The MASS OF PAUL VI is the most commonly used form of the Mass used
today within the
Catholic Church , first promulgated by Pope Paul VI
in the 1969 edition of the
Roman Missal after the Second Vatican
Council (1962–65). It is considered the ORDINARY FORM of the Roman
Rite mass, as it is intended for use in most contexts. It is also
known as the NOVUS ORDO MISSAE (New Order of the Mass) or the NOVUS
ORDO, as it is the successor to the
Tridentine Mass used since 1570.
The 1962 version of the
Tridentine Mass is permitted for use as an
Extraordinary Form of the
Roman Rite mass, according to the norms set
forth in the 2007 papal document
Summorum Pontificum . Older forms are
known as Pre-Tridentine Masses .
* 1 Alternate names
* 2 Text
* 3 History
* 4 Beginnings of the revision
Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council and its immediate consequences
* 6 1970 Missal
* 7 Other changes
* 7.2 Changes in the
Order of Mass
* 7.3 Three new Eucharistic Prayers
* 7.4 Communion under both species
* 7.5 Liturgical orientation
* 7.6 Repositioning of the tabernacle
* 7.7 Other matters
* 8 Criticism of the revision
* 8.1 Criticisms of the text of the Missal
* 8.2 Criticisms of practices
* 9 Revision of the English translation
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 12 Bibliography
* 13 External links
In its official documents, the Church identifies the forms of the
Roman Rite Mass by the editions of the
Roman Missal used in
celebrating them. Thus, in his motu proprio
Summorum Pontificum of 7
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI referred to this form of the Roman Rite
Mass by linking it with "the
Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI
in 1970." The names MASS OF PAUL VI and PAULINE MASS are equivalent
In advance of the 1969 decision on the form of the revision of the
liturgy, a preliminary draft of two sections of the
Roman Missal was
published. The section containing the unvarying part of the Mass is
called Ordo Missae (
Order of Mass ) since at least 1634. In a speech
he gave in 1976,
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI unremarkably referred to this revised
section as "novus Ordo Missae" (the new Order of Mass), novus being
Latin for "new." Later, some began to use NOVUS ORDO MISSAE, or
simply NOVUS ORDO, as a specific composite term for the entirety of
the revised rite of Mass. Traditionalist Catholics often use it in a
pejorative manner, and sometimes employ it as a blanket condemnatory
term for the present-day Church ("the Novus Ordo Church"). However,
"Novus Ordo" appears in no official Church document as a term for the
revised form of the
Roman Rite Mass.
In his letter to bishops which accompanied his 2007 motu proprio
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI wrote that "the Missal
published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions
by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form –
the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy." Since then, the
term ORDINARY FORM (abbreviated OF) is often used to distinguish this
form of the
Roman Rite of Mass from the Tridentine Mass, the 1962
edition of which Pope Benedict declared in his motu proprio to be an
Extraordinary Form (EF)."
The current official text of the
Mass of Paul VI
Mass of Paul VI in
Latin is the
third typical edition of the revised Roman Missal, published in 2002
(after being promulgated in 2000) and reprinted with corrections and
updating in 2008. Translations into the vernacular languages have
appeared; the current English translation was promulgated in 2010 and
was used progressively from September 2011. Two earlier typical
editions of the revised Missal were issued in 1970 (promulgated in
1969) and 1975. The liturgy contained in the 1570–1962 editions of
Roman Missal is frequently referred to as the
Tridentine Mass :
all these editions placed at the start the text of the bull Quo primum
Pope Pius V linked the issuance of his edition of the Roman
Missal to the
Council of Trent
Council of Trent . Only in the 1962 edition is this text
preceded by a short decree, Novo rubricarum corpore, declaring that
edition to be, from then on, the typical edition, to which other
printings of the Missal were to conform.
For details of the
Order of Mass in the Mass of Paul VI, see Mass .
Liturgical Movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
which arose from the work of Dom
Prosper Guéranger , founder of
Solesmes Abbey , encouraged the laity to "live" the liturgy by
attending services (not only Mass) often, understanding what they
meant, and following the priest in heart and mind. It envisaged only
minor reforms of the liturgy itself; the most important changes it
sought affected the calendar. It also focused on promoting Gregorian
By the 1920s, the
Liturgical Movement still did not advocate a
full-scale revision of the rite of Mass. However it argued for changes
to practices such as:
* The priest blessing the Host and chalice with many signs of the
cross after the consecration, while on the other hand speaking before
the consecration of already offering a sacrifice.
* The priest reciting many of the most important prayers inaudibly.
* Duplications such as the second
Another objective of the Movement was the introduction of the
vernacular language (in particular, into the Mass of the Catechumens,
i.e. the part of the liturgy which includes the readings from the
Bible ). This, it was believed, would assist the congregation's
spiritual development by enabling them to participate in the
celebration of Mass with understanding.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII , who had a
particular interest in the liturgy, wrote in his 1947 encyclical
Mediator Dei that "the use of the mother tongue in connection with
several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people," though
he stated at the same time that only the
Holy See had the authority to
grant permission for the use of the vernacular. He granted permission
for the use of local languages in the renewal of baptismal promises in
the Easter Vigil service.
