Since posting the status update on the major upcoming revision of the Liturgy of the Hours for the United States, it appears that the U.S. bishops have made additional progress on this complex, important project. Here is what we know by way of updates:
- The new hymnody, translated by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) into accurate and poetic (but note: non-rhyming) English from the original Latin hymns of the Liturgia Horarum, was approved in its entirety by the American bishops at their November 2019 meeting.
- The USCCB has approved the new Abbey Psalms and Canticles for liturgical use and published them for sale. This practically means that people may begin substituting the new psalm and canticle translations for the old Grail found in the current, first edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, effective immediately.
- As of April 2020, Gray Books (that is, final versions) are completed for:
- Intercessions of the Proper of Saints,
- Concluding Prayers of the Four-Week Psalter.
The major components that still remain to be seen are the Scripture lessons (to be drawn from the final liturgical edition of the New American Bible Revised Edition still under development), and ICEL’s revision of psalm antiphons that will be drawn from the new Abbey Psalms and Canticles translation.
It is encouraging to see continued progress on this front, especially when so much of the news both in and outside the Church is full of doom and gloom. Thanks to all the bishops, priests and lay professionals of USCCB and ICEL who continue to effect this massive undertaking with skill and liturgical sensitivity.
Update: ICEL has a dedicated YouTube channel that includes a handful of the new hymns as examples, in both Gregorian and more modern arrangements, as well as video of the hymn presentation at the USCCB’s November 2019 meeting and the bishops’ vote of approval.