Sunday, March 18, 2012


On Monday, March 19th at 7:00 PM, Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Macon will celebrate its Patron, Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (although we might be under Saint Joseph the Worker, because if you look at St. Joseph's statue in the above picture, it is Saint Joseph the Worker with a carpenter's tool in left hand, but we don't know for sure if that means we're Saint Joseph the Worker)! At any rate, we claim both, but March 19th is a solemnity, May 1st isn't.

But this is what is so delicious: IT IS GOING TO BE IN THE ORDINARY FORM BUT A "REFORM OF THE REFORM" ORDINARY FORM MASS! Just what does this mean? Read on!

1. As you know in the Ordinary Form of the Mass vernacular is allowed but Vatican II asked that Latin be preserved, so our Mass will be in the vernacular except for our choir singing the Schubert Mass in G. The Kyrie will be in Greek (the only Greek in the Liturgy in the Latin Rite). Then the following will be in Latin: Gloria, Credo, Sanctus/Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. Of course the only Hebrew in the Latin Rite Mass is the "amen."

2. This will really drive progressive liturgical musicians wild! As you know the Church allows for the Ordinary Form Mass several options for the Introit (Entrance Chant), the Offertory and Communion chants (antiphons). Usually progressives have a disdain for the official texts that each Mass actually have. (I bet the majority of Catholics don't know that!) Now this is really delicious. What we are singing on our feast day Monday are the official chants for the Introit, Offertory and Communion. But wait, it gets better, we're chanting them in Latin. But that's not the best of it. Since the Ordinary Form allows for so many singing options for these parts of the Ordinary Form Mass, we are using the chants from the Extraordinary Form Mass for St. Joseph and in the style that the Extraordinary Form Mass has for the singing of these. And there will not be additional metrical hymns or anthem at the Introit and Offertory, although there will be a congregational antiphon in English at the Holy Communion Procession.

3. Now this will really drive progressive "spirit of Vatican II" liturgists crazy: The Mass on Monday will be celebrated Ad Orientem!

4. Now this is really going to be radical! Put on your seat belts. We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Word as it is meant to be in the Ordinary Form using the Ordinary Form Lectionary and we will have two female lectors (which is a great poke in the eye to liturgical misogynists) coming from the congregation to read the First and Second Lessons but they will be wearing veils (which is a great poke in the eye to liturgical progressives)! But this is what will set progressive liturgist's teeth on edge:
We are replacing the Responsorial Psalm with the Gradual of the Extraordinary Form's Mass for St. Joseph and we are replacing the Lenten Gospel Acclamation with the Tract from the Extraordinary Form, both of course chanted in Latin! Yes, you read that correctly! This will be the first time for me since Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations made their debut at the Mass that I will have heard the Gradual and Tract at an Ordinary Form Mass. And do you know what? It is perfectly liturgically legal. In fact at Christmas Pope Benedict allowed the Gradual at the Midnight Mass in place of the Responsorial Psalm. (The Tract is only for Lent).

5. But this is not the half of it. Father Dawid Kwiatkowski will dress as the deacon of the Mass and will chant the Gospel in English (keep in mind he's Polish)! Deacon Don Coates will take the part of the sub-deacon although that role is suppressed, so he'll actually be the Deacon of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

6. Now Tridentinists won't like this and this makes it all the more delicious: I'll be chanting not only the Preface for Saint Joseph, but also and entirely Eucharistic Prayer II, yes, you heard that 1962 fanatics, Eucharistic Prayer II, chanted! Oh, and by the way, Eucharistic Prayer II is more ancient than the Roman Canon, or Eucharistic Prayer I.

7. But hold on tight! The distribution of Holy Communion will offer two options that one seldom experiences at the Ordinary Form of the Mass. The two center stations will have Holy Communion by Intinction. Kneelers will be in front of the Priests distributing with the option of kneeling for Holy Communion. I wonder how many will kneel when given a comfortable option? I'll report back. At the side aisles, Holy Communion without intinction will be distributed allowing for the option of Holy Communion in the hand, but kneelers will still be provided for the option of kneeling. Time will tell how many choose kneeling and standing.

