New Zealand Roman Missal arrives

Late last week the new New Zealand Roman Missal (with its new translation from the Latin) arrived. It had previously been delayed because the first ones printed couldn’t be ensured to lie open, and so could affect a priest’s gestures. The irony was that New Zealand was the first to begin introducing the new translation – it is now probably one of the last to complete that. I wonder if affecting a priest’s gestures will be a new irony of this publication, as will be explained below.


I unwrapped it and flicked it open enthusiastically, in the presence of some well-educated adults, to the Sunday collect:

“O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son,…”

“It hasn’t been proof read”, was the immediate response of one person. So I turned over the page to the next collect:

“O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies…”

“Maybe they are referring to God as Trinity,” said another person. I forget how many degrees he has. We are, of course, not tri-theists.

Since then, I have run this past three senior staff in our English Department who all see this construction as incorrect, an awkward construction. The question was asked, “How do Roman Catholic priests understand this, deal with this?”

But enough on that – there’s plenty of other places that discuss the translation from Latin into English as it is not used, the loss of ecumenically-agreed texts, and our shared musical tradition.

The missal has a strong red cover, good page thickness, and a clear font. Its 1475 pages is bound as 18cm x 23cm x6.5 cm (9”x7”x2.5”). It comes with a Companion to the Missal (same dimensions 518 pages, 2.5cm, 1” thick). This contains Entrance Antiphon, collect, Prayer after Communion; Introductory Rites; Concluding Rites; Blessings at the End of Mass and Prayers over the People – to be used by the priest at the chair.  Read more


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