26 May 2019

How to move on within the Novus Ordo

An admirable priest called Fr Harrison has recently asked orthodox Catholics to revisit the Novus Ordo.

I offer some thoughts about what those who share Father's instincts might do so as to go just a little way to meet Traddy worshippers.

Some 'stages'.

(1) Use only the First Eucharistic Prayer. Always. Even with the kiddies. Do this as your first matter of first principle. Even if you're trinating. The provision of alternatives was the main error of ... NOT Vatican II, where no such move was even hinted at, but of the corrupt use of their influence by those who subsequently got their grubby hands on the levers of power. Without this gross mistake, other changes might, just possibly, have been just about tolerable. (After all, the Dominicans ... and others ... used a shorter Confiteor ... had shorter and different Offertory prayers ... )

(2) Sort out your Sacristy. If it goes back to before the 1970s, it has what used to be a 'vesting' surface, where vestments used to be laid out before Mass, layer upon layer, Chasuble at the bottom, amice on top, in a customary pattern. This surface is now covered with things which innumerable people have dumped there over the decades because they couldn't think of anywhere else to dump them. Often things like ten-year-old gas bills. Shift the clobber all away, and restore this surface to its proper use. And put up the traditional Latin Vesting Prayers where you will be able to see them and say them while vesting. There are important matters of culture in this stage; and in my next one:

(3) Institute a custom of quiet recollection in the Sacristy before Mass.

(4) Adopt EF customs such as holding thumb and forefinger together to avoid scattering crumbs of the Most Holy; arrange things on the corporal as they are in the Old Rite; follow the Old Rite in details like where to put the Missal ... use of pall, burse, and veil, etc... the Maniple is not exactly forbidden ... then there is the matter of incense ...

(5) Desist from saying the dreary little Novus Ordo Offertory Prayers aloud. In fact, the rubrics themselves give no justification for always saying them so as to be heard. At best, this is optional and indeed sometimes not permitted. (Look at the GIRM if you don't believe me.) Say them silently ... and vide (7) infra ...

(6) Put a Crucifix on the middle of the Altar, even if it comes between you and the people. Pope Benedict commended this, and Pope Francis has, actually, continued it. You could start off with a little crucifix and gradually work up to a nice big one. Christ died for us.


Everything so far is boringly legal. At this point, we enter the exciting area 'Not Quite So Strictly Legal'.

(7) Instead of the Novus Ordo Offertory Prayers, use the old ones. Say them (secreto) in Latin. You will probably need to use a central Altar Card, propped up against the crucifix. Or perhaps you will glue a new page, photocopied from an old Missal, into your Novus Altar Missal. If the People notice that your lips are inaudibly moving, it will be a valuable lesson to them that the main Person a Eucharistic celebrant is addressing is God, not them.

(8) Use the Trinity Sunday Preface on all Green Sundays.

(9) Genuflect more. You know when!

(10) Have a think about how to get away with eliminating the 'Acclamation' after the Consecration of the Chalice ... a nasty unRoman orientalising interpolation ... a deplorable distraction (in the Western Rite) from the Great Presence and the August Oblation ... . Not easy ... but it would be a valuable coup if you could manage it.



You will notice that I have not mentioned the direction which the Celebrant faces. This is because I think it is far more important to do the ten things I have listed. Especially considering the problems that particular change could cause you with parochial malcontents. As I am sure you are aware, even the Missal of S Pius V gives full instructions for celebrating facing the people, as if there is no particular significance in which direction is used. If S Pius V didn't care, why should you make your life a misery for it?

Because I want to concentrate on the other ten matters, I will not publish comments on that last paragraph!

12 comments:

David said...

Two additional changes that a Priest made at my last parish, both of which bore terrific fruit:

1. Eliminate the optional "Let us offer one another the sign of peace."

2. If a communion rail exists (or can be added/restored), use it. Our Priest told people that he would be using the rail. He was careful to tell them they could still receive standing if they chose...but simply by distributing at the communion rail I usually observed over 80% receiving on the tongue while kneeling, whereas almost everyone received in the hand while standing before the change.

Colin Spinks said...

As regards 10) is it not important that the "response" is introduced by the words: "The Mystery of Faith" and NOT "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith"? (note change of case!)

Todd said...

Why the Trinity Sunday Preface?

Fr Simon Henry said...

Re: the post consecration acclamation. If you are fortunate enough to have a choir and the second part of the Sanctus is being sung after the consecration, the priest alone can acclaim - rather quietly. A sort of interior acclamation.

Sue Sims said...

Fr. Henry: But the Benedictus isn't sung after the consecration in the Novus Ordo, at least, not that I've ever heard. It just runs straight on from the Sanctus, leading into the Preface.

George said...

11. Omit the sign of peace. [Fully approved option, BTW] I know that even Catholics who wouldn't be caught dead at a TLM hate passing the peace.

RichardT said...

David said...
"Eliminate the optional 'Let us offer one another the sign of peace.'"

Indeed; just what I thought as I read Father's post. Perhaps our reverend host assumed that would have been done already, or perhaps his list is aimed more at the things that most affect the clergy.

Certainly the disruption of being expected to stand up and glad-hand other people, whilst in the Real Presence and perhaps even preparing to receive, is probably for me (a mere layman) the most difficult difference between the Old and New Rites. I can understand why Pope Benedict was even thinking of taking the dangerous innovation of moving it, but merely not using it is so much preferable.

diff said...

In the OF, I tend to add the ‘Aufer a nobis’ and the ‘Oramus te Domine’ too.

ccc said...

As for the genuflexions, Msgr. Peter Elliot (now retired Bishop), wrote, perhaps, the best post Vatican II ceremonial I have ever seen for the Novus Ordo. It was so good that the US Bishops, Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, complained to Rome and requested an explicit reduction in the number of genuflexions,resulting in an instruction from Rome.

Of note, at that time the BCL was headed by Rev. James Maroney, future member of Vox Clara, and evidently currently under investigation because of the environment at a Seminary he was rector of.

But, this ceremonial, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, had to undergo substantial revision because of that "instruction" from Rome. But the 1st edition seems to be available in limited numbers. I own both, and one is amazed to see what he had to cut out.

A couple are currently available at https://bit.ly/2VUQ9MK . If you do not have a copy, I would order one before making this not public.

Also, I had been led to understand that at the Council itself, there was some talk of a post-Eucharistic exclamation during the debates on the liturgy. The justification, at that time, was that it would naturally lead to the restoration of an intact Sanctus/Benedictus, and would allow for a non-objectionable latraic addition. Who knew....

mtcbones said...

archbishop john charles mcquaid a good bishop but much maligned asked and got permission from rome to add "my Lord and my God" as an option for the mystery of faith. it is probably one of the true declarations of THE mystery of faith.
as to the shaking hands that 'ceremony' with people running around church or waving at everyone in church or even hugging and kissing happens while the Sacred Host is on the altar and often the tabernacle door is open. people celebrate their neighbours and even turn away from the altar while the unbloody sacrifice is unnoticed. and perhaps later grabbed from the priest or in the case of gluten free Hosts self served.

KaeseEs said...

Dear Father,

Since you mentioned the offertory, is there any chance you could explain exactly what is supposed to be happening in the Novus Ordo offertory?

Specifically, in the offertory found in the 1962 MR (and back to at least 1570, and with some continuity with extant early medieval versions of the rite) it appears that, though the present tense is being used, the offertory is actually referring to future actions because it refers to the things being offered as if the consecration had already occurred - "hostiam" cannot refer to a grain offering, and "immaculatam hostiam" is the same phrase used repeatedly in the canon, and so on - indicating that there is no separate offering of the unconsecrated species. This makes sense, given that the perfect sacrifice of Christ on Calvary replaced all other sacrifices, as indicated when the temple's curtain was rent.

The Novus Ordo offertory, however, is different, and seems to explicitly be offering the un-consecrated species before and separately from the unbloody re-presentation of our Lord's sacrifice that happens later during the canon (or the equivalent of the "Unde et memores..." in the alternative Eucharistic Prayers) - using the language "the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands" and "the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands", which could not refer to the consecrated species. It was once explained to me that this constituted an offering but not a sacrifice, but I don't see how we can offer something to God in the Mass as something other than a sacrifice.

So is the NO offertory trying to do the same thing as the TLM offertory and succeeding and I am simply confused by the language, or trying to do something different and succeeding (which seems impossible - the action that occurs in the Mass must be the same for all time), or trying to do something differing and failing in that thing but succeeding later on at the actual consecration and oblation, or something else that I have not considered?

Christina B. said...

Nothing has been said about altar boys. I grew up in FL where albs are the norm as well as both genders serving at mass. I moved to a more conservative diocese, and on my first Sunday I saw 6 boys ages 8-18 in cassocks and surplices process forward with the priest for mass. I had never seen this before, and yet I was infused with the knowledge that this is how the church gets more priests. The annual ordination surveys usually show that 80% of the newly ordained were altar boys, so my experience is validated by statistics. Never before had I known there was supposed to be a connection between altar boys and vocations, because most of the novus ordo world wrongly connects it to the layity. In this same diocese We moved to a nearby parish that did have altar girls, but the church respected the gender and didn't dress them the same. The boys wore cassocks and surplices while the girls wore albs. We had a new pastor come in, and he added a black carmelite looking habit to the girls. He also had the newly installed servers vested at mass: the boys by a priest and the girls by a sister (with a habit). The connection to vocations could not have been more clear. Since moving back to FL, I am now inclined to attend TLM because we never see the reverence we had became used to at any NO mass. My oldest sons saw the few responsibilities the altar servers had, and had no desire to join in. Most of what they were used to doing was handled by lay adults. Because I have a heart for vocations, I would prefer it if there were only male servers across the board. But if there are female servers, dress the genders differently, dress them according to vocations, and don't have lay adults doing what the altar boys should be doing. And most of all, do not put girls in cassocks.