Pastoral Letter on The Revised Roman Missal and its Liturgical Norms

Thursday, September 29 2011

(CCCB – Ottawa)… This coming First Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2011, the Catholic Church in Canada will implement the revised liturgical norms of the third “typical edition” of the Roman Missal, as well as the revised Liturgical Calendar for the dioceses of Canada. “Typical edition” means the text is the official version to which all copies and translations around the world are to conform.

That same day, Canadian Catholics are to begin using the revised English-language translation of the Roman Missal, which is being published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).  French-speaking Catholics will continue to use the current translation of the Roman Missal until their new translation is available.  The French Sector Bishops of Canada are currently working on this project. It is part of a long and intensive process expected to continue for several more years.

The present revision follows an announcement in 2000 by Pope John Paul II there would be a “third typical edition” of the Roman Missal. The revised Latin text of the Missal was published by the Vatican in 2002, and later amended by the Holy See in 2008.

In order to assist in introducing and understanding the revised liturgical norms, as well as the revised English-language translation, CCCB President Bishop Pierre Morissette has published a pastoral letter. While the letter is addressed to all Catholics, it focuses especially on those involved in liturgical and catechetical ministries.

In his letter, Bishop Morisette recalls that the introduction of the revised liturgical norms is a moment of grace that invites all the faithful to deepen their unity as the body of Christ. “On behalf of the Bishops of Canada,” he writes, “I invite everyone to embrace the new norms and welcome the new translation. In our communal celebrations, the words, gestures and postures we use at worship are an important sign of our unity and harmony.”

The CCCB has produced various resources to aid in introducing the liturgical revisions, including:

  • Two shortened versions of the pastoral letter, retitled as “Message to all the Faithful”, which focus on the specific liturgical changes in each of the two linguistic sectors;
  • Four templates of the pastoral letter so it can be distributed as bulletins or news letters to specific groups.

Bulletin 1: A time of grace and thanksgiving

Bulletin 2: The process of revising the Roman Missal

Bulletin 3: Are there many changes?

Bulletin 4: Catholic identity and unity / Encouraging active participation in the Liturgy

The above resources, including the pastoral letter from the CCCB President, are available in Word format by sending and e-mail to