When the Second Vatican Council provided for wider usage of the vernacular in the Sacred Liturgy, it also envisioned that the initial translations would be reviewed and changed after a time of practical experience using it in the Liturgy. The publication of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal in Latin in 2000 was seen by the Church as the time for this review. Also, in March of 2001, the 5th instruction on vernacular translation of the Roman Liturgy, Liturgiam Authenticam, was issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This new instruction on translation recognized that various vernacular translations of liturgical texts were in need of improvement through correction or a new draft. This is when the new English translation of the Roman Missal began.
Liturgiam Authenticam mandated a method of translation called ‘formal equivalency’. This method of translation requires that the texts be translated without omissions, as close to the original Latin syntax as possible and doctrinally precise, using language that preserves the dignity and beauty of the original text. This method of translation is very different from the method used by the translators of the current Missal. The translators of the 1970 Missal following the 1969 instruction Comme le Prevoit used a method called ‘dynamic equivalency’ for their translation which allowed translators to render the text more freely, in a sense to re-imagine the text in the common language of the people. This method allowed for the paraphrasing of texts and removing those parts of the text that were considered to be superfluous. In many instances, with this method of translation, much of the richness of the language present in the Latin liturgy was literally lost in translation.