Missal of Paul VI

The Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium called for various reforms to be made to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. Nevertheless, following the completion of the Second Vatican Council, the Concilium formed to implement the reforms illustrated in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy assembled an entirely new liturgy, albeit the basic format of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII was mirrored. Overall, I am interested in why a new liturgy was created rather than reforming the Missal of Blessed John XXIII to fulfill the various aspects found in Sacrosanctum Concilium?

Although I’m not so sure about the

part, that is an excellent question. It is also one that, while I have my own immutable position on the matter, I will not attempt to answer here.

Well, in the aspect that in certain ways the Missal of Paul VI with the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Faithful mirrors the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful found in the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. In addition, standard elements such as the Confiteor, Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and so on. Lastly, I was hoping to go beyond some of the common traditional polemics, albeit with merit and of course any positions of the Society of St. Pius X.

It’s not a matter of polemics (“traditional” or otherwise) from my side. It’s simply one of saying I’m not going further. :shrug:

The “Confiteor” is but one of the many “options” in the Novus Ordo, and so too, is the Kyrie, which of course means they may or may not be done. But that’s beside the point. The other parts mentioned (except for the Agnus Dei) are common to all Apostolic liturgies, Eastern or Western. Taken together, it still doesn’t really demonstrate continuity between the Novus Ordo and the Usus Antiquior in the Latin Church.

My previous statement was not intended to dismiss your supposed views at all. Rather in this thread, I’m aiming to move beyond the traditional publications and any polemics since I’m familiar with them and I was hoping to read other viewpoints regarding these liturgical developments. Yet, in the end, if you desire to express your views on this matter and other notable posters than I would certainly welcome it. Overall, I was just attempting to direct the discussion down a different route.

You certainly raise some valid points. Thus, I have expressed to various clergy I know that the Missal of Paul VI can be celebrated in a ‘traditional’ manner, but also in a ‘liberal’ manner and still be a valid celebration that satisfies the norms of the Church. A great departure from the unity presented in the Mass according to the Tridentine Missal.

The Fathers of the Council were against “the unity” of which you speak that did not permit any variation in the Mass that they had known. They wanted to be able to improvise and to provide means by which each race and culture could have a distinctive liturgical celebration of their own. The New Mass is designed to adaptation as per the words of the Council:

“Even in the liturgy the Church does not wish to impose rigid uniformity…Rather does she (the Church) foster the qualities and talents of the various races and nations. Anything in these people’s way of life which is not indissolubly bound up in superstition and error she studies with sympathy, and, if possible, preserves intact. She sometimes even admits such things into the liturgy itself, provided they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit.”

—Sacrosanctum Concilium, Ch. 1, para. 37

The rebuttal would be whether these liturgies characterized by innovation have helped the Church and its mission in this world. With the emergence of a ‘reform of the reform’ movement I would say something has gone terrible wrong in the liturgy of the Roman Rite following the council.

I think that we have to be careful in how we present the expression, “The Reform of the Reform” so as not to confuse non Catholics or Catholics who do not understand.

The current reform of the Roman Missal does not change anything that was originally encouraged and approved by Sacrosanctum Concilium, including the integration of indigenous elements that are consistent with the faith and the sacred mysteries. For example, in the African dioceses, bishops may legitimately allow liturgical dance. In the Amazon dioceses bishops may legitimately allow the use of local music and instruments instead of the traditional European liturgical music. In Australia, they are allowed certain customs that are considered reverent to the aboriginal people. These things are not being stripped away.

What is being done is to correct translations, mostly the English translation and to clarify what was never allowed or what was not allowed to everyone, since some things were allowed to some groups.

We also have to help people understand that when the Church speaks about unity through liturgy, she is not speaking about uniformity. We have never had uniformity. We have 11 rites. Even within those rites, we have usages. Within those usages, we have customs that are particular to certain countries or to certain religious communities. These differences extend not only to rubrics, but even to architecture, spatial organization, music and other details. Even in the consecration there is one rite that does not use the words of institution, but it is valid and licit. The unity is the one faith and the one Eucharist.

In the Roman Rite the unity is one rite in two expressions of equal dignity and value.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Well, the idea of a ‘reform of the reform’ is a movement perhaps more confined to various published works and liturgically oriented blogs than a movement defined currently in Church documents. For example, ignatius.com/Products/OMN-P/the-old-mass-and-the-new.aspx

I understand your point regarding unity through the liturgy than mere uniformity. Yet, I can count the number of Roman Rite parishes on my hand that exist where I live and none of them resemble each other in liturgical practices, but nevertheless celebrate the same Roman Missal as my home parish. In addition, I don’t reside in a multicultural community where Sacrosanctum Concilium has much of any bearing to drastically modify the celebration of the Roman Rite liturgy. I do appreciate your response, Br. JR.

I can agree and do feel comfortable with saying it this way. “Reform of the reform” is really a concept that has sprung from different unofficial sources, such as writers, theologians, liturgists and laymen. It is not a formal program in which the Church has embarked.

I try to be very cautious and avoid using that expression around lay people, because it confuses people. They suddenly imagine some earth shattering changes in the liturgy. Some would welcome them, to either side, left or right. Others shudder at the thought. Why mislead either group or raise expectations that are not going to be met?

The best way and the most honest way to say it is that there are corrections coming, rather than changes. In reality, that’s what’s coming out of the Vatican, corrections. Hopefully, these will bring everyone into compliance with the expectations and wishes of Vatican II and remain within the boundaries of the different traditions that we have in the Church, both East and West.

Many people don’t know it, but there are some corrections going on in the East as well. One of them being more usage of the vernacular, because the Holy See and the Patriarchs agree that there is no reason why the vernacular may not be used in the Eastern Liturgy, especially in countries such as the USA and Canada where the Eastern Catholics are not fluent in Eastern liturgical languages. However, this will not be imposed on them either. It will be an option that the bishops and metropolitans can use. In some places they have already begun using more vernacular.

There are more corrections coming to ensure that people understand what is allowed, what is required, and what is never permitted. As usual, I urge everyone to remember that for every rule that comes out on liturgy, you can find 150 (my number) exceptions in different documents, letters, chapters of religious orders, conferences of bishops or simply older customs and traditions that precede the ruling and are allowed to remain in place for different reasons. When you read these rules that are coming out, try to say to yourself, “These are guidelines. They are not the 10 Commandments etched in stone.”.

When it comes to liturgy, the number of rules that are static are not as many as we think. Even the words of consecration, which everyone thought had to be exact and precise, turns out that there is one rite that does not use them, but is a valid and licit consecration. I should clarify. The Addai Mari is the only anaphora allowed that does not have the explicit words of consecration. This had to be clarified in recent years. For a long time, many Catholics and Orthodox were not sure if they had to add the words of consecration when adopting the Addai Mari anaphora. The Chaldeans often use it and they put the words in, to be on the safe side, until Bl. John Paul said that it was not necessary.

For those who attend parishes run by religious, do not expect major changes there. The Roman Missal is more often used by secular priests and those religious communities that do not have their own missal. If your parish has a religious order, chances are that the order has its own missal with its own instructions. If you have a religious congregation, then you will follow the Roman Missal.

The orders are old and have long standing customs. Some have their own rites: Carmelite, Carthusian and Dominican are three in the West. Others use the Roman Rite, but with different collects, readings and variations on liturgical gestures and a different calendars. Those people who are in the jurisdiction of these communities will only see changes in the translation from Latin to English. All the rest will remain the same. So if your parish is run by the Order of St. John Doe and that order receives communion standing on its head, because it’s been their tradition for 300 years, you will continue to receive standing on your head when you attend their parish mass. The image is an exaggeration, but the point that I’m trying to drive home is that we should not expect to see dramatic changes. Hopefully, we will see the nonsense separated from the allowances.

Things like this have never been clarified or were stated and never given follow-up and people got lost or confused. We hope that the confusion will be minimized with the new Roman Missal and the new instructions.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

After Sacrosanctum Consilium the Church immediately started to reform the Mass:


The result was chaos, quite similar to what is now in some churches. The 1970 regulation was intended to bring order. On that time almost everybody welcomed it. Unfortunately the innovators win in some churches, and recreated the previous chaos.

We shall trust, that God stands with His Church, and will resolve the problem.

The problem with this is that others started questioning at what point the consecration occurred within their own rites. It seems now it is unclear whether it’s just the words “This is my body…,” “this is the chalice of my blood” which actually perform the consecration.

In the 60’s, even before the New Mass, many people (of the orthodox kind) were questioning whether any translated consecration was valid. (Some probably still have some doubts, I hear.) There seemed to be a rapid decline in attendance when the rumors that the vernacular was going to be pushed; that might have been one of the reasons for the drop. From my Catholic high school class, there were at least 20 of us who enrolled in a certain state university, having no more or very little to do with going to church. Interest dwindled in the Newman club at that university as well. The vernacular was more of an insult to us than advantage; at least from my recollection.

In a way I like the fact that the entire canon is necessary for the consecration, if that is the case in all rites. It takes away some of that perception of a magic show, as we’ve discussed before.

DS 698 The words of the Savior, by which He instituted this sacrament, are the form of this sacrament; for the priest speaking in the person of Christ effects this sacrament.

Hi PA650.

It seems to me like what you characterize as “gone terrible wrong” in the liturgy is what the pope, bishops, and most Catholics want. You talk about the Church’s mission in the world in connection with the liturgy. You are on to something. There is now a new way of reaching out to non-Catholics. The updated liturgy is about reaching modern men and women. Do modern men and women want Latin, a bunch of genuflections, or signs of the Cross? Does modern man and woman want to kneel to not even receive communion in their hand, but on the tongue like a baby? What ever criticism you can bring against the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, you can’t say it fails to incorporate the native genius and human sensibilities of all men and women of every nation.

You can catechise the convert and they conform to the Traditional Mass. Or you can make the Mass conform to the needs and sensibilities of the Age. In my opinion, that is the main practical difference between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. Given that needs and sensibilities change every generation, one has to expect in the Ordinary Form continued reforms of reforms of reforms of reforms until the Lord comes back. Either that, or catechise the converts like the Church had always done, and make them mostly suppress their distinctive national characteristics, at least so far as liturgy is concerned.



Use of vernacular, or at least its partial use, is a longstanding practice in the Eastern & Oriental Churches, and has absolutely nothing to do with a “correction” (I rather that word is totally out of place here, but never mind) or anything of the sort. The related innovation is the total abandonment of ancient and venerable liturgical languages, in imitation of the common post-conciliar practice in the Latin Church.

I will not get into a discussion of languages in the Eastern & Oriental Churches except to say that there are those who strongly support the preservation of our ancient and venerable liturgical same, albeit that the reasons for same are somewhat different than those found in the Latin Church. It’s not all-vernacular-all-the-time.

This is only partially correct. The original recension of the Anaphora of Ss Addai & Mari, as used by the ACoE, does indeed lack an Institution Narrative, and it was this recension that was the focus of the decision of the Holy Office. The recension of the Anaphora of Ss Addai & Mari used by the Chaldean Church is nearly identical, but does have an Institution Narrative, that was added by Rome at the time of union in the late 16th century. It’s interesting to note that the Institution Narrative is still there, even after both the aforementioned decision of the Holy Office and the recent liturgical restorations promulgated by the Holy Synod of the Chaldean Church.

I believe that the point that Bl. John Paul clarified was that because of the history of this anaphora its legitimacy and intent cannot be questioned, since it has been the same since the beginning and it has never had the words of institution. He’s saying this, because this was the question on the table. I consider that one more question answered. Now we can move on, rather than start raising questions about the other canons in the West and anaphoras of the East.

There is more coming on the languages of the East. I don’t know the details. I only know that I heard the announcement by one of the Eastern Metropolitans.

This is only partially correct. The original recension of the Anaphora of Ss Addai & Mari, as used by the ACoE, does indeed lack an Institution Narrative,

No one ever said that it had one. What has been said is that the intent to consecrate is included throughout the anaphora in a euchological manner and has been the case for more than 17 centuries, along with a valid priesthood and a belief in the Eucharist. Therefore, the words that have been used in the other Catholic and Orthodox Churches have never been present but it is unnecessary to add them.

and it was this recension that was the focus of the decision of the Holy Office. The recension of the Anaphora of Ss Addai & Mari used by the Chaldean Church is nearly identical, but does have an Institution Narrative, that was added by Rome at the time of union in the late 16th century. It’s interesting to note that the Institution Narrative is still there, even after both the aforementioned decision of the Holy Office and the recent liturgical restorations promulgated by the Holy Synod of the Chaldean Church.

No one said that it was not there among the Chaldeans. What was said is that there is finally a clarification or a question answered. Put another way, an apprehension has been corrected. The anaphora is valid with and without the explicit words of consecration. That’s all that’s being said. Noe one has told the Chaldeans who use it to throw out their versiion and go back to square one. On the other hand, some Chaldean dioceses have stopped adding this interpolation, because it is now clear that they don’t need to do so. That was what triggered the need for clarification in the first place, that at least one diocese in the East, maybe more, were using the ancient anaphora without the words of consecration.

The point is that we’re not having reforms of reforms. What we are seeing is what has happened throughout Church history, nothing new. When something changes, there is always a need for follow-up with clarifications, tweeking, and corrections. Too many people are placing unrealistic expectations on this new instruction for the Roman missal and other missals.

Some are hoping that it will turn the clock back before 1962, but as Pope Benedict has said, the Church does not end at 1962. Others are hoping that it will lead into some undefined futuristic version of the liturgy. I’m not sure what this group expects; but that’s not going to happen either. What’s going to happen in the West in parishes run by secular priests, which is most of them, there will be greater clarify on what has to be done, what may never be done and what is allowed, but not mandatory.

In parishes run by the orders, there will be very little change, except those that use the missals in English will use the corrected translation, but their customs will go untouched. They will keep their own calendars, missals, lectionaries, book of the Gospels, collects and liturgy of the mass and hours.

Those orders that had their own rites may reinstate them, with the approval of their legitimate authority within the order, be it the General Council or the General Chapter. Carthusians don’t have general chapters, so this does not apply to them and they don’t allow lay people to witness their mass anyway, with few exceptions. They will vote on this by house.

Finally, at some point in the future, the Extraordinary Form MIssal will be updated with a change in the calendar to include saints and blesseds after 1962. Many people will welcome this, because people have a devotion to certain blesseds and saints. Pio, Maximilian Kolbe, John XXIII, Mother Teresa, John Paul II, Giana Molla, Edith Stein and a few othes are very special to people of different regions. This will not be a real reform, but a revision of the calendar.

Hopefully, the confusion and the nonsense that has been introduced into the liturgy or into people’s heads will disappear. Of course, human beings being what we are, new nonsense will replace old nonsense. Isn’t that always the case? :shrug:


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Yes, I know. :banghead:

Not quite. The “need for clarification” was triggered by inter-communion concerns between the Chaldean Church and the ACoE. It was not due to things within the Chaldean Church itself. Within the past several years, the Holy Synod of the Chaldean Church promulgated some liturgical restorations and it was very clearly noted that, while the Institution Narrative that had been added to Addai & Mari could have been abrogated, it was decided that the addition was to be retained. If, in fact, any individual Chaldean bishops or priests have removed it from use, (and I have never heard of that happening), such would be absolutely contrary to the stated directives of the Holy Synod.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. As St. Pio said, “Worry is useless” and so is speculating on what the Church will do or should do. These things are out of our control. Even the bishops have no control over what the Holy See has done so far and will do in the future. As I always tell the brothers and sisters in formation, “Read it and do it. The only questions allowed are: a) ‘How do we do this?’ and b) ‘What does this mean?’ St. Francis would roll over in his grave if you ask more than that.” I believe that’s how Francis maintained such great inner peace in dealing with a very troubled Church during his time. We can all use a little inner peace and silence. Sometimes asking too many questions takes away from that silence and the noise spills over into our daily lives causing us to be less focussed.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

After debating a Protestant for nearly three hours while attending a prayer vigil in front of a local abortion clinic, I can only laugh at the naivete of Roman Catholics that thought revising the sacred liturgy to better accommodate Protestants would end the division between Protestants and Catholics. In the end, the liturgical issues within the Roman Rite of the Church has prevented me from pursuing a priestly vocation in the diocesan system and instead I will commit my time to discerning a vocation in the priestly societies of the Church that celebrate the sacraments in the usus antiquior.

It’s perfectly fine to follow the voice of Christ to join either a religious institute or a society of apostolic life instead of a diocese. What is essential, not matter which one Christ calls you to is to be humble.

Sometimes, I meet men who want to enter a society of apostolic life such as the FSSP, but when I speak with them they give off an air of superiority. It’s hard to describe. It’s almost as if to say, “We’re too good to be a common diocesan priest. After all, we celebrate the Extraordinary Form.”

Yet, when working along side the priests of the Fraternity in another assignment, I found that they not only avoid such pride, but they actually reject candidates who exhibit any kind of negativity for the traditional diocesan priest. In other words, they realize that their place in the Church is very unique and that they depend on the support of the clergy and religious in any diocese where they serve. Without that support and welcome they would be unable to serve. Their approach and their attitude is one of great warmth and positive regard for priests and religious who celebrate the Ordinary Form. Some of them celebrate both forms without any conflicts.

Another wonderful community is the Canons of St. John Cantius. They’re not a society of apostolic life, but a diocesan congregation of canons regular. They too have a wonderful relationship with other priests and religious who celebrate the Ordinary Form and they are very humble in their dealings with those around them. They are aware that they have a very special place in the Church and are very happy to fill that place. I find them a joy to work with, especially when we ask them to teach us the EF. They are gentle, friendly, unassuming and they make it clear that they are Canons, not because there is something defective with the rest of us, but because Christ calls them to serve in a unique ministry and to live in a unique religious charism.

As you discern, try to focus not on what you perceive as deficiencies in the liturgical practices of the clergy around you. Instead, focus on the gifts that God has given you and where those gifts may best serve the Church with the greatest humility and charity. Whether you join a diocese, a society of apostolic life, a religious congregation, religious order or a monastery, the important thing is to look up to others, not down at them. As St. Francis said to us in our rule and in our admonitions.

** “The brother knows that he is nothing and no one. He sees all men as his masters and holds them in the highest esteem, because the brother is nothing better than the dust beneath our feet.”**

This rule of life governed great men such as Bonaventure, Anthony of Padua, Maximilian Kolbe, Fidelis, Conrad, Paschal Baylon, John Duns Scotus and hundreds of saints and blessed, cleric and non cleric.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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