OBITUARY: Spirit of Vatican II – RIP – 53 years of age

An oldie from the often amusing Eye of the Tiber:

[2014] CINCINNATI, OH- A Solemn High Requiem Mass was held Thursday at St. Martura Church in downtown Cincinnati for the Spirit of Vatican II, aged 52. After suffering a progressively debilitating illness for the last ten years of its life as a new generation of priests re-examined the Council in light of Sacred Tradition, the Spirit of Vatican II passed away quietly in its sleep last Tuesday.

“The Requiem Mass really brought closure to the community,” said 26-year old Father David Flannigan, FSSP, who celebrated the Mass with Deacon Brady Schwartz, 32, and Subdeacon Anthony LaViera, 23. “While the death of the Spirit of Vatican II was certainly expected, we were glad to offer Mass for its repose.”  [I would like to have been the celebrant for that one.  Perhaps I’ll schedule my own.]

“What a beautiful Mass!” commented long-time parishioner Gladys O’Neal. “I hadn’t seen black vestments since I was a little girl. And as much as I love the song On Eagle’s Wings, the Dies Irae sequence really got me thinking about the Four Last Things.”

The Spirit of Vatican II is survived by a dwindling number of aging hippies who dropped out of seminary in the ‘70’s, some faded felt banners, and tambourines presently gathering dust in storage.

Do I hear an “Amen!”?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The Solemn High Requiem may well have been held, and “Libera me ” chanted around the graveside, but it would be advisable to keep the Rituale handy, with the ribbon on the Exorcism prayers, just in case the Spirit decides to return to its former haunts… after all, it’s been famous for hanging around until decades after its sell-by date so coming back from the dead should be easy-peasy. And it won’t have any shortage of “famliars” to help it either.

  2. jfk03 says:

    The requiem is premature. I know several parishes that stii use felt banners and tambourines. But the priest who preached the enlightenment he experienced when the altars were turned around retired a few years ago and got married.

  3. Long-Skirts says:



    They cancelled all color
    Sanctuaries stripped
    First Communions were duller.

    No crinoline whites
    Pale hues they stressed
    Only pearled-Pharisees
    Are ever so dressed.

    Roses, carnations,
    Flowers, all manners
    Left just to wither
    Gainst assertive beige banners.

    Pillars of marble
    Corinthian styles
    They decided to paint
    Like pink bathroom tiles.

    Cassocks of red
    Habits blue, white,
    Robes of distinction
    Extinct over night.

    Missals with pages
    Embossed in gloss-gold
    Latin in tint
    English-black to behold.

    Even the ribbons
    To mark scriptural prayers
    Were of green, yellow, silvers
    So to keep us from errors.

    The soft votive flames
    The red opaque glass
    Gave an aura of stillness
    Like time could not pass.

    Yet time it passed
    Vividness drained
    And populations without color
    Cannot be sustained.

    So those underground
    With red blood in blue veins
    Birthed knowledge, the arts
    Great virtues they’ve gained.

    They did not decay
    God’s colors kept green
    For the day up above
    Once again to be seen.

    Except for those beige
    Gray fertility fades
    In their black open minds.

  4. mcgarveya says:

    The Spirit of Vatican II, the only thing keeping 1960’s folk rock alive….

  5. Mike says:

    Let us pray to St. Pius X on this his feast day to intercede for the Church against the modernist Gnostics of the present day — not all of whom are senescent Sixties children by any means!

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Well done long-skirts!
    And yes, Amen to this.

  7. Mike says:

    Long-Skirts’ paean brings to mind this bit of Twitter rap from the redoubtable Augustine of Hiphop (@hiphopaugustine).

  8. Mary of Carmel says:

    Marvelous article! A Mass for a dying spirit–who would have thought?
    If we send flowers, do we send the silk kind or a pot of peace lilies? :)

  9. iPadre says:

    This is one occasion that concelebration should be allowed in the Extraordinary Form.

  10. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    I don’t know… I just read this:

    “The diversity of the mosaic of who we are as Catholics is represented at this event, and it’s quite intentional,” Stehle elaborated.

    Also intentional is the music Stehle chose to sing at the Mass and its prelude. Alongside classic Mass parts by Maurice Duruflé and Richard Proulx and arrangements of American hymns by Aaron Copland are works and 19 new compositions by regional composers.

    By choosing hymns and settings from around the world, Europe, Latin America and the United States, the choir is “trying to capture the roots of our Pope,” a man who is himself of many different backgrounds and experiences.

    Is the Holy Father familiar with the magnum opus of Sidney Carter?

  11. robtbrown says:

    Spirit of Vat II–RIP.

    It seems there are some Vat II zombies walking around. . . some are German bishops.

  12. Prayerful says:

    I sadly think that it is not quite dead. Kneeling during (Novus Ordo but the authorities there would sooner have kittens than allow the Mass of Ages) Mass can get a seminarian in trouble in Maynooth, Ireland. Cardinal Kasper is in the full of his health. Pray for him and other bishops that they may come to love and understand Tradition.

  13. iamlucky13 says:

    The parish nearest to me replaced it’s tambourines with a full drum set, and its felt banners with giant felt butterflies. No joke. They look like they’re attacking the ressurexifix!

  14. DeGaulle says:

    Prayerful, as an Irishman, I am tempted to ask, regarding Maynooth seminary, why there is never an Islamic suicide bomber when you rally need one. But, resisting temptation, I won’t say it.

  15. jacobi says:

    ” Do I hear an Amen”


  16. Mike Morrow says:

    There really is no routine liturgy more beautifly solemn and impressive than a Requiem High Mass. I say routine, because in the pre-Vatican II era, in the natural course of parish life, the passing of parishoners required the Requiem High Mass with some frequency. In my parish all of the Gregorian Chant was sung by seventh- and eighth-grade students in the parish school who were pretty-well trained for it. We who served or sang took the funeral service very seriously.

    I have received the impression that many traditional communities have not yet developed the ability to deliver this liturgy fully to their members. It should be one of high priority.

  17. yatzer says:

    One can only wish. My home parish is very reverent. I was out of town last Sunday and went to a nearby parish because I could find it. I never saw such a suppression of all color! The walls were a sort of grayed blue/green. The carpet was nondescript, the seats were chairs upholstered in a mottled gray. The windows were clear glass, and some shapes that must have been stations of the cross were on the wall. A “worship band” introduced the processional with a blast from a trombone so loud it spiked my husband’s hearing and sent him fleeing to the car, where he waited for me until Mass was over. I would have thought it was a Protestant church, except most of them in my experience are more Christian-appearing. There was a traditional crucifix above the altar (IKEA table) thank heaven.

  18. WYMiriam says:

    Someone please be the Garrigue, that article you linked to gives me several more reasons (N.B.: “reasons”, not “excuses”) to stay away from the Pope’s visit . . . (emphasis added):

    In total, more than 300 performers will perform at the Mass.

    Is this going to be a talent show, or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

    Alongside classic Mass parts by Maurice Duruflé and Richard Proulx and arrangements of American hymns by Aaron Copland are works and 19 new compositions by regional composers.

    Gee, I thought the Easter Vigil was the most complicated of Masses concerning the music . . . I count more than two dozen separate musical pieces in here! Where are they going to fit all of them?

    Kristin Brown, who is also a music teacher, […] said she wanted to audition because “I love the Pope.” [and said] “I just think it would be the coolest thing to be on the altar with him singing at Mass.”

    well, I guess the “Spirit of Vatican II” lingo would have been “groovy” instead of “cool”. . . . but aren’t musicians supposed to be in a choir loft, or somewhere else, NOT “on the altar”?

    “We believe music has a transformative power for those who engage in it. When you think a prayer, that engages a certain part of your body. When you say a prayer, that engages even more. And when you sing a prayer that engages so much more of you,” [Thomas] Stehle [director of music ministries for the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.] continued.

    What twaddle. St. Augustine said something far better about music: “he prays twice who sings well.”

  19. bibi1003 says:

    Most Catholic churches and masses have lost the beauty and reverence that reflect the glory of our lord. Our priest plays the tamborine during the sung Alleluia,which is set to a tune that sounds as if it were written for an ol’ time Pentecostal tent revival. One Sunday, we had a jazz quartet playing a jazz version of The Old Rugged Cross, followed by giddy applause. Recently, our priest made “prayer journals” available so that parishioners can take notes during mass. Our altar looks like a cheap orange-colored faux wood table. And this is what Christ is offered upon. Speaking of cheap and ugly, I think, respectfully, that the chair designed for Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. is the wrong choice for the Vicar of Christ. His humility is admirable, but doesn’t he realize that beautiful things are not meant to reflect him?They are meant to show the beauty, glory and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ!

  20. pjthom81 says:

    If I might make a serious observation…..

    Not quite dead yet..but getting old. The main problem now seems to be that the people whose formative years were during that time are now between 62-72 years of age. Not a position for a revolutionary vanguard, and certainly liturgically the next generations don’t seem to have inherited their tastes or fervor. However, they are now at the position where they hold the greatest institutional power as elders on the verge of retirement. Consequently this is the time where they have the greatest ability to call the agenda.

  21. donato2 says:

    Spirit of Vatican II RIP? I don’t get the joke. The Spirit of Vatican II is in full revival. Worse, its revival will outlast the current pontificate. Liberals will forever remember the golden age of Francis, and know that if there once was a Pope like him, there can be yet another one in the future.

  22. frjim4321 says:

    “…but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:29

  23. TomG says:

    “…but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:29

    Yes. Your point – since this verse of scripture can hardly be news to those who read this blog?

    If you’re implying that anything and everything you approve of that is born of the “spirit of Vatican II” is of the Holy Spirit and cannot be resisted – much less blasphemed – then I suspect many of us here would reflexively be face-palming.

  24. taffymycat says:

    why is kneeling rebuked at maynooth?? for heavens sake, its a sign of devotion unlike that phony handshake of peace that i never do. of course after the gay thing in ireland i went into a blue funk as ireland has always been my ” land of hearts desire” to which i escaped dozens of times over the past thirty years when the world was too much….maybe i shouldnt be surprised at maynooth.

  25. frjim4321 says:

    “Prayerful, as an Irishman, I am tempted to ask, regarding Maynooth seminary, why there is never an Islamic suicide bomber when you rally need one. But, resisting temptation, I won’t say it.” DeGaulle

    Sociopathic comment. At least.

  26. pelerin says:

    How depressing to read from ‘prayerful’ that kneeling during Mass can get a seminarian at Maynooth into trouble.

    Last week I was doing a crossword in a British secular paper and I was stuck on the clue ‘prepare to pray’ k – e – l. For some time I was baffled until I finally saw the light and filled in ‘kneel.’ Here is a crossword compiler in a secular paper who presumes one kneels to pray and yet a seminary frowns on this. Incredible.

  27. St. Augustine said something far better about music: “he prays twice who sings well.”

    And I recall a music director (since fired) who in pre-Mass remarks one Sunday told the congregation that “perhaps he who does not sing well ought not sing at all.”

  28. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    “…but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:29

    The whole point is that “the spirit of Vat II” doesn’t have much to do with the actual Council. Nor does it refer to the Holy Spirit (Spiritus Verbi) but is more a reference to the Zeitgeist.

  29. acardnal says:


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