A priest does what the Council asked!

I have been griping that Latin is becoming isolated in the Extraordinary Form. It must not be. It must be used all the time, everywhere, in the Ordinary Form.

The language of the Latin Church’s worship is Latin.  What does it mean for our identity if we don’t use Latin?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald, he of rat infestation fame, has decided to celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph with rather more solemnity, Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form, sung, decent music, etc.

He is pretty worked up about this and has an giddy post on his blog Southern Orders.  Kinda fun.

He hopes not only to edify, and do precisely what the Council asked for liturgy, but also to annoy liberals.

Win – win.  I am for both objectives.

Then again, liberals are always annoyed by what the Council texts really say.

One of the things Father has chosen is the sing the SECOND Eucharistic Prayer in Latin. This is entirely possible, but I can’t recommend it for a solemn occasion. That is not what the Second Prayer is intended for. This is a Solemnity, after all. Furthermore, he makes the absurd statement, innocently repeating lousy scholarship which was shoved down our throats in seminary, that the Second Eucharistic Prayer is older than the Roman Canon. Noooo.  I’ve written about this too, but here is His Hermeneuticalness (just to work in another Say The Black Do The Red priest’s blog.  Moreover, the Kyrie is not the only Greek allowed in the Roman Rite (hint: Good Friday).

WDTPRS sends kudos to Fr. McDonald for doing what the Council asked!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I’ve noticed little improvements in our mass. I get the feeling that our priest is really trying to raise standards, and I believe the new translation may have been the impetus. The choir has been singing the Agnus Dei in Latin for Lent, and I very much hope they decide to keep it that way! In the 3+ years I have been at this particular parish, I had never heard them use Latin except at Christmas.

  2. mrose says:

    “for doing what the Council asked.”

    I was not aware that the Council asked for the Offertory to be eliminated or the formula for the Consecration of the Precious Blood to change. Or is Father going to use the Roman Offertory and the traditional formula for the Consecration?

  3. APX says:

    I swear I read in the new GIRM that EP II should be used for daily Mass and EP I used for Sundays and solemnities.

  4. acardnal says:

    See page 110 of the new GIRM. But it doesn’t appear to mandate or require. It uses words such as preferred, may, more appropriately, especially suited.

  5. The second Eucharistic prayer has its own “built in” preface which is to be used with it. Independent of any other norms, this would seem to imply (as I’ve always understood) that EP II is not supposed to be used on any feast day that has its own proper preface — as, for instance, does today’s solemnity of St. Joseph, whose proper preface is specified in the Roman Missal 3/e for use on this date.

  6. acardnal says:


    RE GIRM, dated June 2011, #365.b): “Eucharistic Prayer II, . . . Although it has its own Preface, it may be used with other Prefaces, . . . for example, the Common Prefaces.”

    Today was a Solemnity, however, so my parish priest used the designated Preface for Saint Joseph and EPI which the GIRM says is “especially suited . . .in the celebrations of the Apostles and of the Saints mentioned in the Prayer itself.”

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    I am longing for sung Latin Novus Ordo here. I like the EF too, but beautiful Latin Novus Ordo Masses are also quite essential. I am actively working on something which may help things along toward that here.

  8. James Joseph says:

    In the defence of the good priest who offered Ordinary Form in Latin.

    Perhaps he repeated the old hat of the Hippo. Canon so that he wouldn’t be stuffed into a black-van in the middle of the night and whisked away Yellowknife, or Baffin Island, or Novosibirsk.

  9. TNCath says:

    As I understand it, Eucharistic Prayer II has a Preface that is “usually” proper to the Eucharistic Prayer, but not “always,” as is the Preface for Eucharistic Prayer IV, which many priests routinely ignore. While Eucharistic Prayer II may not be the preference for many for the Solemnity of St. Joseph, it isn’t forbidden, either.

  10. Centristian says:

    If there were in this diocese a Mass in the Ordinary Form celebrated this way, I would say goodbye to both the Silly Form of Mass and the Extraordinary Form of Mass.

    With the Ordinary Form of Mass celebrated this way, the worshipping community’s presence and participatory role is actually acknowledged, and yet not at the expense of the solemnity and dignity of the Roman Rite of Mass. This community is truly fortunate to have such sensible clergy running the show. And what a wonderful tribute to the vision and leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. I’m…envious…for lack of a better term!

  11. filioque says:

    On Laetare Sunday I had the privilege of attending Holy Mass at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. It was a Novus Ordo in Latin, celebrated by the papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Vigano. Two priests from the nunciature and the college’s two chaplains concelebrated. The choir sang the propers in chant, we all sang the Kyrie, Credo III, the Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, and the choir contributed some beautiful polyphony during and after Holy Communion. I think everyone of the approximately 500 students, faculty, and visitors received on the tongue, many of the students kneeling on the floor (our bishop won’t allow use of the altar rail). There was incense and even the candles during the Eucharistic prayer (Fr. Z will tell us the proper name for them). It was truly beautiful.
    It occurred to me afterward that it was not very different from the EF that I normally attend on Sundays (I know, offertory prayers, versus populum).
    The Mass on Sunday was probably what Pope Paul VI thought the Novus Ordo would be. He wasn’t thinking about versus populum, that was foisted on us later, along with English only, ad libs, general sloppiness and informality, Communion in the hand, and above all, awful music and vapid sermons.

    So keep working to get more Latin and with it Gregorian chant. Encourage priests to preach about doctrine and the Sacraments, to invite people to come to confession, and to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

  12. filioque says:

    I should add that this was a typical Sunday Mass at Christendom College. The only unusual part was the welcome presence of the papal nuncio!

  13. FXR2 says:

    Father Z,
    I posted this at Fr. Allan J. McDonald’s blog. I am excited, but I am concerned about the lack of a sacrifice during the offertory, and the lack of a silent cannon [That would be a problem! Cannons are supposed to make a little noise. I prefer a silent Canon.] or EP. I do believe if Mass was said this way in the wake of the Council instead of instead of guitar, tambourine and puppet Masses the Church would not be in the crisis it is today.

    I will not let the perfect stand in the way of the good!

    I am ecstatic!. This sounds like the Mass called for by the Second Vatican Council! The only thing it is missing is a little bit of silence and a little sacrifice. Please consider praying whichever EP you like, but allow us some silence to contemplate the great mystery taking place in our midst. When it becomes permissible please reincorporate the traditional offertory.

    You are the Priest!

  14. FidelisV says:

    Fr. Z, please take a look at this funny post of Fr. Allan J. McDonald about using pink on Sunday Laetare

  15. JMody says:

    Fr. Z –

    obviously the man is a malcontent, an oppressor of the Enlightened, and hates women!! He must be stopped stoppped stopped!!!

  16. Random Friar says:

    Laetare Sunday in Lent, Mass OF, EP III, in Latin. It does happen.

  17. Mike says:

    Elizabeth D…. If you ever find yourself in Denver, CO on a Sunday morning, Holy Ghost Catholic Church has a beautiful sung Novus Ordo Massin Latin Mass on Sundays at 10:30. When my family is visiting Colorado we always try to make that a part of the trip. The parish is downtown and is is beautiful! The only thing that would make it better is if the Mass was said ad orientem, which it is not.

  18. southern orders says:

    Thanks for the post and the acknowledgement of what we did at St. Joseph Church in Macon, GA for our Feast Day! Our Mass went extremely well last night. I appreciate the comments concerning the Eucharistic Prayer which I chanted entirely in English from the Preface to the “Through Him…” I chose Eucharistic Prayer II because of its brevity and that I had never chanted the entire Eucharistic Prayer before (I have many times chanted it (Roman Canon as well as III) from the Epiclesis to the Mystery of Faith, but not the entire thing). I chose II because as it was, the Mass lasted one hour and a half, but everyone said they felt as though they were in heaven, so I guess I could have attempted the Roman Canon chanted entirely, but I don’t think I would have had the stamina. You can read more of my reflections on last night’s Mass at my blog.
    As well, I appreciate the comments about the “age” and true nature of Eucharistic Prayer II, but that is beside the point, it is a valid Eucharistic Prayer as are all the others in the new Roman Missal. But I certainly understand the sentiment and appreciation that many have for the Roman Canon. I share that too. Fr. Allan J. McDonald

  19. JonPatrick says:

    My family was in Lewiston Maine last weekend and got up too late to attend the Sunday EF Mass at 8 AM, so went to the 10 AM Ordinary Form which they report was very reverent with chanting, Latin, and incense, and a packed Basilica.

  20. AnAmericanMother says:

    Fr McDonald,
    Hurrah! Sounds like a magnificent occasion, and bless you for undertaking all the time and effort necessary to honor Christ and your Patron with a special Mass. Keep up the excellent work!
    I met one of your parishioners up here in Atlanta, we spent a happy half hour rejoicing and comparing parishes. (It was a draw!)
    I trust the rats have gone where old moons go. Ours did too.

  21. http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com/2012/03/holy-father-this-is-no-brainer-let-us.html

    The link to Fr. McDonald’s fuller report on how it went at this Mass last night (much expanding his brief comment above). Most interesting . . . the fact that everyone approaching the two priests for communion — on the tongue by intinction — accepted to option to kneel.

  22. loupizzuti says:

    Couple of other errors in Fr. McAllen’s piece.

    1) There is more Hebrew than “Amen” allowed in the Roman Rite. What about “Alleluia”?

    2) Also, the introit, gradual, tract, offertory, & communion are technically not from the extraordinary form, but from the Graduale Romanum, a new edition of which was published in 1974 in accord with Vatican II’s calendar reform. But, the festal texts and chants are the same between it and the previous editions.

  23. nola catholic says:

    Fr. Z, I’m somewhat confused by the insistence that Eucharistic Prayer II isn’t older than the Roman Canon. I read the post by Fr. Finigan that you linked to, but while the research he cites states that EP II isn’t necessarily older than the Roman Canon, it seems to suggest that it could be, and is at least of an age with it.

    It seems that from the research Fr. Finigan cites that the approximate age of the sources of EP II are between about 150 and 350 A.D. If Ambrose’s De Sacramentis is indeed the earliest reference of the Roman Canon, then the earliest reference for the RC is about 387-390 A.D. So the latest potential dating of EP II is still probably 30 years before Ambrose’s mention of the RC. Obviously the RC had to have been in use prior to De Sacramentis for Ambrose to quote it. But it’s been suggested that the RC was promulgated originally under Pope Damasus I (366-384) which would make sense as the end of his papacy coincided with the period in which Ambrose began writing more prolifically, and the years immediately before De Sacramentis. And even if the RC was around before Damasus, that still leaves the bulk of the 200 year range estimated as EP II’s inception, so EP II and RC would probably at least be of an age with each other such that we wouldn’t insist on calling one older than the other because of the inexact dating. But it still seems that the evidence is on the side of EP II being older, even if we can’t draw a solid conclusion on the matter. You said that you had written about this before, but I can’t seem to find the post. Is there any more information you could share about the issue to enlighten us?

    [There is a mighty big difference between something being older than the Roman Canon, and a jumble of snippets from hard to pin down sources glued together in the 1960’s.]

  24. nola catholic,

    There are a couple of comments to Fr. McDonald’s post


    that may provide you with a place to begin. One of them includes an analysis of the relation between EP II and the so-called Canon of Hippolytus.

    In short, you will see (looking also at the comment there by totustuusmaria) that there’s only a loose connection between the two, and moreover that the latter is probably misattributed to Hippolytus, likely has Syrian or Egyptian origins instead, and in any event is likely not a complete canon ever actually used in the Roman liturgy in ancient times. The real questions are about the difference between EP II and its sources, and about the meaning of the word “sources” in this context.

    The simple fact is that EP II is a modern composition with some allegedly ancient antecedents, but is certainly not a canon that dates back in liturgical use prior to the introduction of the Novus Ordo 30+ years ago. So if you want to compare it with the Roman Canon, it’s probably safe to say that–as an anaphora actually used in the liturgy of the Roman rite–the RC is at least sixteen centuries older.

    Father Z wrote extensively about EP II in his Wanderer column, but I don’t know whether this material is archived here.

  25. dominic1955 says:

    I will preface this comment with my sincere gratitude for priests like Fr. McDonald who try to introduce an actual Catholic liturgical ethos back into the life of their parishes. Since the NO is what 99% (or something like that), I think there is valuable work to be done using that missal in the real life situation we must deal with. That said…

    Fr. Z’s comment on EPII being “a jumble of snippets from hard to pin down sources glued together in the 1960’s” is eminently fitting for not just the made up “eucharistic prayers/anaphorae” but also the NO in general. The rest is either hold-overs from the TLM or just complete innovations with no real historical foundation-real or imaginary.

    It seems to me that much of liturgical scholarship of this time period was rather pathetic and/or merely ideologically motivated. This same subpar scholarship is what put the NO and its common praxis in the Church as the “norm” of liturgy from Rome on down. The liberals who demanded versus populum used this “scholarship” to foist this practice on the Latin Rite but took no notice when further scholarship figured out that this actually wasn’t the ancient practice, certainly not the way it ended up in practically every parish. The NO itself, as in the OF liturgy now the “norm”, is the “Roman Rite” by law only. Laszlo rightly and accurately refers to it as the Neo-Roman Rite .

    As to what the Council “wanted”, I don’t think anyone can surmise this with any believable degree of accuracy. Who wanted what? If you read the surveys sent out before, even the most “progressive” prelates didn’t call for a revised order of Mass or much of any change to the rite itself (aside from some calls for a simplification of Pontifical Rites). If you read SC, as an orthodox Catholic with knowledge of liturgy and previous statements from the Church, its basically a commentary on MD with a few new things some of which are utterly incomprehensible (suppression of Prime, why?!). If you see what happened afterwards, even most of the traditionally minded prelates embraced the silly season “reforms” or at least acquiesced to them.

    Vatican II’s liturgical whathaveyou is a fascinating look at groupthink, bowing to human respect and the zeitgeist, and the folly in messing with age old traditions in action.

    It is also one of the most poignant examples of the Holy Spirit protecting the Church. Despite all the machinations of the Modernists, despite the real mess we are in liturgically, spiritually, theologically, etc., the Church still never promulgated heresy, the Faith was not lost, the Church didn’t become Modernism.

  26. southern orders says:

    I tend to agree that the rank and file Catholics of the period prior to the Council, including a great number of bishops and lower clergy did not ask for any kind of change in the liturgy. It does seem to have been foisted upon the Church by “clericalist clique” of academics who wanted to bring the Church back to early Christianity before there was any liturgical development as though subsequent development was bogus.
    At any rate, I have no proof of this and simply toss it out, but I think noble simplicity that SC called for was for Pontifical celebrations, not your average run of the mill parish high Mass. And certainly nothing is more nobly simple than a low Mass. We’ve all heard this before, but the 1965 transitional Order of Mass seemed to be what the doctor ordered. It simplified the Prayers at the Foot of the altar and made some very good minor changes that would have been imperceptible to most laity.
    What the laity did love was a goodly amount of vernacular in the 1965 missal. This was accepted very, very well. We should keep in mind that vernacular was being allowed for Nuptials at the Nuptial Mass and also for Baptism and I presume also for Extreme Unction prior to the Council.
    My “reform of the reform” Ordinary Form Mass last night had a marvelous blend of Latin and English. Celebrating it ad orientem, what I appreciated was the Penitential Act’s noble simplicity. I faced the foot of the altar, sang the “Sign of the Cross” turned and greeted the congregation singing “The Lord be with you” and chanting the introduction to the Confiteor, turned back to face the altar, everyone recite the Confiteor in English. I chanted the absolution and as the choir began the Kyrie. I approached the altar and remained there through the Gloria, turned to the people, chanted “Let us pray” and went to the Epistle side and chanted the collect in English.
    The Rite of Communion’s revised simplicity is grand too. As the choir was singing the Agnus Dei, I “Broke the Bread” prayed the private priest’s prayers, had time to do them both! As soon as the Agnus Dei was completed, I genuflected turned to the congregation with the fractured host over the chalice and said, “Ecce Agnus Dei in Latin with “Blessed are those…” in English. We all spoke the “Lord, I am not worthy” I turned back to the altar and received Holy Communion as the cantor sang the Communion antiphon–this is dignified noble simplicity.
    To bring the Ordinary Form back into an Extraordinary Form ambiance, spirituality and devotional quality does not demand a great deal of revamping, only some refinement of rubrics. If we only went “ad orientem” just for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and kneeling for Holy Communion and with “intinction” I think we would see a “rebirth” of liturgical spirituality rooted in our tradition that is in continuity with what was in place prior to Vatican II.

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