March 19, 2004
vol 15, no. 79

The Disciplines of Lent
    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. Helping Kevin launch this project was Jacob Michael, but now that it is up and running Jacob, with a heavier work-load and more in demand on other necessary projects, has turned it over to Kevin full-time. We are confident Kevin will do an excellent job 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 will compare 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! We continue with the Disciplines of Lent:


   Today we shall continue our examination of the Propers between the Traditional Latin Mass, and that of the Novus Ordo. We reach the Second Sunday of Lent, a time where in the Gospel we look at the Transfiguration of Christ. "This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased" The Father tells us. Christ, through His obedience to the Father, pleases the Father. Likewise, as we continue in this penitential season of Lent, we must look for which liturgy teaches us obedience to the Father better.

   Specifically, in this time of Lent, we must look for which liturgy again teaches us fasting and self-denial better. Fasting and self-denial, as Holy Scripture tells us, is not to be done for man's sake, that is, to gain pity from man, or to have man look highly upon us. Fasting is trusting in God, trusting He shall provide you with what you need. Without God's help, our fasts are doomed to fail. That is why for this examination, we shall see which liturgy better provides knowledge of our utter dependence on God, and which one calls us to come closer to God, to be obedient to Him.

   As is the custom in this series, The Traditional Mass will be marked by TM and both in Latin (in blue type) and English (in black type), the Novus Ordo Missae by NOM and in maroon type, as in marooned by synthetic novelty):

INTROIT:    Psalm 24: 6, 3, 22
Reminiscere miserationum tuarum, Domine, et misericordiae tuae, quae a saeculo sunt : ne unquam dominentur nobis inmici nostri : libera nos, Deus Israel, ex omnibus angustiis nostris. (Psalm 24: 1, 2) Ad te, Domine, levavi animam meam, Deus meus, in te confide, non erubescam. V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repeat Reminiscere...
Remember, o Lord, Thy bowels of compassion, and Thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world, lest at any time our enemies rule over us : deliver us, O God of Israel, from all our tribulations. (Psalm 24: 1, 2). To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul : in Thee, O my God, I put my trust : let me not be ashamed. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Repeat Remember...

    "Remember your mercies, Lord, your tenderness from ages past. Do not let our enemies triumph over us; O God, deliver Israel from all her distress." (NOM, Introit, Psalm 25:6,3,22)

   As we have noted before, the purpose of liturgical reform is to better bring out for the faithful what the Church wishes to teach. Both Introits are the same, with a small exception. The Novus Ordo Missae omits the second half of what was once there. This prayer calls us to turn to God and place all our trust in Him, and not to be ashamed of doing this. As the Traditional Mass starts, immediately we are called to place our trust in God. When we trust God, God gives us grace, the grace to overcome all adversities and enemies of this world. This includes the grace to be able to fast, to prepare ourselves for the glory of the Resurrection. One wonders why the Novus Ordo omitted this final section.

Deus, Qui conspicis omni nos virtute destitui : interius exteriusque custodi ; ut ab omnibus adversitatibus muniamur in corpore et a pravis cogitationibus mundemur in mente. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
O God, Who seest that we have no power whatever from ourselves; keep us both outwardly n our bodies and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may hurt the soul. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.

    "God our Father, help us to hear your Son. Enlighten us with your word, that we may find the way to your glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (NOM, Opening Prayer)"

   I would like the reader to take note of the flow of the Traditional Propers. There is a harmony, from one to another. The Introit here directly relates to the Collect. The Introit ends with us calling upon God, and not being ashamed of doing so. The Collect starts with this realization, and then asks God to keep us inwardly and outwardly, so that adversity may not overcome us physically, and that the lures of temptation and evil desires do not overcome our mind.

   The Novus Ordo does none of these things. What is "the way to glory"? The Novus Ordo doesn't answer this. Where it is absolutely clear in the Traditional Propers (the way to glory is by trusting in God and not being ashamed to do so), The Novus Ordo, in typical fashion, leaves everything ambiguous and unclear. There are also the recurring deficiencies in the Novus Ordo such as the insistence not to mention physical adversities as something God will rescue us from and the constant lure of temptation from Satan are two things which come to mind.

