A Look at the "Actual Mass" of Vatican II: the 1965 Missal

"IteMissaEst" by Lumen roma - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
“IteMissaEst” by Lumen roma – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a cautionary article aimed at my traditionally-minded brethren saying, among other things, that we ought to be careful in identifying the Ordinary Form of the Mass (1970 Missal and beyond) as the “Mass of Vatican II.”  I will not reproduce that whole article here. I will only recall three points:

1. The Mass was already undergoing significant changes, beginning in the 1940s and picking up speed through the 1950s. More changes were planned by the Vatican before the Second Vatican Council was called.

2. The Second Vatican Council considered many issues, of which the liturgy was only one. The liturgical norms issued by the council were of a general nature and contained proposals that were far more modest than the substantial changes that happened in 1970 and beyond.

3. The Missal published in 1965 (of which I have a copy) incorporated many, if not most, of the insights from the council. The changes included in the 1965 Missal are more truly to be seen as those envisioned by the council than the far more sweeping changes incorporated in the Missal of 1970, a Missal that was designed by a smaller consilium of liturgists and actually surprised many of the bishops who attended the council.

Hence we do well to distinguish our concerns about the current form of the Mass. It is a poor stance to oppose an entire Ecumenical Council. Our concerns with the liturgy should stay in that arena, and we should work to correct abuses and encourage a reconsideration of the more modest reforms, even as we enjoy the privilege of celebrating the Mass using the Missal of 1962.

So let’s look at the 1965 Missal, the one that was actually published in the wake of the council and had its reforms in mind. Three introductory points will help:

1. There ARE changes in the Liturgy. The most significant is a wider (but not exclusive) use of the vernacular. Also significant is that the “Liturgy of the Word” was to be conducted facing the people and could be a task shared with qualified ministers. There was also some shortening of the prayers at the foot of the altar and the omission of the Last Gospel.

2. Otherwise, the general Mass remains unchanged. I don’t think a person from the year 1900, or even 1700, walking into Mass in 1966 would have been all that shocked. He would notice differences and hear less Latin, but the Mass would still be recognizable.

3. As for the Mass being celebrated “facing the people,” that seems to have proceeded on a track of its own. There is nothing in the rubrics or Ritus Servandus (Order of Celebration) of the 1965 Mass requiring the Eucharistic Prayer to be said facing the people. Even today, the rubrics presume that the priest is facing the altar and therefore must turn to face the people at certain points. My own memory is that Mass facing the people was introduced widely beginning in about 1967. It seems to have happened quickly throughout the country, but not in every parish or diocese all at once. I do not recall a big rebellion over it, and frankly a lot of people thought it was “neat” at first. As most of you know, I am not a fan of the Eucharistic Prayer being said facing the people. But the point here is to emphasize that the question of orientation proceeded on a track of its own and should not simply be associated with the Second Vatican Council (which merely permitted a practice that was already spreading) or with the Missal of a particular year. The current Missal still permits ad orientem, even though it is not widely practiced.

So, back to the 1965 Missal. Permit me now to give a more detailed description. For the sake of simplicity, I am going to look mainly at the “low” Mass rather than trying to include all the norms for a solemn or pontifical Mass. I will note the differences, but also what is unchanged.

Prayers at the Foot of the Altar 

The Mass began with the prayers at the foot of the altar. Neither the 1965 nor the 1962 or prior Missals ever called this part of the Mass “the prayers at the foot of the altar,” but that was their traditional description. Technically, they occurred before Mass had formally begun. Mass formally began when the celebrant ascended the altar, made the sign of the cross, and recited the Introit (Entrance Antiphon). Nevertheless, these prayers at the foot of the altar continued to be conducted in the 1965 Missal. There were a few changes, but overall they were minor. Here is a brief description:

1. The celebrant would bow or genuflect, as required, make the sign of the cross, and recite (in the vernacular or in Latin), “I will go to the altar of God.” The server or others responded “to God who gives joy to my youth.” Here, however, the full Psalm 42 was not recited, only the antiphon, much as had been the practice in the Requiem Mass.

2. The celebrant then bowed deeply and recited the Confiteor (in the vernacular or in Latin). The text used was still the traditional one, which mentioned Saints Michael, John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul.

3. The servers recited the Misereatur (in the vernacular or in Latin) and then recited their own Confiteor. This was followed by the celebrant’s recitation of the Misereatur and then the Indulgentium (omitted today) along with the sign of the cross.

4. Going up to the altar and reverencing it, the celebrant said the Aufer a nobis and the Oramus te in a low voice (and only in Latin).

Thus we see that the main difference in the “prayers at the foot of the Altar” was the omission of the fuller verses of Psalm 42 and the provision that the texts could be conducted in the vernacular (with the exception of the private prayers of the priest which remained only in Latin).

The Mass continues (actually, formally begins)

1. The celebrant made the sign of the cross, read the Introit (Entrance Antiphon), and then recited the nine-fold Kyrie with the servers. However, if a schola (choir) sang the Introit and Kyrie, the celebrant would sing it along with them rather than reciting it privately. Latin or vernacular could be used.

This is significant because in the Missals of 1962 and before, the singing of the schola did not really “count.” The celebrant still had to say any texts that were sung. The 1962 Missal made provision for the celebrant not to recite the epistle and Gospel, but only if they were chanted by a cleric. But since the other texts were not ordinarily sung by clerics, the celebrant usually had to recite them quietly. This made the singing by choirs a kind of “window dressing” that had lost the ancient concept of different ministerial functions assisting the celebrant in the proclamation of the sacred texts. The 1965 Missal restored this ministerial function and did not require texts that were sung by choirs or readings that were recited by appropriate ministers, to be said again privately and officially by the celebrant.

The rubrics did not speak of going to the epistle (right) side of the altar, but neither did the 1962 Missal. Nevertheless, traditionally, these prayers were said to the right side of the altar.

Though silent on this point, the rubrics presumed the celebrant was at the altar. However, through the late sixties it would seem that these rites after the prayers at the foot of the altar and after the reverencing of the altar moved to the sedilia (chair). The 1965 missal, however, made no mention of this as an option.

2. If the Gloria was to be recited the celebrant was directed to go to the middle of the altar and begin the prayer there. Again, if it was sung, he was not to recite it privately but was encouraged to sing it with others. Latin or vernacular could be used.

3. The Collect – Turning toward the people, the celebrant said, “The Lord be with you,” and they responded, “And with your spirit.” Here, too, this could be said either in Latin or the vernacular (using the proper translation). He then said, “Let us pray” and said or sang the Collect (opening prayer). The 1965 Missal provided approved English translations of the Collects of the 1962 Missal that were quite accurate. And the prayer could be recited either in Latin or the vernacular.

The Liturgy of the Word – The new lectionary did not exist, and thus the 1965 Missal made use of the readings contained in the 1962 and prior Missals. The main difference was that approved vernacular versions of the readings were now available and could be used. The readings were conducted as follows:

1. Epistle – The Ritus Servandus states regarding the epistle (I translate here from the Latin), “In Masses that are sung or recited with the people participating, it is desirable that the readings be sung or said by a lector or suitable minister, in the ambo or in the chancel, with the celebrant seated and listening.”

2. The Chants (Gradual and Alleluia) that followed were sung either by a schola, or by the people, or they were read by the lector or minister in the same place (however, at the end, he did not come to the celebrant for a blessing).

3. The Gospel could be sung or said by a deacon or by another priest. “If however the celebrant reads, sings, or says the Gospel, he … ascends to the footspace of the altar and, profoundly bowing, says the Munda cor and the Dominus sit. He then proceeds to the ambo or chancel and sings or says the Gospel … in the end kissing the book and saying the per evangelica dicta … “

4. The Homily was given and the Creed could be said by the celebrant either at the altar (in the traditional way) or at the chair. He recited the Creed with the people.

5. The Prayers of the Faithful were restored as an option. They could be led in the ambo, at the chair, or at the altar. The celebrant said, “The Lord be with you,” and the people responded, “And with your spirit.” The celebrant said, “Let us pray.” And then, if there were prayers of the faithful, they were read, otherwise the celebrant moved on to read the offertory antiphon.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist – From this point on, the Mass was largely unchanged. Briefly, here are some highlights, with special reference to the few changes that were made:

1. The traditional offertory prayers were still said, and only in Latin (Suscipe Sancte Pater, Offerimus tibi). So, too, were the other prayers unaltered, again only in Latin (Deus qui humanae at the mixing of water and wine). Just prior to the washing of the hands, the In spiritu humilitatis was said. The Veni sanctificator was not yet dropped.

2. For the washing of the hands, the traditional prayer Lavabo inter innocentes was still said in its entirety (Psalm 25) and the Suscipe sancta Trintitas had not yet been dropped. All these prayers were said in Latin.

3. Pray brethren – Kissing the altar and turning to the people, the priest said the orate fratres but could do so in the vernacular.

4. Prayer over the Gifts – Turning back, the celebrant said the prayer over the gifts, which could be either said or sung in the vernacular or in Latin.

5. The preface (and there were some new ones in the 1965 Missal) could also be said or sung either in the vernacular or in Latin.

6. The Sanctus could also be said or sung in the vernacular or in Latin.

7. The Canon of the Mass was still at this time only the Roman Canon, and it was prayed entirely in Latin.  Most of the gestures and postures remained unchanged with the exception of the multiple signs of the cross at the Per Ipsum (Through Him and with Him and in Him … ).

8. The Our Father could be said using Latin or the vernacular. So, too, the “embolism” (Deliver us O Lord), Pax Domini (but the people did not exchange the peace). The Agnus Dei could be said or sung in English, but the private prayers of the priest remained in Latin and were unchanged.

9. Lord I am not Worthy – After receiving his own communion, the priest led the people in their own “Lord I am not worthy” and it was still said three times.

10. Communion – The longer formula once said by the priest for each communicant (Corpus Domini Nostri … ) was shortened to “The Body of Christ.”

11. The Prayer after Communion could be read in the vernacular.

12 The Ite Missa est could also be said in the vernacular.

13. The Final Blessing was given in Latin or the vernacular.

14. The Last Gospel was omitted.

Briefly then, here is the 1965 Missal. To lovers of the 1962 Missal, it probably still represents too much change (for example, read HERE). But it was far from the more radical changes that came later, changes that removed so much more and added so many new elements such as multiple Eucharistic Prayers, etc.

While it is hard to argue that the new lectionary  is problematic, I remain open to the criticism that the 1970 Missal introduced a “hermeneutic of discontinuity” and that it also flowed from that sort of rupture that the 1960s brought. We do well to see the 1965 Missal as a bridge back to the more modest changes envisioned by the council and as a template for the kind of cross-pollination that Pope Benedict wished for when he spoke of the two forms influencing each other.

This video provides a look back at 1967 in a crazy Elvis movie. But it depicts a kind of estuary where there were still signs of Tradition but also of the radical changes under way in that era. The 1965 Missal barely saw the light of day before the liturgists were at it again, ending with all sorts of additional changes. They were wild and crazy times and I remember them well. Sadly, at the time, with radical changes everywhere, very few of us woke up to the damage that was being done until it was largely done.

174 Replies to “A Look at the "Actual Mass" of Vatican II: the 1965 Missal”

    1. I too remember this Mass, then what happened, or had been brewing, bugnini………and is modernism and missal chopping, why Paul VI, allowed bugnini to continue forward is beyond words, look at the problems that have occurred since the 1970 missal has been put in place and liturgical abuses???? So So many and still continue to this day….

  1. Father, thank you for this very informative article. What advice do you have for us laity who understand this history but find ourselves frustrated in our typical parishes with multible abuses in the Mass?

  2. I always suspected Elvis Presley had a hand in misguided path the Church strayed down.

        1. I saw similar behavior, but a Blues Brothers shtick. It was by a Latin/SA priest.

          I’m fairly convinced the dangers of the Ad Orientem are far greater and more manifest in the Latin/SA cultures. Precisely because of the ‘machismo’ Pope Francis recently spoke of.

          It’s not good..

    1. I saw the Elvis/Priest video. The priest got the young people to go to Church because they like to sing and dance, and they like Elvis. But this will not last. People grow old and mature and eventually stop listening to Elvis. The whole focus is on themselves and this world and not God and the next life. This is tragic.

    2. Is that Mary Tyler Moore as the young nun talking with Elvis at the beginning of the video?

      And yeah, this video is about right for some of the kinds of things we went through in the pews…and worse.

  3. Thank you for another look at the 1965 Missal, Msgr Pope.

    While it is interesting to look back at it again, however, this much must be said: If 1970 is not really the “Mass of Vatican II,” neither is 1965. If the former went well beyond the writ of what was contemplated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the latter had yet to incorporate a number of things that document expressly prescribed, such as a new expanded calendar. Conversely, the 1965 Missal enjoins a number of things never called for in SC: numerous silent prayers now said aloud, deletion of the Psalm Iudica in the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, as well as the Last Gospel (and Leonine Prayers) – and Mass is encouraged (albeit not required) facing the people.