8. Of course in both the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the Ordinary Form of the Mass, a recessional hymn is not mentioned but is allowed. We'll recess to the hymn of Saint Joseph in our hymnal, "O Joseph, Mighty Patron."

The Schubert Mass in G is very spirited. This isn't our choir but ours will sound like this for the following parts of the Mass. We have two outstanding soloists for solo parts, one of whom is a male professional opera singer, Mr. Beau Palmer:
The Greek Kyrie:

The Gloria:

The Credo:

The Sanctus/Benedictus:

The Agnus Dei:

And yes, I will post pictures of both Masses eventually and the Saint Joseph Mass will be videoed and placed on YouTube and my blog!

Finally, my prayer is that any and all that we do above at St. Joseph will one day not be a poke in the eye to anyone, progressive or traditionalist, but naturally accepted by Catholics, who have overcome labels except the Catholic label, as how the Church worships in the new era of the Post Vatican II Church, the "Benedictine Era!"


Anonymous said...

P. T. Barnum would be proud !

Anonymous said...

Didn't appreciate the swipe at the SSPX who are trying to be reconciled. Prayers would be mroe appropriate I think. As for your upcoming Mass. It sounds like it should be. But will you keep this ? Will you make this your parish representative Mass, or is this an "experiment" which when the people react, may or may not revert to a more impoverished form once again? The whole read sounds a bit prideful. I could be wrong.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I'm a poor miserable sinner so pride certainly is the makeup of part of me, but I wanted to make equal swipes, but the prayer at the end is what will help us all, God willing, even with the SSPX if they could agree with it too.

Templar said...

I am looking forward to this more than I can say.

And for the record, +Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, is on record as saying that the OF Form of the Mass can be validly and licitly celebrated, he just does not think that is what the average pew sitter gets on any given Sunday. I personally think that what we will see on Sunday is precisely what he would approve of for an OF Mass.

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting format. It seems to present the Mass parts in allowable forms that tend toward the traditional in the same way some post VatII masses sought the limits of interpretation. I wish I could be there to see the reaction to the options of the postures to receive communion!


Anonymous said...

Father, it sounds absolutely fantastic, but I must ask, why on earth are you using EPII when you're going all out in everything else? That's almost as bad as wearing a stole over the chasuble. It just seems so out of place for such a Mass. I must say that that seems more of a politically-driven decision than a beauty-driven one. Why not make it as Roman as possible? It's not about being ancient--and I will agree that EPII is older, that's fact--it's about being true to Roman patrimony, of which only one Canon is part.

I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful Mass, but it seems that the EP decision was politically-driven. Is it just to make a statement? Please reconsider and think about the Roman Canon, as there are many, such as myself, who have never heard it, ever. So beautiful, so Roman, so very seldom used.

I hope it goes well.

Rood Screen said...

I'd be interested in reading what he said. Could you kindly provide a link?

Anonymous said...

Father Shelton,

Not from +Fellay himself, but a link to a longer explanation on the SSPX USA site:

Even Abp. Lefebvre said the Novus Ordo was valid (objectively). So, I doubt any current SSPX bishop would go further than that. Moreover, Abp. Lefebvre signed off on Sacrosanctum Concilium and agreed with many aspects of the limited liturgical reform, as far as I can tell. But, I am far from as SSPX expert having never met an SSPX priest or gone to their chapel.


Anonymous said...

I wish you were my pastor.

qwikness said...

How long do you expect the Mass to last?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The mass should last an hour and 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

And to think an adult told my daughter's confirmation class that mass was boring! I am hoping that the comment was conveyed to me out of context, of course. They should come to your mass tonight! I know I am excited.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, you deserve so many kudos for everything you say and plan--wish I could be there for this Mass!--that I hesitate to offer a reservation regarding the provenance of EP II. While it is indeed based on the ancient Canon of Hippolytus, the only antipope (3rd century) recognized as a saint by the Church, EP II is a modern constuction only loosely based on the original Canon, For anyone interested, the link

offers a brief (and accurate, I believe) description of the construction of EP II, with a table showing EP II and the Canon of Hippolytus side by side with their differences conveniently color-coded (this description based on more recent research than the false 1960s claim that EP II is actually that ancient Canon).