   As we remember from The First Sunday of Lent's Gospel reading, the devil began his temptation of Christ when Christ was at His absolute weakest at that point, when He had fasted. One would think that we must mention this fact in our liturgy, since the liturgy is the schoolmaster of the Faithful, as numerous Pontiffs have told us and reinforced.

EPISTLE:   1 Thessalonians 4. 1-7

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Thessalonicenses. Fratres : Rogamus vos, et obsecramus in Domino Jesu ut, quemadomodum accepistis a nobis, quomodo oporteat vos ambulare et placere Deo, sic et ambuletis, ut abundetis magnis. Scitis enim quae praeminum Jesum. Haec est enim voluntas Dei, sanctification vestra : ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione, ut sciat unusquisque vestrum vas suum possidere in sanctificatione, et honore; non in passione desideria, sicut et Gentes, quae ignorant Deum, ne quis supergrediatur, neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem suum : Quoniam vindex est Dominus de his omnibus, sicut praediximus vobis, et testificati sumus. Non enim vocavit non Deus in immunditiam, sed in sanctificationem : in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.
Deo Gratias.

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians. Brethren: We pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus that, as you have received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification : that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God : and that no man overreach nor circumvent his brother in business : because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, as we have told you before and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification : in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thanks be to God.

    And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, So shall your descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it." He said, "O Lord GOD, how may I know that I will possess it?" So He said to him, "Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: (First Lesson, NOM, Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18. Verse 18 may be omitted)

   As we compare these verses, I am reminded of the eminent liturgical scholar Msgr. Klaus Gamber's devastating critique of the Novus Ordo entitled "Reform of the Roman Liturgy." One of the Msgr. Gamber's critiques of the Novus Ordo was its new liturgical calendar, and it's choices of Scripture. In the Novus Ordo, throughout a three year period, if one attends Mass daily, the entire corpus of Scripture is read. While there are certain advantages, there some prominent disadvantages. One is the idea of stability. In the Traditional Roman Rite, the schedule of readings was fixed every year. The reason this was fixed is because certain Scripture verses best go along with certain liturgical days. Each liturgy serves a purpose, so therefore, when choosing Scripture; one should choose Scripture that best suits the purpose for this particular liturgical day. However, there are certain times in the Liturgy where the Scripture verse in the Novus Ordo one wonders about. While many of these passages are highly recommended for private reading, in a public liturgical service, they seem out of place.

   I submit this is the case for the Novus Ordo. The Novus Ordo, for this particular Sunday, recounts the forming of the Covenant with Abraham. It certainly teaches an obedience and trust in God, of this we cannot dispute. Yet in what way is that obedience carried out? Remember, in the Lenten season, this penitential time is spent in fasting, prayer, and self-denial. This is the path of obedience to Our Lord, so that we may partake in the fruits of His glorious Resurrection.

   With that in mind, it is entirely fitting we see the epistle lesson we see in The Traditional Rite. It talks specifically about obedience, but then tells us exactly how we are to be obedient. St. Paul told the Thessalonians how to walk in the way of the Lord, and that this way would please God. We are also told that if we do not abide by these precepts, God will preserve His honor, and avenge all things. The reason for this is because God has not called us unto the carnal pleasures of this world, yet life everlasting. We should imitate St. Paul and pray that God gives us the strength to follow these precepts. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this passage of Scripture the Novus Ordo chooses, it is wholly out of context when compared with the reading we see in the Traditional Mass.

GRADUAL    Psalm 24: 17-18

Tribulationes cordis mei dilatatae sunt: de necessitatibus meis eripe me, Domine. V. Vide humilitatem meam, et laborem meum : et demitte omnia peccata mea.

The troubles of my heart are multiplied : deliver me from my necessities, O Lord. V. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins.

