QUAERITUR: Why is the Protestant “For the kingdom, the power, the glory…” in our Catholic Mass?

A reader asked:

One of the things I like about the TLM [Traditional Latin Mass] is that we don’t have to pray like the Protestants Our Father.  Isn’t the fact that Bugnini and crowd put “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever” in our Catholic Mass a proof that they wanted to water down the Catholic Mass and make it more acceptable to Protestants?

Funny you should ask that.  I have written a weekly column for The Wanderer (for about 11 years now) focusing mainly on liturgical translation.  As a matter of fact that column gave rise to and the name to this blog.  I just dealt with this issue in a recent column (which I assume you haven’t read or you would already have your answer).

In the WDTPRS print series, we are in the section of Mass called the Ritus communionis, the preparation for and reception of Holy Communion.  Here is something of what I wrote for the recent column about the doxology that follows the “embolism” after the Lord’s Prayer.

“For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever.”

The translation of this will remain unchanged in the new, corrected ICEL version.

That said, where does little doxology come from?  A doxology, you will recall, is a short exclamation of praise.  It was not part of the Roman Rite before the Second Vatican Council.  It was inserted by the cutters and pasters of the Consilium.  So, the questioner is right about this: it was inserted by “Bugnini and crowd”.

Keep in mind that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council stated that whatever changes were made in the liturgical reform they mandated, nothing should be done unless it was truly for the good of the people and there must be no innovations unless they are organic developments from previous tradition (cf. SC 23).  The insertion of this little doxology was an innovation.  Was it of great benefit to the people of the Latin Church?  I don’t know.  People weren’t clamoring for it.  Moreover, it was not an organic development from the previous tradition.

Being a convert from Lutheranism, every time I hear it… every time… it reminds me of how Protestants pray the Lord’s Prayer and how Catholics don’t.   I still find it jarring after all these years.  I can’t help it.  Until I dug into it, it didn’t seem ‘Catholic’ to me.

VOTE FOR WDTPRSStill, Holy Church includes it in the Ordinary Form of Mass and that is just the way it is.  We must respect that.  As faithful Catholics we “say the black” and “do the red” no matter the Rite of Mass.

But… this little doxology does have a history.  If we dig far enough back into history we find how Catholic it is … and then isn’t … before it is, again.

The little doxology is not found with the Our Father in the oldest manuscripts of Matthew.  It is not considered by scholars to be part of the original text of the Our Father/Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13.

However, early non-Scriptural sources such as the Didache (late 1st c. – early 2nd c.) have an abbreviated version of the doxology after the Our Father.  There was a liturgical use of this doxology after the Lord’s Prayer.  An expanded version is found in the Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375-380).  Later Greek manuscripts of Matthew, as well as Syrian and Coptic manuscripts, do include a version of this doxology after the Lord’s Prayer.  It is thought that, at some point, a copyist picked it up from a margin note and included it in the text of Matthew itself. That is how down through history it shows up in some manuscripts and not others, and therefore some Bibles and liturgical rites, and not others.

So strong was the connection between the Lord’s Prayer and the doxology that eventually it was thought that the doxology was part of the Lord’s Prayer itself.

The inclusion of this little doxology in the Latin edition of the 1969/70 Missale Romanum after the Council concerns far more than just the English-speaking world.  But, for the sake of this column/blog entry and you readers I will confine myself mainly to how we got the English version of the Our Father we have.

Protestant Bibles, such as the King James Version, have this doxology because translators worked from manuscripts which contained the ancient Catholic liturgical interpolation.  King Henry VIII, before he shattered Catholic communion in England and broke with Rome, imposed a single version of the Our Father in English on his subjects based on Tyndale’s 1525 translation of the Bible.  It did not have the doxology.  In 1541, after his break with Rome, Henry again imposed English versions of major prayers.  Again, Henry’s version did not have the doxology at the end of the Lord’s Prayer.  That English version has remained more or less the way we all pray the Our Father in English even to our day.

The more precious the prayer, the more conservative we tend to be!

In the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549 during the tumultuous time of King Edward VI the doxology does not appear.  However, in a subsequent edition during the reign of Elizabeth I, it does appear.  It was their desire at that time to distinguish their Protestant manner of praying the Our Father from the Catholic way.  The interpolation of the doxology was an anti-Catholic, or rather non-Catholic gesture.

Adding the doxology to the Our Father became the English Protestant way of praying.

Catholics didn’t use the ancient Catholic prayer and Protestants did, in order to be Protestant, which is a ironic.

Therefore, this little prayer of praise arose from our most ancient Christian forebears in their liturgical worship.  The Catholic Church, however, stuck to the older Scripture tradition in her liturgical worship.  On the other hand, the Eastern Churches have the little doxology as part of their liturgical prayer.  This is entirely legitimate, of course, and quite ancient.

