Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Novus Ordo Missae

Those who know me well know I do not like the New Order (Novus Ordo) of Mass. I have no difficulty saying the Novus Ordo is legitimate (it is, after all, built from the elements of the Traditional Mass) and valid (it has been promulgated by the Church’s Supreme Authority).  But whereas Vatican Council II asked for noble simplicity in the Mass, what we have in the Novus Ordo is banal and skeletal.

I hold however, that the Norvus Ordo Rites cannot be invalid, since if the New Rites (for Mass, Ordinations, Anointing of the Sick etc) are indeed invalid, [1] God has been failing to feed His flock for the last fifty years, and [2] Christ has failed to keep His promise that His Church will not fail. I believe we cannot accept that the new Rites are invalid unless we also hold that that God has failed to feed His flock and Christ has failed to protect His Church.

That does not mean the New Rites are good, however. To be good a Rite should express clearly the reality is holds, and the New Rites do not always do this. In that sense the New Rites can be said to be entirely ‘fit for purpose’. Still, when compared to the Traditional Rite, the Novus Ordo Missae does not come off too badly in that:

1.    Both contain an entrance antiphon (Introit)
2.    Both contain a Confiteor which actively seeks the intercession of the angels and saints
3.    Both contain the misareatur
4.    Both contain the Kyrie
5.    Both contain an Epistle
6.    Both contain the Gospel
7.    Both contain the Credo
8.    Both contain the ancient Roman Canon
9.    Both contain the Our Father
10. Both contain the prayer for peace (Libera nos)
11. Both contain the Agnus Dei
12. Both contain the Domine non sum Dignus before distribution of Holy Communion
13. Both contain a final antiphon
14. Both contain a blessing and dismissal.

Sadly however, we have to recognise that though much as has been retained, it is the significant elements that the Novus Ordo omits that disturbs, for it omits:

1.    The seeking of God’s grace before we dare to enter His sanctuary (Judica me),
2.    The Indulgentiam (minor absolution)
3.    The genuflection during the Creed by which were honour the Incarnation
4.    The genuflections given to the Blessed Sacrament before and after every time the priest touches the Sacred Host
5.    The Offertory (the prayers preparing for a Holy Sacrifice having been replaced with a prayer based on the Jewish Grace before Meals, thus giving lie to the central reality of the Mass as His Body given up and His Blood being shed: “every time you eat this bread and rink this cup you are proclaiming the lord’s death” 1.Cor.11v26).
6.    The prayer to the Holy Trinity (Placeat tibi) asking that the Sacrifice offered may bring forgiveness for all for whom it is offered, yet forgiveness (mercy) is at the core of the Gospel.

Indeed, even in what has been retained there was an unnecessary meddling with the texts. For example:

1.    The Kyrie has been reduced from nine invocations to three, and re-ordered so that it now sounds like a plea to the Trinity rather than to Christ alone, who in the Traditional form was named in each of the three stanzas, thus making clear that the whole of the Kyrie is addressed to Christ and not to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2.    There has been a interpolation into the Roman Canon of an acclamation said by the people, using the words ‘ Mysterium fidei’ as its introduction. This is an unwarranted (and ill-mannered) interruption of the prayer of the Son to His Father, and for no other reason than to give the people something to say. It is also a sneaky way of undermining  the priest’s unique, irreplaceable and singular role in the recitation of the Canon and the confecting of the Consecration.
3.    The very words of the consecration have been changed, despite the injunction of Vatican II that “there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them” (SC #23). There was no ‘genuine and certain need’ for the words of the consecration to be changed. This can only have arisen from a political ideology (such as diminishing  the role of the priest by introducing a people’s acclamation of the Mysterium Fidei).

The Novus Ordo also fails in its concrete celebrations, in that it

(a)  most usually ignores Vatican II’s injunction that Latin be retained:

“In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and the common prayer, but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution. (cf. 36. 1: Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.)
(thus)…steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed (that is, that the permission of Rome is sought and obtained -GD).

