Missing Prayers

Can anyone here tell me why in the English Mass the prayers at the foot of the altar, the introit, the collect, numerous prayers through out the Mass, and the prayers before the end of Mass were done away with? I am new to the English Mass from the Traditional Movement, and am curious if anyone can give me an answer on this. I understand the want to hear the Mass in English (a language we can all understand) but if that is the case why mess with Tradition that goes back 14 centuries? I am not trolling here, I am looking for real answers as the English Mass is new to me. My wife was born and raised in it but cannot give me any answers because she knows nothing of the Pre-Vatican II church.


The Magisterium decided in 1967 that some prayers at the beginning and end of the Mass should be omitted from the Traditional Latin Mass. On the same time it was allowed that whatever is chanted/sung (like the Introit) the priest could omit form the sequence.

In addition in 1970 the Church changed the prayers of the offertory, and many propers; also made optional other prayers like the penitential rite and even the Canon.

The Church on that time believed that as the renewed Holy Triduum rites in the fifties brought many people into the Church replacing the previously empty Tenebrae services; so the new rites providing more active participation of the faithful will keep many people around the Churches.

Partially it was true. The renewed mass still is attended by 1 in every 4 Catholics as it is opposed to the Traditional and Latin only Mass which is attended by one in 10 even if the Mass is easily available.

Jesus Christ is present, regardless of the form.

The problem is not with the missing of some prayers, but when the reverence toward our Lord;s real presence is lost, and like in a clubhouse the human success is primary, not Jesus Christ. This later is consequence of the continuous attack of the Enemy toward the Church.

Thank you for your honesty. I was getting tired of the response “because the Pope said so” as that answers nothing for me.

Your point that it was to hopefully bring more faithful to the Mass is valid and something I believe. I wonder your thoughts on also if the removal of the communion rail was also something done for that cause? I am slowly learning as I go but to me what seem to be needless removals from Mass (communion rail, certain prayers) are to others normal. I guess we never stop learning. :thumbsup:

This is an extremely complex issue–not one that can be answered in a few sentences, to say nothing of doing so without any bias.

First, it is not the Engish Mass. It is a translation of the Roman Missal.

Last time I checked the Collect was after the Gloria and before the First Reading and the Secret (aka the Prayer Over the Gifts) was after Orate Fratres and before the Preface Dialogue. Let me check my Missal. Yup still there.

:smiley: you are funny, I guess that is why a “new” translation is rolling out in 2011…maybe one of these times they will get the translation where they want it.

If it is a translation of the Roman Missal (I have one from the 1950’s) why not translate the whole thing? Were they not able to translate the prayers at the foot of the altar for some reason? It is NOT a translation of the Roman Missal then correct??

It’s a translation of the Missale Romanum editio typica tertia, from 2002 (the third typical edition of what was called the Novus Ordo Missae–that term is now seen as derogatory). You’re perhaps thinking of the Missale Romanum, ed. 1962.

…and a new translation is rolling out around advent of 2011?? Not to be sarcastic but I mean c’mon, how many times are we going to translate the Mass??

Because the Church decided such, following the reforms initiated by Vatican II. Just as the celebration of the Mass was revised and changed following the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The Church decided to initiate changes, do away with some practices, etc.

The communion rail was a practice that existed for a certain period of time. That’s all. No big deal.

The point is, the Roman Missal was revised following Vatican II. So, it’s not simply a translation, it’s rather a translation of the revision.

Prior to Vatican II, the Missal of Pius V was authoritative. Following Vatican II, the Missal of Paul VI was authoritative. Two different Roman Missals.

There are two different issues being conflated here.

First, the Roman Missal itself was altered between 1962 and 1970. The changes included the dropping of the prayers you mention. Pope Benedict calls the two forms of the Latin-Rite Mass the ordinary form (the newer one) and the extraordinary form (the older one). Before he introduced those terms, they were sometimes called the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the Novus Ordo (NO), or just the “old mass” and the “new mass.”

None of that is directly related to the language in which the Mass is celebrated. The official text of both Missals is in Latin. However, it is permissible to celebrate the ordinary form in the vernacular tongue (usually English, in the US), whereas the extraordinary form is always celebrated in Latin regardless of location (though the missal itself will generally include a vernacular translation for the convenience of those participating).

When the ordinary form was initially translated from Latin to English, the translators preferred a very “loose” translation that deviated in various places from the actual Latin text. The newer translation that we’ll start using in 2011 has been mandated by Rome to be a more faithful rendering of the Latin into English.

So it’s not that “the English Mass” lacks the prayers you mention because they were never translated. The ordinary form of the Mass lacks those prayers even in Latin, and so naturally that carries over into its English translation. The extraordinary form retains those prayers, and would continue to do so even if it were, for some reason, to be celebrated in English.



Thank you for your help and advice on my question since I am Traditionalist born and raised and new to the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Your rolling of the eyes helps answer my question so much, glad you took the time to help.


One thing to be careful to avoid confusing is the difference between the actual text of the Missal of 1969 - the Ordinary Form or “Novus Ordo” that can be celebrated in English - and other changes in discipline or common practice that are not directly related to the Missal.

Example 1: Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and Last Gospel. These were actually removed from the Ordinary Form of the Mass and cannot be said as part of it. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it is.

Example 2: Kneeling at a communion rail to receive Holy Communion on the tongue from a priest. Kneeling to receive is relatively rare in celebrations of the Ordinary Form, and Extraordinary Ministers (lay people) and reception in the hand are permitted - but that’s not really a change to the Missal itself, but rather a change in practice. The Ordinary Form can be and sometimes is celebrated with the traditional ways of receiving Holy Communion. Same goes for Ad orientem for the Eucharistic Prayer/Canon.

Other things that are often absent from modern Churches or from celebrations of the Ordinary Form, but can still be used include: statues, High Altar, votive candles, Sanctus bells, Communion patens, burse, chalice veil, and pall and paten, Latin, and Gregorian chant. The Confiteor and Roman Canon are both optional and could be used all the time; the Sign of Peace is optional and could be omitted all the time. Incense also could be used any time.

I suggest you read the full text of the Order of Mass sometime. There’s not as much missing as you may think.

Still have not receieved a concrete answer on that one, except because that is how it is. :shrug:

None of these used except votive candles. No bells, no paten, no chant, no latin, no chalice veil and no statues. (It is a “temp” place of worship as they call it but still would it hurt to put some statues in??

Confiteor never used at our church.

Always used at our church

Never used at our church

Maybe not where you attend but where I do it is all missing.

Check here for a video that shows how, by taking many of the available options the GIRM gives, the Ordinary Form can be celebrated with greater continuity with the Extraordinary Form.

Sorry. I hope someone can give you a better answer.

None of these used except votive candles. No bells, no paten, no chant, no latin, no chalice veil and no statues. (It is a “temp” place of worship as they call it but still would it hurt to put some statues in??

Confiteor never used at our church.
(Sign of Peace) Always used at our church
(Roman Canon) Never used at our church

Maybe not where you attend but where I do it is all missing.

I’m sorry that so much of Catholic Roman liturgical tradition is missing where you are. Unfortunately, it’s all too common. I just encourage you to realize that none of this stuff was stripped out by Vatican II and much of it wasn’t taken out by the Missal of 1969 either - rather, it was taken out by people who tried to destroy a lot of traditions in a misinterpretation of the “spirit of Vatican II.”

Here’s the full text (pdf) of the Ordinary of the Order of Mass in the new translation that will start in Advent 2011.

I miss the Penetential Act (Confiteor) at our Mass. The priest now says “Let us now call to mind the times we have sinned” and then there is a 20 second pause and they go into the Kyrie.

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