By this time, scholars had discovered how and when many elements of
varied provenance had come to be incorporated into the
Roman Rite of
Mass and preserved in
Pope Pius V 's 1570 revision of the liturgy. In
section 4 of Mediator Dei,
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII praised the work of these
scholars, while insisting that it was for the
Holy See to judge what
action to take on the basis of their findings. The commission
Pope Pius V had not succeeded, because of the
insufficient resources at its disposal, in achieving the aim
attributed to it in Pope Pius V's bull Quo Primum, namely to restore
the liturgy to "the original form and rite of the holy Fathers." For
instance, the general intercessions or prayer of the faithful, of
which a slight trace remained in the isolated single word "Oremus"
(Let us pray), had not been restored to the Mass liturgy.
BEGINNINGS OF THE REVISION
Roman Missal was revised on a number of occasions after 1570:
after only 34 years,
Pope Clement VIII made a general revision, as did
Pope Urban VIII 30 years later. Other Popes added new feasts or made
other minor adjustments. It was not until the twentieth century,
however, that work began on a more radical rewriting.
In response to a decree of the
First Vatican Council (1870), Pope
Pius X introduced in 1911 a new arrangement of the
Psalter for use in
Breviary . In the bull Divino afflatu, he described this change as
"a first step towards a correction of the Roman
Breviary and Missal."
Society of St. Pius X site states that this revision of the Breviary
"significantly unsettled" clerics and encountered criticism. The
laity would only have noticed the accompanying change whereby on
Sundays the Mass liturgy ceased to be generally taken from the proper
or common (liturgy) of the saint whose feast fell on that day, and
began instead to be that of the Sunday.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII made substantial changes to the liturgies for
Palm Sunday , the
Easter Triduum , and the Vigil of
Pentecost . The
Palm Sunday blessing of palms was freed from elements such as the
recitation of the
Sanctus that were relics of an earlier celebration
of a separate Mass for the blessing, and the procession was
simplified. Among the changes for Holy Thursday were the moving of the
Mass from morning to evening, thus making room for a morning Chrism
Mass , and the introduction into the evening Mass of the rite of the
washing of feet. Changes to the
Good Friday liturgy included moving it
from morning to afternoon and allowing the congregation to receive
Holy Communion, which had been reserved to the priest; an end was also
put to the custom whereby, at the communion, the priest drank some
unconsecrated wine into which he had placed part of the consecrated
host. There were more numerous changes to the Easter Vigil service.
* The service was to be celebrated on the night leading to Easter
Sunday instead of Holy Saturday morning.
* The triple candlestick which had previously been lit at the start
of the service was replaced with the
Paschal candle and candles held
by each member of the congregation.
* New ceremonies were introduced, such as the renewal of baptismal
promises (in the vernacular) and the inscribing of the Arabic numerals
of the year on the Paschal candle.
* The prayer for the
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor in the
Exultet was replaced
with a newly composed prayer, since the Empire had been defunct since
the early 19th century.
Old Testament readings were omitted, another was shortened,
and the priest was no longer obliged to read the passages quietly
while they were being read or chanted aloud.
* The "Last Gospel" (John 1:1–14) that had customarily ended Mass
At the Vigil of Pentecost, the traditional blessing of baptismal
water, accompanied by the Litany of the Saints and six Old Testament
readings, was omitted completely. These were still printed in the
Missal, which, except for the replacement of the
Holy Week liturgies,
remained unchanged and was not considered to constitute a new editio
typica superseding that of Pope Pius X, which was published by Pope
Benedict XV in 1920.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII decried those who would go back to ancient liturgical
rites and usages, discarding the new patterns introduced by
disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances
and situation. Doing so, he said, "bids fair to revive the exaggerated
and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia
gave rise." He indicated as examples of what was to be rejected:
restoring the altar to its primitive table form, excluding black as a
liturgical colour, forbidding the use in church of sacred images and
statues, using crucifixes with no trace of suffering, rejecting
polyphonic music that conforms with the Holy See's regulations.
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII , who succeeded Pius XII in 1958, added some new
feasts and made some other changes to the liturgical calendar, as well
as amending some of the rubrics. In his 1962 edition of the Missal, he
also deleted the word "perfidis" (Latin: "faithless") from the Good
Friday prayer for the Jews, and added the name of St. Joseph to the
Canon of the Mass . The second change was particularly significant, as
many had considered the text of the Canon to be practically
SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND ITS IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES
The liturgy was the first matter considered by the Second Vatican
Council of 1962–1965. On 4 December 1963, the Council issued a
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy known as Sacrosanctum Concilium,
section 50 of which read as follows: The rite of the Mass is to be
revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its
several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more
clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the
faithful may be more easily achieved. For this purpose the rites are
to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance;
elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or
were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other
elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are
now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy
Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary.
Sacrosanctum Concilium further provided that (amongst other things) a
greater use of the Scriptures should be made at Mass, and that
vernacular languages should be more widely employed.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI, who had succeeded John XXIII the previous
year, established the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra
Liturgia, the Council for Implementing the Constitution on the
Liturgy. The instruction Inter oecumenici of 26 September 1964, issued
Sacred Congregation of Rites while the Council was still in
session, and coming into effect on 7 March 1965 made significant
changes to the existing liturgy, though the form of the rite was
substantially preserved. Some sources speak of a "1965 Missal," but
this generally refers to orders of the Mass that were published with
the approval of bishops' conferences, for example, in the United
States and Canada, rather than an editio typica of the Roman Missal
itself. The changes included: use of the vernacular was permitted;
free-standing altars were encouraged; there were some textual changes,
such as omission of the Psalm Judica at the beginning and of the Last
Leonine Prayers at the end. The 1967 document Tres abhinc
annos, the second instruction on the implementation of the Council's
Constitution on the Liturgy, made only minimal changes to the text,
but simplified the rubrics and the vestments.
Concelebration , and
Communion under both kinds had meanwhile been permitted and, in 1968,
three additional Eucharistic Prayers were authorized for use alongside
the traditional Roman Canon.
By October 1967, the Consilium had produced a complete draft revision
of the Mass liturgy, known as the Normative Mass, and this revision
was presented to the Synod of Bishops that met in Rome in that month.
The bishops attended the first public celebration of the revised rite
in the Sistine Chapel. When asked to vote on the new liturgy, 71
bishops voted placet (approved), 43 voted non placet (not approved),
and 62 voted placet iuxta modum (approved with reservations). In
response to the bishops' concerns, some changes were made to the text.
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI and the Consilium interpreted this as lack of approval
for the Normative Mass, which was replaced by the text included in the
book Novus Ordo Missae (The New Order of Mass) in 1969.
On 25 September 1969, two retired cardinals, 79-year-old Alfredo
Ottaviani and 84-year-old
Antonio Bacci , wrote a letter with which
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI the text of the "Short Critical Study on the
Order of Mass ," which had been prepared in the previous June by a
group of twelve theologians under the direction of Archbishop Marcel
Lefebvre . The cardinals warned the New Order of the Mass
“represented, 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 study that they
transmitted said that on many points the New Mass had much to gladden
the heart of even the most modernist Protestant. Paul VI asked the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , the department of the
Roman Curia that Ottaviani had earlier headed, to examine the Short
Critical Study. It responded on 12 November 1969 that the document
contained many affirmations that were "superficial, exaggerated,
inexact, emotional, and false." However, some of its observations
were taken into account in preparing the definitive version of the new
Order of the Mass.
The Last Supper, Leonardo de Vinci, 1495-1498.
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI promulgated the revised rite of Mass with his Apostolic
Constitution Missale Romanum of 3 April 1969, setting the first Sunday
Advent at the end of that year as the date on which it would enter
into force. However, because he was dissatisfied with the edition that
was produced, the revised Missal itself was not published until the
following year, and full vernacular translations appeared much later.
The revisions called for by Vatican II were guided by historical and
Biblical studies that were not available at the
Council of Trent
Council of Trent when
the rite was fixed to forestall any heretical accretions. Missale
Romanum made particular mention of the following significant changes
from the previous edition of the Roman Missal: *To the single Canon of
the previous edition (which, with minor alterations, was preserved as
the "First Eucharistic Prayer or Roman Canon") were added three
alternative Eucharistic Prayers, and the number of prefaces was
* The rites of the Order of the Mass (in Latin, Ordo Missae) –
that is, the largely unvarying part of the liturgy – were, in the
words of the missal, "simplified, due care being taken to preserve
their substance." "Elements that, with the passage of time, came to be
duplicated or were added with but little advantage" were eliminated,
especially in the rites for the presentation of the bread and wine,
the breaking of the bread, and Communion.
* "'Other elements that have suffered injury through accident of
history' are restored 'to the tradition of the Fathers' (SC art. 50),
for example, the homily (see SC art. 52), the general intercessions or
prayer of the faithful (see SC art. 53), and the penitential rite or
act of reconciliation with God and the community at the beginning of
the Mass." One of the most ancient of these rites of reconciliation,
the Kiss of Peace as a sign of reconciliation as an intrinsic part of
these communicants' preparation for Communion has been restored to all
the faithful and no longer limited to clerics at High Mass.
* The proportion of the
Bible read at Mass was greatly increased.
Prior to the reforms of Pius XII (which reduced the proportions
further), 1% of the
Old Testament and 16.5% of the New Testament had
been read at Mass. Since 1970, the equivalent proportions for Sundays
and weekdays (leaving aside major feasts) have been 13.5% of the Old
Testament and 71.5% of the New Testament. This was made possible
through an increase in the number of readings at Mass and the
introduction of a three-year cycle of readings on Sundays and a
two-year cycle on weekdays.
In addition to these changes, Missale Romanum noted that the revision
considerably modified other sections of the Missal, such as the Proper
of Seasons, the Proper of Saints, the Common of Saints, the Ritual
Masses, and the Votive Masses, adding that " number has been
increased, so that the new forms might better correspond to new needs,
and the text of older prayers has been restored on the basis of the
In his 1962 apostolic constitution
Veterum sapientia on the teaching
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII spoke of that language as the one the
Church uses: "The
Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of
every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It
is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be
noble, majestic, and non-vernacular." But the only mention of the
liturgy in that document was in relation to the study of Greek .
Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36: 1.
Particular law remaining in force, the use of the
Latin language is to
be preserved in the
Latin rites. 2. But since the use of the mother
tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or
other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to
the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will
apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some
of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter
to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters. 3. These norms
being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical
authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what
extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be
approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it
seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of
neighboring regions which have the same language.
While this text would seem to suggest only limited use of the
vernacular language, its reference to "particular law" (as opposed to
universal law) and to "the competent territorial ecclesiastical
authority" (the episcopal conference) entrusted to the latter the
judgment on the actual extent of its use.
Bishops' Conferences from all over the world soon voted to expand the
use of the vernacular, and requested confirmation of this choice from
Rome. In response, from 1964 onwards, a series of documents from Rome
granted general authorization for steadily greater proportions of the
Mass to be said in the vernacular. By the time the revised Missal was
published in 1970, priests were no longer obliged to use
Latin in any
part of the Mass. Today, a very large majority of Masses are
celebrated in the language of the people, though
Latin is still used
either occasionally or, in some places, on a regular basis. The rule
on the language to be used is as follows: "Mass is celebrated either
Latin or in another language, provided that liturgical texts are
used which have been approved according to the norm of law. Except in
the case of celebrations of the Mass that are scheduled by the
ecclesiastical authorities to take place in the language of the
people, priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass
in Latin" (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 112).
The decision to authorize use of a particular vernacular language,
and the text of the translation to be employed, must be approved by at
least a two-thirds majority of the relevant Bishops' Conference, whose
decisions must be confirmed by the Holy See.
CHANGES IN THE ORDER OF MASS
Order of Mass was previously regarded as consisting of two parts:
the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. In the
revised liturgy, it is divided into four sections: the Initial Rites,
the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the
Concluding Rites. There were some noteworthy textual changes in the
first two sections, and the dismissal formula in the Concluding Rites
(Ite, missa est) was moved to the end of the Mass; previously it was
followed by an inaudible personal prayer by the priest, the blessing
of the people (which has been retained), and the reading of the "Last
Gospel" (almost always John 1:1–14). The most extensive changes,
however, were made in the first part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist:
almost all of the
Offertory prayers were altered or shortened. While
previously the priest had said almost the entire Canon inaudibly, the
words of the Canon or Eucharistic Prayer are now spoken aloud. The 25
signs of the cross that the priest used to make over the host and
chalice during the Canon (15 of them after the consecration) have been
reduced to a single sign shortly before the consecration. Aside from
the introduction of an optional exchange of a sign of peace , the
changes in the remainder of the Liturgy of the Eucharist are less
THREE NEW EUCHARISTIC PRAYERS
As noted above, three new alternative Eucharistic Prayers were
introduced alongside the
Roman Canon , which had been the sole
Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Rite. After several writers had
expressed dissatisfaction with the Roman Canon, the Benedictine
scholar Cipriano Vagaggini, while noting what he called its
"undeniable defects," concluded that its suppression was unthinkable;
he proposed that it be retained but that two further Eucharistic
Prayers be added. In response to requests from various quarters, Pope
Paul VI authorized the composition of new Eucharistic Prayers, which
were examined by himself and by the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith , and which in 1968 he authorized for use.
The Second Eucharistic Prayer is an abridgement of the Roman Canon
with elements included from the
Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition ,
most notably in its proper preface and in the
Epiclesis . The Third
Eucharistic Prayer is a new composition, longer than the Second
Eucharistic Prayer, and contains Alexandrian, Byzantine, and Maronite
elements. Its structure follows the
Roman Canon . It is based on the
4th-century Anaphora of St Basil . Eucharistic Prayer IV is roughly
based upon the Anaphora of St Basil , with, among other things, the
epiclesis moved before the Institution narrative.
COMMUNION UNDER BOTH SPECIES
In the 13th century,
Thomas Aquinas said that since not all
Christians, in particular the old and the children, can be trusted to
observe due caution, it was by then "a prudent custom in some churches
for the blood not to be offered to the people, but to be consumed by
the priest alone." A council at Lambeth in 1281 directed that the
people were to be given non-consecrated wine. The Council of Trent
taught that only the priest who celebrated Mass was bound by divine
law to receive Communion under both species, and that Christ, whole
and entire, and a true sacrament are received under either form alone,
and therefore, as regards its fruits, those who receive one species
only are not deprived of any grace necessary to salvation"; and it
decreed: "If anyone says that the holy
Catholic Church was not moved
by just causes and reasons that laymen and clerics when not
consecrating should communicate under the form of bread only, or has
erred in this, let him be anathema." While the Council had declared
that reception of Communion under one form alone deprived the
communicant of no grace necessary to salvation, theologians had
surmised that receiving under both forms may confer a greater grace
either in itself (a minority view) or only accidentally (the majority
When the 1970
Roman Missal allowed laypeople to receive Holy
Communion by communicating in both species of bread and wine, it
insisted that priests should use the occasion to teach the faithful
the Catholic doctrine on the form of Communion, as affirmed by the
Council of Trent: they were first to be reminded that they receive the
whole Christ when they participate in the sacrament even under one
kind alone, and thus are not then deprived of any grace necessary for
salvation. The circumstances in which this was permitted were
initially very restricted, but were gradually extended. Regular
Communion under both kinds requires the permission of
the bishop, but bishops in some countries have given blanket
permission for the administration of Communion in this way.
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere , as arranged in 1700. It
is one of many churches in Rome whose altar, placed at the western end
of the church, was positioned so that the priest necessarily faced
east, and so towards the people, when celebrating Mass. The first
Roman churches all had the entrance to the east.
From the middle of the 17th century, almost all new Latin-rite altars
were built against a wall or backed by a reredos , with a tabernacle
placed on the altar or inserted into the reredos. This meant that the
priest turned to the people, putting his back to the altar, only for a
few short moments at Mass. However, the Tridentine Missal itself
speaks of celebrating versus populum , and gives corresponding
instructions for the priest when performing actions that in the other
orientation involved turning around in order to face the people.
It has been said that the reason the Pope always faced the people
when celebrating Mass in St Peter's was that early Christians faced
eastward when praying and, due to the difficult terrain, the basilica
was built with its apse to the west. Some have attributed this
orientation in other early Roman churches to the influence of Saint
Peter's. However, the arrangement whereby the apse with the altar is
at the west end of the church and the entrance on the east is found
also in Roman churches contemporary with Saint Peter's (such as the
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls ) that were under no
such constraints of terrain, and the same arrangement remained the
usual one until the 6th century. In this early layout, the people
were situated in the side aisles of the church, not in the central
nave. While the priest faced both the altar and east throughout the
Mass, the people would face the altar (from the sides) until the high
point of the Mass, where they would then turn to face east along with
In several churches in Rome, it was physically impossible, even
before the twentieth-century liturgical reforms, for the priest to
celebrate Mass facing away from the people, because of the presence,
immediately in front of the altar, of the "confession" (
confessio), an area sunk below floor level to enable people to come
close to the tomb of the saint buried beneath the altar. The
best-known such "confession" is that in Saint Peter\'s Basilica , but
many other churches in Rome have the same architectural feature,
including at least one, the present Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the
Walls , which is oriented in such a way that the priest faces west
when celebrating Mass.
Without requiring priests to face the people throughout the Mass, the
guidelines established by the current
Roman Missal request that versus
populum orientation be made an option: "The altar should be built
apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around
it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people,
which is desirable wherever possible." Accordingly, altars that
obliged the priest to face away from the congregation have generally
been moved away from the apse wall or reredos, or, where this was
unsuitable, a new freestanding altar has been built. This, however, is
not universal, and in some churches and chapels it is physically
impossible for the priest to face the people throughout the Mass.
The rubrics of the
Roman Missal now prescribe that the priest should
face the people at six points of the Mass. The priest celebrating the
Tridentine Mass was required to face the people, turning if necessary
his back to the altar, eight times. The priest is still expressly
directed to face the altar at exactly the same points as in the
Tridentine Mass. His position in relation to the altar determines, as
before, whether facing the altar means also facing the people.
REPOSITIONING OF THE TABERNACLE
In the second half of the 17th century it became customary to place
the tabernacle on the main altar of the church. When a priest
celebrates Mass on the same side as the people at such an altar, he
sometimes necessarily turns his back directly to the tabernacle, as
when he turns to the people at the Orate, fratres. While there is no
stipulation forbidding that the tabernacle remain on the principal
altar of the church – even should the priest say Mass facing the
people – the revised
Roman Missal states that it is "more
appropriate as a sign that on an altar on which Mass is celebrated
there not be a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is
reserved," in which case it is "preferable that the tabernacle be
located": a. either in the sanctuary, apart from the altar of
celebration, in an appropriate form and place, not excluding its being
positioned on an old altar no longer used for celebration; b. or even
in some chapel suitable for the private adoration and prayer of the
faithful and organically connected to the church and readily
noticeable to the Christian faithful.
The Missal does, however, direct that the tabernacle be situated "in
a part of the church that is truly noble, prominent, conspicuous,
worthily decorated, and suitable for prayer."
A procession is now allowed at the
Offertory or Presentation of the
Gifts, when bread, wine, and water are brought to the altar. The
homily has been made an integral part of the Mass instead of being
treated as an adjunct, and the ancient Prayer of the Faithful has been
restored. The exchange of a sign of peace before Communion, previously
limited to the clergy at High Mass , is permitted (not made
obligatory) at every Mass, even for the laity. "As for the actual sign
of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by Conferences
of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples.
However, it is appropriate that each person, in a sober manner, offer
the sign of peace only to those who are nearest" (GIRM, 82). "While
the Sign of Peace is being given, it is permissible to say, The peace
of the Lord be with you always, to which the reply is Amen" (GIRM,
154). In countries of European tradition, a simple clasping of hands
is most common, though sometimes family members will exchange a kiss
on the cheek, especially in
Latin countries. In countries such as
India, the sign is given by bowing with joined hands.
CRITICISM OF THE REVISION
There are two distinct forms of criticisms of the liturgical reform:
criticisms of the text of the revised Missal and criticisms of ways in
which the rite has been celebrated in practice.
CRITICISMS OF THE TEXT OF THE MISSAL
Critics of the revised liturgy (many of whom are traditionalist
Catholics ) claim that its specifically Catholic content is markedly
deficient compared with that of the liturgy as it existed prior to the
revision. The more moderate critics believe that the defects can be
rectified by a "reform of the reform" rather than by a wholesale
return to the
Tridentine Mass . Others regard the revised rite as so
seriously defective that it is displeasing to God, or even objectively
Critics make the following claims:
* Prayers and phrases clearly presenting the Mass as a sacrifice
have been removed or substantially reduced in number.
* Words and actions suggesting that the bread and wine truly become
the body and blood of
Jesus Christ have been removed or replaced. They
say, for example, that the rubrics have reduced the number of
genuflections and other gestures associated with reverence for the
sacred elements; that phrases such as "spiritual drink" are
deliberately ambiguous; and that the General Instruction of the Roman
Missal (GIRM) directs the removal of the tabernacle from its previous
place on the main altar to another place in the sanctuary or elsewhere
in the church (albeit one that is "truly noble, prominent, readily
visible, beautifully decorated and suitable for prayer" – GIRM 314).
* The Propers of the Mass omit or soften important traditional
Catholic teachings whereas those of the pre-revision Mass affirm them
in their fullness.
Of abuses in celebrating the liturgy Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI , said: “In the place of liturgy as the fruit of
development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living
process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it
– as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal
on-the-spot product.” But of the revision of the
Roman Missal he
wrote: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the
Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and
progress, but no rupture."
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II said of the Paul VI revision of the
liturgy: "This work was undertaken in accordance with the conciliar
principles of fidelity to tradition and openness to legitimate
development, and so it is possible to say that the reform of the
Liturgy is strictly traditional and 'in accordance with the ancient
usage of the holy Fathers.'"