Marc said...

Good research, Henry. I was wondering that as I vaguely remembered reading somewhere the the historical aspects of EPII were most archaeologism used to supplant the Roman Canon.

As someone else mentioned, even if EPII was older than the Roman Canon (which it isn't), the Roman Canon has pride of place due to its esteemed place in our Roman patrimony.

At any rate, this is sure to be a wonderful Mass! I am excited that I was asked this morning to serve this Mass in some capacity to be determined!

As I told Fr. McDonald yesterday, I believe this Mass tonight represents his thoughts on the hermeneutic of continuity and what he perceives to be the true "Spirit of Vatican II." I am interested to see his theories put to the test as I have sometimes debated (respectfully, I hope) those things with him on this blog. This is the sort of Mass that can (and will, hopefully) bridge the gap between the TLM and the Ordinary Form, which is presumably what our Holy Father is trying to accomplish (and this is his name-day Feast, afterall).

Sancte Ioseph, ora pro nobis!

ghp95134 said...

God bless you, Fr. McDonald!

My Irish ancestor landed in Savannah in 1850 and was married and buried in Savannah (he named one of his children "Francis Gartland" after Savannah's first bishop). I'm certain he would have been comfortable with your celebration of the Mass.

--Guy Power

Templar said...

Father Shelton, if I can find the source I will get it to you. Since I can not find it easily on their website I tend to believe it must be buried in a passage of one of the Letters from the Superior General. Most of which are not on line.

I'm sure there's more than a few things the Good Bishop would quibble about in Father's "reform of the reform" Mass by the by, but let's no ruin such a glorious day as today promises to be.

Rood Screen said...

There's a great discussion of Pope Paul VI's attitude towards the various Eucharistic Prayers here:

LIam said...

Was the "Credo" of this Mass corrected? Schubert famously left out parts of the text, and the only way I've sung this in church is with insertions that are not in Schubert's hand, shall we say...

A. T. Wallace said...

I must correct you on a few points:

1. The Kyrie is not the only Greek text in the Roman liturgy. Please recall the Trisagion of the Good Friday liturgy.

2. The Amen is not the only Hebrew in the Roman liturgy. We also say Alleluia and Hosanna. If the Sanctus is sung in Latin, we also say Sabaoth.

3. According to Paul VI, the acolyte may be called a subdeacon.

4. Eucharistic Prayer II is of dubious historicity and is definitely not older than the venerable Roman Canon.

Anonymous said...

Father Z's post on this Mass:

Anonymous said...

Kudos, Father, on two points:
replacing the responsorial psalm with the gradual (would only that this were done more often) and offering different options for communion.

Although intinction is not all that common where I live, I did encounter it once at a conservative parish near my place of work. I did not like it because there was no way to avoid it or opt out, unlike the bread and wine where one can simply not partake of the wine. I think you have presented a wise and fair option.

Ross said...

Dear Father,

I pray the mass went well. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos.

I guess I qualify as a "1962 fanatic", but allow me to be blunt: all of this excitement simply for celebrating mass according to the rubrics?

I think that's all that needs to be said about the post-conciliar church.

totustuusmaria said...

Very cool, Fr. And I love your enthusiasm! I see someone already beat me to the punch, but I'd like to chime in on EPII as well. The Canon misattributed to St. Hippolytus bears only vague similarity to Eucharistic Prayer II, which was been so heavily modified as to really constitute a new composition. The Roman Canon might be the most ancient canon, since it not only was already present in the fourth century, but already well established.

