Wednesday, May 20, 2015


There are some who comment here and then there are others in higher academic realms who actually advocate for a return to the 1962 missal with the suppression of the revised Missal of Pope Paul VI altogether. Perhaps they want the Church to commit suicide?

I'm all in favor of unbelieving Catholics using the gift of free-will that God gave them to leave the Church if the Church doesn't live up to their own narcissistic expectations. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them to leave and I pray that the Lord will touch their heart in the same way he touched the heart of Saul of Tarsus and converted him to the Faith at which point he became Saint Paul.

I was happy to read that a columnist and commentator for the Macon Telegraph, Bill Cummings, who brags incessantly that he was in the seminary in Rome during the time of Pope St. John XXIII and eventually ordained a priest in the 1960's only to leave the priesthood and get married during that silly season, has finally "fessed" up to not being a Catholic anymore, he's simply a secular humanist of some sort who wants religion and the Catholic Church his way--another form of narcissism. But at least he has finally become honest in his self-designation. I wonder if he knows how many people in Macon are not Catholic (about 98.9%) and don't give a gosh dern about the Catholic Church and his longing for the Catholic Church of the good old 1960's. But that's the way it is way aging hippies.

But back to my point. If the Church were to suppress the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which is as likely as the Edsel as it looked in the 1950's returning as a competitor to SUV's today, there would be a mass exodus of Catholics from the Church and a lot of angry ones who will stay.

So, the hope of the liturgy being improved and equaling the majesty and reverence of the EF Mass does not hinge on the suppression of the OF Mass but rather the third Roman Missal organically developed from the wonderful and glorious liberalization of the once "suppressed" EF Mass and better celebrations in continuity with the EF Mass of the OF Mass.

Also necessary is the need to recover liturgically the unique ministerial role of the ordained priest and deacon and subdeacon, not to mention bishop.

So what will this revised Ordinary Form Missal look like?

1. It will still have options and still be primarily in the vernacular but some Latin will be required and my clairvoyance tells me that it will be for the chanted parts of the people, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei and perhpas the Propers. This is the case at the Vatican even when all else is in Italian. I think this would be a marvelous and unifying solution to the babel and language division we have in parishes due to multi-vernaculars.

2. Only ordained bishops, priests, deacons and subdeacons along with extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who must be formally installed acolytes may distribute Holy Communion at Mass. This recovers the priestly role of Eucharistic Prayer and the ministering of Holy Communion to the Faithful.

3. The Order of the EF Mass will be applied to the latest revised OF Roman Missal, with all the priest's private prayers, prayed quietly in Latin. However, the Eucharistic Prayers will be prayed in a normal voice, not loud and not silent with the lowering of the voice for the consecrations, but still audible. The other Eucharistic Prayers will be evaluated and some will be suppressed but there will remain more than just the Roman Canon.

4. Kneeling for Holy Communion will be the norm and Holy Communion under both kinds for special occasions will be by intinction, not from the common, unsanitary chalice where profanation of the Precious Blood is likely to take place. Kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue will be the single most important reform of the revised Roman Missal and devotional practices that will correct the sacrileges either intended or unintended concerning particles of the Eucharist and the taking of the host outside of the Church for nefarious purposes.

5. The OF Roman Calendar will be slightly revised to include ember days, Septagesima, the Octave of Pentecost and the recovery of the full array of Holy Days of Obligation celebrated on the proper day and not transferred to Sunday.

6. Stricter guidelines concerning music and instrumentation, its tenor, theology and ethos will be given and followed.

7. The revised lectionary will remain in place but an adapted lectionary from the 1962 Roman Missal will be added as a year "D" that will preserve this treasure and its graduals and tracts.


Julian Barkin said...

While your proposal is awesome Father, just how many priests do you think will do this? Current ones are just trying not to get sent to far reaches of dioceses by their weak and liberal bishops. Others are weak themselves and are little clericalist tyrants who shouldn't have donned the collar in the first place, like that author, really secular hedonistic humanists.

Yes being negative sucks, but I am being a young, but non-naieve, realist here. Change must come from above and that's the bishops down to every single priest in every single parish. Sigh, once again I'll pour my chips into the biological solution.

Ryan Ellis said...