Some critics believe that any liturgy celebrated in a language in
which the phrase "pro multis " (
Latin for "for (the) many") in the
words of consecration of the Paul VI
Roman Missal was translated as
"for all", as in the initial English translation, was sacramentally
invalid and brought about no transubstantiation . In a circular issued
on 17 October 2006, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments recalled the 1974 declaration by the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that there is no doubt
whatsoever regarding the validity of Masses celebrated using "for all"
as a translation of "pro multis", since "for all" corresponds to a
correct interpretation of Christ's intention expressed in the words of
the consecration, and since it is a dogma of the Catholic faith that
Christ died on the Cross for all. However, the Congregation pointed
out that "for all" is not a literal translation of the words that
Matthew 26:28 and Mark 14:24 report that Jesus used at the Last Supper
and of the words used in the
Latin text of the Mass: "for all" is
rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis
. The Congregation told the episcopal conferences to translate the
words "pro multis" more literally. The revised English translation
therefore has "for many" in place of "for all".
Whether or not the liturgical changes (together with the other
changes in the Church that followed the Second Vatican Council) have
caused the loss of faith that has occurred in Western countries is
Some traditionalist Catholics argue that the promulgation of the
revised liturgy was legally invalid due to alleged technical
deficiencies in the wording of Missale Romanum.
Some of them claim that the changes in the
Roman Rite of Mass were
made in order to make it acceptable to non-Catholics. French
Jean Guitton said that Pope Paul VI's intention was to
Catholic liturgy to the Protestant: "The intention of
Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform
Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with
the Protestant liturgy – but what is curious is that Paul VI did
that to get as close as possible to the Protestant Lord’s Supper,
... there was with Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at
least to correct, or to relax, what was too Catholic, in the
traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass
closer to the Calvinist Mass."
CRITICISMS OF PRACTICES
Criticisms have also been directed against practices followed in the
celebration of the revised rite. Some of these are authorised by
official Church documents (such as the General Instruction of the
Roman Missal (GIRM) and the Code of Canon Law ), whereas other are
not. Officially approved practices which have been criticized include
* Lay people may be commissioned to proclaim Biblical readings at
Mass, except for the
Gospel reading which is reserved to clerics.
* Lay people may act as
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion ,
distributing Holy Communion with the priest, when not enough ordinary
ministers or instituted acolytes are available.
* In countries where the bishops conference has obtained permission
from the Holy See, the consecrated Host may be received on the hand,
rather than directly into the mouth.
* Females may act as altar servers, if this is approved by the
diocesan bishop and if the parish priest chooses to implement it.
Other practices which arose because of changes of taste are
criticized. These include the use of plainer vestments with simple
designs and no lace, and innovative architectural designs for churches
and sanctuaries . Criticism is also directed at the removal of
kneelers and altar rails from some churches, and the use of
non-traditional music, sometimes accompanied by percussion
Many critics regret the general abandonment of the use of the Latin
Gregorian Chant , and allege that this development was
not authorized by the Second Vatican Council. The Council's
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,
Sacrosanctum Concilium , stated
both that "since the use of the mother tongue ... frequently may be of
great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be
extended," and that "particular law remaining in force, the use of the
Latin language is to be preserved in the
Latin rites." Redemptionis
Sacramentum confirms an option to use Latin, but some view an option,
instead of an obligation, as insufficient to preserve the language.
On Gregorian chant, its adaptation to languages other than
widely considered to be aesthetically defective, while Sacrosanctum
Concilium had said: "The Church acknowledges
Gregorian chant as
specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being
equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But
other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means
excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the
spirit of the liturgical action."
Some critics see these changes as due to, or leading to, a loss of
reverence. Some of them would consider the revised liturgy acceptable
if some or all of these changes were removed or were addressed through
catechesis . However, many traditionalist Catholics regard the revised
rite as inherently unacceptable.
REVISION OF THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION
International Commission on English in the Liturgy was at work
for 17 years, responding to critiques of the earlier translation, and
presented its new translation in 1998. But their proposed translation
ran afoul of new leadership in Rome. On 28 March 2001, the Holy See
issued the Instruction
Liturgiam authenticam . This included the
requirement that, in translations of the liturgical texts from the
Latin originals, "the original text, insofar as possible,
must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner, without
omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without
paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to the characteristics or the
nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and
discreet." The following year, the third typical edition of the
Roman Missal in
Latin was released.
These two texts made clear the need for a new official English
translation of the Roman Missal, particularly because the previous one
was at some points an adaptation rather than strictly a translation.
An example is the rendering of the response "Et cum spiritu tuo"
(literally, "And with your spirit") as "And also with you."
In 2002 the leadership of the ICEL was changed, under insistence from
the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and to obtain a translation
that was as close as possible to the wording of the
Latin original. In
spite of push-back by some in the Church, Rome prevailed and nine
years later a new English translation, closer to that of the
consequently approved by the Holy See, was adopted by English-speaking
episcopal conferences . The text of this revised English translation
Order of Mass is available, and a comparison between it and
that then in use in the United States is given under the heading
"Changes in the People's Parts."
Most episcopal conferences set the first Sunday in
November) 2011 as the date when the new translation would come into
use. However, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference
(Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland) put into effect the changes in the
people's parts of the revised English translation of the Order of Mass
from 28 November 2008, when the Missal as a whole was not yet
available. Protests were voiced on grounds of content and because
it meant that Southern Africa was thus out of line with other
English-speaking areas. One bishop claimed that the English-speaking
conferences should have withstood the Holy See's insistence on a more
literal translation. However, when in February 2009 the Holy See
declared that the change should have waited until the whole of the
Missal had been translated, the bishops conference appealed, with the
result that those parishes that had adopted the new translation of the
Order of Mass were directed to continue using it, while those that had
not were told to await further instructions before doing so.
