Workshops prepare parishes for new Roman Missal

The new English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal is seen in Rome April 29, 2010. Announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and first published in Latin in 2002, the missal underwent a lengthy translation process and received final approval by the Vatican in 2010 for use beginning Nov. 27, 2011. The Diocese of Davenport is offering workshops for lay leaders in each of the six deaneries. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Barb Arland-Fye

In 10 months the Davenport Diocese and dioceses nationwide will implement a new edition of the Roman Missal on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27. This third edition has been years in the making and represents the most significant changes in the translation from Latin to English since authorization of the first translation following Vatican II some 40 years ago. The intention is to bring the English translation as close as possible to the original Latin, Church leaders say. The largest changes are to the prayers the priests say during Mass and, to a lesser extent, the prayers and responses that people in the pews say.

“This is not a small undertaking, and will demand much from all of us,” said Bishop Martin Amos in a policy document on The Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition. “Yet, it is my hope that the new Missal will serve to further deepen the bond of unity we share, and that its implementation will be an occasion for a renewal of our liturgical life.”

As part of the preparation process Deacon Frank Agnoli, the diocese’s director of liturgy, is conducting workshops for lay leaders in each of the diocese’s six deaneries. The idea is to train the trainers who will prepare parishioners for implementation of the new Roman Missal. Workshops have already been held in the Davenport and Grinnell deaneries. Several participants who attended those workshops shared with The Catholic Messenger thoughts about what they learned.

“The workshop gave our parish team lots of good background information regarding why the new Roman Missal was necessary and how it came about,” said Tammy Norcross, pastoral minister and faith formation director for Sacred Heart Parish in Newton. She attended the Jan. 22 workshop, held at her parish.


“The historical perspective that Deacon Agnoli presented reminded us that change is part of our history and tradition. We found it very helpful to read together the people’s prayers of the new Roman Missal. The Gloria was changed more than any other prayer and it didn’t seem so bad. We like the idea of using these new translations in our parish meetings as we prepare for the implementation of the New Missal next Advent,” Norcross said. “The resources provided by the diocese will be very helpful in planning our own parish formation. We are especially appreciative of the bulletin inserts and PowerPoints provided on the CD.”

Cheryl Brogla Krupke, music director for Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire, said: “My expectations were that I would have a clear and concise idea of what the new format would be for the New Roman Missal and what effect it will have on music.” She attended the Jan. 15 workshop at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport and thought “Deacon Agnoli did a good job of comparing the former with the revised Missal. I have the information that I need in order to incorporate the new with some of the old, and to focus now on choosing a new music Mass setting.”

Sharon Wright, who chairs Our Lady of the River’s liturgy committee, said she thought Deacon Agnoli provided an in-depth explanation of why the Church moved from the Greek language to Latin and then to the vernacular languages of the modern world, and how something was lost in the translation from Latin to English. “We lost that sense of worshipful language, which we’re trying to get back.” Since attending the workshop, she said someone approached her and expressed surprise at the changes to the Nicene Creed. She noted that the people in the pews aren’t going to have to make nearly as many changes as the priests are in the prayers they say.

“I think once we make the changes, get used to the changes and practice the changes it will enhance our liturgy experience. Our Church is a growing body of Christ; it isn’t a stagnant thing,” Wright observed.

Lynn Cooper, music director for St. Mary Parish in Pella, said she went into the Jan. 22 workshop in Newton thinking she would be disappointed in the changing of the words, phrases and music that was coming. Instead, the workshop enlightened her in a way she hadn’t anticipated. Deacon Agnoli not only taught the history behind the Roman Missal, “He made everything come together so that by the time we looked at the changes it all fit together, really made sense.”

What she found especially helpful about the workshop was the excitement, the history, reasons why the changes are being made. “I want my parish to feel this energy of the Spirit for all of us. I want them to receive this news in a similar way that we did Saturday: to know where in Scripture a lot of the new wording comes from and the history behind it all. This is a great time to be Catholic.  This is a great time to teach all of us, young and not so young.”

Upcoming workshops on the new Roman Missal

Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at each location; lunch will be provided.

• Jan. 29, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Iowa City (Iowa City deanery parishes)

• Feb. 5, St. Alphonsus Parish, Mount Pleasant (Keokuk Deanery parishes)

• Feb. 19, St. Joseph Parish, DeWitt (Clinton County parishes)

• Feb. 26, St. Patrick Parish, Ottumwa (Ottumwa Deanery parishes)

Registration is required. For additional information about the new Roman Missal, or to register visit the Davenport Diocese’s website:

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