Reverent Novus Ordo Masses?


All I see from that is that I don’t know how to form a sentence.


Prior to the new order of mass introduced in 1970, the old order was treated just as irreverently in some parishes. In my home parish, the mass has always been celebrated reverently. It has nothing to do with which form is used.


This is exactly correct. I’ve been to a few sloppy OF Masses. But I normally go to Sunday Mass at the Benedictine abbey of which I’m an oblate. It is a superbly reverent, fluid and well executed liturgy. The ordinary and propers are in Latin Gregorian chant (and of course Greek for the Kyrie), the rest in French plainchant. The readings are chanted, not read. The only thing not chanted is the homily (on Sunday) or the weekday intercessions, where the chanting of the EP is recto-tono instead of with a melody.

The EF is now almost exclusively carried out by enthusiasts, so it’s almost a given that it will be reverent. From what I’ve read from those who have been there (I was born in '58 and have no recall of the Tridentine Mass), there were plenty of irreverent Tridentine Masses (spead-read, mumbled, etc.). Put the same effort in the OF as those enthusiasts put into the EF, and the result will be the same, in terms of reverence.


I agree with this. I managed to be able to experience pre-Vatican II mass as mass server in 64-65 period as a small boy. We were naughty lots, as boys were. The mass is reverent as much as those involved in celebrating it, nothing more nothing less.


Thank you for this post. It really has got me thinking. I feel like I have been going down the wrong road with my thinking regarding the mass and I feel like you have kind of shown me the light, so to speak.


Calling it traditional Latin mass is very informal.
The OF was originally in Latin and is still said in Latin in some cases.
You are speaking of the EF or Tridentine Mass . It is reverent because people who take part in it now really want to be involved.
I’ve talked to older priests who tell me when they were kids the EF was many times rushed and not many parishioners knew what was going on.
With that said however I do like the distribution of the Eucharist in the EF much more.
There’s really nothing wrong with either form. I have noticed, along with the Pope and many Bishops that a lot of younger Catholics prefer the EF. Which baffles them but the truth is yea it seems the EF is more sacred to many youth.


They don’t exist


[quote=“joeybaggz, post:15, topic:457731, full:true”]

Let’s see, the Latin Mass. I remember them from my youth and high school days in the 50’s and 60’s. Serving as an altar boy, reciting Latin responses reverently - even though I didn’t really know what I was saying - and the congregation didn’t really care either. Then there were the people saying the rosary, not really paying attention to what was going on anyway, the priest who whistled through the Mass in Latin for 500 people with only the celebrant and maybe an associate pastor distributing communion, and saying the mass in under 20 minutes to get everybody in and out quickly. Then there was the 12hour plus fast for communion in un-air conditioned churches. Ushers would carry out several people who fainted from the heat and lack of food; usually the elderly but I was one when I was 7 in my little coat and tie in the 90 degree temperature. That sure made for a reverent situation. People phonetically reciting latin prayers and responses who had no idea what they were saying, just going through the motions. Oh and not really able to see anything of importance from 30 rows back since the priest had his back to everyone. And that was just a few of the wonders of the Latin Mass.[/quote]

Great post! I also grew up and went to school in the 50’s & 60’s and my memories are similar to yours.

The Sunday Mass was hurried because there were Low Masses at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & a High Mass at 12:15. The Church was always crowded and standing room only. Imagine how rushed it was because everyone had to be in and out of the Church within an hour! How “reverent” in the sense the OP means could the Mass be under those circumstances?

I followed along with my missal like many others and understood what was going on but there were just as many people praying the rosary and many (outwardly) doing nothing at all. We fasted from midnight if you wanted Communion and you’d try to attend one of the early Masses. As a child, fasting didn’t bother me but people didn’t go to Communion back then like they do now and a lot of it had to do with not keeping the fast. I remember climbing over everyone in the pew to get in line for Communion. And yes, people were always fainting. The Church was not air conditioned in warm/hot weather and everyone was dressed in their “Sunday best” and hot and weak from hunger and even though they gave us those hand held palm fans, people were always fainting.

Since the Vatican II changes, I’ve attended one EF Mass and have no desire to attend another. It was reverent, the choir was outstanding and the music beautiful. The Mass was not rushed and it was a different experience from what I remember from childhood. Back then, we had no music or singing in the Mass except on Marian feast days or Christmas or Easter.

I’m happy the EF is available for those who prefer it. However, I don’t think it’s more reverent than the OF. They’re both the Mass. The one thing I do miss and wish the Church would bring back is the reading from John’s Gospel and the prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass.


I don’t know which reading from John’s Gospel you speak of but I’ve been to many churches in many different states (mostly East, some midwest, and Cali) and I’ve heard the St. Michael prayer–and perhaps a Hail Mary–at the end of more than a few OF Masses.


Thanks for this post joey. I was born after Vatican II so I never got to attend a Latin Mass back in the day. However, my mother had been going to them her whole life before I came along and she and her family would tell stories about them that were along the lines of what you posted. Especially jokes about people not understanding the Latin, and my personal favorite, women who didn’t have a hat or veil handy to cover their head but had to get to Mass in a hurry so they put a paper napkin on their head from the diner, which my mother thought looked ridiculous.

It really did not sound like a big reverent experience. It sounded like people hurrying to fulfill a Mass obligation, just like we do today.

I like to go to the High Mass TLM’s once in a while with the music and, if it’s a major Basilica Mass, all the ritual and vestments and so forth that goes along with it, but those were not the norm when, as you said, the priests had to say four, five or six Masses in the morning (no vigil Masses the night before, and no 5:15 pm on the Sunday as nobody would have been able to go without food that long to attend it).


LOL…most everything you said is in favor of the EF. I’m not following why you prefer the OF.


We say the St. Michael Prayer after each of our Masses.


It’s called the Last Gospel and is proclaimed at the end of every TLM. John 1:1-14.


You had to be there to understand! For most, they were there because the Church said you had to. It was an obligation, more than an act of love for God and His Word.


A priest can read “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of hymn hands, it will become for us the bread of life” and “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink” with much solemnity and incense. Maybe even in Latin. It doesn’t change the fact that the new offertory prayers make no reference to sacrifice. In fact, they are almost verbatim copies of a Jewish blessing before meals.

Compare the new offertory prayers with the traditional ones:

Accept, O Holy father, Almighty and Eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Your unworthy servant, offer to You, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offences, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation to life everlasting. Amen.


We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, entreating Thy mercy that our offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the sight of Thy divine Majesty, for our own salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen.

My point? Sure the New Mass can be offered with reverence. Yet, even when it is, its prayers do not clearly reflect the Catholic theology of the Mass with the same confidence and exactitude of the Traditional Mass. This was by the design of Archbishop Bugnini and the Protestants who helped him create the New Mass. What, then, does a “reverent Novus Ordo” accomplish? Certainly, the reverent treatment of the Most Blessed Sacrament is laudable. But such a Mass, underneath all the bells and smells, is still talking about a “spiritual drink” ( I understand that this has scriptural basis, but context is so important), is still implicitly denying the Real Presence of Christ who has just been made present on the altar in 2 of the 3 “Memorial Acclamations” (“When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again” and We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.) Subtle. But at every Novus Ordo Mass, the first words proclaimed after the consecration declare that we wait for Christ to “come again”, as if He has not done just that right before our eyes mere seconds ago.

The reverence of a Novus Ordo Mass can almost become a smokescreen - a facade that masks the underlying deficiency inherent in the rite (this is NOT to call into question the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass). This deficiency may also serve to explain why a “reverent Novus Ordo” is so hard to come by. The rite itself, with all of its ambiguities and options, is designed to be a departure from the perceived “rigidity” and “rubricism” of the Old Mass, and a step towards a more informal “meal” or “banquet” form of the Mass. The rite is more comfortable being offered in this manner, with versus populum table altars, etc., than in a manner more reminiscent of the Traditional Mass.



From the 2002 Missale Romanum in Latin:

"Stans postea in medio altaris, versus ad populum, extendenset iungens manus, dicit:

Oráte, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum sacrifícium acceptábile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipoténtem.

Populus surgit et respondet:

Suscípiat Dóminus sacrifícium de mánibus tuis ad laudem et glóriam nóminis sui, ad utilitátem quoque nostram totiúsque Ecclésiæ suæ sanctæ.

30.Deinde sacerdos, manibus extensis, dicit orationem super oblata;qua conclusa, populus acclamat:


Yes, the Orate Frates and Suscipiat have been maintained. I was referring to the actual offering of the host and of the chalice (the prayers are available in my previous post for comparison). Notice that the new prayers make no indication of the propitiatory element of the Mass, while in the traditional prayers, this is a primary theme.


We have an expression for this in French: “s’enfarger dans les fleurs du tapis”, which translates to “tripping over the flowers in the carpet”.

Clearly the Mass is still seen as a sacrifice. To pretend otherwise because of the placement or frequency of certain words, strikes me as being disingenuous to try to prove a point.

There is nothing theologically wrong with the OF Mass. The Holy Father, pope emeritus Benedict XVI, says of the EF and OF that they are both equivalent expressions of the same rite. I’m far more inclined to believe Benedict, an eminent theologian, than R_H_Benson.


Certainly, the Novus Ordo Mass is a sacrifice. My point is that, in comparison with the traditional Mass, this is hardly emphasized at all. There is nothing necessarily theologically wrong with the Novus Ordo (unless we consider the presumption of salvation built into the new funeral rites, but that is perhaps for a different thread). It is, however, purposefully theologically deficient and ambiguous. There is little wonder that Pope Benedict referred to the Novus Ordo as a “banal fabrication”.


My wife and I go to a NO at the Mission of Divine Mercy. It is very reverent. Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Deiare always chanted in Latin. Sometimes, the Creed is. There is no collection at the offeratory nor exchange of the sign of peace because the priest thinks it interferres with the flow of the Mass. Communion is at a comunion rail and only a priest and one of the brothers pass out communion. Communion is under a single speicies. Music is four part accapella Sunday Mass takes 1.5 hrs.

A few years ago I was at a parish in the Dallas area. The priests were religious (Missionaries of St Charles Bormeo). One of the Suday Masses was organ music, incence, Gloria and Sanctus in Latin, very reverent. It is a very large parish and so there is a variety of music and presentations but I went to that Mass.Also, the Midnight Mass on Christmas and the Easter Vigil Mass were done reverently and full cerimonial.

I would guess it depends on the parish congregation and the priest. If the congregation wants a more reverent Mass, and the priest does not deliver, they vote with their feet.

I grew up with TLM and have been a few times since but I feel more like I am participating with the NO.


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