Do we need Summorum Pontificum and the Corrected Translation? You decide.

A study in contrasts.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. flyfree432 says:

    “LOL” has become an Internet cliche, but when you actually “laugh out loud” looking at a photo of a liturgy, you know something has gone terribly wrong. I am at a McDonald’s near Cabela’s comparing kayak’s online before I go in the store and buy one and now everyone is looking at me like I have lost it.

  2. ejcmartin says:

    The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has finally announced we will begin using the new texts beginning at Advent! Oorrah!

  3. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Lex orandi, lex credendi.

    The greatest re-evangelization tool we have is the re-sacralization of the liturgy. Of course, the liturgy isn’t a “tool” at all— it is the solemn worship of almighty God, in the Mass the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father for the forgiveness of sins. And that is exactly why a liturgy which tangibly expresses these awe-inspiring mysteries is such an enormous boon for re-invigorating the Faith.

    No workshop or RE program could ever match the sacred liturgy in its power to both catechize and evangelize.

    The Eucharist is the “source and summit” as Vatican II says—the rest follows. It is the foundation, the bedrock. Shore up the foundation and all that is built on it will be that much more fruitful.

    Save the liturgy, save the world!

  4. Tony Layne says:

    What in the name of Zeus’ posterior fundament are they doing—playing pattycakes!?

  5. wanda says:

    I think it may be a game of London Bridge.

  6. Andy Milam says:


    This is going to sound cliche, but…clown Masses are cliche, even when a misguided bishop allows for it.


  7. amenamen says:

    Is that the uniform from Ghostbusters?

  8. Consilio et Impetu says:

    flyfree432: LOL may mean Laughing Out Loud but when I saw the photo I think it can mean Liturgy OutLandish.
    I hope and pray to one day see ad orientem as the norm for the Novus Ordo Rite as well as the Extraordinary Form and enough of playing with the faith of the people in the pews. What if those in the pews cut off the funding for these bizzare performances (since I do NOT consider them to be authentic liturgy). May then the nonsense will cease. SAVE THE LITURGY, SAVE THE WORLD! Lex orandi, lex credendi. God forgive us, God help us!

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    Of course, the top photo is a picture of a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated pretty much by the book, as we hope to be the norm when the corrected translation is introduced.

    But the bottom Mass is also a Novus Ordo, though with some apparent departures from the GIRM, so I’m not sure how either SP or the corrected translation will apply to it. But having seen this photo several times, I’ve finally figured out why the high fives. . . . This is the Acclamation after the Consecration, and they’re celebrating the Real Presence of Christ just confected on the altar.

  10. Andy Milam says:

    This had to be taken at Holy Thursday…notice the benches/chairs around the altar. I mean really, the Mass is a seder, right? Right? RIGHT?!?

    Oh woe is me….I don’t understand the liberal mind….how can the sacrifice be reduced to the absurd?

    The Archbishop of Salzburg should be ashamed to be part of that.

  11. Andrew says:

    Lex bacchandi, lex furendi.

  12. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Father, your recent juxtapositions remind me of Fr. Jay Toborowsky’s and Fr. Tim Finigan’s Summorum Pontificum celebration videos. Can it be almost 4 years already? Deo gratias!

    Fr. Toborowsky’s

    Fr. Finigan’s

  13. disco says:

    Dad always said laughter was the best medicine, which is probably why several of us died of tuberculosis.

    Fuzzy memories by jack handey

  14. Maltese says:

    Come on guys: it’s easy, they’re playing A La Vibora de la Mar!

  15. lucy says:

    The first is comforting and calming.

    The second makes my skin crawl.

  16. benedetta says:

    Picture #2 makes me think of leisure suits.

    Is anyone else reminded of the Martin Short/Harry Shearer routine about synchronized swimming when they watch the liturgical dance videos?

  17. Glen M says:

    I’ve seen this photo (the second one) many times. Do we know the source? Is it a Catholic Mass?

  18. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    It reminds of a joke I read once heard.

    A clown, a bishop, and a sushi chef were playing patty cake in church one day…

  19. Joe in Canada says:

    I agree, but it’s an uphill battle. Don’t they get this stuff at WYD and Steubenville?

  20. Maria says:

    Top picture, beautiful.

    Second picture, scary to say the least.

    (Are they Freemasons or something?)

  21. BobP says:

    I can’t see how the new translation will prevent patticakes and other such picnic behavior at Mass. There is ample opportunity at every Mass to sneak in some innovation.

  22. BobP: I think that elevating the language will help rebuild a sense that what we do in church is important.

  23. Andy Milam says:

    @Glen M;

    It is in the Salzburg Cathedral and the bishop is Archbishop Alois Kathgosser. He is no friend of Rome.

  24. spock says:

    Photo #1 is most edifying
    Photo #2 is most disturbing.

    Perhaps we need Summorum Pontificum “Bumper Music” to elevate awareness.
    May I suggest, “Take Out the Papers and the Trash” by The Coasters ?

  25. APX says:

    @Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    I think that elevating the language will help rebuild a sense that what we do in church is important.

    I’m still somewhat skeptical, as there are many priests and laypeople who do feel what’s done in church is important, but for whatever reason, lack a sense of what’s appropriate for Mass and what isn’t.

    For example, some people enjoy watching dance, and think it’s very beautiful and expressive, therefore it should be incorporated into Mass.

    Then there are those who think the music has to be upbeat and folky to draw in the young crowd, or feel that Gregorian chant is “too depressing” for a funeral than regular Mass music.

    Then there are those who feel the homily needs to be lively, and entertaining to keep people engaged. Vaguely relevant anecdotes, poor humour, heck-even singing the homily are all great ideas.

    The new translation will, without a doubt, cutdown on ad libbing, but I don’t think it will do much for the rest of the Mass. I think an intense bootcamp on liturgical etiqette, deportment, and rules of engagement would do more to clean up the other parts of Mass.

  26. swisswiss says:

    Salzburg Cathedral conjures up odd anecdotes on the subject of liturgical innovation. Later in his career, Mozart was organist there when Count Hieronymus von Colloredo was elected Archbishop-Prince. Under Colloredo “Pilgrimages and superstitious practices were banned, processions were restricted, church decoration was limited, musical settings of the Mass were shortened and sacred German hymns introduced … These changes led to deep resentment, and Colloredo and the architect of the pastoral letter [that implemented the policy], Johann Michael Bönike, were called ‘secret Lutherans’.” (see the wiki entry on Count Hieronymus von Colloredo for details).

    The upshot for Mozart was that the music had to fit a 45-minute Mass, compressing his 17 gem-like “Church Sonatas” to an average length of 4-minutes.

  27. Fr. Basil says:

    \\ feel that Gregorian chant is “too depressing” for a funeral than regular Mass music.\\

    Isn’t Gregorian chant supposed to be the “regular Mass music” of the Latin rite in any form and language?

    The music of the Melkite Church in the USA, even in English, is based on the Neo-Byzantine chant (Arabic version), and nobody thinks it “depression”. People sing their hearts out.

    The Ruthenian and Carpatho-Russian Churches use Prostopinje in either the original Slavonic. Some of the Ruthenians are unhappy with the present English adaptation, though how you sing music meant for one language in another will always be debatable. But again, nobody objects to it as “depressing.”

  28. APX says:

    @Fr. Basil
    Isn’t Gregorian chant supposed to be the “regular Mass music” of the Latin rite in any form and language?

    Yes, but now the “regular music” is stuff like “On Eagles’ Wings,” “Only a Shadow,” “I am the Bread of Life” and “Isaiah 49”.

    Actually, most people who have been in my car with me while listening to some of my Gregorian chant music have made comments about it sounding like funeral music, or that it was depressing. (I had one guy find it relaxing, so that’s a plus.) Maybe to those who don’t understand it, or are really into popular music might find it a little depressing for their taste.

  29. Maria says:

    Having come back to this and looking at the picture again, I still cannot get to grips with it.
    When we enter a Church, we bow in respect as we confront The Altar.

    I still cannot believe that this is going on. Its horrible.

    If this kind of thing spreads (the lack of respect) and becomes ‘the norm’ then I feel many good and genuine Catholics will leave the Church.

  30. Andy Milam says:


    I’m hoping that the Blessed Sacrament isn’t present, but rather in a separate chapel in your church. Because if the Blessed Sacrament is present you should be genuflecting in adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, not paying reverence to the altar.

    If the Blessed Sacrament isn’t present, KUDOS to you for doing what is proper.

  31. Maria says:

    You are correct Andy, I do genuflect before The Blessed Sacrament when I visit at our side Chapel. I kneel and bow down as far as my little body will let me.

    When I enter church, I go down on one knee before The Altar and when I pass by The Altar, I do a little respectful bow.

    This is why I cannot understand what I am seeing here.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I believe Priests and all Catholics should have a little fun, but there is a time and a place and I do not believe right in front of The Altar is the correct place; even if it is in aid of Charity.

    Holy ground, where the Priests prostrate themselves before The Altar should be reserved for Mass and visitation in prayer.

  32. irishgirl says:

    Top picture, wonderful to see. Beautiful and reverent. Viva il Papa!
    Second picture, I have to say, ‘What the heck…?!?’
    If that’s Salzburg Cathedral, ol’ Wolfie Mozart would be rolling in his grave!
    How long, O Lord, how long? And how long till the Archbishop who is doing the patty-cake routine retires?

  33. AnnAsher says:

    What on the green earth is happening in photo two?
    A game of red rover?
    There are…benches about the altar?
    If I saw this in person I think I’d vomit. As it is it took 4 attempts at reloading on my iPhone to earn a distinct pit in my stomach. How can people be so clueless Who they have in Jesus that they must invent such shenanigans? Is he a real Bishop?
    Are those clowns wearing jackets from the darma initiative?

  34. Centristian says:

    A beautiful shot of the concelebrated papal liturgy at St. Peter’s. I’m glad they’ve restored the traditional arrangement of the altar appointments, and that the vesture of the pope and the clergy has returned to a traditional Roman look. I have even seen a concelebrated papal liturgy wherein all the concelebrants, as well as the pope, wore the Roman style chasuble.

    I always lamented the look that Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II brought to the papacy. The sort of vestments they wore for liturgical celebrations were perhaps alright for Masses abroad, but not for use at Rome. Certainly at St. Peter’s or in the Lateran or anywhere the pope celebrates at Rome, the look should be traditional and papal and…well…Roman.

    Happily, Pope Benedict (after an initial period that made me worry that things were actually going to get far worse) has restored much of that Roman look and feel to the papacy. Not completely, perhaps, and some days are better than others, but things are so very much better now than they were before he ascended the Chair of Peter. Never in my life did I ever expect to see a pope don a fiddleback chasuble again, or the Mantum, or the velvet and ermine mozzetta, or even a lace alb for that matter (certainly not the camauro).

    The contrast between these two images is great because both images show the celebration of the ordinary form of Mass. In the second image we see it abused and mocked; in the first we see it cherished and celebrated with all due dignity as befits the Mass of the Roman Rite. It’s good to be reminded that the Roman Rite can and always ought to be celebrated beautifully and majestically in either form.

    What a difference the proper celebration of the ordinary form of Mass makes. See that the much-maligned “Novus Ordo” hasn’t got to be that scary thing that terrifies many traditionalist Catholics. It can be that scary thing, unfortunately, as the other picture shows, but that’s despite what the ordinary form of Mass is, not because of what it is.

    The first picture shows nothing less than the “Latin Mass”. It’s not only the extraordinary form of Mass that can lay claim to that expression. It isn’t only the extraordinary form of Mass that can be celebrated ad orientem, with dignity and with majesty, with incense and chant and bells and beautiful vestments, with reverence and tradition.

    The ordinary form of the Mass of the Roman Rite should be characterized by all the same attributes that we automatically ascribe to the extraordinary form of Mass. I’ll never understand why certain cardinals and bishops will get themselves and their altars all dressed up to the liturgical nines, some even to the point of arriving at their cathedrals in cappa magna, whenever they pontificate according to the extraordinary form. But why, every other Sunday of the year, when they celebrate Mass according to the ordinary form, do they not arrive in cappa magna and wear the finest traditional-styled vestments and celebrate Mass (at least the canon) in Latin at the ordiginal altar, ad orientem? Why should they skimp when it comes to pontificating the ordinary form of Mass? It makes no sense to me.

    Pope Benedict does not make this mistake, however. He wears the sort of vestments and employs the sort of solemnity that many people would identify as being for use in the extraordinary form to celebrate the ordinary form of Mass. The Holy Father clearly recognizes that the ordinary form of Mass has just as much right to Latin and to beauty and to traditional solemnity as the extraordinary form of Mass has. Even more right, in fact, since it is, after all, the ordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    The abuses of the second image are, I think, relatively rare. I’ve never seen anything like that in 40 years. But even when the ordinary form of Mass does not suffer outright abuse, it cannot but be said that the art of celebrating Mass has been lost, for the most part. Usually the problem is not outright abuse, so much as it is a manner of presenting the Mass in a manner that is bland, boring, effeminate, and unworthy. The versus populum posture of the celebrant and the complete reliance upon the vernacular are the chief culprits.

    The art of the celebration of Mass needs to be restored. It hasn’t been lost, altogether, of course, but a beautifully celebrated Mass is the exception rather than the rule. Clergy who celebrate both forms of Mass, but who celebrate one form with all due dignity and not so much with the other form deserve a big finger wagging. Stop doing that! Set an example. Accord the ordinary form of Mass the same level of dignity and respect you accord the extraordinary form.

    A friend of mine is a priest and I wrangle with him over that all the time. He celebrates Mass according to the extraordinary form once a month, and he does so with all due dignity and reverence and wearing magnificent traditional vestments. But when he celebrates the ordinary form of Mass, out come the oatmeal-colored “hoodie” albs, the big pastoral stoles worn over the chasuble, and all the rest of the ugly. He thinks that you have to dress one way for one form and another for the other. He regards the traditional externals and forms as belonging soley to the “Tridentine Rite”. But that is just plain wrong, of course. He ought to show the ordinary form the same regard that he shows the extraordinary form.

    The Pope, as we see in this image, does just that. When he celebrates the ordinary form of Mass he affords it the same dignity as one would the extraordinary form of Mass. For the Pope, Latin and chant and sacred polyphony and exquisite traditional vestments and lace albs and incense and other signs of solemnity are by no means reserved to the extraordinary form of Mass, but are, in fact, in the first place, for the ordinary form of the Mass of the Roman Rite. Regardless of the form, he celebrates Mass as if it were…well…Mass.

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