84 candles carried in entrance procession to be put on side table or near altar or on side table
2000 n. 122 candles carried in entrance procession to be put on altar or near it

1975 n. 80 chalice veil compulsory,
2000 n. 118 chalice veil optional

Today's editorial in The Australia is headed "In search of truth amid the washing of hands". It includes:

... Of course, not only some of the sick but many of us never really want the truth -- certainly not the truth about ourselves and some of the niceties, even of good manners can be traduced into hiding the truth. ...

I hope more is done to learn the truth about the current liturgical laws and promulgate them.

1814 K Thu 4 Apr 2002

Having received the 2002 Roman Missal today I have found out that its General Instruction is different to the 2000 General Instruction. The Sequence is to be before the Alleluia, not after it. I have changed the year above from 2002 to 2000 to reflect this. Its good to be closer to the truth on what the new liturgical laws are. But the confusion is disappointing.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 30 March 2002. Last updated 4 April 2002.


Other sites:

Bishop Jabale's statement on the publication of the new Roman Missal

Santa Fe 2001 Office of Worship instructions