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.  


: Sacrosanctum Concilium. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Vatican II. December 4th 1963.

: Missale Romanum. Apostolic Constitution on Promulgation of Roman Missal Revised by Decree of Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI. April 3rd 1969.

: General Audience. Pope Paul VI. November 19th 1969.

: General Audience. Pope Paul VI. November 26th 1969.





Sacramentum Ordinis - Papal Encyclicals

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