Saturday, August 27, 2011



There will be a conference in Phoenix, Arizona in October on the interim issued around 1965 in light of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Many people feel that the 1965 missal was extremely faithful to what the Second Vatican Council actually proposed for the reform of the Mass. I say yes and no and that is why it is interim.

I have a mint copy of the 1965 missal. It is for all practical purposes the 1962 Tridentine missal, but somewhat simplified as SC required and "allows" but does not mandate the vernacular (English) for all the parts of the Mass except the Roman Canon,(and there are no new Eucharistic Prayers) which is still prayed quietly and all other private, quiet prayers of the priest are required to be in Latin.

Other distinguishing facts about the 1965 Roman Missal:

1. The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are simplified but only through the elimination of Psalm 42. All the other prayers, including the double 1962 Confiteor are in tact, all allowed in English.

2. The English Prayers have the Latin prayers in the margin of the book side by side thus allowing the celebrant to use either the Latin or the English and very easily.

3. The Rubrics are in English--a wonderful help when learning how to celebrate the 1962 missal, I might add!

4. The English translation is literal and very similar to the new English translation we will be implementing with only minor differences. The General Intercessions or Prayers of the Faithful are an option after the Creed and a procession with the offerings is an option as is Concelebration!

5. The simplifications of the 1965 missal compared to the 1962 missal apart from the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are the Per Ipsum eliminates the ritual sign of the cross over the chalice and corporal and is closer to what is in the 1970 missal or what is in the OF Mass now.

6. The ritual of taking the Paten from underneath the corporal and making the sign of the cross on the priest with it and kissing it is eliminated, although the prayer after the Our Father remains (in fact there is no rubric about the Paten and where it is during the Mass, presumably it is placed on the corporal and the host on it at the offertory).

7. The Communion of the Laity is made explicit in the 1965 missal whereas in the earlier Tridentine Missals there is no mention of it or even a rubric for it! In fact, when I was learning how to celebrate the 1962 missal I was shocked that there was no rubric for the Communion of the Laity which implies Holy Communion to the laity was not required, it was an after thought that had no rubric for it or even ritual! The ritual for Holy Communion to the laity was only added in non-official pew or hand missals of the laity! How odd and yes, corrupt that there was no ritual or rubric for the Laity's Holy Communion until 1965!

8. The formula for distributing Holy Communion is "Corpus Christi" rather than the longer formula of the 1962 missal.

9. The Last Gospel is "suppressed."

Another noteworthy change of rubric is the explicit rubric that the priest, laity and choir should together sing the parts of the Mass which means the priest is not to recite these parts independently and then continue with the Mass without the congregation. For example, he sings the Gloria and Creed with the choir, not saying it to himself more quickly and then waiting for the choir to end by sitting down. The same with the Sanctus, it is sung together with the choir, not spoken quietly by the priest so that he can then quietly go the the Roman Canon as the choir continues to sing the Sanctus.

Things that the 1965 Missal does not implement that SC envisioned:

1. The Roman Calendar is not revised, it is the Tridentine Calendar

2. It used the 1962 lectionary, which in my opinion is good for Sundays but miserable for weekdays and quite limited. I prefer our new lectionary and the lavish amount of Scriptures that we are hearing now over a three year period. As I celebrate the EF Mass weekly, I can see how limited it is in regard to the Liturgy of the Word. Of all the reforms of the Mass, I think the Lectionary was the best.

3. I'm not sure SC envisioned all the options that the current OF Mass has, such as additional Eucharistic Prayers. I think we might have too many now, but the basic four we have plus the two Reconciliation ones are good options to have in my opinion.

4. There are many more options for the prefaces and I would prefer that over more Eucharistic prayers. The prefaces in the 1962 and 65 missals are quite limited.


1. I think the revision of the English translation is a no-brainer and will produce much fruit in the coming years. The current OF English is abysmal. While the new translation has some quirks, it is far superior to the one we are eliminating.

2. I see no reason why the new Missal cannot have an EF Order of the Mass and in the vernacular. It would be very easily accomplished and after the "Prayers at the Foot of the Altar" all the other prayers in the OF Missal would be used including the revised Roman Calendar and lectionary. To me this is a no-brainer and easily accomplished. I would prefer the 1965 minor revisions to the Order of the Mass for this option.

3. If we are allowed two Forms of the Order of the Mass with the OF Missal, I think these should be called something else other than Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form. Perhaps, "Rite I" and "Rite II" and I'll let you decide which one should be I or II.

4. With Rite I and Rite II there should be continuity with the past in the following postures:

A. In Rite I,kneel for the Prayers at the Foot of the altar through the Kyrie and in Rite II, kneel for the Penitential Act including the Kyrie.

B. Kneel for Holy Communion in both Rite I and Rite II--there should be no difference in the manner of distributing Holy Communion and kneeling should be the choice and on the tongue to prevent intended or unintended sacrilege.

C. All of the current OF postures apart from what I recommend above should be maintained for both Rite I and II, standing for the Entrance Hymn, Kneeling after the Sanctus, not before, Standing for the Our Father and kneeling after the Agnus Dei.


Anonymous said...

What's the origin of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar? When did they become the universal norm?

And that paten thing - Holy Moly!

Henry Edwards said...

"How odd and yes, corrupt that there was no ritual or rubric for the Laity's Holy Communion until 1965!"

As though the Sacrifice of the Mass, being a re-presentation and perpetuation of the Sacrifice of the Cross, should necessarily require Holy Communion of those kneeling at the foot of the Cross? Is there some sort of logic here that escapes the ordinary rational persom? (Perhaps or especially if schooled in Thomistic sacramental theology rather than Novus Ordo vacuities.)

Or do some "children of Vatican II" think that the Mass is a commemoration or re-enactment of the Last Supper?

Of course there is a clear sacramental distinction between the Sacrifice, which is consummated with the communion of the priest, and the entirely different communion service of the people (the "Lord's supper") which follows. But in the minds of how many Catholics (even priests) today is that distinction clear?

Which is not to say that ... Of course, there should ordinarily be a communion service to offer the people the most active possible participation in the fruits of the sacrifice. But recent practice has left most Catholics pretty fuzzy about what's happening at Mass.

Anonymous said...

Father, I think the historic evidence leans towards 1965 being "the mass of Vatican II." I make this statement not only based on what Klaus Gamber said in The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, but my review of altar missals (I have a 1964 Benziger with the 1965 insert)lay missals (like the Maryknoll Missal) from the time (1966), books of the time which call it the "new mass" from 1965-66 (McNaspy - Our Changing Liturgy, Sloyan - Worship in a New Key, Jean-Nesmy - Living the Liturgy, etc.) The calender and lectionary were a separate issue, like the breviary reform. As for the creation of the Eucharistic prayers, that is best documented in Vagganin's The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform (Italian 1966, English 1967). All in all, the limited small reform changes of 1965, or even 1967 are, in my mind, in accord with the incremental changes of 1955-62.
In 1968 the new Eucharistic prayers (2-4)came out, as well as some new prefaces.

An example of how the Council was implemented properly, and then later "thrown under the bus" Liturgical Press's wonderful 1966 book Bringing the Sacraments To the People. It uses the 1964 Collectio Rituum and Weller's old three volume set. The author's for the book clearly believe they were fulfilling the intent of the Council and there is no hint that much of the traditional ritual will later be abandoned.

James I. McAuley

Anonymous said...

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the sharing of the Body and Blood of the Lord by the Faithful are two inseperable elements of the Mass.

This was one of the weaknesses of the liturgical theology of the EF that was corrected.

Anonymous said...

Father, not to pester you more, but it is an anachronism to call the 1965 missal an interim missal. This terminology was adopted after the fact. 1965 was not called an interim missal when it came out – look at the 1965 Missals published in 1966 by Benziger, Catholic Book Publishing and Liturgical Press – there is nothing in them to lead one to believe that all this money, ink, paper, and time is being wasted on a mere interim missal.

Another book example is Alfred McBrides’s Homies for the New Liturgy – this came out in 1965. And, what is the new liturgy? The 1965 missal.

James I. McAuley

Anonymous said...

James I think you are correct. However thw 1965 altar missal did not contain the propers or the lectionary a separate lectionary in English was published which I have--it is the 1962 lectionary and calendar. SC did ask for more Scripture for the Mass so that had to be in the works and also an official English for the Roman Gradual propers. Even by 1967 a supplement was sent to be inserted into the 1965 missal which has the order and rubrics of the 1970 missal with the 3 new Eucharistic Prayers. So I'm not sure how firmly the Vatican thought the 1965 missal was it when they approved the new order of Mass by 1967.

