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Traditional Mass: What’s the fuss?

“We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is for the Protestants…” Fr. Annibale Bugnini~Grand Architect of the New Mass

In his homily on Sunday, Father Morris gave a fresh explanation of some of the main differences between the prayers of the Traditional Mass which go back to the apostles and developed over 1940-odd years under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost with those of the new Mass which were written or compiled by a committee in the 1960’s. These are often viewed as two forms of the same Roman Rite but they are strikingly different. While the new Mass is valid, many believe that the Mass of the ages more fully expresses the truths of the faith. This post will look at just three differences.

1. The Offertory Prayers

In the New Order Mass of 1969, the committee chose prayers from the Jewish rabbinical text called the ‘Talmud’ for the ‘preparation of the gifts.’ These prayers are a Jewish grace before meals and mention nothing of the Mass as the re-presentation of the sacrifice of the cross.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

(Adapted from the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Berakoth 38a)

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. 

(Adapted from the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Berakoth 35a)

You may wish to look up what the Talmud says about Our Lord and Our Lady.

The prayers of the Traditional Mass, bursting with Holy Scripture,  could provide for years of meditation on the reality of the Mass as the offering of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins and for our sanctification.

 

This being finished, he offers the bread and wine, which, by virtue of the words of consecration, he is going to change into the adorable Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. He takes the paten with the host and offering it up, says:
Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may avail both me and them for salvation unto life everlasting. Amen. 

Making the Sign of the Cross with the paten, he places the host upon the corporal. He pours wine and water into the chalice, blessing the water before it is mixed. He pours a few drops of water into the chalice containing wine, in remembrance of the water and blood which flowed from the side of Jesus when pierced by the soldier’s lance.
O God, who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restore it, grant that, by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divine nature, who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our human nature, even Jesus Christ our Lord, Thy Son, who with Thee, liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: world without end. Amen.

hen the priest takes the chalice, and offers it, saying:
We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, beseeching Thy clemency, that it may ascend before Thy divine Majesty, as a sweet savor, for our salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen. 
The priest makes the Sign of the Cross with the chalice, places it upon the corporal, and covers it with the pall. Then, with his hands joined upon the Altar, and slightly bowing down, he says:
Accept us, O Lord, in the spirit of humility and contrition of heart, and grant that the sacrifice which we offer this day in Thy sight may be pleasing to Thee, O Lord God. 
Raising his eyes towards heaven, extending and then joining his hands, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the host and the chalice, while he invokes the Holy Spirit.
Come, O almighty and eternal God, the Sanctifier, and bless ☩ this Sacrifice, prepared for the glory of Thy holy Name. 

The priest washes his fingers to symbolize the great purity and inner cleanliness of those who offer or participate in this great Sacrifice.
Psalm 25. 6-12
I will wash my hands among the innocent: and I will compass Thine altar, O Lord That I may hear the voice of praise: and tell of all Thy wonderous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with blood-thirsty men. In whose hands are iniquities, their right hand is filled with gifts. But I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way, in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord. 
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Bowing down before the middle of the alter, the priest, with joined hands, says:
Receive, O holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee, in memory of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, that it may avail unto their honor and our salvation, and may they vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we celebrate on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Offertory for the VII Sunday after Pentecost Dan 3:40
“As though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in Your presence today, that it may please You; for those who trust in You cannot be put to shame, O Lord.”

2. The Eucharistic Prayer(s)

In the new Mass, the priest can choose from several Eucharistic prayers. The first is fairly faithful to the traditional Roman Canon, elements of which are thought to trace back to St Peter himself.  The second was written by Hyppolytus of Rome who at one point set him up as a rival to the pope (an Antipope) and has been used or adapted for use in the communion services of several protestant groups.

3.The Orations

The orations are those prayers which are used after the Gloria (if the Gloria is sung) and after holy communion. They are repleate with the truths of the faith. Only 18% of these prayers were retained in the new Mass, 82% were formulated by committees after Vatican II.

 

These are very brief descriptions of how divergent the new Mass is from two millennia of Catholic Tradition.There is an old adage in the church- ‘Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi’- The way we pray is the way we believe and therefore the way we live.  We can see, even from this brief comparison that the prayer of the Church has changed dramatically. When it comes to the Traditional Latin Mass, the Latin is important but what is more vital is the doctrine of the faith and it’s presentation. The truths of the faith are not communicated as fully and with the same clarity in the new Mass and this is reflected in the way that many, if not most Catholics live- that is to say, fallen away from the practice of the faith and with an impoverished understanding of God’s plan of redemption for us. There are many reasons for the loss of the faith but it is time that all Catholics recognised that it is the liturgy forms what we  believe and how we live. The legacy of the new Mass so far is very clear to see.

Gospel for the VII Sunday after Pentecost- Matt. 7:15-21
“At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Want to learn more?

Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness

Fr Chad Ripperger FSSP- Tradition and the Liturgy

Michael Davies- The Liturgy Divided

In the firing line- Michael Davies

Traditional Latin Mass Introduction

Work of Human Hands?

 

New- Prayers of the Latin Mass Page

In addition to all of the information that we have about the Traditional Latin Mass on the website, we now have a new page which allows the opportunity to focus on the prayers of the Latin Mass so that by pondering them at home, we might more effectively enter into the Sacred Mysteries when we are at church.

To view this new ‘Prayers of the Latin Mass’ page, click the image below.