    I’m afraid that the search for a true Mass of Vatican II will be an endlessly elusive quest, if we’re looking at what the text called for. The reality, however, is that the Novus Ordo was overwhelmingly understood to be just that from the outset, not least because most laity and clergy had never read the document. The text simply wasn’t generally available, but loads of liturgists and Church officials insisting that it was *were,* alas. Indeed, it is hard to see how the New Mass and the Council can be separated now in the popular consciousness.

    1. I am not aware of a call for an expanded calendar in SC. It asks for more Scripture. That is because weekday Masses used the readings of the previous Sunday unless it was a special feast or Lenten weekday. The idea was to fill the vacant weekdays. I am amazed that after almost 2000 years of use the old lectionary was deemed to be unfit for mankind and replaced. There seems to be there is a lot of pride involved here among the Church elite, of the kind that WE know better.

      1. Hello Victor,

        See my post directly below – “calendar” was typo on my part – I meant “lectionary.”

        That said, it is worth noting that Sacrosanctum Concilium does not discuss changes to the calendar, save for its statement in the appendix that the Council doesn’t oppose assigning Easter Sunday to a particular Sunday.

        Yet, just the same, an unprecedented overhaul of the calendar was undertaken, most feast days were moved or suppressed. Septuagesima, rogation days, ember days, and the Octave of Pentecost were banished. 1965 does not reflect these changes, but 1970 certainly does.

        I agree with your point about pride – very much.

  4. One correction to my last post: I mean to say “expanded lectionary,” not “expanded calendar” – though of course the calendar was also a conciliar prescription that had yet to be addressed.

    Speaking of the lectionary, I would like to take up one point: “While it is hard to argue that the new lectionary is problematic…” I used to think so as well. Having an expanded lectionary seemed like one of the few genuine pluses of the reforms. Who could object to having more Scripture?

    But now I think it one of the more problematic aspects of the New Mass. Partly this came about from a gradual realization of just how much Scripture there *already* was in the Mass, Old and New – both the ordinary and propers simply are marinated in Scripture. More to the point, however, the most persuasive objection to the expanded lectionary cycle is that while the goal of Sacrosanctum Concilium 51 was good (that the people have more exposure to the Bible), the means adopted were not well fitted to the end and had costs that the authors did not realize.

    As a learned friend of mine has pointed out, the associations of particular days, times and seasons with particular readings is strong in the EF. They are the same from year to year. For instance, the first Sunday of Advent, Luke 21:25-33. We hear the parable of the fig tree and Christ’s “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away,” every year. This year, it happens that the OF reading is similar, though not identical, Lk 21:25-28, 34-36. But in other years its Mk 13:33-37 and in other years its Matthew 24:37-44. I find (having spent a number of years attending both forms on Sundays) that it doesn’t stick in the mind the same way. Just because something is valuable in itself, having a greater variety of it doesn’t necessarily make you better off. To have strong associations with the Gospels helps to fix them in our minds so that we can carry them with us always, not just when we’re at liturgy.

    None of which is to say that there was no room for some expansion of Scripture. I am persuaded by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s suggestion that there could be a more ample distribution of pertinent readings for martyrs, virgins, popes, confessors, doctors, etc. But this would not entail a multi-year lectionary, and an ever changing cycle of readings for Sundays and key feast days. Really, if the goal is to better acquaint the faithful with the treasures of Scripture (a worthy goal) the place to do that is in the *Office,* not the Mass. But the Office is a dead letter for the typical parish.

    Until 1970, the Church’s tradition had always been a one year lectionary. On all evidence it is one of the oldest parts of the Roman Rite. As time passes, I am ever more persuaded of the wisdom of this ancient tradition.

    1. Richard, you echo my every thought down to the most detailed, most especially regarding the lectionary. Excellent points, even more excellently presented. Thank God for your gift of writing.

      1. Hello Robert,

        I am gratified to hear you appreciated my comment – pleased to be of service.

  5. May God bless and protect you for publishing this, Monsignor. This is truly a blueprint for reform. And we know who doesn’t want that. If it be God’s will at this time, may we please have a restoration along these lines?

  6. My feeling is that the ad orientem consecration is everything where Catholic theology regarding the Eucharist is concerned. That one restorative act would undo immense damage and wordlessly catechize millions.

  7. The 1965 missal was actually radical in nature.


    Because it broke organic development in an even more dramatic way than the previous decade. . Any new forms or changes were supposed to be incorporated very gradually over time in an organic way. Meaning anything that was to develop in the Mass first needed the freedom to do so, second it was supposed to come from the ground up – in local situations and where pastorally needed, third it needed to stem from already established liturgical tradition.

    If one examines the history of the Last Gospel you will see how it took centuries to develop. First starting out at a priest’s private prayer he said after Mass. Then gradually be incorporated directly after the Ite Missa Est to the point where it was said at the altar in various places before the council of Trent. Thereafter the reforms of St. Pius V codified and made mandatory the Last Gospel for the entire Roman rite and not just a few areas.
    This is the perfect example of organic growth: A feature that was allowed to grow in the liturgy because the rubrics allowed such growth but still under the watchful eye of component authorities such as the local bishop. And it took a LONG time for it to grow and be incorporated.

    Eliminating Psalm 42, the Last Gospel, the traditional formula for receiving Holy Communion, etc. was not a gradual organic development but was merely the opinion of liturgists of the past several decades who had antiquarian tendencies and finally won the day by imposing, top-down, their desires on the liturgy, without first letting things grow and develop naturally.

    1. Excellent points, Alexander. This is why there was minimal outcry during the many reforms of the mid-late 1950s and early 60s, but substantial reaction (neat, man!) to the 1964/65 liturgy. It was the latter that set public figures such as Evelyn Waugh over the edge, who famously said attending the transitional Mass was “a bitter trial.” He died on Easter 1966.

      I would argue that most of the saints would be completely clueless if they were to attend a novus ordo liturgy in 2015, but would still be extremely puzzled by the 1964/65 transitional Mass. That bewilderment cannot be said to occur had the saints dropped in on Mass from around the time of Gregory the Great until 1964. Imagine Saint Ignatius of Loyola witnessing a laywoman reading the Epistle in the vernacular facing the people.

      Changes to Mass over centuries through the 1962 missal were relatively minor. Changes during Vatican II were dramatic in their rupture.

      1. Ken – I would actually argue (and I have company on this – this is more or less Alcuin Reid’s conclusion, for example) that the Holy Week reforms were radical and comprehensive enough as to constitute a rupture with the tradition. The degree of that rupture was somewhat obscured by the fact that it affected only one week of the year, and still came in the context of the traditional normative rubrics of the Roman Rite. Nonetheless, there is no precedent for what was done to Holy Week by Pius XII.

        But I wouldn’t disagree with anything else you say, Had the decision been made to develop the new liturgy as a separate rite, standing alongside an intact traditional Roman Rite, that would have been one thing – the new liturgy would still look like a break with what went before, but that at least would not have posed the same questions of rupture with tradition or abuse of papal authority. But that was not what was done.

        We cannot deny, as Fr. Hunwicke notes, that the Bishop of Rome has an authoritative locus as far as the Roman Rite is concerned. But we must exclude the possibility that the pope, or any bishop, can utterly abrogate or even discard large portions of an ancient rite of the Church. And while he is no traditionalist, I think that Pope Benedict rightly alluded to the dangers involved here when he warned that after the Council, “the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council.” (Spirit of the Liturgy) And with that came, alas, the impression that if the liturgy was up for grabs, so was just about everything else.

  8. i sense that the authority of the Popes who promulgated and later fully embraced the 1970 Missal is not as important as the idea that what they did was cause a rupture (I.e., you’re saying those popes were incompetent and promulgated rupture along with all of the bishops who accepted the missal?). Perhaps not, but it is certainly implied that the leadership of the Church is at fault for doing something bad which was, all along, being directed by the Holy Spirit.

    1. Not accusing you here, but asking about what our preoccupation with the word “rupture” may reveal about our faith in the Popes and the ever-present guidance of the Holy Spirit…

    2. My goodness! You surely wouldn’t suggest that everything the leadership of the Church has done has been good (for the Faith and for the Church) and has been “directed by the Holy Spirit,” would you?

      I recall a statement by Card. Ratzinger (before his own election) to the effect that numerous conclaves have elected popes who surely would not have been chosen by the Holy Spirit.

    3. The leadership of the Church was at fault for doing something bad under the claimed aegis of the Holy Spirit. Claiming something doesn’t actually make it so. To be frank, their deformation of the liturgy and the follow on damage are things that will take another 50 years to mitigate and subsume.

  9. What if this “rupture” is exactly what God intended? He is known for doing the unexpected in expected ways and the expected in unexpected ways to keep satan (the enemy) off track. Why not accept what we perceive as rupture as God’s holy will?

  10. Your presentation of the 1965 Roman Mass is, unfortunately, quite inexact, and misleading.

    The 1965 Ritus Servandus indicates the celebrant go to the chair after the prayers at the foot of the altar and kissing the altar (n.31). You say incorrectly: “Though silent on this point, the rubrics presumed the celebrant was at the altar. However, through the late sixties it would seem that these rites after the prayers at the foot of the altar and after the reverencing of the altar moved to the sedilia (chair). The 1965 missal, however, made no mention of this as an option.”

    The 1962 Ritus Servandus (n.2) did indeed refer to the epistle side of the altar (called the “left side” from the perspective of somebody facing the congregation from the apse) but you say incorrectly: “The rubrics did not speak of going to the epistle (right) side of the altar, but neither did the 1962 Missal. Nevertheless, traditionally, these prayers were said to the right side of the altar.”

    If the Gloria was to be recited it was done at the chair (at Masses with a congregation) but you say incorrectly “If the Gloria was to be recited the celebrant was directed to go to the middle of the altar and begin the prayer there. “

    1. Its actually a little confusing. My understanding is that # 31 refers to Solemn Mass, since to my reading #s 26 – 31 all deal with that form, which I say in my article I would not deal with for simplicity. Hence the # 31 in my book says, Incensatione peracta … and then comes the instruction to go to the Sedilia.

      However, I think it is really # 23 that you mean to reference which does in fact say he goes to the chair but gives exceptions to that.

      I want to say that I missed that. But the Ritus goes back and forth between Solemn, Private and Rectied masses and it gets confusing.

      So for the record, Ritus Servandus # 23 Says celebrans ad sedem accedit…. but it does gives exceptions (nisi…) and then goes on to say (by my translation) “unless it seems better (aptius) to remain at the altar through the prayer.”

      Also, Fergus, I might ask you to consider if your use of the words “quite inexact” and “misleading” are necessary. Even if there is an error in my interpretation, (and I am still not sure there is for low Mass) I am not intending to mislead and I don’t know if it is fair to call the presentation “quite” inexact.

      I am not asking you to like the 1965, I present it here as a kind of middle ground where conversations can be had. Lets avoid hostilities. I am mean you no harm and am seeking to advance a conversation and do not appreciate an attempt by you to read or impgun my motives. I am open to corrections in the article but my motives are not to mislead.

      1. On the basis of the normative form, the Order of Mass LOOKED different from the previous rites for several hundred years at least until the Offertory.

        1. Note to readers. I edited Fergus remark because i do not wish to engage in a toe to toe about rather arcane distinctions about forms of mass distinctions btw ambos and pupits churc design etc. i have left what i think to be his central point which seems fair. As i have said there were chnges to the mass esp. The lit of the word. I do not ask anyone to like the 1965 missal. My point is that it better reflects and deserves the title “mass of VC 2” than the 1970 and it may serves as a useful common ground for discussion btw divided groups.

  11. Hmmm, I guess I am one of those that always associated the happy clappy mass with Vatican II. I stand (sort of) corrected. I was surprised to see how similar the 65 was to the 62. I was born and raised in the NO mass but now happily attend the extraordinary form with my family so I have only ever known the two. I would still miss the judica me, a beautiful prayer in my opinion. Thank you for this interesting information. It is always a pleasure to read your blog.

  12. Thank you Father. I have noticed in the parishes near my home (four) that the Confiteor is gone (novus ordo) Priests do not have us recite it anymore. Why is that???

    1. I haven’t heard the Confiteor at mass since many years now. I miss it a lot. I Wonder why it is gone.

      1. The Confiteor has not gone but is often omitted especially in parishes where the liturgy is “animated” by a lay liturgical committee. There seem to be at least a couple of reasons. It is treated as a variable part and so variety is chosen to add spice. Usually this means skipping straight to the “Lord have mercy”, without any acknowledgment of fault on our part. The more profound reason, I suggest, is that sight has been lost of the real purpose of the Mass: it is the antidote to sin.

        Particularly where most Sunday Catholics don’t go to confession this is the only time when sins are acknowledged and God’s pardon is requested and so it is important to retain the Confiteor in full. Discourage confession? Omit or emasculate the Confiteor? Nice work, satan!

  13. I am surprised people are still especially concerned with Vatican II’s prescriptions on liturgy. Pope Paul VI wasn’t, since he promptly disregarded most of them (such as the admonition that the propers not be monkeyed around with unnceessarily) and no Pope since has seen fit to reverse course. That’s his prerogative, of course; a Council can’t bind a Pope on disciplinary matters. But the fact that he discarded it makes it, to my view, a dead letter, about as relevant to us living today as the Council of Vienne’s dissolution of the Knights Templar.

