“Father… why do you use the term ‘Novus Ordo’? Disrespect?”

I got a note via e-mail that bears sharing with the readership.

And interesting point is raised.

  My emphases:

I have a comment about your use of the term "Novus Ordo" regarding the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite…was wondering why you use it?  Perhaps I’m answering my own question, but is it because it has come into common use among many Catholics, particularly those who are fond of the 1962 Roman Missal?

The reason I ask is because it seems that the term has come to be used derisively by many, and I have accordingly removed it from my own writing as a result of that use.  I noticed that you use the term "Extraordinary Form" when referring to the 1962 Missal, but "Novus Ordo" when referring to the 1970 Missal…it just appears that you’re treating the 1970 Missal with less respect.  I’m sure this is not the case, but wanted to make you aware of how it might appear to the reader (at least to me…).

First, I use an assortment terms for both forms of Holy Mass. I mix them up.  I vary them.

I use the term "Novus Ordo" because, as you point out, lots of people use it.  It is extremely common.  Also, "the ordinary form of the Roman Rite" is simply too complicated.  Moreover, the term was used by Holy Church herself after the Novus Ordo was issued: Novus Ordo Missae.

I am not responsible for what some traditionalists do with terminology. 

It strikes me that the person who sent the question might not have seen what I have done over the years in looking at the prayers of the Novus Ordo.

In any event, I use the term "Novus Ordo" because it is easy and it works. 

In discussing this, let’s keep cool heads, not pile on the person who wrote the note (which I am sure was offered to me with good will) and see if we can shed more light than heat on the issue. 

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70 Responses to “Father… why do you use the term ‘Novus Ordo’? Disrespect?”

  1. Matthew Mattingly says:

    That is ridiculous that anyone would be offended by the term “Novus Ordo” rather than “Ordinary Form”.
    First off, that’s what the Vatican II Mass was originally called., That’s what it’s been know as for 40+ years.
    I know it by the term, “Novus Ordo”. And when I hear it, I cringe, because I don’t have good memories, or regard for it as it is usually celebrated.
    It might be the “Ordinary Form” now, but don’t be surprised if it’s soon on a fast decline and demise. I read already in some cities in Europe, it is the Tridentine Latin Mass ( alright, the Usus Antiquior), which is bringout the people, and generating support and a revival of Catholic spirit and devotion, definitly not the case with the “Novus Ordo” or “ordinary Form”
    I’ve read and heard of people labeling the “Ordinary Form” worse that simply the “Novus Ordo”.
    And in large measure, I’m inclined to agree with them.

  2. Brian Day says:

    Fr. Z,

    It would be interesting to know if this person is aware of the sometimes heated discussion on this blog of the term “TLM” used to describe the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass. If I remember correctly, you even had a poll on what to call the EF – at the time you thought the term TLM was derisive.
    (If my memory is faulty, I’ll gladly stand corrected.)

  3. Ken says:

    It’s amazing to see such criticism of the proper terminology. It reminds me of how “abortion” is no longer prefered by those who support terminating a pregnancy. It just shows that when one side makes progress and another side loses ground, the losing side often prefers to change the words.

  4. Brian: No, I didn’t think that TLM was “derisive”. Though I use TLM more than I used to, for the sake of convenience, I think we should avoid terms that might reinforce the false notion that Latin is used for one form of Mass and vernacular the other. The Novus Ordo should also be celebrated in Latin.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    I never liked the term “Novus Ordo” for two reasons: (1) I have often heard it in a negative sense from traditionalists, but not from everyone (such as Fr. Z who is not a traditionalist). (2) I don’t consider it very “new” as I was born long after its appearance and is the only liturgy I really know. I’ve only been to the Extraordinary Form about 3 or 4 times. Sometimes I use the terms “new” and “old” for convenience, but I prefer “ordinary” and “extraordinary” even though it is a bit of a mouthful!

  6. Patronus says:

    What’s sort of funny (and sad) is that Matthew’s comment above is a prime example of how the term “Novus Ordo” can be too strongly associated with the idea of a new and inferior Mass.

  7. mike c says:

    Frankly, with a background in advertising, I prefer short “punchy” terms that people can remember. Therefore, I refer to the usus antiquior as TrueMass; and the Novus Ordo Missae as NewMass. Those terms, I posit, accurately reflect the theological weight of each liturgy.

  8. TNCath says:

    I don’t find “Novus Ordo” offensive in the least. As the “New Order” of Mass according to the Missal of Pope Paul VI, it is the Ordinary Form. The Ordinary Form, when celebrated properly, can be quite beautiful. I find the term “Tridentine” or “TLM” to be a misnomer, since it is the Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. Since it is, like it or not, the “Extraordinary Form,” what’s the big deal?

  9. TJB says:

    I think the bottom line is that no matter what terminology you use, someone somewhere will find a way to use it in a derogitory way, and someone will find a way to be offended by it. There is no simple solution that works in all cases. I just pick the most appropriate terms and disregard everyone’s opinion of it.

  10. Tom says:

    Geoffrey wrote: “I never liked the term “Novus Ordo” for two reasons: (1) I have often heard it in a negative sense from traditionalists, but not from everyone (such as Fr. Z who is not a traditionalist).”

    The majority of Catholic bishops at the 1967 Synod of Bishops rejected the Novus Ordo, according to Monsignor Bugnini. Scathing reviews of the Novus Ordo were issued during the late 1960s by high-ranking Churchmen.

    Churchmen (for example, Cardinal Heenan)predicted that the Novus Ordo would empty churches.

    Geoffrey, “traditionalists” who view the Novus Ordo “in a negative sense” have simply followed the collective lead established during the late 1960s by a great many Cardinals and bishops.

  11. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I take Father Z at his word when he says, “the term was used by Holy Church herself after the Novus Ordo was issued: Novus Ordo Missae” — but I have to say, I cannot think of more than one instance of the term “Novus Ordo” being used in an official capacity–in a document from our late Holy Father, Paul VI. I cannot recall seeing it used anywhere else in an official capacity.

