What is with the 3rd Century?

I keep reading from posters about how great the 3rd century is and how we have conformed to practicing as the early christians did with the Novus Ordo Mass. I read there were abuse back then, abuses with the Tridentine Mass, no Mass is perfect.

I was raised with the Tridentine Mass, never saw abuses. The words of the Consecration were not written done till in the 4th Century.

My question is those that talk about the 3rd century, are you Saints and bilocate or do time-travel?.

The Mass as it was in the 3rd century is probably closer to the Eastern Divine Liturgy then the Novus Ordo. Besides, those who like to advocate reverting everything to it’s primitive form would do well to look up archeologism, and be reminded that its a heresy.

I don’t get it…some say they needed Vatican II because the church was simply outdated or the church had to become suited to the times we live in or brought up to harmony with modern conscience. Now some say we are aligned with the 3rd Century. We don’t want to go back 50 years, 500 years, a thousand, just the 3rd Century.

It is just a tactic that some use to try and support the Novus Ordo, claiming that it is more like the Mass of the Early Church then the Tridentine Mass is. And it is a rather poor argument.

What is interesting is that the traditionalists (or even conservatives) are more into preserving more of the Old Testament, such as the importance and reverence for the Tabernacle and the sacrificial aspects of the Mass.

And it is not so much the sacrifice but IS IT PLEASING TO GOD that counts.

Good thread.

The Novus Ordinarians can’t have it both ways and are very confused. Either you go back to those times completely or you modernize yourself completely. But doing a little bit of each to suit yourself? Definitely a tactic.

Speaking of the Old Testament, I’m reminded of the fate of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu when they offered “liturgical innovations” (Leviticus 10:1-2).
That said, I attend a NOM, but would like to attend a TLM at least once.

where did you read this? Useless to debate with no source, what you heard is not a source
since the tridentine Mass is a product of the Council of Trent in the 16th century I fail to see where it belongs in a discussion of the Mass of the 3rd century.

I remember thinking about this issue one time after Mass and the thought ocurred to me…
Obviously things progress as humans learn. A child learns more about the world as he grows and gains not just the ability to assimilate but also the knowledge of things around him.
So Judaism progressed and their liturgy progressed.
With Christian Liturgy, the core elements must be there.
But how beautiful is it (and this was the point of my thought) that the Holy Spirit was the one guiding the men who made changes and developed new ways of doing things and new expressions of worship.
Ultimately, it was the Spirit involved in this whole process.
So anyway, there’s no possible way we could ever offer God anything worthy of Him. But with the Mass, we’re already offering Him everything; Jesus.
So, the fact that we have different expressions of the Liturgy is, I think, a positive, because you must go where you are fed.
If the Tridentine feeds you, then eat.
If the Novus Ordo prayed reverently does it, then go to it.
But the Eucharist is what it’s all about, not the form of worship. yes, do it reverently, with all your being, but remember why you want reverence in the first place - because He deserves it - He deserves our best.

It was never about us anyway. Jesus is Who we adore, love, worship, praise. If beautiful art helps you to do that, use that! because that is a gift from God given to the Church for us to use in our wonder and awe of Him. if a simple plain chapel (like a monastery i recently visited) helps you to understand God’s simplicity and helps you to focus on the core of the liturgy, then be around that.

This is why we have a CHURCH, to guide and teach. Opinions after all, are only that.


If I may offer some clarifications (the statement by the OP and others suggests some confusion as to the reason for the Second Vatican Council).

First, there is nothing magic about the 3rd century – except that the 3rd century offers us the earliest known versions of the liturgy (to call it the Mass would be anachronistic). When Pose St. Pius V ordered a revision of the Mass he wanted to go back to the (then) earliest known manuscripts to form solid basis for the revisions. That meant only going back about 200 years at that time because they simply did not have the resources to go back further.

When Vatican II ordered a revision of the Mass it was to eliminate the accretions of time and duplications. As a result, the scholars went back to the earliest known manuscripts to see how the liturgy was served at that time. They studied well over 1,000 different sources in arriving at what became the Mass of Paul VI (the term “Novus Ordo” really refers to the draft versions and not the promulgated Mass). The Mass of Paul VI as it currently exists contains only three elements that go back to the early days of the Church: the offertory procession, the General Intercessions and, with variations, the second Eucharistic Prayer. The first two were restored to the Mass because it emphasizes the fact that the gifts represent the very lives of the people at Mass and the second recognizes our priesthood inherent in baptism to pray for one another.

The Second Vatican Council, like the First, was called to address how the Church was going to operate in the modern world. It was not to change the ontological nature of the Church, but to address her operations. It was to shift from a seige mentality to an evangelistic mentality. From hiding in the upper room to preaching the Gospel.

Deacon Ed

Beautiful and so well put!:amen:

is it safe to say that it failed? instead of more people (prots) coming into the church, people have left for other churches down the road that look similar. there they can get the gospel but with less “rules” and “rituals” of the Catholic church. it seems the church downplayed the richness, uniqueness and reverence that it had giving the attitute that the RCC is "just another denomination"
how does the church begin to fix the problems in the wake of the new mass?

IS IT PLEASING TO GOD that counts. Exactly!!!:thumbsup:

I read this in discussions I have been having with posters here. It might be useless to you, but I’m trying to understand why some are using 3rd century comparing it to the Norvus Ordo Mass… The Tridentine Mass/Traditional Mass was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper handed down by the Apostles, this is Magisterial Teaching from the Council of Trent.

Deacon…can you provide links to these 1000 documents they studied? Seriously I would like to read them.

What Christ instituted was the Sacrament with the words “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” and not the prayers of the TLM. The same criteria can be applied to the NO: that Christ instituted that as well because all liturgies contain that essence around which are placed the prayers. Or do you believe that Christ said a specific prayer appearing in the TLM?

Uh…nope…the Tridentine rite…as the name suggests…had its roots in the Council of Trent.

The Mass *as a sacrifice *was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper.
The Eucharist was also instituted at the same time.

No, most are manuscripts in the Vatican library that have not been (any may never be) made available on the internet. They date back to the 3rd and 4th century and, like early biblical manuscripts, are very fragile. Many are written in Greek Uncials which are very hard to read (I was just reminded of this trying to read a page from a book at the Getty Museum during the display of icons from the monastary of St. Catherine at the foot of Mt. Sinai).

Deacon Ed


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