Sunday, January 18, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: Mass Comparison

Above: The Roman Missal of 1962

If you would like to see at a glance the differences between the two forms of the Mass that are currently allowed in the Roman rite, the words and actions that make up both forms are given side by side on this page from The Latin Mass society of England and Wales.

Every time I think I am getting a grasp of the nuances of the recent history and usage of the Roman Missal and the Breviary (Liturgy of the Hours) in the Roman Catholic Church, I delve a little deeper and find everything is a lot more complex than I could have imagined. I was given more food for though today about the 1962 Missal (which is the only Missal that is allowed to be used by those who love the traditional Latin Mass and are in communion with the Pope*). What I just realized is that the 1962 Missal was itself only the latest in a long series of revised missals released during various pontificates. The 1962 Missal was released during the reign of Pope John XXIII, but it was the fruit of a commission to revise the liturgy that started under the direction of Pope Pius the XII. So the Extraordinary Form, which is commonly called the Traditional Mass, is a recent invention. And it isn't Tridentine. From what I can tell, those that are unhappy with the Mass said according to the Missal of 1962, use the Missal released during the Pontificate of Pope St. Pius X. The site casts the 1962 Mass in a truly negative light. For example, here is a quote:

Missal of Pius X
1.Promulgated by a canonized saint who condemned Modernism, and composed with the collaboration of absolutely orthodox priests both learned and pious.

Missal of John XXIII
1. Promulgated by a pope who admitted that he was suspect of Modernism, the same pope who called Vatican II to "consecrate ecumenism" and open up the windows of the Church to "renewal". Composed under the direction of Ferdinando Antonelli, who signed the document promulgating the New Mass, and under the direction of Annibale Bugnini, the "Great Architect" of the New Mass, notorious modernist and suspected Freemason.

The fact is that the Missal of John XXIII was the result of the work of Piux XII, as another site mentioned, could not be accused of Modernism.

Remember the name Bugnini. Most of those who understand these issues far better than I do and prefer the traditional Mass have a strong dislike for Father Bugnini and the changes he succeeded in implementing in the liturgy.

* The Novus Ordo Mass can be said and sung in Latin, also. Some report that it rivals in beauty the Mass of the 1962 Roman Missal when it is done reverently, in Latin. St. John Cantius Church in Chicago performs both forms regularly. The Novus Ordo Mass is said there in Latin and English. Some people raised in the traditional form think they've seen the Mass of their childhood when they see the NO Mass said in Latin. I just received a great calendar from them that indicates the liturgical status for each day for both forms (NEW) and (TRAD).

Below: The Roman Missal of 2002

Monday, January 12, 2009

25 Random Things About Me (from Facebook)

Gretchen Bohl, the wife of my first cousin once removed, whom I've never met (1), tagged me on Facebook in her note "25 Random Things About Me."

Once you are taggged, you are supposed to write your own list of 25 random things then choose 25 people to be tagged. I did that already. Just for the record, and for anyone who chances onto this blog and wants to know more about me, here is my list.

1. I am a relapsed Catholic. I left the Church in the sixties and then with my characteristic no holds barred approach, I tried living out the principles the world offered as truth. When I realized that the Truth existed back where I had left it, I came back to the Church in the seventies. I am a sadder but wiser believer. Until I got connected to, Pope John Paull II, and finally EWTN, for a long time I wondered where all the believing Catholics (including priests and nuns) had gone.

2. I am delighted to have run across this Italian phrase recently (don't know what it is in Italian): "Reason has a wax nose" -- which means reason can be twisted whatever way the purported rationalist wants it to be twisted. I wish I had that phrase handy when "intellectuals" who thought they were being super-rationalistic were proposing things that I didn't have a good argument against in my youth. Remember that phrase when you read a long book proposing a whole new way of thinking that seems awfully logical. Books like that that come to mind are: The Second Sex, The Playboy Philosophy, Mein Kampf, The Ego and the Id and most psychology books, books about how the free market is inherently moral and will lead to prosperity for everyone, food faddism books . . ..

Addition: The process seems logical. Each point is justified by building one premise after another until a conclusion is reached. Somewhere along the way, however, one or more faulty unproved premises can be inserted that lead to an invalid conclusion. The writer then can build a structure on the foundation of faulty conclusions or on a mix of valid and invalid ones.

3. I spent about 1/3 of my life in Massachusetts, 1/3 in Fargo/Moorhead and Minnneapolis/St. Paul areas, and 1/3 in California. So I have a mixed up accent, that changes depending on to whom I am speaking.

4. Very early on, quite probably while reading New Yorker magazines in doctors' waiting rooms in Massachusetts as a little girl, I came by the belief that happiness was connected to having a good nourishing tasteful meals artfully presented, nice clothes, travel, culture . . .. Happiness is not to be found in these things, alone.

5. I am glad that I got to travel to France, because I was a Francophile until then. I had studied French for six years. Now I think the rationalists have deconstructed much of what was good, and they left behind a society whose values I cannot possibly share. Now I think my Francophile leanings were a type of masochism. Oh, you think you are the greatest? Let me feed your ego by believing you!

6. I feel in love with Rome so much that I canceled plans to travel to Ravenna to see the murals there. All I wanted to do was to stay in Rome as long as I could. I would walk every morning to St. Peter's to Mass in one of the small chapels in the big basilica. It would still be dark when I walked past the statue of St. Peter in the square, who holds the Keys to the Kingdom in his hand.

7. I have two grown children that I named Liberty and Sunshine. One time I lost track of them when they were very small in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, and I searched for them for about a half hour calling, "Liberty! Sunshine!" The natives in their earmuffs and parkas and scarfs and mittens were looking at me funny.

8. I love to watch old movies on Turner Classic movies, but it's almost an addiction. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, movies that end with marriage before marital intimacy -- ahhh!

9. I cahn't stand the Zeitgeist of the current era. I am especially deeply shocked at how easily so many people who were raised with good moral training accepted the shift in morals and behavior that happened after my generation had its way with the world.

10. When I was 15, a high school English teacher told me that I could write the great American novel . I thought I might too. But when I had time to write, I didn't know what I wanted to say. And now I know what I want to say , I don't have the time. I picked up an M.A. in writing along the way, and I won prizes in a few short story competitions, but I never made a significant sale.

11. I feel that I am being nibbled to death by nits. My to do list never gets smaller.

12. About three years ago, I started singing Gregorian chant and polyphony with St. Ann choir. The choir sings at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto, CA, under the direction of Stanford Prof. William Mahrt. I sing my heart out, even though I have only a widow's mite of a voice to contribute. I love that music. If I had an IPod that's what I would listen to all the time. Because they are singing the praises of God.

13. Now I mostly sing in a little schola and attend Mass at an Oratory where only the traditional Mass is said.

14. I have attended to two Sacred Music Colloquiums sponsored by the Church Music Association of America. Learning and singing the music all day every day was a great joy. The CMAA bills the events as Seven Days of Musical Heaven. And they are right. Singing to the Lord morning, noon, and night for most of a week is my idea of a great time.

15. I wish I had 12 kids (or even more), and a proportionate number of grandkids, but God knew best. He also knew best about my having the intelligent, fervently Catholic, deeply good husband of my dreams too, who I hoped I would find someday.

16. I married while I was away from the Catholic Church to a divorced man. So in the eyes of the Church (and myself), I never had a valid marriage.

16. My favorite saints are Mary the Mother of God, Joseph, Peter, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, and John of the Cross. I love them with my heart, I really do. I feel that we are friends. The glorious patriarch Lord St. Joseph (as he is called in the original name of the Mission San Jose), is patron of the city of San Jose and the diocese of San Jose where I live, and he helps me daily.

17. I have a B.A. degree in English and in studio arts, in drawing and painting. I started painting again last year, this time in oils, while I was laid off for five months. Guess what? I painted religious subjects. Then I stopped when I got a job again. The canvases sit unfinished in "the artist's studio" behind my modest Victorian house in San jose.

18. I have the best technical writing job of my life. I have been a technical writer writing manuals for system and network administrators for 25 years. I was laid off twice in the past five years.

19. If I could live anywhere I wanted, I would be on the ocean or a lake in a bucolic environment surrounded by natural beauty. But I would have to have people I love around me too.

20. I like cats and dogs, but they would die of loneliness, since I'm hardly ever home.

21. I love to feed people. When I entertain, I always cook too many dishes and too much food. Mange, mange!

22. I have a blog:, and a website where I have links to some articles I've published:

23. When I started publishing some photos to go with articles I wrote for some small newspapers, I bought a good Canon SLR digital camera. I post my photos (and some photos of my art) at

24. The thrill of my life was my pilgrimage to Israel. Our bus pulled into Jerusalem, and my breviary opened to twice in succession to two Psalms about the city, which I was inspired to read out loud to everyone in the bus with trembling in my voice. When we pulled up at the Notre Dame de Jerusalem pilgrimage center where we stayed, I stepped off the bus and kissed the ground. My friend Jim Fahey pointed out another rock I could kiss, since I seemed to be in the mood . . .

25. My main goal in life is for everyone to receive the gift of faith and for nobody to suffer eternal damnation. And for God to make me fit for His service. (See any of the writings of St. John of the Cross for further information.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: How the Church Year Differs Between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

Greetings on the 14th Day of Christmas

The arrangement of Church year changed a lot after the Vatican Council II. The main change in the liturgical cycle after the council was the insertion of two periods of "ordinary time" into the year, which are assigned the liturgical color green. The pre-Lenten season called Shrovetide was dropped, and Ember days were removed, and these are just a few of the changes. The feasts in the two cycles still overlap in some cases (such as the great feasts of Advent, Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost), while some feasts in the new calendar are on different dates from the dates they were assigned on the traditional calendar (Christ the King Sunday for one example). In the new calendar, the Christmas season does not end until the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, which is usually on the Sunday after Epiphany. In the traditional calendar, the Christmas season continues until Candlemas in early February,

+ The dates of the feasts of the liturgical year change every year because Easter's date is moveable, based on the Vernal Equinox.

+ "Ordinary" comes from the same root as "ordinal", and Ordinary Time means "the counted weeks." The weeks in Ordinary Time are the weeks that do not belong to a proper season.

+ "Proper" in Church speak has a specialized meaning too. It means proper to the day or the season.

Sequence of Seasons in New Calendar

Ordinary Time
Ordinary Time

Thirty-three or thirty-four weeks of ordinary time are divided and inserted between the Christmas season and Lent and between Pentecost and Lent.

The first period of Ordinary Time in the liturgical year begins on Monday after the Sunday on which the Feast of The Baptism of Christ is celebrated, which is the Sunday following Epiphany on January 6. This part of ordinary time continues until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. This portion of Ordinary time lasts between 4 to 9 weeks depending on the dates of Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. The date of Ash Wednesday changes based on the moveable date of Easter.

The second period of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical year begins on the Monday after Pentecost and ends before Evening Prayer I of the First Sunday of Advent.

The Last Sunday before Advent is the Solemnity of Christ the King.

In some years, the number of weeks called Ordinary Time is actually 33. To keep the number at 34, in those years the Church adds a one to the number of the Sunday that follows Penetecost Sunday. For example, in 2008 the Sunday before Ash Wednesday was the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, but when Ordinary time started up again after Pentecost, that Monday began the 6th Week in Ordinary Time, and the next Sunday was the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time. With that much happening in between the two periods of ordinary time, they must have figured, Who's going to notice?

Sequence of Seasons in Traditional Calendar

+ From Advent (Evening Prayer [EP] I of the First Sunday) to the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday

Christmas Season:

The Circumcision of Jesus is celebrated eight days after Christmas, on January 1 (in the new calendar Our Lady's feast is celebrated on Jan. 1). January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany. January 13 commemorates the Baptism of Jesus Christ and it marks the end of the Christmas season.

The period called the Time After Epiphany has between one and six Sundays, and it extends from January 14 until the start of the Easter Season on Septuagesima Sunday. The Time After Epiphany is shortened or lengthened depending on the variable date of Easter.

Septuagesima Sunday is the third from the last Sunday before Lent. It begins the Pre-Lenten season or Shrovetide. The following two Sundays are Sexagesima and Quinquagesima (aka Shrove Sunday). What the numbering (Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima) means is interesting (but I don't have time to describe that right now). It is the time of preparation for Lent. Also marks the start of the carnival season, which in both forms ends on Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.

Alleluia, Gloria, and Te Deum stop being said beginning at Compline on the Sat. before Septuagesima Sunday and starts again at Easter. Violet vestments are worn.

Easter Season:
* From the Sunday of Septuagesima (EP I on the Saturday before) too the Saturday before First Sunday in Advent

Septuagesima season is 17 days long and starts nine Sundays before Easter and ends the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. During Septuagesima, as in Lent in both forms, the Alleluia and the Gloria are omitted, and violet vestments are worn.

Time After Pentecost has a minumum of 23 Sundays. If there are more, the Masss for the 23rd Sunday is said on the additional Sundays until Advent begines.

More on this topic according to the Roman Missal:

Easter being variable, the number of Sundays from Pentecost to the First Sunday of Advent is, of course, variable also; but there cannot be less than twenty-three not more than twenty-eight. The Mass for the last Sunday after Pentecost is always said on the Sunday preceding Advent. If there are more than twenty-four Sundays after Pentecost, the Introit, Gradual, and Communion of the twenty-third Sunday are repeated on all the remaining Sundays. But the Collects, the Epistle, and the Gospel are taken from the Masses of the Sundays omitted after the Epiphany. . ...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: How to Follow the Mass in the Extraordinary Form

You are a newcomer, you might wonder how to follow the Mass. In the old days, the churches had missals in every pew. Now at the extraordinary form Masses, they sometimes have booklets, but they aren't nearly as helpful.

I would recommend that people buy the Daily Roman missal of 1962. I bought St. Joseph's and another missal on Ebay, but was disappointed that they didn't have the Latin and English together. Ebay is a good place to buy the missals.

Also, women usually wear veils or hats at the traditional Masses. At our chapel, they put a basket of veils out in the vestible for loan. You can also buy veils on Ebay.

Traditional Mass Jottings: CMAA, a Great Resource for Training and Free Downloads

The Church Music Association of America website ( has a wealth of information for priests and lay people on the use of chant and polyphony in the Mass.

They publish the Sacred Music magazine, which is edited by Prof. William Mahrt from Stanford.

And they have a huge number of books in PDF format for download, including books on how to sing Gregorian chant, music, and such treasures as the Liber Usualis, which identifies which chants should be sung on which days.

And they have a yearly colloquium.

CMAA Colloquium Gets You in Touch with Like-Minded People

I have attended two CMAA colloquiums, and I can't say enough good about the experience. At the colloquium, we practiced chant and polyphony and sang it at daily Masses, some in the Novus Ordo and some in the Usus Antiquor, and always in Latin after the first Mass. Sing to the Lord morning, noon, and night for 7 days, that is my idea of a good time!

Two photo albums I created for the CMAA are here:
2008 and

At the colloquium, I met a lot of zealous young people from as far away as Singapore who are "trads." The link above shows a young woman who came the colloquium from Singapore. She refers to herself and her friends as Liturgy Loonies.

Traditional Mass Jottings: Want to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin and English?

The Roman Breviary site is lovely.

What you find there a beautifully colorful and well designed site with lots of great art. The texts are from the pre-1962 breviary with very nice translations into English. They call their version the "real Breviary."

Incidentally, they are definitely hostile to what they call the pseudo-traditional 1962 liturgy. An example of their prose (which you don't see unless you look for it):

"Since Fr. Bernard Hausmann, S.J. first wrote this definitive set of instructions for the Divine Office, the Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church has seen a gradual onslaught by her enemies that has resulted in the almost complete obliteration of the Catholic Breviary. The pathetic substitutes used by the Novus Ordo Church and the 1962 "traditionalists" bear little if any resemblance to the true Catholic liturgy used before the masonic-inspired "reforms" of the 1940s, 50s and 60s."

Traditional Mass Jottings: Want to Painlessly Conjugate Latin Verbs and Decline Latin Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives?

If you know some Latin, but would like to have help with translating the words of the Mass or the chants, you might be interested in a wonderful Latin Words program that I use all the time,which is downloadable for free. You can paste into it a complete sentence or more, and it will show you the options for translating each word in the sentence. Here's site that has Latin Words for download.

For example, I typed Puer natus est, which is from the chant for Christmas Day, and I got the following:;

Traditional Mass Jottings: Pope Benedict XVI Called for a New Liturgical Movement

As I wrote in the title to this blog, I have seen it written that
Pope Benedict XVI, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, called for a new liturgical movement. This quote from his preface to the 1992 French translation of Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Monsignor Klaus Gamber. is the only instance I've found in which Cardinal Ratzinger used the term, and he was quoting a young priest. But his points in the preface are well taken, among which are the following:

"[W]e have a liturgy which has degenerated so that it has become a show which, with momentary success for the group of liturgical fabricators, strives to render religion interesting in the wake of the frivolities of fashion and seductive moral maxims. Consequently, the trend is the increasingly marked retreat of those who do not look to the liturgy for a spiritual show-master but for the encounter with the living God in whose presence all the 'doing' becomes insignificant since only this encounter is able to guarantee us access to the true richness of being."

In other words, the post-Vatican II liturgy degenerated into a show with wannabe liturgical innovators trying to make the Mass interesting but reducing it instead to a kind of amateur hour. People who come to Mass for an encounter with God find all the frantic "doing" by all the participants to be missing the point of the "celebration," which is to worship God, remember what He has done for us, His people, and receive the Body and Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The New Liturgical Movement blog promotes the Mass said in Latin, along with Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, beautiful Church exteriors and interiors and rich sacred vestments. And it shows photos of where these are found throughout the world.

For more about the current Pope's writings about the liturgy, see this page at the Institute of Christ the King website.

Traditional Mass Jottings: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Champions of the Extraordinary Form

At the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help where I sing chant in the Diocese of San Jose, our rector, Fr. Moreau, is from the pontifical Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. They are an amiable group of priests dedicated to the usus antiquor. They also have the Oakland bishop's blessing to lead a similar community at beautiful St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland.

The Institute of Christ the King website is a good resource.

If you have the chance, and you are not familiar with the extraordinary form of the Mass, it would be instructional if you could find one of their oratories at their website and visit one of their Masses.

Traditional Mass Jottings: Personal Participation and a Brief Digression

I have been part of the tiny schola at an oratory dedicated to the extraordinary form Masses for about a year. This form of the Mass is not anything new to me because I was raised in it before the changeover to the Novus Ordo Mass occurred during the 60s. In parochial grammar school, the music sister taught us the Ordinary Gregorian chants Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, and the responses of the people to the priest.

After I left the Church in the 60s and relapsed in the 70s, I wondered where the Church had gone. The change in the rite didn't upset me then, but the change in beliefs that was being promoted erroneously everywhere I looked (in the purported Spirit of Vatican II) gave me a lot of pain. For a time, I thought of myself wryly as possibly the last Catholic in America.

I knew that if the Church was to be credible, it could not have been in error for all the ensuing centuries. I still wonder how anyone could really hold that the Church was wrong for so long until some "theologians" and Bible "scholars" were able to set us right in the mid 20th century. These to me are the "intellectual pride-ians" neither intellectuals nor Christ-ians, who strained mightily to remake the Church into the image of the world.

While I was still alienated from the Church, while I was living on the fringes of society, I knew people in the bohemian part of Boston who sacriligeously decorated their brownstone flats with pews, altars, kneelers and other Church furniture from junk stores. I didn't think much of it then, but the junk stores were full of Church furniture because the churches were being gutted. It sure bothers me now.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: Definitions

I started jotting down some notes and references about the traditional form of the Mass in response to a young friend of mine, Dana Cash, who I met as a fellow Israel pilgrim in 2004. Dana is somehow connected to a group called Una Voce and somehow involved in the creation of a website for the Tridentine Mass.

The correct term for this type of Mass is the extraordinary form. Pope Benedict XVI gave this name to the form in his Apostolic Letter on the subject of the liturgy, a Motu Proprio called Summorum Pontificum. (The term Motu Proprio means "on his own initiative.")

The pope stated that the form of the Mass found in the Roman Missal of Pope Paul the VI (1970) is the ordinary form of the Mass.

The ordinary form is referred to elsewhere as the Novus Ordo, and it was followed almost exclusively for years after Pope Paul VI promulgated it after Vatican II. The Novus Ordo form is a much altered form of the traditional Mass that is said in the vernacular (which is the native tongue of the land in which it is said). According to the above-mentioned Motu Proprio, "Vatican Council II expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time."

Some believed that the earlier form of the Mass which was last defined in the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII had been forbidden. But, as the Pope wrote in a letter that accompanied the Motu Proprio, it never was. "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

In the Motu Proprio, the Pope defined the form of the Roman rite said according to the missal of Pope John XXIII from 1962 as the extraordinary form. It is said in Latin, but it was changed significantly from the Tridentine rite. See good definition. It is also sometimes referred to as the "usus antiquor."