    That, plus the eager and derisive way some who call themselves adherents of tradition (and deny that term to any who disagree with them even that much) use the term has–like the correspondent–made me avoid the term, because I am sorry to say, as much as I love Tradition, I refuse to be associated with the people I just described. (I remember a chat I had online, as a seminarian, in which such a person heaped all manner of abuse on me when I disputed how official the term was. My interlocutor scornfully said, well its “in the front of” the current missal; I said, really, let me get my copy of the sacramentary, and I started flipping pages–not here, not here…he accountably stopped responding.)

  12. Ottaviani says:

    Ah for the good old days, of when we could just say “Holy Mass”

    Why did they have to change the mass?

  13. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Pope Paul VI called it a “new Rite” himself:

    1. We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass. This new rite will be introduced into our celebration of the holy Sacrifice starting from Sunday next which is the first of Advent, November 30 [in Italy].

    2. A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead.

  14. Arieh says:

    Perhaps the reader doesn’t like the term Novus Ordo because a Latin/English dictionary also translates “novus” as: strange, unusual, modern, inexperienced, subversive.

  15. Jeff Pinyan says:

    It was also used by Pope Paul VI in a speech in 1976. (I’m just saying the term has been used by a Pope, not that the term is the “official term”.)

  16. Ottaviani says:

    Archbishop Bugnini more or less implies in his memoirs that the 1970 Missal is a “new rite” with virtually no connections to the former – this throws into question the position of the motu proprio that the older and newer forms of mass are part of the same rite.

    I might also haten to add that the older form of mass is derisively termed “Missal of St. Pius V” – especially by those who wish to imply it was a creation of a pope and therefore not “traditional” in any sense.

  17. Vox says:

    I’ve always found it odd that the name they chose for the “new” fabricated Mass is actually on the reverse of the U.S. one dollar bill…strange…very strange indeed!

  18. Different says:

    Jeff,

    Pope Paul VI used “rite of the Mass” not “Rite.” Big difference. A Rite contains within it a collection of rites. For instance, when we say “the rite of baptism” we do not mean that baptism is a “rite” in the same sense that Byzantine Catholic is a “Rite”. A “Rite” of the Church has within it “rites” whose formulas and rubrics sometimes change. For instance, we could say that the ordinary form and the extraordinary form are distinct rites of the Mass both within the Roman Rite.

    It seems that many times we miss this distinction, and it causes confusion in these discussions.

  19. Homoousios / Homoiousios
    Catholic Church / Conciliar Church
    By Faith Alone / By Faith and Works
    Jesus Christ / Historical Jesus

    Who cares, right? What’s in a phrase, anyways . . . as long as everybody’s using it?

    “Novus Ordo” is *loaded* with concealed meaning for Traditionalist Catholics with schismatical tendencies — much like, “The Spirit of Vatican II,” is for liberal Catholics of schismatical tendencies.

    Rome has *never* called the Roman liturgy the “Novus Ordo.” Let’s not, either.

  20. EDG says:

    Vox:

    Not only that, but the words on the dollar bill are under a Masonic symbol…LOL!

    However, I think enough is enough, and I promise not to read Masonic symbolism into “Novus Ordo” if the offended author promises not to read hostile intent in its use. I really don’t think there’a any disrespect meant at all, and I’m puzzled as to how it could be interpreted that way. (By the way, I’m still uncertain about what to call the – well, TLM, EF, or whatever…)

  21. Homoousios / Homoiousios
    Catholic Church / Conciliar Church
    By Faith Alone / By Faith and Works
    Jesus Christ / Historical Jesus

    Who cares, right? What’s in a phrase . . . as long as everybody’s using it?

    “Novus Ordo” is *loaded* with concealed meaning for Traditionalist Catholics with schismatical tendencies — much like, “The Spirit of Vatican II,” is for liberal Catholics of schismatical tendencies.

    Rome has *never* called the Roman liturgy the “Novus Ordo.” Let’s not, either.

  22. wayne ratzinger says:

    We only have guitars and the like in the North of England, you can make up your own mind as to what that should be called. We still have to travel 100’s of miles for a Mass that would be recognized by St Bernadette or any other simple soul, said by the SSPX of course. So Fr Z when you send the pictures of the first message to Rome ask the Pope to free the SSPX, it’s the only way we are ever going to get anything around here. If I were to respond to my superiors at work the way the English hierarchy have responded to the Pope’s efforts, I would have been shown the door ages ago. Also Fr Z, Damian Thompson at the Catholic Herald thinks the SSPX should disband, have a word, Damian thinks all is well now that we have the M P, the Bishops are playing for time, hoping Papa Ratzi dies and we get a successor to John Lennon in the Fisherman’s Shoes

  23. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Different: Ah, yes, I understand the distinction. But was the Missal of 1962 portrayed as a “new rite of the Mass” or simply as a modification to the existing rite without needing to call it “new”?

    I’d also suggest reading of Pope Paul VI. Some of it (esp. nn. 8-14) a bit unsettling, the ease with which such drastic changes were made. It also strikes me as bizarre that, apparently, the Church was so desperate for this “new rite of the Mass” that they were ready to impose it before the missal was complete (cf. n. 17).

  24. Scott Smith says:

    How many Roman Catholics, who have no interest in the Extraordinary Form, would know immediately what is meant by the term, “Novus Ordo”?

    I would venture to say that it is a term that is known and used by Roman Catholics who are aware of the Extraordinary Form and probably prefer it to the “Novus Ordo”. It is easy to think that the term is used with a negative connotation because many of those who use it may have a negative impression of the form of Mass it describes. Those who use the term probably have a trained aversion to novelty because of their experiences with the Mass carried out loosely in accordance with the rubrics and as is generally tolerated by Bishops.

  25. Matt Q says:

    Two points.

    1. For the person who wrote to Father Z about the term “Novus Ordo,” I believe you must realize for yourself that the post-Conciliar Mass is called the Novus Ordo. Done. It is also called by other names and are used according to how it is used in a sentence. The same goes for the Extraordinary Form which we also call the Tridentine Mass, TLM, Usus Antiquior, etc. What impressions these terms make on you is up to you and how they relate to your experiences and expressions. :)

    2. Vox wrote:

    “IS IT ANY WONDER TRADITIONALISTS ARE SO ANGRY AND DISREGARD THE ‘NOVUS ORDO?'”

