Monday, October 30, 2023

Synod of Synodality is Over - The Church Did not Implode

The Synod of Synodality is over and the Catholic Church did not implode. This might come as a surprise to some, who expected the synodal process to be a source of division and conflict within the Church. But the reality is that the synod was an opportunity for dialogue, discernment, and communion among the bishops and the faithful, guided by the Holy Spirit and the magisterium of Pope Francis.

The synod was not a parliament or a referendum, where different factions competed for power and influence. It was not a platform for advancing ideological agendas or personal opinions. It was not a mechanism for changing doctrine or discipline. It was a journey of listening and learning, of sharing and praying, of discerning and proposing. In fact, synods are not capable of formulating or changing anything in the Catholic Church. They are like a huge parish council meeting on a global level.  

The synod aimed to address the pastoral challenges and opportunities of the Church in the current historical and cultural context, with a special focus on synodality as a way of being and acting as the People of God. The synod explored how to foster a more participatory, co-responsible, and missionary Church, where everyone can contribute their gifts and talents to the service of the Gospel.

The synod also recognized the diversity and richness of the local Churches, as well as the need for communion and solidarity among them. The synod respected the principle of subsidiarity, which allows each local Church to address its own specific needs and contexts while maintaining unity with the universal Church. The synod also valued the principle of collegiality, which expresses the communion between the Pope and the bishops, as well as among the bishops themselves.

The synod was not a one-time event, but a process that will continue in the coming months and years. The final document of the synod, which summarizes the main insights and proposals that emerged from the consultation and discussion, will be presented to Pope Francis for his approval and possible publication. The Pope will also issue his own post-synodal apostolic exhortation, which will offer his guidance and direction for the implementation of the synodal outcomes. An Apostolic Exhortation is not binding nor has any power to change anything. 

The synod was a grace-filled experience for the Church, which renewed its commitment to follow Christ and to proclaim his Gospel to all people. The synod was also a sign of hope for the world, which witnessed the Church's willingness to listen, dialogue, and collaborate with all people of goodwill. The synod was not an end, but a beginning. The beginning of a new way of being Church, more synodal, more missionary, more faithful.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Orans Position: Can Deacons & Laity Do this?

St. Pricilla -catacombs
The Orans Position:  Can Lay People Use It?

The orans position is a gesture of prayer that involves raising and extending the arms to the sides or upwards. It is an ancient posture that expresses supplication, praise, or intercession to God. It is also a liturgical gesture that is used by the priest during the Mass to signify his role as the head of the assembly and the mediator between God and the people.

The orans position has a long history in Christianity and other religions. It can be seen in the catacombs, where early Christians depicted themselves or their deceased loved ones in this posture to show their hope in God's mercy and resurrection. It can also be found in the Jewish tradition, where it was used by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, and in some psalms, where it is associated with lamentation or thanksgiving. In pagan religions, it was a common way of invoking the gods or showing reverence.

The orans position is prescribed by the rubrics of the Mass for the priest at various moments, such as the opening prayer, the preface, the Eucharistic prayer, and the Lord's Prayer. It indicates that he is praying on behalf of the whole Church and offering the sacrifice of Christ to the Father. It also shows his communion with Christ, who is the true high priest and intercessor for us.

The orans position is not prescribed for the deacon or the lay people during the Mass directly.  However, it does not state they cannot adopt it.  The deacon assists the priest in his ministry, but does not share in his priestly character. The lay people participate in the Mass by their baptismal priesthood, which is different from the ministerial priesthood of the ordained. They are called to offer themselves with Christ, but not to act as mediators for others.

However, some lay people have adopted the orans position as a personal gesture of prayer during the Mass, especially during the Lord's Prayer. This practice may have originated from the charismatic renewal movement, which emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit and personal expression in worship. Some may see it as a sign of unity with the priest and with each other, or as a way of imitating Christ's prayer in Gethsemane.

While this gesture is not forbidden for deacons or lay people by any official document of the Church, it is not encouraged either by official Church documents. It may cause confusion about the hierarchical nature of the liturgy, which is based on different roles and functions within the body of Christ. It may also contradict the symbolism of other gestures that are proper to the laity, such as holding hands, striking their breast, or bowing their head. Moreover, it may distract from the focus of the prayer, which is not on ourselves but on God.

Futhermore, the USCCB website has this to say:

According to the USCCB, "No position is prescribed in the Roman Missal for an assembly gesture during the Lord's prayer." So this can be interpreted either way.  There is no prescribed gesture for the assembly therefore they can/cannot perform a gesture.  The directive remains neutral. and ambiguous.  

Historically speaking, since the codification of the Latin Rite in the west, the Our Father was said only by the priest. Remember, it was said in Latin and not everyone spoke the language. Therefore, the priests back then said the Our Father on the behalf of the people. This changed centuries later.  Liturgical reforms by Pope Pius XII on September 3, 1958 gave permission for the laity to join the priest in praying the Our Father. However, no prescriptions were made for said lay faithful to join the priest in the orans position and no prescriptions were made preventing them from doing so either. 

