Saturday, December 5, 2015


I suspect that many liturgy blogs don't want a reform of the reform of the untraditional Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. They want the traditional Extraordinary Form Mass and they want it in Latin as it has been and they want it that way now and forever and not just as extraordinary but as normative for the entire Church. They want the Ordinary Form suppressed. Thus the Anglican Ordinariate's "Divine Worship, the Missal" isn't what they want and they still think it is a product of bad old Vatican II.

In other words, they do not accept Vatican II because it is "just" a pastoral council. However, they don't accept the Magisterium's authority to legislate for the Church even based upon a pastoral council. That's heterodox!

Sacrosanctum Concilium as with all the documents of Vatican II are authoritative even though most are not "infallible and thus immutable." However, most of the documents of Vatican II contain infallible, immutable teachings handed down in continuity with the Church of the period in which Vatican II took place.

It is completely absurd to dismiss Vatican II and of course the laity (prior to Vatican II as well as afterward) have no authority whatsoever to do so, none, nadda, nulla, niente!

Yes, in the areas of non-infallible teaching, in the areas of pastoral judgements or programs and in the areas of Vatican II that are formulated in response to what was happening in the world at that time and events that led up to that point in time, the laity can question and the Magisterium of the Church can correct or modify. The laity, as the pre-Vatican II Church taught, cannot act as the Magisterium even if invoking the sensuum fideli! And it is erroneous to believe that the post-Vatican II Church allows the laity to manipulate the teachings of the Church and to pick and choose canonical authoritative decisions as if in a cafeteria. This applies to the so-called orthodox as it does to the clearly heterodox. 

Thus Vatican II's document Sacrosanctum Concilium ordered that the liturgical books of the Church be revised according to the principles it set forth. These principles though are conservative and not wide-ranging. However, Consilium which was the committee that Pope Paul VI set up to implement the conservative agenda of Sacrosanctum Concilium went way beyond what the fathers of Vatican II desired for the Liturgy.

However, Pope Paul VI, exercising his legitimate authority as the Supreme Pontiff authorized the contrived, untraditional liturgy of Consilium as Pope Benedict would later call it. Thus it became law.

While Pope Paul did not suppress the traditional liturgy altogether, he did forbid parishes after the First Sunday of Advent 1969 from celebrating it as a normative Mass in parishes and convents and monasteries. We can now with 20/20 hindsight see the imprudence of this authoritative decision but we have no authority to say Pope Paul VI had no authority to do what he did even though we might object to this, that or the other.

Acting under his own authority as Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict in continuity with his "reform in continuity" agenda lifted the complete ban on the EF Mass and other sacramental celebrations allowing any priest anywhere without his bishop's permission to celebrate this form of the Liturgy. 

SC simply called for "noble simplicity" and for maintaining the Latin but allowing for some vernacular and it asked for a lectionary that used Scripture more lavishly. I think it is fair game to call the 1969's (70's) Missal a perversion of what Vatican II requested.

And that brings us to the reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. We have seen a very organic although slow reform of the reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass take place since 1969. Slow to be sure but it happened and continues to happen. I would say that the revision of the GIRM in 2002 was a major reform of the reform as was the new and glorious translation of the Latin into English in Advent a few years back.

And now we have the Anglican Ordinariate's Divine Worship, the Missal that may well be the template for our own Ordinary Form's revision (not the English that is used, but the order and additional options from the EF's Missal that it incorporates as well as its splendid revision of the Ordinary Form's Roman Calendar keeping the best of the EF's Calendar).

How does Divine Worship: the Missal actually implement SC and in a more literal way?

1. Noble simplicity is maintained but not dumbing down as in our Ordinary Form. The only useless repetition that is removed from the EF order of Mass is the double Communion Rites for priest first and then laity. That's it.

2. Since it is an Anglican (English) tradition Missal, Latin is not excluded because most the of the prayers in the Order of the Mass (apart from the peculiarly Anglican additions here and there) but there is no Latin version of this Missal. But Latin is  already available in the Ordinary Form's Latin Missal. But no Latin is prescribed which I would say is unfaithful to SC.

3. The more lavish use of Scripture in the lectionary is maintained from our Ordinary Form.

4. The Missal presumes Ad Orientem as does the EF; it does not presume facing the people although as in the EF it is not actually forbidden.

5. Kneeling for Holy Communion is clearly an option as it is in our revised 2010 Missal and GIRM.

So let us rejoice at the ongoing organic reform of the Ordinary Form of the form of the Mass. Divine Worship, the Missal is a splendid culmination or better yet, ongoing example of organic development in this reform.


Anonymous said...

Starting on the Fourth Sunday of Advent an Anglican use parish will take over a closed church nearby. I intend to go but only after the former Italian parishioners return to their former church....and then leave again once they see that the usual nonsense isn't going to happen here. Once they leave again I intend to go. Although I appreciate Latin very much I also love understanding the prayers in my own language. So we will see.

GenXBen said...

It'd be great if there was an Ordinariate parish close by. If there was I might start attending Mass there. The closest one is an hour away and I attended back in the Pastoral Provision days when it was using the Book of Divine Worship and it was heavenly. I imagine the new Anglican Ordinariate Missal is similar.

But since the closest parish is so far away, this new development is basically irrelevant to me. There's a new sheriff in town and the heady days of the reform-of-the-reform are over. We're stuck with what we have and lucky to hold on to even that for the next few years at least. So I feel happy for the Ordinariate faithful, but their books have as much relevance to me as those of the Eastern Catholic Churches. It's for them, not me.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind, though, it was Pope Francis who approved this Missal and it has a forward in it from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Pope Francis' appointee. Keep in mind too that it was Pope Francis who ordered that the name St. Joseph be inserted into all the Eucharistic Prayers (not just the Roman Canon). Keep in mind too, that Pope Francis has made only small changes to the liturgy at St. Peter's since arriving and that has to do with simpler tastes in vestments and placing the six candles on the altar (as well as the 7th one) in a position that is less obtrusive for television, etc. He also continues to use the central crucifix on the altar albeit a bit shorter and more eye level for his use. But he does look at it when celebrating Mass as all priests should. Also the Sistine Choir has greatly improved since the beginning of his pontificate and they have lovely choir stalls now.

GenXBen said...

Father McDonald (I also like the idea of "Mac Daddy" :) )

What you say is undeniably true. However, it is also undeniably true that whatever halting movements away from the unholy trinity of Marty Haugen, David Hass and Bernadette Farrell in our parish and diocese have come to a screeching halt and even been rolled back. We even had bells at the consecration for a year or so until the new wind came a-blowing. I expect giant puppets any day now.

Who can explain it? We have a Pope who models reverent liturgy and the impression received in our local clime is that Rome wants us to go back to the hootenany liturgy. And while I possibly commit a sin of envy when I see your gloriously restored altar railing, our church building -- sorry! "worship space" -- is still a bland box. I've given up on the idea that my lifetime will see a new church built in my diocese that actually looks like a church.

Again, I really do wish that an Ordinariate Parish would open up close by. Anglican's are accused of believing in the doctrine of sola bonum saporem: Salvation by good taste alone, but I could use some of that once in a while.

Mark Thomas said...

In stark and unfortunate human terms, the Ordinariates are irrelevant to 99.999999 percent of Catholics. Irrelevant in the sense that it's almost certain that the majority of Catholics have never heard of the Ordinariates. Ordinariate parishes/Masses are so few that they are basically invisible to the majority of Catholics.

My heritage is Latin and Eastern Catholic. I have met few brothers and sisters within the Latin Church who have any real understanding of Eastern Catholicism. Millions of Eastern Catholics are pretty much invisible to the majority of Catholics (the majority being Latin). Imagine the anonymity that the Ordinariates posses within the Church!

Now, in regard to the lack of interest in Divine Worship throughout the Catholic Blogosphere...

Liberal bloggers push the narrative that His Holiness Pope Francis is one of them...he's radical, overthrowing the "old" Church, and in regard to liturgy, he despises (supposedly) majestic worship.

The Divine Worship Missal of Pope Francis has shattered that narrative. Therefore, why would liberal bloggers call attention to that fact by calling attention to Divine Worship.

Traditional bloggers also push the narrative that Pope Francis is a radical, hates "true" Catholics and majestic liturgy, and is determined to overthrow Catholicism. Therefore, why would Traditionalists call attention to Divine Worship as said Missal destroys their narrative about Pope Francis?

Such leading Traditionalist blogs as Rorate Caeli are too busy with...




You think said folks have any desire to promote something as holy and positive as Pope Francis' Divine Worship Missal?


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald and Vox Cantoris are about the only leading Catholic bloggers I've found who have promoted and discussed Divine Worship. Are there other leading bloggers who have followed suit? Thanks.


Mark Thomas

Dymphna said...

1. The Anglican Ordinariate is a small alien group that most Catholics know nothing about.
2. Things have gotten so bad people are talking about staying home on Sunday or going over to a large alien group, the Orthodox.
3. The Anglican Ordinariate has pretty much been a bust.

Victor W said...

I am hoping that someone in the suitable position will start a petition asking Cardinal Sarah that the use of this Missal be allowed by any priest in any English speaking dioceses in the world.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think many are missing the point. While this book is for a small number in the Ordinariate, this Missal is a massive work to produce and through the collaboration of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith. Apart of the Anglican patrimony parts, this Missal is basically a reform in continuity missal envisioned by Pope Benedict, although Pope Francis ultimately approved it.

It has to be the thinking of the two congregations that worked on it for the Anglican Ordinariate that our own Missal could reflect this Missal.

We wouldn't need the old English translation. But how the Sundays are named, the Septuagesima restoration, the Requiem restorations, the ember days and the refinement of the Calendar, all these could easily be added to our Missal, all of them, to include EF style rubrics etc. All that is needed is an appendix and an updating of our current Missal.

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

"We wouldn't need the old English translation. But how the Sundays are named, the Septuagesima restoration, the Requiem restorations, the ember days and the refinement of the Calendar, all these could easily be added to our Missal, all of them, to include EF style rubrics etc. All that is needed is an appendix and an updating of our current Missal."

Indeed, things like the triple striking of the breast at the Confiteor, the traditional bows and signs of the Cross during the Gloria and Creed, and the traditional rubrics of the Canon could be quite easily reinserted into the prayers with the 2011 translation, since they all follow the formatting of the Latin very closely now. The names that have been taken out, like the Blessed Virgin, Sts. Peter and Paul, and others, could also be easily reinserted into the Confiteor and the Embolism of the Our Father, without altering the translation.

Mark Thomas said...

Here is a revolutionary idea: How about we request our bishops to obey Vatican II in regard to the use Latin (and Gregorian Chant) during Mass.

That would be a good beginning toward the restoration of sound liturgy within the ***Latin*** Church.


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

Restoring Septuagesima would entail altering the Lectionary for the three Sundays of Ordinary Time preceding Ash Wednesday, altering the Missal to restore the Collects etc., and altering the Graduale Romanum which rearranged the chants in 1974 to accommodate the new calendar (and to some extent the new Lectionary).

As regards the traditional rubrical gestures, most of these were removed in the years 1965-1967. Divine Worship is allowed to ignore the GIRM regarding the Canon, although it uses the revised form of words (including the novel 'memorial acclamations'). What about the rest of the Mass? Will we see a gradual adoption of the other traditional rubrics?

It can be argued that the Novus Ordo badly needs a rubrical overhaul; the General Instruction is too general, and veers off into areas like church architecture and furnishings which are always contentious - think of the 19th century 'rood screen controversy'. Already there is, in more traditional parishes, the maxim 'if in doubt, follow the tradition of the Roman Rite'. The last Pontifical Mass I attended was in the so-called Ordinary Form but was in Latin, ad apsidem, and included a lot of the older ceremonial. The Archbishop, who happens to be the local Ordinary, took it in his stride; I suspect he quite enjoyed it.

What might appear to be a small change has wider ramifications. The movers and shakers behind the Novus Ordo wanted to make it sufficiently different from the older Rite as to ensure that the two rites could not coexist. Summorum Pontificum said in effect that they could. But convergence is not easily achievable.

John Nolan said...

The New Liturgical Movement blog has had articles on the Ordinariate Missal, and a video of an address by Archbishop di Noia. Don't forget Fr Hunwicke's excellent blog, although since I am no classicist I often find myself reaching for the Latin dictionary! Next year I am minded to sign up for the intensive residential Latin course he runs under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society.

The Ordinariate is bound to have more significance in England, where the CofE is by law established, whose senior bishops sit in Parliament, and whose culture is part of national identity. Traditionally-minded Catholics can network easily - even the remotest part of England is but a few hours' drive away. I actually have a choice of three or four churches within a 40 minute drive which offer the traditional Mass every Sunday. I sing at three of them.

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas, it is indeed false mercy that admits divorced Catholics to receive communion without recourse to an annulment. Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Sarah and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have pointed that out many times. They are hardly what you would call traditionalists. Therefore, Rorate are merely highlighting what these good bishops have said.

When I read your posts I think you are one mixed up guy, sorry to have to say it, because it seems that your passion for Pope Francis overrides any sensibility you might have in being able to acknowledge where he is concretely wrong.

While undoubtedly the Anglican Ordinariate missal is an improvement on the Novus Ordo, traditionalists are interested in promotion of the EF Mass. I don't see the Ordinariate bloggers promoting, for example, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. I don't see Novus Ordo bloggers promoting, by and large, the Ordinary Form of the Mass, so what is the problem? I think it just has to be accepted that people do have preferences and different forms of the Mass uplift and edify different Catholics, just as some enjoy the contemporary feel of the Novus Ordo Mass and find that uplifting, others of us find the Extraordinary Form of the Mass uplifting and edifying.

We have enough difficulty now finding enough priests to offer the Mass to satisfy the growing demand, let alone be worried about what the Ordinariate are doing. We also now have the Bishops of England and Wales wanting to change the prayer of Pope Benedict for Good Friday in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on which the International Federation Una Voce has issued a good press release against:

Rood Screen said...

If restoration of reverence is simply an impossibility in territorial parishes of the Western Church, then maybe there should be some sort of ordinariate or personal prelature created for those Catholics of the Latin Rite who simply desire to worship God reverently.