    ()

    No, Vox, no wonder at all. It is not only the Trads but the average Faithful in the pew. For years he has always gone off the deep end with everything, and it’s strikingly telling when he makes comments such as “offer a variety of liturgies which appeal to different age groups and to different likes,” yet there is absolutely no real effort to regularize the Tridentine Mass. There are different “groups” regardless of age whom very much want the Tridentine Mass. ( Yes, there are parishes where the Tridentine Mass can be found BUT it is NOT said by the parish, but by a travelling priest allowed to come there hence your EF Mass is in the middle of the afternoon. There is a difference, and in that, it’s very telling of the mindset of our Cardinal. )

    There is a reason why a diocese of over four million Catholics produces an average of six or **less** ordinations each year. Look at the dioceses where the bishops are strong in their teachings, are Tradition-minded. The seminaries are full and even have to defer applicants to a later time. Pray God they are still in a position to accept when the time comes.

    The Fathers of the Church and the saints have said Our Heavenly Father calls a sufficient number of vocations to priesthood and religious life in each generation, and the one either answers the call or not. AT THE SAME TIME, many bishops create obstacles to the fulfillment of priestly vocations, so it’s not always the one called who bears full responsibility for the loss of his vocation.

    Pray and pray.

  26. david andrew says:

    Matthew Dunn wrote: “Novus Ordo” is loaded with concealed meaning for Traditionalist Catholics with schismatical tendencies—much like, “The Spirit of Vatican II,” is for liberal Catholics of schismatical tendencies.”

    I suspect those who regularly attend and have an attachment to places like St. Agnes in St. Paul MN and St. Mary’s in Greenville SC would take vigorous exception to this statement. Broad brushes used to tar the character of a loosely defined group of people liek this is bad form, it’s not cricket.

    IIRC, shortly after the promulgation of the motu, Fr. Z had an entry where we were invited to vote on the terms for referring to the variously-called Extraordinary and Ordinary forms. I don’t remember the outcome, but perhaps there’s some material from comments on that thread that would be useful here.

  27. JM says:

    I have consciously worked to stop using the term “Novus Ordo” unless it is to refer specifically to the Novus Ordo Missae. Having come to the Church from an SSPX background, I did use that term in a disrespectful and derogatory manner. Non-SSPX Catholics were “Novus Ordo” Catholics/priests (even Fr. Z)/bishops/etc. This is such an incredibly common way of referring to non-SSPXers in the SSPX world, that there aren’t even second thoughts about it among SSPX clergy and associated laity. Either you are truly Catholic (i.e. SSPX) or you are “Novus Ordo” (a lost/deluded/modernist Catholic at best and you probably don’t even rate that.) I’m sure there is going to be some sort of screaming from someone that they have never heard anyone say that in their SSPX chapel, but I’ve observed its use in far to many U.S. parishes when I traveled.

    As an SSPXer, I was in schism with the Catholic Church. (And I don’t believe I was alone by a long shot, but that is just my opinion, so cease the flame war.) I’ve made a profession of faith and I’m in communion with my bishop, the Pope, the Church, & even Fr. Z (whose “Ask Father Question Box” had a small part in bringing me to the Church.) To actually be in communion (not just giving lip service to the concept of communion) with your local bishop (good or bad) is a good thing. It may be difficult at times, it may bring tears to the eyes when they do something nutty, but we should be happy regardless of what they do instead of being angry and constantly unhappy about what this priest, that bishop, some cardinal, or the Pope, does or says.

    Sure, being Catholic is not going to be easy, but that shouldn’t cause us to insulate ourselves from the world and its problems, and we shouldn’t condemn and be so angry with everyone because they aren’t traditionalists. Being Catholic is about evangelizing, about spreading the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, about loving and bringing healing (Christ) to those who need it. We should be happiest people in the world regardless of what crisis is occurring in the Church because we are Catholic, because we are “partakers of the divine nature.”

  28. jack burton says:

    “It just appears that you’re treating the 1970 Missal with less respect…”

    I have struggled with this for a while and I have come to realize that I cannot get around the fact that I indeed have less respect for the 1970 missal than for the 1962 and for objective reasons. I don’t think this makes a person less Catholic or less orthodox. I have relatively little respect for the Quinonez breviary and the same can be said of the Liturgy of the Hours. I think I give these things the respect that is their due but I do not believe that all liturgies are equally worthy of respect just because they happen to be “valid.”

    According to my mentality there is value in something that has been venerated through the ages and hallowed by tradition that cannot be recreated in a conferences room or based simply on a papal decree. The thing that strikes me most often is the difference in the orations and lectionary between the two missals and I must say that I find the traditional arrangements to be more worthy of respect and veneration. Similarly I find the Roman Canon to be more venerable than EP II, III and IV (as well as the EPs for Masses with Children, et cetera). Related to this I find authentic sacred music to be more venerable and worthy of respect than the jingles of Marty Haugen, Dan Schutte and David Haas. Similarly I have more respect for the editio typica of the 1970 missal than I do for the ICEL rendition just as I have more respect for the RSV than for the Cotton Patch Bible. These are not merely subjective statements either; I believe that on a certain objective level some things demand more respect than others. I believe that the 1970 missal, as compared to the 1962, represents an impoverishment of the liturgy and a betrayal of the liturgical tradition.

    This doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of assisting at the new Mass with spiritual profit, but I certainly prefer the so-called extraordinary form. I wish that I could simply attend the extraordinary form exclusively and never have to give the novus ordo another thought. I don’t exactly have an axe to grind nor am I out to disrespect the novus ordo for kicks, but I’m not going to pretend that it is equal to the traditional Roman rite just to appear politically correct.

  29. Eric says:

    Monsignor Gamber, in his book “The Reform of the Roman Rite” refers to the Masses as:

    Ritus Modernus and Ritus Romanus

    He states and demonstrates emphatically that the Novus Ordo, Ordinary Form or whatever you want to call it is in fact a new Rite of Mass that has nothing to do with the Roman Rite of the past 1500 years.

  30. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    The problem with the term “Novus Ordo” is when it is applied to anything other than the actual Mass itself. It is used derisively for “Novus Ordo Catholics”, “Novus Ordo Bishop”, etc. Part of the problem is that it is often connected with the dreadful church architecture of the 1960’s and 1970’s as though somehow the Novus Ordo Mass was responsible for all the bad church architecture which, of course, it is not.

  31. Emile says:

    “Comment by JM –
    “We should be happiest people in the world regardless of what crisis is occurring in the Church because we are Catholic, because we are “partakers of the divine nature.””

    that deserves a three-fold!!
    Amen, Amen ,Amen…..

    PAX

  32. Richard says:

    Up until last July with the motu propio Summorum Pontificum, the term ‘ordinary form’ didn’t really exist. The pope used ‘ordinary form’ as distinct from ‘extraordinary form’ for the first time in it. If you said ‘ordinary form’ before that, you would have been using obscure language or people would have thought you were making up your own terms to distinguish the two forms of Mass.

    People who don’t know or care about the Traditional Latin Mass don’t think about using any terms to distinguish it from the Novus Ordo, so you don’t hear them ever saying ‘Novus Ordo’, just ‘Mass’. It’s not as if people who like the TLM are using ‘Novus Ordo’ as a perjorative because they don’t attend the Novus Ordo.

  33. Brian Kiernan says:

    Prior to the MP, was there another “official term” for the Ordinary Form? It seemed to me that in mainstream Catholicism there was no need for another term. The “Ordinary Form,” was simply the Mass. The TLM was all but forgotten; or if thought about at all, was seen as a dead relic, a museum piece, attended by rigid, weird, schismatic people.

  34. Of course, when the term Novus Ordo was being used for the Mass, Nova Vulgata was being used for the edition of the Latin version of the Scriptures. At least the latter, at least for the New Testament, was prepared with an extremely non-traditional hermeneutic of rupture.

    Let’s not forget that there was an extremely extreme optimism of the time, which insisted that NEW IS BETTER, indeed as a rupture from the past.

    It may be that Benedict’s Plan is to make all such terminology obsolete in a rather unique way. I am eager to see what that is. I think it will involve much continuity.

  35. wayne ratzinger says:

    Much continuity, says Fr Renzo di Lorenzo, so we will have a continuity that embraces the Mass from 1962 through to 2008. Well Fr Renzo I’m afraid Cardinal Martini rained all over that parade several months ago, he has said that he would not be saying the Traditional Mass. The Pope has asked the Jesuits to stay loyal to him, I wonder if Cardinal Martini the Jesuit is to be excused this particular burden ??. All in the very best interests of “continuity” I’m sure. As I keep saying, we don’t have the Traditional Mass where I live, what we do have is the continually bad 1960’s guitars n’ fidgets glee club. We also have Cardinals Murphy O’Connor and O’Brien, Martinis cheer leaders in the conclave. It must be a real pain every day that passes and they don’t get to buy a new flight to Rome for the next conclave.

  36. John Paul says:

    I have to admit that “Novus Ordo” does have a negative connotation for me at
    this point, in that I do agree with Msgr. Gamber, Michael Davies, and so many
    others that it really is a new form of Mass, which came out of the New
    Theology and New Ecumenism that finally won the day at Vatican II.

    I am not competent to argue validity, or any other such thing, but it came down
    to a simple thing for me when I awoke from my long slumber in the Faith, when
    I began again to search for a sense of the sacred that would nourish belief
    in the Real Presence, I couldn’t find it in even the most “conservative” parish
    in our area. I find it every time in the “Old/1962/Pope St.Pius V/TLM” Mass.

    I have since been to extraordinary (no pun intended) parishes like St.Peter’s
    in Merchantville,NJ, which offers the Ordinary Form reverently and beautifully,
    and with an eye on tradition. And I’ve read about St.Agnes in MN, and St.John
    Cantius, and other such parishes. But the “ordinary” parish in most places
    are really marching to the beat of their own drum, however well-intentioned
    they may be.

  37. chris says:

    Our current Pope himself has referred to the new rite as a “manufactured liturgy,” it was a liturgy by commission, as I think he also said. Those aren’t exactly words to sooth ears sensitive to any lofting of one liturgical form above another, yet that is what our own Pope seems to have implied. Myself, I think the “ordinary” form of the mass is just that: ordinary; whereas the extraordinary really is extraordinary in the best sense of the word.

  38. “That is ridiculous that anyone would be offended by the term “Novus Ordo” rather than “Ordinary Form”.”

    It would be, if the term were not used in a pejorative fashion.

    Please, let us be honest. Many of the people who have commented here, would have to admit that they have either used it that way (as in “novus ordo church” or “novus ordo theology”), or have HEARD it used that way.

    And no, the term has never been used officially to describe the reformed liturgy. The closest is the title “Novus Ordo Missae,” which was the term Pope Paul VI used when promulgating it.

    Terms like “ordinary form” and “extraordinary form,” while descriptions of juridical status, might not be as fitting as titles of a particular use of the Roman Rite. They don’t exactly roll off the tongue, and are of rather limited context. Further, the Holy Father (if you actually read the motu proprio) does not use them as titles, but to describe the status of one vis a vis the other.

    For years, I and people like Shawn Tribe have tried to promote terms like “classical Roman Rite” and “modern” or “reformed Roman Rite” to describe them. Such terminology would be accurate, and it would be non-pejorative. That last point is important, if there is to be any peaceful co-existence between the two. Such peace requires respect, and such respect requires a swallowing of pride. As with all attempts to attain virtue, this is not easy for any of us. But it is necessary, if only because the Holy Father, in his motu proprio and explanatory letter, called for such co-existence.

    But to know that, you have to put your preconceptions aside, and actually (you guessed it) READ the motu proprio. It also doesn’t hurt to read what he has written about the sacred liturgy, especially as Cardinal Ratzinger, to understand what he is trying to accomplish on several fronts. That ranges from a priest putting the crucifix in the center of the altar while facing the people, to using a different set of books while facing God.

  39. Bob K. says:

    I guess we should respect all those guitar and drum players, the multitude of eucharistic ministers, which make the priests job easier. The Mass instead of Evening Song (Vespers) on Saturday Night, so people can do other things on Sunday. The money parishes save by not using incense, beeswax candles, and fancy vestments etc. because it is not required in the Ordinary form of the Mass. As long as it’s valid who cares. Why are we then separated from Lutherans, Anglicans, and Evangelicals. Their Sunday service is no different, I guess theirs is valid to. Does God care!?. No! Flower Power everyone!. I’m now going to an Eastern Orthodox Church, they don’t have your problems. The Divine Liturgies have not been watered down, like the New Roman Mass. I’m perfectly happy!!. I still got the smells, bells, and chant. Thanks Emperor Constantine.

  40. Bob K. says:

    I guess we should respect all those guitar and drum players, the multitude of eucharistic ministers, which make the priests job easier. The Mass instead of Evening Song (Vespers) on Saturday Night, so people can do other things on Sunday. The money parishes save by not using incense, beeswax candles, and fancy vestments etc. because it is not required in the Ordinary form of the Mass. As long as it\’s valid who cares. Why are we then separated from Lutherans, Anglicans, and Evangelicals. Their Sunday service is no different, I guess theirs is valid to. Does God care!?. No! Flower Power everyone!. I\’m now going to an Eastern Orthodox Church, they don\’t have your problems. The Divine Liturgies have not been watered down, like the New Roman Mass. I\’m perfectly happy!!. I still got the smells, bells, and chant. Thanks Emperor Constantine.

  41. “Our current Pope himself has referred to the new rite as a “manufactured liturgy,” it was a liturgy by commission, as I think he also said.”

    He certainly did say that — while still a Cardinal. And I’m willing to bet he still feels that way. But as the Successor to Peter, he uses that “manufactured liturgy” regularly, and I’m also willing to bet he’ll use it when he visits the States.

    So, if HE can learn to live with it…

  42. Bob K. says:

    It’s also funny when I hear that the Novus Ordo, Ordinary, Mass of Pope Paul VI is just as beautiful “WHEN IT”S DONE RIGHT”. Well if someone has a video of it “DONE RIGHT” I would love to watch it on YouTube!. Because in my 41 some years I have not seen it done right yet, unless having everything in my above post is doing it right. Never seen the priest face East either.

  43. “I guess we should respect all those guitar and drum players, the multitude of eucharistic ministers, which make the priests job easier…”

    Confusing the issue does not generate light as opposed to heat. I’m sorry, but I fear that is what is being done here, and it is my impression that our host would discourage that.

    Does Pope Benedict feel obliged to employ these innovations when he uses the reformed liturgy? Of course not. Is it possible to do just about anything in life with or without a sense of reverence, and the “ordinary form” of the Roman Rite is no exception. Younger priests who have yet to learn the old form of Mass are bringing reverence back to it. They should be encouraged, not lumped together with a tired generation of aging adolescents.

  44. Bob K. says:

    Maybe this Priest should look in the mirror and ask himself if he has offended his parishoners for not showing them what the Extra Ordinary Form of the Roman Mass is like. So they can see for themselves. Just because there is no demand in many priests eyes. Maybe it’s because people have not been given the opportunity to see it yet, to make that assessment properly.”You say you don’t want it. But have you seen it yet”!.

  45. “Well if someone has a video of it “DONE RIGHT” I would love to watch it on YouTube!. Because in my 41 some years I have not seen it done right yet…”

    Then go to St John Canisius in Chicago, St Agnes in the Twin Cities, or the Brompton Oratory in London. These places have all been mentioned numerous times on this blog, so it’s not as if regular viewers would be unaware of them.

  46. john broderick says:

    I just say NO to the N.O.!!!!!!!!

  47. Flambeaux says:

    I’ll amplify Dave L Alexander’s comment.
    St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, TX
    Old St. Patricks’ on Camp St. in New Orleans
    St. Mary’s(?) in Greenville — Fr. Newman’s parish

    I don’t know for certain, but I could guess at half a dozen to a dozen other places that are either done well now, or will be in the next few years. And those are just the parishes I’m acquainted with through personal experience or the Blogosphere.

    Technically, any of the Anglican Use parishes, whether they use Rite I (hieratic English) or Rite II (ICEL ’75 with a few approved modifications, like the Creed properly translated) are all “doing” the Novus Ordo.

    I’d say they do it right, too.

    My point in stressing this is that there are places, I suspect all over the world, where you can find the NO celebrated in continuity with tradition.

    *David*, were you referring to St. John Cantius?

    It is also my understanding, and I could very well be wrong, that the monks at Le Barroux celebrate the Novus Ordo side by side with the EF, not unlike the good Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.

  48. “David, were you referring to St. John Cantius?”

    Yes. I had a senior moment. It doesn’t happen often — yet.

  49. Matthew M. says:

    David L. Alexander:

    Here is a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated “right”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blM80QeuseQ

  50. Matt of South Kent says:

    Bob K,

    I have been to thousands of ordinary form masses and the vast majority (98%) were excellent.

    I am amazed that much of what Pope Benedict XVI has written about and instituted in the ordinary form, was part of the liturgy that I grew up with at Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park, NY, and at other Rockville Center Diocese Churches that I attended. So, it wasn’t just the Vactican that got it right.

    As of the recent past, if you are near Connecticut, I like St. Mary’s in Norwalk the best.

    I thought St. Patrick’s Cathedral had excellent masses in NYC. St. Peter’s downtown.

    My home parish of Sacred Heart in South Kent, CT is absolutely great too. We have had to fantastic pastors back to back in a church that sets 60 people.

    If there is a pray God always answers, it is pray for our priest and bishops.

  51. Richard says:

    Nervous Ordo is disrespectful. Intentionally. Novus Ordo is simply short for Novus Ordo Missae. What’s disrespectful about that? Disrespect must be in the eye of the reader.
    ROC

  52. There are still things wrong with the Novus Ordo even if done Traditionally.

    First of all there are too many options – most specially the bad ones that help hamper Catholic things like the Real Sacrifice – these help to fuel irreverent actions and abuse. Even if you are doing an abuse-free Novus Ordo the mindset of a Mass that has so many options and variations can permeate Catholic thought throughout the Church and help to foster an “evolving liturgy.”

    Next many symbolic elements have been removed. These also help to signify many Catholic notions.

    But more importantly the Novus Ordo’s prayers are watered down compared to the TLM. Catholic doctrine and thought is expressed more explicitly and fully within the TLM’s prayers and structures compared to the New Mass. It is superior.

    If you are doing a Novus Ordo in Traditional forms (like priest facing God, communion on the tongue and kneeling, Eucharist prayer number 1 etc. etc.) you might as well be doing a TLM because its prayers, forms and structures are superior even when it is done Traditionally with reverence.

  53. G says:

    “I guess we should respect all those guitar and drum players, the multitude of eucharistic ministers”

    Then you guess right, Bob K.
    You should respect them.
    They are human beings made in the imgae and likeness of God.
    Our Lord Jesus Christ thinks each one of them was worth giving His life for.
    Are you saying your standards higher than His?

    I think this thread has offered ample evidence that while most do not use the term to be offensive, some, especially perhaps those who
    apply it as an adjective to people (I have been called a “Novus Ordo Catholic,”) do indeed intend it as disparagement.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  54. a cubs fan says:

    I have a question that is tangentially related to this thread: What exactly makes someone a “traditionalist”? And, is “traditionalist” a term of disparagement or of praise? What made me pose these questions is the comment made near the top by Geoffrey, who says that he does not consider Fr. Zuhlsdorf a traditionalist. I don’t necessarily disagree with Geoffrey’s own assessment, but I certainly think most people would consider him a traditionalist. Anyway, can anyone out there provide us with a satisfactory definition of “traditionalist”?

  55. Joe says:

    Pre-Motu, I used Novus Ordo but that is because I was attending both Novus Ordo masses. At the time there was no such term as “Ordinary Form” and I didn’t want to confuse the Byzantine Catholics I worshipped with regularly since a TLM chapel was in the area as well. The mass that came out at Advent in 1969 is the Novus Ordo Missae and is indeed manufactured. The Mass of Vatican II is the Usus Antiquor.

    The more I see innovation in the liturgy-and I regularly attend the very best of the Ordinary Form masses in the area I live-I am convinced the Ordinary Form will go away, maybe not this decade or the next, but it has to disappear. The sooner the bishops and religious superiors get on board, the more vocations they will foster and receive. I should put more faith in my fellow Catholic in the pew next to me, but I think half of the faithful would revolt if they actively participated in an Ad Orientem, EP I, Graduale/Introit/Gregorian Chant (etc.) mass. I’m guessing three-fourths of the clergy would, too.

    Sadly, most Catholics never got to see what right looked like in the first place. I eagerly await the upcoming letter from the Holy Father and pray it gives clear language and directives on matters concerning the Motu.

    Let us pray for the Holy Father, the Bishops, and Religious Superiors.

    Joe

  56. Greg Smisek says:

    David Alexander wrote:

    And no, the term has never been used officially to describe the reformed liturgy. The closest is the title “Novus Ordo Missae,” which was the term Pope Paul VI used when promulgating it.

    Is this another urban legend?

    Pope Paul VI’s apostolic constitution Missale Romanum (1969), as published in AAS 61 (1969), pp. 217-222, and reprinted in the front of the succeeding typical editions of the Roman Missal does not use this phrase.

    The SRC (Consilium) decree Ordine Missae (1969) promulgating the Order of the Mass refers to it only as “Ordo Missae.”

    The title of the promulgated text was “Ordo Missae. Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum.

    The Novus Ordo Watch FAQ claims that the phrase “novus Ordo Missae” was used in a draft of the apostolic constitution. Does anyone have any further details?

  57. Mar says:

    the Bishops are playing for time, hoping Papa Ratzi dies and we get a successor to John Lennon in the Fisherman’s Shoes

    Would they call him Pope Lennon the Great?

  58. malta says:

    Re: Novus Ordo. Here is my experience on the local level:

    At the Basilica-Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, the liturgy has become parody. It has become a parody of what the liturgy was, even according to Vatican II. Even the most liberal interpretation of VII couldn’t imagine the abuses going on there.

    Recently, the chief organist was fired because he is under investigation for having child porn on his computer. Eucharistic ministers and ministresses abound, and the head guy, Msgr. Jerome Martinez y Alire, is very careful to have young men serve as choir assistants. Uncovered nuns are sometimes dressed in the garb of deacons, etc.

    Of course St. Francis diocese has already had one ex-priest indicted and charged with crimes in California:

    http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/40661.html

    I have been in St. Francis during the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (a solemn feast, to be sure) and had Aztec dancers, naked except for their groins and waist, come dancing through the Church during the Holy Sacrifice; they danced and blew their horns during the sacrifice, which might have made a great show, but not during the holy Sacrifice….

    Who can take such “masses” seriously?

    Can the adoration of Our Lord take place at such a show?

  59. jack burton says:

    “The Bishops are playing for time, hoping Papa Ratzi dies and we get a successor to John Lennon in the Fisherman’s Shoes…”

    I was watching the old CNN coverage of the old Habemus Papam of Pope Benedict and the “Catholic” guy commenting was clearly quite taken aback when they announced Ratzinger as the new Pope. The clown had the nerve to say that Pope Benedict probably chose this name to signify that he would be a short reigning Pope like Benedict XV (I didn’t think eight years was that short but oh well). As soon as he stepped out on the balcony these people were predicting his sudden death. Funny that they didn’t do this for Pope John Paul II who’s namesake died after a month.
    I actually got a laugh out of this pathetic coverage because it was just so lame. Viva il Papa!

  60. Matt Q says:

    Jack Burton wrote:

    “I have struggled with this for a while and I have come to realize that I cannot get around the fact that I indeed have less respect for the 1970 missal than for the 1962 and for objective reasons. I don’t think this makes a person less Catholic or less orthodox. I have relatively little respect for the Quinonez breviary and the same can be said of the Liturgy of the Hours. I think I give these things the respect that is their due but I do not believe that all liturgies are equally worthy of respect just because they happen to be “valid.”

    According to my mentality there is value in something that has been venerated through the ages and hallowed by tradition that cannot be recreated in a conferences room or based simply on a papal decree. The thing that strikes me most often is the difference in the orations and lectionary between the two missals and I must say that I find the traditional arrangements to be more worthy of respect and veneration. Similarly I find the Roman Canon to be more venerable than EP II, III and IV (as well as the EPs for Masses with Children, et cetera). Related to this I find authentic sacred music to be more venerable and worthy of respect than the jingles of Marty Haugen, Dan Schutte and David Haas. Similarly I have more respect for the editio typica of the 1970 missal than I do for the ICEL rendition just as I have more respect for the RSV than for the Cotton Patch Bible. These are not merely subjective statements either; I believe that on a certain objective level some things demand more respect than others. I believe that the 1970 missal, as compared to the 1962, represents an impoverishment of the liturgy and a betrayal of the liturgical tradition.

    This doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of assisting at the new Mass with spiritual profit, but I certainly prefer the so-called extraordinary form. I wish that I could simply attend the extraordinary form exclusively and never have to give the novus ordo another thought. I don’t exactly have an axe to grind nor am I out to disrespect the novus ordo for kicks, but I’m not going to pretend that it is equal to the traditional Roman rite just to appear politically correct.”

    ()

    You put things very well, Jack.

    ==========

    John Paul wrote:

    “I have to admit that “Novus Ordo” does have a negative connotation for me at this point, in that I do agree with Msgr. Gamber, Michael Davies, and so many others that it really is a new form of Mass, which came out of the New Theology and New Ecumenism that finally won the day at Vatican II. I am not competent to argue validity, or any other such thing, but it came down to a simple thing for me when I awoke from my long slumber in the Faith, when I began again to search for a sense of the sacred that would nourish belief in the Real Presence, I couldn’t find it in even the most “conservative” parish in our area. I find it every time in the “Old/1962/Pope St.Pius V/TLM” Mass.

    I have since been to extraordinary (no pun intended) parishes like St.Peter’s in Merchantville,NJ, which offers the Ordinary Form reverently and beautifully, and with an eye on tradition. And I’ve read about St.Agnes in MN, and St.John Cantius, and other such parishes. But the “ordinary” parish in most places are really marching to the beat of their own drum, however well-intentioned they may be.”

    ()

    Stated very well, John. For me, the term “Novus Ordo” doesn’t have a negative connotation. It’s merely the name of the new Mass–or could we say the Newly Adulterated Mass? I believe there really is a chance to reform the Novus Ordo but the Pope has to make a really concerted effort to do so. I appreciate the fact the wordings of the Novus Ordo are being rewritten, but its outward expressions–such as all the liturgical nonsense described above, “art and environment” and architecture–need to be reeled back in. Guidelines are worthless. Guidelines are only for the honest people. Until there are definitive mandates ( as I have said before, Shoulds, Musts, Shalls, Should Nots, Must Nots, Shall Nots ) the errors perpetuated through the Novus Ordo will continue unabated. Just merely praying and hoping over time things fall into place and the Novus Ordo gradually returns to a respectful Mass is really absurd. Of course, never say never with God, but meanwhile, **with prayer there is also effort**. For us loyal Catholics, it is our effort to secure the Tridentine Mass to its rightful place in the life of the Church once again, in the life of Her Faithful, and converting its detractors so that such Masses are free and open and available to all. As with anything else in life, erroneous behavior continues unchecked until something catastrophic happens. God forbid, I can’t think of what except if some Church-approved visionary reveals how many souls have been lost because of all the silliness.

    In any event, pray and pray all the more.

    ==========

    Father Renzo wrote:

    “Let’s not forget that there was an extremely extreme optimism of the time, which insisted that NEW IS BETTER, indeed as a rupture from the past.”

    ()

    Yes, Father, that’s true. Hitler thought the same thing, Chairman Mao, all other facists of the past who thought that whatever happened before was evil and everything should begin “anew” with them!

  61. ALL: This just in by e-mail:

     When I first came to Minnesota from Australia in January of 1994, I found myself impressed by the diversity of the local Catholic community. This diversity was most evident in the range of worship styles within the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.

    From the traditionalist practices of the Church of St. Agnes to the “liberal” practices of parishes such as St. Joan of Arc, there seemed to be a place for everyone. [There is a huge problem with this statement.  First, what was done at St. Agnes was according to the books the Church published and in harmony with the Church’s centuries long tradition of Roman Rite.  What was going on at St. Joan of Arc is far less able to be identified as Catholic.  Furthermore, what was going on at St. Agnes was always according to the Novus Ordo, not the TLM.   Thus, it is arguable that St. Agnes represented the mainstream, precisely where the Council actually wanted parishes to be.  So, this is a false “spectrum” that has been set up.] Such a spectrum suggested that the Catholic Church was like a great sheltering tent – broad and welcoming of all. I thought at the time, and continue to think so now, that this “big tent” understanding and expression of Catholicism is a sign of spiritual health and vitality. [Once the writer set up the false “range” or false parameters of the “big tent”, he leads you down another false path.  The problem with this last statement is that there is no authentic Catholic spiritual life when you purposely stray from the Church’s worship.]

    Yet now the tent seems to be shrinking.  [The perception of the size of the tent is being reduced.]

    Rubrics versus Spirit  [A false dichotomy.]

    A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the parish I attend was recently ordered by the archdiocese to conform its various liturgies to the rubrics of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.  [And this is not something Catholics should have a problem with.  Right?]

    As I noted in my previous post, I’m sure that for many Catholic parishes, these rubrics serve well to express and reflect their faith and community life. [Because they are Catholics?] Yet for the past 40 years, the Catholic parish that I consider my spiritual home, St. Stephen’s in South Minneapolis, has developed its liturgy [without any right to do so] in ways that reflect the presence of the Spirit as discerned in the unique gifts and needs of its members and in our shared life together.  [Okay… who did the “discerning”?  Here is the problem.  They did this without reference to the Church’s authority or the Church’s tradition.  What they came up with reflected themselves rather than the rest of both the local Church and the universal Church.  And, not to put too much stress on this, that word “unique” itself suggests that they are somewhat out of step.  To be fair, however, it could also show that they were doing things (outreach to the poor, for example) that other parishes were not doing, but should have been doing.]

    This development has been a very intentional and faith-filled embodiment of the Second Vatican Council’s call for “full and active participation” of the laity in “liturgical celebrations” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 1963). [We see here a complete misunderstanding of what the Council meant by “active participation”.  And notice how this takes no account of the hierarchical nature of the Church preserved in Lumen gentium.] Yet many now feel that, in one fell swoop, this [false] embodiment – along with the Spirit that nurtured and inspired it [So you claim.] – has been discounted by the archdiocese in its demand that it be abandoned for the rubrics of GIRM.  [Oh the arrogance of this.  First, note the claim upon “the Spirit”.  Surely defiance of the Church’s authority isn’t a fertile ground for growth in the Holy Spirit.  Also, you see again the false juxtaposition of “Spirit” v “Rubrics”, as if these two elements of the discussion are in some way necessarily opposed.]

    I can’t help but think that in this situation, the “form,” which Jesus said “profits nothing,” has been elevated above the “Spirit,” which gives life.  [Jesus said a lot of other things too.  But let’s go along with this cherry picking of proof texts and have some fun.  The Lord also was furious at what people had done to turn the temple into a den of thieves.  At St. Stephen’s, resources had been misappropriated in order to hijack that parishes life of prayer, moving it away from what the Church asked for, and what the other parishioners had a right to, so that a small group of people could indulge in self expression.  Proof texting is fun, isn’t it?]

    “Off-campus”

    Many within the community of St. Stephen’s – especially those who attend the 9:00 a.m. liturgy – have decided that they cannot abandon the style of worship that has been prayerfully developed over the past 40 years. Although some suggested that the 9:00 a.m. community simply ignore the archdiocese’s directive and continue worshiping as usual at St. Stephen’s, [Something like a restraining order would then be very useful.] the overall sense of the community was that the 9:00 a.m. liturgy be conducted “off-campus.” 

    Accordingly, a new worshiping space [One wonders if these folks have the slightest idea what they are saying.] has been secured a few blocks away at Park House (2120 Park Ave.). It should be noted that those attending future 9:00 a.m. liturgies at this new location will continue to identify as parishioners of St. Stephen’s. We’ll continue contributing to the parish, serving on various committees, and volunteering with the various programs of St. Stephen’s Human Services. 

    In light of all of this, close to 200 people walked this morning from St. Stephen’s to Park House. Most of those who made the trek are now committed to worshiping at Park House. I’ll be worshiping with them.

    Columnist Nick Coleman wrote about the community of St. Stephen’s plight  [Not the whole community…. just this group.] in today’s Star Tribune. Following is Coleman’s column in its entirety, along with photos that I took this morning at St. Stephen’s.

    Another interesting glance into the dissident mindset.

    Although the analogy limps badly, this is sort of a “Lefebvrism of the left”.

  62. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: I realize that the orange font is undoubtedly intended to honor the athletic teams of the University of Tennessee. However, as a graduate of UT, let me say that that this color looks better on uniforms than on screen.

  63. “Comment by Greg Smisek — 3 March 2008 @ 10:41 pm”

    I stand corrected; the term “Novus Ordo Missae” appeared in a draft of the reformed liturgy. So it wasn’t used elsewhere. This would only prove my point even further, that it was never officially called “Novus Ordo.” Since the term gives way to its corruption as “Nervous Ordo,” the problems inherent in its use would be even more so.

    And pointing that out does not imply approval of altar girls, communion ministers, clowns, balloons, whatever. Just so we’re clear on that.

    Oh, and thanks to Matthew for sending the YouTube clip.

  64. Habemus Papam says:

    “When its done right”. How do we laymen know, can anyone remember, when its done right? Pre-65 I doubt there many such qualifications: “Don’t worry, Mass is valid as long its done right”!. I’m with Wayne Ratzinger on this; if St.Bernadette and other simple souls would’nt recognise it, well it aint being done right.

  65. Matt Q: What I would really like you to do is tone down the way you talk about bishops, and others, on this blog so I don’t have to lock you out of the combox.

  66. Habemus Papam says:

    David L.Alexander: Quickly reading your post I saw “Novus Ordo Misaae is a daft reformed liturgy”. Good job I re-read it more carefully!

  67. JS says:

    I don’t know that Novus Ordo is insulting, though perhaps no longer useful, given that 30-40 years have elapsed. It HAS become apparent that the N.O. needs to be distinguished from the “expressions” of it – the “Disco Age” style, the “Summer of Love” style and the “Me Generation” style, which are now being referred to as “traditional”.

  68. JS says:

    I don’t know that Novus Ordo is insulting, though perhaps no longer useful, given that 30-40 years have elapsed. It HAS become apparent that the N.O. needs to be distinguished from the “expressions” of it – the “Disco Age” style, the “Summer of Love” style and the “Me Generation” style, which are now being referred to as “traditional”.

  69. David Andrew wrote:

    “Broad brushes used to tar the character of a loosely defined group of people liek this is bad form, it’s not cricket.”

    Friend, please don’t try that one with me. I was not painting with a broad brush. I know very well that many Catholics in good standing and in good faith use the phrase, “Novus Ordo.”

    However, the provenance of the term comes from Traditionalist Catholics with schismatical tendencies (e.g., the SSPX) who wanted to highlight that the Conciliar Church had constructed a Modernist-inspired, Protestant-approved “New Order of Mass” . . . which may or mayn’t have been valid! In other words, it really was a NEW Mass, a new Church, new Sacraments, etc. and so forth. So, in my opinion, the phrase cannot be used innocently.

    Up stumps!

  70. Matt Q says:

    JS wrote:

    “I don’t know that Novus Ordo is insulting, though perhaps no longer useful, given that 30-40 years have elapsed. It HAS become apparent that the N.O. needs to be distinguished from the “expressions” of it – the “Disco Age” style, the “Summer of Love” style and the “Me Generation” style, which are now being referred to as “traditional.”

    ()

    Good distinctions made, JS, which are similar what I had expressed elsewhere.