“Since the Pater Noster is a fitting, and ancient prayer of preparation for Communion, the entire congregation may recite this prayer in unison with the priest in low Masses; the Amen at the end is to be said by all.” – Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy § 32

So as you can see, there is no mention giving the okay for anyone else other than the priest to join him in the Orans position, but there is also no mention discouraging it either. The whole issue is left neutral. 

However, in 1997, Saint Pope John Paul II delivered instructions “On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest: Practical Provisions,” he late pontiff said:

“In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers — e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology — or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to “quasi preside” at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity.”

The  Roman Missal states the celebrant is to pray the Our Father with hands extended. The above states the faithful are not to use any gesture reserved for the celebrant –  which would possibly include the orans posture. However, there is no explicit prohibition for deacons or lay people. 

Biblically speaking, the Orans Posture has been used by both those in priestly function and the lay faithful in the Jewish and Christian faith. Here are some examples:

Leviticus 9:22- Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings.

Exodus 17:11- So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.

1 Kings 8:22- Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.

1 Kings 8:54- When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven.

These are some verses showing religious leaders using the Orans Posture to offer prayers or blessings upon the congregation or those before them. However, we see in these passages below the regular faithful or laity in both Judaism and Christianity perform the Orans Posture:

1 Timothy 2:8
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Psalm 134:2 
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.

Psalm 63:4  
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 134:2   
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!

Lamentations 3:41   
Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:

Psalm 141:2   
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Psalm 28:2  
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

Nehemiah 8:6
Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Deuteronomy 32:40
‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,
And say, as I live forever,

Psalm 63:4
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Psalm 119:48
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

Psalm 28:2
Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Psalm 141:2
May my prayer be counted as incense before You;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

Psalm 134:2
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary
And bless the Lord.

Lamentations 2:19
“Arise, cry aloud in the night
At the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water
Before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him
For the life of your little ones
Who are faint because of hunger
At the head of every street.”

Ezra 9:5- And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garment and my cloak torn, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God,

So even Scripture is ambiguous with the Orans Posture. In some verses it describes religious leaders like Moses and Aaron using the posture to bless or pray while in other verses it describes just regular believers using it to offer prayer and praises to God.

In light of this, we cannot truly say that deacons and lay people are prohibited from using the Orans Posture. However, it makes sense for only the priest to use this posture. Hopefully in the near future the Vatican will issue official instructions on who can perform the Orans Posture and/or if it is okay for deacons and lay people to use it during the Liturgy.  

In any event, the Liturgy is not ours to modify.  Vatican II made this clear, “no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22.3).  It is up to the bishop to decide what is best for his diocese within the framework of the Liturgy, rubrics and teachings of the Church.  Lex orandi Lex crendendi, or how we pray is how we believe.  He is the chief liturgist. However, he is overruled by the pope and Rome whenever they issue instructions or documents.

Therefore, it is advisable for lay people to refrain from using the orans position during the Mass, unless they have a good reason to do otherwise (i.e. bishop or pastor gives permission, there is a charismatic themed Mass or other liturgy taking place). They should respect the liturgical norms and traditions that have been handed down by the Church for centuries. They should also be attentive to the meaning and purpose of each gesture that they perform and that which the priests or deacons perform, and avoid any form of individualism or novelty that may disrupt the harmony and beauty of the worship.

We know from experience that people who use the Orans Posture at Mass and are not priests do so in good faith. They are not out there trying to play pretend priest or compete with the priest. These are simply people using their hands and arms to convey their prayer. There is a huge difference between ladies or men in the pews holding hands or lifting hands up and a woman, religious sister or brother, or man who is not a deacon standing next to the priest behind the altar using the Orans Posture.  The latter would be totally unacceptible just on optics alone. 


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References:

Posture During the Eucharistic Prayer and the Our Father | USCCB

[1] Praying With Hands Extended (Orans Posture) | EWTN

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/answers/orans-posture-24798


[2] Orans Posture at Mass | Catholic Answers Q&A

https://www.catholic.com/qa/orans-posture-at-mass


[3] The Orans Posture — Appropriate at Mass? - Church Militant

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/hand-gestures-at-mass


[4] About that Orans Posture - Adoremus

https://adoremus.org/2003/11/about-that-orans-posture/

Monday, October 16, 2023

Eucharistic Prayers: Not From Napkins

 

One of the most controversial aspects of the liturgical reform after Vatican II was the introduction of new Eucharistic Prayers to replace the Roman Canon, which had been the only anaphora of the Latin rite for centuries. The origin and development of these prayers is a fascinating and complex story, involving historical research, theological debates, and political maneuvers.

One of the main protagonists of this story was Father Annibale Bugnini, the secretary of the Consilium, the committee appointed by Pope Paul VI to implement the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Bugnini was a skilled and ambitious liturgist, who had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve: a radical simplification and modernization of the Roman liturgy, in order to make it more accessible and adaptable to the needs of the contemporary Church.

Bugnini was not alone in his quest. He had the support of many experts and bishops, who shared his enthusiasm for liturgical renewal. He also had the advantage of being in charge of the Consilium, which gave him considerable influence and authority over the liturgical reform. It is said that he used his position to promote his agenda, often bypassing or manipulating the normal channels of consultation and approval.

One of his most daring moves was the creation of new Eucharistic Prayers, which he presented as a restoration of ancient liturgical traditions. Some claim today that they were mostly original compositions, based on selective and questionable sources. Bugnini wanted to replace the Roman Canon, which he considered too long, too complex, and too rigid, with shorter and simpler prayers that would allow more variety and participation.

The first new Eucharistic Prayer was composed in 1966 by a group of experts led by Father Cipriano Vagaggini, a Benedictine scholar. It was based on the anaphora of Hippolytus, a third-century text that was rediscovered in 1894 and considered to be the oldest known Eucharistic Prayer. However, Vagaggini made several changes and additions to the original text, such as inserting a reference to Mary and the saints, adding an epiclesis (invocation of the Holy Spirit), and modifying the words of institution (consecration). The result was a prayer that was much shorter than the Roman Canon (only 218 words in Latin), but also very different in structure and theology.

The second new Eucharistic Prayer was composed in 1967 by two French experts: Father Louis Bouyer, an Oratorian theologian, and Dom Bernard Botte, a Benedictine liturgist. They were given a 24-hour deadline by Bugnini to produce a new prayer that would be acceptable to the bishops who had rejected Vagaggini's proposal. They decided to base their prayer on an ancient Eastern anaphora attributed to St. Basil, but they also borrowed elements from other sources, such as the Mozarabic rite and the Roman Canon. They wrote their draft on a napkin at a Roman cafĂ©, where they met to discuss their work. The result was a prayer that was slightly longer than Vagaggini's (289 words in Latin), but also more balanced and rich in content. This was of course an anecdote told by Louis Bouyer in his memoir—in which he and Bernard Botte put the finishing touches on their draft of the prayer in a cafe in Trastevere—gets garbled in transmission, such that I have seen the claim made that they drafted the whole thing on a napkin in about an hour.  Eucharistic Prayer II is most likely from the Missale Gothicum. 

The third new Eucharistic Prayer was composed in 1968 by a group of experts from various countries, who were asked by Bugnini to create a prayer that would reflect the diversity and unity of the Church. They used as their main source a fourth-century anaphora attributed to St. Athanasius, but they also incorporated elements from other Eastern and Western rites, such as the Coptic, Syrian, Gallican, and Ambrosian traditions. They also added some original features, such as an explicit mention of the four last things (death, judgment, hell, and heaven), and a tripartite doxology (praise) at the end. The result was a prayer that was longer than both Vagaggini's and Bouyer's (340 words in Latin), but also more comprehensive and ecumenical.  The fourth new Eucharistic Prayer was composed in 1969 by Father Giulio Belletti.

So as we can see, the Anaphoras or Eucharistic Prayers were based on previous ancient texts with a few adaptations here and there to fit the modern world in regards to language and updates in doctrine.  

Eucharistic Prayer II, which is part of the Roman Catholic liturgy, was not written on a napkin. The claim that it was composed on a napkin in a Roman restaurant in the 1960s is not accurate. In fact, Eucharistic Prayer II has a different origin.

The Roman Canon, also known as the First Eucharistic Prayer, is believed to be the oldest and most traditional Eucharistic Prayer. However, Eucharistic Prayer II is a more recent addition with contents that are much older than the Roman Canon, according to scholars.

Here are the details:

  1. Eucharistic Prayer II:

  2. Roman Canon (First Eucharistic Prayer):

In summary, Eucharistic Prayer II was not scribbled on a napkin but was thoughtfully composed by liturgical experts during a significant period of liturgical renewal building on a previous Eucharistic prayer attributed to Hippolytus. It is believed to be by some scholars the older Eucharistic Prayer. The Roman Canon, on the other hand, most likely has a much longer history and is deeply rooted in Christian tradition.

There will always be Catholics who will subscribe to delusions and conspiracy theories. This may be due to ignorance or an underlying undiagnosed psychological disorder.  

The fact is that the Church can change rites. She cannot change dogmas or doctrines and must not discard older rites for the sake of modernity. We read in Mediator Dei, an encyclical of Pius XII who as a pre-Vatican II pontiff the following:


58. It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification.[50] Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship.[51] Private individuals, therefore, even though they be clerics, may not be left to decide for themselves in these holy and venerable matters, involving as they do the religious life of Christian society along with the exercise of the priesthood of Jesus Christ and worship of God; concerned as they are with the honor due to the Blessed Trinity, the Word Incarnate and His august mother and the other saints, and with the salvation of souls as well. For the same reason no private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.

59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days - which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation - to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayerbooks approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.

60. The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth. In spite of this, the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people. But the Apostolic See alone is empowered to grant this permission. It is forbidden, therefore, to take any action whatever of this nature without having requested and obtained such consent, since the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See.

61. The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significance for later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world.[52] They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man. 

-https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_20111947_mediator-dei.html


Pius XII also states in Sacramentum Ordinis the following:

“It follows that, even according to the mind of the Council of Florence itself, the traditio instrumentorum is not required for the substance and validity of this Sacrament by the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If it was at one time necessary even for validity by the will and command of the Church, every one knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established.” - Sacramentum Ordinis #3: Pope Pius XII - 1947


So as we can read here, Pope Pius XII made it clear that the rites of the Catholic Church can be modified or even done away with if necessary. This is because they belong to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church developed these rites and can do what she wishes with them.  Catholics who push lies regarding the anaphoras, the Ordinary Form, and Vatican II are doing a disservice to the Catholic Faith.  They completely ignored history and the facts of how the liturgy has developed since the first century.  The 1962  Missal itself is a product of centuries of revisions. There is no "traditional Latin mass." It has constantly been evolving. 

There is no "Mass of the ages." These are coined terms meant to push a narrative that is not based on reality, history, and facts. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, the Mass is ONE and the same based on two hinges: the Word of God and the Eucharist. If a Catholic cannot see this or understand this, then he or she is worshiping rituals, not God Himself.  This is why the current pope did not repress the rite, but restricted its use showing he is protecting a treasure that is being abused by some fanatics for political reasons. Pius XII called the Church and Liturgy a "living organism" that grows and adapts, develops, and accommodates to the current situation.   This does not mean the Mass rites of before Trent, the Mass rites before Vatican II are obsolete, or that the Mass rites after Vatican II are modernism or innovations. They are all part of the One and Same Mass and are valid, but applied appropriately depending on time, circumstances, and the needs of the people's spiritual lives.

We as Catholics must accept what the Catholic Church presents via faith and obedience, if not, then what we believe and accept is not Catholic, but our own ego. The Eucharistic Prayers are fine and worthy to be used because they come from the Catholic Church. Only she is the master of the Liturgy. Those pushing lies about Eucharistic Prayers being written on napkins and so on are sinful and we can get a hint of their poor state of mind and soul. 


Source:

https://www.simplycatholic.com/a-look-at-the-eucharistic-prayers/#:~:text=The%20anaphora%20(Eucharistic%20prayer)%20of,around%20the%20year%20A.D.%20215.

https://adoremus.org/1996/09/from-one-eucharistic-prayer-to-many-how-it-happened-and-why/

https://aedificatiodei.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/the-roman-missal-the-history-of-eucharistic-prayer-ii/

https://www.smp.org/dynamicmedia/files/86e1a38c5c334e1f62eb0477422604b2/TX001332_1-Background-The_Eucharistic_Prayers.pdf

https://www.arcaneknowledge.org/catholic/hippolytus.htm

https://praytellblog.com/index.php/2013/09/30/the-richness-of-our-eucharistic-prayers/

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Ordinary Form of the Mass Is Closer to the Mass of the Early Church

Many Catholics today are unaware of the history and development of the liturgy, especially the Mass. They may think that the way they celebrate Mass now is the same as it has always been, or that the changes introduced after the Second Vatican Council were a radical departure from tradition. 

However, a closer look at the sources and documents of the early church reveals that the Mass of Paul VI, also known pejoratively as the "Novus Ordo" by unschooled traditionalists or the Ordinary Form (proper name), is actually closer to the ancient liturgy than the Mass of Pius V, also known as the Tridentine Mass or the Extraordinary Form.

The Mass of Paul VI was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969, following the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council. The council called for a reform and renewal of the liturgy, in order to make it more accessible, participatory, and faithful to the sources. The council also encouraged a greater use of the vernacular languages, a wider selection of biblical readings, and a more active role for the laity.

The Mass of Pius V was codified by Pope Pius V in 1570, following the Council of Trent. The council aimed to defend and clarify the Catholic doctrine and practice against the Protestant Reformation. The council also standardized and simplified the liturgy, in order to ensure uniformity and orthodoxy. At the time, each region had its own rite. There was no organized or codified Latin rite so with the threat of Protestantism with its confusion, the Church had to organize and codify the liturgy. The council also mandated the use of Latin as the official language of the liturgy and restricted the use of other rites and customs.

The early church, however, did not have a fixed or uniform liturgy. The liturgy was more flexible and adaptable to different times, places, and cultures. The liturgy was also more organic and spontaneous, reflecting the living tradition of the apostles and their successors. It was also more diverse and rich, incorporating various elements from Jewish, Greek, Roman, and other sources. This liturgy was a precursor to inculturation. 

Some examples of how the Mass of Paul VI is closer to the early church are:

- The Mass of Paul VI follows a basic structure that is common to all ancient liturgies: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites. The Mass of Pius V adds some elements that are not found in the early sources, such as the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Last Gospel, and some devotional prayers.

- The Mass of Paul VI allows for more variety and options in choosing the prayers and texts for each celebration, such as the Collects, Prefaces, Eucharistic Prayers, and Antiphons. The Mass of Pius V has a fixed set of prayers and texts for each day and season, with few exceptions.

- The Mass of Paul VI restores some elements that were lost or suppressed in the Mass of Pius V, such as the Prayer of the Faithful, the Sign of Peace, the Fraction Rite, and the Communion under Both Kinds. These elements are attested by many early sources, such as Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Cyprian, and Augustine.

- The Mass of Paul VI emphasizes more clearly the role of Christ as the main celebrant and mediator of the liturgy. The priest acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ), not as a separate or superior entity. The priest also faces the same direction as the people (versus populum), not away from them (versus apsidem or ad orientum). The priest also dialogues with the people throughout the liturgy (Dominus vobiscum), not only at certain moments (Orate fratres).

- The Mass of Paul VI fosters more participation and involvement from all members of the assembly. The people are not passive spectators or silent listeners, but active agents and co-celebrants, if you will. The people join their voices with the priest in singing or saying some parts of the liturgy (such as Kyrie eleison, Gloria in excelsis Deo, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth), not only in responding (such as Et cum spiritu tuo). The people also exercise their proper roles and functions according to their gifts and charisms (such as lectors, cantors, acolytes or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion [when needed]).

However, the Mass of Paul VI is not without its critics. Some Catholics prefer the Mass of Pius V for various reasons, such as:

- They believe that the Mass of Pius V is more reverent, solemn, and beautiful than the Mass of Paul VI. They appreciate the use of Latin, chant, and incense, as well as the elaborate gestures, vestments, and ornaments.

- They believe that the Mass of Pius V is more faithful to the Catholic tradition than the Mass of Paul VI. They claim that the changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council were influenced by the Protestants and modernist errors and that they diluted or distorted the true meaning and purpose of the liturgy.

- They believe that the Mass of Pius V is more conducive to personal devotion and sanctification than the Mass of Paul VI. They argue that the silence, the mystery, and the transcendence of the Tridentine Mass help them to focus on God and detach from the world, while the Ordinary Form is too noisy, banal, and worldly.

These are some of the arguments that are often raised by the supporters of the Mass of Pius V against the Mass of Paul VI. However, these arguments are not necessarily valid or convincing, as they are based on subjective preferences, selective interpretations, or inaccurate assumptions. A more objective and balanced evaluation of the two forms of the Mass would require a deeper understanding of the history, theology, and spirituality of the liturgy, as well as a respect for the authority and guidance of the Church.

So as we can see, the Mass of Paul VI is closer to the Mass rite of the Early Church. We have written accounts detailing how Mass was celebrated and can attest to this fact. The Ordinary Form is not an "innovation" or departure from tradition. It was not a formulation of Protestants at Vatican II in order to feel and look "Protestant."  It was not an introduction to modernism or another heresy.  It is simply the One and Same Mass that has been prayed since the birth of the Catholic Church.  The Tridentine Mass is the same Mass as well but with additions made in order to ornate and embellish the rite even more. This was needed in order to make it stand out from the new competition: Protestantism and its innovations.  

Today we see Protestants using all kinds of methods to lure people in, especially the young. They use modern music, dance, and lighting like those used in clubs and the like.   The sect Hillsong is an example. Well, during the Protestant Reformation, Caucasian European males created their own sects and used different ways to entice Catholics out of the Catholic faith. The Council of Trent was the response. It explained the faith more concisely and codified the Roman Rite to keep the flock unified and organized.   

With the expansion of the Church worldwide and the change of times, the Church had to act again in the 1940s up to Vatican II. They had to adapt to the new world that is no longer Latin and Greek, but a collection of languages and cultures in a diversified world.  The Mass had to be adapted to this new reality just like it was adapted during the Council of Trent during the reality of the Reformation threatening Christendom. 

A new Mass was not created. This is impossible.  It was just simplified back to the way it was before the Council of Trent with some minor differences in externals (vernacular, vestments, etc).  This is why the Mass of Pius V can never be abrogated or suppressed.  It is the one and same Mass and the Church cannot exist without the Mass which brings about the Eucharist.  It can be restricted as we saw with Traditionis Custodes, but this is only to protect the rite from ideologists who want to hijack it to push agendas against Vatican II, the papacy, and other aspects of the Catholic Church that do not cater to their palates due to their ignorance of the faith.  

So be proud of your Catholic faith and our Liturgy!  Whether we participate in the Extraordinary Form or Ordinary Form, we are participating in the one and same Mass that has been celebrated uninterrupted since Christ's Last Supper!  This is awesome!

  

For those who are interested in learning more about the history and development of the liturgy, here are some sources that can be consulted:

- Marcel Metzger, History of the Liturgy: The Major Stages

- Anton Baumstark, On the Historical Development of the Liturgy

- Liturgical History | Encyclopedia.com

- THEO 60402-01: LITURGICAL HISTORY - Department of Theology

- What Is Liturgy and Why Is it Important in the Church? - Crosswalk

What was Mass like for the early Christians? (aleteia.org)

Medieval Christian Liturgy | Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

Christian Worship in the First Century | Called to Communion

Sacerdotus: There Is Only ONE Mass

Sacerdotus: Eucharistic Prayers: Not From Napkins

Sacerdotus: Protestants Did Not Develop The Ordinary Form Mass

Sacerdotus: No Such Thing as 'Novus Ordo' in the Catholic Church

Saturday, October 14, 2023

There Is Only ONE Mass

One of the most important reforms of the Second Vatican Council was the renewal and revision of the liturgy, especially the Mass. The Council declared that "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, maybe more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 50).

The result of this revision was the promulgation of a new Roman Missal by Pope Paul VI in 1969, which replaced the previous one issued by Pope Pius V in 1570. The new Missal introduced several changes in the structure, language, and gestures of the Mass, aiming to make it more accessible, intelligible, and pastoral.

Some of these changes were:

- The use of vernacular languages instead of Latin, except for some parts that remained unchanged.

- The simplification of the prayers and responses, eliminating repetitions and unnecessary additions.

- The restoration of some ancient elements, such as the prayer of the faithful, the sign of peace, and the dismissal formula.

- The enrichment of the readings from Scripture, with a three-year cycle for Sundays and a two-year cycle for weekdays.

- The adaptation of some rites to the local culture and traditions, such as the use of incense, music, and art.

- The encouragement of active participation by the faithful, through singing, responding, standing, kneeling, and receiving communion.

The new Missal was not meant to abolish or replace the old one, but to express the same mystery of Christ's sacrifice in a renewed way. Pope Paul VI affirmed that "there is only one valid and legitimate rite for Mass" (Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, 3). He also stated that "the Mass is always the same" (General Audience, November 19, 1969), meaning that it is always the same sacrifice of Christ, offered by the same priest, in union with the same Church.

However, he also acknowledged that "the Mass is made up of two parts: one is called 'the liturgy of the word', in which God speaks to us and we listen to him; the other is called 'the liturgy of the Eucharist', in which we participate in Christ's sacrifice and receive his body and blood" (General Audience, November 26, 1969). He explained that these two parts can have different forms and expressions, according to the needs and circumstances of each time and place.

Therefore, we can say that there is one Mass, but with different forms or rites. The new Missal is not a different Mass, but a different form or formula of celebrating the same Mass. It is not a rupture or a novelty, but a restoration of the ancient liturgy, continuity, and a development. It is not a human invention or a political imposition, but a gift of God and a service to his people.

There are some Catholics, especially on social media and on websites who are armchair liturgists and have no education or training in the liturgy. Because of this, they posit all kinds of strange ideas about the liturgy, particularly the Mass. They present their bias as fact, their nostalgic takes as truth. This is not how it works. The Catholic Church has an ancient long history of a developing tradition. By tradition (small case), we mean the liturgy, devotions, and expression of faith.  These traditions can develop or be abrogated altogether because the Church created them, (see: Sacramentum Ordinis - Papal Encyclicals  "...every one [sic] knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established.")  

In light of this, the Church has the power to change the flow of the Mass or any liturgy in regards to its formula or rubrics.  She can move the sign of peace to the presentation of the gifts or do away with it altogether.  However, she cannot change the matter of the Eucharist to a cookie, cracker, or piece of candy. It has to be bread; unleavened or leavened depending on the Rite (Roman Rite or Eastern Rite).  This is because the Eucharist comes from Jesus, not the Catholic Church directly. 

Catholics who have issues with the Ordinary Form of the Mass have no strong argument on the basis of liturgical history or theology. As stated, these are armchair liturgies who think that having access to a website domain or social media and the ability to type makes them experts in the liturgy.  They argue that the Ordinary Form is a "Novus Ordo" or "New Rite" that differs from what they call the "Traditional Latin Mass" or "TLM." Some go as far as linking what they call the "Novus Ordo" as being part of a deep state conspiracy to bring about the "New World Order." It just shows that some of these Catholics may suffer from mental illness and not be aware of it.  The truth is that there is only ONE Mass. The Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form are the ONE and SAME Mass.  Jesus died once on Calvary (Romans 6:10, 1 Peter 3:18). The Mass is a representation of this. Therefore, the Mass can only be one. Moreover, the Church does not even use the terms "Novus Ordo," "Traditional Latin Mass" or even "TLM."  

In fact, there is no "traditional Mass" because it has been developing since the Last Supper.  The Mass was first celebrated in Aramaic with Jesus. It then was said in Greek and towards the 5th century in Latin.  Even then, each region said Mass in their own language. It was not codified in the Latin Church until the Council of Trent.  So to call the Mass developed in Trent the "Traditional Mass" is to ignore the previous manifestations of the Mass prior to the Council of Trent.  So it is extremely ridiculous to use the term "TLM" or "Traditional Latin Mass."  

The reality is that there is ONE MASS.  The Ordinary Form from 1969 is the same Mass as the Extraordinary form and its previous presentations since the early Church.  Attempting to separate the two as two different Masses is blasphemous and shows the extreme ignorance of those who do this and rely on fictitious terms such as "Novus Ordo," "Traditional Latin Mass," or "TLM."  It is a slap to the face of Jesus and disobedience to His Bride the Catholic Church. Those who subscribe to this nonsense have created their own deity and religion. It is not Catholicism nor the faith in Jesus Christ. It is a new pagan religion based on false nostalgia for things they never understood in the first place. 

What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus.  Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can go through.  



Sources:

: Sacrosanctum Concilium. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Vatican II. December 4th 1963. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

: Missale Romanum. Apostolic Constitution on Promulgation of Roman Missal Revised by Decree of Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI. April 3rd 1969. http://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19690403_missale-romanum.html

: General Audience. Pope Paul VI. November 19th 1969. http://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/audiences/1969/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19691119.html

: General Audience. Pope Paul VI. November 26th 1969. http://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/audiences/1969/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19691126.html

: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/mass-is-the-same-8968

:: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/is-the-new-mass-illegitimate

:: https://www.ncregister.com/news/the-mass-of-paul-vi-at-50-the-restoration-of-the-sacred

:: https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19690403_missale-romanum.html

Sacramentum Ordinis - Papal Encyclicals

Friday, October 13, 2023

Protestants Did Not Develop The Ordinary Form Mass

Did Protestants develop the Ordinary Form of that Mass from St. Paul VI? 

First, let us address the role of Protestants and Catholics in councils of the Catholic Church.

One of the common misconceptions about the Catholic Church is that it was opposed to any dialogue or engagement with the Protestant reformers. However, this is not true. 

In fact, the Council of Trent, which was convened in response to the Protestant Reformation, invited and welcomed Protestant observers to participate in its sessions as observers. According to some sources found on armchair liturgist websites and social media accounts, these observers had some influence on the discussions and even the documents of the Council. This, of course, is NOT true at all!  The Protestants present were merely observers, nothing more.  They had no say in anything. 

The Council of Trent was not a closed or defensive gathering of Catholic bishops. It was an open and ecumenical effort to address the needs and challenges of the Church in a changing world. It sought to clarify and reaffirm the Catholic doctrines that were challenged by the reformers, but also to reform and renew the Church's practices and disciplines. The Council of Trent was not a rejection of dialogue, but an invitation to it.

The same spirit of openness and ecumenism can be seen in the Second Vatican Council, which also invited and welcomed Protestant observers to its sessions. The Second Vatican Council was not a repudiation of Trent, but a continuation of it. It aimed to complete the unfinished task of Vatican I and to update the Church's teachings (in language, not content) and pastoral approaches in light of the modern world. The Second Vatican Council was not a break with tradition, but a renewal of it.


In light of this, some Catholics falsely claim that Vatican II invited Protestants who designed or developed the Ordinary Form of the Mass. They go to the extent of making up quotes and falsely attributing them to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. The above meme shows the fake quotes propagated by these ignorant Catholics and what Bugnini actually stated.  As you can see, Bugnini never said the Liturgy needed to be stripped of anything Catholics to appease Protestants. Like in the Council of Trent, Protestants were there simply as observers. They did not speak, they did not ask questions, they did not give advice, input, or anything of the like. 

St. Pope Paul VI made it clear that the Mass is the same. The Mass of Trent and the Roman Missae are the one and same Mass. The only difference is that some redundant parts were removed. The Ordinary Form from Paul VI is a closer reflection of the Mass rite of the early Church. St. Justin Martyr describes in detail how the Mass was celebrated in the early church in his Apologia. While reading it, you will see that his is nearly describing the Ordinary Form of the Mass from Paul VI almost in precise detail. He does not mention Latin, incense, ad orientum, maniples or anything of the like. This was because these things were not part of the Mass until after the fifth century and more strongly at the Council of Trent when the Roman Rite or Latin Rite was formally codified. 

The claim that Protestants designed the Mass of Paul VI is ridiculous, unfounded and offensive to St. Justin Martyr and the early Christians who celebrated Mass in this manner: simple.  There is nothing wrong with the Mass of Trent or the formulas later on. They are again the one and same Mass. The only differences are the man-made elements added to them throughout the centuries which were removed because they were redundant.   

Both councils, Trent and Vatican II, were expressions of the Church's fidelity to its divine founder and its mission to preach the Gospel to all nations. Both councils were guided by the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the successors of Peter. Both councils were opportunities for dialogue and engagement with other Christians and people of goodwill. Both councils were moments of grace and hope for the Church and the world. 

In conclusion, Vatican II had observers from protestant denominations. They never had a say in anything. Trent invited Protestants as well (session 13, chapter 8). Neither council had any input from Protestants whatsoever.  The meme with Archbishop Bugnini claiming he wanted to strip the Liturgy from anything Catholic to appease Protestants is a fake quote. It shows the extent to which some Catholics maliciously tarnish the faith and malign Bugnini and the Second Vatican Council. Do not be deceived by propagandists of the enemy who wish to harm Holy Mother Church with their lies, spins and conspiracy theories.  


What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus.  Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can go through.  





Sources:

: https://catholicfamilynews.com/blog/2019/03/22/why-were-non-catholic-observers-helping-write-vatican-iis-documents/

session 13, chapter 8

: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Vatican_Council#Observers_(§18)

https://www.sodalitiumpianum.com/did-paul-vi-illegally-promulgate-the-new-mass/

Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum

https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19650317.html

General Audience of November 19, 1969

https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6601119.HTM

https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1969/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19691119.html

General Audience of November 26, 1969

https://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/p6691126.htm

https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1969/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19691126.html

https://www.wordonfire.org/articles/contributors/st-justin-martyr-on-the-eucharist-and-the-ancient-mass/

https://www.goodcatholic.com/catholic-mass-described-by-st-justin-martyr/

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/mass-is-the-same-8968

Thursday, October 12, 2023

No Such Thing as 'Novus Ordo' in the Catholic Church

One of the most common misconceptions among some Catholics is that the current form of the Roman Rite, promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969, is called the "Novus Ordo". This term, which means "New Order" in Latin, is often used to contrast it with the "Tridentine Mass" or "Traditional Latin Mass", which is the previous form of the Roman Rite, celebrated in Latin according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal.  

"Traditional Latin Mass" is also a misconception as the rite of the Mass has evolved since the onset of Christianity. It is silly to pin the word "traditional" to Trent solely.  The term "Novus Ordo" has a similar history. 

However, the term "Novus Ordo" is not found in any official liturgical document of the Church. It is a pejorative term that was coined by some traditionalist groups who reject the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. They use it to imply that the current form of the Roman Rite is a radical departure from the authentic tradition of the Church, and that it is inferior or even invalid. Some go as far as claiming it is part of the "Novus Ordo Seclurum," or New World Order and tie all kinds of conspiracies to the rite.

This is a false and misleading claim, as the current form of the Roman Rite is fully in continuity with the previous forms, and has been approved by the highest authority of the Church. The term that the Church uses to refer to the current form of the Roman Rite is simply "the Roman Missal", or in Latin, "Missale Romanum". The term "Novus Ordo" does not appear anywhere in this document, nor in any other official source.

The use of the term "Novus Ordo" is therefore disrespectful and divisive, as it creates a false opposition between two forms of the same rite, and fosters a spirit of suspicion and hostility towards the liturgy of the Church. It also ignores the fact that the Roman Rite has always been subject to organic development and adaptation throughout history, and that the current form of the Roman Rite is not a novelty, but a fruit of a long and rich tradition.

Therefore, as faithful Catholics who love and respect the liturgy of the Church, we should avoid using or accepting the term "Novus Ordo", and instead use the proper name of "the Roman Missal," "Ordinary For," or "the Mass". By doing so, we will show our reverence for the sacred mysteries that we celebrate, and our unity with the whole Church in her worship of God.

To support this argument, we can cite some authoritative sources that confirm the legitimacy and continuity of the current form of the Roman Rite. For example, Pope Paul VI himself declared in his apostolic constitution Missale Romanum, which introduced the new edition of the Roman Missal in 1969:

> The changes in this new edition are not so great as to be called truly new. For this reason we have kept its name unchanged: it will continue to be called Missale Romanum, as it has been called hitherto. The changes affect only those parts which have suffered injury through accidents of history or which require adaptation to present-day conditions. (Pope Paul VI, Missale Romanum, 3 April 1969)

Another source is Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which granted wider permission for celebrating the older form of the Roman Rite in 2007. In this document, he affirmed that:

> There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In history there have been many liturgical books; as centuries passed they changed and grew; when this process led to truly excessive proliferation Pope Pius V imposed a general re-ordering. Still later many modifications were introduced into this liturgical book; but eventually no one called into question its legitimacy and worthiness. (Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, 7 July 2007)

These sources show that both forms of the Roman Rite are valid expressions of Catholic worship, and that there is no reason to use derogatory terms such as "Novus Ordo" to refer to one or another.

The term "Novus Ordo" derives from a forced bad translation of Italian into Latin. St. Pope Paul VI made several comments in audiences with Italian bishops. In some of them, he spoke of a "new rite," "new books," and so on. He use of "new" was not meant to be interpreted as the previous being replaced.  For example, one can have a home and add new windows, but the house is still the same. Some disegenous Catholics of the past twisted the pope's words in these audiences forcing the term "Novus Ordo" to apply to "New Rite."  They also twist the words "novus ordo missae" in order to push their false narrative. Those of us who are educated in the Liturgy know that this term is never used.  The term is simply "Roman Missal."  

So again, Catholics need to get educated and not fall for the divisiveness of some in the Church who are still upset over Vatican II and are bearing false witness against the Church. They rouse suspicious and promote heretical and apostate views by separating the Extraordinary Form from the Ordinary Form when they are both the One Same Mass (see: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/mass-is-the-same-8968).  St. Pope Paul VI made it clear that the Mass is the same. The only difference are the forms. Redundant elements in the Extraordinary Form were removed to make the Ordinary Form simpler and more like the rite of the early Church that we see St. Justin Martyr describe in his Apologia.

Do not be deceived!  The Catholic Church has no such thing as a "Novus Ordo." It is not found in official Church Liturgical documents or even in the GIRM or Roman Missal book.  If you use this term, please stop. You are doing hard to the Church and disrespecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus.  Be sure to follow the rules so your comment can go through.  



Source:

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/changes-in-mass-for-greater-apostolate-8969

https://praytellblog.com/index.php/2021/09/02/pope-saint-paul-vi/

PAUL VI, Address to a general~ audience, on the new Ordo Missae, 26

November 1969: Not 5 (1969) 412-416 (Italian). 

Paul VI  in his general audience of March 7, 1965

Pau VI  general audience of November 19, 1969

https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/speeches/1969/november.index.html

https://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2022/10/are-we-justified-in-calling-paul-vis.html

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