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Friday, May 13, 2011

That's The End of the Novus Ordo

With the release of Universae Ecclesiae, Rome has essentially announced the end of the Novus Ordo and the eventual full-throated return of the Mass of the Ages.

You may think I'm over-interpreting the case, but I invite you to consider a single provision:
The Sacred Triduum

33. If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium ("group of faithful"), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.
You may recall that Summorum Pontificum originally said:
Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum
So what's the big deal?

Well, Easter Triduum is the apex of the liturgical year. It culminates in the Mass of Easter Vigil, "the mother of all feasts", the liturgy from which all other liturgies draw their power. Any Sunday Mass is only a Sunday Mass because it draws its power from the Easter Vigil, the re-presentation of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Precisely because it expresses the fullness of what the Church has to offer mankind, there is only Easter Vigil Mass. At least, that was true up until now.

But now, it is possible to repeat every aspect of the Triduum, including the Mass of Easter Vigil, in the extraordinary form as well. A parish can have TWO Easter Vigils.

This is unheard of.
It is, quite frankly, incredible.
If I hadn't read it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it possible.

There can be only one reason for such a massive and magnificent indult.
Rome is transitioning the Church away from the Novus Ordo.

Now, obviously She intends to keep some aspects of the New Mass - the calendar of saints, for instance (see #25). And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the NO's cycle of liturgical readings will eventually be incorporated into the traditional form of the Mass and the older form of readings dispensed with.

But, with this document it is clear that over the course of the next few decades, the Novus Ordo will, piece by piece, be stripped away.

Although this document breathes not a word about it, I think it is safe to say that extraordinary ministers, communion in the hand, communion under both species, ridiculous "liturgical" music, all of that is now being readied for the chopping block.

Deo gratias!


Flambeaux said...

And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the NO's cycle of liturgical readings will eventually be incorporated into the traditional form of the Mass and the older form of readings dispensed with.
Marry, God forfend!

That would be a horrible mistake, as bad as adopting the "expanded lectionary" was in the first place.

Although this document breathes not a word about it, I think it is safe to say that extraordinary ministers, communion in the hand, communion under both species, ridiculous "liturgical" music, all of that is now being readied for the chopping block
Actually, all of those are mentioned, at least obliquely, in the explicit derogation of anything issued since 1962 that is in conflict with the norms and rubrics of 1962.

FrZ's analysis:

Alan Aversa said...

Wasn't it possible to do Extraordinary Form triduums even before this Instruction? Or could they only done by the Ecclesia Dei organizations like the FSSP?

Also, I love how this document, even in the English translation, uses the word mens: "...always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father.." Well, I have heard Pope Benedict wants an Extraordinary Form mass in every parish. That is his mens, and that is the goal. We are getting closer to it.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Actually, the new lectionary is a triumph of the four senses of Scripture.

If you want to learn how to read Scripture the same way the Fathers and Doctors of the Church did, the new lectionary is really superb at bringing those senses out. The OT, Psalm and Gospel readings are ALWAYS tied together on Sundays and major feast days, while they are almost always tied together on weekdays.

Now, virtually no priest I know of actually gives a homily that elucidates the correct way to read Scripture, but that's the fault of the individual priests and bishops, not of the new lectionary.

It's the only thing I miss from the Novus Ordo. The traditional readings are really kind of thin gruel in comparison.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


It was theoretically possible for a non-FSSP parish to offer a traditional Triduum, but since no parish would have considered doing TWO Triduums, in practice, that was NEVER done.

Instead, in a parish that offered both forms of the Mass, the Triduum would be done only according to the Novus Ordo.

I don't really read Fr. Z. anymore. He seems to be opposed to the restored order of the sacraments, where confirmation is done around the age of eight, immediately before first Eucharist.

I found his public attitude on that to be simply unconscionable, so I don't read him any longer nor do I direct readers to him.

Alan Aversa said...

I guess my parish is in a special situation since this past triduum there were both a Novus Ordo and EF triduums.

where confirmation is done around the age of eight, immediately before first Eucharist.

They do it at age 3 in Mexico... What is Fr. Z's rationale? Thanks

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You had TWO Triduum celebrations?
Two Easter Vigils?
That's exceedingly strange...

As for Fr. Z's objections, I really couldn't tell you what they are.

When I inquired, he simply mocked the idea. When I remonstrated him, pointed to the documents and asked for a real explanation, he attacked me for being uncharitable, judgemental and daring to question him. Then he essentially threatened to ban me.

I am really tired of that kind of clericalism, so I scrubbed him from all my websites and I refuse to link to him again.

Anthony S. Layne said...

Hey, Steve!

Not to throw cold water on your hopes or anything, but: The paragraph you quote from SP speaks solely in terms of the priest celebrating the EF sine populo, and I believe would still obtain if the priest didn't have that stable group. Only when the stable group comes in does the option to have a Triduum in the EF kick in.

I don't think this bends the conclusion or anything, but it's worth pointing out.

Kevin said...

At my home parish, we offered the Triduum according to the EF. We were a cluster parish. St. Jahosphat has (at least for the last few years I've been aware) had the Triduum.

My problem with the New Lectionary is more the constant omissions. You remove 90% of those omissions, and you have a VASTLY superior lectionary.

I also don't think we are seeing "the end of the Novus Ordo." Yet we will begin to see "the end of the Novus Ordo AS WE KNOW IT."

The main thing from this Instruction is a warning to those liberal bishops/clerics who thought this would just go away: this isn't going away. And we are just getting started.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


I think you may be reading more into this than is there.

The document is talking about the rights of the faithful who have an attachment to the EF. Their rights are so strong that the parish is obliged even to offer the Triduum in both forms.

This does NOT derogate from the right of the priest to offer the Triduum in both forms regardless. The pastor doesn't NEED a stable group to start offering the Tridentine Rite. He can do it any time he feels the urge, up to and including offering the Triduum according to the old rite, if he wants.

Elizabeth said...

Our Latin Mass Community is officially part of a parish community that includes the Latin Mass Community a Novus Ordo community that worships at the same church as us and another Novus Ordo community at a different church our parish did in fact have two different sets of Triduum Masses this year, one at each church building. Which is obviously different than celebrating twice at the same church but it is still within the same parish.

I really haven't missed the Novus lectionary since coming to the TLM...but I wonder how much of that is I don't miss the NAB translation?

I hope you're right and this signals a shift back to the Mass of the Ages. I hear that the TLM will be said at St. Peter's this weekend.

Anthony S. Layne said...

In this case, Steve, I think you're reading more into my comment than I wrote. The difference is whether the priest is celebrating with the people or sine populo — by himself. If he's celebrating the TLM by himself, then the restriction to the OF during the Triduum still obtains. But if he has people who want to attend the TLM, then he can have both OF and EF during the Triduum. We really do agree on this point, and I apologize if my phrasing led you to think otherwise.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Oh - ok.

scotju said...

The end of the NO Mass will come like this: a priest wearing a Porky Pig mask will come forward and say, "Thaaat's All Folks!" If they can haqve Clown Masses, I'm sure they can send off the NO with a PP Mass!

Anonymous said...

Simply to accept the "Ordinary Form"/"Extraordinary Form" terminology is, ipso facto, to cease to be a traditionalist. Reject this Orwellianism.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Sorry, Jackson.

I follow the terminology given by Pope Benedict XVI.

I am not a sedevacantist.
If you don't like the Pope's officially promulgated terminology, I doubt you are particularly Catholic. If you are not particularly Catholic, you are incapable of judging what is or is not Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Steve, fidelity to the Church demands that we refuse to embrace this kind of blind NeoCath ultramontanism. Our duty of obedience sometimes demands disobedience, especially regarding anything that reeks of modernism as does the ordinary/extraordinary nonsense. And I believe that Benedict is counting on our rejection of such nonsense. He does it simply for strategic reasons, to placate the rank modernists around him and throughout the Church. He knows this silliness will drop away after the restoration. He's very savvy. For example:

Cruise the Groove. said...

But what if there is no priest in ones diocese that expresses a desire to offer the TLM?
And the faitful have petitioned both the Ordinary and the PCED, for years and nothing happens,
How is this the end of the NO?

Steve Kellmeyer said...


You are nuts.


Steve Kellmeyer said...

Cruise the Groove,

With this second document, the Pope has made it quite clear that it doesn't matter what the priest wants.

What matters is what the people want.

Now, it is going to take a few years for the laity to beat this reality into the heads of recalcitrant priests and bishops, but the end game is already clear.

The Novus Ordo as it currently exists will no longer exist in another couple of decades. It's time is over.

You can hasten this by making formal requests to your parish priest and your bishop, keeping copies of all negative responses, and then sending all of it to the Ecclesia Dei commission.

They'll beat on the ordained men for you. That's why the commission was set up.