asked me to speak about Anscar and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, ICEL for short. I had the honor of serving with Anscar on ICEL’s Advisory Committee from 1993 to 2000. It is quite appropriate to be introducing ICEL within the context of celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, since ICEL was established during the Second Vatican Council by representatives of ten conferences of bishops on 17 October 1963, almost two months before the promulgation of the constitution on 4 December 1963. As is stated in a report of ICEL’s Episcopal Board, “The creation of ICEL was prompted by the Second Vatican Council’s imminent promulgation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy with its sanction of the use of the vernacular in the liturgical celebrations of the Roman Rite.”4 In telling the story of ICEL’s first years, Monsignor Frederick McManus notes that Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 “left the decision to the territorial bodies of bishops: whether to use, and how much to use, the respective language, the decision subject to the confirmation or review of the Roman See.”5 In 1964 a mandate that set out the work of what would become ICEL’s Advisory Committee was adopted by the conferences of bishops. The first assignment given to the Advisory Committee by the mandate included the following task: “to work out a plan for the translation of liturgical texts and the provision of original texts where required in language which would be correct, dignified, intelligible, and suitable for public recitation and singing.”6 As Fred noted, the members of the Advisory Committee were to represent “the diversity of specializations needed to plan and conduct a program of liturgical translations into English.”7 The Advisory Committee first met in January 1965. Anscar became a member of the Advisory Committee on 20 May 1993, but his involvement in the work of ICEL goes back to 1981. At this point I should let you know of the sources I have consulted for this presentation. In addition to minutes I have from my own years on the Advisory Committee, I made use of materials in the archives of the ICEL secretariat in Washington, D.C. I also asked three people who played significant roles in ICEL to share with me some of their memories of Anscar and ICEL and they graciously agreed to do so. They are John Page, who served as executive secretary of ICEL for more than twenty years; James Schellman, who served as associate executive secretary; and our own Gilbert Ostdiek, who was a member of the Advisory Committee and chaired ICEL’s Subcommittee on Translations and Revisions. It was from John Page that I learned of Anscar’s involvement with ICEL in 1981, and this was confirmed by correspondence I found at the ICEL secretariat.8 Seemingly there had been an ongoing dialogue between the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and ICEL over the proposed book Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum. The prefect of the Congregation at the time had a completely negative response to what ICEL had done with the book. When he left the CDWDS and a new person became prefect, one of the members of the congregation asked Anscar to serve on a panel set up by the congregation to discuss the proposed book with representatives of ICEL. Anscar was one of the consultors for the CDWDS at the time. The meeting took place on 25 November 1981. John Page was there and, as he tells it, “It was a while before 46 NAAL Proceedings
Published on Oct 8, 2014
Published on Oct 8, 2014
The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...