My views on the order of the mass

Over the past two weeks or so I have been investigating the development of the order of the mass, in particular the developments under Paul VI. I think I’m ready to state my conclusion, and I would like others to comment on it. First of all, the new order of the mass as instituted under Paul VI constituted a valid development of the mass. As our late Pope said:
In the liturgy, above all that of the sacraments, there is an immutable part, a part that is divinely instituted and of which the Church is the guardian, and parts that can be changed, which the Church has the power and on occasion also the duty to adapt to the cultures of recently evangelized peoples. (John Paul II, Vicesimus quintus annus, 16; cf. SC 21.)
A lot of traditionalists hold that these changes constituted a change to the immutable part, but I am yet to see any evidence of this. If you disagree with this, then please explain to me why, in all charity.

However, there were many changes made that were changes to the mutable part. In a large part, these changes were probably quite unfortunate, and have resulted in poor fruit. In other words, they have been a poor pastoral decision on the part of the Magisterium. Of course, this is a matter of personal opinion only. As such, I would love to see some changes made (reversions):
*]To reinclude some of the excluded portions, particularly those parts that have to do with the sacrificial nature of the mass.
*]It should become the norm (or least, it should become much more common) for the mass to be said in latin, with readings and homily in the vernacular.
*]It should become the norm (or more common) for the priest to face away from the people, towards the tabernacle. This I’m not so concerned about.
*]It should become the norm (or more common) for the faithful to receive the Eucharist on the tongue, kneeling at an altar rail. This I am more concerned about.
*]Use of Gregorian Chant should become more common.[/list]
On the other hand, I think there were a couple of changes made to the order of the mass that I really like, and therefore I hope that they will always still be included:
*]A third reading on Sunday.
*]The sign of peace.[/list]
It’s probably clear by now that I am still largely ignorant of the extent of the changes made in the last century, and so I ask that you go easy on me if I’ve made any silly stuff-ups.

Don’t worry - you’re not likely to see any of these changes you propose any time soon.

Awww… :frowning:

Point 1: I agree. I would also like to see the return of the Confiteor
Point 2: Also agree. I prefer the Mass as seen on EWTN an participate daily
Point 3: Although I agree, many churches have designed their Church to make this impossible without construction ($$$) and many are not facing east.
Point 4: I agree, but how many Churches have Altar Rails? Is the sanctuary constructed in a way to add them?
Point 5: Yes

I could do without the sign of peace, as done, because we are already a community receiving the precious Body and Blood of Jesus with the communion of saints. I think that the priest should retain his part and drop the remainder - people. I visited a Church in North Carolina and it took about three minutes for the priest to start Mass again. People where visiting pews one or two sections from their original position. Hugging, kissing, and holding a where are we going for BK. discussion.

The problem is that you will never get two people to agree to what should change and what should not. That was the beauty of the old order, though it was flawed and needed reform. But when I suggest to lovers of the TLM that the Last Gospel had to go, I always get responses from those who thought that was the best part of the Mass. When people say everything should be in Latin except the readings, I ask why the readings should not also be in Latin. In the old days, they were repeated in the vernacular as part of the sermon, which still strikes me as an ideal situation. But if you get five people in the same room debating these things, they will starve to death or die of sleep deprivation over the length of the unresolvable debate that will ensue.

You’re right jbuck. This thread is really just me trying to form an opinion. I’m happy for others to have other opinions as well. Most of all, I believe it is up to the bishops and the Magisterium to guide the faithful and make these decisions. I know every man and his dog has his opinion about what “needs to be done in the Church” but ultimately the bishops are there to make these decisions and we need to follow them.

I agree with you on the second points
#1 The third reading is an excellent addition

#2 The sign of peace, understood correctly is an awesome moment. If it is only understood as a community peace thing it takes away from the worship.

Now concerning the first points.

  1. We do need to maintain the understanding that it is the

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not a service, memorial or fellowship this all is secondary at most.

  1. Latin should be used in the repetative portions of the Mass, as it represents the universal worship. Besides anybody will learn Latin after hearing it a few dozen times.
    (people are scared, as they have the justified fear of people not understanding the Mass, the problem is most don’t understand it today) This is a problem of catechesis and actually attending Mass.

  2. Facing away from the people does focus on God more than the community and that should be our primary focus. God is the focus, community is always second. This has been reversed in the progressive mindset.

  3. Altar Rails can be brought back and if architecture prohibits this there are portable kneelers which can be set up. Both options should always be presented with a raised platform for those who cannot kneel and can only stand.

  4. Music should be encouraged to be liturgically appropriate, and this should be specified clearly how with examples of what isn’t appropriate and what is, including Gregorian Chant.

There is my opinion, but I am nobody,
God Bless

I agree. When I become a Priest (assuming I can get into seminary - I’ve been a tad to Romish for the tastes of the local priests :rolleyes: ) I plan on having a lot of Latin and to do Mass ad orientem. But I’m sure the priest and priestess wanna bes who seem to be the actual runners of parishes will be quite resistive.

Here’s an idea. Instead of this incessant tinkering with the Mass, how about everybody just leave it alone? Every few months we get new directives from our national bishop’s conference or the Holy See: Lay people can’t do this. Lay people can do this. Only ordained ministers (heaven forbid we call them priests) may do such and such. Except in extraordinary situations when even heretics can do it. Kneel. Stand. Bow. Sit. Genuflect. Hop up and down. We don’t want to be liturgical fascists. Except in certain instances. And we really mean it this time!!! No posture is proscribed. No posture is prescribed. No Latin. Some Latin. All Latin. Ad orientem. Versus populum. Gluten free. Alcohol free. Validity free. Free hugs and kisses for all!

Perhaps we should just let the Mass “organically develop.” But there is a problem with the Mass of Paul VI: A surfeit of options. Even if it is said slavishly according to the rubrics, you can see more than a hundred different versions of the same Mass each Sunday. No wonder it requires so many dictates from on high.

The options, and the ad libita, were deliberate.

Bugnini covers this issue extensively in his book.

The truth is, one of the greatest changes in the liturgy has been the collapse of the concept of a “liturgical proper”.

Many Offices and Masses have so many possible options that there isn’t a single unified proper for that day.

No wonder the whole concept of the sung Mass has largely died. The average parish Novus Ordo is a Low Mass with some songs tacked on.

Do what the dissidents do, hide your orthodoxy and zeal for truth a little so that they do not think you will get in the way of ordaining women.

This is what the dissidents do they hide their true intentions until they teach RCIA, or other positions where they can destroy people’s faith.
(sorry, I am a little upset over a crummy RCIA class I just attended)

God Bless

… how devious :D! Why didn’t I think of that before? Well I am joining a new parish (after enjoying the rejection of the previous two) and I think I will heed your advice. I think I would enjoy infiltrating AmChurch to use them to further goals of true Catholicism.

As to RCIA I know what you mean. They booted me as an assistant catechist… to much of that popery nonsence on my part I guess (namely sin and the Real Presence)

What was exluded from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was excluded under the impulse of the Holy Spirit:

Ludwig Ott: ‘It has been the constant teaching of the Church from the earliest times that the resolutions of General Councils are infallible.’

John Paul II (Spiritus et Sponsa, 1):
"In the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the first fruit of the Second Vatican Council, that ‘great grace bestowed on the Church in the 20th century’, the Holy Spirit spoke to the Church, ceaselessly guiding the disciples of the Lord ‘into all the truth’ "

Pope Paul VI (General Audience, November 19, 1969):
“The reform which is about to be brought into being is therefore a response to an authoritative mandate from the Church. It is an act of obedience. It is an act of coherence of the Church with herself. It is a step forward for her authentic tradition. It is a demonstration of fidelity and vitality, to which we all must give prompt assent.”

Pius XII (Mediator Dei, 58):
the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification.

…and have resulted in poor fruit.

See Cardinal Arinze’s ‘Highlights of the Liturgical Renewal Initiated bySacrosanctum Concilium’ at

In other words, they have been a poor pastoral decision on the part of the Magisterium.

The Magisterium is the teaching authority that the Pope and bishops have - the Magisterium cannot be said to “make decisions”, but those who exercise the authority do.

Please list specifically the things that Vatican II ordered excluded from the Mass.

People confuse Vat2 and the Bugnini committee. They are different.

I can remember back in the 60’s and 70’s, there was a splinter group of Catholic priests that protested Bugnini’s 'Mess". As I recall they were called the ORCM(Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement). If I am correct there was a Father Francis Fenton involved with the group. I also remember that there was a conspiracy theory about Pope Paul VI not really being the man elected as Pope; but rather a plant for the Masons. Seems there was a bunch of photos being circulated that “proved” the conspiracy.

Anyone remember any of this stuff? Or Am I losing it big time?

Isn’t ‘organic development’ the product of persistent ‘tinkering’?

There seems to be some confusion about ad orientem.
Doesn’t this refer primarily to the priest and the congregation all facing the same direction (priest’s back to the nave)?
While “ad orientem” means “to the east”, pre-Vatican II churches were not all constructed so that the priest was facing east; altars were near the wall opposite the main entrance of most churches, and the main doors usually faced the street at the front of the church property. For example, the cruciform church in which I was baptized was on a north-south configuration with the altar at the north; my present parish churches both are east-west with the doors near the street to the east and the altars near the west walls.
Really, what is important is that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass be celebrated in in a fitting, reverent manner centering on the Real Presence of Jesús in the Euchrist.

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