The OF will not be suppressed. Where it is celebrated poorly (which is almost everywhere), it will wither on the vine. Already we're seeing an alarming depopulation of Catholics from the pews. These people are not having kids that continue to go to sloppy OFs as adults. That can't last more than another 50 or so years. Meanwhile, the small remnant of EFs and the handful of reverent OFs is attracting converts, large families, young people, etc. It's pretty clear where this is going. See what's happening in France now as a sneak preview.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My clairvoyance tells me that it will take about 50 years for my proposal to come about unless the Anglican Ordinariate Missal is already paving the way for some of these proposals to be adopted in the Ordinary Form Latin Rite Missal's appendix which I think has a chance sooner than later.

Gerry Davila said...

My biggest problem with the OF is the Collects. Why were centuries old prayers jettisoned or severely reworked. As a 35-yro., I just don't get it. My other problems are the rearranged calendar (including transferred ancient feasts) and the loss of Ember and Rogation Days. A reverent OF is wonderful, but I still lament the loss/rearrangement of the Collects. As a musician, of course I miss the chants too.

Lefebvrian said...

Why should there be a new Missal? Because people are in a constant state of change. And the Missal must be made to conform to man's current state.

Father, this is an un catholic way of thinking that is based on the philosophical ideas of Hegel. Here's how Hegel would phrase it: the Old Mass is the thesis, the new Mass is the antithesis, so we need a third Mass as the synthesis of the two. Next, that synthesized Mass will be the thesis, &c. And so the constant changing of man is enshrined in the liturgy.

Catholics, on the other hand, recognize that the essence of man is always the same and does not change. When things around him change quickly, it destabilizes man, as we have seen already. In the past, when aspects of the Mass "changed" they were very minror and done over time and always by saints.

At this point in time, the safest way forward is to return to the past, to the unchanged Mass of All Time without addition or subtraction by the men of this age, who are not saints and do not manifest the Catholic spirit in the or theology or philosophy.

More and more, it is clear that the problem of our times is, in addition to being a crisis of faith, a lack of philosophical formation of our clergy, which has been substituted with a lot of "I think" or "I feel" suggestions.

Jon said...


No. No. No.

I agree with what you're saying about wholesale restoration of Latin. It can't and won't happen because of the reasons you indicate. Too many Latinphobes out there, and that alone will drive people away. But the Novus Ordo is fundamentally flawed from it's conception for all the ring-around-the-rosie reasons we've covered before. It can and must be abolished.

Your alternatives are two. We can restore the Ordo of 1965 under the rubrics of the 1962 Missal. That could be agreeable to all parties as it can be demonstrably proven that it was thought world wide that it was THE Mass according to the wishes of the Council. The N.O. can then be abrogated with the explanation that it was an ill-fated but well meaning over-reach. Or, even better, we can use the Anglican Ordinariate Mass, which delicately incorporates many of the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

While we have these alternatives, there's no reason to preserve Bugnini's Eucharistic Prayers cooked up at a Swiss restaurant table or his thinly-veiled liturgical Calvinism.

The parish is of the Ordinariate of St. Peter. It's Catholic.

qwikness said...

What would a "formally installed acolyte" look like? No more women as EMHC? What about formally installed readers?

jolly jansenist said...

Perhaps "Hamlet" should be the new Mass…or Elizabeth Browning…"How do we celebrate. let me count the ways…" maybe something out of e e cummings.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Right now only men can be installed as formally as acolytes as it is a step toward diaconate and priesthood.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There is not going to be a wholesale abandonment of the revised Roman Missal as we have it, it just isn't going to happen.

The 1965 Missal is the 1962 missal with some adjustments and more vernacular. It is the 1962 Missal in other words.

The 1962 Missal would remain the EF Mass and the revised Missal I speak of would be the OF and the two would basically be the same but not.

John said...

No real changes are possible in the liturgy without a reform of the reform. Furthermore, any change in the Mass also presupposes a wholesale turnaround in the philosophical and theological thinking among bishops in at least a majority of dioceses around the world.

Such a remarkable turnaround is highly unlikely without divine intervention in the short or even the long run.

Lefebvrian said...

There already has been a wholesale abandonment of the "revised Roman missal." See your posts last week about the "nones."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The "unchanged Mass of All Time" was neither "unchanged" nor "of all time."

As much as a tiny minority of Catholics want to believe this fallacy, it simply is not true. The mass has regularly been changed, re-orderec, and adjusted. Vesture, postures, movements have changed and evolved. Prayers have been written and rewritten and re-re-written.

There has never been a time when the mass was perfect, nor will there be.

Anonymous said...

I hear a lot about going "back to tradition"---if that is indeed the desire, well lets go back to the first century---why don't we use Greek? After all, the New Testament was written in that language. Or Aramaic, a popular language in the time of Christ.

The "worship wars" are akin to what we saw in the Episcopal Church years ago, the battle between the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and the modernized 1979 version---many Episcopal bishops suppressed use of the 1928 version, but in some parishes it is still allowed (almost universally only at conservative ones, like historic St. Johns in Savannah. Diocese of Georgia). I'm not a fan of inserting Latin in the so-called "ordinary form"---we tried that at our parish in Atlanta and it was dropped because the congregation simply was not trained for it and accordingly sounded awful---but could we perhaps move the sign of peace to the offertory at least? Very distracting to me to have that after the prayer of consecration--a solemn time interrupted by "high-fives" it seems like. Maybe the penitential rite moved right before offertory too, after the Creed (that is the way the Episcopal Church does theirs---perhaps more appropriate after the reading of the scriptures and the homily).

The Eastern Rite of the Church has a number of different forms of Mass/Divine Liturgy, and the Eastern Orthodox Church likewise too. No reason we can't with both rites currently in use in the West.

jolly jansenist said...

Why would anyone model anything on the Episcopalian church? You see where the changes in their tradition led. Maybe there is a lesson there…hmmmmm.

Lefebvrian said...

The idea of going back to tradition does not involve going back to the beginning. It involves going back to the time when the tradition was forcibly stopped from its organic development and beginning anew from that point.

It is true that there were historically many different rites. Organically, over time, in the West, those were reduced to a handful of very similar uses of the one Roman Rite. That is the tradition in the West.

John Nolan said...

Some confusion here.

1) The Missale Romanum, Editio Typica Tertia (2002), aka the Ordinary Form, is in Latin. The extent to which the vernacular is used is nothing to do with the Missal itself and the use of Latin, either partially or wholly, requires no change to the existing situation.

2) The Proper chants, including the Gradual and Alleluia/Tract are in the Graduale Romanum which was revised in 1974 to conform to the Novus Ordo. In sung Masses they are the preferred option. Again, no change is needed.

3) Restoring Septuagesima can't be done without making wholesale changes to the OF's lectionary and calendar. For example, the Introit for Septuagesima Sunday (Circumdederunt me) has been shifted in the new rite to the Saturday before the 5th Sunday of Lent. Wearing violet vestments and omitting the Gloria will not restore the season.

4) There is no need to suppress the alternative Eucharistic Prayers - just don't use them. The same applies to EMHC and female servers. It's up to the bishops to decide whether to allow CITH, and if they do, communicants must be given this option in the OF. Again, this is nothing to do with the Missal itself.

Anonymous said...

I think Catholics have to face the fact that the only thing in the Church that is growing is celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. By comparision to the Ordinary Form at the moment it is small, sure, but it is growing nonetheless.

The problem for the Ordinary Form is that once they leave school young people are no longer attending Mass, so where are the future generations to carry on the Ordinary Form of the Mass?

So there is no need for any reformation of the 1962 missal or any further reformation of the Ordinary Form of the missal because time will naturally take care of both. The 1962 missal will begin to evolve naturally, as it did up until its suppression, but the evidence of what happened to the Church with the change to a people-centered litugy in the vernacular will ensure that there is very little change for at least a few generations to come. As it is, it is a beautiful Mass which I hope to be able to attend more often on Sundays even though it means travelling - it is worth it.

By far the majority of those attending the Ordinary Form of the Mass like it the way it is so I don't see much change there but in fact only the further deterioration that I've seen over the past couple of years.


Gob nolan said...

Sing us a song, John...

Anonymous said...

Longing for the impossible?

Is that what Paul VI said when he yanked the TLM out from under the entire world?
Did Paul VI worry about any "mass exodus" with his New Order Catholicism, or did he just trudge along with his Revolution?

Does it matter at all that those filling the pews of New Order Catholic churches aren't really witnessing Catholicism as it has always been, but a hybrid version?

If they leave because they don't "like" the TLM, what are they really leaving? I will tell you: they are leaving a Protestantized version of were they really Catholics anyway? (through no fault of their own, likely.)

If the skin is so thin of Novus Ordo World that they cannot handle being stripped of that "mass", then they have walked a miles in the shoes of those of us who bore witness to 30 November 1969, and had the Mass of the Saints stripped from us, UNLAWFULLY.

Denis St. Paris

Anonymous said...

My mama always said, you can't polish rat turd.

Abandon the new mass. it bears protestant elements and it's theology is whacked.
Luther would be proud.

Yes, Its A Fact, Canon Eucharistic Prayer II Was Made Up In A Restaurant. That's some serious apostolic succession right there!

John Nolan said...

Regarding instituted acolytes, the point of Ministeria Quaedam (1972) was that they don't have to be seen as transitional. Like the diaconate, they can be permanent; unlike the diaconate they are not Holy Orders.

The ministry is reserved to men since Paul VI did not envisage women in the sanctuary (this also includes singers, see Musicam Sacram).

The problem is, if the ministries of Lector and Acolyte became more common as permanent lay roles, then there would be a strong push to open them to women and Rome might well cave in on this, with far-reaching implications. It would leave the diaconate dangerously exposed.

It might be prudent to maintain the status quo.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Pre-Vatican II Catholics uncorrupted by post Vatican II "spirit of the Council" dissent which now affects not only progressives that are becoming or have become post-Catholics but neo-traditionalists who are just as dissent oriented but in a dissenting regressive way, like Protestants of yesteryear, were and are faithful to Holy Mother Church and their local bishops in the areas of faith and morals.

In so many of the comments concerning the OF Mass, I find an ideology of dissent once absent from conservative Catholics who in obedience accepted the new Roman Missal, all the while decrying the abuse of that missal which is so common today.

So, orthodox Catholics, get with it. We aren't dissenters from the official teachings and disciplines of the Church, if we are that makes us spirit of Vatican II in the worse sense!

John said...

I appreciate your periodic reminders on the need for Catholics to follow the Magisterium.

Jesus said when the sheep know the pastors voice they will follow. However, the problem comes when members of the magisterium ignore Catholic doctrine and actively, but more often passively, allow clear gospel teachings to be subverted by theologians, bishops and even some cardinals. The sheep do not recognize strange voices teaching contradictory things so they will not follow. The recent Pew study found: increasingly the sheep just wander off and are forever lost.

When does the magister looses his right of membership in the Magisterium? Ever?

jolly jansenist said...

Eucharistic Prayer made up in a restaurant…LOL! Now, I'd like to hear that story…and, Anonymousd, why don't you give yourself some kind of name so we won't confuse you with Apostate Anonymous who sometimes barks on here.

John Nolan said...


This revealing episode (and many others) can be found in the memoirs of the great French theologian Louis Bouyer (1913-2004) which were published only last year. They have yet to be translated into English but no-one reading them with an open mind will ever look at the Novus Ordo in the same way again.

Fr McDonald

Just who are these 'neo-traditionalists who are just as dissent oriented but in a dissenting regressive way'?

It is perfectly legitimate to dislike the liturgical reform in toto, and the more one reads about its genesis and the characters of those who implemented it, and the untruths which were peddled at the time and which are still current, the more uneasy one becomes.

After nearly 50 years of trying to convince myself of its merits, I confess myself defeated by a growing mountain of evidence. Twenty or thirty years ago I thought Michael Davies was overstating the case. I no longer believe this to be true.

Anonymous said...

Jolly, you ask why anyone would model anything after Episcopalians? Well, it so happens we have an Anglican Ordinariate, which is fully in compliance with Rome but allows for more of the Anglican worship tradition. The 1928 Book of Common Prayer (still used in conservative Episcopal parishes---yes, still some of those left here and there) follows at least some of the pattern of the Latin Mass (the Epistle, Gospel, sermon, creed and so on). Ironically,as liberal as the Episcopal Church is these days, its worship format in some ways is more conservative than the modern-day "ordinary" Mass. If there are 8 stanzas in the opening hymn of an Episcopal liturgy, well, you are going to sing all 8 stanzas (unlike in a typical Catholic Mass, where they sing just enough to get the procession to the altar.) Most Episcopal parishes still have altar rails (though many also allow standing for communion). People even tend to dress nicer---more likely to see coats and ties in an Episcopal service, as opposed to shorts and flip-flops in many Catholic parishes. We can still like the Catholic faith but learn things from other ones too.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is not Protestant to have the altar facing the congregation, lay lectors, and the procession of the gifts. Are these essential, no. But these are not protestant and have their origin in the history of the Liturgy.

We can learn much from Anglicans and the Eastern Orthodox about liturgy and formality and that the Catholic Mass is the most formal liturgy we have and thus demands a formal response from the laity in dress and manerisms.

jolly jansenist said...

Well, I am glad to know that the trains run on time in the Episcopalian church...

Lefebvrian said...

How is it not Protestant to have the priest face the people, to have lay lectors, and to have a procession of "the gifts"? Where do you get the impression these things have an origin in the history of the liturgy?

John Nolan said...

'It is not Protestant to have the altar facing the congregation, lay lectors, and the procession of the gifts (sic)'.

True. Protestants tore down altars, and Cranmer's Prayer Book enjoins the priest to place the bread and wine on the table. It also requires the priest to say the epistle and gospel. No lay readers here.

All these innovations were Catholic ones (the Offertory procession was in the Gallican rite and was revived in the 1960s). Mass versus populum was based on now discredited archaeological/liturgical theories and Anglicans copied Catholics in this, not the other way round.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan, perhaps this article will clarify:

"... first rejection of Ad Orientem (priest facing altar) in favor of versus populum (priest facing people) originally started during the Protestant “Reformation” when various of the Protestant “Reformers” changed the direction of the celebration of Mass. There is theological reasons as to why, which I will get into shortly. Martin Luther is a solid example of this reality.

Michael Davies writes:

“The Protestant Reformers were united in abolishing the eastward celebration of the Eucharist because they understood, quite correctly, that the eastward direction signified sacrifice, and the denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass was an axiom upon which the entire Protestant heresy was based.”6

Remember that it is how you pray and worship which signifies how you believe (lex orandi, lex credendi). For this reason the change in liturgical orientation by Martin Luther and the rest of the Protestant Reformers was in reality signifying a change in the theological belief from worship being a sacrifice, to worship being a mere meal."

Anyone around at the time the reforms took place after Vatican II knows that statues were either painted white or removed from the churches, beautiful marble altars smashed and replaced with wooden tables facing the people with the altar stones removed. In one instance thrown into the harbour in a reclamation area and retrieved by parishioners. All Gregorian change was got rid of and the choirs disbanded. A friend of mine said the girls were was instructed by nuns at her college to go through the hymnals and cut out those hymns regarded as overly sentimental.

It beggars belief that anyone can say that what happened after Vatican II does not resemble what happened during reformation times when the Protestant reformers also smashed the altars and replaced them with wooden tables facing the people, had the Mass said in English, removed the statues - a good run down can be found in "Stripping of the Altars" by Duffy. I can only assume John Nolan may be a convert who wasn't in the Catholic Church when all this stripping took place.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The major basilicas in Rome all have maintained the ancient positions for the altars which is free standing. While the priest standing at the altar faces the geographical east except for St.paul's altar which faces St. Peter's altar and thus the priest faces west, most laity even in pre Vatican II times would say the priest is facing the congregation. And at St. Paul's indeed he is!

John Nolan said...


I am not a convert and lived through all the changes, which bore remarkable similarities to what happened in England in the years 1548-1553 (although there was considerable iconoclasm prior to 1540 on the orders of Thomas Cromwell).

Cranmer's Prayer book directed the priest to stand at the north end of the communion table, thus facing south, not facing the people who of course faced east.

The CofE restored altars in the wake of the Oxford Movement, and placed them at the east end of the chancel with the 'Sarum' arrangement of cross and candles. Lutheran churches I have visited in Germany usually have fixed altars allowing only ad orientem celebration.

Anglicans 'modernized' their liturgy from the 1960s onwards, always with an eye to what Catholics were doing, and this included moving altars forward and celebrating versus populum. But it wasn't universal practice and still isn't.