Q: My parish has for many years had four or five readers read the first few verses of the first reading of Pentecost Sunday in multiple languages, culminating in the full scripture being read in English. During the last few verses the non-English readers read aloud softly each in their own language while the English reader (on the microphone) was definitely the prominent voice. Recently I have been told that what we are doing is not allowed, by Vatican decree, but I have been unable to find this. Can you comment?
A: Guidelines from the USCCB are here: http://www.usccb.org/
prayer-and-worship/the-mass/ frequently-asked-questions/ guidelines-for-a-multilingual- celebration-of-mass.cfm. There is no provision for using multiple languages in the same reading, though it is permitted for the responsorial psalm. The gospel may be repeated in a second language – but both proclamations are to be complete and independent.
I am unaware of Vatican directives on this point, but by example papal liturgies never have one reading divided into different languages. Each reading is proclaimed in one language, and then the language often changes for the next reading.