Away with Gregory's Innovations to the Mass


I am feeling reactionary, never mind why, but there it is.

Pope Gregory the Great reformed the Mass. How dare he? Is there somewhere you could go and participate in the ante-Gregorian Mass? Would it be legit? But that brings up the broader question, as it always seems to, of what is the relationship of Sacred Tradition and the liturgy. Catholics believe, I think, that the liturgy has a definite relationship to Sacred Tradition, but nonetheless changes happen every once in a while, like with Gregory and Vatican 2. A reactionary like me finds these constant changes unsettling. And the different Rites have different, well, rites. Which rite is right? Are they all all right? How do you pick what rite is right? Do you ever leave a rite for another? If you were in Milan, could you freely participate in the Ambrosian rite?

Just wondering.


Alright, I’ll give it a shot.
It’s important to rightly discern which rite is right for you, taking care to verify that it is a rite that Rome considers alright.

Personally, I prefer something a little right of center, never LEFT.



I think your concerns may be based on a series of misunderstandings. Or maybe you understand perfectly! :stuck_out_tongue: I won’t try and judge. I’ll just explain all of the points mentioned in your post and see what you think.

There is not any real relationship between Sacred Tradition and the Liturgy, at least not in the way your post suggested. The basic components of the Liturgy that would be from Sacred Tradition would be:

  1. proper worship of God, in its highest form, Liturgy, and
  2. the general, broad requirements for just what the Liturgy contains. In other words - Scripture readings, the Sacrifice of Christ, Communion.

All of the rest of the Liturgy is, by and large, man made. It may be done under a deep guidance of the Holy Spirit, but it is not Divinely revealed as the Sacred Tradition or the Scripture is. Now when I say man made, I don’t mean it in the negative sense, as if to say, “Oh, it’s just all a bunch of made up mumbo jumbo.” I mean it in the sense that it’s not defined in any strict way by God and that it’s put together by human beings drawing on the Scriptures and the Sacred Traditions God did directly provide, just like, for instance, the Hail Holy Queen was written by a man - Alphonsus Ligouri - drawing on the Scriptures and Tradition.

What matters is that it contains the general structure. All Liturgies share that general structure. Now the specific words of the prayers, on occasion the specific order the parts are in, and so forth, are written by the Church drawing on God’s revelation. The Sacrifice of the Eucharist is present, the readings from the Scriptures are present, the Kyrie is present, but the specific words they use might change.

So far as the various rites are concerned, there isn’t any “right” one. You see, after Pentecost, the apostles spread throughout the world, bringing the faith. They came to areas of all different cultures. Rome’s culture, for example, was different from Egypt’s and Egypt’s different from India’s, and India’s different from Greece’s. Now Christ didn’t come to destroy culture; He came to save the world. The apostles when and kept anything that was in a particular culture that was not contrary to the faith. They built Liturgies around the cultures, and that is how the people worshipped in given places. This is what “Catholic” means. The word is Greek for “universal.” The Church was called “Catholic” because it was universal; it embraced all peoples and all cultures.

This is more important than you might realize, because culture impacts how we offer reverence. In western culture, genuflecting is a sign of great reverence. However, in another culture, genuflecting may have been a sign with no meaning at all, or even one with a negative meaning. I don’t know if that is the case for genuflecting specifically - I’m just trying to provide an example - but it certainly was true for all sorts of body language, etc.

Thus, it would be extremely improper to simply have on defined Liturgy and use that everywhere. This would result in people all over the world making signs during worship that simply did not reflect what they were supposed to. People would be doing things that were supposed to be reverent, but in their understanding they might be behaving frivolously or offering insult.

Those early Liturgies - some of which can be found in collections of the Fathers - are what developed into the various rites we have today. No one rite is “right” or best. They all honor God in wayds particular to the situation that was in existence when they were developed, originally by the apostles. The changes, such as those Gregory made, or those Pius V made, or those Paul VI made, were based on trying to make the Liturgy better match the culture as hundreds of years past and on trying to correct abuses that came into play and in trying to update the Liturgy to more accurately reflect the improved understandings of Theology that came with time.

So for example, when Pius V updated the Liturgy after the council of Trent, he did so in order to eliminate various abuses that existed at the time, and perhaps to incorporate some of the more specific theological definitions that had been presented at the Council of Trent.

Peace and God bless



Thank you so much for your explanation above. I’ve never quite understood the differences that exist in our ‘Catholic’ church until now.

In Christ,


That’s why it’s very important to join the SSPI

Unfortunately, the official web site is gone now.


This is sire is a hoot!

“To be any more Trad, you’d have to be Jewish.”


From the link:

Greek-speaking priests who may have said the liturgy of St. Justin Martyr in their youth. Candidates must be able to prove Apostolic Succession directly from Popes Peter, Linus, Cletus or Clement.

Well, humm, maybe I’m interested…I’ve been known to say things my wife doesn’t understand, maybe that was Greek. And, frankly, I don’t remember a lot about my youth. Maybe I said that liturgy. I said a lot of things. The hard part is the proof of apostolic succession directly from those four. I have a coupon from the grocery store. Is that close enough? And somewhere in a box in the basement is a scrapbook in ancient writing that nobody can read that says something about
"The R-db–k of W-stma-ch: Th- D-wnf-ll -f th- L-r- -of the Ri__ an- the Ret-rn -f the Kin-" written in an elvish script. That is all anyone has been able to make out. Pictures of short people and dragons and stuff. Were those early popes short, maybe?

Just wondering. And do you have to be Catholic to do this?


To be a right rite, the following parts must be in correct order.

Readings from the Old and New Testament. Preferably in Latin so no one but the geek in the back pew has any idea what was said.

Instruction in the form of either a sermon on the readings (which no one understood) or an exhortation to make you pledge so we can meet the Diocesan Tax…errrr I mean appeal.

Around 15 minutes in actual prayer and the sacrifice of the mass (this is to keep God from blowing the doors off the church).

And finally a series of announcements to let people know that donuts are available ( ethnic specific snacks can be inserted here depending on the specific church) and the people should be given a last chance to buy the raffle tickets for the new car being given away at the next parish money maker.

just being a wise guy.

Seeing as how I never understood latin prayers or readings, I was delighted in the change to english. Lets not go back.


You forgot to mention the schedule for Bingo night.


To Latin, that is. We MUST go back to Greek for the prayers and readings, and Aramaic for the Words of Institution.

And that should be Koine Greek, not that awful modern Greek.

English and Latin are barbaric languages that have no place at Mass.


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