Saturday, June 15, 2013

Novus Ordo!

2012 Ordo Recitandi of the St Lawrence Press

I am a fan of Rubricarius' work over at the St. Lawrence Press, which publishes an Ordo according to the 1939 typical edition of the Missale Romanum and the Divine Office that would have been prayed that year. This Ordo is both useful and educational. One only has to pay attention to a few days to realize 1962 is not entirely the "old rite." What you may not know is that the same Rubricarius runs the Tridentine Rite blog, which, for a day or two a week, gives an Ordo according to the 1568 Office and 1570 Missal. I do not believe the Tridentine Rite is linked with a published physical Ordo and is likely educationally oriented. That said it reveals quite a bit about how the kalendar and Office varied in the 20th century from the more ancient tradition. The Tridentine Rite follows the Julian kalendar (and I do not!), and does not purport to be something usable for those praying Mass or the Office daily. Which brings us to our point.

Given that the two Ordines of Mr. Rubricarius follow 1568/1570 and 1939 respectively one might begin to see the old liturgy, encompassing the kalendar and Office as well as the Mass, as a museum piece and that a return to it in any form is not only unlikely but implausible. The Rad Trad himself has written of the issues that plagued the 1910-era Office and suggested that a simple kalendar reform would have done the trick; a full overhaul of the psalter and rubrics was unnecessary. A blogger who sometimes comments here as "John R," a true gentleman, has taken to the task of writing a proposal of what this reformed kalendar might look like, a novus Ordo if you will!—I hope he does not mind the pun. His new blog, the Current Tridentine Ordo, yesterday posted a proposed kalendar effective now through July 6. It is a remarkably clean kalendar which preserves the old ranking system and rubrics, eliminates some obscure medieval/Counter-Reformation saints whose cults  are long gone, adds some saints St. Pius V removed or elevates some (like St. Ephrem) to a rank commensurate with their standing (Doctor of the Church in St. Ephrem's case), and has some methodological notes at the bottom. As you will see the ferial cycle dominates until the Octave of St. John the Baptist (John R has kept St. Pius X's octave ranking system, perhaps not a bad idea), at which point the sanctoral cycle takes over. This system balances the ferial and sanctoral well enough to prove that the old system was not only cleaner and more stable, but it is also just as usable if not more usable than the Pian, Johannine, and Pauline editions. If any of my readers work for the Sacred Congregation of Rites or Ecclesia Dei, click on John's didactic new blog and have a look at what could be. There is even a post for what today's entire BVM on Saturday liturgy could look like.

Note: John has, wisely, used the hymns as they existed before Urban VIII and after Paul VI. See the doxology Gloria tibi Domine qui natus es.... in the little hours.


  1. Thanks for the accolades, Rad Trad, but the credit is mostly yours for first inspiring such an undertaking. I must, however, take issue with being called Novus Ordo! Ack!

    As for the hymns, the appendix in the 1912 Antiphonale Romanum, scanned online by Musica Sacra, is great...for the Day Hours. Mattins proves to be the more difficult since the Paul VI "restored" hymns are not always the same as the pre-Urbane ones; hence, I am at a loss currently for the true texts of these Mattins' hymns. Perhaps you or another reader can point out an online resource to get the originals? Please tell me that we don't have to go back to "old" days (i.e. 1990's) and rummage through used and rare bookstores to find vintage Breviaries to get these!

    By the way, the rest of July's Sanctorale is now up.

  2. "This system balances the ferial and sanctoral well enough to prove that the old system was not only cleaner and more stable, but it is also just as usable if not more usable than the Pian, Johannine, and Pauline editions. " By old you mean pre or post Tridentine?

    1. I meant the calendar system and rubrics before the 1911 reforms of St Pius X. That calendar system, before Pius X, pre-dates Trent and pre-dates 1474 by a long shot (although the distinction before Double, Greater Double, II Class Double, and I Class Double came later). The problem was that it was overgrown with post-Tridentine saints of high rank, devotional feasts, and rubrics that made transferring feasts difficult. John's thought experiment is meant to show that the ancient system would be very usable with only some scrubbing and minor updates.

  3. Thank you for the vote of confidence Rad Trad. Pleasing to know I have at least one fan. I am hoping there will be a 'print on demand' Tridentine Ordo available for MMXIV.