Do We Need all of the PreVatican Traditions?

A curious question. For those of you who have adopted the traditional church (i.e. EO format, etc.), are there any traditions that you see as inconsistent with our society today?

I say that partly out of another thread that I am involved with about alter girls…there has been a long time tradition of boys only and I think that is one tradition we can scrap…anyways, what part of the church in 1948 can we scrap in the interests of the church making sense in 2012?


Why does it matter if there are any?

I don’t think I could agree with your example. Having had sons (and daughters) serve as altar servers, I think it is generally a good idea for boys to do it. It encourages vocations more than anything else I can think of at a young age. When girls are involved at young ages, my experience says they tend to crowd out boys. But, that is just my opinion.

Yeah, I’m amazed at the opposition to girl alter servers. And it all is based on the connection with that alter boys becoming priests. I think that we are too caught up in that tradition and as a result are loosing out in the potential of female alter servants.

The irony for me is that it was women who stood by Jesus in the original sacrifice and something within me says not only have we denied girls their rightful place at the side of the sacrifice - based on the original crucifixion - we are missing some of the power that could be part of the Eucharist with more direct female participation…something reflective of what Jesus himself would of experienced…the presence of these female while he was on the cross must of brought him great comfort…


I think you are misinterpreting Gene. From my own reading, it seems that he opposes girl altar servers.

There was a youtube of a SSPX Priest who said that traditionalists do not want to go to the past and that there were problems with the church in 1948…and it is that comment that makes me curious about what we can leave behind us with respect to the pre-vatican church…


Do you realize that there are 1961.66 years of pre-Vatican II Church and not just 13ish of a total of 2012? The Church has always had problems, and will continue to have problems. The Church had problems in 33 AD, the very year of Jesus’s death. To pretend that Vatican II solved them all is simply incorrect. We have just as many problems now as we ever have in the past, although more liturgical ones. Of course, we have always have had liturgical nightmares :), but alas…

What can a girl do that a boy cannot at the altar? What are we losing out by not including them?

It’s very simple why woman did not serve the altar pre-Council and why they still do not do so at the EF today. I don’t know how things stand in the OF but in the EF the altar server is performing a clerical function. He’s standing in the place of an Acolyte, etc. Although he does not possess a Minor Order himself he stills represents one who would.

In my understanding I would differ a bit. The pre-Vatican mass - as an example - is only 500 years old…and it was brought in as part of a global and unifying mass said in Latin the same way all over the world…that was a brilliant move on the part of the church’s counter reformation. Prior to that, (the first 1500 years, the church was more localized with local customs being better reflected…that is what we returned to in the 60s.).

Of course, your right no one council (Starting with the council of Jerusalem in 48 AD) does not settle things once and for all for the church…I remember the pre-vatican church as I was born in 1957 so I am no against it…but I can’t tell you how excited we were in the ground in the mid to late 60s with the progressive changes that eventaully got to the parish level…

My question is simply what kinds of things should we scrap from the old church if any…just a curiosity based on that SSFX (whatever the acronym is) priest said about the 1948 church and not wanting to go backwards…that’s all…


Yes Laudate, I am hearing that from other sources as well. Could it be that in the new mass, the formalized status of the alter boy has been somewhat relaxed? I’ve been Catholic all my life, I remember the old mass since I was born in 1957 but I don’t remember any conversation or instruction that talked about that formalized role of the alter boy…

No, I include him in my statement that “it amazes me” … it is clear what side of the fence he is on this issue… :slight_smile:


I hate to be a traitor to my gender, but I’m just fine with not allowing altar girls. It’s okay that there are some things for boys and some things for girls. Altar serving is something special for boys and certainly encourages vocations. I don’t have any moral reason for not allowing girls to serve. It’s just a tradition and I’m cool with that.

I noticed this as well. And I had girls that were altar servers, too.



That isn’t correct. The Canon of the Latin Mass dates back to the 4th century, some argue even older. The Latin Mass wasn’t just created on the spot in the 16th century, like many people claim it was. Pope St. Pius V simply made that version of the Latin Mass uniform across the Church because so many different versions had popped up (although all similar). The ‘spirit of Vatican II’ that happened in the 70s is certainly not a mirror of the early Church.

Most of those progressive changes included liturgical abuses and the throwing out of traditional practices that were many hundreds of years old. Those changes did incredible damage to the Church, both on whole and on the parish level. Thousands of priests left the Church after the progressive changes following Vatican II, and thousands of Catholics lost faith in the Church. The Church they had grown up to know and love, for them, seemed to have changed radically into something different. Many people felt disconnected and were upset. Of course Vatican II was not supposed to be a break with the past… but try telling that to some of the liberals who advocated the innovations post-Vatican II.


God Bless Bruce,


You are in no way being a traitor to your gender. You are smacking feminism in the face.

At the local TLM parish, one of the most zealous anti-altar girls advocates is a female.

I am not so sure of this. The pre-Vatican II Mass was largely the same for over ten centuries. You are correct in saying that the Mass itself was only 400 years old when it “ended”–but we all know Benedict’s Good News stomped that idea :D–, as the Missal was standardized by Pius V in 1570, but it was just that, a standardization. Before 1570, each diocese usually had its own practices, but even most dioceses were very similar in practice. That is, diocese A was different from diocese B in how they celebrated Mass, but not by very much. The Canon of Mass (Roman Canon), for example, was exactly the same everywhere except perhaps a few "Amen"s. So to say that we “returned” to localized customs in the 1960’s is a misnomer, in my opinion, and a dreadful idea (whose reality is now being rectified!).

Yes, I have no doubt in my mind that people were excited for “the great big upcoming changes” that they were told about in the 1960’s. But this is what I, and not a few others, think: it is a generational thing. If you walk into an average parish nowadays, at least in the US of A, and mention “Vatican II,” you will inevitably get a very consistent result. The people who were alive before and through and perhaps right after (early 1970’s) the Council are the ones that get giddy and jump up and down. Strangely, no one under 40 really has such a reaction. So what do I mean by this? I mean that the reaction in the 1960’s was over-inflated hype, that’s what I mean, not dissimilar to hype about a secular teen idol. What is my point in saying this? Certain people tend to worship the idea of what they think the Council said, making it an idol, making it something it clearly is not nor was ever intended to be. Now, by no means do I hate older people. No, that is not how I feel. I feel, on the contrary, a need to reform, nay, restore!

I’d be interested to hear about how girl alter servers “crowd” out boys? I have never seen that and girl alter servers are quite common in our diocese.


I don’t think we are that far apart…still would like to explore this with you…but I have only four minutes on the library computer, so I’m running out of time…I don’t think that you can compare the EO mass and movement with the old church…the old church was sometimes very oppressive as they had too much power in the old days…now that those prestige positions are gone, I beleive that today’s “traditionalists” are more focused on the actual meaning of the symbols of the old church…hope that helps out a bit…but I am very much a post- Vatican II kind of guy :slight_smile:


I think over simplification of “uses” as a “well, no substantial difference” is not doing justice.
Indeed for Western Christianity, Roman Canon (with a bit variant here and there, for instance the Roman Canon used by Ambrosian rite) is shared by many forms of Liturgy outside the Roman Rite. Yet we fail to appreciate rites if the Roman Canon is the only thing we need to see.
The Lyonese rite for instance, shows elaboration that is very different from the Roman Rite.

Yet, the liturgical patrimony of a Church is not only in the form of Mass. It organically linked with the rites of blessings, administration of other Sacraments, ecclesiastical offices, arts and most notably the celebration of Divine Office.

Yes, in the western rites, the basic clean flow of opening rite - readings - offering - Eucharistic prayer - communion - concluding rite is universal. But to say that they are only variant of rite of the diocese of Rome is, I believe, over simplification.

Aside from that, the distinction between Choir to Schola was silly that it is better to be abrogated.
That religious sisters cannot pursue theological degree and it is reserved to nuns and men was something that I think better passed away.

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