Bengaluru, February 18: The new three-volume English lectionary for India was released by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai and member of G9, the consultors of Pope Francis, by handing over the first copy to Fr Giambattista Diquattro, the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, on Sunday, February 16, 2020, during the 32 Plenary assembly of the CCBI, held at St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru.
"This new lectionary is an invitation for each of us to deepen our understanding of the word of God and thereby participate in the liturgy actively, fully and consciously, lifting ourselves to the Lord," stated Cardinal Oswald Gracias.
He requested the bishops to give adequate instruction to our faithful regarding the new lectionary so that its use will result in a more profound understanding and appreciation of the word of God in the Holy Mass as well as in other liturgical celebrations and thus lead to a fruitful nurturing of the faith in all our churches.
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman and president of the CCBI said, "The publication of the new lectionary by the CCBI is a landmark in the history of the Church in our country, it is a valuable contribution of the Church in India to the Universal Church testifying to our biblical scholarship and liturgical competence."
The Church in India will begin to officially use this lectionary in the liturgical celebrations from April 5, 2020, Palm Sunday. The new English lectionary is prepared according to the Indian liturgical calendar, incorporating special readings for the solemnities, feasts and memorials of Indian saints and votive masses for our country. The English lectionaries that are currently in use in India should be set aside and replaced with the new lectionary from the coming Palm Sunday.
The conference of Catholic Bishops of India, following the revision of Can. 838 §3 of the Code of Canon Law decreed by the Motu Proprio Magnum Principium of September 9, 2017, authorized the preparation of the new lectionary.
The CCBI had commissioned the work on an English translation of the Holy Bible consistent with the teaching of the church and according to the norms laid down in the 2001 Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam. A team of experienced and prominent scripture scholars, led by Dr Fr Lucien Legrand MEP, worked on the ESV Bible, ensuring compatibility with the Catholic teaching and textual accuracy. The CCBI, during its Plenary Assembly in February 2017 approved the English Standard Version Catholic Edition (ESVCE) of the Holy Bible for use in the liturgy. The ESVCE is considered one of the most accurate English translations of the Holy Bible from the original manuscripts.
Accordingly, the English Standard Version Catholic Edition (ESVCE) of the Bible has been used throughout this lectionary, with the exception of the translation of the Psalms, which has been taken from the ‘Grail Psalms’, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This lectionary, in three volumes, was approved by our episcopal conference and the required confirmation was granted by the congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments on December 9, 2019, the solemnity of the immaculate conception of the blessed virgin Mary.
During the releasing ceremony, the lectionary was introduced to the bishops by Dr Fr Ayres Fernandes, the executive secretary of the CCBI Commission for Liturgy and Nigel Fernandes, the CEO of Asian Trading Corporation.
George Antonysamy, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore and vice-president of the CCBI, Anil Couto the Archbishop of Delhi and secretary-general of the CCBI, Peter Paul Saldanha the Bishop of Mangaluru and chairman of the CCBI Commission for Liturgy, Dr Fr Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary-general of the CCBI, were also present at the time of the release.