In December 2016,
Pope Francis gave "his blessing to a commission to
study Liturgiam Authenticam, the controversial 2001 document behind
the English translation of the Roman Missal."
* ^ "Letter of
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops on the occasion of
the publication of Summorum Pontificum, Article 1 § 5". The Missal
published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions
by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form –
the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy
* ^ Date of publication of the papal bull
Quo primum and the first
edition of the Tridentine Missal
* ^ Summorum Pontificum, article 2.
* ^ In the original Tridentine Missal published by
Pope Pius V in
1570 (page 233 of the first printing of that Missal – facsimile
reproduction in Missale Romanum. Editio Princeps (1570), Libreria
Editrice Vaticana 1998, ISBN 88-209-2547-8 ) this section was called
Ordinarium Missae (the Ordinary of the Mass); but at least since Pope
Urban VIII's revision in 1634, and possibly even Pope Clement VIII's
in 1604, the term used is Ordo Missae (the Order of Mass).
* ^ "Concistoro segreto per la nomina di venti Cardinali, 24 maggio
1976". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "Letter to the Bishops that accompanies the Motu Proprio
Summorum Pontificum". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Summorum Pontificum, article 1.
* ^ Pius XII. "Mediator Dei". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ GIRM, 7f.
* ^ Pascal Thuillier, "Saint Pius X: Reformer of the Liturgy" in
The Angelus, September 2003
* ^ "Liturgical Revolution". Traditionalmass.org. Retrieved
* ^ "Encyclical \'\'Mediator Dei\'\', 62-64". Papalencyclicals.net.
* ^ A B C "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum
Concilium". Vatican.va. 1963-12-04. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "\'\'Inter oecumenici\'\'". Adoremus.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "\'\'Tres abhinc annos\'\'". Adoremus.org. Retrieved
* ^ "\'\'Ecclesiae semper\'\'". Catholicliturgy.com. 1965-03-07.
* ^ Kappes, Christiaan. "The Normative Mass of 1967: Its History
and Principles as Applied to the Liturgy of the Mass ( Doct. Diss.,
* ^ Kappes, p. 3
* ^ "Archbishop Lefebvre gathered together a group of 12
theologians who wrote under his direction, A Short Critical Study of
the Novus Ordo Missae often called the Ottaviani Intervention." A
Short History of the SSPX
* ^ Hardon, John (1971). Christianity in the twentieth century.
* ^ Coomaraswamy, Rama (1981). The destruction of the Christian
tradition. Perennial Books.
* ^ Ottaviani, Alfredo (1971). The Ottaviani Intervention: Short
Critical Study of the New Order of Mass. TAN Books & Publishers.
* ^ text of the Short Critical Study Archived 16 January 2009 at
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Christophe Geffroy and Philippe Maxence, Enquête sur la messe
traditionnelle (with preface by Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler), p.
* ^ Smolarski, Dennis (2003). The General Instruction of the Roman
Missal, 1969-2002: A Commentary. Collegeville (MN): Liturgical Press.
ISBN 0814629369 .
* ^ GIRM, 7f.
* ^ Missale Romanum. Archived 1 November 2012 at the Wayback
Machine . The internal references (SC) are from Sacrosanctum
* ^ The Apostle Paul typically concludes his letters to his
missionary communities with an admonition to the faithful to greet
each other with the kiss of peace.
* ^ Felix Just, S.J. (2009-01-02). "
Catholic-resources.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "
Apostolic Constitution \'\'Veterum sapientia\'\'".
Adoremus.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Barry Hudock, \'\'The Eucharistic Prayer: A User\'s Guide\'\'
(Liturgical Press 2010 ISBN 978-0-8146-3287-1), p. 34.
Books.google.com. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "Daniel J. Castellano, The Composition of the Second
Eucharistic Prayer". Arcaneknowledge.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Thomas A. McMahon, \'\'The Mass Explained\'\' (Carillon Books
1978 ISBN 978-0-89310-042-1), p. 63. Books.google.com. Retrieved
* ^ "\'\'Summa Theologica\'\' III, q. 80, a. 12". Sacred-texts.com.
* ^ A B "Patrick Toner, "Communion under Both Kinds" in
\'\'Catholic Encyclopedia\'\' 1908". Newadvent.org. Retrieved
* ^ "Council of Trent, Session XXI, The Doctrine of Communion under
both kinds and the Communion of little children, chapters I and III
and canon 2". Ewtn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Helen Dietz, "The Biblical Roots of Church Orientation" in
Sacred Architecture, vol. 10. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
* ^ The edition of the
Roman Missal revised and promulgated by Pope
Pius V in 1570 (see
Tridentine Mass ) still did not envisage placing
the tabernacle on an altar; it laid down instead that the altar card
containing some of the principal prayers of the Mass should rest
against a cross placed midway on the altar (Rubricae generales
Missalis, XX - De Praeparatione Altaris, et Ornamentorum eius).
Latin versus does not mean "against", as does English versus;
it means "turned, toward, from past participle of vertere, to turn"
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
* ^ Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae, V, 3
* ^ "For whatever reason it was done, one can also see this
arrangement (whereby the priest faced the people) in a whole series of
church buildings within Saint Peter's direct sphere of
influence"(Joseph Ratzinger: The Spirit of the Liturgy)
* ^ "When Christians in fourth-century Rome could first freely
begin to build churches, they customarily located the sanctuary
towards the west end of the building in imitation of the sanctuary of
the Jerusalem Temple. Although in the days of the Jerusalem Temple the
high priest indeed faced east when sacrificing on Yom Kippur, the
sanctuary within which he stood was located at the west end of the
Temple. The Christian replication of the layout and the orientation of
the Jerusalem Temple helped to dramatize the eschatological meaning
attached to the sacrificial death of Jesus the High Priest in the
Epistle to the Hebrews" (The Biblical Roots of Church Orientation by
* ^ "Msgr. Klaus Gamber has pointed out that although in these
early west-facing Roman basilicas the people stood in the side naves
and faced the centrally located altar for the first portion of the
service, nevertheless at the approach of the consecration they all
turned to face east towards the open church doors, the same direction
the priest faced throughout the Eucharistic liturgy" (The Biblical
Roots of Church Orientation by Helen Dietz]).
* ^ GIRM, 299.
* ^ The six times are:
* When giving the opening greeting (GIRM, 124);
* When giving the invitation to pray, "Orate, fratres" (GIRM, 146);
* When giving the greeting of peace, "Pax Domini sit semper
vobiscum" (GIRM, 154);
* When displaying the consecrated Host (or Host and Chalice) before
Communion and saying: "Ecce Agnus Dei" (GIRM, 157);
* When inviting to pray ("Oremus") before the postcommunion prayer
* When giving the final blessing (Ordo Missae 141).
* ^ The eight times are:
* When greeting the people ("Dominus vobiscum") before the collect
(Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae, V, 1);
* When greeting the people ("Dominus vobiscum") before the offertory
rite (Ritus servandus, VII, 1);
* When giving the invitation to pray, "Orate, fratres" (Ritus
servandus, VII, 7);
* Twice before giving Communion to others, first when saying the two
prayers after the
Confiteor , and again while displaying a consecrated
Host and saying "Ecce Agnus Dei" (Ritus servandus, X, 6);
* When greeting the people ("Dominus vobiscum") before the
postcommunion prayer (Ritus servandus, XI, 1);
* When saying "Ite, missa est" (Ritus servandus, XI, 1);
* When giving the last part of the final blessing (Ritus servandus,
Though the priest was required to face the people and spoke words
addressed to them, he was forbidden to look at them, and was
instructed to turn to them "dimissis ad terram oculis" ("with eyes
turned down to the ground") – Ritus servandus, V, 1; VII, 7; XII, 1.
* ^ GIRM, 315 (footnotes and citations omitted).
* ^ GIRM, 314.
* ^ (PDF), a publication of the
Society of St. Pius X , a
canonically irregular association of priests.
* ^ Rowland, Tracey (2008). Ratzinger's faith: the theology of Pope
Benedict XVI. Oxford University Press.
* ^ Kocik, Thomas (2003). The reform of the reform?: a liturgical
debate : reform or return. Ignatius Press.
* ^ Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of
* ^ "Apostolic Letter \'\'Vicesimus quintus annus\'\'". Vatican.va.
* ^ "Letter to Heads of Episcopal Conferences". Catholicanada.com.
* ^ "Dossier on the Novus Ordo Missae: August 1997 Newsletter".
SSPXAsia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Studies in comparative religion, Volumes 13–14. '. PERENNIAL
* ^ Archived 25 September 2009 at the
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* ^ Laurent Cleenewerck, \'\'His Broken Body: Understanding and
Healing the Schism Between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox
Churches\'\' (Euclid University Press 2008), p. 421.
Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ Francisco Radecki, Dominic Radecki, CMRI , Times: The Twenty
General Councils of the
Catholic Church and Vatican II and Its
Aftermath (St. Joseph's Media 2004), page not specified
* ^ I.e., deacons, priests and bishops.
* ^ GIRM, 101.
* ^ Redemptionis Sacramentum 154–160
* ^ "Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship".
Adoremus.org. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "Female
Altar Servers". Ewtn.com. 2004-02-03. Retrieved
* ^ Section 36. "Particular law" refers to decisions by national or
regional Episcopal Conferences , ratified by the Holy See.
* ^ Redemptionis Sacramentum
* ^ A B "Why
Pope Francis is right to revisit the new Mass
translation". America Magazine. 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
* ^ A B Allen, John L. (August 16, 2002). "The Word From Rome".
* ^ "Liturgiam authenticam".
* ^ The "typical edition" of a liturgical text is that to which
editions by other publishers must conform.
* ^ A B "Letter by
Bishop Dowling". Scross.co.za. 2009-01-18.
* ^ GIRM.
* ^ "Roman Missal". USCCB. 2011-11-27. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ A pastoral response to the faithful with regard to the new
English Language Mass translations Archived 8 March 2009 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "\'\'Liturgical Anger\'\', an editorial by Gunther
Simmermacher". Scross.co.za. 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
* ^ "Letter by Fr John Conversett MCCJ". Scross.co.za. 2008-12-24.
* ^ Coyle IHM. Mass translations: A missed opportunity
* ^ SABC response 3 February 2009 Archived 16 July 2011 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Clarification on the Implementation of the New English Mass
Translation in South Africa Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback
* ^ "Pope Orders Surprise Review of New Mass Translation".
www.churchmilitant.com. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
* GIRM (General Instruction the Roman Missal, 2010)
Summorum Pontificum Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI (2007).
* Order of the Mass, 1970 Latin