  14. I am old enough to have experienced the Mass as you describe. It was a time great turmoil. Many thought what we were getting was just the Mass in English. We were all taught as my Grandfather once said. “The pope tells the bishops. the bishops tell the priests and they tell us.” So in effect everything was what the Pope wanted. Obedience was the penultimate virtue and Pope was a telephone to God.
    I recall the priest going on and on about Vatican II and basically as none of us read documents it was “Father” with the new long hair and side burns groovy new version of religion that prevailed. It was a topsy turvey world of inverted faith. Not only were we not obeying the Pope if we resisted we were also not modern or groovy.
    Behind this lay Buginni that Thomas Cromwell of the liturgy. A liar and deceive and Louis Bouyer called him. This Mass you show us is sad sad example of the deforming of worship based upon a pope who thought he could and did tradition and his minions and plotters who wanted the same thing and manipulated to get that end.

  15. You say that the Missal of 1970 “surprised many of the bishops who attended the council.” But these “many” were not anything but a small fraction of the thousands of bishops who did. The vast plurality of the bishops (including the pope) knew they were initiating and continuing a process of reform, not finalizing one. The bishops returned to their home countries and dioceses eager to continue the process and did so enthusiastically. The ultimate decisions made by the consilium which the pope established to continue the process of reform regarding this or that element of the ritual can be questioned as to their wisdom and advisability, but I – gently – object to the insinuation that the fathers of Vatican II somehow did not know what they were doing or did not wish the reform that they began to continue after the close of the council.

    1. My understanding from all the documentary evidence I’ve seen is that a large majority of the bishops at Vatican II were in the same boat with (for instance) Archbishop Lefebvre, who voted to approve the constitution on the sacred liturgy, precisely because he did not understand it to imply any radical change in the Mass. And like those who attended the 1968 synod of bishops who witnessed for the first time what turned out to be the Novus Ordo Mass, a majority of them voting to disapprove it. And like Cardinal John Heenan, who expressed shock that a consilium had continued secret revision work after the release of the 1965 Ordo with the stipulation that it was the revision of the Mass directed by the Council.

    2. It is true that most of the bishops who implemented the liturgical changes of 1964-1970 were, in fact, also Fathers of the Council (though their levels of participation obviously varied greatly). This is a salient point offered often by defenders of the reforms, such as they were.

      But I think it is possible to simultaneously say that the Fathers who voted for Sacrosanctum Concilium in 1963 believed they were voting for a major (indeed, unprecedented) yet still basically conservative reform of the Roman Rite, and that these same bishops over the next 6-7 years mostly received a much more radical, even revolutionary, set of liturgical reforms mostly benignly and obediently. In short: most same men, but their positions shifted in that time period. (I think there’s a good dissertation waiting to be written on this question.)

      Why? Set aside the most progressive bishops (no more than a quarter to the third), who wanted something much more radical all along. Others seems to have changed their minds under the impact of the revolution sweeping so much of the Church (and the similar one sweeping society); their opinions on the liturgy may not have been all that strong to begin with. Others had reservations, but believed they had to receive obediently what they thought the Pope was asking for. I do think that the habitus of obedience explains a lot of what happened.

  16. Re the observation that “[i]t is a poor stance to oppose an entire Ecumenical Council,” I am unsure of that, although I am unsure that many people actually do. First, it seems to me that Vatican II is a lot of dicta and almost no holding; there is very there to bind, and so if one bows entirely to its holdings while rejecting its dicta, is one rejecting the council? Embracing everything that there is in it to embrace? Something else?

    What of those who reject the empty invocation of the council’s “spirit” while holding to what the council itself said, perhaps even including its dicta, and who are varying degrees of critical of the “postconciliar time,” which to their minds are a distinct question? They are always accused of opposing the council, but are they opposing an entire ecumenical council? Some of it? None of it?

    What of someone who accepts everything that the council said on the assurance of the Holy Ghost’s protections, but believe that the decision to call the council and the “fact” of the council as an event, so-to-speak, was disastrous? (That is, those who like the last-mentioned group are critical of the postconciliar catastrophe but who acknowledge the council’s but-for responsibility for that catastrophe.) Are they opposing an entire ecumenical council? Some of it? None of it?

    More concretely: Let’s suppose that the council made some changes in policy and taught a handful of dogmatic points (mostly in Lumen gentium’s ecclesiology), and I acknowledge that it had the power to make the doctrinal changes and was protected in those teachings, but I think that the policy changes were precipitous and regrettable. Am I opposing the council to any extent, and if so, what? Suppose that I go further and point out that aside from the points just mentioned, most of what the council said was (after the pattern of many recent ecclesiastical documents) so much air through the engine, just empty, rambling dicta that is insusceptible of commanding either assent or rejection. Am I now opposing the council to any extent, and if so, what (and why)? Now suppose that I add that the postconciliar disaster finds no warrant in the council texts; presumably that doesn’t place me in any greater opposition to the council, but what if I add to my remarks that said disaster could nevertheless not have taken place without the council, and so the council was an unforced error that should never have been called and should now be regretted? Does that place me in opposition, notiwithstanding my assent to everything to which we might normally believe that a council can oblige the faithful?

    1. Your initial sentence is a fair critique. I may speak too strongly in the sentence you cite. Though I am summarizing a longer article I wrote on the matter which makes more distinctions. That said, I think it IS how some traditionalists come across when using the expression “The Mass of Vatican II” or “Ever since Vatican II….”

  17. Thank you very much Msgr. I recalled that old gospel song – “Give me that old time religion” Ken

  18. Msgr. Pope,
    Thank you for this post! It is an excellent work on an topic that has interested me for a very long time.

    As a 30 year old father of six the entire era confuses me, As a layman – I ask.. On one hand Are these really the changes that the council envisioned for the liturgy – and if they were, why was further tinkering allowed and why was it replaced 5 years later with very different rites than what was known to Catholics before?

    Why were these men tasked with carrying on the Tradition of those that went before us so hell bent on doing their own thing with the liturgy? (When we dig deeper we see that Bugnini is still the one behind the changes in 1965.) Why was the Entire world hellbent on changing ideals and status quo? Maybe I’ll never know.

    A few items I wanted to share were some things I found interesting in this “Saint Andrew Bible Missal”, I picked up at the local thrift shop. With an Imprimatur from The Aux. Bishop of Bruges Maurice Gerard De Keyzer.

    Mass is called “Divine Celebration” focus on the people as an “Assembly” (Titles such as “The Assembly Learns” above “Liturgy of the Word” or Celebration of the Word etc..)

    Regarding the Prayers of the faithful it states in a intro letter from Cardinal Cushing of Boston : “…The Prayer of the faithful,. In many places there is a custom of reciting prayers for the dead after the Gospel of Sunday Mass. This is a trace of one of the Church’s oldest practices at holy Mass: the petitions of the faithful when they have heard the message of God’s love announced in the lessons from Scripture. It reflects, too, a real need of the people to manifest their intention, desires and concerns.”

    There are so many other little tidbits in this missal that give me some insight into the era I’ll never know.
    I’d be happy to take any photos of it and send them along.

    In another 1965 Missal I have titled ” Parish Mass Book and Hymnal – According to the New Revised Liturgy For Every Day” they also reference that the laypeople will be bringing up the gifts, as its shown in the Elvis video.

    The times are a’changin again, Thank you Papa Benedict!

    Keep up the great work Msgr. Pope!


    1. Christopher,
      The era puzzles even those of us who lived through it. During those times many of us lay people were like spectators who’d show up for Mass on Sunday and be presented with a new this or new that without warning; the altar became a table in the middle of the sanctuary, now the priest faces us, “misslettes” were now provided, and now we had three readings, not two, and Sister Mary is going to do the readings, and now we’re going to shakes hands and greet our neighbor in the pew at the Handshake of Peace, and now the organist plays a song during that time, and, now we’re going to receive Communion in the hand and NO MORE KNEELING for Communion, and whew, it was all we could do to keep up. Many people were unhappy. When they’d try to talk to the priest about it, many (almost all the time) were rebuffed out of hand without any explanation. I think the priests felt they really didn’t want to hear the backlash and grumbling, or try to justify the changes. Anyway, their attitude was that it was a done deal. The priest made it clear it was NOT going to change back. Over the years, more abuses of the liturgy began to seep in. I really don’t know WHY any of this happened. I recall a priest who taught liturgy in a college I attended said there were a group of iconoclastic bishops and priests who rammed many of the changes through in a headstrong way (not naming them or going into details).

      It seemed like there always was a contingent in the Church that wanted to throw out a lot of things as outdated and wanted new forms of worship. (Think of Taize or Thomas Merton.) They were not many and not powerful, but in the 1960’s during the Ecumenical Council they saw a chance and took it. It is a little like what you saw happen at the Synod on the Family late last year. Remember the contingent from Germany led by Cardinal Kasper for loosening the rules about second marriages got control of the publication of the summary documents and put out something that caused a minor tsunami in the Church (including things about homosexuality and cohabitation that were not really reflective of the discussions). It was immediately retracted and corrected, but exposed the sort of political moves made by “progressives” during these meetings. This is the sort of thing that happened in the 1960’s, I think, regarding liturgy. There iconoclastic contingents got hold of the liturgical functions and managed to introduce all kinds of innovation that might have looked good on paper, but really destroyed the beauty and reality of worship.

      “Why was the Entire world hellbent on changing ideals and status quo?”
      Why? Why do some in the Church advocate for birth control, women priests, homosexual marriage? Why is our culture facing strong political pressure to accept homosexual behavior as normal? Why is prayer out of schools, and Christmas a no-no in many of them? Why did our country legalize abortion, and politicians win elections on supporting it? Your question is the subject of entire books trying to explain that! 🙂

      But I do see hope. It seems at least some priests nowadays are restoring a true beauty to liturgy and worship, examining what we have now, and like Msgr. Pope, going back and comparing the Missals and trying to make a bridge between what was (the TLM) and what is now, the Novus Ordo Mass.

      Personally, I prefer the Novus Ordo, I only wish it were always celebrated solemnly, with seriousness and a sense of reverence and awe, with the prayers being said as written, and no ad libbing by the priest. I so appreciate that at least some priests are trying to restore the true dignity to the Mass. God bless ’em!

      1. I don’t think that reception of the Eucharist in the hand was ever a dictate of Vatican II nor of the GIRM. It is permitted, but not dictated, true?

  19. Thank You Monsignor. I am a young priest and it is good to hear the history and the experiences of what it was like to be a priest before and after Vatican 2.

  20. The monks of Le Barroux use the 1962 missal for private Masses, but the conventual Mass incorporates some 1965 elements. I’ve always been intrigued about why the Church does not permit use of the 1965 missal. I suppose no one has requested it..

    1. It would be very interesting if the 1962 EF of the Mass was decommissioned and replaced by the 1965 Mass. I personally think the Pontificum Summorrum created a challenge which can be softened (with healing to Church unity) by the 1965 Mass.

      1. If either the 1962 EF or the 1970 OF is to be replaced by the 1965 Mass, should it not be the OF Mass that is replaced? Since the 1965 Mass is arguably a revision of the 1962 Mass in accordance with Vatican II, whereas the 1970 Mass is arguably a departure from the more conservative intentions of Vatican II.

        1. Just to opine here myself, I did write this article asking to replace anything. My hope in writing this article is that we can move away from linking everything to the Council that happened after 1970. I think it is wise to detach since many traditionalists are perceived as demonizing the Council when they express liturgical concerns. Some actually DO demonize the Council, Others are merely perceived as demonizing it. The published response to the Council was the 1965 Missal, or so I argue. Things that came later, or that proceeded (since the 1962 had made changes too), ought to be considered on their own merits or demerits and not be promoted as the “the VC II Mass.” I think this simplifies the discussion. The 1965 Missal is a good common ground, but I do not argue that we simply publish it. It is a point of discussion in the on-going liturgical dialogue and is, to my mind ignored to our detriment.

          1. Nor did I mean to seriously suggest replacement of the 1970 missal by the 1965 missal, which is not a practical possibility. Instead, my comment was intended to emphasize that the 1965 missal rather than the 1970 missal is the true “Mass of Vatican II”, and therefore specifically pertinent to any “reform of the reform” discussion.

          2. I think that part of the reason for going with the reforms of 1962 instead of the reforms of 1965 is that there is a larger consideration than just the Roman Rite. In the Dominican Rite we have a 1965 Missal but not a 1962 Missal. The 1965 Missale SOP, is considered by many, to be an extreme Romanization of our Rite. I believe there are similar problems with the other Western Rites. 1962 is a nice “reset” position, and does represent a position of compromise. For those who are attached to that Missal it provides for their pastoral care. For those who are dissatisfied with the 1962 revisions it allows for a rethinking of the reform of the Rites (even a reincorporation of items lost at that time). It also, as I mentioned, protects the integrity (for the most part) of the other Western Rites even though most of the innovations in the 1962 Missal were imposed on us at that time too. Going forward this is something that should be considered in liturgical reforms. The other Rites need to either be treated separately, or the reforms need to take those traditions into consideration so that distinctive elements of those rites are not lost to Romanization.

