June 13, 2004
vol 15, no. 152

Increasing Our Awareness of the Differences

Why the Novus Ordo doesn't add up!

    A Comparison of the Propers of the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo

    by Kevin M. Tierney


      Editor's Note: This series on the Propers of the Mass features the apologetics of Kevin M. Tierney in this special feature simply called "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" which, of course, translated means roughly how one prays is how one believes. As you can see the differences between the two are as clear as black and white. One, the Latin Mass is full and reverent, the Novus Ordo sterile and bland. It needs innovation and novelty to spice things up. The Latin Mass merely depends on the Divine. This series compares the Propers of the synthetic Novus Ordo with the absolute Propers of the Traditional Latin Mass to show all that the NOM comes up far, far inferior, if not worse. Many might place the blame on the venom of the vernacular, but we all know what vipers injected this poison. It must be sucked out and spit out forever. Hopefully this series will give readers motivation to expedite that process in the counter-revolution dedicated to taking back the Mystical Body of Christ for Christ! He focuses today on the Sunday Within the Octave of Corpus Christi:

Editor's Note: For the Traditional SUNDAY MASS WITHIN THE OCTAVE with the Latin included, see "Factus est"

Since there are so few Traditional Chapels who offer daily Mass, some may transfer the Feast of Corpus Christi to Sunday. Therefore, for the Traditional Mass of the Feast of Corpus Christi, see "Cibavit eos"


    Before we get down to business in examining these Propers, there may have been some concerns as to why there was no column for Trinity Sunday. The reason this is so is due to the fact that the liturgies, for once in that rare moment the planets all align, were rather similar, with only a few differences, and those were either not substantial, or repeated so many times this author did not feel the need to beat a dead horse. With that stated, let us now move on to examining the Feast of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as Corpus Christi.

    If there is one liturgy that the faithful should focus on, this is one of them. This is the liturgy where we focus on the Body and Blood of Christ, and most importantly, what it does for us. If we are looking to establish which liturgy better conveys the truth to the faithful, we should examine very carefully the doctrinal teaching applied to the specific issue that each liturgy gives us. I believe it is with this examination, the Novus Ordo is found extremely wanting. The two liturgies start off with different Introits; Psalm 17:19-20 for the Traditional Mass, and Psalm 81:17 for the Novus Ordo. This is one of those cases where one isn't technically more fitting than the other, so this column will not spend much time on it.

    As is the custom in this series, The Traditional Mass will be marked by TM and be in blue type , the Novus Ordo Missae by NOM and in maroon type, as in marooned by synthetic novelty) Once again we begin with the Collect.

    Do Thou, O Lord, bestow upon us, both an abiding fear and an abiding love of Thy holy name: for those to whom Thou teachest the depths of Thy love, at no time dost Thou fail to govern by Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen. (TM, Collect)

    Lord Jesus Christ, you gave us the eucharist as the memorial of your suffering and death. May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood help us to experience the salvation you won for us and the peace of the kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (NOM, Opening Prayer)

    There are a few noted differences. Standard for the course, the Novus Ordo omits any mention of the word "grace" that the Traditional Mass tells us, it is by the grace we receive from God (which he gives to us in the Blessed Sacrament) that bestows both an abiding love and fear of the Lord. That's something you don't really hear about today, the fear of God. The beginning of Proverbs tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Yet for many today, that communicates an idea of terror, hence we can't use that. In truth, fear of the Lord is recognizing that He is God, and that you are utterly dependent on Him, and as the Prayer of St. Ambrose talks about, having Him as a Savior Who you are unable to face as your judge. But given that fear of the Lord entails our disadvantageous situation before God, an aspect of negative theology, this once again is gone from the Novus Ordo. Notice once again the intentions of the prayer are not very specific for the Novus Ordo, but simply general. The prayer asks God for helping us experience the salvation He won for us, but doesn't entail how this occurs. Furthermore, the Novus Ordo simply talks about the Blessed Sacrament being a "memorial" of Christ's suffering and death. Strictly speaking, this is true, as Christ said "Do this in remembrance of Me." The Greek word anamnesis does mean memorial, but a memorial sacrifice. It is not just a mere recollection of Christ's death and suffering, but a sacrifice in and of itself. Yet one doesn't really get that from the text. A Protestant sure would have no problem saying this prayer, as after all, they believe in a "memorial" of the Eucharist. The Novus Ordo talks about the Eucharist, but in a very ecumenical fashion.

    And now on to the comparisons of the Epistles which really don't match as you'll see.

    Lesson from the Epistle of the blessed Apostle John. Dearly beloved, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (TM, First Epistle, 1 John 3: 13-18)

      In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words: "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (NOM, First Reading, Genesis 14: 18-20)

      Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. (NOM, Second Reading, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

        As I had said, I do not intend to necessarily compare the epistle readings to which one is more suiting, as both cover necessary aspects. What I do intend to examine is once again, what one could call a clever omission in the Novus Ordo. The Second reading stops at verse 26. Yet those who are familiar with this passage of Scripture understand that it contains one of the direst warnings in Scripture, and an unequivocal affirmation of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, yet this warning does not appear in the Novus Ordo. What is that you ask? Allow me to pick up form verse 27, and go into verse 30 (bold).

      Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.

        Now if anyone has been following the news lately in American politics, one knows that one of the biggest controversies (and indeed embarrassment for Catholic bishops) is that of John F. Kerry, and his sacrilegious reception of communion, when he ardently supports the pro-abortion lobby. This writer has wondered outloud many times how come the standard Neo-Catholics wish to apply to Kerry they don't want to apply to everyone. Indeed, Deal Hudson, editor of Crisis Magazine, one of the most prominent Neo-Catholic periodicals around, has stated that the only pro-abort who should be denied communion is John Kerry. In other words, he is using the Body and Blood of Christ as a political tool to elect the man he wants. He has no interest in preserving reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. In all honesty, why should Kerry be singled out as the sole offender? It's not like the Novus Ordo teaches that you must examine your conscience before receiving communion? Since the imposition of the Novus Ordo, I would like you to name me 10 times in the 30 or so years that this was actually stressed by the Bishops for these pro-abort politicians, before the Kerry fiasco. Furthermore, when was communion actually denied? If you remember non-Catholics Bill and Hillary Clinton thought so little of Catholics or what the Sacrament truly means that they marched right up with the rest of the congregation in South Africa during a photo op. They felt they were entitled and the weak-kneed pastor went right along with the sacrilege within a sacrilege. The Novus Ordo Bishops, firmly in the corner of the Democrats, would not dare speak out against pro-abortion Catholic politicians, since they are overwhelmingly Democrat. The majority of the time (people like Bishop Raymond Burke and Bishop Michael Sheridan being rare exceptions to the rule) they were simply playing politics. We know this because it certainly isn't taught in the liturgy. Most of these men, while erroneous, mistakenly are being led to believe they are probably acting in good faith, not knowing about an examination of conscience, or what classifies as "receiving worthily" because in the Novus Ordo, when Scripture teaches about this, as we can clearly see: they omit it.

        Furthermore, once again the truth of the Real Presence is obscured. One of the questions for next year's Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist is if any parts in the liturgy tend to obscure belief in the Real Presence. (The fact that this question even has to be asked about a Catholic liturgy, as if serious study needs to be given to it, provides no alarm for our Neo-Catholic friends, whom before these questions were released, demonized Traditionalists who raised this concern.) The reason this passage of Scripture upholds belief in the Real Presence is because earlier St. Paul compares the sacrifice of the Eucharist to the sacrifices of Jews and pagans. Then Paul says that if we partake in the sacrifice unworthily, we profane the body of Christ, and drink judgment upon ourselves. This indeed leads to death. Note, this is the only time in the New Testament God is killing groups of people for a sin. If the Eucharist is mere bread and wine, how can one profane Christ's Body and Blood by a bad communion? The truth is they can't, since the Eucharist is Christ, and Christ is offered as a sacrifice to God, as Scripture tells us. So on the Feast of Corpus Christi, this would be a very fitting truth to remember, yet the Novus Ordo leaves it to the priest to talk about during his homily, once again making the Novus Ordo, not the Traditional Mass, "The priest's prerogative mass" where he can either make the liturgy very orthodox, or (as commonly happens today) so liberal to the point where in some cases, it only adds sacrilege to sacrilege. Now many might think I have strayed from the topic at hand by going into current events. Yet my point is showing how changes in the liturgy did have repercussions, and one can see the roots of the Kerry problem right here. By removing that passage from Scripture, an important teaching: the need for examining one's conscience) was obscured. What's left is talk of a mere memorial, and in all honesty, even men like Kerry want to remember Christ I'm sure. While one cannot absolve Kerry for his evils, one cannot also pin the blame solely on him either, since this stuff is simply no longer taught in the Novus Ordo, especially in her liturgy. No the blame lies solely with the shepherds and the ones who appoint them.

        We now move on to the Gospels. Both are from Luke, but not the same chapters.

      A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke. At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: "A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him, I have bought a farm, and must needs go out, and see it; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said, I have bought five yokes of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I can not come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the high ways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper." (TM, Gospel, Luke 14: 16-24).

      Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, "Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves." They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets. (NOM, Gospel Luke

        I'd first like to comment about what the Traditional Gospel teaches us. It is certainly an allusion to the Eucharist, Christ's Supper. What we find is that those originally invited, would not taste of the Supper. This once again hints towards the fact that those under the Old way, the majority of the Jews of Christ's day, would not partake in God's gift, that the New has surpassed the Old. The Jews of Christ's time (generally speaking) were too busy making excuses about temporal things and worried about everything but worshipping God in truth. That's a little too Anti-Semitic, so we have to withdraw that.