Gene said...

James, "Homies for the New Liturgy?"
Now, that is a book I would really like to see. LOL!

Anonymous said...


That is a good one to Laugh at, and I stand corrected. The word is "Homilies." Homies for the new mass" is funny!

Anonymous at 9:58 a.m.: I do not dispute that there was to be a new lectionary, the preliminary one came out in 1967. As for the propers, Jeffery Tucker at the Chant Cafe did an article about these(it might be at the New Liturgical Movement, where Jeff started), which, you might find interesting.

We know more about the battle of Gettysburg than we do about the day to day working of how the mass was revised (16th MS Inf. Reg, Father!). We can look up Antonelli's and Bugnini's version of events, but how many others provided memoirs or diaries that would be helpful? There is a lot of work for historians to do, and I am looking forward to Alcuin Reid's forthcoming book on this.

FYI -- when the draft of the new Divine Office came out in 1970, it still included in its calendar July 2 as the Feast of the Visitation!

James Ignatius McAuley

Anonymous said...

"Through sacramental communion the faithful take part more perfectly in the eucharistic celebration. This is the teaching of the entire tradition of the Church. By communion, in fact, the faithful share fully in the eucharistic sacrifice. In this way they are not limited to sharing in the sacrifice by faith and prayer, nor merely to spiritual communion with Christ offered on the altar, but they recieve Christ himself sacramentally so as to recieve more fully the fruits of this most holy sacrifice."

S.C.D.W. Sacramentali Communione, 29 June 1970

Not for the "representation and perpetuation of the Sacrifice of the Cross" but for the sanctification and transformation of the People of God, the communion of "those kneeling at the foot of the Cross" is a good and desirable thing.

Anonymous said...

The sacrifice is not offered on our altars for the purpose of merely perpetuating the sacrifice. The "terminus ad quem" - the goal - of offering the sacrifice was the same at Calvary as it is on every altar where the propitiatory sacrifice is offered in an unbloody manner - our sanctification and the sanctification of the world.

It is necessary, even essential, to understand the theology of the Sacrifice through the lens of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is THE fundamental mystery which gives meaning to and explains the other mysteries of the faith, including the theology of the mass and, therefore, our liturgical practices.

By receiving communion, we participate "more perfectly" in and "recieve more fully" the fruits of the sacrifice. This is part of the necessary renewal of liturgical theology and practice that resulted in the Second Vatican Council's teaching, and the implementation documents that followed.

For centuries the elegant simplicity of the Incarnation was superceded by a Byzantine overemphasis on the transcendence of God. By recognizing the dignity of the Baptized and by recovering an understanding of the universal priesthood of the baptized (with no diminution of the sacramental priesthood), we have come to a more ecclesial (and less presbyteral) understanding of the Lord's Supper.

Anonymous said...

Make that a small "b" byzantine!

Gene said...

Anonymous, I can't really read between your lines, but that sounds quite "ecumenical" and Protestant. The "elegant simplicity" (are we talking art appreciation here?) of the Incarnation is completely dependent upon the not-so-elegant sovreign power and Transcendance of God the Father. God's Transcendence and Christ's Incarnation cannot be separated. When you do so and place the emphasis on "the dignity of the Baptized," you move toward an inelegant over-emphasis on Christ's humanity. And, this Lord's Supper business..what is wrong with the simple and elegant term "Eucharist?"

Anonymous said...

The SCDW - Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship - is hardly a "Protestant" organization.

The Church uses both terms "eucharist" and "Lord's Supper" to describe the same reality. For example, every Holy Thursday we celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

The question is not "Which mystery is greater?" but "How to we strike a balance?" There are TWO priesthoods taught by the Church - that of the Baptized and that of the ordained.

Both have their rightful place, and the overemphasis of one to the diminution of the other is to be avoided.

Anonymous said...

The rubric for the communication of the faithful from the Tridentine Missale Romanum:

"Sumit totum Sanguinem cum particula; quo sumpto, si qui sunt communicandi, eos communicet, antequam se purificet."