What If We Just Said Wait?
The case for a grassroots review of the new Roman Missal

How did we get here?

Few Catholics are aware of the fact that this is not the first time a new English translation of the Missal has been prepared.  In the 1980s—just a little over a decade after the release of the 1973 ICEL—the process of translation began again, in an effort to provide a more accurate and complete translation of the Roman Missal.  The translation—the result of international cooperation among bishops, scholars, liturgists, Latinists, and other experts—was completed in 1998.  It received the approval of all the English-speaking conferences of the world; in ten of the eleven conferences, its approval was unanimous or near-unanimous.  The translation was first ignored, and later rejected by the Congregation for Divine Worship upon the appearance of Liturgiam Authenticam, the instruction calling for a formal, or literal rather than a dynamic approach to liturgical translation.  Bishop Maurice Taylor, chair of ICEL from 1997-2002, tells the whole story in his very readable book, It's the Eucharist, Thank God, available from Decani Books.  John Wilkins' "Lost in Translation: the bishops, the Vatican & the English Liturgy" published in Commonweal in 2005, also tells the story and is available here.

Click here to download the full text of the 1998 Missal.


1973 ICEL
Our current English Sacramentary

1998 ICEL
(approved by Bishops’ Conferences, rejected by Congregation for Divine Worship)

New translation (2010 ICEL)

First Sunday of Advent – Collect

All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find
an eager welcome at his coming
and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven.

Almighty God,
strengthen the resolve of your faithful people
to prepare for the coming of your Christ
by works of justice and mercy,
so that when we go forth to meet him
he may call us to sit at his right hand
and possess the kingdom of heaven.

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.

First Sunday of Advent – Prayer after Communion

may our communion
teach us to love heaven.
May its promise and hope
guide our way on earth.

Lord our God,
grant that in our journey
through this passing world
we may learn from these mysteries
to cherish even now the things of heaven
and to cling to the treasures
that never pass away.

May these mysteries, O Lord,
in which we have participated,
profit us, we pray,
for even now, as we walk amid passing things,
you teach us by them to love the things of heaven
and hold fast to what endures.

Friday of the Second Week of Advent – Collect

All-powerful God,
help us to look forward in hope
to the coming of our Savior.
May we live as he has taught,
ready to welcome him with burning love and faith.

Almighty God,
keep your people ever vigilant
as we await the return of your only Son,
that, mindful of our Saviour’s teaching,
we may be ready with lamps burning
and hasten to greet him when he comes.

Grant that your people, we pray, almighty God,
may be ever watchful
for the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
that, as the author of our salvation himself has taught us,
we may hasten, alert with lighted lamps,
to meet him when he comes.

December 20 – Collect

God of love and mercy,
help us to follow the example of Mary,
always ready to do your will.
At the message of an angel
she welcomed your eternal Son,
and, filled with the light of your Spirit,
she became the temple of your Word.

O God,
by consenting to the message of an angel
the immaculate Virgin
became the dwelling of your eternal Word
and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit.
Give us the grace to follow her example
and devote ourselves humbly to your will.

O God, eternal majesty, whose ineffable Word
the immaculate Virgin received through the message of an Angel
and so become the dwelling-place of divinity,
filled with the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant, we pray, that by her example
we may in humility hold fast to your will.

Baptism of the Lord – Collect

Almighty, eternal God,
when the Spirit descended upon Jesus
at his baptism in the Jordan,
you revealed him as your own beloved Son.
Keep us,
your children born of water and the Spirit,
faithful to our calling.

Almighty and eternal God,
when Christ was baptised in the river Jordan,
the Holy Spirit came upon him
and your voice declared him your beloved Son.
Keep all who are reborn of water and the Spirit
as children of adoption
in whom you are well pleased.


Almighty ever-living God,
who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan
and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him,
solemnly declared him your beloved Son,
grant that your children by adoption,
reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
may always be well pleasing to you.

Ash Wednesday – Collect

protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this day holy by our self-denial.

Grant us, Lord, the grace
to begin this time of Christian service
with a holy fast,
that, as we struggle against the spirit of evil,
we may be strengthened by the practice
of self-discipline.

Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.

First Sunday of Lent – Collect

through our observance of Lent,
teach us to understand the meaning
of your Son’s death and resurrection,
and teach us to reflect it in our lives.

Grant us, almighty God,
that through this yearly observance of Lent
we may enter more deeply
into the mystery of Christ
and draw upon its power
in the conduct of our lives.

Grant, almighty God,
the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent – Prayer after Communion

look on us, your children.
Through the discipline of Lent,
help us to grow in our desire for you.

