"In the years since Vatican II we have learned a lot about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and the new texts reflect this new understanding," Bishop Arthur Serratelli, chairman, bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, said.
"The new texts are understandable, dignified and accurate ... they not only strive to make the meaning of the text accessible for the listener, but they also strive to unearth the biblical and theological richness of the Latin text."
The new Roman Missal was issued by Pope John Paul II during the Jubilee Year 2000.
Translation began in 2003 and the bishops are expected to conclude their review and approve the final translated texts at the end of this year.
Final approval (recognitio) from the Holy See is expected in early 2010 and then the texts can be published and used in the liturgy.
Meanwhile priests and congregations can use the new website to familiarise themselves with sample texts, and to read details of their background, material about the new missal as well as a glossary of terms and frequently asked questions.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that organised the website promises that that new content will be added regularly over the coming months.
Bishop Serratelli stated that this is an opportunity not just to learn about the changes, and the revised texts, but also to “deepen our own understanding of the liturgy itself."
The website underlines the hope that when the time comes to use the texts in the celebration of the Mass, priests will be properly trained, congregations will have an understanding and appreciation of what is being prayed, and musical settings of the liturgical texts will be readily available.
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