10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum: oldie tunes revisited

10 years ago, the official Parodohymnodist of this blog, inspired by the issuance of Benedict XVIs Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, penned and sent a celebratory tune.


I ruminated a bit  … and came to the realization that, while “La Donna e Mobile” might be readily appreciated and understood by those with an interest in the motu proprio, there’s also a need to reach out to those who might not be so appreciative and who, in general, tend to have different musical tastes. So, reaching back to the halcyon days of folk music and came up with a version of the Pete Seeger classic (made famous by the Byrds in 1965) :

Go to the altar (turn, turn, turn)
look to the East now, (turn, turn, turn)
there’s a time for every Mass now, if it’s valid.
The time for banjos and dancing is gone,
dust off the censer, and toss out the bong.
No need for hugging, we all get along
let’s keep our focus together, on Jesus.

Page through the Missal (turn, turn, turn)
remember the rubrics (turn, turn, turn)
there’s a time and a purpose for those words there Pure,
humble rev’rence is what we now lack,
just do the red words and say those in black.
When we say High Mass, there’s no need for crack,
just let your deacon and subdeacon guide you.

Now weed your library, (turn, turn, turn)
use some discernment (turn, turn, turn)
it is time now to brush up on your Latin.
Farewell to Vosko, McBrien, Hans Keung,
deep down you knew that they just peddled deung,
the 60’s are old and the Church is still young
what still subsists is a thing of great beauty.

5 years ago, the same Parodohymnodist, wrote another offering.

COMPOSER’S NOTE: To the Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” – unfortunately, to fit the tune, you have to put the emphasis on the last syllable of “Summorum”, but it works.

Father Elgin Prist, an accomplished Latinist,
Offered Mass alone,
Using a decree his old bishop wrote,
Long ago…

Bishop John McClees, brand new to the diocese,
Plotted on his throne
How to make Father Prist use the
Novus Ordo-o-o

But as he inks his sig-a-net ring
to seal his new decree…

Down comes Summorum Pontificum
On that July dawn
Bang! Bang! With a motu proprio,
obstacles were gone!

Priests in Timbuktu, dusted off their Fortescue,
Liturgists were stunned,
Shaking like a nun with a

“Mass is more profound, when the altar’s turned around,”
cries the NCR,
readers pop their Geritol,
and bemoan

But Benedict’s got his Marshall Plan,
to reform the reform,

Here comes Summorum pontificum
on that July dawn,
Bang! Bang! With a motu proprio,
Obstacles are gone!

It’s spectacular, better than vernacular,
The Mass of ’62!
Offered now wherever a priest wants to,
Oo, oo, oo

Sweet polyphony, streaming from the balcony
While we pray as one,
not distracted by a guitarist’s
Solo-o o

Extraordinary, indeed!
God bless Pope Benedict!

Thanks for Summorum Pontificum
Now we’re five years on.
Bang! Bang! With a motu proprio,
Obstacles were gone!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Parody Songs, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. chantgirl says:

    In retrospect, Summorum Pontificum was clearly the lifeboat thrown to us before all Hell broke loose. Thank you, Pope Benedict.

  2. Ipsitilla says:

    You shall not receive the Chalice
    But you shall not die of thirst
    You shall move beyond the Sixties
    Though you do not know the way
    You shall hear words in the Latin tongue
    And you will understand
    You will see the backs of priests…and live!
    Be not afraid…

  3. KnitFoole says:


  4. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is a hard song to sing, Father, but you somehow made it work. (I don’t know how you did it. . . .)

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