Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Now that the 1962 Missal can be celebrated by any priest in the world, if that priest has some working knowledge of Latin and its proper pronunciation) is it possible that there could develop organically liturgical things associated with the Ordinary Form that are approved by Rome?

For example, Pope Benedict stated immediately that the readings of the Mass could be done in the vernacular and some thought that he also indicated the new Lectionary could be used--why not? I've heard of the OF's lectionary being used at an EF Mass to keep the readings the same in the same parish where the two forms of the one Latin Rite are celebrated.  I suspect too, that some might use the EF's lectionary for the OF, such as for Septuagesima and other seasons suppressed in the OF. 

From the negative point of view, could there also be liturgical abuses? We all know the liturgical abuses of the Ordinary Form that continue to happen despite Rome's appeal time and time again that these cease. And when it comes to "inculturation" just what constitutes liturgical abuse. Dancing in Africa has a cultural connotation not associated with romance or sexual foreplay as it is associated frequently in the west.

Now that the 1962 Missal is no longer held hostage in the liturgical museum of history, has anyone experienced liturgical abuse associated with it similar to what we see with the 1962 missal in Elvis Presley's famous movie above, "A Change of Habits?"

For example have you experienced in the celebration of the EF Mass the following? 

1. Chants accompanied by guitar or the use of other instrumentation for the Mass, orchestral instrumentation? Piano? 

2. Vernacular readings using the modern lectionary?

3. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, male or female?

4. Holy Communion under both sacred Species? 

5. EF Mass facing the congregation?

6. Altar girls?

7. Also, I saw a French video of a High EF Mass in a packed church (its on the internet) where a lay person read the Scriptures as the priest said these quietly at the altar--what about that and using a female to do it, has anyone seen that? 

Has anyone seen any kind of liturgical abuse or organic development based upon Ordinary Form allowances in an EF?

I've already stated that at our EF High Mass at our normal 12:10 PM Mass people kneel at the altar railing with their arms crossed over their chest indicating a desire for a blessing in lieu of receiving our Lord's Precious Body and Blood. I see no problem with this organic development borrowed from the OF.


Vox Cantoris said...

All of it is an abuse an prohibited under Universae Ecclesiae!

Servimus Unum Deum said...

If I might interject Father, there is a problem with what you propose: both systems are different, and also adhere to different rules with regard to levels of importance of class or priority. The EF one is more complicated, with 4 levels of importance and even odd "Doubles" and stuff that do not exist in the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo ... Basically has "options" without class distinction, and even is loosey goosed with rules at times. Possible example, my archbishop this weekend or next, will be celebrating a liturgy to commemorate St Patrick, despite that his feast day is in March. This is apparently a tradition back many years in this parish. However in the EF, this wouldn't be conceivable.

Not to mention, the EF is a one year cycle, while the OF is a 3 year Sunday and 2 yr weekday cycle. Finally, we don't have collects for modern saints in the EF. What if as real examples in this world, parishes with the names of St Andre Bessette or St Kateri T. want to commemorate the saint as an option on the parish's feast day if EF rules allow it? Unless the Vatican cranks out Latin inserts for the EF missal in a region as in past, OR my priest is an expert Latinist and can make an unapproved collect for the saint, which may be problematic if priests are not allowed to ADD to a mass, even if it is a necessary part of the Mass. Also if a saint's feast day is chided there are specific readings of certain saints in the Novus Ordo AND the EF, or for the newer ones after 1962.

Finally, unless a future pope (I am not counting on Pope Francis to care that much about the Latin Mass on account of the Radicals Misrepresenting Traditonalists, as well as maybe newton the end of his papacy if you believe his sound bites and overall health), decides to make a Ecclesiae Unitatem or Summorum Pontificum Part II, this won't be legally OK from the top. And that means .... What about the Validity and Licetity of the Mass? If one as a priest decides to use the other form's readings in the Mass, or even though creates a perfect Latin collect for the Mass for a post 1962 saint but doesn't have legality to do it in a document, will that ruin a Mass for everyone and the priest? And of course the RMTs will slander and detract any priest doing that without the legal documents to allow such changes, and even then certain RMTs wil still ball and complain unless the Mass is the one of their youth, despite changes like Summorum Pontificum.

Seriously this is WAY too much to figure out on our own. We really need the CDF and the CDWDS to put their heads together on this one and do a joint proposal with the Pope's "divine" approval as Vicar of Christ on this one Father.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Abuse of the liturgy is demonic (when it is abuse). Unfortunately it happens. It happened prior to Vatican II and the Council of Trent did a marvelous job of cleaning up abuse liturgical and otherwise that had led to the Reformation.

Abuse happens of course in the OF mostly out of ignorance but also out of narcissism but also priests having been led astray by liturgical theologians who taught falsehood with authority.

So my post centers on on-going abuse but now that the 1962 Missal is more broadly allowed, I'd like to know if abuse occurs there, such as in the Elvis video.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with communion being distributed in both species at a Latin Mass?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is not allowed in the 1962 Missal.

John Nolan said...


Don't create problems where they don't exist. There are such things as Commons. St André Blessette would have a Mass of a Confessor not a Bishop, with his name inserted into the Collect where it has N. St Kateri Tekakwitha would have a Mass of a Virgin not a Martyr, likewise with her name inserted into the Collect. Since 1942 there has been the Common of One or More Holy Popes, which would be used for St John Paul II.

Fr McDonald,

Masses with orchestra are certainly allowed in the EF. So would Mass versus populum, in the unlikely event of anyone wanting it. The 1970 Lectionary (even in Latin) is not permitted. Reading of the epistle and gospel in the vernacular while the priest said them at the altar is probably something that was adopted in parts of Europe in the 1940s and 1950s, along with a commentator to read some of the Offertory prayers. A woman could presumably do this as long as she was outside the sanctuary. But now there is the option of the vernacular OF such things have outlived their usefulness (except, perhaps in the SSPX who don't do the OF).

Altar girls, EMHC, Communion in both kinds - not permitted. A lector was one of the minor Orders, but he would not chant the epistle; this was the subdeacon's role. However, at Solemn Mass on Ember Days he would chant the lessons which precede the epistle. Since laymen can substitute for acolytes, it follows that they can substitute for lectors (a lower Order), wearing choir dress.

The continuing existence of the OF will save the EF from abuses, since it attracts them like a magnet.

Rood Screen said...

The OF Mass is meant to be our way forward, so any reform or experimentation should be with it, and only with it. Reforming the EF Mass gives the impression that it could be a long-term part of the Roman liturgical tradition. The EF Mass should merely guide us in restoring reverence to the OF Mass, but should eventually fade away.

Dick Verbo said...

In Indianapolis at Holy Rosary parish, there are no such abuses in the celebration of the EF every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Why were guitars allowed to be played this weekend at the Cathedral, in Savannah? How irreverent! Ever heard of chanting? What about the RIDICULOUS placement of the celebrant's chair there? WHY front and center, where the Blessed Sacrament should be placed. I respectfully request that Bishop Hartmayer consider rearranging the sanctuary at St. John the Baptist, in Savannah. You served there in the 80's, Father McDonald. Were you front and center when you celebrated Mass there? Sorry, but the pictures I saw on Facebook of the guitars, this weekend, at the Cathedral got me stirred up.

John Nolan said...

Dialogue, I assume your last comment was meant to be facetious, ironic or tongue-in-cheek. What is misleadingly called the Extraordinary Form IS the Roman liturgical tradition. By all means celebrate the Novus Ordo reverently, but this is really a separate issue.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

John Nolan,

"Don't create problems where they don't exist." You could have said what you did without the rudeness. But yes that does make sense to use the general EF templates. However, should we proceed to a Latin Novus Ordo in wider distribution, or the so called "hybrid" Mass that's floating around as a rumour mill, my concerns are definitely valid. Fr.'s propositions could lead to this.

And don't tell me off in this time of Lent for asking valid questions. Direct your snark to Fr. AJM, who opened this can of worms and got me thinking, even possibly like a priest.

John Nolan said...


Don't be oversensitive. Avoiding loquacity and getting straight to the point does not amount to rudeness. This is a forum for the written word, not the spoken one. I understand 'snark' to be a North American colloquialism for sarcasm, and had I intended this I would have made it more obvious. You yourself have a propensity to hurl insults at groups of people you don't like, so remember the adage about people in glass houses.

What would be the problem in a Latin OF Mass? Any new Collects would be published first in Latin and only later translated.

Anonymous said...

And why isn't communion in both species allowed in the 1962 Missal? I guess it points out to a question posed in THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: 455 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, about differences in distribution of communion over the ages. The Orthodox point out that between themselves and Rome, the main difference for many centuries was denial of the cup to the laity. That was a point also brought up by the reformers in the 1500s.

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

It seems unrealistic to think the EF could ever overtake the OF in popularity. I know from personal observation that, given the choice, few Catholics choose the EF over the OF Mass. But more importantly, even if a future pope wished to move the whole Latin Church to the EF, I cannot see any practical way he could achieve such a thing.

Rood Screen said...


John is the most measured and balanced commentator here.

John Nolan said...


Given that only a rump of Catholics still attend Mass in any form, I don't think popularity comes into it. On the eve of the Council, when attendance was far higher, how many would have chosen to attend a Mass like the one celebrated in most parishes today?

The so-called EF is not 'the Mass of all time' - there is no such thing - but it connects us to a tradition which was ruptured in the 1960s. The fads, assumptions and dubious scholarship which held sway 50 years ago are now discredited. The cultural shift at the top will take time to percolate down, but it is noticeable that no bishops in England and Wales obstruct the older Rite, many encourage it, and an increasing number have celebrated it. A generation ago this would have been inconceivable.

I have also noticed that young educated Catholics now gravitate to more formal worship styles in terms of language, ritual and music, and this includes the EF. Increasingly this means the younger generation of priests. Older liberals have noticed this and don't like it one bit.

The purpose of the classic Roman Rite is not simply to help re-sacralise the Novus Ordo, and far from fading away it will be celebrated long after the NO in its present form has evolved or been reformed into something else, which may or may not be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

I have not experienced any abuses at the EF Mass except on two occasions a modern Monsignor who proclaims himself a "child of Vatican II" celebrated Mass facing the congregation - supposedly because there was a crib in front of the altar (which I was told by another priest that it is a liturgical abuse to have a crib in front of the altar).

I know there has been a definitive ruling on no altar girls and the statement from Ecclesia Dei in fact precludes everything that Fr McDonald raises, “the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the Sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962”: The following is taken from the Catholic Herald:

"The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has clarified that girls are not allowed to serve at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

It made clear that the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum, Universae Ecclesiae, does not permit female altar servers at the older Mass.

Universae Ecclesiae states “the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the Sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962”. Permission for female altar servers came with the Circular Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments of 1994. However, the rubrics of the 1962 Missal did not allow for females on the sanctuary during Mass.

The letter, signed by Mgr Guido Pozzo, Secretary of Ecclesia Dei, said that “permitting female altar servers does not apply to the Extraordinary Form”.

Anonymous said...

Dialogue, the Ordinary Form of the Mass was imposed on Catholics so it is just as easy for the Extraordinary Form to be imposed on Catholics if the Church chose to do so. It is unlikely to happen, though, because of the awareness now of the massive loss of the faithful through the imposition of the Ordinary Form when it hadn't been asked for or wanted by the majority of Catholics at the time.

Also, most Catholics aren't aware that communion in the hand is only an indult. The norm is to receive on the tongue. That could easily be changed and is happening in some dioceses now because of the abuses found in taking by hand.

The Ordinary Form of the Mass will die a natural death because it is not feeding the people and those who are looking for entertainment look for new and better forms of entertainment elsewhere.

The touted hybrid Mass will only ever have a following among conservative groups like the Opus Dei who are built on lay involvement. The vast majority of those who attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass are happy with it as it is and want Mass in the vernacular. On the other hand, the vast majority of those who attend the EF would not attend a hybrid Mass. Only those who are not aware of the theological differences between the OF and the EF may do.