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NZ new Mass translation Missal delayed

Nearly a year ago, New Zealand was the first to implement the new Roman Catholic English Mass translation by beginning to use the responses and common texts (Confession, Gloria, Creed). Now it looks like it will be one of the last to complete the transition. Other countries will introduce the new translation in full in Advent starting 27 November 2011. NZ was going to be introducing the rest of the texts at that stage also. That will now not happen.

The Maori translation of the Mass was approved (and I look forward to seeing how it deals, for example, with the inclusive-language issues that have so disturbed the English-language discussions; eg. will “father” be “matua” ie “parent” or “pāpara”). This new Missal will be the first ever bilingual Missal approved for NZ.

The printing of the new Missals concluded last week. The pages for the Eucharistic Prayers, being more frequently used, are on heavier paper. These pages do not lie flat when the book is open. Hence the Missals will be reprinted, and the current format of old translation for most of the Mass with new responses and some texts will continue until the Missals are ready.


At a recent Mass in a full church, one of the four concelebrants finally gave in to constantly getting the words wrong and picked up a book to follow. There were no books for those in the congregation. People would launch with vigour into a section (eg. Confession, Gloria, Creed) and then reduce to a hesitating mumbling as the authorised text wove away from familiarity.

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6 thoughts on “NZ new Mass translation Missal delayed”

  1. This confusion is not my experience at St Mary’s ProCathedral Christchurch (pew booklets plentiful but many already know the new texts) nor at St Matthew’s Bryndwr (very clear OHPs efficiently displayed).

    A propos of nothing: A devout Catholic gave me this gem –

    At Vatican 3 the Pope will bring a husband!

    1. Thanks, Ralph. Yes, I was assuming that this story of neither pew sheets nor any other assistance is not typical. How long away do you think Vatican III might be? 😉 Blessings.

  2. Phase 1 of the new translation – responses, Gloria, Creed and so on – were implemented in South Africa in 2008. There was a lot of unhappiness at first and it took some time for some people to adapt. A great deal more care has been taken to explain and motivate the Phase 2 changes to be implemented on Sunday. It will be intesting to see whether they are accepted more easily.

  3. Martin Hennessy-Smith

    Brosco, I live in Australia can you advise how you got your copy of the new New Zealand RC
    Missal which you reviewed. I’m an ex-pat and would like to obtain a copy of the kiwi missal. So far no luck in working out where to obtain / purchase one. With online texts of the generic UK / US new missals can’t see much value in buying them. Hope you can help. Martin

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