Mass of Paul VI

The Mass of St. Paul VI is the most commonly used form of the Mass in use 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.[1] It is derived from the Tridentine Mass used since 1570.[2]

Other names

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 July 2007, 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".[3] The names Mass of Paul VI and Pauline Mass are equivalent to this. The term "Novus Ordo" (New Order) is often used to describe the Pauline Mass. To some, this has pejorative connotations, as it is most often used in traditionalist circles critiquing the Pauline liturgical reform. However, there is precedent in Paul VI himself. In his General Audience of November 19, 1969, Pope Paul VI spoke four times of "the new rite" of Mass, as well as "new directions for celebrating" and "new rules". A week later, in the General Audience on November 26, he was more explicit: "the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass", "a new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries." He stated: "This novelty is no small thing." In a General Audience all the way back on March 17, 1965, when liturgical reform was well under way, Paul VI stated: "now everything is new, startling, and changed"; "explanation and preparation and a certain degree of attentive assistance will speedily remove the uncertainties and soon give rise to an appreciation and enthusiasm for the new order [novus ordo]". "No, the new scheme of things must be different." "It is to be hoped that the religious enthusiasm stirred up by the new form of a worship will not lessen." "But you will have understood, dear sons and daughters, that this liturgical innovation, this spiritual renewal, cannot take place without cooperation." One can see in all of these texts a repeated insistence on the newness or novelty of the new liturgy in regard to both form and content, and even the literal expression "novus ordo". Hence it is perfectly legitimate to speak of a "novus ordo missae", that is, a new order of the Mass.

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.[4]

In his letter to bishops which accompanied his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, 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."[5] 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 authorized "extraordinary form" (EF).[6]


The current official text of the 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 the Roman Missal is frequently referred to as the Tridentine Mass: all these editions placed at the start the text of the bull Quo primum in which Pope Pius V linked the issuance of his edition of the Roman Missal to the 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.


The 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 Chant.

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.
  • So-called ‘Duplications’ such as the second Confiteor.

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, 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.[7] He granted permission for the use of local languages in the renewal of baptismal promises in the Easter Vigil service.

By this time, scholars thought they 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 (though many of their assumptions were later proven to be incorrect.) In section 4 of Mediator Dei, 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.

Beginnings of the revision

The 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 the Breviary. In the bull Divino afflatu, he described this change as "a first step towards a correction of the Roman Breviary and Missal". A Society of St. Pius X site states that this revision of the Breviary "significantly unsettled" clerics and encountered criticism.[8] 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 of the saint whose feast fell on that day, and began instead to be that of the Sunday.

In 1955, Pope Pius XII made substantial changes to the liturgies for Palm Sunday, the Easter Triduum, and the Vigil of Pentecost.[9] 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 in the Exultet was replaced with a newly composed prayer, since the Empire had been defunct since the early 19th century.
  • Eight 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 was omitted.

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 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.[10]

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 untouchable.

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.[11]

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 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites while the Council was still in session, and coming into effect on 7 March 1965[12] 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 Gospel and 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,[13] made only minimal changes to the text, but simplified the rubrics and the vestments. Concelebration and Communion under both kinds had meanwhile been permitted,[14] 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,[15] 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 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.[16]

On 25 September 1969, two retired cardinals, 79-year-old Alfredo Ottaviani and 84-year-old Antonio Bacci, wrote a letter with which they sent Pope Paul VI the text of the "Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass", which had been prepared in the previous June by a group of twelve theologians under the direction of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.[17] 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".[18][19] 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.[20][21] Paul VI asked the 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".[22] However, some of its observations were taken into account in preparing the definitive version of the new Order of the Mass.

1970 Missal

Pope Paul VI promulgated the revised rite of Mass with his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of 3 April 1969, setting the first Sunday of 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.[23]

The revisions called for by Vatican II were guided by historical and Biblical studies that were not available at the Council of Trent when the rite was fixed to forestall any heretical accretions.[24] 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 increased.
  • 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.[25] One of the most ancient of these rites of reconciliation, the Kiss of Peace[26] 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.[27] 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 "[the] number [of the prayers] 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 ancient sources".