  21. Whenever I read lamentations like this I cannot help but wonder at why and how Bl. Paul VI, St. John Paul II, retired pope Father Benedict, and Pope Francis could have ALL been so miseld, ignorant, weak, unable to act and derelict in their shepherding…OR at least that is the impression I get when I read articles from people who seem to be be saying that they have the light to guide us which pontiffs and bishops just didn’t seem to have. Sounds sadly so close to the position taken by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and all who have spun off from him.

    1. But isn’t your analysis simplistic since at least two of those Popes are also responsible for reintroducing the Missal of 1962 and the Sacramental forms from prior. So I think you cannot cite them for one thing and ignore the other.

      1. Yes, but I believe this came about as an enticement or concession, a carrot so to speak, to dangle before the Traditionalists in schism, which did not work because the issue is appears to be one of humble obedience to the directives of the Church, even if one disagrees, The liturgy is simply a rallying point I think more than the main focus. And secondly, these pontiff’s allowed the use of the EF without any condescension towards the Novus Ordo.

        1. Or maybe they were, in fact, mistaken and ineffectual. Possibly even ignorant of just how goofy Mass can be, and facing vehement opposition in their attempts to fix what they did know. Even saints and popes aren’t perfect in this life.

          Let me let you in on a secret. People gravitate to SSPX-leaning parishes and chapels because of the MASS. It is there that they become inured to the attitude of disobedience and paranoia about all things coming out of Rome. If the celebration of Mass at the local parish were up to its ontology of being the one Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, which Christ himself identified as his glorification and purpose of coming into the world, instead of a feel-good goof-fest obscuring a holy Sacrament, the SSPX would dry up very quickly. Since the Mass doesn’t change at the local parish, despite the pleas of John Paul II (Ecclesia de Eucharistia n47ff, which nobody listened to) and the encouragement of Benedict XIV, then (such people begin to believe) maybe there’s something behind the paranoia after all. It isn’t easy when the “source and summit of our faith” is… they way it is… in so many local parishes.

          Sometimes people say America created terrorists by all of the injustices it has perpetrated throughout the world. One Batman villain (I think) said to the superhero, “You made me.” When people leave (or go into schism), it’s not only because they are arrogant and disobedient. Sometimes it’s because they were driven away by the people complaining about their lack of obedience and humility.

    2. What is oft overlooked are the reforms of the Mass initiated by Pope Benedict several years ago. Misled, ignorant, weak, unable to act, derelict ?? No! He knew what needed to be reformed and took first steps to restore some of the beauty of the language in the Novus Ordo. Is it perfect? No, but it is a good start. Had he been pope for five more years, no doubt he would have restored and reformed the rites for the other sacraments, in particular the Sacrament of the Sick, Baptism, and the Funeral Liturgy.

    3. David,

      I suggest you read Pope Benedict’s book “Theological Highlights of Vatican II” written in 1966.
      In my opinion it’s a shocking and eye opening book. The only way I can describe it is this. Compared to Pope Benedict, the young Ratzinger comes across a quite immature, emotional priest swept up in all the excitement of Vatican II.

      Remember the great Arianism heresy in the 4th century… many, many, many in the priesthood were swept up into supporting the heresy.

      I honestly think the CC has been in the midst of the same since Vatican II – not because of what was magisterially taught/written by Vatican II, but the disorders that abused and perverted what were the true teachings of Vatican II….

      1. James, might one also say the same about the Apostles who were swept up by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost? So much analysis going on here which does not look back to patterns established by God Himself, and which, therefore, tend to mislead.

  22. Thanks for recalling a tumultuous and horrible time in the liturgy. It was obvious then that “experts” had hijacked the Liturgy and were constantly changing it. Worse, the English versions of whatever was said in English were changed constantly. The easier to make people lose their sense of what was “right”. I still bounce between five versions of the Gloria and Credo. Like the words of a poem being constantly changed – the poem get lost completely. And they are still at it. They succeeded in changing ancient English prayers in the New Office (which I can’t bring myself to read in the official version because the translation of the psalms is so dead and clunky it is obviously intended to deaden the spirit). Pope Paul VI was terrified into silence and powerlessness by the reaction to HV. It was a time of slow motion torture. And you are right, the Mass was already being changed, and well changed, even in the 50’s. Everyone could do the dialogue Mass in Latin, and everyone could follow the Missal when there was no dialogue Mass. And what is the problem with a dialogue Mass in Latin (esp since the servers represented us)? The people who back to the Latin leap over that and consign everyone to silence, even in chant.

  23. I think that two important references – apart from missals – are Jungmann’s Mass of the Roman Rite which provides extensive historical background and Marini’s A Challenging Reform which provides material on the broad international consultation that was the process employed by Cardinal Lecaro’s commission, of which Bugnini was the secretary. It is also important to recognize that most of the work of this commission took place while the Council was in session.

  24. They say that the lion tamer’s stool has three legs because the lion doesn’t know which of the three legs to direct its ferocity toward and thus is rendered tame. The 1965 Missal can be looked at as the third leg of the stool or as a bridge between 1962 and 1970. Who knows? Neat post.

  25. Oh dear God – that Elvis video! What a crack-up. Well written article, Father, thank you. Just proves in the end that the Mass in any parish is a reflection of the pastor/administrator and his choice of music director.

  26. Just pray during Mass and don’t keep score of my rubrical faux pas. I promise that I will make every effort to “say the black and do the red”, that I will be reverent, and preach a decent homily. But please allow for my human stumbling and bumbling after almost 42 years of priesthood. I write this as one who believes with Taylor that sometimes the Holy Spirit wants a rupture with the past, and as one with some memories of the Latin Mass that aren’t especially fond.
    I promise that someday I will purge the Catholic hymnal of all its banality, and of all the music that sounds like it was written by the people who do Pepsi commercials. I’m trying to figure out how to do it without starting a war.
    Our church music in the 1960s was not as good as that of your Elvis impersonator. Unfortunately, it’s still around!

  27. My biggest gripe about the Novus Ordo Mass is the Offertory prayers, which are banal and meaningless, and a little confusing. Fruit of the earth and “work of human hands” (see Micah 5:13, “…thou shalt no more worship the work of thy hands.”) and my personal favorite, “Fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.” UGH! It is unlovely. It is empty and banal, and for those who don’t understand that God transforms these “works of human hands” into something to be worshiped, it could confuse some Protestants into believing we are going against the scriptures, and engaging in pagan worship, especially since they don’t believe in the Real Presence. I really hoped when they revised the translation a couple of years ago, that they would return to the original offertory prayers. I was deeply disappointed when they didn’t.

  28. There are two Missals of the Roman Rite, the Missal of 1970 (Ordinary Form) and Missal of 1962 (Extraordinary Form) There are those who obviously prefer the Extraordinary Form. However, considering the Missal of 1970 to be a break in the tradition are by no means on target. Was Gregory the Great a breaker of tradition when he totally reworked the Roman Liturgy he received? I doubt anyone wants to make that claim

  29. The Adoremus article by Susan Benofy that dotKomo cites, asserts that the “New Mass” was implemented in U.S. parishes on November 29, 1964. Her description of that “interim” rite more or less matches my dim teenage memory of the time. I have no memory of ever attending anything remotely similar to what appears in the 1965 missal — the vernacular train had left the station by then.

  30. Msgr. Pope,
    The use of the phrase in your article, ” even as we enjoy the privilege of celebrating the Mass using the 1962 missal” made me lose my breath. Is it just me? I find that mentality beyond appalling . I’m not sure how to react to rest of the article. To use the word privilege when the Tridentine Mass was not banned after the”council”( as is my understanding) is not proper. If the 1962 missal was indeed banned after said council, I only ask Why?!?

    1. Understood, but lighten up a little too. Sometimes words are using their strict legal sense, other times more widely. That is the case here. Here are use privilege she in the wider sense namely the supreme joy or pleasure. I understand your anxiety, but you have a mean old on in here. Relax, don’t Hyperventilate simply seek for clarification. Quick reactions The presume ill will, are not helpful in these sorts of the dates. I am a friend of the traditional mass not afford it. Please take this into consideration as you interpret my use of the word. Again, for the record, I agree with what you say here. The old mass was never banned. We do not require a privilege in the strict legal sense in order to celebrate it. Breathe easy my friend.

  31. There’s a strange bit of discontinuity in the video. At about 1.02 you can see a lady in a blue dress up at the altar, then in the next shot she has disappeared and then at 1.11 she reappears along with several other people. I wonder what she was supposed to be doing.

  32. I too have a copy of this Missal. And I would welcome a return to it as opposed to what we now have. The organic development is clear in the 1965 missal. There is no organic development from the mass promulgated in 1962 and the current form. The loss of our Catholic Culture from decades of a “banal, on the spot” rewrite of the Mass has had a very telling effect in Catholicism. But, good luck getting the genie back in the bottle.

  33. Msgr,

    First, how are you old enough to remember 1965? I have seen you and would never pick you as being over 50.

    Second, why exactly do you prefer to face away from the people during the Eucharistic Prayer? I don’t recall ever reading your rationale on that. If you tell me you like it better, I still ask why. It would help me understand. Is there a special spirituality to it? Are we distracting to you?

    Third – I have no problem with the prayers, as long as the priests have no problem with me saying them wrong when ever they are changed. I still mess up the newer Nicene Creed.

    How do you feel about hand-holding during the Our Father? Of that, I am not a fan. One of the few things in the mass I actually have an opinion on. Do not get me started on the glum looks of everyone going up to receive the Blessed Sacrament. That would be the other thing.

  34. Born in 1962 I had no contact with the “old” Mass until I attended a Traditional Mass in the late 1980’s, out of curiosity, not nostalgia. I’m happy with the Novus Ordo – excuse me, Ordinary Form – though I did like having the Priest “turning his back” on the people during the Eucharistic sacrifice. Having priest and people facing the same direction (so-called Liturgical East) actually increased both the sense of unity and the intensity of worship, underscoring the transcendence of the Liturgy. While I would not insist on it, I would welcome that “old” practice becoming the norm for the “new” Mass.

  35. Just a bit of trivia regarding the video: the non-Church scenes in the Elvis movie were filmed at the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus high school in Pasadena, CA (Mayfield Senior School). I don’t have info on the Church depicted in the video, but the sanctuary looks nice.

  36. I suggest David reads the Ottaviani Intervention where it was said, “the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any; heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery”. http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/reformof.htm That was written in 1969 by Cardinals in good standing with the Church who sounded the alarm way back then but were not heeded and so we have the mess we have today which where I am is getting steadily worse. I thank Pope Benedict for having such foresight to restore the old Mass. I am sure he realised that was the only way to restore the Church like a sort of reverse osmosis to that that we have gone through since the Second Vatican Council.

    To me the major changes in the new Mass that are a complete break with what the Church had before was really what was rejected at the reformation and what the English Martyrs died for: the Mass said facing the people, on a table, without altar stone in most cases, lay people doing the readings, offertory processions, extraordinary ministers of the eucharist. If you attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and compare it to the Ordinary Form of the Mass it readily be seen how disruptive of the Mass is the constant toing and froing of lay people and the emphasis on the people, rather than on God which is what the Mass is supposed to be all about. I believe the Ordinary Form of the Mass is quite beyond redemption because of the involvement of the laity – and that is what was envisaged I believe in the Second Vatican Council which led to this rupture which is what it is – a complete rupture with the traditions of the past and only seen in protestant services, not in the Orthodox churches at all.

  37. Monsignor Pope. Thank you for your timely article. In light of our confusing times, I find myself reevaluating Vat II and the changes in the liturgy. It seems the Bugnini Mass was nothing contemplated by Vat ii. Therefor my question is, given the major changes scripted and implemented by Paul VI, in the new Bugnini Mass, why is that not a blasphemy ?

    Secondly, is the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass dependent on the intention of the priest?

    Thank you for your time in responding.

  38. The Church needs a single unified form of the Latin Rite. One calendar, one set of rubrics, one set of readings, one language, and a bible that matches it.

    1. I think there is a tension between the sort of diversity that exists today and the need for unity. However, where do you draw the line? There are actually MANY “forms” of the Latin rite and even within the Roman rite proper there are numerous options related to the sanctoral cycle that affect the readings used etc. One can pick readings associated with the “common” of saints of different sorts, or the readings of the day. One can also note many differences in national calendars, and between the Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans et al. who have different forms of the mass, different sanctoral cycles, and reading associated with them. And all this before we add back the EF. Add then the many versions, rites and calendars of the Eastern Church and there is just no getting around the immense diversity. So your wish is understood, but good luck in being able to realize it. And frankly I also think your wish has never existed, even after Trent’s attempt to unite things.

      1. Msgr Pope,

        Well said – such uniformity was never a feature of the liturgical tradition.

        Indeed, it is very much a modern phenomenon to insist upon such. The reforms of the 60’s swept away not only the traditional Roman Rite, but other ancient rites related to the Roman Rite as well – the Dominican, the Ambrosian, Carmelite, Cistercian…some of these are starting to be celebrated again in a few places. But these were equally sad developments.

