Missal of 1965 and its status

In SP, Benedict XVI says that the 1962 Missal of John XXIII was never suppressed. If so, what is the status of the interim Missal of 1965?

SP says nothing about it status and neither does the Apostolic Constitution Promulgation of the Roman Missal issued by Paul VI.

Wouldn’t the Missal of 1965 be a good compromise for priests who lack sufficient Latin or who are unsure of their Latin to celebrate the TLM.

Fr. David, it’d be nice for you to ring in on this.

There is no such thing as an “interim Missal of 1965.”

Between the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal, there were a number of changes and amendments to the 1962 Missal which were released in preparation for and as part of the transition to the Mass of the 1970 Missal. These changes (e.g., permitted use of the vernacular, celebration of the Mass versus populum) came largely by the documents *Inter oecumenici *and also Tres abhinc annos. It is important to note, however, that these were not substantial changes to the 1962 Missal–that form remained pretty much the same–and so they did not constitute an editio typica of the Roman Missal requiring promulgation and all the pomp and circumstance, so to speak, which comes with an editio typica.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, which as you mentioned promulgated the 1970 Roman Missal, states:

We wish that these Our decrees and prescriptions may be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by Our predecessors, and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation.


By “other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and derogation,” Missale Romanum refers to all the previous liturgical forms which existed up until the point of the promulgation of the new missal. That included the modified 1962 missal.

But if that’s not enough…

Conferentiarium Episcopalium “on the obligatory nature of the Roman Missal of Paul VI” states:

When a conference of bishops decrees that the translation of the Roman Missal, or any part of it, for example, the Order of Mass, is obligatory in a region, Mass, whether in Latin or the vernacular, may be celebrated lawfully only according to the rite of the Roman Missal promulgated 3 April 1969 by authority of Pope Paul VI.

Conferentiarium Episcopalium goes on to allow for elderly and infirm priests who might find it difficult to transition fully to the Mass prescribed in the 1970 missal "to use in whole or in part, the Missale Romanum in the edito typica of 1962, as emended by the decrees of 1965 and 1967." This emended editio typica is what you refered to above as “the interim Missal of 1965.”

As to the rules issued by this Congregation in favor or sic] priests who because of their advanced years or infirmity find serious difficulties in using the new Order of Mass in the Roman Missal or the Lectionary for Mass, it is clear than an Ordinary has the power to grant them permission to use, in whole or in part, the Missale Romanum in the edito typica of 1962, as emended by the decrees of 1965 and 1967, but only for celebration without a congregation.

(Excerpts from Conferentiarium Episcopalium appear on romanrite.com/summorum.html, reprinted from Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979.)

As you see, however, there is some fine print to this allowance. This emended missal may only be used in “celebration without a congregation.”

It is clear that the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship did not want the emended Missal used for public liturgy and the fact that they only made the allowance for priests who were in “their advanced years” or who suffered “infirmity” (in other words, priests who would soon be dead) that they did not expect the practice to continue much longer.

We have no reason to think that we may start up the practice of using that emended missal today. In a way of speaking, the “interim Missal” died with the priests who were last permitted to use it.

That’s certainly a matter for debate, I guess.

I hope that helps answer your question!

I’ve never actually seen the 1965 Missal. I’ve heard about it, but never actually had one in my hand. I think I have some paperback printings of it (sort of a missallette) in the parish archives (which is a euphemism for the stuff in the back of the sacristy closet that never gets cleaned).

It is an interresting question though. Here are my thoughts:

If Pope Benedict had intended to allow the 1962 Mass in the vernacular (which would be essentially the “1965 missal”) I think he would have said as much. I personally doubt that this thought would have eluded him. In fact, in article 6 of the Motu Proprio, he does allow for the readings in the vernacular, so that’s a clear indication that the he did indeed give some thought to the use of the vernacular.

As I see it, there are 2 possibilities. He either does not want it said in the vernacular, or he may have deferred that decision to a future date.

I’m not quite sure that we can apply the same reasoning to the 65 version that applies to the 62 one because, as passus explained, the 65 version was always intended only as a temporary measure and not permanent, as the 62 was permanent. That means that I’m not of the opinion that the 65 Missal can be licitly used.

Personally speaking, I would very much like to see some option to use the 62 Mass in the vernacular, and I do think that the 65 one would easily accomodate this.

I’ve never celebrated the 62 Mass, although I would very much like to do so, and I know there is a great desire for it in my parishes. The obstacles for me are the proper pronounciation of the Latin (not just pronouncing the individual words, but doing so in true sentence form), and the fact that the rubrics in the Missal are in Latin, not English. I think it’s safe to say that there is a significant number of priests who have similar feelings. I am certain that if the 62 Mass in English were to be approved, we would see a great number of priests making use of it.

On the other hand, the problems I see with such a thing happening is that there would be a certain danger of abuse here. Would some priests take it upon themselves to substitute certain familiar prayers from the novus ordo in such a Mass? Would they take shortcuts with the rubrics as well? I don’t think we would see the kind of abuses we see in the *novus ordo *as far as priests outright changing the words or gestures to suit themselves, as such priests would likely have no interest in the traditional Mass in the first place. Having the text in Latin is a safeguard against the abuse of the priest changing the words.

The fact that priests must go through a great deal of effort to learn the traditional Mass is itself a way to weed-out those who would make casual changes. While I would like to see the option for the vernacular, I also have some reservations that if it were to become too easy, the temptation for abuse would likewise follow.

I would like to see someone inquire of the CDWDS whether or not the 62 Mass can be said in the vernacular, or if the 65 Missal can be used. I think the response would be in the negative, but there’s also a miniscule chance that it might be in the affirmative. There’s also a chance that Pope Benedict himself might grant such approval in the future. Perhaps if such a request were made (especially by some conference of bishops) he might actually do so. Personally, I hope to see this someday, and soon. But in the meantime, I’m of the opinion that the 65 Missal can’t be used.

I think that any attempt to celebrate the TLM according to the so-called Missal of 1965 would be met with howls of outrage by devotees of the Missal of Pope John XXIII. Perhaps rightly so. The link below details the thinking of the Latin Mass Society regarding this issue.


I’m not sure, simply because in the AAS in 1965 unlike 1967, the Congregation fo Rites did declare the new Ordo and Ritus as editio typica. The reason being that while the new Ordo did incorporate the changes of Inter Oecumenici, it also went further in making certain other changes with the spirit of the document. The same went for the Ritus Servandus. Most of the prayers of the Mass did remain the same, and so there as you point out, it was substantially the same. The rubrics, on the other hand, were almost completely rewritten in many cases within the Ordo Missae.

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