12 October 2010


Fr Zed recently gave pictures of the Vatican Edition of the Miassale Romanum. What struck me about it is how much it owes to the SSPX.

For example; the fact that it is the 1962 Missal which is printed is itself the result of a decision made quite late in SSPX history by Archbishop Lefebvre. He originally used the modifications introduced in 1965; indeed, arguably, the last lawful version of the Old Rite would be the 1962 Missal with the 1965 Ordo Missae, together with two other rites authorised a little later, bound into it. I suggest this because the Decretum of 27 January 1965 orders "ut ... in novis Missalis Romani editionibus assumeretur". And the Decretum of 7 March 1965 (rites of Concelebration and of Communion in both kinds) orders that it be "in Pontificali et Missali Romano accurate exscribendum". This is the last time that such a provision was made; the Variationes of 4 May 1967 include no similar order.

I say "would be", because, of course, juridically, the words of Summorum pontificum tacitly suppress the alterations made in 1965. But for this, however, I suggest that the revelation made by Pope Benedict, that the old rite had never been lawfully abrogated, would have automatically brought back to life the rite of 1965 (or even conceivably 1967). And, of course, Lefebvre finally settled upon 1962 rather than 1965 for his society: in which Summorum pontificum follows him.

The Vatican reprint also includes S Joseph in the Canon. As was established last year in a thread on this blog by a couple of learned canonists and liturgists, S Joseph was added to the Missal some months after the promulgation of the 1962 Editio typica. But SSPX usage includes S Joseph; indeed, I have heard it suggested that they see this as an important mark of distinction between themselves and the sedevacantists.

Perhaps most interesting of all - erudite readers might like to comment on this - the Vatican reprint has, on the title page, the arms of Bl John XXIII: arms which also cheerfully appear on the cover of the SSPX ORDO. Why should the Missal not bear the arms of the Pontiff by whose authority it is now promoted?

Personally, I hope that prePius XII missals continue to be browsed through in sacristies and used on altars. Thereby priests of a new generation will become familiar with some of the riches lost in the 1950s ... even if they don't use them.

Some of the lost glories are things they might in fact be able to use: as commemorations ad lib, for example. It would be fun if someone created an ORDO technically totally 1962-compliant but which enabled the 1962 rite to be used, by selection of the appropriate options where options exist, in a form as close as possible to the pre-Pius XII rite.


Patrick Sheridan said...

I'm sorry father but I consider the liturgical books of 1962 to be the nadir in the Roman Rite - hence my fierce objection to both the SSPX (with whom I desire no sacramental and ecclesial communion - ever) and Summorum Pontificum.

Your idea about Sacristies containing pre-Pius XII Missals is interesting though, although I must say that I cannot understand the mind of a man who at once acknowledges '62 for what it is (an aberration having no intrinsic worth in terms of Liturgy, or even aesthetics) but blindly obeys Mother Rome in this matter. There is no use looking to Mother Rome when Mother Rome is half infested with Orcs is there? The idea fondly supposes that Rome is the supreme arbiter and legislator in matters liturgical - a Counter Reformation and pernicious idea if ever there was one, ordered to the very sterility and death of organic Liturgy. It would have been better if Summorum Pontificum had never been.

Priests who use pre-Pius XII Liturgy - good luck to them, they're doing the right thing according to the spirit of true Liturgy (when they get it right that is - no use using Signum Magnum propers for the Assumption and having pre-'62 rubrics for the occasion - that is arguably worse than adhering to '62 to the letter). But, and this is a big but, they must stop pretending that they are in some way implementing Summorum Pontificum in their parishes. Summorum Pontificum says nothing about the Old Rite (except in some passing references to the history of the Roman Rite), and the ''sacred and great'' part is a mere red herring. I fail to see how '62 was sacred and great for a generation (the generation of my parents and grandparents) when it only lasted a few short years before the experts in Rome came to take it apart piece by piece and reconstruct it.

Just wisely introduce the Old Rite into your parish. Don't listen to the S.R.C (whatever its name is now). Drink the health of the Pontiffs but take no notice of them...

Sadie Vacantist said...

I am a novice in all these things. My missal is pre-55 and even I (a mere product of Mandela Towers in West London) was struck by the vulgarity of 1962 Easter Vigil. I can understand why poor old Evelyn was apoplectic with rage.

Unknown said...

My understanding is that Archbishop Lefebvre chose the 1962 edition specifically to screen out those of his followers who were sedevacantists and for whom the missal of Bl. John XXIII would have been illicit. He apparently suceeded and the dissenters formed the Society of St. Pius V.

As a result, may we not conclude that the choice of '62 represents no judgment that '62 was superior to the earlier editions but only that at the time it was an expedient choice,

Likewise, the present Pope chose the 62 edition again, not for any superiority it might have over earlier editions but because it is the book used by the Lefebvrists.

The 62 missal already shows the paw prints of Bugnini reformism and the casting off of the hermeneutic of continuity and indeed the appeal of the earlier editions is obvious in that so many priests follow at least some of the rubrics of the older books. I have even seen vidde tapes shwing folded chasubles being used at at High Mass in the Pantheon.

We are living in a time of liturgical ferment. A new Liturgical movement is rising in our midst. Is it not possible that what was only expedient may indeed be replaced at some point by what is closer to the tradition?

Rubricarius said...


That is not accurate.

Lefebvre told those who would become the 'Naughty Nine' that they had to use the 1962MR because, as part of his negotiations with Rome in the early 1980s, he had suggested the 1962 liturgical books as part of (yet another) reconciliation deal. They refused, quite rightly IMHO and were subsequently expelled.

A simple summary of 1962 liturgy is that is quite pernicious and vastly inferior to both what preceded it and, when celebrated well, what followed it.

Anonymous said...

It is my experience, growing up in Rome in the 60's and 70's, and going to seminary there, and later having a look in the sacristies of churches in other lands, that Missale Romanum 1962 must not have been published in any great number. As all of the preo-1970 Missals which i have ever come across were from before 1962, most even from before 1955. Missals were expensive: priests would not buy new ones, but simply not any rubrical or textual changes within the older edition of Missale Romanum in their possession. I celebrate Mass using such older Missals, and there are a few things which I know to have been changed in 1962, but I choose to follow - in most cases - the older Missal because of Tradition. The 1962 tells priests to bow to the Book at the name of Jesus in the conclusion of the orations: a novelty , which most priests celebrating according to the Old Rite do not implement, but prefer to follow the older Missals in this. Also, as regards the third Confiteor with absolutions. The Credo is left out in 1962 in Masses of Doctors of the Church, but is of course there in the older Missals. Benedicamus Domino was sung on all Sundays and ferial days without a Gloria, whereas in 1962 Benedicamus Dmoino on these days was abolished by Bugnini, who sought boring uniformity. Most priests just follow the Old Missal and sing Benedicamus. The Preface of the Apostles was used much mroe often than 1962 allows; in this too i simply follow the indications in the older Missals for the Saints' days in question. The use of the older Missals becomes a real problem only as regards the Holy Week: here the 1962 rites were drastically altered in 1955, and it is a shame that Pope Benedict did not authorise the pre-Pian rites instead of the mutilated rites of 1962. Even the Missal of 1970 has corrected a few of the 1962 innovations, which we who celebrate the Old Rite are techincally not allowed to do. However, if it be true waht the Pope writes, that no legitimate Rite of the Church may be abrogated, then neither have the Old pre-pian Holy Week Rites been abrogated. (I refer only to the Rites themselves; the restoration of the night-time hour of the Easter Vigil was a very good and traditional thing and should be kept by all).

Society of St. Bede said...

Which is why the Vatican published the 1957 Missale on their website?