Damaris Thillet of the Diocese of Camden speaks to musicians from across the Diocese regarding the new Spanish edition of the Roman Missal during a workshop Aug. 20 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice.

Regional Misal Romano workshops offered in Venice

Venice | The long-awaited Misal Romano, tercera edición — the Spanish translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal for use in the United States — is now available and some of the regional training recently took place here in the Diocese of Venice.

This is being hailed as a historic moment for the U.S. Church as it marks the first time that this country has its own Spanish-language edition of the Roman Missal. Until now, parishes that have the Mass in Spanish had the option of using translations from Mexico, Spain or any other Latin American country.

The use of the new translation becomes mandatory on Dec. 2, the First Sunday of Advent 2018
To help parish priests and musicians adapt to the changes, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Divine Worship and Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) are hosting a series of 21 workshops across the United States. These nationwide workshops are intended to not only examine the revised text, but to equip clergy, lay leaders and pastoral musicians with resources to aid parish instruction. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice was one of the host sites Aug. 20.

Representative from the FDLC were on hand to introduce the different aspects of the new Missal and answer any questions. Two workshops were held, one for clergy which examined all of the changes, while the second was for musicians to cover musical changes. Nearly 100 priests and lay musicians attended the workshops from parishes across the entire Diocese. There are 34 parishes in the Diocese that offer a Mass in Spanish.

Father Heliodoro Lucatero of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas, said this “is a time for a renewed focus on how the priest celebrates the Mass while also building a new appreciation for the sung liturgy and putting a greater emphasis on the participation of the people.”

It was noted that the change parallels the arrangement of the English edition of the Roman Missal. Unlike the rollout of the 2011 English edition, when there were many changes for the responses of the faithful, the Spanish edition has none. “The various Spanish editions in use had the newer responses and acclamations from the people and they have been in use for many years. This will make the transition for the faithful much easier than in the English translation.”

The goals of the workshop were to review the liturgical book, examine the contents (noting changes from earlier editions), to review the principles of the sung liturgy, to hear samples of the 180 new chants, and to introduce printed and online resources for parish use. For the priests, the biggest change is the layout of the Missal and the options for the prefaces of prayers and use of additional appendixes for prayers.

Father Juan Pablo Ruani, Administrator of St. Paul Parish in Arcadia, said he appreciated the opportunity to learn about the changes in the text layout and in the music. “Much is the same, but there is a lot to take in.”

Father Lucatero noted that the parallel aspect of the new Spanish translation synchronizes with the U.S. English edition regarding “Proper of Time.” This is the notation of various feast days and special liturgical days, and recognizes specific national holidays. A clear example of this is that the new text will include Mass in Spanish for the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. Also, key American saints will be listed on their traditional feast days.

As a compromise to the faithful from other countries, the missal includes a Mass specific to the designated patronal feast day of many Spanish-speaking countries.

On issues related to the music, the participants heard from Damaris Thillet of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, who explained how the missal includes a dramatic increase in musical notations compared to missals used in the past.

“There is also an increased emphasis on the people’s parts, which is intended to encourage greater inclusion in the Mass,” Thillet said. “Most of the melodies are very similar to those found in the English edition.”

For the musicians, Thillet was able to answer any concerns presented as she put many at ease by noting the changes are an opportunity for more collaboration between the priests and musicians, all for the benefit of the faithful. Each presenter emphasized that a large number of online resources are available to aid in the transition.