Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Mass between the Masses...

I must say that I was surprised to read that there was a 1965 Missal that immediately followed Vatican II and made changes to the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII.  I guess I recall reading about it somewhere but did not really have a clue about it.  I had certainly not remembered reading through it.  Mr. Corey Zelinski has made this available with the following preliminary comments:

This was the official English version of the Order of Mass from the 1965 Roman Missal, published directly after the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965.  This was the English Mass used from 1965 until 1969-70, when Paul VI promulgated the New Order of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae), and imposed it on the Latin Rite (the Novus Ordo is the current normative Mass of the Latin Rite).  This interim Mass is much closer to the intended fruit of Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilum than the New Mass of 1970.  It is essentially the Tridentine Latin Mass in English with minor modifications. 

Many rubrical similarities exist between the 1965 Missal and the New Mass of 1970.  Obviously, an option for use of the vernacular exists in the 1965.  Furthermore, as in the Novus Ordo, it is at the discretion of the celebrant to either face the East ("ad orientem") or the people ("versus ad populum").  An option for concelebration was also introduced in the 1965 (this was formerly restricted to Ordination Masses).  The required Mass vestments were also simplified (e.g., optionality of the maniple).  In 1967, the cope was supressed in the Asperges (rite of aspersion at High Mass).  The chasuble was worn in its stead.  The Canon was still required to be read in Latin until 1967, when it was permitted in the vernacular.  In the 1965 Missal, the priest, when administering Communion, says "the Body of Christ" (or "Corpus Christi") instead of "Corpus + Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam ad vitam aeternam" (that is, "May the Body + of our Lord Jesus Christ bring thy soul unto life everlasting").

Options for congregational singing also exist in the 1965, exactly as they do in the Novus Ordo -- with places for processional, offertory, communion, and recessional hymns.  The 1965 also allows for the Prayer of the Faithful after the Creed.  The prayers at the foot of the altar, in addition to being made entirely optional, were shortened (as they would previously be prayed at Requiem Masses).  The Last Gospel was suppressed.  The calendar follows the Tridentine Ordo, consistent with that of the previous Missal (Missale Romanum 1962).  Ironically enough, the New St. Joseph's Missal ends the Liturgical Calendar in 1970.

As is clearly evident, the 1965 Missal more than accomplished all of the goals of Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Second Vatican Council.  The promulgation of a New Order of Mass was unnecessary.

The full English text is available here.  

I must say it does leave me with some what ifs..... What if the Novus Ordo had never been introduced?  What influence would this have had upon the whole liturgical movement?  What would the revised Lutheran rites of the late 1960s and 1970s look like today?  What impact might this have had upon the decline of attendance common today among Roman Catholics?  Where might we Lutherans be today without the influence of the Novus Ordo?  Oh, well, one can never go back in time.... but it does seem that we have been somewhat enslaved to liturgiologists whose interest in the liturgy was, well, less than pastoral.  It is for this reason that I am grateful for the more deliberate pace of the Missouri Synod.  Certainly among Lutherans today, the Lutheran Service Book is a distinctly more conservative book (conservative in the sense of conserving what was received) than, say, the ELCA book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  While some lament that too much was changed and others lament that Missouri derailed the goal of all Lutherans (well, most, anyway) in the same book, the two books reflect the divergent courses in the two church bodies.  Anyway back to the issue... There was a great deal going on under the surface of Roman Catholicism that cannot simply be blamed on Vatican II and some of that had great influence upon churches not in communion with the Bishop of Rome...


X said...

A lot of that looks mighty familiar. Is this what is supposed to be coming back in the RCC?

William Tighe said...

You might wish to read *The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background* by the late Msgr. Klaus Gamber (d. 1989) which was published in an English translation (together with the enthusiastic preface which the then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote for its French translation) by Una Voce Press in 1993, and republished within the last year or two by "Roman Catholic Books" of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Gamber, too, argues that the "1965 rite" was all that was intended, and more than was intended, by "Sacrosanctum Concilium," and that the rest was a botch, and its promulgation an abuse of his office by Paul VI.

William Tighe said...


The cheapest online copies of the Gamber book can be had at

There are none at Alibris, and at copies begin at $50.00.

Anonymous said...

