Sunday, July 23, 2017


I don't get it. So much of what Robert Cardinal Sarah is proposing to reconcile the Ordinary Form of the Mass with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass has already been acccomplished with the Ordinarite's Divine Worship, the Missal. No one brings this Roman Missal into the discussion as the template for this reconciliation that is so desperately needed to resacralize the Ordinary Form, that is to reconcile the reverence of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass with the Ordinary Form which lacks reverence, awe and mystery, not to mention, silence, in so many instances.

The Ordinariate's Missal has done a wonderful job of reconciling the Roman Calendar of the EF Mass to its calendar. No longer is there Ordinary Time but Time After Epiphany and Time after Pentecost. The ember days and rogation days are restored. Septuagesima is restored. The Octave of Pentecost is restored.

The format of the Missal itself restores the format of the EF Missal with the traditional form of the Introit, the inclusion of the Offertory Antiphon, the restoration of the Gradual/Tract.

There are the PATFOTA, the traditional Offertory Prayers and more usage of the rubrics of the EF Mass for the Roman Canon, which is expected to be used on Sundays and the option of only Eucharistic Prayer II (called the alternate canon) for weekday usage. There is also the thrice said, "Lord, I am not worthy...."

Ad Orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion are restored.

What has not been reconciled is the lectionary of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. But how difficult would that be? As I have recommended time and again, simply make the Extraordinary Form's Lectionary, the new Year A. Then based on its template, have a Year B that has a primarily Old Testament Componant for the first reading and Gospel Readings not in the Year A cycle. Then have a Year C that includes more New Testament Epistles and Gospels not in the Year A or B Cycle.

How hard would that be? Come on Cardinal Sarah, do it!


Anonymous said...


Maybe because it is for the Ordinariate, not the Church at large....

Unknown said...

This has been argued by a few already. To Anonymous, the apostolic constitution that established the ordinariates, Anglicanorum Coetibus, explicitly states that what we bring back into the Church is not meant merely for us, but for the Church at large. Thus, what the inter-dicasteral working group (CDF and CDW) put together under the direction of Benedict XVI, and Francis promulgated, is expressly for the Church at large, even if currently it is only licit for we priests of of the ordinariates to offer without dispensation.

Dialogue said...

Converted Anglicans have no personal history of either the 1962 Roman missal or the 1970 Roman missal. Therefore, our Roman missal issues are irrelevant to them, and their missal development is irrelevant to us.

The liturgical crisis we're experiencing is not about the mechanics of constructing a missal, but about the theological orientation of the worshipers.

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares because it is an accommodation for a group of former Protestants.

It is not and cannot be compared to the traditional Roman Rite.

I have attended the Ordinariate Mass on numerous occasions and to be honest I prefer the Novus Ordo. The first thing is that they NEVER use the prayers at the foot of the altar....ever. And they never stop singing hymns. They must sing five entire hymns, standing for every verse. It is never ending hymns. I understand that is part of the protestant tradition but it is not part of the Catholic liturgical Tradition. The servers are almost as sloppy as the modern day Novus Ordo servers.

It is far from perfect. Just look at the ordination of the bishop for the Ordinariate that took place in Texas and the used the Ordinariate Missal. It was worse than any Novus Ordo Mass I have ever seen. It was sloopy and slip shod. It is a protestant service that has been "Catholiced up". It has a distinct protestant feel to it. If priests would just offer the Mass of Paul VI with some dignity, do the red and say the black, stop extra ordinary eucharistic ministers and communion in the hand, we would be much better off.

John Nolan said...

And you are talking about even more options and Lectionary cycles. The Mass is not a bible study class, and it is somewhat ironic that a Novus Ordo, which presupposes a short attention span, should expect a three-year one when it comes to Sundays.

Why did those who were always wittering on about 'ressourcement' choose to abandon a lectionary which dates from the first half of the first millennium in favour of one which was hastily cobbled together in the late 1960s? Simply this - it was new, and the new always trumped the old.

I suggest that those who are interested look at Cranmer's protestant Book of Common Prayer for Septuagesima Sunday, compare it with the Roman Missal of 1962, and then again with the umpteenth Sunday in 'ordinary time' which now takes its place.

The Collect, Epistle and Gospel in the BCP are identical to those in the 1962 Missal and bear no relation to the Novus Ordo readings.

Of course, Fr Kavanaugh will pop up with his usual mantra that because it was not done before does not mean that it cannot be done now. Piffle, I say.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Piffle away, John.

You ask, "Why did those who were always wittering on about 'ressourcement' choose to abandon a lectionary which dates from the first half of the first millennium..."

Antiquity is no guarantor of quality. After all, it gave us astrology which managed to hold sway for centuries...

John Nolan said...

What on earth has astrology got to do with a lectionary which would have been familiar to St Gregory the Great? Is there no limit to your inapt and inept analogies? Why don't you break the habit of a lifetime AND ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION?

Dialogue said...

There are antiquities that stabilize us and novelties that improve us, and so it seems prudent to prefer the former until they prove unsuitable, and to avoid the latter unless they prove genuinely and certainly necessary.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John, your assertion is that antiquity - it dates from the first half of the first millennium - gives the previous lectionary some "standing" that should not be tampered with.

Antiquity also gave us astrology, the value of which is nil.

Just because something is old doesn't mean it is worth maintaining.

Anonymous said...

Several days ago,I could relate to what John Nolan wrote regarding his appreciation of what Gene has written about Calvin and his theology.

About 30 years ago I was lucky enough to have G R Elton as a lecturer in 16th century European history.

Like most Catholics I believed that the Reformation was basically about an attack on abuses in the church. But this concentration on abuses,we were told, quite misses the real issue. Luther, and Calvin after him were deeply religious men, and trained theologians to boot, and their revolution took place in the realms of religion and theology. Luther did not just quarrel with the Church because he thought it diseased and corrupt, he believed the popish religion would not "Let God be God", but attempted to mould God to man's need. The medieval scheme of religion proceeded from man to God, laying the stress on the human relationship to the Devine and employing reason to discover God. But such a scheme may well be held to miss the essence of Christianity, namely it's belief in a strictly non human God. Luther started from the primacy of God and played the stress on His relationship to man. He drew the logical conclusion from the Judeao-Christian concept of Gods omnipotence: man cannot influence,persuade, bribe or threaten God, but can only surrender to him. Salvation thus becomes the work of a loving God who bestows his grace without regard to merit or endeavor, in an act of a pure kind of love of which God alone is capable.

The whole of Luther's theology stems from the religious experience in which he had found the peace he had vainly sort to win through good works.

Also, Luther denounced reason as presumptous, in his theology of God and Christ reason could have no place because reason is human and because any attempt to argue about God at once forces God out of the centre of things. Many came to believe this restoration of God at the heart of religion and theology was the positive theological achievement of the Reformation.

Of course all of the above I as a cradle Catholic and then in my mid twenties had never known.

Charles G said...

The answer to those who say the Ordinariate missal is not relevant to the liturgical situation of the broader Roman rite is that, while there are some items in the Ordinariate missal that do involve specifically Anglican Cranmerian additions to the liturgy like the prayer of humble access, the items Father mentions here come from the AngloCatholic missal tradition, which involved sacral English translations of the traditional Roman Tridentine missal, and thus are very much pertinent to the issue of how the novus ordo and vetus ordo can be bridged in the broader Roman rite. I concur with Father and Cardinal Sarah that some of the vetus ordo elements included in the Ordinariate missal would also make sense to adopt in the novus ordo, at least as options. On the lectionary, however, I guess I would advocate leaving the lectionaries separate for the indefinite future. I love the new lectionary and would hate to lose it (and no, I don't mind a bit of "didacticism" in the mass), but I agree it would be too disruptive to the structure of the old rite to adopt it there. And I do think that some of the "harder" readings that were eliminated in the new lectionary, like the consequences of partaking of the body and blood of the Lord unworthily, should be added back.

John Nolan said...


Well said. However, most of the Council fathers who voted for SC, among whom was Marcel Lefebvre, had little idea that they were endorsing a root-and-branch reform which would see the dismantling of the Roman Rite and its replacement by one that was novel in both its textual content and (even more obviously) in its manner of celebration.

Also novelty had an instant appeal (and the 1960s was a decade of rapid change), not least to many clergy who felt liberated from the precise rubrics of the Mass they had been trained to celebrate, and who relished their new role as a 'presider' facing a captive audience.

To many of the reformers the traditional Rites were indeed no longer suitable. To borrow an analogy they were a Sopwith Camel in the age of the fast jet. Some may have wanted a 'purer' Roman form, without Gallican accretions and shorn of second millennium additions to the Missal. Others wanted to go further, scrapping the ancient Roman Canon (which had given unity to all the different Uses of the Roman Rite) and replacing the venerable Roman lectionary with an entirely novel creation.

By the time 'Comme le prévoit' appeared in 1969 it was envisaged that different language groups would compose their own Mass texts. Revolutions have a habit of running away with themselves. Ironically, the Consilium had prided itself in that it had restored to use some genuinely old prayers (those from the Veronese Sacramentary). Even its harshest critics (e.g. Bouyer) pay tribute to its genuine scholarship in many areas.

But in the end the sentiment of 'on a changé tout cela' prevailed. Too often, those who want the Novus Ordo reformed concentrate on inessentials like the PATFOTA, Offertory prayers (the most important one is the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas which should be restored) and the Last Gospel. What needs to happen is that the Roman Canon be reinstated in its pre-1967 form and the new EPs suppressed; and that the ancient lectionary be mandated for Sundays and major feasts. It could then be legitimately regarded as a Use of the Roman Rite, albeit a universal and recent one, with vernacular elements allowed. The Usus Antiquior would not be affected and can be adapted to accommodate new saints, as was always the case.

There would be no need for the legal fiction of 'two forms of the same Roman Rite'. There would be different Uses of the Roman Rite, as has always been the case, as well as non-Roman rites existing within the Catholic Church.

Mike N. said...

Since the Ordinariate's Missal is intended for converts of Anglicanism, as others have said, it may not seem kosher (for lack of a better word) for the regular Roman Rite. What I would suggest would be a better option in debates is to propose the argument that the Ordinary of the Novus Ordo (and its related rubrics and GIRM) should be revised to become identical to the Ordinary from the post-Vatican II Missal of 1965. You would get the same end result while staying within the Roman Rite's lineage.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Mike, you and a couple of others misunderstand what I have written or I haven't been clear. I am not suggesting that we use the Ordinariate's missal as such. What I am applauding is that this missal approved by Pope Francis allows the options of the EF Mass to be used, such as the Prayers at the foot of the altar with the traditional order of the Mass for the introductory rites. It uses the traditional format for the propers and collects on each page of the Missal and prints the gradual and tract on this page and each Mass is name for the Latin first word of the Introit.

It has the traditional offertory prayers, rubrics that approproximate the EF rubrics for the canon and the three-fold "Lord I am not worthy."

It makes clear ad orientem is allowed and Holy Communion kneeling.

Its calendar is more in sync with the EF Calendar than is our OF calendar.

All of this could be added to our current OF Missal with simply an added appendix that could be a separate booklet until new missal are printed. Thus the OF would be more organically in sync with the EF Mass which is a good thing and a very important new beginning.

John Nolan said...

I have never attended an Ordinariate Mass. I have attended many Masses celebrated by Ordinariate priests, but they were all in the classic Roman Rite.

I would not be happy with the Coverdale psalms. 'Give sentence with me, O God' for 'Judica me Deus' is bizarre to Catholic ears used to the our own translations from the Latin.

The mock-Elizabethan of the Canon is not any more accurate than the 2011 ICEL version, and in any case it should be in Latin.

That the calendar is in a mess is entirely the fault of Paul VI who signed off the 'three maniacs' revision without thinking through its implications. The Ordinariate missal might have the Introit, Gradual and Tract for Septuagesima but is in thrall to the 1970 Lectionary notwithstanding. It is at best a shabby compromise which may appeal to a tiny minority of Anglicans but has no universal significance.

Anonymous said...

Were I in charge of a revision of the OF missal, it would proceed in two phases:

1. Elimination of all current options, retaining in each case as mandatory only the most traditional practice--propers with no substitutions, Confiteor, Roman Canon, etc. This phase could be implemented without delay for preparation of new books, and would immediately correct for the disposition of most priests ordained before 2000 to always choose the worst possible option.

2. Consideration of which EF prayers and rubrics to insert in the OF missal for sufficient continuity with tradition to make the OF Mass a genuine form of the Roman rite.

Anonymous said...

Above anon writes how Luther denounced medieval Church leaders and many medieval people's attempts to mould God to man's needs.
The documentary film "American Jesus" not the song nor book by that title, but the documentary film shows what is probably true how in the USA among various denominations in modern times has seen the historically greatest number of various attempts to mould God to man's needs.

RSC+ said...

Re - Anonymous, on the Ordinariate:

I wouldn't categorize the entire Ordinariate based off of the local custom of one individual parish, as your post seems to suggest. Most Anglicans do prefer to sing the entire hymn, though; it drives many of us rather batty to visit a Novus Ordo parish, see a hymn set to Hyfrydol in the bulletin, and then only get to sing one verse of it as the procession gallops down the center aisle. The attitude is: It's the most important thing we do all week, and there's no need to hurry.

As for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, many parishes will do them, but they'll do them in the sacristy unless it's a Solemn Mass. Then they'll do them at the foot of the altar, but quite often during the processional hymn whose entirety we insist on singing. ;)

Robin said...

Dear commenters, rather than engaging in inaccurate statements which only serve to avoid the True, the Good and the Beautiful to be found in Divine Worship, you would do well to explore the actual history and formative processes concerning the Ordinariate and its Liturgy (a third Form of the Mass of the Latin Rite!) by visiting, for starters, the website of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (North America):

Furthermore, there is a very helpful fact sheet at the following link:

The Ordinariate Mass is for all. On Jan. 1, 2012, Pope Benedict exhorted those groups entering into full communion with the Church “to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” - Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, Art. III. I am one former "diocesan Catholic", now Ordinariate member, who is entirely grateful for the reverence, orthodox teaching and beauty to be found in the Ordinariate.

Worship God in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2). More and more each month, Ordinary Form-ers and Extraordinary Form-ers are committing to attending our Ordinariate daily (Said or Low) Mass because of the beauty they, too, have discovered. In our neck of the woods, the Sunday Sung (High) Mass is made particularly beautiful with the routine inclusion of English chant and hymnody and Latin polyphony. The majority of congregants in our parish are now former Ordinary Form Catholics.

Bishop Lopes, First Bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, has spoken eloquently about Divine Worship: