Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Mass II and Mass I:

Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB muses on what to call what was formerly referred to as the Extraordinary Form Mass. All the various names for the two different rites seem to fall short or are contrived or too clumsy. 

Why not just call both rites the Mass? Perhaps we could contrive “Rite I Mass and Rite II Mass” or to simplify, Mass I and Mass II.

What shall we call the pre-Vatican II Mass now?


Tom Marcus said...

An online dictionary defines "Extraordinary" as "very unusual or remarkable." Some of the synonyms for extraordinary include "remarkable", "astonishing", "exceptional", "amazing" and "astounding". The Traditional Mass was the regular norm of Catholic worship for at least 1600 years so, in that respect, it hardly seems "extraordinary". Yet compared to the Novus Ordo, it is remarkable, exceptional and, for some first-timers, astounding.

The definition for "Ordinary" is "with no special or distinctive features". Synonyms include, "usual", "normal", "typical", "common" and "day-to-day". I would also add another synonym, "banal"--which is defined as "so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring." I think a lot of us find the Novus Ordo to be banal, but maybe a lot of Catholics find Low Traditional Masses equally banal. But here's the difference: The Traditional Low Mass retains an air of mystery and reverence that priests often miss with the Novus Ordo unless they are fastidiously precise. It's too easy for the Novus Ordo to slip away into non-liturgical territory.

The legacy of both these Masses confirms this. Even the folks at the National Catholic Reporter will admit that us "rigid" Catholics have more consistent Mass attendance and a stricter attitude about sin. If one looks at the world, it's easy to see that the lack of concern or restraint about sinful behavior has had horrible consequences, to the point where we are inverting morality as a society. You won't find Traditional Catholics doing the James Martin thing or escorting women at abortion clinics.

I've always believed that Poor Pope Benedict was doing a verbal back-flip in inventing the term "extraordinary form". We can say they are essentially the same all we like, but the end result from both Masses tends to be drastically different, as different as the two sides in the Church's civil war.

Perhaps we could call the older form "The Mass" and the Novus Ordo "The Project". I'll let anyone reading this decide how successful the project has been.

ByzRus said...

Well, we Byzantines have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great; how about Holy Mass of St. John XXIII and St. Paul XI?

Pierre said...

Tom Marcus,

"The Project" has been a flop. Only in the religious realm would such a failure be permitted to continue. In a free market system, it would have been long gone.

Anonymous said...

Good idea, Father. Episcopal Church has their Eucharist Rite 1 and Rite 2, with 1 closer to the OF version. The traditional version in their denomination is Rite 1, the more "comtemporary" Rite 2.

qwikness said...

Ding Ding Ding We have a winner. ByzRus nailed it! If we can have the various other liturgies from the many other Rites. Why not have the Tridentine Rite? What's the prob?

John said...

@ quikness and ByzRus

Agreed. Holy Mass of St. John XXIII and St. Paul VI.

Pierre said...

Father McDonald,

I think you will find this article of interest, written by a recent graduate of Franciscan University of Stuebenville:

UK-Priest said...

John 3:10pm said: “ Agreed. Holy Mass of St. John XXIII and St. Paul VI.”

Wrong, there is only one Mass. Therefore it should read as the Rite of St Paul VI (or similar).

Pierre said...


Tell that to the Eastern Rites, the Dominican Rites, etc. You are really off your game this morning, K.

Stacheman said...

For now, I most like Traditional Latin Mass. The old Mass is "traditional" by any common definition of the word. Even if the new Mass is grounded in tradition or part of the tradition of the Catholic Church now, it is still "new" in comparison. I also feel like it is the most neutral term, at least as it is used by most people.

I would be cool with "Rite I and Rite II" eventually, but such a solution would require the publication of new liturgical books, IMO, that once and for all dispel the idea that "Rite I" is not in conformity with Vatican II. That would require actual compromise.

John Nolan said...

Put 'Latin Mass' if the NO is intended, and 'Latin Mass (1962)' if the older rite is meant. When the Anglican church advertises 'Holy Communion (1662)' no one is in any doubt as to what to expect.

Pierre said...

UK - Priest,

Too embarrassed to respond?

UK-Priest said...

Pierre - no need to respond as I clearly made my point and your retort made little sense.

There is no “new mass” or “old mass”.
There is no “Tridentine mass” or “modern mass”.

The mass has not changed but the rite of mass has.

These are facts.