Although the Lutheran Confessions
use the term MASS for worship service
our LCMS laity do not. If you want
to irritate our lay people keep using
the word MASS. Only the high-church
(closet Roman Catholics) Lutherans
enjoy the word MASS. What is wrong

X said...

Our confessions use the word "Mass". It is totally appropriate for Lutherans to use that word.

Terry Maher said...

This version of the Mass is almost unkown to-day, even its existence, so it's good you bring it up, since it does show something quite important about liturgy, not only for the Romans, but everyone else since liturgical churches have all gone monkey-see monkey-do in the wake of Vatican II.

You have touched on one of the two main arguments by traditional Catholics against the novus ordo: 1) the novus ordo waters down the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is therefore invalid; 2) the novus ordo goes well beyond the reform intended by the Council in Sacrosanctum concilium, therefore better observance of it is pointless since it itself is an abuse.

I remember it well -- I was I think the world's oldest altar boy at the time it came in, bit by bit and piece by piece, the priest explaining to the people what was done in their name and for their sake that they had nothing to do with whatever.

This Mass in no way accomplishes the goals of the Liturgical Movement, which was, as historical-critical work had done in theology, to free worship from the mediaeval blind alleys into which it had gotten that no longer speak to the modern world, and resource the Mass back to Scripture, the Fathers and the early church.

In fact, when the novus ordo was promulgated, it was explained to us that this Mass in fact fulfilled the aim of the Pius V Mass to restore the liturgy to its Apostolic sources better than the Pius V Mass itself did or could have, given the limitations of scholarship and sources in those days, therefore it is the truly traditional Mass and the previous Mass (now called Tridentine) was the departure from tradition.

All of which is intramurals in the Catholic Church, and the intramural of the Whore of Babylon ought have no relevance or place whatever in the Lutheran Reformation or the catholic church.

But they have, by our own action, and thus they are relevant to show how misguided those actions were. The fact is, the mass (as distinct from the Mass, also happily known as the Divine Service) was reformed long before the novus ordo, Vatican II or for that matter the Pius V Mass and Trent.

And the methodology of that reform was not at all that of Vatican II, the Liturgical Movement or Trent, but rather to retain the ceremonies previously in use except where it contradicts the Gospel (the "canon" for example). The Gospel and retention, and not some orgy of scholars imagining a purer worship from early times according to their efforts, being the key.

Irenaeus said...

Anonymous writes, "Only the high-church (closet Roman Catholic) Lutherans enjoy the word MASS." Personally, as a "high church Lutheran" who believes he understands the truth and beauty of our Lutheran theology and liturgy, and who has no desire to be a Roman Catholic, I find Anonymous' statement at best to reveal a profound depth of misunderstanding, and at worst to be a gross display of judgmentalism of his or her brothers and sisters in Christ. "Putting the best construction on everything," perhaps such will encourage Pastor Peters to address the Lutheran use of the term "Mass," together with other meaningful designations such as "Divine Service," in future posts.

Terry Maher said...

Sometimes the best constructio on something is that it is a pile of crap.

Anonymous is right; the laity do not use the word "mass" and find it confusing and very RC sounding. X is right that the Confessions use the term as a matter of course and it is an entirely appropriate Lutheran usage.

Especially considering that Lutheran liturgical reform -- as distinct from the Liturgical Movement, or Liturgical Bowel Movement -- restored the mass to its true self as opposed to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the RCC.

Yet we shrink from words like "mass" or "catholic", though we restore and reform these to their proper selves, and even from making the Sign of the Cross though the Small Catechism tells us to do so!

And Anonymous is right, there is not a bleeding thing wrong with "Divine Service" as a reference to God's service to Man of Word and Sacrament.

Judas H Priest OSB, with all the stuff that is not so complicated as ignored, no wonder Lutherans co-opt Vatican II style services and call them traditional.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with "Divine Worship Service"? For one, it is unknown in the Lutheran tradition. For two, it is a tautology, doubling up "worship" with "service." On the other hand, "Divine Service" is a wonderful English translation of the Confession's term Gottesdienst.

One might also observe that outside of the AC and AP, the term "Mass" is never used favorably in the Lutheran Confessions. It is also never used positively by Luther after about 1530. These are data worth pondering . . .

Chris Jones said...

If LCMS laity do not use the word Mass or if they are irritated by it or think that it indicates an admixture of Roman Catholicism into Lutheranism, then such laity need to be better catechized.

The word "Mass" is a venerable, honourable, and accurate name for the central act of Christian worship. Calling it "the Mass" is a way of indicating that our worship is not an invention of the Reformers, but the legitimate and orthodox heritage of the Catholic Church of the West. As Lutherans, who dissent in no article of faith from the Church Catholic, we claim that heritage for our own, and so the Mass is retained among us and celebrated with the highest reverence.

The Mass is the heart of our worship, and it is the living Apostolic Tradition which constitutes the Catholic Church. Never let anyone take the Mass from us.

Past Elder said...

aka Terry Maher, I just happen to be logged in as Past Elder right now.

Well, the Catholic Church says we do dissent in several ways from its articles of faith, one consequence being that we no longer have the Mass no matter how much our services resemble it.

The "Church Catholic" is not a reference to the Catholic Church, and we are not the true Catholic Church. We are the catholic church, which exists not just with us but wherever the Word is rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered.

It is the Catholic Church which dissents in some articles of faith from the Church Catholic/catholic church, though the Mass can still be found within it, though with great difficulty due to the unscriptural and anti-Gospel overlays with which it has encumbered it.

William Tighe said...

When was the term, or name, "Church Catholic" invented, and who invented it?

Chris Jones said...

When was the term, or name, "Church Catholic" invented, and who invented it?

As you know, the first extant use of the term is in the epistles of St Ignatius of Antioch.

The inverted phrase "Church Catholic" (rather than "Catholic Church") is the customary English translation for the phrase in this language from Article 21 of the Augustana: Quum ecclesiae apud nos de nullo articulo fidei dissentiant ab ecclesia catholica .... Of course, "Catholic Church" means the same thing and is better English usage.

As for the use of the inverted phrase (or of the word "catholic" without capitalization) to distinguish between between the RC Church as an institution and the theological notion of Catholicity, well, that too is somewhat customary among Lutherans even though it is a bit silly. (Not that the distinction is specious; it's the point of the subsistit in language in RC ecclesiological statements.) Everyone knows that Lutherans (and every other non-RC) do not regard the Roman Catholic Church as co-terminous with the Catholic Church. Given that, a Lutheran ought to be able to use the phrase "Catholic Church" and let the context show whether it is Rome specifically that is being talked about.

Terry Maher said...

It is the customary English usage because it is an attempt to distinguish what the Augustana distinguishes, namely, the the whole or complete or entire church, which Ignatius describes as the community gathered around its superintendent at the Divine Service, from the Catholic Church as an institution, which attained its identity from the Roman Empire when it defined (Edict of Thessalonica) who are properly termed "catholic" and who are not and not really even churches.

Terry Maher said...

Back to the topic, yes, the explosion that was Vatican II for the RCC itself and many others too did not just start there; rather, it was the culmination of decades of activity among "theologians" and "scholars", in fact not all of them RC either.

One of the curiosities of my life, to see what in one decade the RCC warned us against in the next became Catholicism.

Been years since I've seen an Asparagus Me (Catholic joke)! But I can still chant the bleeder from memory.

Chris Jones said...


As is your wont you ascribe far too much importance to the Edict of Thessalonica. The Edict established Nicene Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, but it most certainly did not create the Catholic Church as an institution where no "institution" had existed before. Even a passing acquaintance with the development of ecclesiastical canons both before and after the Edict is enough to show that the Christian Church was an "institution" with leadership, rules, and established governing procedures long before the Edict of Thessalonica.

The burden of the Edict was not to create an ecclesiastical institution, but to privilege Nicene orthodoxy as against Arianism and other heresies. The only language in the Edict about institutional Christianity is that which references previously-existing ecclesiastical institutions (viz. the sees of Rome and Alexandria). The Catholic Church as an institution is in no way dependent on the Edict of Thessalonica; to the contrary, the Edict itself is dependent on the already-existing institutions of the Catholic Church, because the Edict identifies the doctrine that it defines as orthodox only by reference to those concrete episcopal sees.

Terry Maher said...

It is not my contention at all that the Edict of Thessalonica created an institution where none existed before. Nor could one appeal to a "Church Catholic" as an antecedent from which one does not dissent had one not existed before.

It created an institution, but not where none existed before, and that is precisely the problem. It is the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity of the Church.