What is ICEL?

The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is a mixed commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences in countries where English is used in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy according to the Roman Rite. The purpose of the Commission is to prepare English translations of each of the Latin liturgical books and any individual liturgical texts in accord with the directives of the Holy See.

Eleven Conferences of Bishops are currently full members of ICEL. They are:
England and Wales
New Zealand
The Philippines
Southern African
The United States of America

Each of these Conferences elects one bishop to represent it on ICEL. The member-bishops are at present:
The Most Revd Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, Australia
The Most Revd Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of Saint-Boniface, Canada
The Most Revd George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, Wales
The Most Revd Dominic Jala, S.D.B., Archbishop of Shillong, India
The Most Revd Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway, Ireland
The Most Revd Denis Browne, Bishop of Hamilton, New Zealand
The Most Revd Andrew Francis, Bishop of Multan, Pakistan
The Most Revd Julius Tonel, Bishop of Ipil, the Philippines
The Most Revd Joseph Toal, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Scotland
The Most Revd Valentine Seane, Bishop of Gaborone, Botswana
The Most Revd Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.A

Other Conferences of Bishops in whose countries English is used in the Liturgy may, on request, be admitted to associate participation in ICEL. At present these are:
The Antilles
CEPAC (Pacific Islands)
Gambia - Liberia - Sierra Leone
Malaysia - Singapore
Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka


The Bishops of ICEL are assisted in their work by the professional staff of ICELís Secretariat, which is located in Washington, D.C. The Secretariat coordinates the work of specialists throughout the English-speaking world in the preparation of translations.

When an ICEL translation has been completed and approved by the Bishops of the Commission, it is sent to the member- and associate member- conferences for their consideration.

ICEL itself is not a publisher of liturgical books and related materials in the usual sense. Rather, like individual authors, translators, or editors, it provides the content of such publications to publishing firms. ICEL has published, in limited editions but not commercially, its draft translations and texts for consultation purposes and its definitive translations and texts. The former are issued for the purpose of consultation, although they may be adopted for provisional use by individual Conferences of Bishops. The latter are issued for the use of the Conferences of Bishops, who are then free to give canonical approval or not, and for the use of publishers, for whom the texts serve as the basic edition or manuscript.

Bishops from English speaking countries attending the Second Vatican Council set up the Commission in Rome in 1963. On 15 September 2003, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments formally established ICEL as a mixed commission in accordance with the Holy See's Instruction Liturgiam authenticam.