August 27, 2010

Preparation for new Mass translation to begin in archdiocese

By Sean Gallagher

Father Patrick Beidelman was born in 1972, two years after the last major change in the texts of the Mass was introduced. Those texts were contained within the first edition of the Roman Missal promulgated after the Second Vatican Council, which allowed for the Mass to be prayed in English.

Over the course of the next 15 months, he, as archdiocesan director of liturgy, will help ministry leaders across central and southern Indiana prepare themselves for the introduction of the next major revision in the English texts of the Mass, which will begin to be used on Nov. 27, 2011.

“This [current translation] is all I’ve ever known,” said Father Beidelman. “For me personally, [preparing for the new translation] gives me a sense of how the Church continues to develop its prayer and worship over time.”

“…I recognize that the development of liturgy over time, guided and instructed by the magisterium of the Church, has helped maintain the continuity of the Church’s prayer over all the centuries since the time of Christ. Especially since Vatican II, the development of our ritual of prayer has sought to foster the proper celebration of the Mass while at the same time fostering the full, active and conscious participation of all the faithful.”

Included among the ministry leaders that Father Beidelman and other archdiocesan Office of Worship staff members will meet with over the next 15 months are: priests, deacons, deacon candidates, parish life coordinators and other lay parish staff members and those involved in liturgical and music ministry.

Video presentations on the new translation of the Mass, to be posted on the archdiocese’s Web site, will be geared for teachers, catechists and those who minister to youths and young adults.

“My hope, as we work with those in leadership in our parish and school communities in the archdiocese,” Father Beidelman said, “is that they themselves will learn this new translation and come to a deeper understanding of the meaning of our worship of God in the Mass.”

After training various groups of ministry leaders across the archdiocese, Father Beidelman foresees that they will then have the resources to prepare people in their parishes and schools for the new translation “in a positive and hope-filled way so that, when we make this transition, it’s not one of either confusion or fear or negativity, but one, rather, that leads us to a deeper unity as a Church with God and with one another, and that calls us into deeper faithfulness.”

In addition to not even being born when the last major development of the prayer texts of the Mass and its English translation were introduced, Father Beidelman had only been a priest for two years when the third edition of the Roman Missal was approved by the Vatican, the act that began the process for the new translation of the Mass that will begin to be used 15 months from now.

He said that he couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago that he would now be leading the effort across the archdiocese to prepare for the new translation.

“That wasn’t on my radar,” he said with a laugh. “I have to say, though, that there is some excitement within me in being a part of bringing this to our local Church. I have great hope that this will enrich our experience of the liturgy.”

(For more information about the new translation of the texts for the Mass, log on to or call the archdiocesan Office of Worship at 317-236-1483 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1483.)

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