This is the entirety of the Anaphora contained in the Apostolic Constitutions (after writing this, I realize that it is also present in the link above, but it might be useful for some people to have it here too). I also have it in Latin, if you prefer. I've compared the Latin texts of both of them, and they are quite dissimilar. You'll notice the English it is quite different too:

We render thanks to you, O God, through Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ, whom in the last times Thou sent to us as a savior and redeemer and angel of Thy will; who is Thine inseparable Word, through whom Thou madest all things; and in whom Thou were well pleased; whom Thou sent from heaven into a virgin’s womb; and who, being conceived in the womb, was made flesh and was manifested as Thy Son, being born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin; who, fulfilling your will and gaining for Thee a holy people, stretched out His hands when He should suffer; that He might release from suffering those who have believed in Thee;

who, when He was betrayed to voluntary suffering that He might destroy death, and break the bonds of the devil, and tread down hell, and shine upon the righteous, and fix a term, and manifest the resurrection, took bread and gave thanks to Thee, saying, “Take, eat; this is My Body, which shall be broken for you;” who also [took] the cup, saying, “This is My Blood, which is shed for you; when you do this, you make My remembrance.”
Remembering therefore His death and resurrection, we offer to Thee the Bread and the Chalice, giving Thee thanks because Thou hast held us worthy to stand before Thee and minister to Thee. And we ask that Thou wouldst send Thy Holy Spirit upon the offering of Thy holy Church; that, gathering her into one, Thou wouldst grant to all who receive the holy things [to receive] for the fullness of the Holy Spirit for the strengthening of faith in truth; that we may praise and glorify Thee through Thy Son Jesus Christ; ...through whom be glory and honor to Thee, to the Father and the Son, with the Holy Spirit, in Thy holy Church, both now and to the ages of ages.

Futhermore, the anaphora was not a Roman anaphora at all. To attribution to Hippolytus was made on tenuous grounds. It most likely came from Syria and parts from Egypt. As such, it may not have any proper place in the history of the development of the Roman Liturgy.

At the very best, it represents achaelogism. More likely, it represents a contamination of the Roman Tradition with a modern composition based on a Syrian anaphora which might never have even been used in Syria.

I don't write this to complain or contradict, merely to put into perspective. Perhaps Eucharistic Prayer II is a wonderful modification of the Roman Tradition, but it is hard to call it a restoration.

I have to admit I have a reservation about female lectors (theologically based, I assure you. ;-) But that's an issue for another time. And the custom is so widespread that the legal force of anything militating to the contrary is greatly reduced.

Православный физик said...

my eyes, my eyes, nooooooooo

Good job Father...more of this :)

Supertradmum said...

Cool and wish more parishes had such. Thanks for the explanation and the videos as well.

Daniel said...

I applaud your efforts to emphasize the sacred and spiritual aspects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but this provacative experiment strikes me as rather odd for several reasons. I write "provacative experiment" as this endeavor both aims to provoke (generally in a menacing if tongue-in-cheek manner) and is seemingly a rather new and isolated "type" of Mass for this parish.

This experiment strikes me as odd for the following reasons (and more):

1) You want the OF to be celebrated in continuity with tradition, yet you enforce (and even boast about) new (i.e. novel, non-traditional) and questionable practices such as female lectors, reception of Holy Communion in the hand, and so forth. Why go through all the other efforts simply to disregard other meaningful, traditional practices?

2) You are essentially trying to "enhance" the OF and "degrade" the TLM at the same time. I make this statement since you proudly announce certain things will annoy "Tridentinists" (degrading the TLM) and others will annoy "progressive liturgists" (enhancing the OF). The liturgy is not a plaything and should not be used as an object of fun or a weapon against those who do not share your vision. If you must, celebrate the OF as well as you can. If you are able, celebrate the TLM as well as you can.

3) The fact that this event is newsworthy simply because you wish to celebrate the OF in continuity with traditional practices (in some aspects) makes the same point that "Tridentinists" are wont to do. That is, the OF is a rupture with continuity in many aspects, and only those things which most normal people notice as different and good are from the TLM. For example, you praise the inclusion of Latin, chants, ad orientem, kneeling for reception of Holy Communion and so forth; and while these are not "extrinsic" to the OF or necessarily "intrinsic" to the TLM, they are commonly and easily identifiable with the traditional liturgical practices of the TLM. The novel practices, such as female lectors and vernacular, are commonly and easily associated with the OF and it is difficult to determine if you desire these things because they add solemnity to the occasion or simply because they are common in your liturgies or are opportunity to menace "Tridentinists". In brief, it seems like you are trying to put lipstick on a pig - no matter how you dress up the OF, it is still the OF...and if the OF needs dressed up to such an extent that it commonly appears to be like the TLM, then why not have the TLM in the first place?

In Christo Rege et Maria,

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Daniel, I appreciate your comments. I have always tried to be middle of the road with liturgical renewal. I understand the sentiments of those who prefer the EF Mass and its traditions.But at the same time I appreciate the overwhelming majority of practicing Catholics who like many of the liturgical changes of the Church. I recognize too, that on-going catechesis about the true nature of the Mass and its solemnity needs to be accomplished with these practicing Catholics as many of them are not aware of the true nature of the Mass or only understand partial truths.

1)I believe Pope Benedict is modeling even now what will be the reform of the Mass when he celebrates Mass at St. Peter's. He allows female lectors and when traveling, while he could forbid their use, he has not disallowed female servers.
I half jokingly labeled some in the Church as liturgical misogynists. But I do feel that in some cases this is an apt description and a very unhealthy one.

2)Communion in the hand and standing for Holy Communion are not novel, nor is kneeling and receiving on the tongue, both have long histories in the Church. The style of receiving in the hand if maintained, needs though to be refined. The Episcopalians actually do it as described in the early Church.
I don't mean to denigrate the EF Mass but we have to keep in mind that Vatican II's proper interpretation is needed and the SC did call for a revision of some of the Mass. This truth seems to be glossed over by traditionalists and there appears to be a desire to wipe SC off the books of the Magisterium.
3)I sincerely believe the OF Mass needs to be in continuity with the EF Mass and thus refinements may be made to it, but I'm not clairvoyant, although I profess to be. We've already seen a major reform of the English Mass and this is a major beginning. I can see the offertory prayers being revised to be more in line with the EF's too; I have no objection, but I don't see a radical revision of the OF, but as I experienced last night it can certainly, feel, sound and look like that from which it came, the EF Mass and without any real major changes in it.

Gene said...

I think you need to stop playing around with the terms "liberal" and "progressive" with regard to the effort to return to traditional Catholic identity and worship. The "reform of the reform" is a traditionalist initiative. Progressives hate the TLM, decry the reform of the reform, and are responsible for the loss of Catholic identity. The OF, as we now have it in this country, is rupture pure and simple. I like what you are trying to do in regard to the OF, and I believe the way you celebrate it every Sunday at St. Joseph's is the way it should be celebrated everywhere (it is not), but a return to the TLM on a much broader basis is what I hope for. There is much in Daniel's words...especially those about lipstick and pigs. The OF/EF debacle and the effort to dress up the OF comes down to this analogy: Make-up, fine clothes, and elegant jewelry can make a pretty woman beautiful, but they cannot make an ugly woman pretty...

Anonymous said...

Dear Father,

Do everything you can to reacquaint American catholics with the mystery and majesty that are at the heart of the Mass. I think snarkiness is not the best means to reach that goal. That your practice irks the right sort of people is not really the main thing; that it is licit, edifies the faithful, and glorifies God is justification enough.

Secondly, as a former Episcopalian, I would discourage you from looking there for any liturgical guidance. Freed from obedience to Rome, they have been picking and choosing their way through centuries of varied liturgical traditions resulting in the sort of salad you created for your St. Joseph's Mass. The Episcoplians today do not know why they should not be divorced and remarried, active homosexuals, or ordaining women, but they sing a beautiful liturgy. Not the best model for Catholics in America, really.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Sidney, my snarkiness is not intended to be mean spirited but a form of humor and even satire, but I certainly can understand by some of the criticism I receive about it how it could be and is counterproductive. I believe though that the current state of the Church, liturgical and otherwise, somehow fits into the overall master plan that God foresaw in sending us His Son to take on the sins of the world, past, present and to come and bring these to the grave. But we'll not really understand this great act and its purposes until we are in heaven and salvation history completed by God himself.

