permission to reprint this
defining work was personally granted by
Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J. in 2001.
Chapter Four

Part Seven


See EDITOR'S NOTE for an explanation of this work.

"Haec Quotiescumque..."

    It is in connection with the removal of the words "mysterium fidei" that we must inquire why the words of Christ's instruction, "As often as you shall do these things, you shall do them in memory of Me," have been changed. Notice the difference in the two Latin words which begin each of the sentences under study:

Missale Romanun: "Haec quotiescumque feceritis..." ("as often as you shall do these things...")

Novus Ordo Missae: "Hoc facite..." ("Do this...")

The "haec" is plural and means "these things," whereas "hoc" is singular and means "this." "These things" refers to all the things which Christ our Lord and the Apostles, his new priests, are doing, that is, His taking bread, giving thanks, etc., and their eating of what He calls His Body; and His taking the chalice, and the rest, and their drinking of His Precious Blood. Christ is telling them to do all "these things", to use these elements, to use these words, to eat and drink, all in memory of His eminent self-oblation for the remission of the sins of "the many."

    The singular demonstrative, "hoc" ("this"), in the "New Mass" formula cannot be taken necessarily to mean the same thing. It could easily (and more logically) refer only to what the Apostles themselves were doing, namely, eating and drinking: "Take and eat..." "take and drink..." "Do this..." You see how the idea of a mere commemorative meal could be inferred (and indeed is being inferred by young people). In the context of all the other anti-sacrificial and anti-sacramental maneuvers one finds in the "New Mass," it is impossible not to infer exactly this meaning.

    The point gains force when we remind ourselves that there can be absolutely no excuse for any ambiguity or vagueness about this matter. For if there were any such possibility, all the "reformers" would have had to do was leave things as they were! The very fact that they did not is incriminating in itself. I might add that, by the change, they were violating a tradition which goes back to the earliest period of the Roman Liturgy. As Father Jungmann says:

        The sacred account concluded with the command to repeat what Christ had done. The text is taken basically from St. Paul; however, the entire Roman tradition, from Hippolytus on, has substituted for the Pauline phrase "whenever you drink it," the phrase "whenever you do this."49. Jungmann. Op. cit. Vol.2, p. 201.
    In other words, the ambiguous alteration in the "Novus Ordo" fits the "reformers" purpose of conveying a further misconception. Immediately after the "Hoc facite" appears what is called an "acclamation." The priest says to the people, "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith," and they respond, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again." The words were chosen in reminiscence of the passage in St. Paul:
    "This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me, For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, UNTIL HE COME" (Author's emphasis) 1 Corinthians 11: 25-26
    Commenting on this choice, the aforementioned Critique says:
        Then the acclamation assigned to the people immediately after the Consecration ("mortem tuam annuntiamus Domine, etc., donec venias") ("We announce thy death, O Lord, etc. until thou shouldst come.") brings us to the crowning ambiguity with regard to the Real Presence, under pretext of concern about the Last Day. Without a break the expectation of Christ's second coming at the end of time is proclaimed at precisely the moment when He is actually present on the altar-as if the second coming, and not this, were the true coming. 50. Critique. p. 13.
    I might add, this is but another instance too of the reformers' yen for using the Scriptures as a cover for their manipulations.

      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen