Changes before Vatican II


I have read on CA that the Mass in the Roman Rite had went through several changes prior to Vatican II and after the Council of Trent. What are some examples of such changes that have taken place?

Thank you for your responses.


Is this homework?


Curiosity mainly :slight_smile:


The 1910 New Advent Encyclopedia has about the Roman Missal:
“Clement VIII (1604), Urban VIII (1634), and Leo XIII(1884) revised the book slightly in the rubrics and the texts of Scripture”
(from Fortescue, A. (1910). Liturgy of the Mass. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved March 13, 2019 from New Advent: ).

Wikipedia has article “Liturgical Reforms of Pope Pius XII” at


Between Trent and Vatican II you had slow, organic, incremental change to mostly the rubrics. Some examples from the 20th century were seen with the introduction of the 1962 Missal, in which the 2nd Confiteor was removed, the altar candles were lit based on whether the Mass was a Low or High Mass (instead of the rank of the feast as is was done before), the celebrant and servers were no longer to turn toward the tabernacle when bowing their heads at the conclusion of the collects, the communion candle was removed, the readings could be said in the vernacular during Low Mass, the total number of commemorations allowed during any Mass was reduced to two (a welcome change in my opinion!), the order of precedence of feasts within a rank was altered to yield to more Feasts of the Lord and Sundays, among others. The 500 years prior to that I’m sure there were loads of other small, hardly noticeable changes.


Actually, towards the cross on the altar, and whenever the Holy Name, the Divine Trinity, or Oremus is said (this is still observed by virtually everyone in modern celebration). In the Ordinary Form, too, the bow is towards the cross, or more specifically, the altar.

Not really. The Tridentine Missal was basically frozen in time, except for the significant Holy Week revision in the 1950s under Pius XII. The Roman Breviary, however, is where the rite was effected the most, as it was significantly reformed by Pius X, Pius XII, and John XXIII.


Some places experienced dialogue Masses before Vatican II, Masses where the congregation gave responses rather than just the altar servers. That didn’t happen in my parish, however.


One of the major reforms was the reform of the Holy Week Liturgy when Pope Pius XII was pope .


This is a link for further liturgical reforms prior to the Second Council of the Vatican .


The decrees of the Council of Trent (1545–1563) enjoined that the celebration of the Mass should be made much more accessible to lay worshippers; and this was widely interpreted as requiring the removal of rood screens as physical and visual barriers, even though the Council had made no explicit condemnation of screens.
Wikipedia Rood screen

Apparently, after Trent people got caught up in the “Spirt of Trent” and implemented change that were not explicit in the texts of the Council.


:rofl::rofl: .


Here’s an article on some of the big items that were changed by St Pope Pius X. Two huge items were the change of age for receipt of Holy Communion from about 12-14 down to 7-8 years old and the frequent reception of Holy Communion.

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