Why was psalm 42 the Prayers At The Foot Of the Altar removed in the OF form as well as the Last Gospel the first chapter of the book of John the Evangelist?
I was in high school at the time of Vat II and it was explained to us that both things were accretions to the Mass, which begins with the sign of the cross and ends with the dismissal. I really don’t recall if the last gospel came before or after the Ite missa est. Anyway, this is what we were told. Not, that there was anything wrong with either of these removed parts and we are free to pray them ourselves before and after Mass, as well as the prayer to St. Michael.
The assistant at a nearby parish does recite the St. Michael prayer as he processes out and the whole congregation joins in loudly. I think this is OK since the Mass has officially ended. Of course someone may now tell me that the recessional is part of the Mass and the St. Michael prayer shouldn’t take it’s place.
As Claire said, mostly because they were accretions to the Mass, things that began as private devotions (whether of priest or people) before or after the Mass and which ended up being officially attached to the Missal.
Actually they were removed in 1965 before the new Mass for the reasons stated above. It also made serving easier as many altar boys were starting to struggle with the Psalm 42 responses. (I know because my younger brother was one of them. )
However, what was more noticed back then was the replacement of the old communion formula: Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen. (May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.)
I notice in many EF parishes today that the altar boys don’t struggle with Psalm 42. How come they were struggling?
And why was the communion formula changed?
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because altar boys who assist at the E.F. Mass today do so because they sincerely want to, and are making the effort to learn and understand the responses. 50+ years ago, that wasn’t necessarily the case!
SACRED CONGREGATION OF RITES, Decree Quo actuosius, promulgating a new formulary for the distribution of communion, 25 April 1964: AAS 56 (1964) 337-338.
In order that the people may more actively and beneficially take part in the sacrifice of the Mass and profess their faith in the eucharistic mystery in the very act of receiving communion, numerous requests have been submitted to Pope Paul VI for a more appropriate formulary for the distribution of communion.
Graciously welcoming such requests, the Pope has established that in the distribution of communion, in place of the formulary now in use, the priest simply to say: The body of Christ and the people are to answer: Amen, then receive communion. This is to be followed whenever communion is distributed, both within and outside Mass.
All things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those worthy of special mention.
The previous formulary for receiving Communion had been the following, said by the priest: Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam tuam in vitam aetérnam. Amen. The communicant did not make a reply.
The formula which replaced it was:
Priest: Corpus Christi.
The previous form was a blessing said by the priest to each one receiving Communion: “May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.”
From my point of view, the previous form could have been adjusted only slightly to facilitate the active participation (which here apparently means saying something aloud) of the faithful:
Priest: Hoc Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam tuam in vitam aetérnam.
The priest is now saying, in effect, “May this, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, preserve your soul unto life everlasting” to which the communicant responds “Amen”. It is still a blessing, yet it incorporates a profession of faith from the communicants: no longer is some Body of our Lord Jesus Christ (which is not identified with the Host being received) preserving their soul, but this Eucharist which is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On that good old times in many churches weekday masses were in 30 minutes time frame (in our Church 14 priests celebrated the Holy Mass every day); and 60 minutes in Sundays. It was a real hardship to squeeze the Mass with that additions into that limitation.
I would agree with you there. It brings the reception more in line with the “He who eats my flesh … has everlasting life” verse in John 6:55, which is the whole point of communion in the first place.
While I can follow the argument laid out that “Corpus Christi” more obviously refers to Jesus in THIS EUCHARIST right here, in contrast to the EF formula, I think something is lost when we go from a prayer (not a blessing, but a prayer - priests have the authority to bless, they don’t have to say ‘may’ as laypersons do") on behalf of the communicant to a simple statement of fact which now requires a response. The trouble is that so many folks who are supposedly now themselves vocally affirming the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic Species don’t seem to believe in the Real Presence. That is what seems difficult to understand to me.
Well, some liturgists try to downplay that, and emphasize that “Corpus Christi” also refers to us. Now, it’s true that the Church is the Body of Christ, and in Holy Communion our Lord feeds His Body with His Body, but our identity as the Body of Christ should not cloud our vision to the extraordinary presence of our Lord in the Eucharist.
I agree completely!