Thursday, December 13, 2012


Ordinary Form Mass celebrated in an Extraordinary Form sort of way:

As the official Introit is sung, the Procession makes its way to the altar, the priest kisses it, and if incense is used, incenses it.

Then he goes to the foot of the altar and after the Introit is sung, he begins with the Sign of the Cross, Greeting and introduction to the Penitential Act at the Foot of the Altar.

He chooses the options that are available in the current OF.

After the absolution, He ascends the altar. If the Confiteor has been the chosen option, the Kyrie is begun once at the altar, otherwise the Gloria is intoned and sung with the priest at the middle of the altar.

After the Gloria, the priest turns to the faithful and sings or says, "Let us pray" then he goes to the Epistle side of the Altar to chant or say the Collect.

All are seated and the Liturgy of the Word takes place as usual in the Ordinary Form.

During the singing of the Gospel Acclamation, the Roman Missal is transferred as in the EF Mass, from the Epistle side to the Gospel side, the deacon or priest takes the book of the Gospel and processes to the ambo.

After the homily, the Credo is chanted or said at the center of the altar as well as the Universal prayer.

Then all are seated, the altar is prepared, the gifts brought forward and prepared and the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Rite of Holy Communion are all ad orientem.

As Holy Communion is distributed, the vessels are cleansed at the altar, the Roman Missal is transferred to the Epistle side, the priest turns to the congregation, says, Let us Pray, goes to the Epistle side to chant or read the Post Communion Prayer, then goes to the center of the altar, facing the congregation and offers the final blessing in simple or solemn form and the deacon or priest chants or says the dismissal. They turn and kiss the altar and then join the procession for the recessional.

What about this? Is my Penitential Act at the Foot of the altar kosher and is it kosher even today to have the missal on the altar throughout Mass and using the Epistle and Gospel sides as I have described.

Keep in mind, nothing else is changed in the current English Roman Missal whatsoever.


Dan Z said...

This is a big step back. I don't like it. It's just the same old Novus Ordo, with some suggestions to use more bells and incense, which would be ignored by most priests at large. I liked your first idea the best... use with 1965 Order, with the original Confiteor (although I wouldn't mind adding in "in my thoughts and in my words, what I have....etc"), and no handshake of peace.

Unknown said...

If we are speaking hypotheticals, yes, that would shore up the ceremonies quite a bit.

A point of clarification though? Why would one need to move to the gospel side? If the gospel is not read from the Missal, as it is in the 1962, there is no need to move it around.

I would argue that the collects should be read from the center. The economy of movement was to allow the faithful to know that the reading of the epistle was different from the reading of the gospel, however, since both are proclaimed from the same place, it is not economical to move the book around. I would say leave the Missal at the center and read the prayers from there.

If you wanted to show the importance of the different sides, you would need to probably sing the epistle and gospel in the way that it is done in a Solemn Mass.

That would be the only way I could envision it being feasable in the Novus Ordo to use the Gospel and epsitle sides.

Henry Edwards said...

Just read your "About me", which is much more interesting than interminable if not stifling discussions of what, O What, to do with the poor befuddled Novus Ordo. But

"After graduating from Georgia Regents University"

I was a resident of Georgia throughout the decades you mention, and I can assure out-of-staters that there was no such "university" in Georgia then.

Hammer of Fascists said...

I have long argued that the single best thing that BXVI could do for the liturgy (other than suppressing the NO, heh heh) would be to mandate ad orientem in ALL Masses. It would greatly reduce the horizontal theology and thus help restore a proper horizontal/vertical balance; it would help remind people (clergy and laity alike) thatthe Mass isn't all about _them_; and it would take some of the individual priest's personality out of the liturgy and make it easier to see him as an alter Christus. Plus, the GIRM already hints that it should be ad orientem anyway, no?

Such a mandate would also go a long way towards showing that all the talk in the Vatican isn't just . . . talk.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

actually it doesn't exist right now right yet, but then I am a pre-Vatican II Catholic or a post-Vatican II Catholic a 1970's priest or a 2012 priest?

Henry Edwards said...

A5: "the single best thing that BXVI could do for the liturgy (other than suppressing the NO, heh heh) would be to mandate ad orientem in ALL Masses."

Agreed. Except . . . What is the likelihood that such a papal mandate would be obeyed. If, say, ad orientem were mandated as of the First Sunday of Lent (or some other date specific), what percentage of U.S. Masses would actually be celebrated ad orientem on that date.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

100% in my parish

Unknown said...


"Plus, the GIRM already hints that it should be ad orientem anyway, no?"

It isn't a hint. Just sayin'...

"Such a mandate would also go a long way towards showing that all the talk in the Vatican isn't just . . . talk."

It won't fall on this pontificate. This pontificate is laying the hypothetical, it will fall on future pontificates to theorize and put into action.

Benedict is a great academic and is a conservative, to be sure, but his expertise is not in implementation, but rather in explanation. We should see a Pope with the vision of implementation sometime before we die.....I hope.

Unknown said...


"What is the likelihood that such a papal mandate would be obeyed. If, say, ad orientem were mandated as of the First Sunday of Lent (or some other date specific), what percentage of U.S. Masses would actually be celebrated ad orientem on that date."

I would say slim. It would definitely be less than 40% (I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 20%, realistically). Knowing the liberal mindset of most priests today, they would not look at it as legislation, but rather as option, even if it were a mandatum.

Wendell said...

Ad orientem all the way!

Rood Screen said...

It seems to me that the biggest mistake the Church can make concerning the Sacred Liturgy is to treat it as an object subject to our manipulation. I'm sure the Consilium members were filed with restless enthusiasm as they revised the order of Mass in the Sixties, and we can become enthusiastic now about reforming their revisions, but perhaps we should just leave things as they are. The Holy Ghost will prompt simple, gradual changes as needed. These changes will be barely perceptible to the generation in which they are made, but will grow over the centuries.
I just get very nervous whenever I hear a group of well-meaning Catholics restlessly discussing all their good ideas for changing the Sacred Liturgy.

Rood Screen said...

It is worth noting that in the preface to his Opera Omnia, Pope Benedict mentioned, "...the proposal I made at the end of the chapter about this topic [ad orientem] in my work, The Spirit of the Liturgy (pp. 83-84) [that] is steadily making progress, namely, not to make any new changes, but simply to place the cross at the center of the altar..." He is generally opposed to drastic changes in the Mass, but in favor of simple, gradual changes, as needed.

A Seminarian said...

Personally, I feel the best way to celebrate the Novus Ordo is exactly as it is in the missal. (A good example if the manner in which the Novus Ordo is celebrated at the Birmingham Oratory, google their liturgical institute and there is a video of a Mass).

The rubrics in the missal call for the priest to begin the Mass from the chair and this includes the Penitential Act, Gloria and Collect.

The GIRM states that the missal may be used from the altar in the event a server is not present.

It seems odd to move the missal to the gospel side. This seems to miss the point. The missal was moved because the gospel was printed IN the missal. This is no longer the case.

We can argue until we are blue in the face about what is better theologically but if we want to argue about what the Church asks of us, just read the missal.

Unknown said...

"It seems to me that the biggest mistake the Church can make concerning the Sacred Liturgy is to treat it as an object subject to our manipulation."

And yet that is exactly what we have. Sad isn't it, Fr. Shelton?

From what I've read (and I've done a fair amount, starting with documentation from 1948), the Consilium wasn't restless, they were overtly giddy.

Those of us who discuss these things here also discuss them out in the real world. Change doesn't take place in a vacuum, there must be discussion. The only real fruit that has come from Vatican Council II, IMHO, is that the faithful are more vocal than in years past. We don't just let things pass any longer, but according to Redemptionis Sacramentum and the like, we're not supposed to.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In practice, I agree with Fr. Shelton and Seminarian. Our 12:10 PM Sunday Mass is I think the template for the future. We sing a processional hymn (although it is here that I would like to move to the official entrance Antiphon, although we chant what is in the Missal prior to the hymn). After the altar is incensed,(with the Book of the Gospel placed dead center) I go to the chair, chant the Sign of the Cross, greeting and introduction to the Penitential Act, nothing more, nothing less, silence and the cantor chants the penitential act, unless we use the Confiteor, I chant the absolution, we have the kryie if not already included and Gloria and chanted collect.

Liturgy of the Word as usual.

The Credo and Universal Prayer are at the chair. The preparation of the altar and the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem. After Holy Communion, I'm back at the chair for the Prayer After Communion, Blessing and dismissal, all chanted.

I chant the Preface dialogue, preface and then after the Sanctus, I always chant at all Sunday Masses, the Epiclesis through to the Mystery of Faith.

The area that the Church should really focus upon is bringing back chant in its simple and more complicated forms, and Polyphony.

More attention to detail, well trained lectors, servers, EMC's etc and nicer choreography of servers and others, which the EF Mass could truly help in this regard.

Unknown said...


Then you are 100% in favor of Mass ad orientem in all places and in all circumstances, because that is what the GIRM calls for, fantastic!!!

Give me details and I will be at your first Mass. I will even offer to MC it for you, if you so desire.


Unknown said...

Fr. McDonald,

Here is a suitable template, I think.

Introductory Rite
-Process in to the Introit
-Kiss the altar and proceed to the chair after incense (assuming use)
-Greet the faithful with Dominus Vobiscum after sign of the cross
-Confiteor (always)
-Kyrie is chanted
-Gloria is chanted

Liturgy of the Word
-First Reading by vested man in choir
-Gradual chanted
-Second Reading by either non-Gospel deacon/vested acolyte acting as subdeacon or same vested man in choir
-Gospel either deacon/priest


-Credo chanted, with appropriate bowings/genuflections

(skip the general intercessions, it is only an option)

Liturgy of the Eucharist
-priest and his ministers approach altar while offertory is chanted
-altar is prepared
-gifts are brought from credence

(skip the offertory procession, it is needless)

-Orate fratres

-Sanctus sung until the first bell; the Benedictus continues after the Consecration.
-Roman Canon said quietly, voice raised for Consecration, then return to a quiet voice. (there is no need for the other EP.)
-Lord's Prayer
-Kiss of Peace from priest to ministers in traditional manner while the Agnus Dei is chanted

(the faithful unite their kiss of peace internally to the external action of the priest and his ministers)

-Communion of the priest
-Domine non sum Dignus
-Communion of the faithful

(at this point, I would argue strongly that the need for EMHC's is not necessary. If we receive the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ in the Sacred Host, then there is no need for "a fuller sign," even if allowed...this would then eliminate the need for EMHC's if a deacon/acolyte is present. If none is present, then one of the vested men in choir may assist, only if truly and absolutely necessary)

-The Communion is chanted. A suitable hymn may be sung following the chanting of the Communion.
-Priest and ministers cleanse vessels which are returned to the credence
-Return to the chair
-Blessing and Dismissal

(Announcements are in the bulletin, there is no need to restate, that is useless redundancy)

-Recessional to an appropriate hymn or fanfare.

Several points of clarity. Mass is ad orientem. Always choose the Dominus Vobiscum. Always choose the confiteor. Always omit the Prayers of the Faithful. Always omit the faithful's Kiss of Peace.

Chant is necessary for the propers, however the ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei may be subsituted for Polyphony). Appropriate hymnody may be sung after the proper chants at the Offertory and Communion, but are not obilgatory. The Recessional is not necessary for a hymn, a fanfare may be in order, depending on circumstance.

That is how I would do it. It is 100% in line with the rubrics.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me discussion about how to elevate the Novus Ordo is a good and realistic thing to do, because in many parishes it has been greatly mutilated. The fact remains that Holy Mother Church issued this missal, if that is not true then we have some major problems because the last four popes have celebrated from this missal their entire pontificates, we have a current blessed, and Paul VI and JPI are being looked into as well. So when we simply question whether this missal should even exist, I think there are some very good reasons to be very cautious about such accusations or personal desires, but rather as members of the Mystical Body of Christ our will should be the will of Holy Mother Church and Her Bridegroom and adhere to the suggestions and demands of this will. Much like Pope Benedict has said about the Vatican II, the only understanding is an understanding in continuity with 2000 years of the one Bride of Christ; I think the same is true for the Novus Ordo, and those 2000 years include the years before the 1200s. When the Tridentine Missal came out, any rite that was less than 200 years old was done away with, and I am sure some of those rites had aspects that were good, but Holy Mother Church had need of something different, and we had the Tridentine Missal, which served very well indeed. Surely people who supported the suppressed rites were not very happy about the Tridentine Missal, and look how wrong they, the Latin Rite is rich with traditions, though the Novus Ordo lacks certain prayers of the Tridentine, it does not suppress the faithful from saying the rosary, and so many other devotionals in their daily lives? That seems to me that was a failure of the seminaries and priests and faithful of the times. Not that there was not pressure from high ranking officials but these devotions and ways of life should have been maintained. Again I don’t see this as fault of the Council or the Novus Ordo, heck, the priests who ushered in the Novus Ordo had been formed in the so called glory years? which I think says something about their formation and their formation is what influenced how the Novus Ordo was integrated into our previous traditions. It does not seem to me that whether you say it in latin, english, ad orientem, or ad populum, that if a priest is correctly formed, his whole entire being will be the same at the consecration when he says this is His Body, He is giving Himself at that instant to the Father... if you are truly formed, you would be so focused on that instant that nothing should shake you. And if they really believed in what lay upon the altar before them, their interior belief should be made known to the world through their outward actions. So this brings me to my conclusion; the way to true reform is to turn to Christ and Holy Mother Church and follow their one will. Priests must first be formed as the true images of Christ, so that they can worthily celebrate Holy Mass. Second they must pass on the Faith to us, and not be afraid to speak of sin and educate the faithful on the teachings of Holy Mother Church. They must proclaim the Truth to us in word and action. They are our fathers, lead us. This one change, that is the mind of priests and an understanding of who they truly are, will set this world on fire with the love of Christ. The world is begging for it. I am for reforming the parish, and returning the traditions of the faith to their rightful place, but we must first begin with the seminary and priests, and their love of Christ will restore the beauty that we so long for in Holy Mass. Many talk about changing all these rubrics or throwing out the Current Missal because it doesn’t fit with their ideas of Holy Mass, and yet they talk about how they think this missal is just the creation of someone else’s whims, and turn and propose their ideas as more correct, seems a little hypocritical, so let our faith and traditions of 2000 years come and unite to this missal until we receive something else.

ytc said...

whoa, some paragraphs, please?

Joseph Johnson said...

Not that my opinion matters, but I very much like and agree with your "template" for the Ordinary Form which is "100% in line with the rubrics." Whether it is celebrated in Latin or the vernacular or a combination of the two, this looks like an optimal way for the OF to be celebrated until such time that further liturgical legislation is issued.

With due explanation, preparation and catechesis, this could easily become reality at a parish level if priests would embrace it. It is really only using and making the best of licit options that we already have. Rather than dreaming about and proposing hypotheticals about what might be (one day) this can happen now in complete obedience to the current rubrics. Just do it!

Gene said...

Anonymous, did you just say something?

Unknown said...


That actually isn't a theory. That is exactly what is in place at St. Agnes, in St. Paul, MN. That is how the Mass has been celebrated since Mons. Bandas came back from the Council (he was periti) for the Archbishop of St. Paul. He set the Mass according to thoughts of the "conservative" liturgists of the time.

He had a young Fr. Richard Schuler, who was weekend assistant implement the changes and in 1969, Fr. Schuler became pastor. He adapted the books, but not the liturgical action and the pastors since Mons. Schuler's retirement in 2001 have continued the laudable practice.

A couple of things about Mass at St. Agnes. The low (said) Masses are in English. The High (sung) Mass is in Latin. The Mass is solemn, with either two deacons or a deacon and installed acolyte/pious layman acting as subdeacon. There are no women/girls in the sanctuary. Mass has always remained at the High Altar. Communion has always been at the rail.

High Mass is chanted every Sunday (by an all male schola) and 33 Sundays a year, from October until June (save Advent and Lent), Mass is polyphonic, with the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale singing the ordinary a Viennese Style (my personal favorite is Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass).

As I have mentioned before, I am a protege of Mons. Schuler (as is Fr. Z, incidentally).

Friends, this is a reality. I lived it for 4 years in college and am a frequent visitor home (I do consider it my spiritual home).

Since 2007, the EF has been celebrated on odd Sundays of the Month, as a Missa Cantata, and Solemn Mass in the OF on the even Sundays. Beginning with Epiphany, the EF will be Solemn as well, including the Asperges (which is not used in the OF, due to odd and cumbersome placement as well as removal/replacement of the Pentential Rite).

Finally, low Masses have two servers. High Masses have 11. Every Sunday. Thurifer, Cross, 2 candles, 6 torches, MC. There is always a contingency of pious laymen/visiting clergy vested in proper choir dress, usually between two and 6 who process in every Sunday.

Again, this is not a theory, this is a reality. And it can be done anywhere in very short order. I should know, when I was living in the rectory, I helped to implement the style in a parish in rural North Dakota. That style exists there today.

Unknown said...

If you would like to paruse. Please take special not of the desktop images. As proof of my claim, I am in several of the photos, most notably as an MC at the steeple cross blessing with Bishop Welsh (RIP).

There are also three photos to pay close attention to 1. The Golden Jubilee in 1938. 2. St. Agnes 1960's 3. Altar Notice the altar is unencumbered. Finally, I would have you look to Mons. Schuler celebrating Mass (Pay special attention to his vestments and the student MC to the celebrant's right). Notice the closed Missal and which one it is. The photo is titled Marble Floor.

This is all real.

John Nolan said...

1. Leave the NO as it is until Rome drastically changes it, which probably won't be this century. Celebrate it properly, preferably ad orientem; don't be afraid to sing what can be sung (using the missal chants either in Latin or the vernacular) but if sung give preference to the Latin settings in the Kyriale, since everyone knows what the words mean. Don't relegate Latin to the EF; it is particularly important that the GR Propers are sung if you have a capable enough schola; similarly sing a polyphonic Ordinary if your choir is up to it.

2. The worst post-1970 abominations - Communion in the hand, EMHC, women in the sanctuary, are not intrinsic to the rite, in fact they were illicit when the NO was promulgated. Discourage the first (because of episcopal directives you have to offer it in the OF) and ban the others (as a priest you have the right to do so). Exchange the peace at a solemn Mass but don't offer it to the people (optional in the GIRM).

3. Celebrate the EF regularly, not just for its own sake, but to give an example to the OF in terms of ars celebrandi, and to make abundantly clear that the two forms are not completely dissimilar.

4. Reinstate Vespers (OF or EF). Too many people associate liturgy only with the Mass.

Henry Edwards said...

Andy: "my personal favorite is Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass"

Mine too, though I know it only from the St. Agnes choir CD of it, which I've listened to countless times. I recall the time I wanted a couple of priests (neither a Latin lover) to hear it, invited them on a ride in the Smokies with it in the CD player, which I turned on once we got above 5000 ft and they had nowhere to go to escape all that classical sanctity.

Joseph Johnson said...

I'm back at my home computer and can now comment again...

I'm glad to hear that the "template" is reality, at least in a couple of places, already. The real challenge is in getting more priests to consider using the "template" which you described. We need more bishops to promote these practices (more bishops with liturgical attitudes like Morlino and Sample and things would improve more quickly).

Thanks, Andy for the insightful commentary and the valuable level of knowledge that you contribute to this blog.

ytc said...

Andy Milam, are the Masses at St. Agnes accompanied by a full orchestra as well, or is it some a capella-ized version?

Unknown said...


It is not a "full" orchestra, but the major instrumental parts are covered.

There are roughly 14 pieces accompanying the singers. It is a glorious sound.