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The Novus Ordo has caused the liturgical reform envisioned by Vatican II to be a failure January 22, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, scandals, self-serving, Society, the return.

What?  I didn’t say it – Msgr. Klaus Gamber did, in The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, a book Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, endorsed unreservedly.

In the sections excerpted today, Msgr. Gamber outlines the very shaky implementation of the Novus Ordo, how the 1969 Missal was heavily criticized and had to be substantially modified into the 1970 Missal.  Even with these modifications, there remains a huge shift in emphasis between the Mass as it always was, and the Novus Ordo, a shift away from Sacrifice and towards the “communal meal.” He also notes the overt protestant influences in the Novus Ordo, and the scandalous fact that it was never tested, pastorally, before its being unleashed, without recourse or allowance for the constant Rite of the Church to remain.  The effect has been a liturgical shipwreck of the highest magnitude.

I begin:

Most significant, however, is the shifting of emphasis in the new Mass to that of being a communal meal in the protestant sense, the deliberate de-emphasizing of the purpose and function of the Mass as Sacrifice.

The Institutio Generalis Missalis [the formal document laying out the Novus Ordo] text deliberately avoids using the word sacrifice.  It is only mentioned in passing…..[and then only in a few locations]

………Apparently the designations of the Mass in the first edition of the Novus Ordo as “the Lord’s Supper or the holy gathering of the people of God, as they come together, into one [body], with the priest as presider [how I loathe this term for a priest offering Mass] and taking on the persona of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord,” has its source in protestant theology. [I think this has been established unequivocally in Michael Davies’ trilogy on the Council, starting the Cranmer’s Godly Order, going to Pope John’s Council, and then ending with Pope Paul’s New Mass.  The latter, in particular, established clearly the protestant beliefs and practices that were deliberately imported into the Novus Ordo in another case of disordered ecumenism run amok] The fact that this particular definition of the Mass appears in a document bearing the signature of Pope Paul VI, and that it became necessary later to correct it, is a painful indication of how confused things are in our Church today. 

We also need to point out that much was untested – for example, the Ritus initiales – found its way into the Novus Ordo. This is not the way in which the Roman Curia has done things in past centuries. Yet this untested material was immediately sealed into place without having passed the test of time. All this leads to the conclusion that it was the Novus Ordo, and the new Ordo Missae in general, that in effect has forestalled the new and lasting reform of liturgical worship as envisioned by the Second Vatican Council[in short, the NO screwed up the liturgical reform envisioned by VII, and by this point that reform is impossible. I personally believe the reform movement was disordered, even dangerous, from the get go, but that’s me.]

Today’s Church has no need for a new Order of the Mass. What she needs is a flourishing spiritual life. This alone can overcome the crisis of faith, a crisis that is also a crisis of authority. At least in part, the responsibility for the crisis of authority must be placed squarely on Rome…….[or, the crisis in the Church is a crisis of bishops.  But then again, we get the bishops we deserve, overall.]

….Also we must not forget this: only a Church strong and secure in its faith and spiritually fertile will be able to create something really good and lasting.  All else is but an artificial and utopian construct, unconcerned with and uncaring about the true needs of the faithful and their pastoral care; and above all, without any real psychological understanding of the sentiments of the people….. [I am amazed how easily this criticism could be shifted from liturgical reform to left wing political/economic aspirations.  Appealing only to a dogmatic intellectual class, unconcerned with the suffering they cause vast swaths of people, oriented toward utopian delusions…..but then again, the liturgical reformers were by and large progressive in outlook, liturgically, theologically, and politically/economically.  The shoe fits, so to speak.]

…...It is quite easy to destroy an old order, but to create a new one is something else again.

———-End Quote———-

That last bit is very insightful.  The Mass as we know in the TLM was the product of gradual accretions and changes, made for the most part by great Saints like Gregory the Great, St. Boniface, etc. The core of the Mass, the Canon, is Apostolic.  The common parts of the Mass were pretty well settled by Gregory the Great, and even he only made small tweaks.  The propers have continued to evolve, but the vast majority of TLM propers date to the 700s, with additions for new Feasts.

But if you look over the broad sweep of history, at when certain changes were made, or who produced many of the propers for the TLM, you find that those changes which were accepted were mostly made in times of great piety, and by great Saints.  The Novus Ordo, in contrast, was conceived in a time of incredible turmoil and confusion – and Lord only knows how pious were the men who constructed it, but we have much room to doubt.

One final note: Msgr. Gamber shows that most of the readings for the TLM were set by the late 4th century.  Further refinement of the Mass readings occurred, but by the end of the 7th century the “pericopes,” or Mass readings, of the TLM were pretty much fixed, save for new feasts.  So, the new order of readings with its three year cycle implemented in the Novus Ordo undid a 1500 year Tradition.

Reading several books of late, I have been amazed at the antiquity of the Traditional Mass.  Dr. Lauren Pristas dates most of the TLM Collects from the 6th-8th century, and they could be much older, those are simply the oldest documents on which these collects have been found.

Another thing Gamber points out (and Pristas, though not directly) is how nascent understanding of liturgical history was 50 years ago.  Historical liturgical study was in its infancy in the first half of the 20th century.  Many, many wrong conclusions were reached based on incomplete information.  Yet, the experten of that time assured the Church and world they knew precisely what they were doing in revolutionizing the Mass, that they were certain they were returning the Church to its earliest practice.  That claim has been pretty much exploded in the intervening years, and was known to be dubious, even then, to some of the liturgical experts themselves (such as Bouyer).

There is no limit to human hubris.


1. LaGallina - January 23, 2014

Can you explain the “new order of readings” and the three year cycle? I understand the readings in the N.O. are in three- year cycles, but what was the traditional order of readings?

I still know so little about the changes that have taken place in the Mass. I was shocked to learn (just last week) that there was no “Ordinary Time” on the old calendar. It was actually quite a relief, as I have always hated “Ordinary Time.” I saw it as a sort of penance that was required of me. The long, dull season of Ordinary Time. I should have known the Church is much too rich and beautiful to have a season that is called “Ordinary.”

I am fascinated (and annoyed) by these changes to the Church’s calendar, and wonder if you could write a bit about them for he newbies like me.

2. LaGallina - January 23, 2014

BTW, tantamergo, you have mentioned that you are concerned that some of your readers may give in to despair and perhaps leave the Church or something drastic like that because of the mess that we are in.

Just in case you think I am one of those people, I am no! I am 100% convinced in the truths of the Traditional Catholic Faith. As a matter of fact, I feel that God led me to this blog as a source of truth, so that I can pass the faith on to my kids. What I learn here on a regular basis is invaluable.

It is heartbreaking to watch the Church being beaten up by her enemies, but we wouldn’t be going through such suffering if the Catholic Church were not the one, true Faith.

3. TG - January 23, 2014

Tantum, I would like an explanation on the 3 year cycle also. I have Magnificant magazine and I noticed that the gospels repeat themselves – for example – one Sunday we had Matthew’s gospel on the Baptism of the Lord and 2 Sundays later we had another gospel on the Baptism. I also noticed the tough readings are on the weekday Masses and not on Sundays. I wonder if that’s on purpose?

I also have no intention of leaving the Catholic faith even though our leaders really test it. I think people who know their faith and are grounded in truth will not leave but it’s hard for a new comer or one that left the faith to want to return to our mess. You have to have a lot of grace and really be searching for truth to come or return to the Catholic Church. I will not let evil men drive me out of the church. I want to be one of the remnant.

tantamergo - January 23, 2014

I didn’t have anyone in mind when I wrote about people getting defeated and leaving. It does happen, but not to the readers of this blog.

tantamergo - January 23, 2014

Oh, and doing a post on the NO cycle of readings. It’s a mess. It’s totally decoupled from the liturgical year. I will try.

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