Notitiae Responses online

My friend Jeffrey Tucker at The Chant Cafe has found something interesting.  There is an online database of responses given by the Holy See in Notitiae.

Here’s Mr. Tucker:

Steven van Roode drew my attention to a wonderful online database of Notitiae Responses that has appeared online. These had been previously very hard to find. It was nearly the case that you had to be a PhD student digging through the postconcilar archives to find them. Now they are available to anyone. They are interesting because, as the official journal of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, they provide insight into the mind of the Church following the Second Vatican Council.

There are some interesting points in here, such as the claim from 1966:

“News is sometimes spread around about an imminent reform of the Order of Mass or a definitive reform of the whole Mass, which lacks a serious foundation. The liturgical restoration needs many efforts and years of study.”



Hmmmm indeed.  Even though so many things were done now here and now there, with confused communications, purposely or not confused, experimentation with permission or without, Vatican II “spiritualists” on their iconoclastic march….  what chaos there was.

We need greater clarity from the Holy See about certain questions.  This applies also to the Extraordinary Form.

But that quote, above, also reminds me of the lead up to Summorum Pontificum and then Universae Ecclesiae.

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  1. Andrew says:

    Interesting exchange took place in 1970 (no. 28) where someone posed the question:
    28. In quibusdam versionibus popularibus formulae consecrationis vini in Missa, verba « pro multis » sic vertuntur: anglice for all men; hispanice por todos; italice per tutti.


    a) an adsit et quaenam sit ratio sufficiens pro hac variatione inducenda?

  2. amicus1962 says:

    Very interesting. I hope all the rest can be translated soon.

    From the batch that has been translated so far, I found wo notices of note.

    Notitiae 1 (1965), 307, n. 87.
    87. Which Mass is to be said where by indult of the Apostolic See the precept of Mass can be satisfied by a Mass which is celebrated on the evening of the preceding day?
    Resp.: It is preferable that the Mass of Sunday or of the feast be said, with a homily and the prayer of the faithful.

    This Notitiae seems to be in response to an earlier post about whether the Sunday text could be used for anticipated Mass on Saturday evening. Of course, this Notitiae concerns the 1965 Mass, and specifically not the 1962 Mass, but an argument could possibly be made that this would also have applied to the 1962 Mass.

    Notitiae 1 (1965), 136, n. 3.
    3. Whether in a read Mass one or another part of the Ordinary (the Kyrie, the Gloria, etc.) or of the Proper (e. g. the Gradual, the Communion antiphon) can be sung?
    Resp.: In the affirmative.

    The Congregation violates its own norms in the Instruction De Musucia Sacra (1958) by saying that the ordinary or proper can be sung in a read Mass.

  3. shin says:

    Before and after. . .

  4. br.david says:

    If I’m not mistakened, the CDW issued a document, ‘musicam sacram’, where it spelled out the exact usages of music during the Sacred Liturgy, in a manner of precedence…. I believe there are 3 degrees… the 2nd and 3rd degrees can be used ONLY if the 1st level is satisfied. I have a table with all of this information… but it’s interesting that this document, which I ‘THINK’ post dates the Notitiae of 1965, outlines for the parish what can be used for music AND when.

  5. Sam Schmitt says:

    I found one of responses (Notitiae 14 (1978), 301–302, n. 2) very interesting since many reform of the reform advocates argue that those things not explicitly laid down in the GIRM (e.g. how incensing the altar is to be done) are open to interpretation according to the 1962 rubrics. Not so, says the Congregation:

    “It must never be forgotten that the Missal of Pope Paul VI, from the year 1970, has taken the place of that which is improperly called “the Missal of St Pius V” and that it has done this totally, whether with regard to texts or rubrics. Where the rubrics of the Missal of Paul VI say nothing or say little in specifics in some places, it is not therefore to be inferred that the old rite must be followed. Accordingly, the many and complex gestures of incensation according to the prescripts of the earlier Missal are not to be repeated.”

    This is reiterated in a later response as well.

    However, it should be kept in mind that most of these responses predate the Ceremonial of Bishops, issued in 1984, which gives more specifics on certain rubrics.

  6. Andrew says:

    Here is my translation of the 1970, no. 28: in my view the response does not address the question. The questions was about the vernacular translation of Latin. Rationalizing the translation of the basis of some earlier Aramaic text was not part of the discussion. If anyone wanted to rationalize, they should have changed the Latin (editio typica) first and then translate. Instead, they left the normative Latin text alone (pro multis) and they piddled with the vernacular translations. Thank God for Benedict XVI who now four decades later fixed the schizophrenic hermeneutics of malicious discontinuity.

    Anyway: here is Notitiae, 1970, no. 28:
    28. In some vernacular versions the formula for the consecration of wine at Mass, the words “pro multis” are rendered as: for all men (english); por todos (spanish); per tutti (italian).


    a) is there and what is the adequate reason for the introduction of this variation?
    b) is the teaching regarding this matter passed on in the “Roman Catechism by Decree of the Tridentine Council by the authority of S. Pius V” to be considered as superseded?
    c) are all former biblical texts to be regarded as less accurate?
    d) or did indeed something defective slip into these newly approved vernacular variations that needs to be revised and corrected?

    Response: The variation mentioned above is fully justified:

    a) according to exegetes the Aramaic word translated into Latin as “pro multis” means “for all”: the multitude for which Christ has died is without any limit, which is to say: Christ has died for all. It will help to recall S. Augustine: “See what he gave, and you will find what he bought. The Blood of Christ is the price. How great is the price? What else but the whole world? What else but all nations? Those who say that he redeemed only Africans are very ungrateful of their own price and very proud thinking themselves to be so important that only for themselves was it given.” (Enarr. in Ps. 95. 5).
    b) the teaching of the “Roman Catechism” is by no means to be held as superseded: the distinction regarding the death of Christ being sufficient for all but efficient only for many, retains its value.
    c) in the given vernacular approbations of the liturgical text nothing defective has slipped in that would need a correction or a revision.

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