Through these sacred mysteries, O Lord,
grant us the wisdom
to temper our desire for earthly things
and learn to love the things of heaven.

Grant us through these mysteries, Lord,
that by moderating earthly desires
we may learn to love the things of heaven.

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Collect

Father of peace,
we are joyful in your Word,
your Son Jesus Christ,
who reconciles us to you.
Let us hasten toward Easter
with the eagerness of faith and love.

In a wonderful manner, Lord God,
you reconcile humankind to yourself
through your only Son, the eternal Word.
Grant that your Christian people
may press on toward the Easter sacraments
with lively faith and ready hearts.

O God, who through your Word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.

Wednesday of Holy Week – Prayer after Communion

All-powerful God,
the eucharist proclaims the death of your Son.
Increase our faith in its saving power
and strengthen our hope in the life it promises.

All-powerful God,
the holy mysteries we have celebrated
proclaim the death of your Son on Calvary.
Inspire your people with the firm belief
that by his death
you have given us everlasting life.

Endow us, almighty God, with the firm conviction
that through your Son's Death in time,
to which the revered mysteries bear witness,
we may be assured of perpetual life.

Second Sunday of Easter – Collect

God of mercy,
you wash away our sins in water,
you give us new birth in the Spirit,
and redeem us in the blood of Christ.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection
increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew your gift of life within us.

God of everlasting mercy,
each year when the feast of Easter returns
you enliven the faith of your holy people.
Increase in us the grace you have already bestowed,
that we may understand more fully
in whose font we have been washed,
in whose Spirit we have been reborn,
and in whose blood we have found redemption.

God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people
you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Prayer over the Gifts

Lord God,
in this bread and wine
you give us food for body and spirit.
May the eucharist renew our strength
and bring us health of mind and body.

In these gifts, O Lord,
you provide humankind
with the food that nourishes
and the sacrament that gives us life.
Grant, we pray, that our minds and bodies
may never lack this strength and support.

O God, who in the offerings presented here
provide for the twofold needs of human nature,
nourishing us with food
and renewing us with your Sacrmaent,
grant, we pray,
that the sustenance they provide
may not fail us in body or in spirit.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Prayer after Communion

you give us the body and blood of your Son
to renew your life within us.
In your mercy, assure our redemption
and bring us to the eternal life
we celebrate in this Eucharist.

we are nourished and made whole
by the sacred body and blood of your Son.
Grant in your kindness
that the mystery we devoutly celebrate
may bring us to the fullness of redemption.

Renewed and nourished
by the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of your Son,
we ask of your mercy, O Lord,
that what we celebrate with constant devotion
may be our sure pledge of redemption.

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Collect

our help and guide,
make your love the foundation of our lives.
May our love for you express itself
in our eagerness to do good for others.

Let your tireless grace accompany us, Lord God,
let it go before us and follow after,
that we may never slacken in our resolve
to pursue the practice of good works.

May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined
to carry out good works.

Proper of Saints – August 28 (St. Augustine) – Prayer after Communion

make us holy
by our sharing at the table of Christ.
As members of his body,
help us to become what we have received.


Sanctify us, O God,
by our sharing at the table of the Lord,
so that, made members of his body,
we may become what we have received.

May partaking of Christ's table
sanctify us, we pray, O Lord,
that, being made members of his Body,
we may become what we have received.

Proper of Saints – October 17 (St. Ignatius of Antioch) – Prayer over the Gifts

receive our offering
as you accepted Saint Ignatius
when he offered himself
to you as the wheat of Christ,
formed into pure bread by his death for Christ.

be pleased with our devoted offering,
even as you were pleased to accept Ignatius,
who by suffering a martyr’s death
offered himself as the wheat of Christ
to be ground into a pure bread.

May this oblation and our homage be pleasing to you, O Lord, just as you accepted Saint Ignatius, the wheat of Christ, made pure bread through his martyrdom and passion.

Proper of Saints – October 20 (St. Paul of the Cross) – Prayer over the Gifts

All-powerful God,
receive the gifts we offer
in memory of St. Paul of the Cross.
May we who celebrate the mystery
of the Lord’s suffering and death
put into effect the self-sacrificing love
we proclaim in this Eucharist.

Almighty God,
look kindly on the sacrifice we offer
on this feast of Saint Paul of the Cross,
and grant that we may conform our lives
to the mystery of the Lord’s passion,
which we celebrate in this sacrament.

Look upon the sacrificial gifts we offer, almighty God,
in commemoration of Saint Paul of the Cross
and grant that we who celebrate the mysteries of the Lord's Passion
may imitate what we now enact.



What if we just said wait?  |  EMAIL