Unknown said...

My (long) recommendation is unsolicited, Fr. MacDonald, and I hope I do not offend by offering it to you anyway:

The pastor at my parish has done an excellent job of reforming the liturgy there, including many of the right and proper changes you've described--Gloria in Latin, ad orientum, etc. And while he is not to my knowledge any kind of misogynist--which you must know is an exceedingly inflammatory word--he does not permit altar girls (though he does permit female lectors, so I'm not sure what that makes him). His reforms have been highly successful, and have totally transformed the profile of the parish, from one that was very elderly and dwindling, to one that is full to bursting with young and middle-aged Catholics with families. He also serves Mass in Spanish for the large local Spanish-speaking population, though I can't say what effect his reforms have had on that particular Mass.

One of the reasons he has been so successful is that he doesn't spend a lot of time talking about what he's going to do and whom he hopes to offend by it. He just does it, and if a person is so repelled by it that he leaves the parish, well then, that's that. I don't think that's been a problem and as I say you can see the net gain in attendance, as well as in collections, piety, works of mercy, community, etc.

My guess is that if he had done what he has done suddenly, all at once, with blaring trumpets and a triumphal declaration of all the people who are bound to just hate it, our pastor would not have had much success and his reforms would not have stuck. Now, I obviously hope your reforms are a smashing success, and I'm not predicting that they will fall flat. I don't know anything important about your parish, so maybe I'm completely out of turn here, and everything will be a great success. Again, I hope so.

But I do know that the "I'm not one of those right win crazies" routine is excessively apologetic and defensive, and I also know that the "Feel the burn, liberals!" routine is excessively uncharitable and calculated to turn off the people most in need of a good example. Right now, many people are "liberals" because they just don't know any better--you refer to their "liking" the reforms of the liturgy when in fact, 98% of them don't have any idea what they might like, because they've only ever had first hand experience with the "reformed" mess of the OF. But they're not likely to ever actually experience, and be seduced by, the beauty of Tradition if it's offered to them in a spirit of contempt. Again, most actual laymen who are liturgical "progressives" are simply ignorant, and many of those who are not ignorant are simply afraid because of the lies they've been told about our Church's liturgical past.

Moreover, liturgical Traditionalists have been cursed and spat upon by the Church for decades, and if many of them have hardened their hearts and dug in their heels, it is more for that reason than for any imagined hatred of women, or whatever other derangement they've been accused of. Traditionalists are a persecuted minority within the Church, and it is the contemptuous and dismissive attitude of actual priests that has driven them to all sorts of conspiratorial anti-clerical nuttiness and frequently to schismatic sectarianism. There are very reasonable and sensible arguments to be made for precluding the use of female lectors or certain "reformed" prayers and much else besides--not just "sentiments." After decades of abuse, you can forgive people if they do not appreciate seeing their views on these matters held up to straw man ridicule, for anyone's amusement.

Therefore my recommendation runs thus: Just do it, and you'll find that most people will go along, growing accustomed and attached to the traditional forms along the way.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Sage, thank you for your comments. I have to say that I continue to be freaked out by the fact people and many people at that are reading my blog. I intend what I write to make transparent who I am, warts and all, both personality, intellectually and otherwise, which putting it out in public is humbling.
I also agree with you assessment of why people who are practicing Catholics like what they like and why traditionally minded Catholics have been so marginalized and angered by what they have experienced in the post Vatican II Mass and Church under the "rubric" of new and improved and a "springtime for the Church."
I will also take to heart you comments about my snarkiness which others have pointed out, again, an example of a devise I have used for better or worse to offer humor and satire.

Unknown said...

Father, that you for your generous reply, and I will pray that God blesses your efforts.

Gene said...

Amen, Sage! Just do it! If they don't like it, there's a Baptist church next door.