As I said, above, the inclusion of the doxology concerns more than merely the English speaking world.  There is a non-English history as well. It also concerns more than the Catholic Church’s way of praying.

All in all, traditional Catholics are justified in their hesitation about the inclusion of this doxology in Holy Mass.  It was not part of the Catholic liturgical tradition except in the very earliest times.  To be fair, in the Novus Ordo of Mass, the Ordinary Form, the doxology is separated from the Lord’s Prayer by the embolism.  Still, it is closely related in the Mass to the Our Father, for the embolism itself expands the Our Father’s final petition.

The inclusion of this doxology was an innovation that did not come organically from our Catholic liturgical tradition.  It seems to have been interpolated for ecumenical reasons: it harks to how Protestants and Orthodox pray.  I  don’t think it was just a gesture to Protestants.  The Orthodox too, and therefore Eastern Catholics, worked from different sources that included the doxology.

Were Catholics in the pews clamoring to say during Mass what rang in their ears as Protestant?  Of course they didn’t know that this was a very ancient Catholic prayer.  Its inclusion in the Catholic Mass is also an example of the liturgical archeology or antiquarianism Ven. Pius XII warned against in Mediator Dei.  To go that far back and revive an element of ancient worship and then artificially insert it into an order of Mass virtually unchanged for 1500 years is an example of liturgical archeology rather than organic development.  This was one of those impositions which, as Joseph Ratzinger pointed out in his preface to Klaus Gamber’s The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: its problems and background, gives traditional Catholics the impression that the post-Conciliar form of Mass constitutes a real rupture in our tradition of worship, that it is “a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product.”

That said, the little doxology after the Our Father is not banal.  It is indeed venerable!  I include Ratzinger’s quote to underscore how some elements of the Ordinary Form of Mass constitute a rupture with our tradition.  The elements themselves, however, may be of great antiquity and quite Catholic in their origin.

Perhaps knowing more about this little doxology will make it less jarring for those who are sensitive to its inclusion in the newer form of Holy Mass.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr. Basil says:

    \\Being a convert from Lutheranism, every time I hear it… every time… it reminds me of how Protestants pray the Lord’s Prayer and how Catholics don’t. \\

    Fr. Z, I hope is it not your contention that only Protestants and NO Catholics have ever used this doxology. [Did you actually read what I wrote?]

    Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics have used always used it, with a Trinitarian phrase.

    Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholics have always used it, with the phrase “through Christ our Lord.”

    Armenian Orthodox and Catholics have always used it.

    Syriac Orthodox and Catholics have always used it.

    Assyrian Orthodox and Chaldean Catholics have used it.

    The Latin Church alone of the pre-Reformation Churches did not heretofore use it.

    Therefore, the phrase is NOT intrinsically Protestant. [Had you read what I wrote, I say precisely the opposite. That was the whole point.]

  2. John UK says:

    In the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549 during the tumultuous time of King Edward VI the doxology does not appear. However, in a subsequent edition during the reign of Elizabeth I, it does appear. It was their desire at that time to distinguish their Protestant manner of praying the Our Father from the Catholic way. The interpolation of the doxology was an anti-Catholic, or rather non-Catholic gesture

    To be fair, it only appears in subsequent editions with the doxology four times out of a total of 15, viz. beginning of Morning and Evening Prayer, second time at Holy Communion [where it presumably replaced the Embolism], and in the Churching of Women. In the body of Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany, the beginning of the Communion Service, Infant, Private [emergency] and Adult Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, Visitation of the Sick and Burial of the Dead it remains in the traditional form, without the doxology. [Interesting. Thanks!]
    When I was a child, the distinction between the Catholic and Anglican forms of the Lord’s Prayer was that Catholics said “Our Father who art… done on earth…”, Anglicans said “Our Father which art… done in earth…”.

    But then when I was very little, it was regarded as a great innovation that Catholics were permitted to say the Lord’s Prayer alongside Anglicans!!

    I suspect that the obligatory doxology, along with the omission of the apocryphal books from the Old Testament, was more a markof the successors of Calvin and Zwingli. I am not sure how Lutherans regard the Apocrypha, but then Martin Luther was not known for his high esteem for the Epistle of James. :-)

    Kind regards,
    John U.K.

  3. racjax says:

    This is why I love your blog, Father Z! You address those things that cause us to pause thus deepening our appreciation of the historical Church. Bless you!

  4. King Henry VIII, before he shattered Catholic communion in England and broke with Rome, imposed a single version of the Our Father in English on his subjects based on Tyndale’s 1525 translation of the Bible.

    But I thought Henry VIII did all he could to stamp out the Tyndale translation. Why would he take something out of a translation that he tried to eradicate?

    Fr. Basil: Actually, Fr. Z. did make your point several times.

