Explanation booklets on the Mass are a great help – Rev Fr Leo Chamberlain OSB


The changes to the Mass are almost upon us, so here the Very Rev Fr Leo Chamberlain OSB gives us his thoughts on the two booklets we have produced: Dom Cuthbert Johnson OSB’s Understanding the Roman Missal – the New Translation and Mgr Bruce Harbert’s Companion to the Order of Mass, which give the reasons for, and the form of, the changes.

He draws attention to the illustrations contained in the booklets, and the discussion on the new translation of the Creed in particular.

“Both are excellently produced, and the illustrations relevant and helpful.  They are somewhat different in character – Abbot Cuthbert Johnson gives more of the text, and concentrates more closely in some instances on commenting on it – he discusses ‘consubstantial’, and he has some references which are helpful but not given by Mgr Bruce Harbert.


He makes a good reference to the Didache; and he gives some explanation of the Bidding Prayers – which Mgr Harbert may omit as not being strictly a matter of translation.

“But either is best read with the full text of the Mass. Mgr Bruce’s text is, I think, more penetrating in its presentation of the reasons for and style of the new translation; and more encompassing in giving the scriptural context more fully.  The Creed is generally presented more satisfactorily by Mgr Bruce. “

The Very Rev Fr Leo Chamberlain OSB is former headmaster of Ampleforth College in Yorkshire

Both booklets are available from the CTS website now priced £1.95 and £2.50.

Of related interest:

D506 Order of Mass in Latin & English- This Mass booklet contains the complete text of the Order of the Mass set in English and Latin on facing pages.
D741 Order of Mass in English – The complete text of the Order of Mass in the new English translation, for use by the people. Includes Eucharistic Prayers I – IV, musical settings of the people’s parts, colour illustrations.
New translation of the Roman Missal – Understanding the changes –This easy-to-read leaflet considers the biblical and liturgical character of the new translation and the benefits it brings.

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2 comments on “Explanation booklets on the Mass are a great help – Rev Fr Leo Chamberlain OSB

  1. Why not include the blue covered Order of the Mass in Latin and English on the “of related interest” list above??

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