  39. Very interesting. Prior to this article I did not have any knowledge of the transition after the 1962 missal during the 60’s. Having returned to the church after attending mass with the 1962 (and ever since [22 years ago]). I am not sure if the 1965 would provide for the level of participation that I currently am blessed with. The 1965 appears to be considerably better than the Ordinary Mass we have today, unquestionably if reinstituted it would be an improvement to the Ordinary Mass, but I would not want to see the Extraordinary Mass change from the 1962.

    Thank you and may God Bless you for your wonderful efforts.

  40. When the 1965 refers to the introit, it is not referring to the entrance antiphon.

    The introit at that time maintained the psalm/antiphon/gloria patri/psalm/antiphon structure.

    The entrance antiphon was created out of thin air on 1970.

    Furthermore, the Introit and its corresponding structure is STILL found in the 1974 Graduale Romanum, and it is NOT identical to the entrance antiphon. In fact, it pretty much corresponds to the 1908 Graduale.

    Very basically, the entrance antiphon is only for spoken Masses. When Mass is sung, the Graduale is the relevant as my source.

    And please note, the texts are almost always entirely different from eachother

    In 1965, there was no entrance err antiphon at all.

  41. We must always remember Holy Mass is A Sacrafice first and foremost and a Celebration of thanksgiving

  42. I wonder if there are any films or extensive photos of 1965-rite Masses; that would help folks understand what it was like in addition to reading the texts. I remember it from my days as a little altar boy. We used the brown St. Joseph Sunday Missal and Hymnal in those days. I think my grandparents’ parish used Our Parish Prays and Sings.

  43. We were married during a 1965 Mass and we both still have the Missals that we were given at that time.

    I don’t understand how the Church allowed us to get from that reverent celebration of the Mass to what passes as sacred Liturgy today. Sure there were progressive clergy and parish elders who pushed an agenda but ultimately it was the Church, the Papal power that is the Vatican who allowed this silliness to continue. Just as in business, there are no long-term employee issues there are only problems of mismanagement or lack of management altogether.

    1. Whoa, Robert. Like it or lump it, the Novus Ordo is here to stay. If the liturgy is not to your taste, brother, nobody is forcing you to attend. Me? I’d rather receive the Eucharist, no matter how much Haugen, Haas and Schutte I have to put up with. My advice to you: don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Keep attending. Grit your teeth and be humble enough to consider what annoys you and cast it aside. Or view it as a self-imposed penance. Silliness? Come on, now. Cowboy up. Cheer up and have an onion. Are we doing anything good these days?


      1. Actually, most people who do not wish to put up with the abuses rife in the Novus Ordo in most but not all parishes. There is no need to “man up” and tolerate self-centered worship practices and attitudes when there is the option of assisting at Mass offered at a TLM or an Ordinariate parish. There are even some Novus Ordo parishes which offer the NO ad orientum and in Latin, both of which augur well for having to endure little or no abuses.

        The problem with Haugen, Haas and Schutte is that their material is too often Protestant or modernist Jesuit in its lyrics, and the music isn’t all that great, either. These gents are primary suspects in the origination and spread of self-worshipping trends over the last few decades which have shifted how Mass-goers see the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a sort of community happy meal with some vague spiritual aspects.

        There is no need to subject ourselves to enduring the silliness Robert cites. Assisting at Mass is not supposed to be an occasion of penance, and you should know that.

        1. There are not any abuses in the Ordinary Form of the Holy Mass. But there are abuses in people or, rather, by people. These abuses can be committed by people at either the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form (or we could call it the EX Mass if you insist on the NO Mass), and they can be committed by priests or the people in the pews.

          One of the most worst abuses to be associated with Mass would be an uncharitable, contemptible attitude toward the Mass and the people who attend Mass, including in the Ordinary Form. People who frequent the Extraordinary Form and who have such an attitude abuse and profane the very thing that they claim to hold dear. It matters not one bit what form or rite of the Mass you attend if you are obnoxious and have nothing to offer except insults about others.

          1. In my experience as a frequenter of both OF and EF Masses, there are many OF attenders who disdain EF attenders, but not many EF attenders who disdain OF attenders.

          2. Too sad, too true; but I honestly agree with Henry Edwards on that one. The actual contempt shown by more than a few older folks, and sadly quite a few priests was very surprising when the EF was mentioned. When I relocated to my present location a few years ago, my wife and I asked the local pastor about a location of the EF and he went postal, literally screaming at us that, “The Latin Mass is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! Why would you even mention that”!

          3. I, too, have witnessed the same thing. I attend the OF during the week and the EF on Sundays. It is always wonderfully pleasing to see new faces at the TLM that are clearly not used to it. However, at the OF, when someone appears that is more traditional (i.e. women wearing veils) snide comments are made.

        2. Happy Presentation Day. And Happy Groundhog Day, Phil.

          Short of joining the Liturgy Committee and the Music Committee to work toward changing any so-called “abuses,” I do not know what to tell you. I’m busy enough with all my Knights of Columbus activities. My little rural parish offers the Novus Ordo. That’s it. I like the parish and the people and I am not going anywhere else.

          Bless you, brother. Glad you have a choice in the matter. My take? Humility. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.


          1. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

            To some extent, sure. But it seems that is sort of what got us to this point.

          2. I find I have to agree c matt. The ‘why don’t we all go along to get along’ mantra is what seems to have gotten us to this point. Sadly I am one of those who complain to the Pastor and the Order only to be ignored or told this what Vatican II prescribe and allowed. How can you question us? I have to grit my teeth and endure unless I want to drive a half an hour to another Mass in the snow and frankly I am just to old for all that anymore. Last the week the priest told everyone to sit down while the Tabernacle door was still open and a minister was down in the back distributing to a disabled person. During the Our Father he and the Deacon along with children hold hands down around the alter. How is that for following the GIRM ? The applause is for everything. They applaud the bongos and the guitar players, some guy who is up on the alter introduced as a new member of the Knights, you name it, it is all about us. How I long for the days of kneeling and reverence for the Holy Eucharist and the mindful presence of the Lord in His Temple instead of a happy clappy social gathering to share a spiritual meal. Sad.

      2. 1500 years of Tradition suggested that the Old Mass was “here to stay”, I am not sure why 40 years of discontinuity from that Tradition means that it is here to stay…though it is true that the foundations of the church have been undermined by a law of prayer that does not correspond to the law of faith. If my generation has anything to say about it I think you will find fewer and fewer (priests in general) celebrating Mass in the spirit of 1970 and more and more of us look to restore the dignity, as much as is possible, even pushing the limits of liturgical obedience to the Mass of 1965.

        Latin at Mass, praying ad orientum, chant, altar boys, communion kneeling on the tongue these are all possible even without bending the rules!

      3. Max,

        With all due respect, if you do a little research into Bl Anne Catherine Emmerich and our Ldy of Good Success, and prior Dogmatic Anathemas and condemnations, not to mention consider Fatima, the Council as well as the Nkvus Ordo Mass are extremely displeasing to God, has had devastating fruits, is a chastisement, and in a future Council all of this nonsense will be overturned by a Holy Pope with the Church being restored. The Church as the Body of Christ has entered it’s Passion and Death and will resurrect to its former majesty and beauty, whether anyone likes it or not. It’s time all Catholics put God first and hear ken back to Tradition and the Truths of our Faith, because we’ve been misled and it has cost MANY MANY souls.

      4. Perhaps the N.O. is here to stay but pretty soon, no one will be attending it. The closing of parishes is happening at an alarming rate. Many if not most NO catholics have no idea or understaning of the Faith as they are so poorly catechised that they end up leaving the Church altogether. Better to serve God as the Saints did for two thousand years. Good luck to you.

    2. What Happened after the mid 1960’s…..Bugnini and his cohorts……..I remember this Mass 1965 very well and yes Latin and English was used……then came the Novus Ordo which in this country gave the ok to dump the Lartin and its beautiful Hymns entirely.

      Pope Benedict God Bless him saw a need for the reform of the reform. Interesting how the left wing got a hold of the reigns and pushed as far as they could including Liturgical Abuse.

      What don’t the liberals get???
      The Mass of the Council was the Mass of 1962!!!! Yes The Tridentine Mass the Mass of Ages….then the Mass of 1965 with few modifications was used…..

      The Priest needs to go back facing the East and quit the performances many have given us in the Past.

      The N.O. Reform of the Reform Needs to continue and the WIDE us of Latin needs to return………

  44. Wow! so many theologians and so many ways to dismiss the fact that many Catholics who were not active for a number of years are coming back. Change is difficult. Change should not be a sharp cutting or dissembling of anything. As I see it, many misunderstandings occurred and now we are angling back to the true reason for the Mass. Our assembly has become more participatory and we are more of a community of the Holy Spirit. While there are some things that seem changed, it is still the greatest opportunity we have to become one with Christ. Perhaps we cradle Catholics who lived through all these changes have lost sight of the real things the Mass is all about – to honor, praise and glorify the Lord; to take up the Cross; to become one with Christ; and to go out into the world and proclaim and live His Word!

    1. I wonder what you mean about Catholics who were inactive for years coming back? Who are they? Generally attendance is continuing to decline in US parishes. Just not sure what or who you are talking about here. I get that you don’t fancy any return to a more traditional form. But I don’t I don’t think your comments which seem dismissive (e.g. calling people “theologians” – I presume you mean it in a mocking way?) is helpful. They are Catholics too, as are the ones you are saying are returning. I agree that there is more sanity today that twenty years ago, but the experience is very uneven, at least as reported by readers here.

  45. So glad you wrote this piece, Msgr. Pope. The 1965 missal was introduced when I was six years old, and was just beginning to take notice and to delight in learning to make the responses just like the adults. I do recall at our parish that parts–such as the canon–were still in Latin at first. Anyway, this missal was for me the “mass immemorial” since it was the one I learned first. When the new one came along in 1970 or 71 I recall being as annonyed as any traditionalist is over the abandonment of the 1962 missal! I recall being irritated, for example, at changing from “I believe” to “we believe” in the Credo. At the ripe old age of 11 I was a grumpy trad on behalf of a version of the mass that most people today are not even aware of. And that 1965 text stayed with me all these years, and when we got the revised missal several years back, I noticed that with very few exceptions (such as “Consubstantial” replacing “of one substance”), what we now have in our prayers is essentially the translation from 1965. I think you are right in proposing 1965 as a more ideal example of what the Council intended. I’m also glad that you bring up Benedict XVI’s vision that the OF and the EF are to mutually influence one another, rather than the only influence being that of EF over the OF. The new lectionary IS an improvement. And why not do the readings once, in the vernacular, rather than laboriously doing them twice, once in each language? But that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

    1. I had to learn from a former Satanist (and high wizard, at that) that Latin is a sacred language and does not the enemy despise all things sacred?

      Why do we have to rush through the holy sacrifice of the mass? What’s wrong with having the readings read twice in the official language of the church AND the vernacular? Is it so bad to spend a little extra time in the walls of the church on a Sunday? I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be?

      Having the opportunity to be there while it is being read in Latin is but an opportunity for silence – something people do NOT get enough of in their daily lives. Silence is where we hear God. It’s the enemy that has filled our lives with so much “noise” to make sure those opportunities of silence do not exist.

  46. I was thirteen when in 1964 I attended mass on the First Sunday of Advent at my grandparents parish in the then thriving Paterson Diocese. The “new mass” in its initial evolution was imposed with great awkwardness. I remember knowing this was not right – but comforted myself that “the bishops and priests knew best” and “the Pope would not allow this if it wasn’t right.” Three weeks later my grandfather died and his funeral mass was the last mass in Latin I ever attended. Looking back, it was rather a double funeral, for a dear old Irishman and a Roman Church which is intent on suicide. Fifty years after – and all that has been irretrievably lost, ditched, and despoiled – we are in the middle of excavating the next stage of the grave. Do we really need to dig deeper? How many more souls lost? How many more vocations dashed? Cardinal Baldisseri’s confirms that Pope Francis himself insisted that flagrant challenges to the Church’s moral teaching be pursued during at the Synod in October. Cardinal Maradiaga’s “revelation” in Santa Clara that irreversible changes are on the agenda. This suicidal course will not be abandoned until this cadre is called to account. It can only be commenced when their confreres shed a raking light on the heterodox deconstructionist agenda currently trumpeted. The clergy and hierarchy must man-up and abandon a deference to feigned authority subject only to its own veiled personal motives fueled by who knows what besides unmitigated pride.

  47. I was 12 when the 65 missal came in, although I can’t say I remember it, I do recall vividly our Altar being moved away from the rereedos. We had an old German pastor who did everything by the book; so it seemed seamless when the changes came. Far more shocking was the Sunday Mass when our sisters made their debut of the shortened habit. I agree that the ‘new mass’ is here to stay; however when said prayerfully and reverently it: and silly music is absent it is beautiful. I am privileged to offer the 1962 mass on sunday and several times in the week, but my main ministry is the new mass. My mantra is that if the priest is truly ‘praying’ the mass, the faithful will be led closer to Christ. Let us pray and do penance that the liturgical reforms desired by our beloved Benedict xvi will come to fruition.

  48. I was married in 1966 and still have the missalet with that in-between Mass. Since my parents died I also have my father’s 1930s missal, my St Joseph missal from 1958, the 1962 missal and about 4 different parish books that started coming out in the late 60s leading up to the drastically changed one at Advent in 1967. I remember never knowing what Mass was going to be like.
    I began St Louis University (a Jesuit school) in 1962. At the same time that the lay students were playing guitars (the uke for me) in dorm rooms, singing “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “The Sloop John B”, some of the Jesuit Scholastics our age were in their rooms also playing guitars and thinking up new music for the evolving Mass. On Sundays, we could go to the normal Mass upstairs at College Church or go to the Mass in the undercroft where this new music was being tried out on us students. We had no idea it would prove revolutionary and still be around. I checked them out on Wikipedia and it seems their music was not formally published until the 1970s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_Jesuits
    I often wonder if all this had happened in the 1970s, would that music be more like the 1970s sound track music in Guardians of the Galaxy that are from cassettes the hero saved because his mother loved them. Or if it had happened in the 1950s, would the new style in church music have been more like Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis? LOL
    In the 1990s I was at the College Church for the premier of a new Mass by John Foley. My friend the organist had to rent a portable organ because the original organ had been totally pulled out during that period when organs were considered relics – mostly due to what happened in the basement below us. How ironic.

  49. I became an altar boy in 1966 and it was with the 1965 Rite (& I too have a copy of the Missial). The big change I saw over its life was the reduction of the prayers said privately by the altar boys. In 1966 the prayers at the foot of the altar were said by the priest and us. By the end, the congregation had taken the place of the altar boys responses.

    But I still moved the book from the Epistle side to the Gospel side and rang the bells. Plus I held the Patten during communion.

    All that has disappeared with the Ordinary Form.

    Also – concelebration had not reared its head in 1965. I believe it was permitted starting with the Novus Ordo, but I could be wrong.

    And the Wedding and Funeral Masses were still 1962 like, but in English.

    1. We are blessed to live in a city with several parishes that practice ringing the bells, holding the patten under our chins, the Agnus Dei in Latin, the Sanctus in Latin, even the Gloria .They are Ordinary Form, but well done. The congregation prays after the Mass ends. Several parishes have adoration 24 hours a day 5 days a week.

      It is interesting that even as the parishes do this, our archdiocese just declared bankruptcy due to the utter and complete financial mismanagement coupled with the disastrous coverups of abuse cases for decades and the secularist attack by the state Legislature changing the statute of limitations retroactively.

      So the Devil was at work and is still at work, even as priests here fight to regain the Mass. But he fights here for a reason.

      It has not ALL disappeared. You must go somewhere to a mass that has these elements. They exist. The children want them. They young families want them. And the young priests will do it too. encourage them.

  50. Thanks for publishing this, Father. The website article you linked to at the end (from Rorate) might be a case of making the perfect the enemy of the good. A return to an ordinary form Mass more like the one you describe from 1965 would be a welcomed step in the right direction.

  51. To everyone who finds people’s devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass (or Extraordinary Form) puzzling or troublesome:

    We find the EF Mass to be beautiful, consistent, solemn, holy, and well-suiting to disposing us to receive Holy Communion. We find the OF Mass typically falls short in that regard – sometimes it is simply lacking, other times it seems it sinks into the red (eg, not only lacking in beauty, but actively ugly).

    If the OF Mass were consistent, solemn, beautiful, and its elements equally well suited to making us disposed to receive our Lord, we wouldn’t bother driving our families (and our weekly checks) 45 minutes past 2 dozen Catholic churches to get to Mass.

    It is one Mass that drives us away, and another Mass that attracts us. Why not thank God we found one that is still a valid part of the Catholic Church?

    I know the OF well enough, I grew up with it, and occasionally find myself there (when I can’t avoid it). How well do you know the EF? When you know it as well as I do, then we can talk. I find that supporters of the EF tend to talk about the two forms of the Mass, the respective Missals and the manner of celebration – what happens at church. Supporters of the OF tend not to talk about the Mass, but about obedience, humility, and schism, because they don’t know the EF well enough to discuss it as a Mass.

    You’re puzzled and troubled because you don’t know what we’re attracted to. Why not find out?

  52. [1] A psalm for David. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. [2] For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me? [3] Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. [4] And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. [5] To thee, O God my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?

    [6] Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

    Indeed, the changes were not minor.

  53. why does the Latin Mass teach truths of the faith while the Novus Ordo teaches the feel good church ?

    1. 1965 is a point of departure not a simple recipe. I certainly do not propose the elimination of the 1962. But if the 1970 missal is going to remain (and it is) perhaps the 1965 can still be used to demonstrate more clearly what the Council fathers were thinking and serve as a meeting place for currently warring factions, and even more importantly as a way to show that calling the 1970 Missal the “mass of VCII” is a misnomer.

      1. The OF is the Mass of Paul VI, not of the Council. Few remember that when Paul VI met Patriarch Athenagoras, Ecumenical Primate, in the Holy Land, the latter advised the Pope NOT TO CHANGE THE LITURGY, JUST TRANSLATE IT INTO THE VERNACULAR. He seemed to be quite aware of the DAMAGE TO THE TRUST THAT THE ORDINARY PERSON WOULD HAVE IF SUCH A RADICAL CHANGE WAS IMPOSED. He was right, and he was a successor to the Apostles and a voice of the Byzantine Tradition. Instead of listening, Paul
        VI listened to the voice of Protestants and sons of the Enlightenment. Very few Catholic Bishops pushed back. What SHOULD have been done is KEEP THE INTERIM MISSAL AND SPEND THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS introducing a better selection of the expanded Scriptures, maintaining the distinction between daily Mass and Solemn, Sunday and Festal Mass. retaining of communion on the tongue (by intinction by the priest, deacons), facing Liturgical East from the Offertory on, male altar servers and a more careful check of replacing old prayers with new ones, keeping the Octave of Pentecost, Ascension etc. The problem NOW is that Paul VI’s prohibition of retaining more of the ritual of the EF is still preventing a restoration of the SYMBOLISM OF THE TRADITION. Only the BISHOPS can obtain this. Paul VI was notoriously SOFT on discipline in the Church generally, and TOUGH on imposing the OF.

    2. I would be the first to say that it would be a glorious day if we could reconnect with ANYTHING prior to 1969.

      Nevertheless, there are concerns with the process of modernization and rationalization that were taking place from 1948 onwards, and accelerated in the 60s. For example:

      (1) Having the celebrant not pray the prayers at the altar that are being sung by the schola or people. I have written about why this isn’t such a great idea: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2014/02/is-it-fitting-for-priest-to-recite-all.html

      (2) Having the Secret pray said aloud like the Collect and the Postcommunion: there are real benefits to the traditional practice. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/07/keeping-secrets-at-mass.html

      (3) The shortening of the preparatory prayers and the Last Gospel seem to suggest a new standard of “efficiency”: we need to get done here. But taking time to prepare, and taking time after communion to absorb the message of the Incarnation, is something we need every single day, and the Mass provided that.

      The new lectionary itself is problematic on so many levels. See here: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2013/11/is-reading-more-scripture-at-mass.html#.VM_zl9LF98E

      My point would simply be that these issues demand a much more careful examination than they were given hastily in the 1960s rush to modernize and simplify things — and so we would be making a considerable mistake to suggest walking down that road, so fraught with pitfalls.

      1. Glad to see you posit the problem prior to 1960. The fact is the Liturgical movement was underway long before VC II. I’m not sure I share your idea that the Celebrant has to pray all the prayers and read all the readings for them to “count”. I also love the new lectionary and think the selection of the readings was painfully limited for too many centuries. These things are debatable and I understand you differ.

        I personally think if I could make ONE change to start things back in the right direction it would be to restore the Canon of the Mass to be said facing the altar and God. I think a lot of other things would begin to fall in line thereafter.

        1. Father:

          But changing the orientation of the Priest can be done immediately, as the rubrics in the Pauline Rite presuppose it. Yet will Priests do it? More often than not — even the ones who agree with you — will not. They know the complaints and fallout with their own Bishop usually doesn’t seem worth it to them.

          1. De jure you are correct, any priest any time can do that. However, de facto there are a number of things that may advise “immediately” doing it. Pope Benedict himself advised a go-slow approach here since the people of God have been through so much. The fact is, if most priests just walked out and faced the altar without catechesis some would be confused. Others angry. Letters would fly and some bishops might clamp down. Low flying planes travel farther because they are under the radar. In my own parish we are very gradually reintroducing the practice, currently we are using it a few times a month at the daily Mass and from time to time at Sunday liturgies. Prudence is very important here. Like it or not many people who tolerate black vestments just fine, or Latin in significant degree are still alarmed at the eastward move and sense a bridge too far. Steady catechesis will be necessary in many parishes and gentle reacclamation to the option of eastward is necessary for now in many places.

  54. I was raised Lutheran and ordained a pastor as such before everything went crazy there. After 15 years of frustration, I converted and was appointed a lay chaplain in a Catholic high school and everything was going crazy there too. I am 10 years teaching English in China and vernacular masses here are familiar to me only in the rituals. Some Latin would be good, at least for me. On visiting a Buddhist temple with a young Chinese friend, we happened upon a service of some kind and I asked him if he could understand what the priests were chanting. He said, “No. Who cares? They are praying for us to God and it doesn’t matter if we understand.” I thought this was a pretty good idea of a key role of priests and the minimal value of our reasoned comprehensive reading, listening and speaking skills in the Presence of the Most Holy Trinity.

  55. Good changes: more scripture readings, old testament, psalms, homilies on how the readings of the day work, elimination of inane duplications. Not so good changes: change from sacrifice to happy meal, useless fast before communion, options for songs that turned into eliminating propers, servers losing most of their duties, inane music, requiem Masses turning into Protestant praise of the de eased instead of prayers for the person’s soul. It’s more than just the new mass – we have really adopted the German Protestant outlook. It’s my understanding that the makers of the new Mass used the input of some Lutheran theologians In Order to have something acceptable to them because a reunion with the Lutherans was thought to be imminant. It never happened but we are stuck with the Mass that was supposed to bring it about. It was a Greek Orthodox who recommended that I listen to a Lutheran service on the radio and he was right. Our Mass is now nearly identical to the Lutheran service.

  56. Do any priests celebrate Mass this way? Does Summorum Pontificum allow priests to celebrate Mass according to the 1965 rubrics or 1962 only?

    1. Yes, there is an axiom generally that a priest can use the rite of the church he was ordained with in private Masses.

    2. The Agatha Christi indult in Britain was for this rite, NOT the 1962. Further to this, the monks at La Barroux use this rite for Conventual Masses.

  57. MY parish NEVER had the 1965 version. We went from the Latin Mass to the Novus Ordo without any transition and I LOVED it. It sure beat memorizing prayers in Latin that had no real meaning to me(and I had been serving Mass since 1962). With Mass in the venacular and being allowed to read at Mass, I actually felt as if I had a real part in the liturgy and it meant something then and still does now. I had been to one previously when I went to an open house at the local minor seminary that I later attended and graduated from. This was BEFORE it was generally approved at the parish level and I began to look forward to its adoption.
    Later, around 1968, I attended Mass at a local African-American parish and was introduced to African-American gospel music, which I came to love and still do. Last weekend, our Saturday Mass had a African-American gospel choir in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. I would also add that my parish is one of VERY few integrated parishes in the area.
    I like my Saturday night guitar Mass at my small,progressive parish. Just a small congregation, worshiping the Lord in a simple way the way the earliest Christians did.
    I remember the “old” Mass,including serving it at 6 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. on a weekday when the congregation was my dad, a couple of other people and the nuns in our parish. I also remember being threatened with bodily harm by the pastor after a Sunday Mass where I had committed the terrible “crime” of picking up his biretta by the tassel. Once, the “new Mass” came in, things like that stopped,thank goodness. So for ME and many like me, the “new Mass” was a welcome change. It gave us then and still does an approachable Jesus. A Jesus we can “have a beer with”.
    I realize that some need the “smells and bells” of the Latin Mass and that’s ok with me. Just leave the rest of us alone.

    1. The Mass of the early Christians was CONSCIOUSLY BASED ON THE TEMPLE ARRANGEMENT OF THE PLACE OF WORSHIP. It is a Protestant error that ASSUMES the Eucharist was “simple” The House Liturgies were arranged to manifest the Heavenly liturgy of Perpetual Sacrifice WHICH THE CONGREGATION WAS IN CONTACT WITH. The BANQUET aspect WAS WITH THE HEAVENLY CHURCH.

  58. There is a theory that the 1965 missal was not an end in itself (i.e. the application of the limited changes as allowed by Sacrosanctum Concilium) but was rather the first stage in the transition to the OF in 1969/70. Dr. Joseph Shaw, chairman of the UK Latin Mass Society, is of this view. This interpretation is based on the view that the same Vatican liturgists were behind the promulgation of the 1965 and 1969/70 books.

  59. I will not go to Sunday Mass at certain parishes, including my own, if the spirit of the occasion is that you normally see at liberal protestant services. Unfortunately, my parish is almost always is like that. I will travel sometimes more than 100 miles to get to a NO or TLM where the congregation and the celebrant act with reverence.

  60. Hammer away: Taught by the good nuns ,who told us, (pre Vat) every where you go in the world the Mass will the same HELLO, the nuns put the fear of God in us, (Thank you Jesus) now I feel (not you) they opened the gates to pick and choose, the Church with all the rules are there or should say were to save our immortal souls, now since the church has reached out to us by opening the gates the Churches are MT to a point, how’s that working out for ya ? people walk out from receiving the Eucharist to there car, not the final Blessing, come in 15 min after Mass has begun, wear cloths you see woman wear wrestling tournament, people are not having Mass said for deceased loved ones, straight to the cemetery, don’t like the rules of Baptism, Priest are afraid to say if you come in late for mass and leave before its over you didn’t hear Mass am I missing something? When ever you make things overly easy on the people, like children take advantage, how about the children today are they cute, (some soulless lil demons)We miss the Grace of the Mass, to fight a world full of Hellish happenings, The government is giving FREE handouts, opens the door to more riots, because I didn’t GET mine??????how’s that worken out for ya?????

  61. I have sweated tears over most all of the changes implemented after. Vat 2. But most especially those in the. Mass. And so, I began to study. After a lifetime of study, these are a few of the things that are certain: 1) the ecumenical movement did not evolve nor was it initiated by either Catholicism or. Protestantism, but from the World. Council of. Churches, a . United Nations baby, whish intended to create a new.ecumenical religion, a one world church, a united liturgy, and a social gospel centered on the material needs of the poor. The ecumenical. Mass , or. Novus. Ordo, can be said by both protestant minister or catholic priestwith no qualms of conscience over transubstantion, or its true and valid power and meaning. All of the sacred symbols of catholicism, barring only a few, have been relegated to obscurity without formal censure. The power of the. Tridentine Latin. Mass is in every word symbol and gesture which were handed down to us from.the time of. Peter and the apostles, and even before them, as my 1932 St Andrew Missal states that. Jesus changed only two words of the. Passover service. These were the words. My and. New.(ie. This is” my” body. And. My blood of the “new “testament. Sacred tradition tells us that “mysterious fidei” was placed immediately after these words by Pope. Peter and the apostles to define the words of consecration, for it is indeed the supreme mystery of faith. And by virtue of the power of the keys, he did have the authority to do this. 27 presume this argument logically leads to accepting the validity of the. Nov us. Ordo as proclaimed by pp6th, if, he wasn’t coercerced, or deceived into doing so. One thing is still certain. The. Old. Latin. Mass was to be retained word for word, , gesture for gesture. As regards the. Mass, this is something that we can be absolutely certain of. This only skims the surface however of the power and beauty of the true theology and meaning of the. Mass.

  62. When I first attended a TLM a few years ago on a Saturday in New Bedford, MA at St. Anthony’s beautiful church, I wept. I asked the Lord over and over why this was taken from us. The faithful never asked for the novus ordo which is based on the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. It did not help protestants to become Catholic but worked the other way around. A mason helped to bring about these changes! Thanks be to God and Pope Benedict, the TLM is slowly being offered in more and more places and if the SSPX ever receives canonical standing, it will bloom like crazy.

  63. The problem is this. The careerist in the Vatican since 1946 who worked on the liturgy was Anibale Bugnini who became an archbishop AND according to Alice Von Hildebrand (Latin Mass Magazine, Fall issue 1997, pge 48, lower rt. corner) “his allegience to Freemasonry was proven”. Essentially he put together the New Mass and made steps so that it could continually evolve. “How your pray is what you believe” This way the Catholics worldwide can be confused and discouraged way into the future. He did not follow Vat II concerning the liturgy, whose documents appear diliberately vague. How was such allegience proven? Michael Davis writes that a brief case was found by a Dominican after a liturgical conference in 1974. He brought it to his superior who eventually opened it to find out who is the owner. He found corrispondance to and from high ranking freemasons concerning altering the liturgy. The superior brought it to Pope Paul VI and the Domincan stated that if you don’t do something about this man that I will go public with what I found. Bugnini was then banished to Iran, the same year (.001% catholic) being made provost. Bugnini also published the Novus Ordo without passing it through Card. Ottaviani (prefect CDF). When Paul VI found out he wept.

    I’m not saying the Novus Ordo is invalid. It is valid but very handicapped wrt the Latin Mass

    What’s the answer? Release the full 3rd secret of Fatima says the BVM. Read http://www.locutions.org

  64. I was 5 years old in 1965, but in our parish the older version of the Mass was still said because the priests kept to it. Eventually priests get rotated to different parishes, and we got the new Mass.

    Maybe I’ve been a curmudgeon since a young age, but I want the reverence of the old Latin Mass back! About 10 years ago I opened a song book at Mass and found a host which had obviously been dipped into the Precious Blood stuck to the pages inside. I took it to the priest after Mass. About 2 years ago I went to receive Communion from a Eucharistic Minister who tossed the Host at my tongue and it bounced off my face and landed on the arm of my sweater. There was a Pentecost Mass some years ago where people were dancing around the altar in ethnic costumes, and a few were so tight and short that if I were closer I could have told their gender through their costumes when they kicked their legs into the air.

    I don’t care of the Mass in is Latin or the vernacular, Christ should not be dishonored at Mass. These things did not happen with the old Mass, and therefore I want it back. Priests should be able to refer to sin as sin, and not less appropriate choices. And nobody mentions hell any more. I want the old Mass back. If only there were a parish that offered it within driving distance!

  65. I like my mass irreverent, full of Protestant hymns such as “how great though art” and bad music, and I like receiving the eucharist in my hand while standing because it makes me feel as though God is not someone to be feared or revered which makes my sinful behavior not at all worrisome. After all, God is merciful. Therefore, out of the two forms I enthusiastically choose the novus ordo ordinary form.

  66. Go to Saint John Cantius in Chicago or Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago for some of the best reverent masses

  67. I was born and baptised in 1937. Spent six years in the seminary in the 1950’s. Went in Rome during Vatican II when Pope John XIII was still alive. All this during Latin mass time…! I am constantly troubled by the ongoing contraversy with the changes in the “rubric” of the mass. Why do people forget that the essence of the mass is the consecration of the body and blood of Our Lord as He institued at the Last Supper…? Edmond

    1. I suppose that is true. But it is like the difference between the Mona Lisa being displayed at the Louvre or displayed at Guido’s pizzeria in Brooklyn. The essence of the Mona Lisa would not change, but the ability to appreciate it might. So much so, that many would probably doubt the one at Guido’s pizzeria to even be authentic.

  68. I was born and baptised in 1937. Spent six years in the seminary in the 1950’s. Went in Rome during Vatican II when Pope John XIII was still alive. All this during Latin mass time…! I am constantly troubled by the ongoing contraversy with the changes in the “rubric” of the mass. Why do people forget that the essence of the mass is the consecration of the body and blood of Our Lord as He institued at the Last Supper…?

  69. I admire your blogs, Father and like it that you produce one. Moreover, while the church needs specialists who concern themselves assiduously with the liturgy, and you, yourself, might provide very helpful insights, I always wonder at the anguish of so many non-specialist liturgists among the laity, whose laments I read in these Catholic blogs.

    I can’t help suspecting that Mother Theresa and Padre Pio would have quietly gone about deepening their own interior life, rather than fretting and expostulating about changes in the liturgy, made and continuing to be made, by the professional liturgists. The latter of course would be fallible, but the church has a way of getting things right eventually, and the Mass is the Mass. As simple as that. ‘Pray and pay’ needn’t always have negative connotations.

  70. Indeed, ironically, it’s more important how we conduct our lives between the Masses we attend, isn’t it? Not that an excessively-liberal celebrant doesn’t offend me, but I see such a derelict demeanour even on the part of a celebrant of the Mass, as part of life’s rich pageant, as that sage of the silver screen, Peter Sellers once described the disappointments in our lives. God’s shoulders are broad enough, until such miscreants are ‘kicked into gear’.

  71. Change the Mass – change the meaning – change the religion. The New Mass is not Catholic . Latin – Hebrew – Greek are the only holy languages given by God himself – ( Does anybody remember what was nailed on the Cross posted above Christ ?) Change the language -“change the meaning – and the religion changes. This is not difficult to understand – all post 1962 Masses are void and are nit Catholic . How stupid can anybody be ? – the Church is imploding by the day – the corrupt Curia – homosexual priests, Bishops, Cardinals – this Pope is the last scourage – and purge of the true Church . The Church is failing and declining because it is not the Catholic Church according to God. …..

  72. If A validly ordained priest celebrates A valid mass in either the EF or OF TRANSUBSTIATION takes place.
    I myself favor the EF, but I will NEVER leave A mass celebrated in the OF. To do so is an insult. It’s ridiculous
    to travel many, many miles to be present at an EF mass. TRANSUBSTIATION in the EF is EXACTLY THE SAME AS IN THE OF, NO LESS NO MORE. ‘Nuff said.

  73. Being a cradle Catholic and having been very active in the Vatican II Mass for many years, I am so happy to be back at a church where the TLM is celebrated at all three Masses. I am so glad to be able to pray without the many distractions as some churches who celebrate the Novus Order Mass, have.

    I feel the main reason for Mass, is to Celebrate the Eucharist, not each other. Thanks to the order of The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter for the TLM.

  74. Returning to the Church, I was struck by “wow, we are a big family” when I sat at a Mass, with a young child reading the Epistles, a cantor leading us in the Psalm responses, and the priest turned towards us as he joyfully raised the consecrated host, and all the prayers were in English, so easily understood. I enjoy many aspects of the new Mass in the vernacular. However, the reverential mood of the music is gone, and sorely needs help. It is far too secular, rhythmic, hard for the congregation to follow, and the heart is not opened wide to heaven and prepared for the Eucharist. That is where the old Latin hymns and Eastern Orthodox music win hands down! I hope that the beatiful striking words of the Psalms in English will soon find their appropriate musical settings. This lack of proper musical setting, I think, is the one main thing lacking. I personally think people are nostalgic for the holy musical settings, not so much the Latin words themselves that were set to that amazing music. I am so very grateful for receiving Holy Communion…and now I must trust the Holy Spirit will restore the beauty of Christ’s Church, bring back the awesome music, and also bring His Mother Mary back to her proper place of the Queen Mother, at the right hand of her Son. Learning how she was “shoved aside” in so many parishes, and no longer having May Crownings, etc, was one of the most painful experiences and hardest things to understand, when She helped bring me back, with her Miraculous Medal. Where Mary is, Jesus is. Mary and the Eucharist. The Ark and the Lamb. I love the Catholic Church, with her wounds. I realize she has tripped and been knocked to her knees by the devil, but now Jesus is helping her back to her feet again and she will move gloriously down the aisles of history to meet her Bridegroom.

    1. My parish choir uses a yearly psalter with the appropriate psalms in a very nice chant style with parts. My parish is not particularly liberal or conservative, so I’m sure the booklet is easily available. There are also books now with the Propers of the Mass in nice chant settings. I’m old enough to remember there as a normal occurrence at Sunday Masses. Over time I think more parishes will go back to Propers as well as actual Psalms. like my run of the mill parish.

  75. I wishes that the tabernacle will return in the center, the return of receiving communion on the tongue , that people will stop talking in the church , in fact there is more silence at the play house and no more gogo mass or new age occult stuf. No singing during the time people are receiving communion, so we can concentrated more on adoring our Lord and thanking Him. And MORE REVERENCE.

  76. Every Sunday and Holyday, I attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Today I attended my Grandaughter’s Baptism that took place at another Church. Before Mass began there was an introduction of the Parents, Godparents and children to be baptized. A short homily and instructions about the Baptism took place before Mass, then the Entrance Procession of the Families and children. Highlighting the Baptismal theme took place at a few intervals of the Mass. The actual Sacrament of Baptism took place after the Mass. I came away feeling as if I had just attended a rock concert. Bongos, piano, guitar, tambourine, the singer on the Altar, waving her arms, some choir members and people in the pews swaying to the music. Actually, it was very kicky, the whole Mass that is, and I had a hard time keeping my hips and feet still, truly, because I like to dance. The screens hanging around the altar, facing the congregation seated in semi-circle design, kept us abreast of what part of the Mass it was, what we should respond or sing. But when it came to the Readings of the Sacred Scripture, I think that is called the Liturgy of the Word, well, couldn’t hear the girl doing the Reading and it wasn’t posted on the screen to follow. Figures. But when the music started, wow, the volume was overpowering and the words readily available on the screen. Of course, Gather Us In was the first number. I actually had to leave my pew a few times in order to make it through the whole thing. I looked next to me, across the aisle, to see an elderly woman, hat on her head, Rosary in her hand, kneeling on the floor through the entire Mass, head bowed, never looked up that I saw even once, At the end of Mass, she walked up to the Tabernacle, which was behind the “Presider’s” chair, in front of a free standing wall with a doorway on left and right. The Sanctuary is in the round. (Just a little description of the head-spinning modern design) This woman knelt in front of the Tabernacle with her arms extended in the form of a cross. I felt a sense of peace and joy, believing this was Reparation to The Father, through the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. I hope my discomfort, sorrow, longing will count as Reparation too, as I asked the Lord to take this away and bring us to worship Him in Spirit and Truth in our Catholic Churches.

  77. Sorry, to disappoint a lot of posters here, BUT I agree with John who posted at 1:53 p.m. Last night, our parish celebrated the beginning of Black History month with a Black Gospel choir and I loved it! As I wrote earlier, I want a God, a Jesus, I “can have a beer with”, not some cosmic thug. I well remember WHO Jesus dined with and WHO he invited to be with him. The poor and the working class who didn’t have fine clothes and struggled to get by. They weren’t the Pharisee’s, those scrupulous keepers of law and tradition.
    So it is now. Many are working a lot of hours (in some cases unpaid)and yes they’re late and yes they don’t dress well. Life now, is busier and MORE complex than it was in the 50’s and before. They’re just trying to do the best they can.
    Finally, I’ll tell you about a “different” Mass that I have attended a number of times. It is a “polka Mass” celebrated during “Sommerfest in the little town of Haubstadt,Indiana where dad’s people are from. This annual town festival and to celebrate their German heritage they sing German hymns at Mass accompanied by an accordion This NOT a liberal parish,but every year they do this and nobody minds. In fact, they all really like it. Likewise, there are Mexican, Polish and other Mass variants and nobody complains about them so why don’t we just cut the nonsense out and leave each to his own.

    1. Exactly! It is about a Jesus we can have a beer with – a Jesus who is like us! That’s the Jesus I want too (especially if He’s picking up the tab)! “And then Bob said to Jimmy ‘let us create god in our own image and likeness, and he shall be fruitful and brew craft beers unto each season available on tap, subduing the earth and filling it with micro-breweries.'”

  78. Father, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this article. I just saw the heading in SpiritDaily and came here to your site. I will bookmark and read it fully ( have only read less than half right now) as well as the other comments. Let me explain. It’s of great interest for me because a) I was born in Oct. 1965 and b) am a convert to the Catholic faith. Through skimming and reading bits and pieces here and there, especially in the newspapers and materials left, thank goodness, in a lot of Catholic churches, I’d read different topics and views with regard to the “true” Mass and Vatican II, etc.. all the changes, how this had been upsetting to many people, etc… etc.. Of course, having been “born” in ’65 and only having known the Mass facing the people I was very lost in the “middle” of this topic. So thank you very very much for teaching me history here. Because just the opening paragraph or phrases that say that the Mass was going through changes starting in the 1940’s is news to me. God bless.

  79. I was born between the 1965 Missal and the 1970 Missal and have no recollection of anything other than that proscribed by the 1970 Missal. However, I was fortunate enough to live in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which did not appear to tolerate wild innovation. I say this because when I received First Holy Communion, I received on the tongue, on my knees at the altar rail, and at all subsequent school masses, I was required to cover my head with a beanie or a veil. I can also recall the priests chanting parts of the mass in English for feast days and special occasions as opposed to weekly school masses which were not as solemn. Knowing what I know now, I can see that the priests were trying to follow the standards for high masses and low masses as best they could. Over the years, I have witnessed the Mass denigrate into all sorts of strangeness–from giant television screens and theater in the rounds in Florida; to cantors acting as if 1) they are equal to priests, and 2) that Mass is an appropriate time to polish off those musical-theater skills; to overly dramatic readings by pseudo-thespian lay lectors; to the atrocious hippy dippy 1970’s Protestant-esque hymns; to the extreme abuse of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; to the awful and depressing reception of the Lord by so many people who receive the Lord in their hand like a cookie, it’s beyond disheartening and at times really seems as if this is not the Church I grew up in, let alone the Church that nurtured generations for centuries. While I have witnessed Novus Ordo Masses that are reverent and beautiful, those are few and far between, and as I’ve come to learn, many of the priests who reverently say the Ordinary Form often also say the Extraordinary Form. I doubt there is a coincidence. It’s hard not to be irritated or bitter, but there are times that I feel that my entire generation and those that have followed me have been cheated and denied the fullness of our Catholic heritage. I learned more about Church history and practice because my degrees are in Medieval Literature; I learned nothing substantial about those things throughout 12 years of Catholic education. I found my way to the Extraordinary Form, and although I cannot experience that weekly anymore (the area where I currently live does not offer it), I would be happy if I could just attend a reverent Ordo without the horrible music, the touchy feely I’m OK You’re OK homilies, the reel around the fountain spectacle surrounding the Sign of Peace, and the incessant noise which makes it almost impossible to pray and to worship the Lord. Is it too much to ask for our worship to be authentically Catholic?

  80. I love the Latin Mass as was born in 1951 and remember it from my youth. Now once again, it is possible to attend this holy and sacred Mass in Omaha, NE, daily if you wish, at Immaculate Conception Church, with the priestly order of St. Peter priests. They are young, holy, and in full communion with the local Bishop and our Holy Father, the pope. What a joy to receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue. How wonderful to hear true seromns with the truth of our faith and to be blessed beyond words with the reverence and respect and all the extra graces from the Holy, Latin, Mass. The church is FULL of young families with many children. God’s church will flourish, is strong, and is holy. I thank God for our greatest gift on earth, the Holy Eucharist, by which we will save our souls one day, with the help of our Lord, God, and Creator.

  81. Please read Quo Prium before making any comments and understand the gravity of tinkering with the mass. Also read what God did to Aaron’s sons ( Old Testament ) for making a sacrifice Not according to His instructions. It frightens me to think of all the abusces in the last fifty years that have taken place. Have we gone crazy? Pedro

  82. there is a total difference in the mass. look at the eastern Divine Liturgy the priest controls the service in the latin rite the women or choir controls the service and look this Puis x women on the alter canon law 1917. in 1755 St. Benedict xiv said it is evil for a women ot service a priest on the alter. that up to God change it which He will Ezekiel 34 tell like is and in 37 God taks His Church back simple as that so pray and waite it will happen soon

  83. Krista said: “many of the priests who reverently say the Ordinary Form often also say the Extraordinary Form. I doubt there is a coincidence.”

    You are so right. I’ve heard all of the arguments and positions above, for many many years now. The situation WILL change, but not until every last one of us who either bought into the “reforms” or rejected them, is gone from this earth.

    My generation (I was born in 1951) and the previous one especially, were profoundly liberal. We have to take responsibility for what we wrought. We used birth control, and abused other aspects of Holy Mother Church. We were profoundly disobedient. Mass attendance is down, at least partially to our demographics of sin. The “reforms” are not entirely responsible. We accepted the new “world views” and voted in left-wing governments. We were part of the world and we reap what we sow.

    Fortunately, the Church is under Divine protection, and when we are gone, there will be a renewal for those untainted but the poison we willingly consumed. The Church has seen things profoundly more dangerous than the interpretation of Vatican II – the Aryan Heresy which was subscribed to by 75% of the world’s Bishops, the Crusades, the Reformation . . . . this current problem is a lightweight in comparison.

    If the Holy Catholic Church is indeed the Church that Christ established, THEN IT WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE UNDER SATANIC ATTACK ON A CONSTANT BASIS, and once that attack has been defeated by Christ and His Church, there will be another one, a new attack for a new generation.

    Those born after 1970 know nothing except the NO and who lived under the ersatz Chatechising of the liberal Church Bishops, are not the problem. We are. It’s time we stopped whining, and started praying. Christ will hear. I’m sooooo tired of the whining, even though I agree with almost all of the points.

    I’m a professional violinist, have been concertmaster of 4 orchestras, and currently conduct one. Do you honestly think I don’t suffer at the ridiculous music? It’s even worse than you think. But all the whining in the world is not going to change it.

    We all need to accept our part in being party to the diminuendo, pray for a crescendo. It will happen, but we will not see it, like certain Israelites including Moses did not enter the promised land. For pretty much the same reasons.

  84. Is there a way to find out where the 1965 Mass is being celebrated? I would be especially interested to know where on the East Coast (perhaps at the National Basilica?) I could assist at this Mass.

  85. Dear Msgr Pope – firstly a thank you, then a question. Thank you for the insightful (and balanced) article on this N.O. vs TLM debate. Far too many sites can be too extreme. Baptised and brought up post-V2, my interest in this topic was stirred in 2 ways – firstly the recent ‘revised’ translation (when I suddenly realised “words and meanings have changed” whereas previously we thought the theologians / translators knew what they were doing. Secondly when I visited Japan, and looked for an English-speaking Mass. Lots of Googling, and I found Masses (few) in many languages – English, Tagalog, German, French, etc, every one being some train ride away. For the first time, it hit me that language had become an OBSTACLE in worship, and suddenly I said “if only we all spoke the one language”. Of course when I raised this, another priest said “it’s not fair to force other countries to memorise Latin, which is a foreign language”. But then we’d worship together consistently, without all the problems translations bring.

    I apologise if this question has been answered before. So, we’re clear on what the 1962 TLM says. Your article says 1965 – the Mass as approved(??) by Pope Paul VI is actually not much change. Then post-1970 the N.O. of today swept through the world. Question – What happened between 1965 and 1970, why were changes so drastic, and most of all, *who* approved it? Surely, something as important as the Mass, *has* to be signed off by the Pope? Everything I’ve read seems to blame Annibale Bugnini – a Freemason (maybe), definitely Protestant-style thinking, a phony ecumenism that prefers to tear up doctrine, etc, etc. But it *has* to have been approved.

    Is this in any way linked to Paul VI statement of 1972(?) “the smoke of Satan has entered…” some say he meant the sudden fall in seminarians. But 1972/73 (note the date) – Our Lady appeared at Akita, Japan (Vatican approved by the way) – and among many pronouncements (some of them seem to point to last October’s Synod!), she said “the demon will enter the Church…. altars will be sacked…” When I heard this I thought war and destruction. But altars can also be “sacked” via stripped down liturgy. Any elucidation welcome….

  86. With regard to the late, great Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Heenan, I recall reading recently that the reason he was so disturbed by the “Missa Normativa” celebrated at the 1967 World Synod of Bishops was not necessarily that was so “radical,” but his apparent discomfort that sung Mass would be normative, rather than the prevailing form of “Low Mass” until that period.

    Monsignor, would you be able to confirm this?

  87. While the article tries to make a good case for the 1965 transitional missal, it ends up inadvertently making a better case for the pre-pian missal of the late 40s, before the reforms began at all.

    For example, there was nothing in Vatican II mandating the clipping of the prayers at the foot of the altar. In fact, VII mandated more scripture, not less.

    And to say that the new missal doesn’t encourage mass facing the people is simply untrue. For the longest time, the GIRM specifically stated that Mass stating the people was preferable.

    And it’s silly to say the schola singing does not count. Doing something twice does not mean the first did not count. It simply means it is done twice. The consecration is done twice. Sure, it could be done once on both elements if Christ chose to do so, but it’s done twice. Not because once isn’t enough, but because it’s intentionally done twice, in two different manners.

    Later in the article, the author says:

    “To lovers of the 1962 Missal, it probably still represents too much change (for example, read HERE). But it was far from the more radical changes that came later, changes that removed so much more and added so many new elements such as multiple Eucharistic Prayers, etc.”

    That’s exactly the problem. It’s the first step in the radical reform that lead to a Missal that was “fabricated” and “made up on the spot,” certainly not an expression of organic development from the church’s liturgy, but rather a clean break and a rupture. Btw, that’s what Pope Benedict said, before you attack me for using such strong language. I’m simply paraphrasing (and quoting) him. The reforms were indeed radical. And the ’65 missal was the first step.

    Archbishop Bugnini, one of the main reformers in the Vatican following the council, said he intended to make the Mass much more protestant. Then he did. Why are we still defending it, and why don’t we take him at his word?

    It has it’s roots in the intentional tearing down of Catholic teaching. Yes, the 1965 missal is better than now. But it was worse than before, and the clear first step in the radical reforms.

  88. As an altar boy in 1964, I learned to serve the Latin mass. By the time I graduated grammar school in 1968, the vernacular had replaced Latin and there were years of experimentation that culminated in the nadir of the “Hootenanny Mass”. The stately organ was replaced by guitars and bongo drums. The music was more fitted for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand than the Holy Mass.

    Some of the changes brought about by VC2 were good, particularly engaging the congregation as active participants in the mass. The sacredness of the mass as worship was lost. The Latin elevates the mass and sets it above the routine of daily life. Even though the nearest TLM is a 50 mile drive from my home, I often make the trip to feel the sense of the holiness of the mass. I find the ordinary form to be flat and even trite, without the numinous sense I get from TLM.

    I have taken to saying In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Kyrie eleison and Et cum spiritu tuo instead of English at my parish church to connect with that sense of elevation I miss. I’ve suggested to my pastor that we hold an occasional TLM but was toldit would never happen. That I think is all of our loss.

  89. Thank you for this very informative article. The people who have made comments
    seem very knowledgeable. I hope someone will be able to answer a question of
    mine. I’ve asked people I know, but no one seems to know the answer. My question
    is this: when I was young, at the requiem mass, three candles stood on either
    side of the casket. Now, there is only the paschal candle in front of it. What year
    was the change made? Also, when I was little, the casket was covered with a
    black pall, now the pall is white. Again, what year? I would be very grateful
    if someone could provide with answer!!!

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