    From the shining cloud the Father's voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, listen to him (NOM, Gospel Verse, Matthew 17:5)

    There is not much we would really like to comment on here, except maybe focusing on what each verse entails. The Gradual is a plea to God to forgive one of their sins, again, tying back to the Introit in calling upon the Lord. The Novus Ordo as well ties back into its opening prayer, to listen to Christ. Both are very good and proper, but we submit the Traditional Mass covers both ends, that of listening to Christ, but also being obedient to Christ. The Novus Ordo today mainly focuses on listening, but not much in the way of taking action and doing. What good is taking a message to heart if you do not act upon it? Next we shall turn to another area the Novus Ordo has completely done away with, that of the Tract.

TRACT:    Psalm 105: 1-4

Confitemini Domino, Quoniam bonus : Quoniam in saeculum misericordiae ejus. V. Quis loquetur potentias Domini : auditas faciet omnes laudes ejus : v. Beati qui custodiunt judicium, et faciunt justitiam in omni tempore. V. Memento nostri, Domine, in beneplacito populi tui: visita nos in salutari tuo.

Give glory to the Lord, for He is good : for His mercy endureth for ever. V. Who shall declare the powers of the Lord : who shall set forth all His praises? V. Blessed are they that keep judgment and do justice at all times. V. Remember us, O Lord, in the favor of Thy people; visit us with Thy salvation.

   We notice again the harmony the Traditional Rite has, in consistently reinforcing the thoughts in the minds of the faithful. Consistent calls for calling upon the Lord, and also being obedient to the Lord. Those who call upon God, but choose to stay in their life of sin, will not be answered. They are like those who receive the word with joy, yet in temptation fall away.

GOSPEL:   Matthew 17: 1-9
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.

In illo tempore: Assumpsit Jesus Petrum, et Jacobum, et Joannem fratrem ejus, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum : et tranfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies ejus sicut sol : vestimenta autem ejus facta sunt alba sicut nix. Et ecce apparuerunt illis Moyses et Elias cum eo loquentes. Respondens autem Petrus, dixit ad Jesum : "Domine, bonum est nos hic esse: si vis, faciamus hic tria tabernacula, tibi unum, Moysi unum, et Eliae unum." Adhuc eo loquente, ecce nubes lucida obumbravit eos. Et ecce vox de nube, dicens : "Hic est Filius neus dilectus, in Quo Mihi bene complacui : ipsum audite." Et audientes Discipuli, ceciderunt in faciam suaj, et timuerunt valde. Et accessit Jesus, et tetigit eos, dixitque eis : "Surgite, et Nolite timere." Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt, nisi solum Jesum. Et descendentibus illis de monte, praecepit eis Jesus, dicens : "Nemini dixeritis visionem, donec Filius hominis a mortuis resurgat."
Laus tibi, Christi

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time Jesus taketh Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart : and He was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun : and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: "Lord, it is good for us to be here: If Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moss, and one for Elias." And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying : This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him." And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them : "Arise, and fear not." And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: "Tell the vision to no man till the Son of Man be risen from the dead."

    Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not realizing what he was saying. While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!" And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen. (Gospel, NOM Luke 9:28-36)

   For the Gospel, we see one story told two different ways. There is no huge difference worth quarreling about as to which one tells the story better, so we shall not focus on this aspect for that would be to pit one Evangelist against another and that should never be the intention. No, as we have seen before, the problem with the Novus Ordo reading of the Gospels is not what they say, but what they don't say. What they choose to omit. For the Novus Ordo, verse 29 of Luke 9 may be omitted. Verse 29 describes the miracle of the transfiguration, how His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. What we will begin to notice in future installments of this series (and also is evident in the Ordinary of the Mass) is the aversion to miracles the Novus Ordo seems to have. Many times when a passage describes a miracle, the exact miracle being mentioned is optional in the Novus Ordo.

    This is part of the liberalism and modernism that was so prominent amongst many in the Second Vatican Council, and all subsequent liturgical reform committees. They did not make any inherently false statements in the liturgy, but allowed enough "wiggle-room" in small areas for their revolution to proceed. Eventually these small battles began to add up, and we are left with the 'Devastated Vineyard' (a la Dietrich Von Hildebrand) we see today. What do we see as a result? The idea of miracles as not being real is something that is quite prevalent amongst many that attend Mass in the Novus Ordo today, for so many do not even believe in the the Miracle of Transubstantiation - the greatest Mystery left to us by Our Lord.

OFFERTORY:    Psalm 118: 47-48

Meditabor in mandates tuis, quae dilexit valde : et levabo manus meas ad mandata tua, quae dilexit.

I will meditate on Thy commandments, which I have loved exceedingly : and I will lift up my hands to Thy commandments, which I have loved.

    Lord, make us holy. May this eucharist take away our sins that we may be prepared to celebrate the resurrection. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen (Prayer over the Gifts, NOM)

    We return to the recurring theme in the Traditional Rite for today's liturgy, that of calling upon God, doing so lovingly, and obeying God. As we continue to struggle in our fasts, this is something we must remind ourselves of. This is reinforced when we reach the Preface of Lent, the magnificent prayer we have covered elsewhere.


Sacrificis Praesentibus, Domine, quaesumus, intende plactus : ut et devotioni nostrae proficient, et saluti. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filius tuus Dominus noster, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

Peacefully look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon these sacrifices, that they may both increase our devotion and contribute to our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.

    Gone from the Novus Ordo is any concept of mercifully asking God to do what we ask of Him. Why mercifully? We are sinners, fallen human beings, who deserve just condemnation outside of God's graces. While the Novus Ordo mentions the fact the Eucharist takes away our sins, there is no talk of the propitiatory work of Christ in that sacrifice which shall be offered, rather a focus on the expiatory work of the sacrifice. What do these two rather large words mean? To propitiate means to appease. The propitiatory sacrifice appeases God of His wrath. Expiation in reference to the Mass talks about the effects of that propitiation, the removal of our sins. The Novus Ordo mentions the effect, but not the cause. The sacrifice removes sin because God is appeased. This is something the Traditional Rite focuses on, whereas the Novus Ordo does not.

COMMUNION:   Psalm 5: 2, 4

Intellige clamorem meum : intende voci orationis meae, Rex meus, et Deus meus: Quoniam ad te orabo, Domine.

Understand my cry : hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God : for to Thee will I pray, O Lord.

    This is my Son, me beloved, in whom is all my delight: listen to him. (NOM, Communion Antiphon, Matthew 17:5)

    We noted this same problem in the Gradual and Gospel verse section of this article. While both tie back to what was originally stated as Mass starts, the Traditional Rite focused far more clearly on what the faithful need to hear for this time of Lent. Therefore, beyond calling to mind what has already been said, suffice it to say the Novus Ordo comes up lacking greatly in tying it all together for the congregants.


Supplices te Rogamus, omnipotens Deus, ut, quos tuis reificis sacramentis, tibi etiam placitis moribus dignanter deservire concedas. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. Qui vivis et regnas in cum Deo Patri in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, unum Deum.
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

We humbly beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we whom Thou hast strengthened with Thy sacraments, may henceforth serve Thee in worthiness of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.
R. Amen.

    Lord, we give thanks for these holy mysteries which bring to us here on earth a share in the life to come, through Christ our Lord. Amen (Prayer after Communion, NOM)

   As has been noted numerous times before, the Novus Ordo does indeed direct the faithful to the end game so to speak, the Resurrection. The only problem with this approach is that it focuses on the end result so much; it forgets to mention that we haven't obtained it yet. We must still endure to the end to be saved. We must still trust in God. We must still be obedient; we must still live a life of purity. The Traditional Rite indeed focuses on these things, so that we may receive the glory of the Resurrection, and not the resurrection to condemnation that we run the risk of facing if we do not do the things entailed above.

   As Catholics with a choice, we must choose whether we get just the ending, or if we get the entire movie so to speak. It's all in the quality and the true message that needs to be conveyed and understood. It's all part of how we pray and what we pray and knowing what it means rules how we arrive at the conviction of belief.

NEXT: Comparing the Propers of Lent: Third Sunday of Lent

    March 19, 2004
    vol 15, no. 79
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi