29 July 2020

Liturgical law: S Joseph and the Roman Canon

Here is an old blogpost, originally from November 13 2009, and published again in June 2019, together with the threads from those earlier versions. I reprint it because of 
(1) recent debate about the editiones typicae  of the Missale Romanum.

It matters whether there was an editio typica in 1962, and, if so, what its date was. Because on these details hangs the question of whether it is lawful to add S Joseph to the Canon of the Mass. Or unlawful!!

I think this is quite interesting! That insertion was the beginning of the tampering with the Roman Canon which led us to the Novus Ordo alterations in that venerable Prayer. Its discontinuation seems to me laudable.

(2) There is also the important  fact that, pretty universally, the rather unsatisfactory rite of "1962" is not celebrated as printed but with a lot of the manners, mannerisms, of the previous dispensation. These variations presumably now (compare Canon 26) have the prescription of consuetudo; and remember O'Connell's discussion of consuetudines contra vel praeter legem.
This is what I had originally written in 2009:

"A very strange youtube video has appeared, from the Ecclesia Dei Commission, showing How To Say Mass. I mention here only the oddity that S Joseph is absent from the Canon. (And, in case you were wondering, there is no Third Confiteor)".I expect that youtube has long-since disappeared; and that more recently printed copies do have S Joseph.

I venture to add a word of practical advice to those newly embarking on a priestly career; or who have just learned and are now using the Old Mass (congratulations, Fathers!).
ADVICE: Printed versions of the 1962 Missal are attractively produced and light-weight enough to be useful for travelling. But that version of the Roman Rite misses out a lot of earlier stuff. I would urge you to get your hands on a second-hand copy of an earlier Missal (even if you have to get it rebound). If you want to add S Joseph to the Canon, do it ... and other such emendations ... in the margin and in pencil. Similarly, things you gum in should be removeable. Because things change, and one's own views on minor matters change, and it is a very good idea only to emend a printed liturgical text in such a way that it is easy to reverse the change. And don't forget that the CDF is likely, in your lifetime if not in mine, to add post-1962 material ... as it already has the New Prefaces.


Rubricarius said...

I immediately noticed bows to the Cross at Glori Patri, Oremus and the conclusion of the collect etc.

Have these people not read their own Ritus servandus in the Missal?

Unknown said...

It sounds like a bit of a hodge podge. Ecclesia Dei should know better.

It seems that priests confuse the 1962 Missal with earlier versions. Is this entirely an accident. For reasons of his own, perhaps to screen out sedevacantists, Archbishop Lefebvre opted for the 1962 edition but that missal was really a transition towards what was to come and signs of reform are already apparent in it.

The question is, what will the next edition be like? I suspect there would be a fair degree of support for a return to before 1962.

Fr Michael Brown said...

The decree for adding St Joseph was issued on 13th November 1962. The decree says it is to be included in the canon from December 8th 1962. When was the editio typica of the 1962 missal issued? I`ve not seen a date ever given. However for all of 1962 apart from the last twenty-three days St Joseph was not in the canon. I have an altar missal published in 1962 which omits him. That`s good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the placement of St. Joseph in the Canon; I have two Altar editions of the Roman Missal, both published in 1962…still in the boxes none-the-less. The first one, published in early 1962 has no St. Joseph in the Canon, as Father Michael Brown pointed out; the decree to include St. Joseph was from December 8, 1962. The other Altar Missal I have, published in Belgium in November 1962 has St. Joseph in the Canon. Has Rome indicated which editions are permissible or just given the date “1962” as the norm?

Rubricarius said...

Fr. Michael Brown

The 'typical' edition of the the 1962 MR was 23 June 1962 declared thus by a decree of SCR. Interestingly, to you as a canonist at least, the declaration of an editio typica did not follow the norms of then Canon Law and the declaration never appeared in AAS unlike the previous 'typical edition' of 1953 (vide: Bugnini, A., 'Editio VI post typicam Missalis Romani' in Ephemerides Liturgicae 67 (1953) pp46 - 61, or the new Order of Mass published in 1965, vide: Bugnini, A., "Il nuovo 'Ordo Missae" in L'Osservatore Romano January 1965. I am afraid I do not have the AAS references immediately to hand but you will find therein the official declaration of 'typical edition' for the 1953 MR and 1965 Ordo but not the 1962 MR.

Fr Michael Brown said...


Thanks for the info. I depend on Ochoa`s `Leges Ecclesiae` which seems to have everything in it but it has always puzzled me why there is no decree for the editio typica of 1962. So if as you say it was June 1962 then adding St Joseph to the canon is not part of the authentic 1962 missal.

I have looked through the legislation of 1953 in Ochoa and can se any number of decress from the SCR and papal decress but can`t see any for an editio typica. Can you say which month it was issued?

If the 1962 decree was never put in the AAS then it simply doesn`t exist and there is no such thing as the 1962 editio typica.

Ivan said...

As a matter of fact, the video is still on YouTube (however this particular one was uploaded 7 years ago). Someone (perhaps you, Father) should confirm that this really is the Ecclesia Dei video. The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk9iioWl_uc

You can go to 16:40 for the pertinent part. Saint Joseph is omitted.

Christophorus said...

The SCR issued the decree on 13Nov1962.
It appeared in Acta Apostolicae Sedis vol 54 page 873

I know this since I was trying to date my Missale (which had no date on the title page)

E sapelion said...

I am no canonist, but the 1962 Missal editio typica just collected in one edition the Missal as it then stood, including the 1960 changes. The 1960 changes appear in AAS#52 p596,ff.

Unknown said...

For the use of the reader,


Jhayes said...

From an article by a man who oversaw the 2009 reproduction of a "1962 Missal"

So why is “1962” a misnomer? Though the last rubrical revisions to the juxta typica (standard) edition were completed by June of 1962, and the last textual in November (the long and eagerly-awaited insertion of St. Joseph's name into the Communicantes), nevertheless, a "1962" Missale Romanum could not be had in hand (or on altar) until May of 1963 at the very earliest. This was courtesy of the Vatican's instructions to Printers of the Apostolic See so as to prevent a missal gap war (i.e., undue competition).


El Codo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr El

If this is the way you used to talk to Catholic priests when you were a cute little fellow, I hope your Nanny often popped you across her knee.

Victor said...

Bravo, Father!

Scribe said...

Bravo, Father, for publishing Mr El's rude comment! I was once described on a blog as a narrow-minded obscurantist bigot; I quite liked that, in fact, I felt rather flattered!