The draft phase of the process to translate the 2002 Roman Missal from Latin to English has been completed, announced the chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds reported this in a letter sent Thursday, confirming that the last installment -- the appendices -- of the draft version of the English translation was sent to the bishops of its 11 member conferences.
Bishop Roche said in the letter: "The draft phase of the commission's work of translating the missal has been brought to completion, some five years after the publication of the Latin original."
The draft translation, known as the "green book" due to the color of its cover, will be reviewed by the conferences. The bishops will then submitted changes, which will be incorporated into a final proposed version, to be released as a "grey book."
Comments will also be solicited from the Congregation for Worship and the Sacraments, said Bishop Roche.
The final version will then be resent to the 11 bishops' conferences for approval before being sent to Rome for recognition. Bishop Roche estimated that the process will be completed by the end of 2008.
The chairman of the commission said: "The importance of this process of consultation in shaping the new English liturgical texts now in preparation can hardly be overestimated.
"A wide range of issues, both theological and linguistic, have been brought to the attention of the commission, who in response have sought to shape texts that will meet the needs of the worldwide English-speaking Catholic community."
Bishop Roche added: "The introduction of a new translation of the Mass will be an opportunity for renewed catechesis. Plans for this are already under way."
The 11 member conferences of the international commission include Australia, Canada, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and the United States.