Category Archives: Novus Ordo Missae

Where Two or Three are Gathered in My Name: New or Old Order of the Mass?

Today, in the Gospel readings, we heard the Lord Jesus Christ say,

“…Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.” [cf, Matt 18:15-20]

The Haydock Bible Commentary on verses 19 and 20 states:

Ver. 19. That if two of you. From these words, we learn how superior is public to private prayer. The efficacy of the former is attributed to the presence of Christ in those assemblies. The Father, for his Son’s sake, will grant petitions thus offered. Jans. — The fervour of one will supply for the weakness and distractions of the other.

Ver. 20. There am I in the midst of them. This is understood of such assemblies only, as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the Church of Christ.S. Cyprian, de Unitate Ecclesiæ. Ch. — S. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Euthymius explain the words in his name, thus, assembled by authority received from Christ, in the manner appointed by him, or for his sake, and seeking nothing by his glory. Hence we may see what confidence we may place in an œcumenical council lawfully assembled. T. S. Greg. lib. vii. Regist. Epist. cxii.

So, let’s bring this Church teaching into the confusion brought on by the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum in light of the express liturgical reform requirements of the constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium

On the surface, it appears that there is quite a dichotomy between those of the Faithful who docilly adhere to the Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of the Mass) and those others who adhere to the Vetus Ordo Missae (Old Order of the Mass).

Novus Ordo Missae Adherents: These choose Substance (the Real Presence of the Lord re-presented) over form (of the Mass) and orient their personal wills in an attitude of docile obedience to the Holy Spirit which guides the Church, i.e., toward a new form of the Mass – one which reformed the Vetus Ordo. These truly do respond to the authority of Jesus Christ in the Church in the most direct and pure way.

Vetus Ordo Missae Adherents: These choose form over Substance, demanding the original, pre-Ecumenical Council, non-reformed Vetus Ordo over the Substance of the Mass. These are not so concerned about docilly obeying the Holy Spirit and find it easy to doubt or reject the Lord’s direction to reform the liturgy during an Ecumenical Council. These doubt the authority of Jesus Christ in the Church in the most direct and pure way.

So, then, who are really gathered in the Name of Jesus Christ? Those who obey the teaching of an Ecumenical Council and prioritize the Lord’s own Person as more important than liturgical form? Or, those who disobey the teaching of an Ecumenical Council and prioritize the old form more than the Lord Himself – who don’t regard His presence during an Ecumenical Council to be of any bearing on their choices?

Isn’t being “in the Name” of Jesus fervently a) being obedient; b) being responsive to authority established by the Lord Himself, and c) loving God (Substance of the Mass, not form of the Mass) above all else? So, you figure it out. Who are really, with full intent, actually gathering in the Name of Jesus Christ? Who is being heard?

There is No “Old Mass” nor “New Mass”

Let’s make something very clear here:  what we Roman Rite Catholics today call the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or Mass is neither new nor old.  How could it be unless Jesus Christ came back to Earth and instituted a whole new Eucharist or perhaps changed the mode of His Sacrifice or His act of Redemption?  He has not done that; the primary substance of what truly defines the Mass has not changed – not ever – in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

GOD HISTORICALLY DIRECTS LITURGICAL CHANGE, AND HAS AGAIN…

The form of the liturgy can and has changed.  There are older forms and newer forms and forms within rites and forms varying between rites.  In recent Catholic Church history, the Holy Spirit formally called for reform of the Church’s central liturgical form at the Second Vatican Council (ecumenical) via the Constitution, Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC).

A NEW ROMAN MISSAL CAME OUT OF VATICAN II COUNCIL…

After SC was promulgated, the Church enthusiastically moved forward in happy obedience, beginning with the  MIssal of 1962 (what some correctly call the Missal of John XXIII, but some others more vulgarly call the Traditional Latin Mass) as the basis for reform and ordered 3 April 1969 that the revised Missale Romanum, a New Roman Missal, go into effect by 30 November 1969.  Why is it vulgar to call the Missal of John XXIII the Traditional Latin Mass?  Because, of two things:  1) The Mass is traditional no matter what form we use and 2) the Mass does not change; the form of the liturgy or missal we use at the Mass changes.

HOW WE OUGHT TO DESCRIBE THE CURRENT AND PRIOR ROMAN MISSALS…

1962_Missale_Romanum

Vetus Ordo Missae, 1962

The New Roman Missale is well-known as the Novus Ordo Missae or New Order of the Mass.  In contrast, the older Roman Missale should be referred to as the Vetus Ordo Missae or Old Order of the Mass.  But, no one should call the Mass new nor old.  The substance of what the Mass is never changes; only the form of the liturgy used changes.

Missale Romanum 2002

Novus Ordo Missae, 2002

Later, because of a desire to bring the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and their adherents into the Church after their very lengthy protest of changes brought via the Second Vatican Council (this is due in part to a vicious doubt and rebellion against authority), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI issued a motu proprio Summorum Pontificum where he relaxed restrictions on the use of the Missal of John XXIII and referred to the form of that missal as an “extraordinary form”  and the form of our new missal as the ordinary form of the liturgy.  The word “extraordinary” is from the Latin “extraordinarius, from extra ordinem ‘outside the normal course of events.'” The word can also mean “very unusual or remarkable,” or not to be used under normal circumstances.  Afterall, the whole Church has been directed to worship under a new form!  But, Summorum Pontificum has been interpreted much more loosely, and with ill effect such as liturgical idolatry, but I digress…

AVOID HERETICAL THINKING AND EXPRESSION

If we say the Mass has changed, then we enter into heresy.  Why?  Because there is one Christ, one Sacrifice and one Eucharist for all salvific intents and purposes.  There is no new Christ, no new Sacrifice, and no new Eucharist.  Period.  Unless, of course, we think we are Anglicans, Lutherans, or another form of Protestant who change or “protest the Mass.”  (My friends of these separated groups, I do not judge you if you belong to these groups; you are innocent and do not yet know or understand.  We love you and desire communion with you.  You are not “bad” because you belong to these groups.)

REHASH

There is no “Old Mass,” and there is no “New Mass.” There is the same Mass using different forms of the liturgy.

There is:

  1. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the Novus Ordo Missae;
  2. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the Ordinary Form of the Liturgy;
  3.  the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the New Missal;
  4. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the Vetus Ordo Missae;
  5. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy;
  6.  the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the Old Missal.

IN CONCLUSION

Let us not harbor passive-aggressive feelings which lead us to sarcastically call the Mass “old” or “new” as if what came out of a holy ecumenical council could ever change our central dogma – it can’t and would never do that.  The Mass does not change; the form can and does change.  Try to find joy in accepting the New Missal knowing that you are doing exactly what God desires, and focus more on understanding the form and knowing the Lord’s Presence in the Mass, and finding joy in obedience.

 

 

 

 

Seeing Christ the King:  The Holy Mass in my Mind

  It is a beautiful sight to see, in my mind, The Lord, Jesus Christ walking in parallel with His priest toward the Ambo during the singing of the Alleluia, but being much larger in stature than the priest and adorned in white cloth instead of green, with golden filigree and embroidery, with a crown, walking confidently, and with a slight smile as He contemplates the love He will serve in His Word.  

Likewise, it is beautiful to see the Lord, Jesus Christ coming forward in the clouds when the Sanctus is sung.  At the Epiclesis, He breathes, “Receive My Spirit – receive Me.”  In Holy Communion, there He Is to give Himself for you – smiling affectionately, “I AM truly happy that you are here.”
These images have come to me over the last several weeks during several Sunday Masses.  I am happy now to share them.  

Let us actively  engage our  hearts, minds, souls and strength at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  

  

Christ the King, (Russian Orthodox icon)

 

WHAT IS GOING ON? THE US CHURCH APPEARS TO HAVE FRACTURED FROM WITHIN

The Catholic Church in the USA has divided itself into 3 social classes.

The Catholic Church in the USA has divided itself into 3 social classes.

From my single parish perspective, the Catholic Church in the USA appears to have divided itself into three social classes, all of which are opposed to each other:  1) The Traditional Latin Rite Mass party (ultra-conservative and outwardly pious); 2) The Mainstream Novus Ordo Mass party (moderate, obedient and humble); 3) The Folk Novus Ordo Mass party (casual, believe what you want, it’s about me).

Specifically, I have noticed, in a single United States parish, that there are at least these three different cultures which are identified by the clothing people wear and the music they use.  I have also noticed, between the Extraordinary form and Novus Ordo form of the Mass,  a break in the integrity of the roles of the ministerial priesthood (of the ordained Priest alone) and common priesthood of the baptized Faithful in worship:

1) Traditional Latin Mass goers: Standard for men is coat and tie; ladies wear long dresses and white or black veils; children are similarly dressed. The well-dressed, by their attire and implied stance, bring judgment on everyone else who do not comply with this standard. Also, there is a break in the integrity of the Vatican II “participatio actuosa” mandate in that the people are not allowed to vocally pray, for example, the Our Father. If a person does, the person is violating the sacred right of the priest alone. Also, if you do not kneel at the altar rail and receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you don’t (at least, it will greatly offend if you don’t follow the TLM rule). The faithful are barred, by the communion rail, from entering the Sanctuary.

2) Mainstream Novus Ordo Mass: Clothing standard is modest, business casual attire; only lectors and EMs are required to wear semi-formal attire; music is based on the organ. Again, those wearing semi-formal attire in the pews bring judgment on those who do not, or they set themselves apart. Here, the Faithful are expected to actively engage in some of the prayers or chants which, in the Traditional Latin Rite, they must not. If one does not pray the Our Father vocally, for example, the person is not participating as a member of the “common priesthood of the Faithful.” The faithful are instructed NOT to kneel at the altar (as the norm) and they should receive Holy Communion on the tongue, while standing, but are instructed that they may receive on the hand as well. The Faithful are invited into the Sanctuary. “All are welcome”

3) Contemporary Novus Ordo Mass: Most wear casual attire (or even a lower standard like shorts and flip flops or tee shirts); the music is usually folk guitar and fairly bland (in my opinion). This Mass, while following the Novus Ordo, looks and feels like an Evangelical gathering. There is no judgment going on here. “Everyone is equal” is sort of the mindset.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?  WHO ARE WE?  WHAT ARE WE DOING?  WHAT ARE OUR VALUES?  WHAT IS OUR RELIGIOUS CULTURE?!  I am saddened by the class system which we seem to have allowed to grow unchecked and also by what seems to be a loss of integrity and movement away from the direction which the Holy Spirit set for us during Vatican II ecumenical council.  What are we doing?

Do You Reject the Novus Ordo Missae? Really? Warning follows…

The Great Pope, the Saint, celebrates the Novus Ordo Missae, not in his own language, but in that language which the Lay Faithful understand.  He is the Good Steward.

The Great Pope, the Saint, celebrates the Novus Ordo Missae, not in his own language, but in that language which the Lay Faithful understand. He is the Good Steward of God’s Gift of Mercy.

Forty years I endured that generation.  I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know my ways.”  So I swore in my anger, “They shall not enter into my rest.”  [Psalm 95:10-11, NAB]

It is not the Novus Ordo Missae that is the problem. But, it is the rebellious, contentious, vain, selfish, self-righteous or proud mind of some that is the problem. When God opens the liturgy that it can be understood well by all, including the “common priesthood” of the faithful, but then both priest and lay reject it, then their gift may soon be removed, not externally, but internally from their souls so that these may not be fulfilled in the Novus Ordo Missae. And such it has been; and such it will be unless these have a change of heart. God is not a fool. One should not reject His Mercy. And the Stewards must not abuse or set aside His Gift!

Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah in the desert.  There your ancestors tested me; they tried me though they had seen my works. Forty years I loathed that generation; I said: “This people’s heart goes astray; they do not know my ways.” Therefore I swore in my anger: “They shall never enter my rest.”

~ Psalm 95:7-11, New American Bible