Commemorating the First World War

PoppiresAt the Easter meeting 2014 of the Bishops’ Conference the following resolution was agreed:

To mark the centenary of the First World War and remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict, the bishops of England and Wales encourage the Catholic community to participate in local civic or ecumenical celebrations.

The bishops will celebrate Requiem Masses in their Cathedrals on or near the six key dates which have been identified as part of the anniversary celebrations.

  • Monday 4th August 2014 — the centenary of entry of the British Empire to the War
  • Saturday 25th April 2015 — the Gallipoli campaign
  • Tuesday 31st May/ Wednesday 1st June 2016 — the Battle of Jutland commemorating the war at sea
  • Friday 1st July 2016 — the Battle of the Somme
  • Monday 31st July 2017 — the start of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
  • Sunday 11th November 2018 — Armistice Day

Catholic parishes are asked to mark these important anniversaries on the nearest Sunday by offering Mass for all those who died and to pray in the intercessions for those currently serving in the armed forces, and for peace.

The Joint Liturgical Group of Great Britain has information about how the centenary is being marked in Wales and Scotland, a selection of Collect prayers and links to other resources.

Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children

A modified translation of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children has been approved for use in England and Wales and will be published in May.

Harmonising with the Roman Missal

The modified translation updates the text to match the Missal translation where possible:

  • Preface dialogue
  • Holy, Holy
  • Institution Narrative
  • Memorial Acclamations
  • Doxology and Amen

The remainder of the text, e.g. the Prefaces, is taken from the translation which was issued in English in 1975.

Changes to the text

A number of other amendments have been made to the text.

  • The Introduction has been changed so that it reflects current practice.
  • Though ‘in view of the psychology of children it seems better to refrain from concelebration’ direction is given for concelebrants for each of the Prayers .
  • The additional acclamations have been retained but have been placed in brackets to suggest that the use of them is optional.
  • The 3 Memorial Acclamations from the Roman Missal have been included in each of the Eucharistic Prayers.
  • For clarity the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer has been printed twice: outside Easter Time & during Easter Time.
  • In the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer the text in italic has been added: ‘Father, we ask you to bless these gifts of bread and wine by the power of the Holy Spirit and make them holy.’


One of the key features of the Roman Missal has been the integration of music within the liturgical text.  In the same way music has been included in the text of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children. Where the text is taken directly from the Missal the same chant is used; other texts — e.g. the additional acclamations — the music is based on the Missal chants.

As with the Missal the chants are intended both to provide a simple basic setting which can be used whatever resources are available and to highlight the importance of singing in the liturgy. Where children already know the Missal chants it will be easy for them to pick up the additional acclamations. It is also possible for new musical settings to be written — Guidelines for Composers are available.


The Eucharistic Prayers will be published 1 May by:

Mass Settings – end of transitional period


The Bishops’ Conference has issued a Statement on the use of Mass Settings using the old translation of the Missal or settings which paraphrase the text.

Unlike some other countries which did not permit the use of previous settings as soon as the Missal was introduced the bishops did recognise that time was may be needed for settings to become available and for parishes and communities to find settings which suited their resources.

For many the starting point were the chants in the Missal itself which were freely available and could be simply sung without any accompaniment. This remains a primary option for parishes and communities. One of the hoped for benefits of using the Missal chants was to provide a common setting which Catholics would know wherever Mass was celebrated in English.

It was permitted to start singing the new translation at Mass from Easter 2011 – since then a large number of Mass settings have been published. In England and Wales, as is required in other countries as well, Mass settings are approved prior for publication for their fidelity to the text. Details of the process can be found here and a list of published settings here.

The Liturgy Office was asked to provide a resource – Singing the Mass – to assist parishes and schools who may be still looking for suitable settings. The resource focuses on the sung parts of the Ordinary (the texts at Mass which are the same in very celebration) where the new translation differs from what was used previously: the Gloria and the Eucharistic Acclamations (Holy, Memorial Acclamations and Amen). The recommendations are not intended to be exhaustive – other sources are indicated in the resource – but may give helpful pointers to the range of settings available.


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