        What does the Novus Ordo choose in its place? The miracle of Christ feeding the faithful with bread, again a sure reference to the Eucharist. Yet is it really a miracle, based on what the Novus Ordo does with this passage? I submit, that in keeping in line with the Novus Ordo's seeming aversion to miracles, that this is up for debate, and allow me to prove it. First I would like to give some context in Luke 9, that I feel is vital to understanding the nature of the passage, and perhaps explaining why the Novus Ordo only lists verse 11b, not all of verse 11. Let me list verses 1-10:

      He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (the sick). He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them." Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere. Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen." But Herod said, "John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?" And he kept trying to see him. When the apostles returned, they explained to him what they had done. He took them and withdrew in private to a town called Bethsaida. (Luke 9:1-10)

        While I can understand why this was not included in the Novus Ordo reading, and do not fault them for it, please allow me to press my case. We see here, that by Christ's authority, the Apostles were able to do some pretty amazing things, miracles. The sick were healed, demons exorcised, and they never had to worry about temporal goods, as they were always provided for. Word spread fairly quickly about all these actions. We then see in all of verse 11 (I will bold the part omitted by the Novus Ordo):

      The crowds, meanwhile, learned of this and followed him. He (Replace He with Jesus) received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured.

        One wonders why this part of the verse had to be omitted. Why does one have to neglect to tell those hearing Scripture that the crowds followed Jesus after all these miracles. I submit here a very possible reason. As we have seen before, when miracles occur in Scripture, the Lectionary either omits them, or omits certain parts of the verses so as a natural explanation can be given. When the modernist deals with this passage of Sacred Scripture, his way of explaining away the miracle is that the people actually already had food. The "they" doesn't refer to the crowd. The Apostles and Christ ate the loaves of bread; meanwhile everyone else already had their food. This becomes a far more plausible theory when one doesn't know the fact that these people who ate were following Christ around. Certainly they couldn't just lug their food around everywhere, as it would either go bad, or it would be too much to carry. For all we know, without this piece of information, the people just could've come to one of Christ's sermons, and already had food with them. It could've been a planned event. That one part of verse 11 obviously tells a different tale, but curiously enough, that is the very verse omitted in the Novus Ordo. Though some might think this is a stretch, the fact remains that hence one could say you don't really know if a miracle occurred or not, and, voila! once again the Novus Ordo is miracle-proof.

        And now to the Offertory.

      May the sacrifice we are about to offer up, O Lord, cleanse our souls from sin; and day by day, by its virtue, may our life on earth be more and more likened to that of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (TM, Secret)

      Lord, may the bread and cup we offer bring your Church the unity and peace they signify. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen. (NOM, Prayer Over the Gifts)

        The differences are fairly par for the course. What the Novus Ordo calls "bread and cup" the Traditional Rite calls a sacrifice that cleanses us from sin. The purpose of what the Novus Ordo is offering here is not a sacrifice for sin, but offering bread and wine for Church unity and peace. It further neglects mentioning that by this one offering and it's virtue, it continues to have lasting effects in our lives, long after the Mass is over. Each Mass we attend, the Grace we receive from it stays with us, and continues to work in our life. One can certainly not tell any of these things from the Novus Ordo's prayer. And now for the Postcommunion.

      To us who have received Thy sacred gifts, O Lord, vouchsafe that the more often we assist at the celebration of these divine mysteries, the more surely they may avail to the salvation of our souls. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (TM, Postcommunion)

      Lord Jesus Christ, you give us your body and blood in the Eucharist as a sign that even now we share your life. May we come to share it completely in the kingdom where you live for ever and ever. Amen (NOM, Prayer After Communion)

        The Novus Ordo again has the bug of ambiguity. They teach a nice truth here, of the Eucharist being a sign that even now on this vale of tears, Christ is with us. They then ask that this presence be completed, by when we come to the Kingdom? It is not saying Christ is more present in Heaven than in the Blessed Sacrament, but in Heaven, we will not suffer through mysteries, but look upon Him Face to Face. Yet they once again jump to conclusions, focusing far too much on the end-game. The Traditional Rite talks about how the communion we receive makes us more faithful, so that when we continue to assist at Holy Mass, its value for us increases. That is how the Grace stays with us, showing the logical flow and coherency of the prayers of the Traditional Rite.

        In conclusion, we see that to start an ambiguous teaching on the Eucharist, one of the strongest Eucharistic passages in Scripture must be omitted because of its dire warnings. Also a miracle that points to the Eucharist must be omitted and this dovetails to the prayer over the Gifts that has nothing to do with a Sacrifice for Sin, but a totally ambiguous end. Let us remember, this is the "Revised Liturgy" that, so we are told, is a far greater improvement over the Traditional Mass. Those who continue to make this claim (as now even the Bishops are told to seriously consider if the New Mass has obscured the Faith), I offer a word of advice. You can wish 2 plus 2 to equal 5 all you want, but in the end, facts are stubborn things. The Novus Ordo is objectively inferior in teaching the Catholic faith and in stylistics of a liturgy, and simply saying it's an improvement won't make it so.

    Kevin Tierney

    June 13, 2004
    vol 15, no. 152
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi