Friday, February 21, 2014


These are divisive non traditionalists radicals who have caused such massive liturgical problems for the Church with the Missal of Pope Paul VI that has sent some traditionalists off the deep end thus wanting to throw that missal out completely thinking it will solve these problems completely only to have their precious immutable EF Mass Missal celebrated this way by these kinds of people below! So the root of the problem isn't which missal is used or structural issues with each Missal, but those who celebrate either missal! Nothing except strict penalties would stop divisive non traditionalists from celebrating the EF Mass this way and advocating a strict return to only the 1962 Missal would cause even more liturgical division and trouble for the 1962 missal:

A Benedictine Monk, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB, now prior of Silverstream Priory, in County Meath, Ireland is quoted in Rorate Caeli as saying the following:

The End of the "Reform of the Reform":

"I too came to see the futility of trying to repair
what is, at bottom, structurally unsound"

My Comments: These are unwise and divisive words, not so much saying that the new order of the Mass is "structurally unsound" but not nuancing that claim and isolating exactly what is unsound. The "reform of the reform" is meant to address that which is unsound, structurally and otherwise.

Apart from structural issues with the Missal of Pope Paul VI, the more insidious issue is priests who corrupt that Missal by not celebrating it as it is required and in continuity with the spirituality, reverence and devotion of the previous missal. THIS IS PROBLEM #1 and this has nothing to do with unsound structure!

It really comes down to what was ill advised about Pope Paul VI's revision of the Mass and that it went way beyond what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually requested.

The "reform of the reform" means going back to the 1962 Missal, gloriously returned to us, reading Sacrosanctum Concilium in light of it and then going back to the 1962 Missal and adjusting it in light of the Second Vatican Council's liturgy document.

My sense of the "reform of the reform" in this context is to do some cleaning up and make the Missal of Pope Paul VI into a continuity with the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII.

1. This means restoring the Order of the Mass to the 1962 Missal's Order

2. This means clarifying the silly and ill advised statement of SC about "useless repetition" and then state what that is exactly in the 1962 Missal. It would seem that useless repetition would be more than one collect at any Mass and the duplication of the priest's communion rite, then followed by a separate rite for the laity, especially having two "triple" Lord, I am not worthies. However having a triple "Lord I am not worthy" for both the priest and laity at the same time isn't. So a revision of the 1962 Communion Rite along the lines of the OF's Mass but reinstating the triple "Lord I am not worthy" to tie into the triple "Lamb of God" is reasonable.

3. Sacrosanctum Concilium called for a more lavish use of Scripture in the lectionary--a reform of the reform would return the one year lectionary of the previous missals and include that somehow in the three year cycle, perhaps making it Year A and addressing what is lacking in the other three years and combined them into years B and C.

4. The Concluding Rite of the Mass of the 1962 Missal seems to only need the reordering of the Go in Peace and the Blessing--the Last Gospel should be restored

5. The Preparation of the Gifts should return to the 1962 Missal with the clarification that the "Offering of Our Lord" occurs during the Eucharistic Prayer, not at the Preparation of the Gifts where only the bread and wine is offered to God by human hands so that the Lord will offer Himself in His Sacrifice at the Eucharistic Prayer and precisely during the Anamesis following the the transubstantiation of the Bread and Wine that are His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, no longer bread and wine in substance.

6. The Propers must be chanted and all other melodies for Mass parts must be in continuity with Catholic tradition, spirituality, devotion and reverence inherited from the previous missals

7. Vernacular may be allowed only for the changing parts of the Mass

8. The calendar will be brought back into continuity with what preceded it

9. Requiem Masses will have the same characteristics as the 1962 Mass in the Order of Mass

10. More forceful penalties for priests who manipulate the Mass and its words

The "reform of the reform" of the Mass is not dead, but some of its reformers evidently are. The reform of the reform is the only way to go forward not a return exclusively to the past but neither neglecting the past because moving forward without the past would lead to the wrong destination!


Anonymous said...

I think a good place to start is to make sure bishops and priests understand the English language. Then make sure they read, in it's entirety, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the GIRM, and the Roman Missal. Priests should be told that the words in the Missal printed in red are not suggestions but directives. And the words printed in black are not to be changed in any way. But seriously. It all begins in seminaries. There needs to be a very well structured "class" to teach deacons preparing for ordination as priests how to properly offer Mass. It should include vestments and how to properly wear them so they don't look sloppy all the time. How to use a thurible and actually use it. Things like this. Gestures, postures, how to speak, how to pronounce English words they are unfamiliar with, etc. And how to conduct themselves like a CATHOLIC PRIEST and not some pseudo Protestant/Catholic mixture. The liturgy is a shambles primarily because priests have not been properly formed. But first and foremost priest need to be men of prayer who actually pray the Mass with reverence and devotion and love.

Gene said...

But, it is an unsound structure that invites Priestly abuse. The very act of facing the people invites it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I agree with the first comment and I think seminaries today to this. The problem is with sloppy, divisive priests who ignore what the Church's liturgy mandates and then are not called into the bishop's office, read the riot act, given an ultimatum and if the priest persists the ultimatum is enacted. That's the biggest problem.

But Gene, there is no liturgical law that states the EF Mass can't be celebrated facing the people. The 1962 Mass can be done so, but with the altar arrangement of the 1962 missal.

Gene said...

Fr, how often was that done?

ACC92 said...

I must disagree strongly with the claim that the priests and peoples' Communion shouldn't be separate rites. To do this would be to majorly overplay the peoples' communion which is, of course, not an essential while the Priest's is.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The celebrant and any concelebrating priests should be first in receiving as is the norm, the law, in the Ordinary Form. I'm just suggesting that we don't need seperate "Lord I am not worthy..." as in the EF and that the Ecce Agnus Dei occur prior to the priest's communion as in the OF but not in the EF.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Rorate Caeli post rather superficial (as usual in this area). But the "brilliant essay" that Dom Kirby referenced is the most incisive (about this subject) I've ever seen:

"It is clear that so many of the young are abandoning the liturgical practice of the Faith, and who can blame them if all they get is Fr Superstar and pop muzak they would never want to hear outside of church, and clearly do not want to hear inside either. . . . .

"So is there no hope for the new Mass? Is the solution for our many dying parishes to return to the Mass of 1962 and then try for a renewal of the Mass that is more consistent with what the Council Fathers actually mandated? We certainly cannot rule out the old Mass – it is the Mass that admirably served the Church for well over a millennium, . . .

"That said, the Council Fathers were neither stupid nor total dupes. They were on to something. I look at some of the interim Missals that emerged towards the end of the Council and just after and see what we might have had. One Eucharistic prayer, in Latin (since it is addressed to God, and he does speak Latin!) with readings in English, facing east but with more streamlined (and not gutted) rubrics; no vast array of options for this, that and whatnot but some apposite offerings for seasons and certain days. In those missals we were seeing the fledgling emerge before, seemingly inexplicably, a cuckoo was in the nest: a new and totally different Mass, constructed by a committee according to their theories of what in liturgical antiquity was to be revived (and which often, we know now, never really existed in the form asserted. Eucharistic Prayer 2 is supposedly Hipploytus’ canon, but if you read the original it differs markedly from this rudely brief composition we now have. Just one example. Mass facing the people is another. Communion in the hand is yet another). . . . .

"So there is life beyond the old Mass, but we will need the old Mass around to inform a renewed liturgical practice and spirituality. Surely the new Mass can be saved, though it requires surgery. . . . . .

"One thing seems sure: without a wholesale renewal of liturgical practice and spirituality the New Evangelization will remain just another expensive white-elephant of a programme. And priests will remain faced with the temptation to entertain and be creative in worship, and in so doing seriously undermine that worship. Without authentic worship the faithful, especially the young, will not be truly challenged to live with integrity, treating their own bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, and their neighbours as Christs in disguise."

Henry said...

I detest anonymous comments, so let me reveal that the preceding (inadvertently) Anonymous @ 10:07 am is me -- Henry Edwards.

Durwood Kirby said...

There seems to be two ideas about "Reform of the Reform". Most seem to take it as a reform of the Novus Ordo, which is an even bigger disaster than New Coke. Nobody younger than 68 likes it, it has driven millions away from Mass and it has been proven that it is a man-made invention, pasted together by a committee corrupted by Protestants and a suspected Masonic leader. On the other hand, Fr. McDonald is telling us it means going back and using the 1962 Missal and adjusting it to Sacrosanctum Concilium. SC has its problems too. It seems to me that both views of Reform of the Reform are rather hopeless.

Rood Screen said...


In agree that the versus populum posture for the eucharistic canon easily leads to problems.

I also agree with Fr. McDonald that there is more directional flexibility in both Roman rites of Mass than is commonly understood. However, as far as the canon is concerned, it is worth noting that the E.F. directs the priest to face the altar cross, and the O.F. directs him to face the altar, but neither missal discusses optional points on the compass, as such. Both missals insist that priest is offering the Sacrifice through Christ to the Father. Spiritually speaking, then, both forms are offered ad orientem.

Rood Screen said...

Durwood Kirby,

I'm afraid you're proven wrong. There are now parishes all over the Latin Rite world where both Roman forms are celebrated, but where the majority of parishioners prefer the O.F. This is certainly the case in my own parish. And, I've never met a single fallen-away Catholic who stopped going to Mass (thereby committing a mortal sin) because of the form of Mass offered in his or her parish. Lack of reverence is sometimes--but rarely--mentioned as an issue by these poor souls, but not the actual order of Mass.

I think it's fair to say that the majority of Latin Rite Catholics would benefit from increased liturgical reverence, but the O.F. is capable of providing this for them.

Durwood Kirby said...


In the context you present, it would seem you are correct. However, you are overlooking the dramatic drop in Mass attendance that took place after the Novus Ordo was implemented in 1970. There is also the problem of the dramatic drop in vocations, abandonment of vocations and closings of Catholic schools that followed in its wake. Many of those souls will never come back, and many haver perished. There are are few parishes like Fr. McDonald's where both forms are offered, however, it is worth noting that many parishes, like St. Joseph, are in areas with small Catholic populations and congregants who have drank the post-Vatican II New Church Kool-Aid and would need overwhelming de-programming to appreciate what we've trashed.

You also overlook the fasted growing and most devoted segment of the entire Church: Traditionalists. Whether it is the FSSP or the "schismatic" SSPX parishes, those places are packed and so are their seminaries. No other segment of the Church can claim the growth that these branches enjoy. But follow their lead? Heck no! We'd rather close Churches for our "New Springtime". Repeat after me: "WE ARE IN RENEWAL. WE ARE IN RENEWAL. WE ARE IN RENEWAL…." Keep repeating a lie often enough and you can get people to believe it.

Rood Screen said...

It is clear to me that the Church in the USA and elsewhere has experienced poor catechesis, a decline in liturgical reverence and a drop in the performance of the Works of Mercy. I can also accept arguments positing that certain elements of the reformed missal are imperfect and should be subject to further reforms. But it is just not clear to me that the reformed missal is the cause of poor catechesis, irreverence and other impoverished features of Church life.
Were one to offer a regular Mass according to the English translation of the 1962 missal with "hippie" music and similar nonsense, as was done in the late Sixties, but to also offer another Mass in Latin and with Gregorian chant according to the 2002 missal, which would be better?

New Catholic said...

"I thought the Rorate Caeli post rather superficial (as usual in this area)"

Right... You know we were merely introducing his text right? We felt it right to preface it with our own exchanges with Dom M. Kirby.

If you wish depth, read a book. There are many available. Whoever knows the history of the sausage-making machine that gave us the new Rite never had any illusions about the "reform of the reform".

Rood Screen said...

Wow, Fr. McDonald. You just got slammed by Rorate Caeli! While I have some sympathies with some of their concerns, there are some mean spirited posts on their site. You, on the other hand, try to see what's good in everything and in everyone, whenever this is possible. I prefer Southern Orders. (I'm also a Southerner, so the title is a plus!)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

JBS how did how get slammed at RC?

John Nolan said...


While I agree that the decline in Mass attendance in western Europe and North America over the last 50 years is not simply due to liturgical changes, Benedict XVI's conviction that the crisis in the Church is primarily due to what he called the "disintegration" of the Liturgy must carry some weight.

In the decade following the Council one novelty followed another. Malcolm Muggeridge, who did not become a Catholic until 1981 when he was in his eightieth year, could not understand why the Catholic Church was embarking on a Reformation of its own when the original Reformation, Luther's, was running into the sand. Instead of standing four-square on its ancient Liturgy, it seemed intent on dismantling it.

In 1971 the Catholic intellectual John Eppstein, in a book entitled "Has the Catholic Church gone mad?" wondered how a 2000-year-old supernaturally oriented institution, "the most solid and venerable pillar of civilization" could be transformed almost overnight into an organization where every form of disorder and disorientation "in the fields of morals, faith, authority and worship" was not only tolerated, but encouraged.

This, I am convinced, was how the majority of Catholics felt. I could easily have fallen away, but I was intellectually convinced of the underlying truth of the Catholic faith, and when I discovered that the New Mass could be celebrated in a traditional way, with Latin and chant (long discarded in my home parish), I continued to practise. However, I did not feel myself obligated to attend a desacralized form of Mass where there was a clear dislocation between the lex orandi and lex credendi.

Cameron said...

Father M., New Catholic is one of the major posters at Rorate Caeli.