1. The Manner of Preparing a Translation
70. On account of the entrusting to the Bishops of the task of preparing liturgical translations, this work is committed in a particular way to the liturgical commission duly established by the Conference of Bishops. Wherever such a commission is lacking, the task of preparing the translation is to be entrusted to two or three Bishops who are expert in liturgical, biblical, philological or musical studies. As regards the examination and approbation of the texts, each individual Bishop must regard this duty as a direct, solemn and personal fiduciary responsibility.
71. In nations where many languages are used, the translations into individual vernacular languages are to be prepared and submitted to the special examination of those Bishops involved. Nevertheless, it is the Conference of Bishops as such that retains the right and the power to posit all of those actions mentioned in this Instruction as pertaining to the Conference; thus, it pertains to the full Conference to approve a text and to submit it for the recognitio of the Apostolic See.
72. The Bishops, in fulfilling their mission of preparing translations of liturgical texts, are carefully to ensure that the translations be the fruit of a truly common effort rather than of any single person or of a small group of persons.
73. Whenever a Latin editio typica of a given liturgical book is promulgated, it is necessary that it be followed in a timely manner by the preparation of a translation of the same book, which the Conference of Bishops is to send, after having duly approved it, to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to whom it pertains to grant the recognitio according to the norms set forth in this Instruction, and also in keeping with others established by the law. However, when it is a question of a change affecting only a part of the Latin editio typica or the insertion of new elements, these new elements are to be maintained fully and faithfully in all succeeding editions produced in the vernacular language.
74. A certain stability ought to be maintained whenever possible in successive editions prepared in modern languages. The parts that are to be committed to memory by the people, especially if they are sung, are to be changed only for a just and considerable reason. Nevertheless, if more significant changes are necessary for the purpose of bringing the text into conformity with the norms contained in this Instruction, it will be preferable to make such changes at one time, rather than prolonging them over the course of several editions. In such case, a suitable period of catechesis should accompany the publication of the new text.
75. The translation of liturgical texts requires not only a rare degree of expertise, but also a spirit of prayer and of trust in the divine assistance granted not only to the translators, but to the Church herself, throughout the whole process leading to the definitive approbation of the texts. The readiness to see one's own work examined and revised by others is an essential trait that should be evident in one who undertakes the translation of liturgical texts. Furthermore, all translations or texts prepared in vernacular languages, including those of the praenotanda and the rubrics, are to be anonymous with respect to persons as well as to institutions consisting of several persons, as in the case of the editiones typicae.
76. In implementing the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, it has become evident from the mature experience of the nearly four decades of the liturgical renewal that have elapsed since the Council that the need for translations of liturgical texts — at least as regards the major languages — is experienced not only by the Bishops in governing the particular Churches, but also by the Apostolic See, for the effective exercise of her universal solicitude for the Christian faithful in the City of Rome and throughout the world. Indeed, in the Diocese of Rome, especially in many of the Churches and institutes of the City that depend in some way on the Diocese or the organs of the Holy See, as well as in the activity of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia and the Pontifical Representations, the major languages are widely and frequently employed even in liturgical celebrations. For this reason, it has been determined that in the future, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will be involved more directly in the preparation of the translations into these major languages.
77. Furthermore, as regards the major languages, an integral translation of all of the liturgical books is to be prepared in a timely manner. Translations heretofore approved ad interim are to be perfected or thoroughly revised, as the case requires, and afterwards submitted to the Bishops for definitive approbation in accordance with the norms set forth in this Instruction. Finally, they are to be sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments with a request for the recognitio.
78. In the case of the less diffused languages that are approved for liturgical use, the larger or more important liturgical books, in particular, may be translated, according to pastoral necessity and with the consent of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The individual books thus selected are to be translated integrally, in the manner described in n. 66 above. As for the decrees, the institutio generalis, the praenotanda and the instructions, it is permissible to print them in a language that is different from the one used in the celebration, but nevertheless intelligible to the priest or deacon celebrants in the same territory. It is permissible to print the Latin text of the decrees, either in addition to the translation or instead of it.