Rite or Form? (Which is right?)

I’m so used to thinking of the Novus Ordo as a new rite of Holy Mass. And I don’t quite understand how the pope in his motu proprio could say that it is only a new *form *of Holy Mass when Pope Paul VI, in his general audience of Nov. 26th, 1969 said this:

  1. We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass. This new rite will be introduced into our celebration of the holy Sacrifice starting from Sunday next which is the first of Advent, November 30 [in Italy].
  1. A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled.

Furthermore, in the letter to bishops which accompanied the motu proprio, the pope calls the Novus Ordo a new rite.

So what’s the correct way of calling these two “usages” of the Roman Rite?

It’s called the Missale Romanum of 2002 or whatever date. There is only one Roman rite but there are several forms of the Roman rite as there has always been, the Anglican use the Dominican form and so on. But it is confusing isn’t it?:confused:

Rite can be used in different senses:

  1. Any one religious function, e.g., the rite of Baptism.
  2. The whole collection of services used in the public worship of any church or group of churches, e.g., the Roman Rite.

Pope Paul VI was speaking of the “rite of the Mass” just like the “rite of Baptism”. He was not declaring a new Rite in the sense of the Latin (Roman) Rite or Byzantine Rite.

The current situation is best described as two forms (Ordinary and Extraordinary) of the Latin Rite. It’s less confusing than saying there are two rites of the Mass in the Latin Rite.

It’s under the broader definition. This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The Roman Rite is the manner of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice, administering Sacraments, reciting the Divine Office, and performing other ecclesiastical functions (blessings, all kinds of Sacramentals, etc.) as used in the city and Diocese of Rome.”


Thus, rite in this case refers to all the ceremonies of the Roman Church.

OK thanks. So it’s inappropriate to say that Paul VI created a new Roman Rite to replace the old. I know there are certain traditionalists who like to say that Pope Paul VI essentially created his own new Roman “Rite” so that they can claim that he was a heretic, etc.

Too many rights and rites…

One thing to beware of with the New Advent 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia… Vatican II clarified the use of the term “Rite”.

There are 6 rites in the Catholic Church (according to canon law; CCEO canon 28): Latin, Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Chaldean and Constantinopolitan. Some consider the Thomas Christians and the Maronites to be sufficiently distant from their roots to be separate rites.

The Eastern Catholic Churches often have multiple churches in the same rite, and each rite usually has multiple forms of divine worship.

For the Byzantines, the two normative forms are the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, a reduction of St Basil’s liturgy. There is a third DL, that of St Gregory, for certain special occasions, but it lacks a consecration (And is often called the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, since it is a eucharistic service using the reserved Body and Blood of Christ.)

For the Romans, the following forms are in current approved use in various places: The Ordinary Form, the Extraordinary Form (using the 1962 Missale Romanum), the Dominican Missal, the Carmelite Missal, the Mozarabic Missal, and the Ambrosian Missal.

Each can be said to be a different form of Roman Church divine worship. Only the Ordinary and Extraordinary are open to all Roman priests. Two more significant forms have died out: the Galican and Sarum Forms. All of these used to be termed Rites, but more properly are forms of the Roman Rite, and their specific expressions are Forms of Divine Worship.

<< But it is confusing isn’t it?>>

Only to those who think that everythig in the Church has to be absolutely uniform.

On the Pauline reforms:

In the early church, it was common to have three readings.

Both Byzantine and Latin Rite development reduced this to two for ordinary worship.

The Reforms of the 1970 Missal dragged many things forward from the first three centuries and back into use. The new lectionary changed to 3 and 4 year cycles to ensure that the devout could hear the entirety of the bible.

THe actual Missal added very little that was NEW, but a lot that had been dropped over the centuries.

So while it was not exactly an organic change, it was firmly rooted in tradition. The only major tradition not included was abolishing the previous missal explicitly.

What has been done to the Pauline Missale Romanum… is not fit for this thread.

It is firmly rooted in the Latin Rite, both Roman and Galican recensions, and draws from the full spectrum of the various Missals in use prior to Vatican II.

(Now, the English wording… wait. Bad Aramis. Off topic…)

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