Other changes

Vernacular language

In his 1962 apostolic constitution Veterum sapientia on the teaching of Latin, 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.[28]

The Second Vatican Council stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36:[11]

  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 in 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

The 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 very 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 once made over the Host and chalice during the Canon (15 of them after the Consecration) have been reduced to one done 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 notable.

Three new Eucharistic Prayers

As noted above, three new Eucharistic Prayers were introduced as alternatives to the Roman Canon, which had for centuries been the only 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 he authorized for use in 1968.[29]

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.[30] 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.[31] The fourth Eucharistic Prayer 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".[32] A council at Lambeth in 1281 directed that the people were to be given unconsecrated wine.[33] 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."[34] 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 both forms may confer a greater grace, either in itself (a minority view) or only accidentally (the majority view).[33]

When the 1970 Roman Missal allowed laypeople to receive 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 distribution of 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.

Liturgical orientation

Santa Cecilia
Altar of 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.[35]

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.[36] 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,[37] and gives corresponding instructions for the priest when performing actions that in the other orientation involved turning around in order to face the people.[38]

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.[39] 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 original 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.[40] 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 the priest.[41]

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" (Latin: 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."[42] 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. In post-Vatican 2 era practice, this is the most common orientation for the Pauline Mass throughout the world, while ad orientem is common in indult celebrations of the Tridentine Mass. In a few churches and chapels, it is physically impossible for the priest to face the people throughout the Mass usually due to lack of space for the freestanding altar (or the presence of the "confession" in some of Rome's churches).

The rubrics of the Roman Missal now prescribe that the priest should face the people at six points of the Mass.[43] The priest celebrating the Tridentine Mass was required to face the people, turning his back to the altar if necessary, eight times.[44] 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.[45]

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".[46]

Other matters

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. Bowing, ranging from a simple neck bow to those in accordance with Japanese etiquette, is also practised in several other Asian countries.

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 sacrilegious.[47]

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, 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."[48][49] 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."[50]

Similarly, 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'."[51]

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,[52] the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recalled the 1974 declaration by the 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 disputed.

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.[53]

Some of them claim that the changes in the Roman Rite of Mass were made in order to make it acceptable to non-Catholics.[54] French philosopher Jean Guitton said that Pope Paul VI's intention was to assimilate the Catholic liturgy to the Protestant:[55] "The intention of Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the 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."[56][57]

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 the following:

  • Lay people may be commissioned to proclaim Biblical readings at Mass, except for the Gospel reading which is reserved to clerics.[58][59]
  • 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.[60]
  • 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.[61]
  • Females may act as altar servers, if this is approved by the diocesan bishop and if the parish priest chooses to implement it.[62]

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 instruments. But unlike Lutheran and Anglican/Episcopal churches, which have retained the practice in contemporary times, the omission of the altar rail in churches celebrating the Pauline Mass is widely established in the Catholic Church.

Many critics regret the general abandonment of the use of the Latin language and 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".[63] Redemptionis Sacramentum[64] 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 Latin is widely considered to be aesthetically defective, while Sacrosanctum Concilium[11] 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.

Related worship controversies

For the opposing view that liturgical changes have not gone far enough yet, see Rembert Weakland § Liturgical agenda

Revision of the English translation

The International Commission on English in the Liturgy was at work for 17 years,[65] 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.[66] On 28 March 2001, the Holy See issued the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam.[67] This included the requirement that, in translations of the liturgical texts from the official 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[68] of the revised 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,[69] Rome prevailed and nine years later a new English translation, closer to that of the Latin and consequently approved by the Holy See, was adopted by English-speaking episcopal conferences.[66] The text of this revised English translation of the Order of Mass is available,[70] 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".[71]

Most episcopal conferences set the first Sunday in Advent (27 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[72] from 28 November 2008, when the Missal as a whole was not yet available. Protests were voiced on grounds of content[73][74][75] and because it meant that Southern Africa was thus out of line with other English-speaking areas.[76] One bishop claimed that the English-speaking conferences should have withstood the Holy See's insistence on a more literal translation.[69] 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.[77]

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".[65][78]

See also


  1. ^ "Letter of 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
  2. ^ Date of publication of the papal bull Quo primum and the first edition of the Tridentine Missal
  3. ^ Summorum Pontificum, article 2.
  4. ^ 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).
  5. ^ "Letter to the Bishops that accompanies the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  6. ^ Summorum Pontificum, article 1.
  7. ^ Pius XII. "Mediator Dei". Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  8. ^ Pascal Thuillier, "Saint Pius X: Reformer of the Liturgy" in The Angelus, September 2003
  9. ^ "Liturgical Revolution". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Encyclical ''Mediator Dei'', 62-64". Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b c "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium". 4 December 1963. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  12. ^ "''Inter oecumenici''". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  13. ^ "''Tres abhinc annos''". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  14. ^ "''Ecclesiae semper''". 7 March 1965. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  15. ^ Kappes, Christiaan. "The Normative Mass of 1967: Its History and Principles as Applied to the Liturgy of the Mass ([Complete pre-corrected Draft] Doct. Diss., Sant'Anselmo, 2012)".
  16. ^ Kappes, p. 3
  17. ^ "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 Archived 15 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Hardon, John (1971). Christianity in the twentieth century. Doubleday.
  19. ^ Coomaraswamy, Rama (1981). The destruction of the Christian tradition. Perennial Books.
  20. ^ Ottaviani, Alfredo (1971). The Ottaviani Intervention: Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass. TAN Books & Publishers.
  21. ^ text of the Short Critical Study Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Christophe Geffroy and Philippe Maxence, Enquête sur la messe traditionnelle (with preface by Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler), p. 21).
  23. ^ Smolarski, Dennis (2003). The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 1969–2002: A Commentary. Collegeville (MN): Liturgical Press. ISBN 0814629369.
  24. ^ GIRM, 7f.
  25. ^ Missale Romanum. Archived 1 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine The internal references (SC) are from Sacrosanctum Concilium.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ Felix Just, S.J. (1 February 2009). "Lectionary Statistics". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Apostolic Constitution ''Veterum sapientia''". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  29. ^ Barry Hudock, ''The Eucharistic Prayer: A User's Guide'' (Liturgical Press 2010 ISBN 978-0-8146-3287-1), p. 34. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  30. ^ "Daniel J. Castellano, The Composition of the Second Eucharistic Prayer". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  31. ^ Thomas A. McMahon, ''The Mass Explained'' (Carillon Books 1978 ISBN 978-0-89310-042-1), p. 63. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  32. ^ "''Summa Theologica'' III, q. 80, a. 12". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Patrick Toner, "Communion under Both Kinds" in ''Catholic Encyclopedia'' 1908". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  34. ^ "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". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  35. ^ Helen Dietz, "The Biblical Roots of Church Orientation" in Sacred Architecture, vol. 10. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  36. ^ 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).
  37. ^ 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 Edition, 2000 Archived 10 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine)
  38. ^ Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae, V, 3
  39. ^ "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)
  40. ^ "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 Helen Dietz.
  41. ^ "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.
  42. ^ GIRM, 299.
  43. ^ 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 (GIRM, 165);
    • When giving the final blessing (Ordo Missae 141).
  44. ^ 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, XII, 1).
    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.
  45. ^ GIRM, 315 (footnotes and citations omitted).
  46. ^ GIRM, 314.
  47. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) (PDF), a publication of the Society of St. Pius X, a canonically irregular association of priests.
  48. ^ Rowland, Tracey (2008). Ratzinger's faith: the theology of Pope Benedict XVI. Oxford University Press.
  49. ^ Kocik, Thomas (2003). The reform of the reform?: a liturgical debate: reform or return. Ignatius Press.
  50. ^ Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of Summorum Pontificum
  51. ^ "Apostolic Letter ''Vicesimus quintus annus''". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  52. ^ "Letter to Heads of Episcopal Conferences". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  53. ^ "Dossier on the Novus Ordo Missae: August 1997 Newsletter". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  54. ^ Studies in comparative religion, Volumes 13–14. '. Perennial Books. 1979.
  55. ^ [1] Archived 25 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ Laurent Cleenewerck (2008). His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism Between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Euclid University Press. p. 421. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  57. ^ Francisco Radecki, Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times: The Twenty General Councils of the Catholic Church and Vatican II and Its Aftermath (St. Joseph's Media 2004)
  58. ^ I.e., deacons, priests and bishops.
  59. ^ GIRM, 101.
  60. ^ Redemptionis Sacramentum 154–160
  61. ^ "Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  62. ^ "Female Altar Servers". 3 February 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  63. ^ Section 36. "Particular law" refers to decisions by national or regional Episcopal Conferences, ratified by the Holy See.
  64. ^ Redemptionis Sacramentum
  65. ^ a b "Why Pope Francis is right to revisit the new Mass translation". America Magazine. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  66. ^ a b Allen, John L. (16 August 2002). "The Word From Rome". Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  67. ^ "Liturgiam authenticam".
  68. ^ The "typical edition" of a liturgical text is that to which editions by other publishers must conform.
  69. ^ a b "Letter by Bishop Dowling". 18 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  70. ^ GIRM.
  71. ^ "Roman Missal". USCCB. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  72. ^ A pastoral response to the faithful with regard to the new English Language Mass translations Archived 8 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  73. ^ "''Liturgical Anger'', an editorial by Gunther Simmermacher". 24 December 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  74. ^ "Letter by Fr John Conversett MCCJ". 24 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  75. ^ Coyle IHM. Mass translations: A missed opportunity
  76. ^ SABC response 3 February 2009 Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  77. ^ Clarification on the Implementation of the New English Mass Translation in South Africa Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  78. ^ "Pope Orders Surprise Review of New Mass Translation". Retrieved 17 July 2017.


External links

Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition

The Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition, also known as the Anaphora of Hippolytus, is an ancient Christian Anaphora (also known in the contemporary Latin Rite as a Eucharistic Prayer) which is found in chapter four of the Apostolic Tradition. It should not be confused with the Syriac Orthodox Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles, which is similar, and may be one of several liturgies derived from this Anaphora, yet is considerably longer and more ornate.It was used extensively by Gregory Dix in his research for his book The Shape of the Liturgy published in 1945 and subsequently by theologians such as Dr. Charles (Ted) Hackett and Dr. Don Saliers among others in preparing reforms for the Book of Common Prayer and the United Methodist Liturgies found in the current United Methodist Hymnal. This anaphora is also the inspiration for the Eucharistic Prayer II of the Catholic Mass of Paul VI.

Anthony Cekada

Anthony J. Cekada is a Sedevacantist Catholic priest and author. Once a month during the academic year Cekada travels to Brooksville, Florida where he teaches Canon Law, Liturgy, and Scripture at Most Holy Trinity Seminary.

Arnaud Devillers

Arnaud Devillers, F.S.S.P., is a French Roman Catholic priest. He was the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter between 2000 and 2006. Controversially, he was not elected by members of the Fraternity, but was appointed directly by the president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos. The background to his appointment was an argument within the ranks of the Fraternity as to whether they should say the Mass of Paul VI. Devillers was seen to be a neutral candidate who was not strongly in favour of either side of the argument. He was the second Superior General after Josef Bisig and was succeeded by John Berg.


Asperges is a name given to the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water. The name comes from the first word in the 9th verse of Psalm 51 (Psalm 50 in the Vulgate) in the Latin translation which is sung during the traditional form of the rite (or optionally in the ordinary rite) except during Eastertide. The 51st Psalm is also one of the antiphons that may be sung in the rite under the Mass of Paul VI.

Canon of the Mass

The Canon of the Mass (Latin: Canon Missæ), also known as the Canon of the Roman Mass and in the Mass of Paul VI as the Roman Canon or Eucharistic Prayer I, is the oldest anaphora used in the Roman Rite of Mass. The name Canon Missæ was used in the Tridentine Missal from the first typical edition of Pope Pius V in 1570 to that of Pope John XXIII in 1962 to describe the part of the Mass of the Roman Rite that began after the Sanctus with the words Te igitur. All editions preceding that of 1962 place the indication "Canon Missae" at the head of each page from that point until the end of the Mass; that of 1962 does so only until the page preceding the Pater Noster and places the heading "Ordo Missae" on the following pages.Before 1962 there were divergent opinions about the point where the Canon of the Mass ended. Some considered that it ended where indicated in the 1962 Roman Missal, others where indicated in the earlier editions from 1570 onwards (the end of Mass), others at the conclusion of the Embolism (Libera nos...) that expands on the final "Sed libera nos a malo" petition of the Pater Noster.

Before the 1970 revision of the Roman Missal, the Canon was the only anaphora used in the Roman Rite. The editions of the Roman Missal issued since 1970, which contain three other newly-composed eucharistic prayers, names it as the "Roman Canon" and places it as the first of its four eucharistic prayers, and place the words "Prex Eucharistica" before the dialogue that precedes the Preface and the new heading "Ritus communionis" before the introduction to the Pater Noster.

Episcopal sandals

The episcopal sandals, also known as the pontifical sandals, are a Roman Catholic pontifical vestment worn by bishops when celebrating liturgical functions according to the pre–Vatican II rubrics, for example a Tridentine Solemn Pontifical Mass.

In shape, the episcopal sandals more closely resemble a pair of loafers than actual sandals. The liturgical stockings (caligae) are worn over the episcopal sandals and cover the episcopal sandals and the ankle. The episcopal sandals and liturgical stockings usually match the liturgical color of the Mass. However, when black vestments are worn, the pontifical footwear is not used.

After the Second Vatican Council, the episcopal sandals fell out of common use following the revisions of the liturgy resulting in the Mass of Paul VI, which is now known as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. While still permitted for use in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, they are rarely used in that context. Today, the use of the episcopal sandals is primarily seen in those celebrating the Tridentine Mass.

The episcopal sandals should not be confused with the velvet papal shoes, which were recently reinstated by Pope Benedict XVI. The papal shoes evolved as the outdoor counterpart of the papal slippers, which are similar to the episcopal sandals, except that the papal slippers are worn by the Pope outside liturgical functions and are always red.


The Gradual (Latin: graduale or responsorium graduale) is a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, and among some other Christians. It gets its name from the Latin gradus meaning step because it was once chanted on the step of the ambo or altar. In the Tridentine Mass it is sung after the reading or chanting of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract. In the Mass of Paul VI, the Gradual is usually replaced with the Responsorial Psalm. Although the Gradual remains an option in the Mass of Paul VI, its use is extremely rare outside monasteries. The Gradual is part of the Proper of the Mass.

Gradual can also refer to a book collecting all the musical items of the Mass. The official such book for the Roman Rite is the Roman Gradual (in Latin, Graduale Romanum). Other such books include the Dominican Gradual.

Latin liturgical rites

Latin liturgical rites, or Western liturgical rites, are Latin tradition Catholic liturgical rites employed by the Latin Church, the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, that originated in Europe where the Latin language once dominated. Its language is now known as Ecclesiastical Latin. The most used rite is the Roman Rite.

The Latin rites were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches. Their number is now much reduced. In the aftermath of the Council of Trent, in 1568 and 1570 Pope Pius V suppressed the Breviaries and Missals that could not be shown to have an antiquity of at least two centuries (see Tridentine Mass and Roman Missal). Many local rites that remained legitimate even after this decree were abandoned voluntarily, especially in the 19th century. In the second half of the 20th century, most of the religious orders that had a distinct liturgical rite chose to adopt in its place the Roman Rite as revised in accordance with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council (see Mass of Paul VI). A few such liturgical rites persist today for the celebration of Mass, since 1965-1970 in revised forms, but the distinct liturgical rites for celebrating the other sacraments have been almost completely abandoned.

Mass of the Catechumens

The Mass (or Liturgy) of the Catechumens is an ancient title for the first half of the Catholic Mass or Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy. In the Mass of Paul VI of the Catholic Church, it is referred to as the Liturgy of the Word. It was originally called the Mass of the Catechumens, because the Catechumens, or candidates for Baptism, were required to leave the ceremony before the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or Mass, proper.

This exclusion was enforced on the grounds that until Baptism, persons were not fully members of the Church and should not participate in the communal sacrifice that symbolizes and embodies the spiritual union of the Faithful, according to Catholic belief.

In the earliest liturgy there was a service consisting of readings, a homily (explanation of the readings and how to apply them to one's life) and petitionary prayers based on the readings and homily (bidding prayers or prayers of the faithful).

Mea culpa

Mea culpa is a Latin phrase that means "through my fault" and is an acknowledgement of having done wrong.

Grammatically, meā culpā is in the ablative case, with an instrumental meaning.

The phrase comes from a prayer of confession of sinfulness, known as the Confiteor, used in the Roman Rite at the beginning of Mass or when receiving the sacrament of Penance.

The expression is used also as an admission of having made a mistake that should have been avoided, and may be accompanied by beating the breast as in its use in a religious context.

Misericordia Sunday

Misericordia Sunday, also called Misericordias Domini, is a Sunday in Eastertide in the Christian liturgical calendar. It is so called from the incipit of the Introit "Misericordia Domini plena est terra . . ." ("The land is filled with the mercy of the Lord") from Psalm 33 (32), a portion of which is traditionally assigned for the Mass of the day. In the post-Vatican II Mass of Paul VI, this Introit is assigned for the Fourth Sunday of Easter. However, for many centuries until the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the Misericordia Domini Introit was assigned for the Third Sunday of Easter (then called the Second Sunday After Easter). Thus pre- and post-1969 references to the day may differ by a week.

In many Catholic dioceses (Seville, Capuchins) this day is called the feast of Our Lady Mother of the Good Shepherd; at Jerusalem and in the churches of the Franciscans it is called the feast of the Holy Sepulchre of Christ; in the Greek Church it is called ion myrophoron (Sunday of the women who brought ointments to the sepulchre of Christ); the Armenians celebrate on this Sunday the dedication of the first Christian church on Mount Sion.

Psalm for this Sunday is Psalm 23 (22).


NOM may refer to:

Nasdaq Options Market

National Organization for Marriage

Natural organic matter

New Order Mormons

Nickelodeon Original Movies

Nintendo Official Magazine, official British Nintendo magazine; now discontinued, superseded by Official Nintendo Magazine

NOM and NOM2, mobile device games produced by Gamevil

N.O.M., an experimental Russian rock band

Nominative case

Norma Oficial Mexicana, stylized as: - each of a series of official norms and regulations for various commercial activities in México.

Nosara Airport, airport code NOM, in Nosara, Costa Rica

Novus Ordo Missae, Mass of Paul VI

N.O.M (Korean band), a Korean boy bandNom may refer to:

Nôm, a classical vernacular script of the Vietnamese language that makes use of Chinese characters

Nộm, Vietnamese salad

Finrod Felagund, a character from J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion, also known as Nóm

Nóm the Wise, a song about Finrod Felagund by Blind Guardian from their 1998 album Nightfall in Middle-Earth

Because nom is French for "name" (see: Pseudonym):

Nom de plume, "name of the pen", a pseudonym adopted by an author.

Nom d'amour, "name of love", a hypocorism -- the shortening of one's normal name into a pet name.

Nom de guerre, "name of war", a pseudonym adopted by an insurgent.

Nom de felonie, "name of crime", a pseudonym adopted by a criminal.

Nom de héroïque, "name of [a] hero", a pseudonym adopted by a hero.

Nomination, to be named as a candidate

"Om nom nom", an onomatopoeia used to represent eating, first used by Cookie Monster


OF or Of may refer to:

Air Finland, a defunct Finnish airline (IATA airline code OF)

Mass of Paul VI, or Ordinary Form, in Roman Catholicism

Občanské fórum, or Civic Forum, a Czech political movement in 1989

Of, Turkey, a town and district in Trabzon Province, Turkey

Offenbach (district), German vehicle registration plate code OF

Old French, a dialect continuum spoken from the 9th century to the 14th century

Open Firmware, computer software which loads an operating system

Orange Fannings, a grade of tea leaf

Order of Fiji, which has the post-nominal letters of OF

Osvobodilna fronta, the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People

Outfielder, a defensive position in baseball

Oxygen fluoride, a compound containing only the chemical elements oxygen and fluorine

Order of Mass

Order of Mass is an outline of a Mass celebration, describing how and in what order liturgical texts and rituals are employed to constitute a Mass.

The expression Order of Mass is particularly tied to the Roman Rite where the sections under that title in the Roman Missal also contain a set of liturgical texts that recur in most or in all Eucharistic liturgies (the so-called invariable texts, or ordinary of the Mass), while the rubrics indicate the rituals, and the insertion points of the variable texts known as the proper of the Mass. Having been virtually unchanged for many centuries, the Roman Catholic Order of Mass changed decisively after the Second Vatican Council.

Other Christian denominations have comparable descriptions of their liturgical practices for the Eucharist, which are however usually not called Order of Mass.

Patrick Henry Omlor

Patrick Henry Omlor (June 13, 1931 – May 2, 2013) was an American Traditionalist Catholic author. He was most notable for his rejection of the Second Vatican Council, the Mass of Paul VI and for his contribution to the development of Sedevacantism. He was born in the United States of America and later relocated to Western Australia.He was best known for his 1967 book Questioning The Validity of the Masses using the New, All English Canon and for a series of newsletters under the name Interdum (meaning, "Intermittent"). Omlor's works have been collected into a book called The Robber Church. Omlor questioned the validity of the form of consecration in the Mass of Paul VI. His argument centred on the replacement of the Latin "Pro multis" ("for many") with the English "for all" in the rite of consecration, arguing that a deviation from the earlier wording resulted in the new Mass not constituting a proper sacrifice.Omlor disputed the claim of German biblical scholar Joachim Jeremias that Aramaic did not have a word for "all" and so Jesus Christ used the word "many" with the meaning "all". His rejection of the Second Vatican Council and the Mass of Paul VI, led Omlor to reject the legitimacy of all popes elected since 1958, starting with John XXIII, making him a pioneer of Sedevacantism.

Roman Rite

The Roman Rite (Latin: Ritus Romanus) is the main Latin liturgical rite of the Latin Church, the main particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. Roman Rite is the most widespread liturgical rite in the Latin Church, and by virtue of its size also in the Catholic Church, in Western Christianity, and in Christianity as a whole. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church, developed out of many local variants from Early Christianity on, not amounting to distinctive rites, that existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent (1545–63) and more recently following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65).

The Roman Rite has been adapted over the centuries and the history of its Eucharistic liturgy can be divided into three stages: the Pre-Tridentine Mass, Tridentine Mass and Mass of Paul VI. The Mass of Paul VI is the current form of the Mass in the Catholic Church, first promulgated in the 1969 edition of the Roman Missal. It is considered the ordinary form of the mass, intended for most contexts. The Tridentine Mass, as promulgated in the 1962 Roman Missal, may be used as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, according to norms set in the 2007 papal document Summorum Pontificum.


Sedevacantism is the position, held by some traditionalist Catholics, that the present occupier of the Holy See is not truly pope due to the mainstream church's espousal of the heresy of modernism and that, for lack of a valid pope, the See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.

The term "sedevacantism" is derived from the Latin phrase sede vacante, which means "with the chair [of Saint Peter] vacant". The phrase is commonly used to refer specifically to a vacancy of the Holy See from the death or resignation of a pope to the election of his successor. "Sedevacantism" as a term in English appears to date from the 1980s, though the movement itself is older.Among those who maintain that the see of Rome, occupied by what they declare to be an illegitimate pope, was really vacant, some have chosen an alternative pope of their own, and thus in their view ended the vacancy of the see, and are known sometimes as "conclavists".The number of sedevacantists is largely unknown, with some claiming estimates of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.Many active sedevacantists are involved with traditionalist chapels, societies and congregations, such as the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen or the Society of Saint Pius V, attending their chapels for Mass and Confession; other sedevacantists attend services of the Eastern Catholic Church or the Society of Saint Pius X. While the SSPX officially condemns sedevacantism, it is generally acknowledged that there are sedevacantist clergy within the SSPX.


The adjective Tridentine refers to any thing or person pertaining to the city of Trent, Italy (Latin: Tridentum).

It is applied in particular to:

The Council of Trent, one of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held in that city in the 16th century, and to the teachings emphasized by it and the related legislation issued by the Popes of the time, especially Pope Pius V

The Tridentine Mass, which supplanted the various versions of the Pre-Tridentine Mass and in turn, with the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI ceased to be the ordinary form of the Roman Rite but some versions of which continue to be used as extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, with official approval in the case of the 1962 version.

The Traditionalist Catholic movement and its members, who have adhered to the 1962 or earlier editions of the Roman Missal.

The Tridentine Reformation.

Tridentine Mass

The Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass (often abbreviated in the colloquial TLM), Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is the Roman Rite Mass which appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. The most widely used Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969, it is celebrated in ecclesiastical Latin. The 1962 edition is the most recent authorized text, also known as the Missal of Saint John XXIII after the now canonized Pope who promulgated it.

"Tridentine" is derived from the Latin Tridentinus, "related to the city of Tridentum" (modern-day Trent, Italy), where the Council of Trent was held. In response to a decision of that council, Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Latin Church, except in places and religious orders with missals from before 1370. Despite being often described as "the (Traditional) Latin Mass", the Mass of Paul VI (the Novus Ordo Missae) that replaced it as the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite has its official text in Latin and is sometimes celebrated in that language.In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, accompanied by a letter to the world's bishops, authorizing use of the 1962 Tridentine Mass by all Latin Rite Catholic priests in Masses celebrated without the people. These Masses "may — observing all the norms of law — also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted". Permission for competent priests to use the Tridentine Mass as parish liturgies may be given by the pastor or rector.Benedict stated that the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal is to be considered an "extraordinary form" (forma extraordinaria) of the Roman Rite, of which the 1970 Mass of Paul VI is the ordinary, normal or standard form. Since that is the only authorized extraordinary form, some refer to the 1962 Tridentine Mass as "the extraordinary form" of the Mass. The 1962 Tridentine Mass is sometimes referred to as the "usus antiquior" (older use) or "forma antiquior" (older form), to differentiate it from the Mass of Paul VI, again in the sense of being the only one of the older forms for which authorization has been granted.

rites and issues
Groups and

See also:
Communities using
the Tridentine Mass
Order of Mass
Parts of the
Sanctuary / Altar
Altar cloths
Liturgical books
Liturgical year
and concepts
liturgical hours
Other liturgical services
Liturgical literature
Liturgical language
(by order
of precedence
Great Doctors
Latin Church Fathers
Liturgical language
Liturgical rites
(Latin Mass)
See also
Bible and
By country
of the faithful

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