Adding Elements of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to the Ordinary Form.

Can a priest add elements of the Extraordinary Form to the Ordinary Form of the Mass? Such as blessing the water cruet, making the sign of the cross over the corporal with the paten and chalice before setting them down at the offertory and incensing the offerings with three crosses and three loops.
If anyone can think of anything else could they please add them. Thanks.:highprayer:

In the strict sense, there is no mixing of the two forms as I understand it.

But you pose interesting questions.

I have seen the triple cross and triple loop done by Traditional priests in the OF who only celebrate the OF. I have also seen EF Priests do it for the OF. I don’t know if the blessing of the water cruet can be done, but I would think not for there are different things to do with blessed water.

I think the incensing thing is not a problem. The manner of incensing for the OF is not specified, so there is nothing that prohibits the crosses and loops. If anything, it’s probably praiseworthy to do so.

Neither do I recall any instructions stating the blessing of the cruets and the paten sign of the cross had been abrogated.

On another practice, keeping the thumb and forefinger together, Tres abhinc annos states that the priest need not do this, but the wording, at least in the English, is soft, “need not”. I take that to mean that it’s not required, but also not forbidden, and that for the OF, priests can still use the “canonical fingers”.

Other things that are still permitted and ought to be used are the biretta and the maniple.

Quite frankly, there are some things that I’d like to see returned to the OF, especially in light of the release of Divine Worship: the Missal, even if just as options, such as the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the older Offertory prayers, the threefold Domine non sum dignus, and the Last Gospel. I would also be happy to see all other Eucharistic Prayers go, leaving only the Roman Canon with its traditional gestures.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to say that you’d prefer that the EF replace the OF?

No, not either. I’m very much in favour of retaining the current calendar, the current Sunday and weekday Lectionary cycles and the Mass at least partially in the vernacular. I’m also partial to the Our Father as a communal prayer and the option to receive under both species.

Divine Worship really does reflect the best of all worlds, NO, EF and BCP. I’d strongly recommend Ordinariate Masses to all traditionalists who miss elements of the EF, the prayers are pretty much the same but in Elizabethan English. The Last Gospel is also an option in Divine Worship, but in my parish we sing the Angelus instead.

What about contemplative prayer?

This. Personally, if I were in charge of forming the Mass (and, no, I’m not, and never will be, and that is probably a very good thing :smiley: ) here are the changes I’d make:

  1. Keep the current calendar (all the semidoubles, ferials and other days from the Tridentine calendar are a bit confusing and I’m not sure why the distinction was made, rather than the much easier Feast/Solemnity/Ordinary schedule we have today)
  2. Keep the processional as it is today, but have the priest say the traditional secret prayers at the altar.
  3. Rather than a hymn, have the choir, with or without the congregation, sing the traditional antiphon of the day.
  4. Make mandatory the old form of the confitieor (with the invocations of the various saints by name) and the Kyrie, as opposed to the other forms of acts of contrition, but keep it where the congregation says it, and not just the priest, deacon and altar servers.
  5. Keep the Liturgy of the Word largely as it is today, with the richness of the Scripture and the cycles of readings. Keep the Creed and Prayers of the Faithful.
  6. All liturgical action that does not explicitly or logically need the priest to face the congregation (e.g. homily, prayers directed at the congregation) should be performed Ad Orientam. The Eucharistic Liturgy, in particular, should be Ad Orientam.
  7. Use the Roman Canon more frequently – I’m not for jettisoning the other Eucharistic prayers out of hand (except for maybe the bloodless and bland Eucharistic Prayer IV) but I would like to hear the Canon more often.
  8. I could go either way on having the Eucharistic Prayer said in secret or out loud. Maybe have either option available?
  9. Before Mass ends on Sundays, add back in the Last Gospel (the beginning of the Gospel of John) – although I’d prefer they say it out loud and not in secret as in the Extraordinary Form Masses I’ve attended, where you cannot even hear it being proclaimed over the choir.

I know there are things I’m missing from the EF that I’d like to see folded back into the OF, but these are at least the basics.

What about it? Contemplate the Scripture as is it being read to you.

That’s not what contemplative prayer is. Please don’t keep knocking it.

I hope you (and I suppose others too) are not implying that an approved form of Mass is less than perfect.


We already have an Ordinary Form Mass that can be sung with beauty, elegance and reverence. We already have all the liturgical and musical tools to do so licitly without having to get into the minutiae of how things were done in the past. Bringing those things back without focusing on the fundamentals on how to celebrate what we have reverently, won’t make the Mass any more beautiful or reverent.

We have the Graduale Romanum and Graduale Simplex to give Gregorian chant “pride of place” in the Mass. We still can use incense. Mass can still be celebrated ad orientem where the local configuration makes it suitable. The Roman Canon can be used whenever desired by the celebrant. The Mass can be said entirely or partly in Latin if desired. I’ve been to Masses that do all of the above. The abbey I’m associated with does most of the above except ad orientem, and while the propers and ordinary are sung in Latin/Greek Gregorian chant the rest in French plainchant; the pipe organ and incense are used at appropriate times, etc.

The OF Mass does not need improvement. It just needs a bit of TLC. The Benedictines can show you how. Believe me the OF Mass done like it is in a monastery of the Solesmes congregation, for whom liturgy is a special vocation, would instantly eliminate all this useless speculation about something way above our pay grade. The spirit of the Benedictine approach to the liturgy is this: this is what the Church has given us, now let us do the very best job possible carrying out the Work of God.

IMHO when we focus too much on such minutiae, we lose focus on what our main purpose is as Christians: to live the Gospels and bring them out to the margins of society.

I have never knocked contemplative prayer. Please stop your false accusations.

This is the biggest reason to keep the OF, really. And the inclusion of the Sunday and weekday Lectionary cycles is primarily due to Dei Verbum, the English translation of which is found in the front of the NAB translation of the Bible, and also included in many other modern Catholic Bible translations.

I’m not sure that those elements that you mentioned are solely elements of the Extraordinary Form.

I definitely believe you that your experience of the OF is probably as beautiful as the OF could get. I’m pretty sure, though, that the experience of this Benedictine monastery’s OF Mass by many “traditionalists” would not “instantly eliminate all this useless speculation about something way above our pay grade”, i.e., that it would stop the claims that some people make which say the EF is better than than the OF.

And I say this, because I actually just read an extremely interesting article yesterday. Obviously I can’t get into the specifics, because the author was clearly “pitting the OF and the EF” against each other…lol. Very generally, though, he spoke of “merit” and whether one form of the Mass was more meritorious for both the people and the priest than the other form. He brought up two aspects of “merit” - one was “intrinsic” merit and the other “extrinsic” merit. He noted that it is indisputable that with regards to intrinsic value or merit, is equal between the two forms (i.e., both are the Sacrifice of Christ and are infinitely valuable in this regard), but with regards to extrinsic value or merit, the two forms are not equal. And since the author was a FSSP priest, I am sure you can assume which form of the Mass he was advocating as being more meritorious/valuable for both the people and the faithful. Lol.

Anyway, I just mention this because there are still probably a large number of “traditionalists” who believe such things as what this FSSP was writing about, and that therefore, many of these such people would not be satisfied by attending a Mass even such as the one at your Benedictine monastery.

And, just FYI, the FSSP priest in this article laid out six factors in the extrinsic merit of a Mass, and the rite itself was just one factor. And so due to the possibility of variance in degree of the other five factors, he did mention the possibility of the OF being more extrinsically meritorious than the EF, though that was only on the whole and not with regards to the rituals themselves.

Also, one more comment regarding “way above our pay grade” - I imagine that some people who speculate about these things have their “speculations” based on the writings of people for whom these subjects are not “way above [their] pay grade” - just a thought.

Agreed. While I state preferences, I never imply that the OF in its current form is defective or anything like that. I myself have contributed to reverently said English OF Masses, when the old translation was still in effect, that would put even a reverently said EF to shame.

Ditto for the Liturgy of the Hours, and even more so.

I believe the current form of the OF is not the problem, but rather, the poor implementation and tolerances by “liturgists” and pastors.

It’s rather curious…there seems to be a widespread view that the EF is “defective” in some way or another (after all, no one can deny that there was “reform” of the Liturgy being called for in the 1960s) and people seem to have no problem saying that. Yet anyone merely implying that OF might not be perfect either seems to be much more looked down upon than doing the same thing about the EF. Is this just “allowed” with the EF because it is merely “extraordinary” and not the “ordinary” form?

Personally, I see nothing wrong with observing “defects” or “non-ideal” things in any Liturgy, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. Obviously in most cases it is not something that should be dwelt upon, since there is likely not anything one can do about it at this point, but I still think they are important points to consider. Then again, you could probably correctly call me a “disobedient skeptic”…lol.

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