Saturday, February 13, 2016


This is of course a solemn high Mass recently celebrated by Cardinal Burke. Although it is in Poland any priest prior to Vatican II could have gone to any country and celebrated the very same Mass he celebrated in his hometown and it would be exactly the same except of course for the homily that he would need a translator, but not the Mass itself. In other words, he would not need to be an expert in the Polish language or in any way be exposed to Polish in order to celebrate Mass to a packed church in Poland.

Please note that for the casual observer it is difficult to tell when the Mass actually begins and actually ends which is exactly as it is for the Divine Liturgy which is open ended and as though it has no beginning or end, quite mystical in this regard and shows how the EF Mass and Divine Liturgy come together in this regard.

Please note too how cultural developments over the ages led to different expressions in terms of the vestments, but very similar in high art and quality which the Orthodox have maintained to this day but the Latin Rite jettisoned over night with the new order Mass, inorganically in favor of low art and poor quality vestments devoid of ornamentation.  The same can be said about chant being jettisoned overnight and inorganically in favor of low art and poor quality music, something unheard of in the history of the Catholic Church, east or west!

The Cardinal also mentioned his – “very painful” as he emphasized – experiences connected with the consequences of liturgical reforms: the interior of the churches was re-ordered, with the most beautiful objects, especially the high-altars, removed. There was no longer careful attention paid to the sacred linens, vessels and vestments. It became common to hear “not very beautiful and often banal contemporary music. Latin was seldom or never heard. (...) A situation which was greatly aggravated by experimentations with the Rite never seemed to end”, he concluded.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Pontifical EF Mass is quite different and more elaborate for a bishop/cardinal than for a mere mortal priest. I find it a bit fussy and there are some peculiarities that I would not prefer to have.

But that is the point of humbly celebrating a Mass like this by the books. Take for example Pope Francis who would despise all the pomposity of this Pontifical Mass and perhpas sneer at it, but for him to "humiliate" himself by actually doing exactly what Cardinal Burke is doing in this form of the Pontifical Mass would truly be for Pope Francis an immense and authentic form of humility.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I do see too, that the good cardinal has jettisoned the cappa magna. I wonder if he was ordered to do so and humbly obeyed?

John Nolan said...

I would agree that the Pontifical High Mass is a bit 'fussy' and unless those who take part in it know exactly what they're doing it can be a bit shambolic. Simplification of the ceremonial (NOT the rite, which is the rite of Mass) would have been acceptable.

When bishops visited for Confirmation it was not done during Mass - few English parishes could have staged a PHM.

Mark Thomas said...

Cardinal Burke has for years supported the notions of the "reform of the reform" and "mutual enrichment" which, he believes will lead to the creation of "a new form of the Roman Rite".

"It seems, to me, that what he has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite — the ‘reform of the reform,’ if we may — all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent."

In what way(s) could the Novus Ordo possibly "enrich" the TLM? Would not a "new form of the Roman Rite" entail the "manufacture" of liturgy? That is, the Consilium process would be repeated. Liturgical "experts" would, with a Pope's approval, concoct a new Roman Rite.

A new Roman Rite would entail the manufacturing a new Rite. There isn't another way to form a "new" Roman Rite other than manufacturing said Rite. A "new" Roman Rite would be a Rite that was constructed artificially. Correct?

Let us suppose that Pope "A" approved a new Roman Rite. What would prevent Pope "B" from determining that the new Roman Rite required reforms. He could then authorize a new Roman Rite to replace the previous "new" Roman Rite.

Pope "C" comes along...determines that he can improve upon the new new Roman Rite...then authorizes a new, new, new Roman Rite.

Would the process of manufacturing new Roman Rites ever end?


Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have often wondered when Sacrosanctum Concilium asked for noble simplicity that it was actually referring to the Pontifical High Mass as celebrated in this video. I find even the Solemn High Mass to be a bit fussy too. But your normal High Mass or Low Mass seems to me to have a noble simplicity that the Ordinary Form Sung or spoken Mass doesn't have.

Mark Thomas said...

How can the TLM "enrich" the Novus Ordo when the majority of bishops and priests have made it clear that they despise the TLM and don't want anything to do with the TLM? I could quote any number of bishops who have insisted that the TLM had inflicted supposedly dreadful liturgy upon the Church.

The entire point of the Novus Ordo is that the Latin Church jettisoned the supposedly "dreadful" TLM in favor of the new Mass that had enriched supposedly the liturgical life of the Church. Even supposed "conservative" bishops present the Novus Ordo, as compared to the TLM, as the superior liturgy.

Archbishop Chaput, "conservative," said that in regard to the Novus Ordo versus the TLM, he has found "the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated, a much richer expression of worship...". (

Archbishop Cupich has maintained that the liturgical life of the Church was dreadful and in need of major liturgical reformation when the TLM was in place throughout the Latin Church.

Why would "liberal" and "conservative" Churchmen who insist that the Novus Ordo, as compared to the TLM, is superior liturgy, support a liturgical reform that would
enhance the Novus Ordo with "inferior" liturgical elements that belong to the "dreadful" TLM?

Year after year, the Novus Ordo drifts farther and farther away from the TLM. Just recently, even though it pertained to just day per year (Holy Thursday), His Holiness Pope Francis injected the liturgical abuse (as an option) of washing women's feet into the Novus Ordo Mass.

Rather than "traditionalize" the Novus Ordo, Pope Francis added yet another novelty (what had been a liturgical abuse) to said Mass. Again, step by step, the Novus Ordo continues to distance itself from the TLM.

News outlets reported last week that during his visit to Mexico, that Pope Francis would "present a decree that authorizes the use of indigenous languages during Mass. The Chiapas Mass itself would include readings and songs in three different indigenous languages."

How does that square with the TLM? How does that square with Pope Saint John XXIII's Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, which, in part, reads that "Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all."

I again wonder as to how the "reform of the reform" will take root official within the Church when with Rome's prompting, the Novus Ordo, step by step, continues to drift from the TLM.


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

'Your normal High Mass' is in fact the Solemn Mass. The Missa Cantata is essentially a compromise which allowed parishes, specifically in England and North America, to have some of the trappings of a Solemn Mass without deacon and subdeacon. Not until John XXIII's reign was this permission made universal.

Sacrosanctum Concilium is a flawed document which has Bugnini's grubby paw-prints all over it. It talks patronizingly of 'useless repetitions' without specifying them. The only useless repetitions I have come across are in the Novus Ordo. I shall name but three:
1. Praying for the Pope and Bishop in the Bidding Prayers and then again in the Eucharistic Prayer.
2. The response in the psalm, which makes some sense when it is sung but none at all when it is not.
3. The tiresome explanations and mini-homilies which serve to pad out what is otherwise an abbreviated, not to say etiolated rite.

TJM said...

"Bugnini'a grubby paw-prints!" A classic. He was an evil,classless man, who should never have been allowed anywhere near the Missale Romanum. I used to think the Novus Ordo was salvageable,but it's not. We need to toss the Bugnini Burger and go back to 1962 and revise the Missale Romanum with great care in light of what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually said not what faithless clerics puffed up with their own self-importance thought

George said...

Mark Thomas:
I went and read the article which you posted a link to in your comment. It was an interview done in 2011.

Here is what else Cardinal Burke said:

"Many Catholics now see that the Church’s “ordinary form” of Mass, celebrated in modern languages, 'could be enriched by elements of that long tradition.' ”

"In time, Cardinal Burke expects the Western Church’s ancient and modern forms of Mass to be combined in one normative rite, a move he suggests the Pope also favors." (the Pope he is referring to here is Benedict XVI, since Pope Francis would not be elected to the papacy until March of 2013)

As for your conjectures and suppositions, who knows what the liturgy of the Church will be like in fifty or one hundred years? We can only hope and pray that it will be celebrated properly, with due respect and reverence for Almighty God. We should hope that the Church in the future,in every time and place, is to be as it should be, and then that will be the case.

Anonymous said...

This is the Mass that will save our souls!!! His Grace Cardinal Burke is the new Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Cardinal Burke with the help of the Holy Ghost will be our next Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Folks, we can have the True Mass like this or we can have the "man made" Novus Ordo service with hand holding, kiss of peace, dancing girls, altar girlettes, lay lectors, giant puppets, drums, guitars, tambourines, folk, rock, mariachi, protestant music, communion in the hand and standing, polyester vestments with Velcro, felt banners, no statues, no crucifix, people wearing shorts, sandals, tank tops, such an easy decision, one is Roman Catholic the other is your guess.

John Nolan said...

'Who knows what the liturgy of the Church will be like in fifty or one hundred years?' If that question had been asked a mere hundred years ago, it would have made no sense whatsoever. Think about it.

George said...

John Nolan

Agreed. Its a testament to where we are now to even pose such a question. A hundred years ago ,few if any would have conceived that we would have the Mass that we have today. Right now, we seem to be in a period where things are playing out as far as the Vetus Ordo and Novus Ordo.

There will always be the Mass come what may, and I hope that as time goes on, after things has settled out, it will across the length and breath the Church be celebrated with the respect and reverence due to God, with any ad-libs and innovations being the rare anomaly.

Anonymous said...

Burke is a living Saint who walks among us, yet he is persecuted by his own, a real Prince of The Church.

John Nolan said...

Today, the First Sunday of Lent, is unusual in that the sung Propers are all taken from a single psalm, Ps 90. The Tract sets thirteen of the sixteen verses, takes up four pages of the Graduale Romanum and takes about thirteen minutes to sing. As a result it is commonly either psalm-toned or sung to a simple faux-bourdon; the Ordinariate could of course use Anglican chant (and the Coverdale translation).

However, this morning we opted to sing it as written (it is one of the oldest chants in the liturgy) alternating the verses between cantor and schola. No-one remarked on the length - but this was an EF Mass. I suspect that your average OF congregation would have been thoroughly perplexed, particularly since the available 'worship aids' do not have the texts of the Gregorian Propers. The excellent Gregorian Missal (Solesmes) does have texts, translations and notation, and the latest edition incorporates the new English translation of the Mass.

The week before, I attended an English OF, reverently done, ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, kneeling for Communion, music a mixture of hymns and the missal chants - even the St Michael prayer at the end. Nothing really to object to, but a completely different liturgical experience. Compared with the EF, it came across as excessively wordy and I found myself 'tuning out'. Prayer was difficult due to the absence of 'filled silence' which characterizes even the sung version of the Old Rite. But it is undeniable that people like it and it is what they are used to. I don't think I could face it week in, week out, but then I don't have to. By all means rethink some of the wilder aberrations (the NO Offertory rite is dreadful and according to Bouyer was forced through despite near-unanimous opposition) and mandate the Roman Canon for Sundays and Solemnities. Few would object. The calendar and Lectionary (you can't separate the two) need careful consideration and overhaul.

Music and the wider use of Latin (the two are connected) need to be handled sensitively. The one-size-fits-all approach to liturgy is dead, if not quite buried, and the EF needs to be offered every Sunday at a reasonable time in a good number of locations. This also cannot be done overnight. The prospect of another Missal to replace both OF and EF is neither likely nor desirable. The Ordinariate group in Oxford may have its particular Missal but it still offers the Tridentine Mass weekly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think Cardinal Burke will be the next Pope because the Church certainly needs a strong man like him to restore all things in Christ.

Gene said...

Jan, yeah, and I'm gonna' be doing brain surgery...

Anonymous said...

Jan I agree with you it will be Burke!!