Monday, March 6, 2017


The EF Mass today is for an elite group of Catholics who seek it out, similar to those who prefer a charismatic Mass. Neither appeal to the "masses!"

Thus the refinement of the Ordinary Form of the Mass languishes when traditionalists demand something that will never replace the Ordinary Form. It is a pipe dream to believe that this would be possible.

The vast majority of the "masses" would not mind the EF Mass if properly catechized. But what they would mind is a completely Latin Mass (in either form!) Thus the vernacularization of the EF Mass might find the "masses" appreciating this form of the Mass.

The vast majority of the "masses" are not opposed to lectors and altar servers of either sex. To remove these options altogether in today's world is not adviseable. This only appeals to the traditionalists elite!

So the focus by far must be on the Ordinary Form of the Mass's refinement.

I find it interesting that liturgical progressives on hearing in person what Pope Francis said on Saturday about modern liturgical vernacular music believe that these words were placed in the mouth by a traditionalist ghost writter.

This is what Paul Inwood who wrote the banal, superficial, mediocre hymn for the Year of Mercy sung at every Vatican Mass, said on a PRAYTELL combox very recently about these words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis:

The Holy father went on to say, “Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations.”

Paul Inwood's comment:

As someone who was present when Pope Francis gave his address, I can tell you that there was much speculation afterwards about who had drafted it for him…

We cannot rely upon the likes of Paul Inwood and Praytell to lead the way into the liturgical future, for it will mean more of the same mediocrity, superficiality and banality that has prevailed!

What is needed for the refinement of the Ordinary Form of the Mass and its refinement is not a discussion on the Holy Father's ghost writter, but actual implementation of the Ordinary Form's refinement.

And it is here that Mass at St. Peter's, inside or outside, are the template under this current pope. What is it that parishes should immolate?

1. The Propers in Latin as well as the Kyrie in Greek, the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin are always chanted and the congregation is encouraged to join and do because the Vatican offers slick program booklets in the thousands for the congregation to do so. The Holy Father, though, normally (but not always) uses Italian for His Holiness' parts of the Mass.

2. The Roman Missal of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite must be revised according to the template of the Ordinariate's Divine Worship, the Missal (a photo of a page of this missal which heads this post) which includes the EF's form of the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons on the same page with the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Post Communion Prayer. The current OF Missal does not include the Offertory Antiphon or the traditional form of the Introit!

3. Clearly the Roman Missal's refinement must include also the Ordinariate's options for the Prayers at the Foot of the. Altar, reordering of the Introductiory Rite to mimic the EF's and allowance for the traditional form of the Offertory Rite, rubrics similar to the EF for the Roman Canon and other Eucharistic Prayers and the option of a silent Canon! Kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue must be restored if authentic reverence for Holy Communion is to be recovered!

It is a pipe dream, though, to think the revised lectionary will be ditched and Latin used exclusively in the Ordinary Form's refinement!


Anonymous said...

What???! What are you talking about. The refinement of the Oridnary Form. How about we start with priests actually doing what the red says and saying the black in the missal of Paul VI? I have attended the Novus Ordo Mass every week for my entire life and not once have I ever experienced the Mass as written in the missal. Some priest will always think he knows better and change, delete or add whatever he wants. And the Traditional Mass that was the only Mass known to countless millions of Catholics for centuries is suddenly relegated to some imagined elitist ghetto. Seriously?

I for one would be happy if my parish priest cared enough to put on a pair of pants and shoes and took a bath before he said Mass instead of showing up in flip flops shorts, looking a mess and saying Mass with absolutley NO reverence whatsoever. He can't even bother to elevate the consecrated host and chalice with two hands or genuflect.

Where did all this do it yourself stuff come from. For centuries the actions of the priest we very deliberate. Now we are lucky if the priest actually says the words of consecration. And the pope doesn't help.

Rood Screen said...


This is about much more than rubrics and hygiene. Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the spirits of wickedness in high places. The devil leads all the distractions manifesting themselves in the Sacred Liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Father. Word on the Borgo is that Francis has a secret commission of "Catholics" and various Protestants devising a brand new "Mass" that can be celebrated by anyone. And don't worry about the use of the word "all" or "many" being used in the consecration. Apparently the words of Christ Himself, the words of consecration, will not be included in the new " Eucharistic prayer". I know, I know that Benedict approved a Eucharistic prayer that is similar. I know. And apparently our current concept of parishes will be gone replaced by community center type places that have a revolving Catholic or Protestant minister taking turns saying "Mass". Oh and we are supposed to have women deacons by November. So I am sure that good Pope Francis and his comments on music will be adhered to by all.

Anonymous said...

"Thus the refinement of the Ordinary Form of the Mass languishes when traditionalists demand something that will never replace the Ordinary Form."

Well, the EF has certainly replaced the OF for me--not having attended a Sunday OF Mass since the Sunday in 2007 preceding the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, nor (God willing) expecting ever to attend one again.

But it's a valid question whether the ready availability of the EF in many places has not removed from the OF precisely those who might provide the most impetus for its revitalization.

Michael said...

Father, I have to disagree with you that the TLM crowd is that much of a "minority." Take my family for example. My dad never had any interest in the EF, and thus, we never made it our standard Mass. Same situation with another family that's friends of ours. Well, after a modernist new pastor at our previous church began rolling back certain positive liturgical changes, the friend-family went to the EF to test it out, and they loved it. They convinced my dad, who still had zero interest whatsoever, to try it, and after two Masses, he was sold and loves the EF now.

I think the EF really does "spread by example," even to the most unlikely of people.

TJM said...


You are on to something. The biggest road block to a wider use of the EF are lazy priests and bishops who don't want to make the effort. I guess they are happy with the status quo, e.g., dwindling congregations.

rcg said...

How have the Trad Minority prevented or even influenced the reverent execution of the OF?

Anonymous said...


Here's how. There are several young TLM priests stationed at parishes within driving distance. Hence I could attend a reverently celebrated OF Mass anytime I want to. Just go to one of their OF Masses. Where, incidentally, I'm likely to hear the Roman Canon than the deeply non-Roman EP II which most orthodox young priests avoid.

Indeed, I suspect that's the only way the OF will be pulled out of the ditch it's in. Not from the top down, but from the bottom up via these young priests replacing the malformed priests ordained in the 70s and 80s.

TJM said...


You nailed it! The young priests who did not experience the liturgical wars and were not malformed in lefty seminaries will usher in a renewed Church.

In my opinion, Vatican II should have been limited to addressing problems in Europe where practice of the Faith was declining. In contrast to Europe, the Church in the US was vibrant and enjoyed great prestige and I suspect the Church was doing fine elsewhere other than continental Europe. In many respects the Church is still Eurocentric, hence, the often stupid and racist attacks by certain German cardinals on the African hierarchy.

rcg said...

I enjoy being a straight man for that comment, Henry. A surprising thing happened in our deanery when the FSSP moved in. The other parishes hunkered down. In fact the Chaplin for the local Knights of Columbus wrote a letter to local city paper criticizing the Latin Mass and has been very intractable when encountering ideas such as a Fish Fry for Fridays, he supports the Steak Dinner. I suspect this is due almost solely to embarassment at how inadequate their knowledge of Catholic teaching and Liturgy often is.

If I were to offer one bit of advice to any "stable groups" is approach your pastor with great respect and support and leave any resentment and criticism of the NO back home.

Anonymous said...

Since "hearing" the EF requires far, far less from a pew sitter than "participation" in the OF, it is not surprising that some with "zero interest" may prefer it.

John Nolan said...

'The masses' do not attend Mass anyway. The so-called EF does not replace anything - it is simply the classic Roman Rite which was never abrogated. For a long time the only recourse for traditionally-minded Catholics was a 'Tridentinized' Novus Ordo Mass so when the 'real thing' became available it is hardly surprising that most would prefer it. There is no evidence that this preference militates against the NO being celebrated in a worthy manner.

There is no demand whatsoever for a vernacular EF since those who prefer English to Latin are well catered for in the OF. The rush to vernacularize in the 1960s led to the debasement of sacred music, something that the Pope specifically alluded to.

Can someone tell me how having lay readers increases actual participation? It's still one person reading and the rest listening. As for female servers, unless one is a pushy parent who wants to see little Penelope flicking her hair and examining her nails in he sanctuary, it's a non-issue. Parishes with a 'refined' Novus Ordo tend to eschew them.

The Introit and Communion Antiphon in the OF Missal are for use only when the Mass is not sung. Otherwise these chants are to be found (along with the Offertory which is properly a responsory, not an antiphon) in the 1974 Graduale Romanum. The interlectionary chants (Gradual and Alleluia/Tract) as published in the Graduale may replace those in the Lectionary.

Sixty years ago, when Mass attendance was far higher than it is today, I don't recall 'the masses' refusing to attend because it was in Latin, or agitating for the 'right' to read the epistle or distribute Communion. In fact, the very things that Father McDonald seems to regard as sacrosanct and non-negotiable would have been regarded as scandalous.

Charles G said...

And then you have people like Prof. Kwasniewski and New Liturgical Movement who say nothing should be legislated to reform the Ordinary Form in a traditional direction. According to such, the Catholic faithful should be forced to endure less optimal liturgy because the OF is the poor stepchild that should be forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 4:55, surely you jest. A monkey can participate in the OF. It takes intellect, knowledge, faith, and zeal to participate in the EF. The proof is in the pudding. Catholics with the glorious OF by and large no longer believe in the Real Presence something which would have been unthinkable with the EF Mass goers. Moreover, oh ignorant one, I could chant 5 Latin Ordinaries by heart by the time I was 10, and I was not alone. Our normative Sunday Mass was a Missa Cantata, far superior to the typical dreck offered up at today's OF.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Too bad you can't deliver an address outlining your points to our brain dead hierarchy, although I doubt they would understand it. They are too invested in failure.

John Nolan said...

Since the Novus Ordo was legislated into existence there is no reason why it cannot be changed, or even rescinded, in the same manner. This does not apply to the classic Roman Rite.

Attempts by Rome to remove the abuses which have plagued the NO since its inception (Inaestimabile Donum, Redemptionis Sacramentum) have had no effect. Some abuses have been retrospectively legitimized.

The best we can hope for is that bishops take a more active role in promoting sound liturgical practice in their dioceses. They know there is a problem, but they are reluctant to address it for a number of reasons. Not least of these is the fact that parish life is dominated by middle-aged, middle-class activists who would resist any interference with the status quo. Also, any bishop who sticks his neck out cannot count on the support of his confrères in the national Conference.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

You are pointing out what many of us have long known, most bishops are cowards, timeservers, who are not worthy of their office. There are a few refreshing exceptions, but not many, unfortunately.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Dear Father:

Perhaps I misunderstood your post, but you seem to be saying that those devoted to the Traditional Latin Mass are, by reason of that very devotion, somehow culpable for the problems in the Ordinary Form.

If that was what you meant to say, I must disagree.

Many of those who are attending the TLM were driven there by uncharitable, "unpastoral" priests and bishops who turned a deaf ear to the wishes of these faithful Catholics, to have reverent liturgy. Yes, some TLM adherents were always about the older Mass from the beginning, but many others have gone over to the TLM as a refuge from so much nonsense in so many parishes. And, while it's true that some portion of adherents to the TLM can be faulted for various things (as can we all), I think it should not be overlooked how very badly treated they were for a long time.

What's more, I would say that the devotion to the Extraordinary Form, even if it is, and always will be, a very small movement, has had far more positive effects on the celebration of the Ordinary Form than negative -- although I can see why people might think otherwise. At one time, I might have said as much myself, but I see it otherwise, now.

This is a very interesting subject, and could occasion a very fruitful, friendly debate, on the following proposition: the spread of the EF of the Mass has been good (or bad) for the quality of the OF.

TJM said...

Fr. Fox,

Good to see you posting. As someone who grew up before Vatican Disaster II, I note the following:

My parish had wonderful liturgies. Our normative Mass on Sunday was the Missa Cantata and I could chant 5 Latin ordinaries by heart by the age of 10.

I was shocked when the liturgical "renewal" began because from my experience it was unnecessary (of course it was unnecessary to me because our parish was doing all of the right things and folks were properly catechized)

Most priests (not all) were very high handed and arrogant in introducing the reforms. I suggested to my pastor at the time, why not retain one EF on Sunday as we always did it and unfold the changes at other Masses. He would not hear of it. I sometimes wonder if the reason this did not occur was because the deforms would have not taken old and people would have become frustrated and returned to the EF they were used to and the deform would have flopped. In my family, two of my Church going uncles grew frustrated and stopped going to Mass. I am sure that was not unusual at all but the Church didn't seem to recognize this phenomenon or simply did not care (I guess the 1 sheep didn't matter since they foolishly believed they had the other 99)

I do believe that if a priest is trained to celebrate the EF it would have a positive effect on his ars celebrandi with the OF. However, the biggest problem with the OF is that there are too many options, so the Mass can look and feel radically different depending on the taste of the celebrant. In my view, that is NOT a good thing.

rcg said...

I like the idea of a discussion about the mutual effects of the two on each other from the perspective of a layman.

Anonymous said...

What I think is happening is that the few who would like a reverently offered Novus Ordo Mass now find they are hopelessly out numbered and that the vast majority want the Mass as down to earth and touchy feely as they can get it, so they are blaming those who prefer attending the EF for the problems with the OF.

I was once of the view that a reverent Novus Ordo Mass offered following the rubrics would be all I would need. However, after attending the TLM a few times, I found that a reverently offered OF Mass, even said ad orientam, lacks the spirituality of the EF. I can see the outline of the NO Mass in the TLM but it has just been so totally gutted that there is almost nothing left. There are very few OF Masses where you ever get the sense of sacrifice. Many of the good younger priests - although sticking to the rubrics - actually hold the host up to their chests and some even with one hand - there is no offering of the sacrifice to the Father - just a showing of the host to the people, so all you are looking at in a sense is the priest's chest.

Having witnessed the changes in the Church over the years and the loss of spirituality among Catholics, I now consider that it is tied to the changes in the Mass. Pope Benedict knew what he was doing when he gave the Church Summorum Pontificum. No one is wanting to impose the EF Mass on anyone - in fact it happened the other way around. The NO was inflicted on Catholics who never wanted it and never wanted Mass in the vernacular. Those Catholics held on for many years putting up with banal liturgy so they can't be blamed for going to the EF when they can. The OF of the Mass is simply not feeding the people because the readings have all been stripped as well. The Church failed to heed the cardinal rule - whether by accident or with intention - don't mend what ain't broke and paid the price.