  5. teaguytom says:

    Every time I hear the doxology at mass, I think of the sung version of the Lord’s prayer done by protestants. Liturgical archaeology is what brought the return of communion in hand and mass facing the people. Although using the doxology in the East is part of their heritage, it has been foreign for centuries to the West. Trying to insert something foreign into the Latin Rite to hold hands with the orthodox and protestants isn’t going to give us brownie points. The Anglicans are beginning to cross the Tiber, but I doubt ecumenical gestures in the liturgy will have droves of Calvinists or Orthodox coming.

  6. susanmk says:

    I teach RCIA and it always strikes me as funny that sola scriptura Christians use the doxology and Catholics did not until fairly recently.

  7. SK Bill says:

    We had a youth group from a local Methodist church visit during Mass last year. After Mass, the group met with a seminarian (assigned to us for the summer) and myself, and we discussed what they had seen in the Mass. One of the comments from one of the young people was about the Our Father: “We say the *whole* prayer, but you leave part of it out.” There seemed to be no way to convince the group that we weren’t leaving anything out. So much for the ecumenical effect of the embolism.

  8. THREEHEARTS says:

    I seem to remember it in Cyprian of Carthage some where or a Father around that time. [Perhaps St. John Chrysostom?]

  9. Dr. Eric says:

    When my mom’s church has the “blue grass Mass” (yes you read that right) and since the musicians are protestants, the clergy decide to skip the embolism and say the Lord’s Prayer like the protestants do.

  10. Breck says:

    Often it comes down to what a person’s ear remembers. As a former Canadian Anglican (pre 1963) I had difficulty with “your” when the Novus Ordo came in. My ear kept telling me to say, “for thine is the kingdom…” Now I attend the extraordinary form, so there’s no problem.

  11. After reading your exposition, Father, I like the “doxology” even more, despite its provenance. I didn’t realize that it is an Eastern tradition. It IS a sneaky way of getting Protestants to recognize the validity of Catholic Tradition. The doxology certainly is beautiful and true. Let’s not fight about that.

    ….on a related topic.. It is interesting to see ‘progressive’ Catholics general reaction to Eastern Rites or Orthodox worship. Ad orientem, no hand Communion! The progressives display thinly disguised condescension. The topic of ecumenism is taken off the table when a progressive looks East.

    A well known charismatic American bishop, a virtual rock star, was raised in the Eastern Tradition. This man makes Billy Graham style altar calls “every head bowed and every eye closed….thank you for raising your hand”. I have heard him tell the story of how relieved he was when he was given permission to get out of the Eastern Rite andthe switch over to the NO/OF back in the seventies. Eastern Rite Catholics would never have tolerated his antics.

  12. Singing Mum says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z! Informative.
    Now, I’m off to search your site for the other Protestant/ Catholic thing about the Pater- at least I think it is?? I’ve never really looked into it.
    Debts vs. Trespasses…

  13. jasoncpetty says:

    The more precious the prayer, the more conservative we tend to be!

    Too true. Like Breck, I’m always bothered by the switch back and forth from the ‘thy’ to the ‘your’ in the 1970 English. You can just imagine the first ICEL committee going over the Our Father and deciding whether to God-you-are-so-big it–“No, no . . . the little dummies actually know this one . . . I guess we’ll have to leave it.”

    I’ve brought Protestant friends to Mass and they ALWAYS start in on the first few syllables of the doxology when the priest starts the embolism. They’re confused for the rest of Mass.

  14. Prof. Basto says:


    You mention that the doxology “Quia tuum est regnum, et potestas, et gloria in saecula”, was not found in some manuscripts of Matthew, but is found in other early Catholic sources, finally making its way into the Protestant English Bible KJV.

    QUESTION: Is this doxology found in Jerome’s Vulgate?

    I ask this because, as you know, the decree of the Sacred Ecumenical Council of Trent on the canon of Sacred Scripture declared the books of the Sacred Scripture, mentioned by name one after another, and each and all of their parts as found in Jerome’s vulgate, to be holy and canonical.

    Thus, for the canonicity of this doxology, we would have to consult Jerome’s vulgate, since it is the version of the holy Bible to which the dogmatic magisterium of the supreme ecclesiastical authority makes reference.

  15. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    We can sit here and debate over how organic development should happen (the debate will never end over what was inorganic, and what is just liturgical abuse of not following the black&red, and how ‘organic development” can find its place in the middle). But I for one have no problem with the insertion of the doxology.

    First off, I was raised Catholic, to the point where I was probably in Jr. High before I realized hat Protestants always included that part immediately after the word “evil”. So it doesn’t sound protestant to my ears, especially, as Father mentions, since there is an embolism in between.

    And it certainly isn’t harmful to the faith. It seems like a very theologically sound phrase, and as others pointed out, it was used in the very early church, and stuck around in the East. Unlike many additions and changes to the mass which do seem simply to make it more “Protestant”, this case feels more like a case of the Church recognizing an actual Good from other Christian faiths and saying, “yes, that is something that will benefit us as Catholics”, and not “that will make the Protestants feel more at home”. At least, that’s how it feels to me

  16. Nathan says:

    This was a fascinating post, Father. I admit, though, with a Protestant upbringing I do hear the little doxology after the Our Father in the Novus Ordo with a certain bias. Could I ask our Eastern Catholic and Orthodox brethren who comment here what you think of the addition of the little doxology after the Our Father? Do you see it as a gesture toward unity between the Eastern and Latin Rites?

  17. What’s interesting is that only the priest says the doxology for the Our Father in the Eastern Rites as far as I know.

  18. authorwoman says:

    Miss Moore, Henry VIII’s first English Bible was The Matthew Bible, which did include Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and Myles Coverdale’s completion of his work on the Old Testament. It was issued in 1537. Using the title The Matthew Bible obfuscated Tyndale’s contribution. The Great Bible, Myles Coverdale’s revision of The Matthew Bible, deleted Tyndale’s notes and commentary and was published in 1539. Coverdale did not know Greek, however and used the Latin Vulgate, so a new translation was issued under Elizabeth I, the Bishop’s Bible, in 1568–which also rivaled the Geneva Bible (the Puritans’ favorite). [Alister McGrath’s In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible . . . is my source.] You are correct that Henry VIII would not knowingly promote Tyndale’s work, although he liked Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man. When Tyndale opposed Henry’s marital arrangements in The Practice of Prelates, he lost a fan and gained an enemy.

  19. Fr. Basil says:

    \\Could I ask our Eastern Catholic and Orthodox brethren who comment here what you think of the addition of the little doxology after the Our Father? Do you see it as a gesture toward unity between the Eastern and Latin Rites?

    Like all the other churches in the Catholic Communion, the Latin Church has the right to order her liturgy as she feels is best.

    I’ve never seen it as a gesture to anything in particular.

  20. MichaelJ says:

    When I asked, years ago, why Catholics do not recite the “whole” Our Father, I was told: “Because those words, as beautiful and pious as they are, were not spoken by Christ. We Catholics do not presume to think that we can improve on the words that Christ Himself gave us”.

    I am convinced that those who added these words to the Mass were too afraid to answer their critics as I was answered lest those critics think Catholics were accusing them of presumption. Instead, they wanted to say “See, we’re just like you”.

    As far as the embolism goes, I am not familliar enough with the NO to say, but is there an “Amen” at the end of the Our Father and before the embolism?

  21. cothrige says:

    At our parish the choir sings the Our Father and the doxology after. I have always found it very odd that they insert a sung “Amen” at the end, not of the Our Father where 99% of Catholics would naturally expect one, but rather of the doxology! That has always seemed rather revealing to me. If one is going to tamper with the prayers why not do so in a Catholic way at least? For me that “Amen” is what is really jarring.

  22. Trad Tom says:

    I just don’t say that part, just as I don’t stand there with my arms in the “orans” position. My eyes are closed, my hands folded, as I say just the Our Father.

  23. RichR says:

    I’ve been struggling with a lot of liturgical questions lately, most notably how to live out my worship and prayer life in a “OF-only” area whilst I have Traditional leanings.

    One conviction I have come to is this: Our Lord’s guarantee of indefectibility to His Church prevents the Church from imposing a liturgical rite that is intrinsically harmful to the faithful (Michael Davies said as much). So, while we may have these spirited discussions of liturgical propriety, onlookers must remember that attending the OF Mass or praying the OF Liturgy of the Hours does not pose a harm to their Catholic Faith. It may be esthetically, liturgically, and doctrinally lean, but you can be assured that the Church will not impose something on the faithful that denies the faith.

  24. Bornacatholic says:

    Your two consecutive posts – Traditional Baptism and Innovative Doxology – are excellent examples of how modernity has stripped us of ineffable beauty and replaced it with protestant sensibilities.

    Very interesting.

    Was this dramatic didacticism intentional?

    If yes, you have surpassed even your own high level of quality output. Kudos..keep them coming :)

  25. Lynne says:

    It always makes me a little sad to discuss this as I vaguely remember my mother saying that she would never say the Lord’s Prayer the way the Protestants do (when the NO Mass was just starting to spread). It’s only now that I realize that’s around the time she stopped going to Mass. I wonder how many other souls were lost then.

  26. LorrieRob says:

    “Catholics didn’t use the ancient Catholic prayer and Protestants did, in order to be Protestant, which is a ironic.” …I love this as it so true of human nature to focus on the form of things verus the spirit and substance that is intended. I think Jesus spoke often of this attitude and not in positive terms….
    Returning to the most ancient expression of the liturgy that was observed by the apostolic generation or the one just after that received the earliest tradition from actual witnesses is a powerful witness to the Truth that is the foundation of our faith. This is not about doing a church service where one’s aesthetic preferences are all that matters.

  27. paulbailes says:

    Dear RichR,

    It was the evident truth in Michael Davies’ writings that led me back to the TLM, not just because Michael Davies said so. Thus just because Michael Davies says (as you say) “that Our Lord’s guarantee of indefectibility to His Church prevents the Church from imposing a liturgical rite that is intrinsically harmful to the faithful”, it doesn’t follow that the NOM is an example of the Church’s indefectibility , nor is it harmless:
    1. the NOM applies only to the Latin Rite, not the whole Church;
    2. SP’s admission that the TLM was never abrogated seems to me like an admission that the de facto imposition of the NOM was illicit; [HUH? No.]
    3. if the NOM is so harmless, why is the Church in such bad shape?
    4. Michael Davies, while estimable, was not infallible

    The NOM may not deny the Faith, but by comparison with the TLM tones it down. That’s the diabolical cleverness of the whole NOM exercise: not necessarily heretical , not necessarily invalid, but still harmful.

    So, take this protestant-style doxology after the Pater Noster. As Fr Z points out, not necessarily non-Catholic, but what are Catholics supposed to take it for anything other than some kind of hint that their (protestants’) worship is not just all right but in some way exemplary? The devil must be laughing every time faithful Catholics submit to this rubbish. [?]

    As a holy priest once said to me re the NOM: “It’s not nice; don’t go!”. If you can’t get to the TLM, remember that the Japanese Catholics kept the Faith for 200+ years with the Rosary. [What a lousy thing to suggest.]


  28. Nan says:

    paulbailes, I think the devil laughs so hard he pees his pants as Catholics debate, discuss, argue and disagree on the merits of one Mass v. another.

    The Holy Priest who told you to avoid the NO, may have been sincere but was also misguided as that separates people who belong to one church. Note that it is possible for the NO to be celebrated in a reverent manner.

  29. Geoffrey says:

    Excellent post, Father!

    I am all for it being in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I think it is particularly moving when it is chanted in Latin. I wish that were done more often!

  30. Mike Morrow says:

    I find that the doxology (when I’m forced to attend a novus ordo service) isn’t as pointlessly stupid and absurd as all that “reach across the aisles and the pews holding everybody’s uplifted hands” nonsense that most novus ordo clergy needlessly inflict on their congregations at the same time.

  31. Tony Layne says:

    I was raised on the NO—I have yet to attend a TLM—and I’m completely comfortable with the doxology. I am not, however, comfortable with the orans position or the hand-holding, and will only do it if I’m sitting next to someone who obviously expects me to do it.

    @ paulbailes:
    1: The fact that the Tridentine liturgy was never abrogated doesn’t lead us to the conclusion that the NO is “illicit”; since it was imposed by the correct and proper authorities, it’s licit by definition. Whether it was prudent is another matter; but:
    2: The Church is “in such bad shape” due to quite a few causes, of which the NO (taken as a whole) may or may not be a symptom.

    I’m sorry, but I simply don’t see any harm stemming from the (re-)inclusion of the doxology, and attributing it to Satan or a Protestant vision is just a bit over the top; it’s like putting on a suit of armor to attack a hot fudge sundae. There are more weighty problems with the NO liturgy that the new translation will (hopefully!) sort out; there are a lot more problems with how some parishes are celebrating the NO Mass that will take much more to straighten out.

  32. paulbailes says:

    Dear Tony

    The “imposition” I was talking about was how the NOM was supposed totally to supplant the TLM – that was revealed by SP to be false, and thus those who acted to suppress the TLM acted illicitly.

    I quite understand that you’re “completely comfortable with the doxology” … you are a victim of having been “raised on the NO”.

    Sincere regards

  33. Bender says:

    If it was a step toward unity with our separated brothers and sisters, that is a good thing.

    Not every matter needs to be turned into us versus them, we do not need to be reflexively contrarian on everything involving Protestants.

  34. paulbailes says:

    PS apologies Tony – that last remark was not meant to be as patronising, nor as any kind of adverse reflection on those who raised you, as it appeared. IMHO we are all victims of the chaos of the last 50 years, for which no-one is any better off.

  35. Geoffrey says:

    “IMHO we are all victims of the chaos of the last 50 years, for which no-one is any better off.”

    What a negative outlook! I was born during the reign of Venerable Pope John Paul the Great and also raised on the “new Mass”, and I turned out nice and orthodox… by the grace of God, of course!

  36. Sixupman says:

    To me the “Libera nos …… ” is much more expressive of my Faith!

    But what about the change, remaining, relative to the missing comma in the third Sanctus ? And why was it deleted? Not only does it jar, it appears not to make sense! [Hang on! There is not supposed to be a comma after the third Sanctus in the Sanctus. In the Sanctus we are calling the Lord “Holy”, indeed, the Lord is thrice “Holy”. That is why there is not supposed to be a comma after the third “Holy”.]

  37. Sixupman says:

    I forgot, the reason alleged for the deletion of the “Libera nos … ” was that it would upset the Protestants with reference to the doctrine of The Blessed Virgin. No?

  38. paulbailes says:

    Dear Geoffrey, you may think different when
    – you try to bring up children Catholic
    – lose your job for not undergoing pro-gay sensitivity training
    – get euthanased
    – etc etc etc
    all of which have been reported on WDTPRS, and all of which would have been unthinkable back in the days before the Catholic Church lost its self-confidence (epitomised by protestantising the Mass liturgy).

    BTW The Remnant webpage currently leads with an interesting article including a revealing crituque of JP-II’s reign.

    God bless

  39. paulbailes says:

    Dear Nan,

    No matter how pious some celebrations may appear, the NOM is inherently irreverent. It makes us thumb our noses at centuries of liturgy and the doctrines emphasised thereby.

    Think of the English martyrs who died for their traditional mass vs. Henry VIII’s 16th century version of the NOM.


  40. John UK says:

    Paul wrote:
    Think of the English martyrs who died for their traditional mass vs. Henry VIII’s 16th century version of the NOM.

    Not Henry VIII. During his reign two alterations were made to the Missals then in use in England, Wales and Ireland (mainly, by then, the Sarum Missal, but there were also other uses: Bangor, Hereford, York). These were the erasure [literally] of St.Thomas Becket from the Kalendar, and of mention of the Pope from the Canon and other prayers.

    The Henrician martyrs died for refusing to accept Royal Supremacy of the Chiurch in England, and for refusing to accept the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn. Notably, in St.Thomas More’s case, it was for keeping silent about these things, when Henry desperately needed More’s public support. The Pilgrimage of Grace was chiefly for the restoration of monastic houses.

    The imposition of the vernacular Prayer Book in the short reign of Edward VI led to the Cornish rebellion for the restoration of the Missal.

    Under Mary, the whole realm was reconciled to the Holy See.

    Not until Elizabeth had been on the throne for eleven years, in 1570, did Pope St.Pius V excommunicate Elizabeth and any of her subjects who rejected the bull’s releasing them from their oaths of allegiance to her.

    The Tudor Reformation was a long, ongoing process, by no means the black-and-white it is sometimes painted. Before the final breach the Anglican Bishops had been invited to the Council of Trent [but declined]; the Liber Precum Publicarum had been sent to Rome for consideration; and as late as 1588 Lord Howard of Effingham, a Catholic, had commanded the English Fleet against the Spanish Armada. In the seventeenth century there were serious proposals for reconciliation with Rome, with talks between Archbishop Laud and Fisher the Jesuit before the Commonwealth and after the Restoration which involved retaining a vernacular liturgy and married priesthood (and episcopate). Despite Rome’s acceptance of these, the schemes came to nothing because of popular anti-Popery.

    Professor Eamon Duffy, in his classic works, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c.1400 to c.1580 (1994); The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village (2001); and Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor (2009) has done much to give a clearer picture of what was really happening in 16th century England.

    Kind regards,
    John U.K.

  41. mike cliffson says:

    Howbeitsomedever, an undermining of Catholic identity. All these things, few as you demonstrate all that dreadful in themselves, added up, it is judgemental to feel they were MEANT to add up.
    I do remember (’69?’73?) a bracing meeting at the local convent school from a member of ARCHIC, I think a J. As well as a hopeful and interesting update(more less what has now happened! – I think in about two years archic had achieved all of substance it was ever going to!) he was coldshowerly refreshingly AGAINST touchyfeely allgoodfellows ecumanism, especially intercommunion. Approx : ” Care permanently required. Lack of communion hurts. SO IT SHOULD. Until such time as there IS full communion with our separated brethren,the scandal won’t go away by pretending that differences aren’t there, meetin people halfway etc etc.” [Ummmm….. ?]

  42. MAJ Tony says:

    paulbailes: I don’t think it’s simply a matter of “protestantizing of the liturgy.” I would tend to agree that the NO is not the optimum in some respects, I don’t think it’s simply a matter of that change that led to where we are today. It simply does not follow to say that, because it’s quite a bit more complex. We failed miserably at catechism, and I think THAT is the bigger failure. We failed in catechism, both of the nature of the Mass, and Catholicism in general. I would submit that absent THAT failure, we wouldn’t be in the predicament we’re in now, and most, if not all, of the liturgical abuses (including communion in the hand, versus populum and the overuses of communion under both species (ergo overuse of EMHCs) and concelebration, would either never happen, or would have been dealt with properly and immediately.

  43. Thanks for another great and informative post.

    Personally, I don’t mind the inclusion of the doxology in the NO liturgy. Nor would I mind its removal much. It is one of those things I remain completely neutral about.

    I hadn’t prayed for a while when I started my process of conversion. I had left the Norwegian Lutheran ecclesial community years before. And when I converted, I was in Ireland, and learnt the prayers in English, the Catholic way. I still pray mainly in English (especially set prayers) and increasingly in Latin for the Divine Office and sometimes for some decades of the rosary. However, I also do of course pray some in Norwegian and just to make things confusing I would usually use the form of ‘standard’ written Norwegian not used at Mass but which I learnt the prayers in when young and which I just prefer for the set prayers. Anyhow, it took me some time to stop myself from automatically carrying on with the doxology in the Our Father when I prayed it in Norwegian outside of Mass because my brain by default rerouted to the way I had learnt to pray the Our Father when young as I prayed it in my native language even though I prayed it in English all the time without the doxology and was perfectly used to doing so at that stage. At Mass it was no problem, probably also because Mass in Norwegian uses another standardised version, being in “bokmål” rather than “nynorsk” to the one I had learnt, so I had to actually learn how to say the doxology in the Mass in “bokmål” when we reached it.

  44. Alice says:

    “But what about the change, remaining, relative to the missing comma in the third Sanctus ?”

    Huh? We’ve sunk so low as to fight about COMMAS in a language where punctuation is a rather modern invention?!?!?! Maybe we should just go back to the original, SANCTVSSANCTVSSANCTVSDOMINVSDEVSSABBAOTH&C. In English I think it works better without the comma, but I could argue it either way after a large mug of Mystic Monk Coffee. [You are wise. The comma thing, however, does mean something.]

  45. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    When I got to “Catholics didn’t use the ancient Catholic prayer and Protestants did, in order to be Protestant,” I wondered something along the lines of, might it have been “an example of […] liturgical archeology or antiquarianism”, of ‘restoration work’ or (to put it ‘organically’) ‘recultivation of a latent feature’ characteristic of the ‘Patristic Age’ or ‘Primitive Church’?

    Having read the whole post and comments (till 12 Feb., 11:42 a.m.) – and especially John UK’s references to “the Sarum Missal [… and] also other uses: Bangor, Hereford, York” – I am left (lazily) wondering whether it is a feature of any of these or other Latin “uses” (e.g., Gallican, Mozarabic, Ambrosian, et/aut cetera) at periods more recent than “1500 years” ago ? (Where-all, and why, did it die out – or was it deleted – in Latin use?)

    And do we have any explicit 16th-c. discussions as to why the Doxology was (or was not used, where it was or was not) in the Prayer Book?

    With reference to the ‘Sanctus’, might it include an implied “Tu Sanctus Es”?

  46. catholicmidwest says:

    It’s only a doxology, and it’s not contrary to the Catholic faith. It’s not like it’s contaminated with anthrax or anything just because Protestants use it in their regular version of the Lord’s Prayer. Some people really hate Protestants here, don’t they?

    I think the issue with the prayer as it stands is more that it was inserted that way into the mass during the rewrite of the Latin text in the late 60s, in hopes that it would help with conversions from protestantism. But this was really very silly , and a clear indicator that the Catholic powers-that-be really didn’t understand the dynamic there. For a protestant to become a Catholic, this business about the Lord’s Prayer in church is about issue #1, 945, 845 to the 23rd power. There are so many other things that new converts have to get over that are so much more pressing and so much more important.

  47. catholicmidwest says:

    The above said, fewer and fewer people come to the Church from protestantism, because there are fewer and fewer practicing protestants as the years go by. Most of the population now is post-modern secular humanist, new age or some other odd thing, meaning that they don’t really understand Christianity at all, but they are convinced that they do, while doing something else on a day-to-day basis because they like it.

    To people like this, whether that doxology has been affixed to the Lord’s Prayer or not is nearly invisible. They generally really don’t care one way or another.

  48. Supertradmum says:

    Until I left RCIA, I saw that most of the converts were either from very low Church, non-denominational and non-associated Protestant churches, or from Pentecostalism, or nothing, that is secular humanists. The number of Lutheran or Methodist people coming over was lessening, I assumed, for some of the reasons stated above: that the mainline Protestants are becoming extinct in certain parts of America. In our Midwest urban area, the biggest churches are independent, non-denominational protestant churches-one of a kind with thousands of “parishioners”. This means that the Our Father as said by the Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Methodists might not even be part of their weekly services. I think, unless one lives in a very strongly denominational area, the issue of the Protestant Our Father may be fading. No RCIA person in my last class even mentioned the OF Our Father as “being the same” as I would have heard in the 1990s, when I was working with mostly Anglican and Methodist converts.

    As to the change, I really did not mind it one way or the other, except for aesthetic reasons, as I saw it as a clumsy insertion, and as I was a young person growing up in the Latin Mass who paid attention to all the words in Latin and was aware of doxologies in the liturgy, understood why it seemed fitting. However, I also saw it as purposefully appealing to the Protestants, as was the NO, and did not like that. What I have very strong objections to is that the horrible custom of the laity holding hands during the prayer and then lifting them up like Pentecostals at the end, which annoys me greatly as a great aberration of lay participation.

    I think the issue now should be which Christian groups actually say the Our Father and how we, at least share that in common. With so many new groups, we are losing common ground, in doctrine and in prayer.

  49. mike cliffson says:

    yr Ummm?
    Sorry, lousy witness, me. The bracing very early ARCIC bod , (whose name I forget, and the exact date, the talk was at the convent school in Bedford, Beds, UK) I personally heard did NOT mention the doxology nor any particular change in the liturgy or otherwise. He was however most definitely AGAINST any changes made /to be made to meet Protestants in general , Anglicans in particular halfway IN ANTICIPATION of putative but as yet unsettled full communion (He did not want to be drawn on the very different question of Easterners not in communion with Rome.) Assuming such motivation, of course. All water under the bridge, but what’s the latin for “If it works don’t fix it”?

  50. MichaelJ says:

    fewer and fewer people come to the Church from proterstantism , because there are fewer and fewer practicing protestants as the years go by.

    Perhaps this is part of the reason, but I really doubt that it is has much effect. The reason is because in the vast majority of cases, there is no discernable distinction between a Catholic Mass and a protestant service. I asked my brother-in-law what he thought of the local Catholic Mass. His reply? “Methodist lite”.

    Honestly, how can we expect anyone to bother becoming a Catholic if we tell them at every turn, directly and indirectly (and the insertion of this doxology for all of its esteemed pedigree, is precicely for this reason) that there is no difference?

  51. Centristian says:

    “It’s only a doxology, and it’s not contrary to the Catholic faith. It’s not like it’s contaminated with anthrax or anything just because Protestants use it in their regular version of the Lord’s Prayer. Some people really hate Protestants here, don’t they?”

    I think the anger you see, here, clumsily expressed about Protestant influences in the Catholic liturgy is ultimately directed at the Catholics responsible for revising the Missal after Vatican II, and not at Protestants, at all.

    Some Catholics, I notice, find that various unrelated vocabulary words are, in fact, interchangeable: “Protestant” = “liberal” = “modernist” = “different” = “new” = “Novus Ordo” = “Conciliar” = “bad” &c. For some people, it’s all the same. For the same people, words like “Traditionalist” and “Conservative” and “Tridentine” and “Republican” and “Catholic” and “Fox News” and “good” are synonyms.

    There are those Catholics, I am afraid, who will attack in a Catholic setting anything that they, personally, regard as “Protestant”, regardless of whether or not it is really “Protestant” by definition. I know some traditionalist Catholics who will not suffer the use of long surplices because long surplices are “Protestant”. Do they really mean that a long surplice is intrinsically “Protestant” somehow? How could it be? What they mean is that they’ve seen (or imagine they’ve seen) Episcopalian clergy in America wear long surplices more often than thay’ve seen Catholic clergy in America wear long surplices, therefore long surplices are, in their estimation, “Protestant”.

    But some Protestant clerics wear lacey cottas…and Roman cassocks…and stoles…and copes…and fiddleback chasubles…and birettas, &c, &c, &c. Are all those things “Protestant” too, therefore? Protestants also worship in buildings they call “churches”. Are churches “Protestant”, therefore? When an Episcopalian drinks Pepsi Cola, is it, therefore, a “Protestant” beverage?

    The doxology following the embolism is no more “Protestant” than anything else that certain Catholics routinely denounce as “Protestant”.

  52. PaterAugustinus says:

    This is the precisely correct note to strike: as an Orthodox Christian, who loves and uses the Latin Rite, I wholeheartedly concur that the embolism (“hoti sou estin hi basileia, kay hi dinamis, kai hi doxa…”) is an ancient and Catholic tradition used in the Byzantine Rite since at least the time of Ss. Basil and John Chrysostom. Yet, for all that, it is out of place in the Latin Rite and is disruptive there. Just because something is old and venerable, doesn’t mean that it can be used indiscriminately.

    Although, Pope St. Gregory the Great did not share our liturgical purism, when he advised St. Augustine of Canterbury to use whatever combination of Gallican, Roman and local customs may exist for the new liturgy of the English Church. He mentioned that the customs of places were to be loved on account of their excellence, rather than customs being considered excellent on account of their places. The key is a respect for proper decorum and the integrity of Tradition. In the hands of a competent, sober and pious man – like St. Augustine of Canterbury (or St. John the Wonderworker!) – I think a blending of customs could be successful and not necessarily be impious, non-Traditional nor disruptive.

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