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

Part Two


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

A. Expurgations

    If you will simply find yourself an old missal and turn to the Ordinary of the Mass, you will easily see how many prayers and rites have been eliminated in the "New Mass." You will remember that with each such elimination a very recondite and plausible reason was given why it should be made. By now you have probably forgotten the reasons you were given. But, you see, now that the excisions have been made, the reasons make no difference anymore.

    All the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, including the "ascental" Psalm (42), were replaced. The Aufer a Nobis was dropped for the same reason; namely, since there is no altar, one cannot "go up" to it. And since there is no tabernacle, there can be no mention of the "Holy of Holies". Since saints, and above all, martyrs, are not thought too highly of in the "New Church," no call for the Oramus Te being kept. Also found objectionable were the prayers Munda Cor Meum and the Dominus Sit; these were private prayers of the priest, and private prayer during the communal exercise is not to be tolerated.

    Practically all the prayers of the Offertory, one of the principal parts of the True Mass, were deemed useless, which means that the following six prayers are not to be found in the "Novus Ordo": the Suscipe Sancte Pater, the Deus qui Humanae, the Offerimus Tibi, the Veni Sanctificator, the Lavabo (Ps.25), and the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas. As mere tokens, the prayers In Spiritu Humilitatis and Orate Fratres were kept.

    The given reason for this incredible exspoliation is that all these prayers are recent insertions into the Mass; none of them were in the Mass before, say, 1100 or 1200 A.D. Obviously we cannot let any prayers a mere eight or nine hundred years old into our "renewed" prayer service!

    To help you understand the real reasons why this whole collection of excellent orisons is totally irreconcilable with the "New Faith," let us analyze one as an example. Consider the prayer which the priest says in the True Mass as he raises the host on the paten toward heaven, the Suscipe Sancte Pater. Read this prayer slowly and see if you can find anything wrong with it. To help you, I suggest you make your judgment on the basis of these three questions: Is there anything here which is contrary to the Catholic Religion? Is there anything here which would offend a Non-Catholic were he to read it? Lastly, can you perceive anything herein which reveals that this prayer is improper for these exciting days of the "seventies"?

    Suscipe Sancte Pater:
       Receive, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for mine own countless sins, offenses and negligences, and for all here present; as also for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may avail both for my own and their salvation unto everlasting life. Amen. 35 35. St. Andrew Daily Missal. The E. M. Lohmann Co., St. Paul, Minn 1937 & 1951. All translations of the Missale Romanum of Pope St. Pius V are taken from this edition.

    Can you tell me now what is wrong with this prayer that it should not be allowed in the Mass, even to be said silently by the priest? Well, may I tell you that there is everything wrong with this prayer? To begin with, it was said silently by the celebrant, and silent prayers are decidedly outlawed in the "Novus Ordo". What is more, this prayer is spoken in the first person singular - it has the pronoun ego ("I") in it. Now, if there are two things which we cannot abide in the "new age," it is silent prayers during the communal prayer service, and the priest's acting as if he were about to do something in virtue of his own priesthood, which the laity cannot participate in.

    Here is an open and tactless admission that he fully intends to offer a sacrifice. Does he really think by whispering his prayer in Latin our "separated brethren" will not find out? And once they do, that will be the last we shall see them!

    Besides this, the priest suggests he is "unworthy" to offer the Mass; in the "New Religion" everyone is "worthy." His mentioning his "countless sins, transgressions and failings," suggests there is such a thing as sin, which, as you know, is highly suggestive of a guilt-complex. Very out of place.

    Then there is this special attention given to "all faithful Christians," which means some are being left out of consideration. Very uncharitable. He even mentions those faithful Christians who are dead. This smacks very loudly of a belief in the doctrine of Purgatory. Very offensive to any Protestants present.

    Finally, there is the mention of "salvation unto everlasting life." This is an out-and-out reference to Heaven! Whereas it is not at all certain whether there is a Heaven. That whole matter is still under discussion. And what's more, suppose a Jew should happen to be in attendance-a direct slap at him.

    Now do you see what is wrong with this prayer? I am beginning to think you need to go to one of your parish CCD classes and get yourself "up-dated."

    So much for the prayer Suscipe Sancte Pater, and this is only one of six prayers which have been eradicated with the almost complete dropping of the Offertory of the Mass.

    In the part of the Mass called the Canon, there are six prayers before the Consecration: the Te Igitur, the Memento Domine, the Communicantes, the Hanc Igitur, the Quam Oblationem, and the Qui Pridie. And there are seven which follow it: The Unde et Memores, the Supra Quae Propitio, the Supplices Te Rogamus, the Memento Etiam, the Nobis quoque Peccatoribus, the Per Quem haec Omnia, and the Per Ipsum.

    You might never have thought of the matter this way, but whenever the priest does not choose to recite "Eucharistic Prayer, Form Number One," all thirteen of these prayers are thereby omitted. This means his "mass" has no Canon at all. Since there are four so-called "Eucharistic Prayers," this probably happens at least three out of four times the "New Mass" is "said."

    But this is not the end of it. The translation of these prayers into the vernacular is so garbled that even when "Eucharistic Prayer, Form Number One" is used, it is still nothing but an inept paraphrase. Thus, when one speaks of "Eucharistic Prayer, Form Number One," he should not refer to it as the "Canon of the Mass," but as he would "Eucharistic Prayer, Forms Number Two, Three, and Four," that is, as "inventions." We shall explain the significance of this "change of the Canon" in a special section a little further on.

    Following the Pater Noster (which the infiltrators have done their utmost to get their defiling hands on), are the prayers which comprise the Communion of the Mass. Those which have ben dispatched are the Libera Nos, the Panem Coelestem, the priest's Domine non sum Dignus, the Quid Retribuam, the second Confiteor of the people with the two following absolutions, the two repetitions of the people's invocation, Domine non sum Dignus, the Corpus Domini, the Quod Ore, the Corpus Tuum, the Placeat Tibi, and the Last Gospel - which make ten in all.

    Counting conservatively and conceding for the sake of the argument that "Eucharistic Prayer Form Number One" is the "Roman Canon," when it is replaced by one of the other "Eucharistic Prayers," a grand total of thirty-five prayers, or seventy percent, are thereby discarded from the Ordinary of the Traditional Mass. Seven-tenths of the prayers of the Mass are gone! Nor is this to mention the many brief versicles and responses with which the True Mass abounds-summarily dropped in the "New Mass."

    Also banned, by my reckoning, were twenty-five Signs of the Cross, twelve genuflections, and many lesser acts of reverence. 1) to the tabernacle (which is often gone also), 2) to the crucifix (likewise), 3) to the Sacred Species, and 4) at the pronunciation of the Names of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. These acts of reverence include bows of the head, elevation of the eyes, kisses of the altar stone and its relics, turnings toward the tabernacle and the crucifix, and the subdued tone of the voice. Abrogated also is the "ritual of the hands" whereby the celebrant by various positionings and gestures signifies the thought of the prayers he is reciting. It would be possible to write an essay on the consequences of such a suppression as this alone.

    Having hands, the priest must do something with them. Now that he is not directed to do anything with them, the "ceremony" and those who must watch him are at the mercy of his mannerisms, his inspirations, his indiscipline, his disinterest, his imagination, or whatever. Whereas, in the True Mass, with his hands, the priest adds, as it were, another dimension to the utterance of the prayer. The rubrics of the Missale Romanum require that the celebrant avoid touching anything except the Sacred Host with "canonical fingers"-the thumb and index fingers of both hands-from the time of the Consecration onward to the final ablution. (His hands were anointed at Ordination with this very rubric in mind.) Each time he removes or replaces the pall, and each time he opens or closes the tabernacle, Everytime he even moves from one place to another while the Blessed Sacrament is present on the altar, the priest is bidden to genuflect. But all such rubrics are outmoded in the "Novus Ordo." Gone too are the ablutions of the fingers and the sacred vessels after communion, which betokened and bespoke to all those present that proximity of the all-holy Lord of the universe.

    Lay people may be unaware of the fact that every action of the priest, every word, is a matter of rubric in the "old" Missale Romanum. From the beginning to the end of Mass, there is no time which does not follow a direction as to whether he is to stand, kneel, or sit, whether to hold his hands apart, rest them on the Missal, or on the altar, or to fold them, whether to whisper or to speak aloud, whether to face the tabernacle or the book or the people. At one time he is to nod his head slightly, at another he is to bow more deeply, at still another he is to bend over profoundly. I suppose few people have ever seen a Traditional Mass at which the celebrant adhered with exactness to the all but countless rubrical prescriptions, since most priests used to grow careless about them a few years after their elevation to the altar. These rubrics are there, nonetheless, and if a priest obey them, religiously and piously, with a sense of their sacramental meaning, he finds that they have a most beneficial influence on him, assisting his recollection, purifying his intentions and regulating his demeanor.

    The entire foregoing, remember, has been an enumeration of those things which have been excised from the Mass. Now recall these words of our presently-reigning Pontiff, spoken on the 19th of November, 1969, just eleven days before the "Novus Ordo" was introduced in Italy:

       But, let everyone understand well that nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass. Some perhaps will get the idea that by the introduction of such and such a ceremony, or the addition of such and such a rubric, that such things constitute or hide alterations of minimizations of defined truths or ideas sanctioned by the Catholic Faith. But there is nothing in this idea, absolutely. First of all, because ritual and rubrics are not, in themselves, a matter of dogmatic definition. 36 36. Allocution of Paul VI on November 19, 1969, La Documentation Catholique. 7 December 1969.
    Can you believe it? Some thirty-five prayers, all of which have been repeated tirelessly and lovingly by countless priests, great and ordinary, throughout the whole world, for well over a thousand years-whose origins, indeed, even the sophisticated science of this century has not discovered - whose exquisiteness of expression inspired the world's greatest artists, Catholic and Non-Catholic, and whose mystical profundity were the meditations of the saints, and whose doctrinal phrasing served to catechize the faithful as well as to perfect their praise - these and the countless reverences, symbols, and gestures which accompanied and interpreted them are about to be stricken from a ceremony which ordinarily lasts hardly more than thirty minutes. And we are being told that it will be done without any essential change resulting in the act itself. In fact, in the above quotation there is no mention that any prayers will be removed at all, only "ritual and rubrics!" Now, if some nobody like myself were to say a similar thing while in the process of doing something like this, my integrity would be called into serious question, would it not?

      • Next: Chapter Four The "New Mass" Part Three B. Mistranslations

      • Previous: Chapter Four The "New Mass" Part Four The "New Mass" of Baal

      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen