Sunday, June 7, 2015

Why No Bragan Novus Ordo?

Why did the Dominican Order, whose rite was celebrated globally prior to the 1960s, not revise its liturgy in according with the Pauline promulgation while Milan, one diocese, created its own Novus Ordo Missae, essentially the Pauline rite with some gratuitous bits of the old tradition tossed in?

The answer is found in the spirit of the times and could be gleaned from Marco's review of the Report on the Bragan Rite for the Congregation for Divine Worship, a study on everything supposedly wrong with Portugal's native rite—its confusing and embarrassing deviations from what everyone else did—and how those things had to be removed in the new Bragan liturgy. Eventually, the bishops of Portugal decided that the new Roman rite was superior and that retaining Bragan idiosyncrasies would be frivolous. Initially, they intended to create a hybrid rite, something like the 1964/5 revised Roman liturgy in anticipation of the full blown reform, but the change never came. Instead they discarded everything wholesale for the Pauline rite.

I have a hard time blaming Ultramontanism for this. The more responsible culprit is what Hull called the "idol of uniformity." The mob mentality that prevailed at Vatican II and continues to bully bishops into line at local episcopal conferences was present in the liturgical reform process. Everyone was "fixing" or "renewing" their rites, so why be the dowdy exception? 


  1. Never mind that the rite had been revised just 50 years before, becoming obligatory within the archdiocese.
    I wonder what the criteria for revising a rite are. How can we say within the Latin family of rites "Ok, this was a Roman imposition and needs to be removed"?

  2. Carthusians reformed their rite, and although, it is still essentially Carthusian rite, some of their reforms reflect the spirit of the OF, which is wrong. Their rite is their rite, and if it should be renewed it should be brought back to conformity with what it looked like in 11th century. Not in conformity of the Roman Rite. Cuz Carts be Gallican, not Roman...

  3. As I understood it from conversing with the archivist of the Eastern Province (USA), the Dominican rite is in a nebulous position. Officially, the Dominicans have adopted the new Roman office. There is a full supplement containing all of the Order's antiphons, hymns, other proper texts, all adapted (where needed) to the modern office. The volume is still available in Italy at the St. Saba bookstore. The Mass is another story. Officially, the Dominicans have adopted the Missal of Paul VI on a transitional basis. The intention was to use and study the modern Roman Rite with the intention of what adaptions would need to be made to the Order's rite to a) keep in continuity with Rome's reform and b) retain the distinct qualities of the Dominican rite (particularly Dominican chant). Practically speaking, this initiative has pretty much been suspended. There are no plans to re-examine the issue and, for the most part, everyone is formed via the modern rite. Even the proper supplement to the office is horribly under utilized.