21 Jan 2022

Common Worship translations in French

Today we’re publishing on the website the liturgies of Morning and Evening Prayer according to Common Worship in French translation.

The translations have been made by the Joint Anglican Roman Catholic Committee for France (commonly called “French ARC”) an official body set up by the Diocese in Europe and the Conference of French Roman Catholic Bishops. They follow on from a comparative study by French ARC of the daily office traditions in the two communions.

The two traditions start from common roots and although they subsequently diverged recent liturgical reforms have resulted in a striking similarity between the form and content of morning and evening prayer (lauds and vespers) in the two churches. French ARC therefore recommends that when Anglicans and Roman Catholics pray together, they use one another’s daily offices rather than devising special ad hoc liturgies for the occasion. 

Bishop Robert has authorised the use of these translations within the Diocese in Europe for an experimental period of one year from January 2022. During this year the translations will be submitted to the House of Bishops of the Church of England for final authorisation. Moreover, the Liturgical Commission of the Conference of French Roman Catholic Bishops has welcomed the availability of these translations. 

Everyone is encouraged to make use of these liturgical texts on ecumenical occasions in France and other French-speaking countries. The translations may, of course, also be used by chaplaincies which use French for some of their worship or wish to compile bilingual worship resources. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the material specific to the daily offices, the translations include all the collects for Sundays, Principal Feasts and Principal Holy Days.

During this experimental year French ARC will be glad to receive comments and criticisms from users so that it can consider making any necessary improvements to the texts, and you can forward these to

The Reverend John Murray (Chaplaincy of Strasbourg) and Monseigneur Bernard Ginoux (Bishop of Montauban), the co-chairs of French ARC said: 

“Our two Communions in the French-speaking world are already well-travelled on the path towards unity; we pray that the use of these texts may help to draw us even closer, so that together we can pray and bring the needs of our world before God. We share a rich heritage in these offices and our unity is growing. May this Prayer Book become familiar to us all.”

Watch a video by Revd John Murray and Mgr Bernard Ginoux here

Welcoming the publication of these resources, Bishop Robert said:

“The Covid pandemic makes the usual large ecumenical gatherings for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity more difficult. But the quest for the unity which Christ wills for his church continues. One manifestation of this, is the detailed theological, liturgical and literary work that is represented by these French translations of the services of Morning and Evening Prayer. I have followed this project with great interest as it has taken shape over recent years. I hope these services will be used with love and appreciation in Francophone contexts, and I look forward to their eventual formal approval as Church of England liturgical texts.”

You can access the French translations at this link on the Resources section of the website by clicking the button below:

French translations

Cover and banner image source: Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash