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

Part Five


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

D. The new form of Consecration


   We shall not attempt here a thorough analysis of the Eucharistic Prayers. Rather, we shall concentrate on that part of the four prayers which is common to all, but which has been made different from the True Canon, the prayer which begins "Qui pridie," with the Consecration Forms which follow. We will base our investigation mainly on (1) the Epiclesis itself, together with the three phrases: (2) "mysterium fidei," (3) "Haec Quotiescumque," (4) "pro multis." Below, we will give these phrases in their proper context. Let me summarize the whole argument before presenting it in detail.

    The main purpose of the changes made in the Canon was to transform the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ present on the altar into a mere memorial supper, which recalls Our Lord's last meal with His disciples before His death. This was done by the simple expedient of fusing the Consecratory formulae into the preparatory prayer, Qui Pridie. This was the unadmitted reason behind the removal of the words "mysterium fidei" from the Consecration Form of the wine. The replacement of the sentence which begins "Haec Quotiescumque" was part of the same tactic.

    The reason for mistranslating the words "pro multis" to mean "for all men" was to implant the Lutheran error (held by almost all Protestants) that through the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, all will be saved who have faith in that Sacrifice, regardless of their own moral goodness, regardless of their acceptance of other revealed truths, regardless of membership in the Church. But this idea is only an intermediary one, meant to suggest a still more heterodox idea, that eventually all men will be saved - taken to Heaven - even the damned.

    Here I give first, on the left, the Latin of the prayer, Qui Pridie, as found in the Missale Romanum. (In liturgical parlance it is called an epiclesis; it can also be spelled, epiklesis.) Next to it is the correct English translation of the prayer. Then comes the altered Latin version given in the "Novus Ordo", which most people think is the same thing as that found in Missale Romanum. Last, appears the faulty (what else?) English rendering of the "Novus Ordo's" altered version.

    The numbers in parenthesis indicate what phrases will be under discussion; notice the order in which they will be taken. The choice of these phrases is dictated by the need we have of understanding clearly the true nature of the Consecration, the very center of the Mass. We must have this understanding if we are to perceive how, with a few cunning strokes, the manipulators have been able to set at naught the sacramental import of the words and to disrupt the careful balance of ideas, guarded so jealously by all former Catholic generations, but relinquished so unconcernedly by this present one.

    Epiclesis and Consecration Form from the Roman Canon

    Qui, pridie quam pateretur, accepit panemIn sanctas ac venerabiles manus suasEt elevates oculis in caelum ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem, tibi gratias Agens, benedixit, fregit, deditqueDiscipulis suis, dicens: Accipite, etManducate ex hoc omnes.


    Simili modo postquam cenatumEst, accipiens et hunc praeclarumCalicem in sanctas ac venerabilesManus suas; item tibi gratias agens,Benedixit, deditque discipulis suis, dicens:Accipite, et bibite ex eo omnes.


    Haec Quotiescumque feceritis, in meiMemoriam facietis. (2)

    Correct Translation

    Who the day before He suffered tookbread into His holy and venerable hands,and with His eyes lifted up to heaven,unto Thee, God, His almighty Father,giving thanks to Thee, He blessed,broke and gave it to His disciples, Saying: Take and eat ye all of this,


    In like manner, after He had supped,taking also this excellent chalice, intoHis holy and venerable hands, andgiving thanks to Thee, He blessedand gave it to His disciples, saying:Take and drink ye all of this,


    As often as ye shall do these things, yeshall do them in remembrance of Me. (2)

    Narratio Institutionis of the Novus Ordo MIssae
    ("Narrative of the Institution")

    Qui, pridie quam pateretur, accepitpanem in sanctas ac venerabiles manussuas, et elevates oculis in caelumad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentemtibi gratias agens benedixit, fregit,deditque discipulis suis, dicens:


    Simili modo, postquam cenatum est, accipiens et hunc praeclarum Calicemin sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas,item tibi gratias agens benedixit, dededitque discipulis suis, dicens:


    Faulty Translation

    1 The day before he suffered he took breadin his sacred hands and looking up to heaven,to you, his almighty Father, he gave you thanksand praise. 2 He broke the bread, gave it to hisdisciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and eatit; this is my body which will be given up for you.3 When supper was ended, he took the cup.4 Again he gave you thanks and praise,gave the cup to his disciples, and said:Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the newAnd everlasting covenant. 5 It will be shed forYou and for all men (3) so that sins may beforgiven. 6 Do this in memory of me (2)42

      41. Ordo Missae - Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis. Vatican Press, Rome, 1969, pp. 113-14.

      42. The General Instruction and The New Order of the Mass, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. Published by the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Copyrighted 1969 by ICEL.(Every word and letter and capitalization and punctuation mark has been copied exactly from the official texts of the Missale Romanum, the St. Andrew's Daily Missal, the Novus Ordo Missae, and the ICEL General Instruction and New Order of the Mass, Copyright 1969 by International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.)

   In order to concentrate on the words in question, I am taking no notice of the many gestures of too-poor reverence, the purposeful silence, the ineffable intimacy, the awe-inspiring deliberateness, that the Missale Romanum requires of the tremulous celebrant, all of which are regarded as archaic, anti-social, and in bad taste by the "desacralizers."

   Before all else, it must be understood that the Qui Pridie and the Form of Consecration in the True Mass are, neither singly nor taken together, a mere narration of the event of the Last Supper. The Qui Pridie is the setting and the preparation for pronouncement of the Consecration formula, as well as the prayer wherein the celebrant bears witness to the essential unity of the institution of the Sacrament with the Sacrifice of the Cross. Fr. Joseph Jungmann points out that all liturgies do the same:

    It is in the very nature of the Christian liturgy of the Mass that the account Of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament should not be recited as a merely Historical record, as are other portions of the Gospels. Indeed, the words of The account are spoken over the bread and a chalice, and, in accord With Our Lord's word, are uttered precisely in order to repeat Christ's Action. This repetition, is, in fact, accomplished in all its essentials by Rehearsing the words of the account of the institution.43 (43. The Mass Of the Roman Rite-Its Origins and Development. Rev. Joseph A Jungmann, S.J. Benziger Brothers, Inc. New York, 1955 Vol. 2. p. 201).
    In the Qui Pridie, the Last Supper is mentioned to remind us of the priest's intention of repeating that act by which Christ transubstantiated the bread and wine, so that He might give His Apostles His Body and Blood. When He accomplished this marvelous miracle, the Sacrifice of Calvary was made sacramentally present there in the Upper Room. When the priest at Mass accomplished the same ineffable wonder, the Body and Blood of Christ become present on the altar. If no transubstantiation took place during the Mass, it would be nothing more than a sentimental memorial of the Last Supper, and imply that the Last Supper itself was nothing more than a dramatic and sorrowful going-away banquet which Christ ate with the Twelve.

    The Form of Consecration is not considered to be a prayer of the priest. Rather, it is the evocation of a direct and most glorious act from God Himself. Through his pronunciation of the Consecration Form, the priest's humanity and individuality become identified with the infinite power and redemptive intention of Christ on the Cross. At this point, the priest speaks as if he were Christ Himself, and Christ acts through the priest's will and words both as the Consecrator and the Oblation, the Eternal High-Priest and the Saving Victim, the supreme Mediator and the mutual Gift.

    In the Epiclesis of the True Mass (again, I remind you, this is the prayer which beings, "Qui Pridie"), the obvious emphasis is on the fact that the priest intends to do what Christ did at the Last Supper, namely, consecrate the offerings, change them into the Body and Blood of the Savior. In the "Epiclesis" of the "New Mass" the emphasis has been obviously and unmistakably shifted, even though the words used are generally the same. Here there is nothing left to indicate that the "president" is actually consecrating, or intends to. Traditional-minded Catholics presume he is doing so; perhaps he also presumes he is doing so - although, again, perhaps he does not; you cannot be certain. While everyone is doing all this presuming, what is really happening is that the "president" is merely telling what happened at the Last Supper. Nor is he telling of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord; he is telling of the eating and drinking of bread and wine.

    Let us look closely at the English of the "New Mass": The Latin test of the "Narratio" (in the "New Mass) has three sentences; its faulty translation has six. (Keep in mind that during a vernacular "mass," it makes no difference what the Latin has!) The simple device of dividing the text into shorter sentences not only reduces it to nothing more than a narrative, but also, changes the meaning of the words, as we shall see. The first sentence contains a reference to the suffering of Christ (the Latin words "gratias agens," let me mention in passing, do not mean "he gave…thanks and praise," but, "giving thanks"). Then the second sentence is entirely new: "He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you." Perhaps you do not see the ambiguity. In the True Mass, the priest says, "Take and eat ye all of this, FOR THIS IS MY BODY." The omission of the word, "for" (in Latin, "enim") and the stopping of the sentence with the colon, make the words this and it of the faulty translation refer to their antecedent, bread. This ambiguity does not exist in the Latin of the "Novus Ordo" because "hoc" is both neuter and singular and can refer only to the neuter, singular noun, "Corpus" ("Body").

    The identical distortion is committed in the fourth sentence with reference to the wine. This sentence reads: "Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant." Here again the Latin word "enim" ("for") is not translated; a colon is put in its place. The result is that the clauses of the sentence are separated completely. The words this and it refer to the wine, not to the "cup of my blood."

    Now consider how the "Narratio" in the "Novus Ordo" is printed. (We are referring to the Latin test.) The words "ACIPITE ET MANDUCATE EX HOC OMNES" ("Take this, all of you, and eat it") are given the same bold capitalization as the words of consecration, "HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM," ("this is my body…"). It is the same with the words "ACCIPITE ET BIBITE EX EO OMNES:" ("Take this, all of you, and drink from it:"), as also with the words which in liturgical terms are called the Anamnesis: "HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM." ("Do this is memory of me."). The reason for the bold and enlarged capitals is the Missale Romanum of St. Pius V is the need to separate them from the Epiclesis and the Anamnesis, and to indicate that they are the Form of Consecration. This very purpose is undeniably negated in the "Novus Ordo;" instead, and this is most important, the capitalization of the words which speak of taking and eating, taking and drinking have the double effect of fusing the words of consecration into the "Narratio," or Narration, and, at the same time, of heightening the importance of the idea of eating and drinking of-not, mind you-the Body and Blood of Christ, but of the bread and wine, which the demonstratives and pronouns logically and grammatically refer to. As we shall see when we discuss the apparently innocuous change of the words of the Anamnesis, "Haec Quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis" ("As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of Me") to "HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM" ("Do this in memory of me"), the effect is the very same. And that effect is the complete eradication of the Form of Consecration.

    This typography is truly radical. Nor can it be the result of the printer's caprice or oversight; it corresponds exactly with the "wishes" of Pope Paul VI himself as he expressed them in his "decree" Missale Romanum. Allow me to quote them in their context:

    However, for pastoral reasons, and in order to facilitate con- celebration, we have ordered that the words of the Lord ought to be identical in each formulary of the Canon. Thus, in each Eucharistic Prayer, we wish that the words be pronounced thus: over the bread: Accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes: Hoc est enim Corpus meum, quod pro vobis treadetur; over the chalice: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: Hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem. (The Pope's italics). (Appendix II, par. 6).
    The reader will observe that the Pope is careful not to refer to the words quoted above as the "Form of Consecration," instead, they are described as "the words of the Lord," which must mean the words of the Lord as they are quoted in the "Narratio", the account of the Lord's Supper. Neither here nor anywhere else in his Apostolic Constitution does the Pontiff refer to the mystery of Transubstantiation. From beginning to end, his main emphasis is on the "readings" of the new "missal," with which the people will "nourish themselves day by day.

    Pope Paul says: "We have ordered that the words of the Lord ought to be, etc." How is that the Pope may order what the "words of the Lord ought to be?"

    Few seem to have noticed the two main reasons the Pope gives for so radical an alteration in the very center of the "mass," but they are there, big as life, "for pastoral reasons, and in order to facilitate concelebration." How many people know to this day what these "pastoral reasons" are, and how the complete emasculation of the Form of Consecration serves to "facilitate concelebration?" Perhaps it will help if they recall that the word "pastoral" in the code language of the Revolution means, "for the people," that is, "for the sake of the 'Renewal" or the Revolution itself." Again, the abandonment of the Form of Consecration and its reduction to a mere narrative can only be understood by realizing that, in many "concelebrated 'masses'" many of the "concelebrants," both "Catholic" and Protestant, certainly do not believe in the power of Transubstantiation. Thanks to this "slight" adjustment, they may use any of the four "Eucharistic Prayers" without the risk of such a marvel occurring.

      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen