Wednesday, July 28, 2021


 The UA Mass:

The UR Mass:

Even progressives in the Church are scratching their head at Pope Francis’ autocratic, authoritarian and just mean-spirited Motu Proprio. It does show, I think, the problem with progressives in that they tout consultation, democratic processes, pastoral councils and a synodal way, yet they manipulate the outcome which they demand but the facade is not autocratic but has the cover of listening and consultation.

The only difference between the pre-Vatican II autocratic pastor and the post-Vatican II consultative pastor is that they are both autocratic, but one manipulates others to get his way or plots the outcome he wants. Thus the pre-Vatican II pastor was honest in what he was doing; the post Vatican II pastor is dishonest, duplicitous and hypocritical. 

But with that said, the pastor is the pastor despite his methodologies and the pope is the pope. 

Let’s enter the world of “what if?”  Instead of Summorum Pontificum, what if Pope Benedict had issued a Motu Proprio making the post Vatican Mass more reverent and transcendent instead of normalizing the pre-Vatican Mass? And what if that Motu Proprio had some teeth, like the issuing of a new Vatican II Roman Missal.

I have written this before and let me write it again, what I am suggesting is no widespread revision of the post-Vatican II Mass but simply an organic development but going back to the original source for the new Mass, the pre-Vatican II Mass and what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually taught. 

Here’s my plan again:

Keep the current Roman Missal but:

1. Revised the calendar to be more like the Ordinariate’s Roman Calendar which is more like the pre-Vatican II Calendar. This restores the pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima and the ember days. It also would allow for Season of the Year, but without the term “Ordinary Time.” It would revert to Time after Pentecost and Time after Epiphany. 

2. Mandate that the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons be chanted or spoken. 

3. Keep the Introductory Rite as is but only the Confiteor, Absolution and Kyrie and the greeting after the Kyrie/Gloria, prior to the Collect.

4. Liturgy of the Word as it currently is in the post-Vatican II Mass.

5. Make clear that ad orientem is an option with the pre-Vatican II altar arrangement or facing the congregation but still with the pre-Vatican II altar arrangement

6. Make kneeling for Holy Communion and on the tongue mandatory and the common chalice only for certain Masses, such as First Communion, Confirmation, Weddings, etc and by intinction only. 

Finally, Gregorian Chant and Latin must be preserved as taught by Sacrosanctum Concilium. Let’s say the Gloria, Kyrie (Greek) Sanctus and Agnus Dei only. 

Most of this can be accomplished without any changes to the Order of the post-Vatican II Mass.

If parishes are not allowed the pre-Vatican II Mass any longer, why not simply celebrate the post-Vatican II Mass in Latin and ad orientem using the 1974 Graduale Romanum? 


rcg said...

Fr. McDonald, the main difference between the two Mass’s is that the UR can be accomplished in a variety of ways that bear little resemblance to each other and can include content that is barely Catholic and still be considered The New Mass. I have attended services in Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches that were obviously influenced by the UA of the Roman Rite. Appearances do not make the man, nor the Mass. Rather, proper interior and mental formation expresses itself externally in particular ways that are recognized universally as dignified and respectful.

Thomas Garrett said...

I know this opinion will be about as welcome as rubbing alcohol on hemorrhoids, but if you look at the two Masses, no one needs to police the TLM to make sure it is offered reverently. There are no widespread demands for altar girls, Communion in the hand or lay lectors among its congregations. It efficiently preserves reverence and protects itself from deviations.

The Novus Ordo, however, is CONSTANTLY subject to every conceivable deviation? Why? Why is it that we constantly have to hear about clown Masses, liturgical dance, people walking away with Hosts, inappropriate music, inappropriate jokes from priests, interjection of pagan rituals, absolutely no piety or reverence--need I go on?

Is this all a coincidence. Or is the great "Liturgical Reform" which DEFIES Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium systemically flawed? This is in no way meant to accuse Fr. McD or priests like him who work so hard to keep this Mass on the rails. The problem is, THE GOOD PRIESTS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WORK THIS HARD FOR THAT. The old rite just didn't have this problem. The New Rite seems to INVITE these problems.

Could someone please prove me wrong?

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

If Pope Benedict had issued that type of motu proprio, there would have been an uproar and the motu proprio would have been ignored. All of a sudden there would have been article after article about the limitations on papal power, how dare he denigrate Pope Paul's memory, etc., etc. I just saw that Cardinal Gregory has cancelled the annual EF at the National Basilica. His actions actually violate the new motu proprio. Pretty awful because people have already made flight arrangements, booked hotels, etc. Such mercy, such accompaniment. Now if only the Basilica was having an LGBT Mass, then the Cardinal would have been there with bells on!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Awaiting moderation
Unknown commented on "WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? OH, WHAT ARE WE TO DO?"
13 mins ago
I know this opinion will be about as welcome as rubbing alcohol


Thomas Garrett said...
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John Nolan said...

'If parishes are not allowed the pre-Vatican II Mass any longer, why not simply celebrate the post-Vatican II Mass in Latin and ad orientem using the 1974 Graduale Romanum?'

Good question. Yet I have read that the small rump of Catholics who still attend Mass in the United States would run a mile if exposed to any Latin and even those who prefer the Tridentine rite want it in English (presumably the American English favoured by Fr K and his ilk which doesn't allow relative and subordinate clauses). Those who favour the so-called TLM apparently prefer the Low Mass.

In the 1980s the sung Latin Mass usually meant the Novus Ordo (indult Masses were rare) and in central London alone no fewer than sixteen churches offered it as their principal Sunday Mass. I, for one, never expected the Tridentine Mass to return. I was surprised when it did.

In any case, in 2021 the English bishops (no longer a liberal coterie with perhaps one exception) don't see a problem with the EF in their dioceses and have said as much. They have opted to maintain the status quo and see PF's strictures as 'guidelines'. The EF Mass will contine to be offered in parish churches. PF, in his intemperate haste, made no provision for a 'vacatio legis'. The bishops have supplied it for him.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John, I am thinking that this option is for those parishes that might have to ax their UA Mass. I am sure they can do a UR Mass in Latin kind nicely and most might not even know that it is an UR Mass.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Wonderful news!

Thomas Garrett said...
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Thomas Garrett said...
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Joseph Johnson said...

While I pray that nothing changes in our diocese with the current TLM Masses that have been established, I have always believed that a different, more traditional, way of offering the Novus Ordo Mass would be well-received by many, including myself. I don't even think it would all have to be all in Latin. I would love to see even an English Novus Ordo offered ad orientem, Communion to be received kneeling (preferably on the tongue), use of the Communion paten by altar servers (and, preferably, male altar servers), no EMHC's, traditional chanted Ordinary parts of Mass, no contemporary hymns or music, use of traditional vestment styles (either semi-Gothic or Roman) and even use of the biretta by clergy in processions and while seated, and, of course, use of the Roman Canon. Quite frankly, I chuckled to myself (because I thought it disingenuous) when the Pope, in his recent motu proprio, referenced the Roman Canon in the NO as part justification of his new restrictions on the TLM, thinking that should be enough to satisfy liturgical traditionalists. It rarely gets used in the NO, from my experience---just like the Confiteor, which is often omitted. Part of the problem with the NO is the other, less traditional, prayer options are most often used, to the exclusion of the ones that were carried over (slightly modified) from the TLM.

Thomas Garrett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Православный физик said...

I've long thought about this, so bear me as I prepare to flesh all of this out:

The fact that in the present Roman Liturgy (NO) one can have 4 blatantly heretical hymns, and you could do the actual propers in the Graduale and both follow the rubrics (TM) seems to me a major problem...

Protestant hymnody has zero place in the Liturgy.

While the suggestions are good, I believe they need to go a few steps further...

1. Remove the ambiguities from the GIRM.
a. The Graduale is to be used or a translation there of. (All propers restored: Introit, Gradual, Offertory, Communion)
b. All genuflections restored. no more ignoring the Tabernacle.
c. Tabernacle is to be at the centre, restore the connection by bringing Him back on the altar of Sacrifice when possible.
d. Liturgical East for all prayers.
e. The NAB is to be banished to the 8th circle of Hell and replaced with a better translation.
f. Communion is to be done by intinction only. (Eliminates Communion in the Hand without having to legislate it)

Why can't the new Mass be said with the 1874 Graduale?

Do you really believe most parishes actually have the Graudale? I could virtually guarantee that none of them do. (Or if they do, they're buried somewhere).

They could of course allow for the TLM to be in the vernacular, but that would cause far too many heads to explode.

John Nolan said...

Joseph Johnson

I couldn't agree more. Now that the NO has a decent translation with chants adapted to it, a Latin/English sung Mass would offend no-one. I'm used to Latin (OF and EF) and have no difficulty understanding a Latin Collect or Preface if I have the words in front of me, which I do, but hearing it and immediately understanding it as it is proclaimed is a different matter. The vernacular can be a useful option, even in a solemn celebration.

Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum was based on an important principle, that the Church does not suppress valid and legitimate rites. Paul VI knew this, and so, I suspect, does Francis.

Thomas Garrett said...

All of these suggestions sound nice. But I still maintain that there is something seriously wrong with the so-called "Liturgical Reform" when it seems to invite abuse.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Thank you for implementing the new system for posting. It has improved the discourse immensely in just one day!

Thomas Garrett said...

The "thing" to watch for in those location reports is "Roma Lazio" and "Vatican".

Then you KNOW you're being watched (or listened to, or tapped or hacked or....) well, you get the idea.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

A badly performed Handel's Messiah is not an indication that the score and libretto need to be overhauled.

A badly celebrated NO mass is not an indication that the NO needs to be overhauled. (The same goes for a badly celebrated EF mass, at whatever level of solemnity.)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am not sure that there are many abuses in the UA Mass with today's modern celebrants, many of whom are reacting to what they experienced in the UR Mass. But back in the day, a poorly celebrated pre-Vatican II Mass would mean that the priest raced through the Latin, many have skipped parts or speed read them (the silent ones) or might have been inebriated.

In the UR Mass, you find photos of Masses like Cardinal Gregory's laid back Mass, or priests not wearing proper vestments, such as no chasuble only a stole over a wrinkled alb, ad libing, no attention to detail, and worse.

What is it about the UR Mass that caused so many priests formed in the pre-Vatican II Mass to go about with reckless abandon to create a laid back and informal Mass with no attention to detail, etc?

Is it endemic to this form of the Mass or is it license that bishops give to UR priests to do as they please which would never have occurred in the UA Mass?

But I do agree, that if the UR's rubrics are followed to a "t" and there is good chanting and attention to detail and choreography, that this Mass could be as reverent as the UA Mass, but I fear the communion line and receiving Holy Communion standing, on the palm of the hand and in motion denigrates the reverence this part of the Mass once had universally.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"What is it about the UR Mass that caused so many priests formed in the pre-Vatican II Mass to go about with reckless abandon to create a laid back and informal Mass with no attention to detail, etc?"

I don't think there is anything about the NO Mass "...that caused so many priests formed in the pre-Vatican II Mass to go about with reckless abandon to create a laid back and informal Mass with no attention to detail, etc."

The NO mass is less formal, if by formal, one means highly regulated. Some, myself included, would say overly regulated. For example: "...he [priest] turns toward the Altar, and standing in the middle, with his hands joined before his breast with fingers extended and together, and with his right thumb over his left..." Is the location of thumbs REALLY something that has to be prescribed? I don't think so and see no reason why it should be.

In that regard, were a priest to celebrate mass without heeding the rubric of thumb placement, he would, according to some, be guilty of grave sin. And, if the person assisting at a mass in which the priest does not heed the rubrics of thumb placement were to "embrace the fault of the minister who unlawfully varies even those things that are incidental" (per Kwasniewski), that person would not receiev the res sacramenti of the mass.

An inadequate understanding of the nature of the liturgy and the role of the priest in that liturgy is, I suspect, the cause of some silliness. While I do not subscribe to your idea that the priest's personality should always be hidden or invisible, some priests have taken great liberties in making themselves the center of attention.

TJM said...

The problem with the OF, is as someone has already pointed out, that based on the options the priest chooses, can resemble the EF or something radically different, almost Protestant. Where is the unity there from parish to parish? From Country to Country?

The other issue which most priests will not discuss, is that 99% of the people who attend the EF believe in the Real Presence whereas it's around 30% of those who attend the OF. Does that startling difference not bother a priest? Would he not begin to think, hey, maybe the OF is not conveying the Catholic message?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Thus the old lie that it was Vatican II's Mass that caused all of this to happen is only part of the problem. A huge majority of Catholics today reject everything about the Church pre and post Vatican II.

Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Wednesday, July 21, 2021"

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course I wrote "part of the problem." But the manner in which the new Mass was rolled out and eventually celebrated was certainly a huge problem, alienating simultaneously not only Catholics raised with the pre-Vatican II Mass who did not want it to change as drastically as it was and mourned soon after the changes the loss of reverence for the Sacred at Mass. This initial disaster has had a trickle down effect to this day with generations of Catholics lost to all the confusion generated in the 1970's and beyond. Those who liked it, or tolerated it, of course, stayed.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Of course, you wrote "part of the problem." You might also have writen that sunspots were "part of the problem" or Mrs. McGillicuddy's bunions were "part of the problem" or a host of other things were "part of the problem."

Of course, you have made this "alienation" claim time and again. How many might have left for other reasons? There's no way of knowing. The odd anecdote about Old Mr. Jones who vowed never to set foot in a Catholic Church again isn't convincing.

Those who knew that their Catholicism wasn't defined by a language or the position of a priests thumbs or the wearing of a maniple or biretta, of course, stayed.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Please do not dodge what I posted. Mark Thomas always dodged “inconvenient facts” like I posted

TJM said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

Do you think, at all? Can you explain why 98 percent of EF Catholics believe in the Real Presence whereas about 30 of OF attendees do. Please, no excuses and deflection

John Nolan said...

The key to singing well, as in every musical performance, is minute attention to detail. A dancer must do the same. So must a top sportsman or woman. Trooping the Colour is an impressive military display which wouldn't work without precise regulation. In liturgy a lot depends on ritual action - it's not just about words.

A priest's personality should not be hidden or invisible when he is preaching and exhorting. But when he is 'celebrating the sacred mysteries' his personality must not come into it. Precise rubrics are important in this regard.

The loosening of the rubrics coincided with the almost universal adoption of versus populum celebration and the vernacular. In most places by 1967 the celebrant eyeballed the congregation throughout. Even when someone else was reading he positioned his chair so as to face the people. Ad libbing, histrionic verbal delivery and exaggerated gestures became commonplace and remain so (witness the antics of Dolan and Gregory, posted on YouTube for all the world to see.

This sort of behaviour was not confined to a few priests being 'silly' and 'taking liberties'. It was never reprobated and was even encouraged.

TJM said...

I guess I stumped Father Kavanaugh!

Bob Robinson said...

The four hymn “sandwich” mass originated from the Tridentine rite low mass - as technically they weren’t an integral part of the mass and were sung over the priest’s action. It was poor practice carried over to the new rite, it was NOT a newly created custom originating with the new rite - so if you don’t like the four hymn sandwich mass then blame the Tridentine rite / extraordinary form usus antique-us or whatever you chose to call it!

John Nolan said...


Blame Pius XII who allowed the custom of singing vernacular hymns at Mass to continue in Germany where it was long established and extended this permission to the whole Church in the 1950s. 20th century liturgists were obsessed with the idea of getting the people 'actively involved' in the Low Mass. 'De Musica Sacra' (1958) is an interesting document. In addition to making the server's responses and reciting with the priest the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, congregations could now recite the whole of the Pater Noster with the priest and even those Propers which in a Sung Mass would be sung by the schola (Introit, Gradual etc.) These last two provisions were not widely taken up.

Vernacular hymns were allowed but it was forbidden to sing any part of the Latin Ordinary, to preserve the distinction between Low and Sung Mass. They missed an opportunity here; it would have been a good way to familiarize more people with the Ordinary chants of the Mass.

The rush to adopt the vernacular from October 1964 led to a great increase in hymn-singing at Mass, since it was easy for the congregation and there were few vernacular Mass settings available. It is worth remembering that most parishes went from an all-Latin to an all-English Mass in less than three years.

In 1967 the new Mass was more or less complete, and the Consilium made it clear that the singing of hymns at Mass should cease - congregations would henceforth 'sing the Mass'. It was a laudable sentiment but wildly optimistic, not least because of the speed with which the 'reform', which turned out to be a far-reaching one, was implemented.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

We had a very odd thing happen at my parish when the "reforms" were introduced. Our parish for years had the practice of a Missa Cantata on Sundays, low Masses were usually at 6 am and 7 am during the week and on Saturday, but during the school year the 8 am Mass, which was for the school children, was also a Missa Cantata. When the vernacular was introduced, the congregation was taught to sing the Propers, in English, but when the Novus Ordo came into effect, that practice stopped, and the 4 hymn sandwich was introduced. So in may parish at least, the 4 hymn sandwich was not associated with the EF low Mass.