Timeline of the Roman Missal
Leadup: 20th century through the 1950’s: liturgists, especially those trained by the Benedictines, and centered in Europe, advocated quietly for changes in the Mass to recover something of the spirit of the early Christian churches
- 1959 - Pope John XXIII calls for a Council
- 1963 - Second Vatican Council promulgates the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, calling for substantial reform in the Mass and the celebration of the sacraments
- 1964 - A commission begins preliminary work on liturgical reform, revising the Roman Missal
- 1964-1967 - The commission permits bishops from all over the world to allow some parts of the Mass to be celebrated in the language of the people
- 1965-70 - Experimentation with translations from the Latin into English and other languages
- 1969 - The Roman curia’s document, Comme Le Prevoit, sets the standard for translating the Mass and other sacramental rites from Latin into vernacular languages.
- 1970 - The first part of the Roman Missal, the Order of Mass (including the people’s parts) are now available in English
- 1975 - The second part of the Roman Missal, first edition, the priest’s prayers, complete the full implementation of the reformed liturgy
- 1970’s - Roman Missal, first edition, is intended to be a transitional piece prior to a more scholarly and thorough revision of the Mass. This revision took place all through the decade.
- 1981 - The Roman Missal, second edition, is completed. This document is in Latin and was then made available to language and translation groups for work under the bishops’ conferences of the world’s nations.
- 1981-1998 - The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) collaborates with the world’s English-speaking bishops to produce a translation. The bishops approve the translation and send it to Rome for official recognition.
- 1998 - Rome declines to approve the English version of Roman Missal 2, stating that Roman Missal 3 is now nearly complete.
- 2000 - Roman Missal 3 in Latin is completed
- 2002 - Roman Missal 3 in Latin is published
- 2002 - The curia’s document, Liturgiam Authenticam, changes the standards and priorities for all translations. A more literal translation is mandated for all languages.
- 2000-2008 - ICEL works on translating Roman Missal 3 into English according to the new guidelines, approved by the world’s English-speaking bishops by 2008.
- 2008-2010 - Further refinements are made in the translation
- 2008 - South Africa implements the Roman Missal in English
- 2011 - Most English-speaking countries will implement in this calendar year, either to align with Pentecost (Australia and New Zealand), the start of a school year (England and Wales) or the start of a liturgical year (United States and Canada).