Friday, February 14, 2014

1964 & 1965 Missal

As many now know the process of change in the 1960s was chaotic, altering different parts of the Mass and Office with no discernible pattern to the flux. The "1965 Missal" some like Fr Kocik of New Liturgical Movement and the blogger over at Southern Orders tout actually came about, more or less, with Inter Oecumenici in 1964. During my university days our library had a "1962 editio typica" printed in 1964 with all manner of alterations: vernacular at the strangest points, rubrics for combining orations, optional prayers before the altar, instructions for lay readers, the new Communion rite, and no Johannine prologue. Far from being the "Traditional Latin Mass" with some vernacular, the 1962 Missal 2.0 that was 1964 is very clunky and lacking in elegance. The changes were formalized with a new typical edition in 1965.

However it seems that the 1962 2.0 rite was celebrated very briefly with the same amount of vernacular as the 1965. Here is an old article from a paper called Catholic Northwest Progress detailing the vernacularization of the extant liturgy. The title given to the rites for receiving Holy Communion, "Eucharistic Banquet," hardly confirms the Reform of the Reform thesis that the change process did not need to go as far as it did. By this time many if not most clergy were celebrating versus populum and many had begun giving Communion in the hand. A few extreme elements concocted their own anaphoras and introduced female altar boys.

Most interesting to the Rad Trad is that permission to pray the Office in vernacular had to be obtained from the local bishop, but celebrations involving the laity imparted automatic permission. Ironically the easier standards for praying the Divine Office in vernacular coincided with a decline in the Office's popular celebration. In major cities most large churches would still pray Vespers on Sundays. In a few years nearly none would. The vernacularization meant no tones or melodies for singing the 1960/1964 Office and the Liturgia Horarum is almost entirely un-singable, with its large blocks of text meant to be read and its lack of antiphonal musics. Vernacular killed the Divine Office. Section II of the article linked above calls vernacular the "greatest possibility of scandal." There is nothing wrong with vernacular in the liturgy in the Rad Trad's opinion, but it was rare in the Roman tradition, disturbed many people, and was executed in the absolute worst way possible.


  1. I'm so glad you decided not to quit.

  2. The liturgical history of early sixties is truly interesting, with all these changes and replacements. You say that By this time many if not most clergy were celebrating versus populum and many had begun giving Communion in the hand Are you thinking in the USA and Europe, or anywhere? Because, as far as I know, in Spain those trends actually appeared somewhat later, and slowly - especially among rural priests. Well, it is an amazing field of research!

    Regarding the Divine Office, I have sometimes thought of a possibility of retaining traditional Latin Breviary for priests (perhaps I'm not so indulgent towards vernacular as you are), while translating it for the use of laymen interested in praying it. Do you think it would be an odd idea?

    Kyrie eleison

    PS: Do you know if Catholic Northwest Progress images can be downloaded? I have tried to do it, bui I couldn't.

    1. The innovations were certainly popular in Germany and France before the Council and diffused throughout those countries, as well as England and North America, soon after the Council was called. The mechanism for spreading these novelties was usually religious orders, although the Council also doubled as a networking event. Spain, like Italy, did not adopt many of these things until later. Italy did not even have Communion in the hand until John Paul II forced it upon them.

      Concerning vernacular: I have experience in the Eastern rites with vernacular done well and it has convinced me that while vernacular was part of the reformers' agenda that there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself. The reformers used [very bad] vernacular as part of a larger program. However I am not necessarily supportive of vernacular in the Roman rite. While some Eastern rites (Greeks and Melkites for instance) have always used the local language others (like the Russians) use a hieratic language (Slavonic in the Russian case). The Roman linguistic experience and the practical problem of creating tones and melodies should have been a hint not to vernacularize the rites. I would not be opposed to vernacular readings at Masses without deacon and subdeacon or vernacular psalms during public celebrations of the Divine Office (a nice compromise IMHO). Really the reformers introduced the worst vernacular and in the worst possible way.

      Their images cannot be downloaded, but you could try hitting "Print Screen", pasting it into Paint, and cropping the image. Just do not circulate it lest they sue you.

  3. Obviously the Rad Trad has never been an Anglo-Catholic.
    Take a look at a recent example of a Christmas Mass entirely in English according to the anglican use. Because it is Christmas Day, almost all the propers match up to the tridentine.

    Traditional Anglo-Catholics celebrated the 1955 Mass and Office for many years in English. Most who experienced them foundthem very satisfactory and equally as beautiful as the latin versions with all the same chant and polyphonic melodies. Of course latin was freely used from time to time too, it was not an exclusive restriction to only use english.

    I think that it is perfectly possible to use the 1965 Mass and make it equal to the 1962, they are both tridentine. I think the problem you fear is that even a traditional latin mass can have liturgical abuse.
    Perhaps thats the cold hard truth many are afraid to faith. It's a valid concern...but... vernacular is here to stay.