SUNDAY
August 15, 2004
vol 15, no. 165

The Ecumenical Tail Wagging the Dogma!

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

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

    by Kevin M. Tierney

for

      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! Today Kevin, illustrates how the omissions in the Novus Ordo give rise to the canine canard that, though it's a dog-eat-dog world, Satan really isn't that relevant and therefore St. Michael, the Heavenly Choirs and Saints have very little to do in fighting for our Salvation. He shows this impressively in the Epistle for the Assumption, of which he focuses on exclusively today.

Editor's Note: For the Traditional SUNDAY MASS with the Latin included for the Double of the First Class Feast of the Assumption, see "Gaudeamus omnes"

    On this day when Mary was assumed into Heaven, are some Catholics assuming too much?
    ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
    Traditional Proper compared to
    the Novus Ordo Readings

    Today we celebrate a very special day in the Church. We commemorate the assumption of Our Blessed Mother into Heaven, body and soul. She indeed walked the path that we all walk, and mastered that path par excellence. Never before has there lived a more devoted servant to her Divine Son, teaching us to always follow His will. For this reason, she was taken to Heaven, as an example to us as well. That we may live our lives serving Christ, in hopes of also joining her in Heaven one day when all is said and done. When we study the Assumption, we cannot just study a mechanical definition of what it is, but also what it means, what the reason was behind it. This distinction I think is very clearly demonstrated in the Propers of this glorious feast day for the Church in both liturgies.

    Since the declaration of the Dogma of the Assumption by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 the Latin Proper has been changed to reflect the holy day of obligation. Since the Propers in the liturgy were changed during the reign of Pius XII, I used those Propers. In many cases, they are rather similar to that of the Novus Ordo - which in and of itself is unique considering how far the Novus Ordo has veered away from Tradition. Yet, even on this feast the small changes in the Lectionary are worth noticing. Thus I am, for this Sunday only, referencing the Mass which utilizes other passages from the Proper of Gaudeamus omnes. It has a different Epistle; choosing to replace the Book of Wisdom 24: 11-13, 15-20 with Judith 13: 22-25; 15: 10, and the Gospel from Luke 10: 38-42 to Luke 1: 41-50. Yet in the Proper of the Traditional Mass, there are no omissions and the Proper flows with the theme of inviting in joyful prayer the faithful to celebrate the powerful role of the Mother of God, the Mother of her Divine Son's Church; she who is the splendor of Heaven and the Gate of Heaven, the Living Tabernacle of the Word Incarnate, who will crush the head of the serpent with her holy heel.

    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). As both introits are similar, as both use Apoc 12:1, as are the Collects. (While there might be different semantics, both tell us to focus on Heaven so we may share in her glory.) With this in mind, let us focus specifically on the Epistle and the readings for the Novus Ordo.

    The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought. Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord, who made Heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies; because He hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord, forever: for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people; but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people. (TM, Epistle, Judith 13:22-25, 15:10)

    God's temple in heaven was opened,and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One." (NOM, First Reading, Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab)

    I submit the first reading for the Novus Ordo is decidedly ecumenical in tone. The epistle of Tradition is an unmistakable reference to Mary, as it not only calls the woman "blessed above all other women" but also says that she shall cut the head of the serpent, a reference to Genesis 3:15. As we celebrate a day when we honor Mary's faithfulness, it is quite fitting that we talk about this. The Novus Ordo, rather than presenting a strong Mary, seems to present the Mary who runs into the desert, and you hear nothing more. For if Mary crushes the head of the serpent, she is absolutely opposed to the serpent, being Satan. This is one of the logical deductions we use to arrive at the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, something that Protestants find particularly offensive. The focus is definitely different in these two passages, and we have not even covered what the Novus Ordo has decided to leave out.

    I shall now quote the entire selection of the Novus Ordo, as custom, bolding what they have decided to omit since "the good of the Church required it." As any Novus Ordinarian Catholic will remember, any innovation in the liturgy was only allowed if the good of the faithful required it, per Vatican II. Let us use this standard, and see if the omissions were truly necessary. Keep in mind the Protestant nature of the scriptural passage used, not only in taking it from the loose and free-wheeling NAB, but also in succumbing to Protestant pressure to call the Apocalypse - Revelation. The latter is a distinct difference in terminology between Catholic and non-Catholic. Yet the modern church has opted to lean toward the latter while abandoning what was so right and proper for over 1900 years.

    Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days. Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night.

    We see first an unmistakable reference to the wrath of God being poured out on the Earth, as lightning, thunder, an earthquake and hail are abound because of the world's sins. To modern man, that God sounds far too vengeful, for you see, modern man worships the kind "Can't we all just get along" 'Buddy Christ' who certainly has no wrath to pour out on this world, or against Satan. If you didn't actually read your Bible, and relied simply on the Novus Ordo Lectionary, you'd forget there was even a war going on between God and Satan.

    Since there is no war, then there is no need to talk about one of Satan's chief opponents, St. Michael the Archangel. It is amazing that in just 40 years, one of the saints who had such a heavy devotion amongst the faithful can now be an afterthought. When the Church was in trouble in the temporal sphere (after losing temporal power in Rome) St. Michael's intercession was sought. As a result, after every Low Mass, the Leonine Prayers were said, one of them being the majestic prayer to St. Michael, which speaks of his constant war against Satan, and his protection of the Church. St. Michael was the guardian of the elect. Yet since today the Novus Ordo has no enemies, only "partners in faith communities of dialogue" St. Michael seems to be standing in the unemployment line in the Novus Ordo. His class of angels is no longer mentioned in the Preface (as always in the Traditional Mass the archangels, cherubim and seraphim are always mentioned, no matter which Preface is used). St. Michael has been taken out of the Bible. Other than Traditional Catholics, few seek his intercession after Mass.

    It seems that in an effort to downplay the serious role the Blessed Virgin has in combating Satan, anyone combating Satan has to be downplayed as well. Rather we see in the Second Novus Ordo reading, 1st Corinthians 15:20-26, of Jesus conquering these things. It is certainly true that Jesus ultimately conquers Satan, but as King, He has those who fight alongside Him, such as His Blessed Mother, and St. Michael. Yet to a Protestant, it is simply Jesus that fights Satan, no saint in Heaven is actively fighting Satan. Ecumenism strikes again. It is not an untruth that is said in the Novus Ordo, but the shift in emphasis which decidedly removes emphasis off of Mary, even on her own feast day!

    Both Gospels than go through the Magnificat, the glorious prayer of exaltation Mary proclaims to God when she encounters St. Elizabeth. The rest of the prayers are rather similar, so this column will be considerably shorter than it is today. Yet in many places, especially when we read the God-Breathed Scriptures, Mary's essence is downplayed. In order to portray a hippy "God of Love" who has no wrath, the Blessed Virgin Mary's role as the crusher of heresy and the one who ultimately stomps on the head of the serpent, her role must also be updated simply to a "kind, loving mother." She has always been a kind loving mother, but she was kind by protecting her children. May we seek her intercession (as she is Queen of the Liturgy) to restore the full truths of God and His devoted Servant Mary: those truths that are best exemplified in the Traditional Latin Mass.


    August 15, 2004
    vol 15, no. 165
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi