Wednesday, June 29, 2022



MY COMMENTS FIRST: This is not a horrible document and it certainly gives some good pointers towards improving the celebration of the Modern Roman Missal. But not enough words are said about that and how simply following what is prescribed for this Roman Missal and options that can be chosen, while others eliminated or ignored, could enhance this form of the Mass which would lead to the astonishment we all should have for what God has accomplished for us through His Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ and the Paschal Mystery. 

I do believe that not only priests need to be reoriented on how to celebrate the Mass as an art, not a toy, but so too the assembly/congregation. We must make it possible for them to actively participate both interiorly and exteriorly. 

One of the things that has distressed me about the recovery of the older Missal is that no one has taken seriously the need for the congregation to take the parts of the servers and the schola. Often the laity are quite content to zone out at the older form of the Mass and simply be swept up by what others are doing. 

Many carry no missal for the vernacular translations of the changing parts of the Mass as they don’t care to know what is being prayed on their behalf in Latin by the priest or schola. 

In this, I recognize it is not either/or but both/and. Sometimes we listen, something we join and speak together or sing together. But how many actually try to chant the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei? Sometimes some of the different forms of Gregorian Chant are impossible to join and only a trained schola can do it. What is wrong with simply using versions most people can sing?

Finally, this document makes abundantly clear the the older form of the Mass is to disappear over time. 

For those who will grieve this fact, the only hope is that bishops will allow the Modern Missal to be celebrated with the same dignity and consistency  that the older Missal is celebrated.

These communities need a modern Mass that is consistent and beautiful and reverent. Latin must be allowed. The Proper Chants must be chanted Ad orientem must be encouraged and kneeling for Holy Communion must be the unified method of receiving Holy Communion with standing seen as a pastoral exception. 

Is that too much to ask? It does not seem to me that this exhortation forbids this. 


Here are important paragraphs of this exhortation:

23. Let us be clear here: every aspect of the celebration must be carefully tended to (space, time, gestures, words, objects, vestments, song, music…) and every rubric must be observed. Such attention would be enough to prevent robbing from the assembly what is owed to it; namely, the paschal mystery celebrated according to the ritual that the Church sets down. But even if the quality and the proper action of the celebration were guaranteed, that would not be enough to make our participation full. 

31. In this letter I cannot dwell with you on the richness of this passage’s various expressions, which I recommend to your own meditation. If the liturgy is “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed, and at the same time the font from which all her power flows,” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 10), well then, we can understand what is at stake in the liturgical question. It would be trivial to read the tensions, unfortunately present around the celebration, as a simple divergence between different tastes concerning a particular ritual form. The problematic is primarily ecclesiological. I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document that expresses the reality of the Liturgy intimately joined to the vision of Church so admirably described in Lumen gentium. For this reason, as I already expressed in my letter to all the bishops, I have felt it my duty to affirm that “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” (Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, art 1) 

The non-acceptance of the liturgical reform, as also a superficial understanding of it, distracts us from the obligation of finding responses to the question that I come back to repeating: how can we grow in our capacity to live in full the liturgical action? How do we continue to let ourselves be amazed at what happens in the celebration under our very eyes? We are in need of a serious and dynamic liturgical formation. 

54. If it is true that the ars celebrandi is required of the entire assembly that celebrates, it is likewise true that ordained ministers must have a very particular concern for it. In visiting Christian communities, I have noticed that their way of living the liturgical celebration is conditioned — for better or, unfortunately, for worse — by the way in which their pastor presides in the assembly. We could say that there are different “models” of presiding. Here is a possible list of approaches, which even though opposed to each other, characterize a way of presiding that is certainly inadequate: rigid austerity or an exasperating creativity, a spiritualizing mysticism or a practical functionalism, a rushed briskness or an overemphasized slowness, a sloppy carelessness or an excessive finickiness, a superabundant friendliness or priestly impassibility. Granted the wide range of these examples, I think that the inadequacy of these models of presiding have a common root: a heightened personalism of the celebrating style which at times expresses a poorly concealed mania to be the centre of attention. Often this becomes more evident when our celebrations are transmitted over the air or online, something not always opportune and that needs further reflection. Be sure you understand me: these are not the most widespread behaviours, but still, not infrequently assemblies suffer from being thus abused. 

61. In this letter I have wanted simply to share some reflections which most certainly do not exhaust the immense treasure of the celebration of the holy mysteries. I ask all the bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality. We are called continually to rediscover the richness of the general principles exposed in the first numbers of Sacrosanctum Concilium,grasping the intimate bond between this first of the Council’s constitutions and all the others. For this reason we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers, cum Petro et sub Petro, felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform. The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council. For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodes, so that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity.[23] 

As I have already written, I intend that this unity be re-established in the whole Church of the Roman Rite.


William said...

The Pope and his cronies are in panic mode; they know they done bad and we all know they done bad. All this pleading for liturgical rectitude will change absolutely nothing. Archdiocese of Chicago, anyone?

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Great. So unless the next pope modifies these
Documents, basically I wasted my own personal income/savings buying liturgical equipment and my altar robes and all that time serving Latin Masses pre TC and it’s Dubia.

Fr AJM, thanks for spelling out the dim future of the liturgy of the Roman Rite. Maybe only Fr Kavanagugh here would respect and heed your words but the majority of priests WONT. Between the stupid bureaucracy of parish life, the selfishness of liberal priests both young and old, homosexual predation and infiltration of our clergy (don’t think it’s just Novus Ordo priests … as numerous culprits were ordained and raised pre Vatican II and ALSO current priests are too …) and the overall don’t give a damn attitude of the laity in general (of whom the majority live like
Secular non-Christians in this world and embrace all secular culture (read anti-Catholic teaching,) sounds like your commentary has told the truth. Thanks for not giving hope.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

SUD, all you say is true. The old Lain Mass is not the main problem of the Church and making it so is but a smoke screen to distract from what is where no remedy is offered as clear as the one offered for the non real problem. But with that said, this document as well as TC and the Dubium are what they are and the hand writing is on the wall. I don’t like a diagnosis of cancer that will kill a certain liturgical heritage, but nothing I can do will stop it and denial doesn’t work for very long.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

There are a large number of Dioceses in the US where Traditiones Crudelis (Custodes) has been ignored. King Canute can't stop the inevitable.

TJM said...

Father McDonald

There is an excellent article at The New Liturgical Movement today containing the recollections of the late, great Alfons Cardinal Stickler, who was a peritus at the Council on the Sacred Liturgy. It blows big holes in the lie that is Traditiones Crudelis (Custodes). Here it is:

I guess the Holy Spirit inspires lies!

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Actually in my little Indiana country parish, the congregation actually says the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. I have never seen that done before.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Here is the money quote from Rorate Caeli on this latest missive:

"More than perhaps anything else, though, Desiderio desideravi is a stark admission of the failure of the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms. If a rite specifically reformed for "modern man", one more accessible, clear, didactic and easy to understand, stripped of all unnecessary symbols and repetitions, clothed entirely in vernacular languages and popular songs, has not resulted in the Christian faithful being "thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy" (SC 14), then haven't the post-conciliar liturgical reforms been a colossal waste of time? The Pope himself even alludes to this failure: "Therefore, the fundamental question is this: how do we recover the capacity to live completely the liturgical action? This was the objective of the Council’s reform" (DD 27). If this objective hasn't been met by the Novus Ordo more than 50 years later, then will it ever be?"

Well the Novus Ordo is certainly not packing them in. You may borrow my new slogan to describe it: Valid but Ineffective!

rcg said...

Fr. McDonald, if your parishioners are zoning out and not helping out with the various roles then it is only another step in instruction to fix that. You have seen our Mass and our small parish has enough to help and we all do as best we can. This includes the women of the Altar Rosary society and Knights of Columbus. People want to help but don’t know what to do or lack confidence. Same for the Latin translations.

Yes, it is a horrible document, full of passive aggressive nonsense.

Anonymous said...

In regard to the claim that the Missal of Pope Saint Paul VI is not in line with Vatican II's liturgical-related teachings/directives:

-- Pope Saint Paul VI rejected the above claim.

-- Pope Saint John Paul II agreed in that regard with Pope Saint Paul VI.

-- Pope Benedict XVI agreed in that regard with the above Popes.

The above Popes insisted that Vatican II is in line with the Roman Liturgical Tradition.

In turn, the above Popes insisted that the Missal of Pope Saint Paul VI is in line with the Roman Liturgical Tradition.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. The trads/radtrads have denounced Pope Francis' supposed liturgical war with Pope Emeritus...when it is said folks who are war with Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI's liturgical-related teachings.

Speaking generally:

Trads/radtrads have insisted that Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI concocted "fictions" to promote his "impossible" liturgical peace plan: That is, the peaceful coexistence between the "True Mass," and Bugnini's "Protestant, False Masonic" Mass.


-- Pope Benedict XVI: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal."

-- Trads/Radtrads: The Missals in question contradict each other.


-- Pope Benedict XVI: "In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture."

-- Trads/Radtrads: Vatican II/Novus Ordo ruptured the Latin Church's liturgical tradition.


-- Pope Benedict XVI: "Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness."

-- Trads/Radtrads: "We will not offer Pope Saint Paul VI's/Bugini's 'Protestant/Masonic' Novus Ordo."


-- Pope Benedict XVI: The TLM, and Novus Ordo, "are two usages of the one Roman rite."

-- Trads/Radtrads: The TLM, and Novus Ordo, are not two usages of the one Roman rite."


-- Pope Benedict XVI: "...the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching:"

-- Trads/Radtrads: The Novus Ordo is unable to enrich the TLM.



Mark Thomas

JULY 7, 2021 A.D. Summorum Pontificum at Fourteen: Its Tragic Flaws


"This, then, is the fundamental problem with Summorum Pontificum: it is internally incoherent, founded on a monumental contradiction caused by the worst abuse of papal power in the history of the Church.

"The motu proprio reflects and reinforces false principles of ecclesiology and liturgy...After its Prologue and Article 1, the remainder of Summorum Pontificum subtly holds the traditional liturgy hostage, or gives it, as it were, second-class citizenship."

Anonymous said...

As I had noted recently on Father McDonald's blog, the reality is that Pope Benedict XVI's liturgical peace plan has failed.

Many Pope Benedict XVI's "fans" particular, those who despise Pope Francis, and pit Pope Francis, and Emeritus, against each other...

-- will refuse to the bitter end to acknowledge that the plan in question has failed.

-- but should they acknowledge that said plan has flopped — it's undeniable that the plan has failed — said folks would blame that failure upon "Bergoglio."

It is Bergoglio's fault. It is Bergoglio's fault. It is Bergoglio's fault.

I am a Pope Benedict XVI "fan." I love and respect him. But the reality is that his liturgical peace has failed to work. Why is that?

Speaking generally...

The Church's left, and right wing, agree:

In regard to the Latin Church's primary Liturgy, it is either/or...we must side with the TLM, or Novus Ordo.

Each Church wing in question has promoted the following: The TLM, and Novus Ordo, are two very different Masses...they are incompatible with each other...the TLM belongs to the "old" Church. The Novus Ordo belongs to the "new" Church.

Therefore, the Novus Ordo, and TLM, are unable to coexist in peace with each is either/or.

The left-wing, right-wing, narrative continues in agreement:

But to force liturgical peace upon the Church, Pope Benedict XVI concocted a supposed guaranteed-to-fail plan that he had packed with unsustainable "fictions."

Again, that is the left-wing/right-wing, agreed-upon narrative. One is free to accept, or reject, the narrative in question. I am just the messenger here.

At least in regard to his wing's rejection/attack on Pope Benedict's liturgical peace plan:

Peter Kwasniewski, on July 7, 2021 A.D., via Crisis Magazine, had delineated well the right-wing's take on said plan:

"This, then, is the fundamental problem with Summorum Pontificum: it is internally incoherent, founded on a monumental contradiction caused by the worst abuse of papal power in the history of the Church.

"After its Prologue and Article 1, the remainder of Summorum Pontificum subtly holds the traditional liturgy hostage, or gives it, as it were, second-class citizenship."

The left-wing agrees certainly with Peter Kwasniewski that Summorum Pontificum "is internally incoherent."

Pope Francis inherited a dreadful liturgical war...he inherited a failed liturgical peace plan that Pope Benedict XVI has enacted in good faith.

If anything, the Church's left-wing, and right-wing, via their respective shenanigans, had undermined Pope Benedict XVI's liturgical peace plan.

In fairness, Pope Benedict XVI had inherited Pope Saint John Paul II's failed liturgical peace plan.

Said plan failed as few bishops, speaking relatively, heeded Pope Saint John Paul II's call to have applied in "wide and generous" fashion "the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962."

I will stand always with our Popes.

I had stood with Popes Saint John Paul II, as well as Benedict XVI, as they had attempted to move us beyond the Latin Church's liturgical war. In that regard, I stand today with Pope Francis.

I will submit obediently to Pope Francis' liturgical-related (or otherwise) directives.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

The Novus Ordo: Valid but Ineffective!

80% of US Catholics attended Sunday Mass prior to Vatican II when the EF was employed.

Now only 13% attend the Novus Ordo on Sunday and only about 30% believe in the Real Presence.

Instead of cutting and pasting a list of non sequiturs, deal with reality.

I am saddened that we have such lousy shepherds who do not tend their sheep. It is about their comfort zone and desires, not the Faithful

Anonymous said...

I said:

"In fairness, Pope Benedict XVI had inherited Pope Saint John Paul II's failed liturgical peace plan.

"Said plan failed as few bishops, speaking relatively, heeded Pope Saint John Paul II's call to have applied in "wide and generous" fashion "the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962."

I should have said that the above is among...not THE reason...but among the reasons as to why Pope Saint John Paul II's liturgical peace plan had failed.

There isn't any question that the overwhelming majority of Latin Church bishops had refused to cooperate with Pope Saint John Paul II's liturgical peace plan. Said bishops played a part in the failure of said plan.

But Archbishop Lefebvre/SSPX, the day after they had accepted/signed Pope Saint John Paul II's liturgical peace plan, had rejected said plan.

In turn, certain "conservative" Catholics outside the immediate SSPX sphere, but who had supported Archbishop Lefebvre's/SSPX's war against "modernist" Rome, played a role in the destruction of said liturgical peace plan.

But Pope Saint John Paul II had acted in good faith in regard to the establishment of his liturgical peace plan.

Unfortunately, said plan had failed.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

You continue to dodge reality and ignore responding to my post in a logical, rational manner. Please address my points instead of dodging them

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Mark (Thomas) you seem so positive cause Fr AJM. Care to reply to my comment?

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Are you pondering a real response?

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Still working on your analysis?