Bishops’ Conference – November 2015

At the plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in November 2015 the following decisions were made relating to the liturgy of the Church:

Revised Grail Psalter

The Bishops’ Conference supports the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in preparing a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours. This will include the use of the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in future editions of the Liturgy of the Hours in England and Wales.

National Calendar for England: Proper texts for the Divine Office

The Bishops’ Conference asks that further work be done on the Proper Texts in the Liturgy of the Hours for the National Calendar of England.


The Bishops’ Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales.

For a complete list of resolutions.

Autumn 2015 Events

Sarum College

The Taizé Community: A Symposium

Fri 30 October, 12:00 pm to Sat 31 October, 4:00 pm

Sarum College is the venue for an academic symposium that will explore and review the significance of the Taizé Community.

This event is organised to mark the 75th year since the founding of the Taizé community in 1940 and the centenary anniversary of the birth of its founder, Brother Roger.

More Information

Bible Society & Bishops’ Conference Scripture Working Group

Open Minds, Burning Hearts
Journeying through Luke’s Gospel

10–12 November 2015 — Sedgley Park, Manchester

In November 2015, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II Document, Dei Verbum, there will be a national Scripture conference to be held at Sedgley Park Conference Centre in Manchester.

The theme of the conference will be Luke’s gospel, and the keynote speaker will be Dr Ian Boxall, Associate Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

More Information

Society of St Gregory

Winter Assembly & Crichton Memorial Lecture

Saturday 7th November – Blessed Dominic Barberi, Cowley Road, Littlemore, Oxford OX4 4JX

The James Crichton Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Lisbonian Society. This year’s lecture will be given by Revd Professor Thomas O’Loughlin of Nottingham University, entitled ‘Language, Music, Liturgy – communicating the Word’

More Information

 Archdiocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University.

Vatican II and the Church Today

14-15 November at the Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation

A weekend conference featuring internationally renowned speakers exploring the continuing impact of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council in the life and mission of both the local and global Church.  Featured speakers include authority on Vatican II,  Dr Massimo Faggioli, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP.  The weekend takes place 14-15 November at the Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation.  Places must be booked in advance, on a first come first served basis.  Early booking is strongly recommend. or by Phone 0151  522 1040.

Pope Francis announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

In a letter published on 6 August Pope Francis has announced a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation:

Sharing the concern of my beloved brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for the future of creation (cf. Laudato Si’, 7-9), and at the suggestion of his representative, Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to institute in the Catholic Church the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, is to be celebrated on 1 September, as has been the custom in the Orthodox Church for some time.

The purpose of the day will be to

offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective. It is my hope that this Day will in some way also involve other Churches and ecclesial Communities, and be celebrated in union with similar initiatives of the World Council of Churches.

The day has been incorporated into the Cycle of Prayer under the Autumn Intention: The Harvest, the Fruits of Human Work, and the Reverent Use of Creation.

Bishops’ Conference News

Liturgical Calendar 2016

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2016 has now been posted to the website.

For those wishing to look ahead the draft Calendar Notes for 2017 are available here.

Additions to the Calendar

The following celebrations have been added to the Universal Calendar: 11 October – St John XXIII, 22 October – St John Paul II. Both are Optional Memorials.

Changes to the Cycle of Prayer

The Cycle of Prayer is how the Days of Special Prayer are organised with an encouragement that appropriate prayer and activity takes place within the season.

The Bishops’ Conference has made a number of changes to the Cycle of Prayer which are effective from 2016:

  • Education Day to 2nd Sunday in September
  • Day for Life to the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • Racial Justice Day to 3 Sundays before the 1st Sunday of Lent

Summary of dates 2016

Sundays: Year C
Weekdays: Year II

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 29 November 2015
Christmas Friday 25 December 2015
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 3 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 10 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 27 March
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 8 May
Pentecost Sunday 15 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 29 May
St Peter & St Paul Wednesday 29 June
The Assumption Sunday 14 August
All Saints Tuesday 1 November
All Souls Wednesday 2 November

Events 2015

Liturgy Seminar

Examining Ritual Practices: a Practical Theological Approach

Thursday 4 June — Sarum College, Salisbury

The seminar will explore how the practice of ritual lends itself to examination and research. Approaches to the study of ritual and their relationship to theories of ritual will be examined. The seminar is open to postgraduate students and others who have an interest in the study of ritual.

More Information

Society of St Gregory Summer School

The Word that is Life

27–31 July — High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon

In the renewed liturgy after the Second Vatican Council, the Word of God has a special place. The selection of readings at Mass were greatly expanded so that the treasures of the Bible were opened up and the revised Lectionary has become a shared gift across the denominations. Scripture has not only been the source of the words we proclaim but also those we sing and pray.

Over the last couple of years, the Summer School has reflected on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and how it deepened our appreciation of the liturgy, not only in the Constitution on the Liturgy, but in the other documents as well. The Constitution on Divine Revelation. Dei Verbum, expressed the Church’s understanding of place of scriptures in the life and faith of the Church.

In this year’s Summer School, the place of scripture in the liturgy and the life and mission of the Church will be explored through keynote inputs, a range of workshops and liturgy and music.

More Information

Open Minds, Burning Hearts

Journeying through Luke’s Gospel

10–12 November 2015 — Sedgley Park, Manchester

In November 2015, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II Document, Dei Verbum, there will be a national Scripture conference to be held at Sedgley Park Conference Centre in Manchester.

The theme of the conference will be Luke’s gospel, and the keynote speaker will be Dr Ian Boxall, Associate Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

More Information


Homiletic Directory

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a Homiletic Directory. Archbishop Roche’s introduction can be found on The Bishops’ Conference News site. There is an interview with him on Vatican Radio.

This fulfils a request for such a directory made at the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008.

The Contents are as follows:







  2. The Old Testament Reading on Holy Thursday
  3. The Old Testament Reading on Good Friday
  4. The Old Testament Readings of the Easter Vigil
  5. The Easter Lectionary
  7. The Gospel of the First Sunday of Lent
  8. The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Lent
  9. The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent
  10. Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion


  1. The First Sunday of Advent
  2. The Second and Third Sundays of Advent
  3. The Fourth Sunday of Advent
  5. The Liturgies of Christmas
  6. The Feast of the Holy Family
  7. The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God
  8. The Solemnity of the Epiphany
  9. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
  12. Weekday Mass
  13. Weddings
  14. Funerals


Cycle A

Cycle B

Cycle C

Other Holy Days



The Directory will be available from the website of the Congregation and will be published by the Catholic Truth Society.

Liturgical Calendar 2015

Some of the most visited pages on the Liturgy Office website are the monthly Calendar pages. They provide information for each day about what is celebrated. The monthly pages for the forthcoming year are usually added in August and 2015 are now available. As well as the web pages there is a downloadable calendar which can printed to A6 size and be inserted in breviaries or missals.

Earlier in the year, usually about February, the Office issues annual Calendar Notes. The notes highlight the main moveable dates for each year and what is changed. It does not give details of every day but should mean that it is possible to work out  the necessary information. (To assist this the list of Dates for Sundays is useful.) Draft Notes are also given for the following year (e.g. 2016) — as a rule there is generally not much change between the draft notes and the final version. On the Calendar Notes are also given any substantial changes — such as changes to the Cycle of Prayer or additions to the Calendar — such as the inclusion os St John Paul II in the National Calendars for England and Wales.

Summary of dates 2015

Sundays: Year B
Weekdays: Year I

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 30 November 2014
Christmas Thursday 25 December 2014
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 4 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 18 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 5 April
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 17 May
Pentecost Sunday 24 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 7 June
St Peter & St Paul Sunday 28 June
The Assumption Sunday 16 August
All Saints Sunday 1 November
All Souls Monday 2 November

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.


Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.