(b)  has opened the Rite of the Holy Eucharist –the Most precious Gift Christ gave us- to novelties:

(i)   Communion in the hand (a Protestant invention long abandoned by Rome) despite the ruling by Paul VI that this may not be introduced after 1969 –cf. Memoriale Domini, 1969) and can be permitted only in those countries which prior to 1969 had illicitly begun the practice: Holland, then Belgium, France and Germany).
(ii) Lay Extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion (which destroys the priest’s role as he who stands in the place of Christ who ‘took, blest, broke and gave’).
(iii)  Ladies acting as Extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion (Christ established only males as ministers of His Body and Blood)
(iv) A people-facing orientation of the celebrant (making the Mass a dialogue between priest and people rather than a pilgrimage of priest and people toward the heavenly Jerusalem of the spiritual East).

None of the above novelties are found in the documents of Vatican II, and indeed, and this is very important, they are not found in the N.O.M promulgated by Paul VI as the faithful implementation of Vatican II’s liturgical decree.

All in all, while there is indeed a significant similarity between the 1570 and 1970 editions of the Missale Romanum, there are also striking divergence, and it is this divergence that leaves one’s soul seeking more. What is truly sad is that those who refuse to welcome the Traditional Rites demonstrate an antagonism to their own roots, and cut off from their roots they die, as is seen in the massive lapsation, the dearth of vocations and the closure of schools, parishes and convents that has followed this rejection of Traditional Liturgy and the Tradition of the Catechism.


  1. There are several valid rites within the Western Catholic Church. The Pauline Mass as it was intended is valid. The many disparate varieties we now have of that Mass are valid but confusing, even to the priest, I suspect.

    I go to both both. A growing criticism of the new Mass, is that is becoming a feminised neo-protestant communion service where receiving the bread and wine is the objective. I can see this. Recently, per Quam Singulari, I chose not to receive Holy Communion. I made the effort (arthritis ) to politely stand to let a family out, and sat down. Three later comers gave me hostile glances as they then squeezed past.

    I can also understand why I see virtually no young males at the New Mass.

    1. Thank you, Jacobi.
      Yes, the N.O M. is valid as intended, and its concrete celebrations confusing and oft times disturbing. A major problem with concelebration is that one does not know what kind of Mess-Mass one will be concelbrating at and thus giving public approval to.
      The touchy-feely ethos of the N.O.M. in its concrete celebrations with wet hymns and constant affirmation of how wonderful the folk are is very off-putting to males who are secure in and rejoice in their masculinity. The seminary proffs and their parochial peers poked fun at 'men in lace before Vatican II', but the texts and ethos of the 'old Mass' was one of battle against sin and the forces of evil, which speaks better to males. Weak texts, hand-holding, peace-hugging and whimpish songs (are they really hymns?) have, i suspect, turned many a secure male away from faith. Cardinal Heenan was the man who said if the N.O.M. came into play we would end up with congregations of women and children. Prophetic, or simply obvious?
      God Bless.

  2. What about the creation of 3 Eucharistic prayers... One in a trattoria. What about all the silly children's a Masses. What about the total rearranging of prefaces and readings. What about the policy of removing anything with certain key concepts such as judgement, he'll sin etc Really Bugnini and his committee members took an authority onto themselves trashing a real apostolic treasure handed on through number out centuries for the Thunderbird Mass of the banal 1960's. Bugnini deceived many and manipulated a opportunity presented.

    1. Thank you John.
      The 3 new 'Eucharistic Prayers' and the disgraceful children's Eucharistic Prayers are not good; the latter are particularly bad because they encourage constant interruption by acclamations form the children, which encourages the erroneous belief that everyone offers the E.P.
      I would say that we have to be grateful that among all that was retained, the the Roman Canon is the most significant. Bugnini tried to remove it but Paul VI insisted was retained.
      It is the Missal as a whole we must look at, and the retention of the Roman Canon is the most significant of those retentions.
      The most significant loss is the Offertory. That alone would have made the Missal unacceptable to Protestants and retained expression of the central dogmas of the Mass: Real Presence, Sacrifice and Ministerial Priesthood. There really was no reason for the Offertory Prayers to have been removed, and no mandate to do so from Vatican II.
      If anything exemplifies Bugnini's attempt to remove anything that was offensive to Protestants (i.e., anything specifically Catholic) the removal of the Offertory prayers exemplifies it decisively. Thank God Paul VI insisted the Roman Canon was retained.
      God Bless.

  3. Isn't the real problem the fact that numerous priests add or subtract their own personal words or phrases which (while possibly retaining most of the meaning of the missal) don't follow what should be said? The expression "say the black & do the red" was meant to ensure that the Mass in its totality remained unchanged. Why don't priests realise this?

    1. Thank you David.
      I think the only people who can answer your question are the priests you speak about. As for 'saying the black and doing the red, this is just a slogan Fr Z came up with I think. I do wish it was followed.
      God Bless.

  4. Is the n.o.m invalid. Valid but illicit, valid and licit. In the eyes of the church it is valid and licit but in the eyes of our lord i can not be certain.

    It is no secret that modernism has engulfed the church. Its no secret that former communist converts have testified to placing opperatives in the priesthood and it is no secret that the freemasons devised a plan to infiltrate the church in the alta vendita.

    There is without question a serious freemasonic problem in the hiarachy even pope francis admits to this.

    Cardinal Suenens exclaimed V2 was the french revolution (i.e masonic revolution) in the church. The archietect of the novus ordo misse bugini himself has question marks about his invlovement in freemasonic membership.

    Then there are the numerous prophecies from the saints and apperitions of our lady with dire warnings about the world and the church about masonic sects then we have the magesterium acting in disobedience to the mother of God who appeared at fatima. Both saint john paul ii and sr lucia of fatima talked about the final battle Then we read the words of the catechism

    "The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven"

    Of course our lady is the bride of the holy spirit and she has come down from heaven to warn us. So even if the mass is invalid i dont think we can say that

    "God has failed to feed His flock and Christ has failed to protect His Church." But rather the church has rejected the divine food and the protection of christ.

    When we take into account all these things and theb read pope st pius v "Quo Premum" we can be sure of one thing that the traditional latin rite is valid is licit is the historical and traditional rite of the catholic church "henceforth now and forever" when the storms are raging st paul reminds us to hold fast to tradition these things have stood the test of time have withstood many storms in the past and its these things that we need to hold onto lest we get swept away in the tide like you those tou have witnessed father in your search for a prayerful novus ordo mass.

    Regardless of yes it is valid or no its not and all options in between the the argument is moot... and can be answered with why take the chance "if" a traditional roman rite mass is availible and what is the point in arguing for or against its validity when the mass of pius v gives all the graces in abundance. Arguing for the validity of the mass only strenghens the the peoples faith in a questionalbe mass. When we should encourage faith in a the historical and traditional mass.

    1. Thank you David.
      I agree we should encourage use of the Traditional Mass, but there is a value in pointing out the validity of the Novus Ordo, and it is this:
      [1] all the graces available at the TLM are available in the N.O. in that the Victim and Sacrifice are the same;
      [2] the witness given by Traditional folk receiving on the tongue when unavoidably attending a N.O. may encourage others to take up this practice again

      What is lacking in the N.O. is a text and ritual that clearly underline the truth of the Mass, but Mass is not the only place where we educate ourselves on The Faith David: there is the catechism, the writings of the great saints, and the text books of the pre-Vatican II era.

      I have heard Traditional priests advise people to miss Mass on Sunday if they cannot get to a TLM. I find that disturbing. It denies the authority of the Church to alter Rites she herself created in order to express the faith, and, if the N.O. is seen as dangerous, suggests that Christ is not able to keep His faithful safe via the Rock of Peter as He promised would be the case.
      God Bless.

  5. AFter 35 years have totally left the "church" to protect my children and give them the true mass, catechism, canon law, dress and customs and pride of being catholic and not being a modernist, go to SSPX and SSPV as this Pope is a total disaster, Pope Benedict tried but didnt have the guts to make the changes needed, if I am wrong now then the church was wrong for 1965 years before V2

    1. While we can be grateful that the Roman Canon with all its references to the Sacrifice was included in the Novus Ordo, yet the omissions of the New Missal so as not to offend Protestants means it is more akin to Protestantism that Catholicism. Further, the lack of strict rubrics and what I call the 'freedom to play' take it further in this direction. It is indeed licit and valid, but as one priest said, "Licety and validity are just like having existence; one can exist and yet be very sick". That is perhaps a good way of expressing the failures of the Novus Ordo and the ill Church that came with it: loss of vocations, closing of schools, convents etc., with moral and doctrinal relativism. The Church is not in a healthy state and Francis is not helping; his medicine for the Church is "more of what ails you": moral and doctrinal relativism and unregulated Novus Ordo liturgy.
      God Bless.


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