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

Part Twelve


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

The Rite of Peace First Section

    A perfect example of how this archaism has been adopted to serve the true purpose of the Revolution is to be found in the Rite of Peace of the "New Liturgy." It is given out as a revival of the ancient rite of the Kiss of Peace, as it was performed in the Early Church, a vestige of which remains in Solemn High Masses in the Roman Liturgy. The great emphasis placed upon it indicates its importance in the plans of the manipulators. Together with the Communion, or "Love-Feast," it makes up what might be called the high point of the service.

    Shortly after the Our Father, we are instructed, according to the Paluch Company Missalette, to "express wishes of peace and love toward one another in words and gestures of our own choosing."59 59. Monthly Missalette. J.S. Paluch Co., Inc. Chicago. June, 1971, p. 28. What is wanted is a warm embrace. A hand-shake will keep one out of trouble, but it is not exactly in the spirit of the thing. In some places, there is much kissing. The idea is that all should give some genuine, physical sign of their Christian love. They should make the rounds, get acquainted with strangers. It should be a kind of "happy hour" without the drinks; each should be overjoyed to see his brothers and sisters and indicate as much.

    The signification claimed for this "ceremony" is that Christ is truly present in the hearts of all who have love for one another. "Ubi caritas est. Deus ibi est" ("Where charity is, there God is"). Through these warm touches and embraces true charity is being expressed and communicated. Communal spirit is not only being symbolized, but actually put into practice and learned in the doing. Christ said, "Go first to be reconciled to they brother" (Mt. 5:24).

    The Rite of Peace, joined with the Penitential Rite, in which all confess to their brothers and sisters, is that act of reconciliation with one's brothers, enjoined by Christ. It is therefore a perfect preparation for the reception of Christ in the Eucharist. By thus making peace with one's brethren, a person is allowing himself to be liberated; he is finding himself in the community of the Church and manifesting both the personal and communal peace which Christ alone can give.

    In order for this peace to be given in great abundance, all barriers which divide those present must be allowed to fall. This is the time when the saying of the Greek Apostle is being fulfilled: "There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28). It goes without saying that the greeting of peace is to be given to all present. Special efforts should be made to make non-Catholics feel included. In fact, it would be a serious breach of charity to exclude anyone due to his creed, race, national origins, or political persuasion. Likewise, the fact that some in the congregation may be living in mortal sin, or may be excommunicated due to a bad marriage (or to his having left the priesthood without proper dispensation), etc., should not be allowed to interfere. To do so would spoil the whole idea of the peace which is celebrated by this rite. It is not the time and place for such factors to be considered. What is important is that everyone present give himself to his brothers and sisters and allow the natural communication of the peace of Christ to flow from each into all. Everyone should cast aside his own timidity, self-consciousness, and selfishness. He must, as it were, hand himself over to the community, allow himself to become a part of it, make himself an ingredient in the communal blend. This is what the "new liturgy" means.

    It is to be hoped by the time of the Rite of Peace comes, everyone will be ready to join in enthusiastically and joyously. Under ideal circumstances, the service "builds up" to this phase of the "mass." Let us consider how this build-up has been structured into the "New Mass" taken in its entirety.

    At this point I supply "New Mass" "presidents" with a few helpful hints for a more successful Rite of Peace. After all, they may not have discovered yet the inherent dynamism of the "New Mass" nor realized that there is an ultimate fulfillment which the brothers and sisters are expected to arrive at. If everything is properly arranged, and everyone pointed in the right direction, success is assured. It would be nothing short of tragic for the brothers and sisters to miss out on this!

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          The president can do much to evoke spontaneity and meaningfulness in this part of the service by making the proper arrangements, though he should not actually dictate what the service is going to be. He should do everything possible to get those who will attend to pitch in on it. They can help him choose the music, find the right musicians, decorate the church, etc. They will be able to come up with ideas he could never have thought of. For instance, they know what kind of music they like; in some cases he may not even know what's popular. And how would it be if he used something that they didn't even know, or something that has been off the lists for a couple of months! If the people did not know the "numbers," they would not be able to let themselves go the way they have to. They have to be able to enjoy themselves, throw themselves into the action, get caught up in the rhythms. Doing so has a wonderfully liberating effect on everybody; it allows him to praise God and at the same time to become one with the assembled group. The idea is that all together become one voice, one heart, one being. This is how each discovers what true freedom is and comes to realize how he needs the others, that as a Christian he is already a part of the others and has yet to learn to show it. The "mass" is supposed to be an experience of love.

          Throughout, for the best effect, things should be kept moving; the people should be kept singing. The guitar is decidedly the best instrument for the melody line, though, of course, the prolonged beating of drums excites people, whether they want it to or not. It is good if there are multi-colored banners around; pictures and posters chosen by participants help to create atmosphere, help everyone to relate to each other. All the senses should be appealed to. Get as many people as possible involved in the decorating; it doesn't matter if it is poor art, so long as it is the work of the people, something that they can consider part of themselves. They may even want a procession around the church at the time of the Presentation of Gifts. This kind of thing makes everyone realize that the Church is related to the times. Processions are like protest marches, marches of the people, a phenomenon of twentieth-century life. The more activity that can be incited into the greatest number of people, the better things will go.

          At the Penitential Rite, all confess to each other. This should be a heartfelt renunciation of all selfishness, prejudice, and chauvinism. For these are the things which divide people. Each person must realize and should overcome any hesitancy about being at complete ease during "mass." The new thinking is that this is the perfect time and place for one to reach out to others in a spirit of love and acceptance and self-giving. The heartfelt participation of all in the responses and singing will assist greatly toward helping each one release himself into the community.

          It is important that the commentaries which interlard the various parts of the "mass" contain ideas of reconciliation, forgiveness, love, surrender, peace, generosity. Just the repetition of these words helps orient those present toward the Rite of Peace. Moreover, it is highly important that the president, or whoever gives the homily, dwell on these themes. Equally necessary is saying nothing which may cause divisions or discord or embarrassment among the brothers and sisters. He should, for example, avoid mentioning such ideas as the "Church," or the "Papacy," which to many represent the Establishment, a very dissonant concept. Similarly jarring are words like "the law," "sin," "self-discipline," "grace," "the Judgment." It should not be necessary to say it, but just in case the question should come up, all controversial issues should be skirted, such as the divinity of Jesus, the Resurrection, the existence of the devil or Hell, etc. It has been found best to swell on social needs and projects.

          With a little trouble and imagination, you can achieve some real momentum during the Eucharistic Prayer. There is enough time really to set the stage, so to speak. Some may go for the idea of turning the lights down during this period; it kind of suggests the Upper Room. Then you can read the narrative of the Last Supper. Make sure they don't miss this. Its purpose is to set the scene for the Rite of Peace. The Last Supper was the communal meal of Jesus with His Apostles. That was the time He gave them the symbol of unity and brotherhood, the Eucharist.

          If all has gone according to plan, by the time the Rite of Peace comes, the people will be ready to show how much they have enjoyed having the "mass" with each other. It will be easy for all to circulate freely. Those who hardly knew each other will find they have been drawn together just by having assembled and given themselves to the communal action.

          The climax comes when they have their meal together. Nothing is more pleasant and friendly than a meal shared with those one loves. And by now, everyone will feel that he loves everyone else and will have a glow, as it were. And all the while let the music continue to play upon them, soothe and refresh and stimulate them.

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    Some may be inclined to accuse me of exaggerating. That is because they have not admitted what the "New Mass" is when it is carried to its logical conclusions. What I have said above is descriptive of its true intentions, for which the evidence is so abundant it is hard to escape, which intentions are easily discernible in the very make-up of the "New Mass." The meaning is that no matter how this Improprieties carried out in a typical parish church, the same underlying implications are present and are having their effect.

    This fact should need no proving. But consider that according to the Code of Canon Law, only those who are in good standing in the Church should be allowed to participate in liturgical functions, that is, fulfill a role in the ceremonies. Others, such as excommunicated persons and non-Catholics may (or must, as the case may be) attend only. For the Rite of Peace, this injunction should also cover those who, though not excommunicated, are known to be living in sin. Since they are obviously rejecting the peace of Christ by their way of life, this should go without saying. Did not Our Lord say:

    "And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; But if not, it shall return to you." Luke 10:6
    What Catholic church is there today which does not encourage all in attendance to take part in the Rite of Peace? Such a question may strike the reader as unkind. That of course is the point. That it appears unkind is sufficient indication how the thinking of the "New Religion" has effected everyone. And yet, it was for just such reasons as we are speaking of that the kiss of peace ceased to be given among the lay people in the traditional Liturgy. Rather than violate the truth and the spirit of the ceremony on the one hand, and rather than be forced to exclude particular individuals on the other, it was found necessary so to abbreviate it.

    As mentioned earlier the "reformers" claim to be restoring this rite to its ancient usage. It serves their purpose not to recall that "in the Early Church" only believers were permitted to attend the Mass proper. As time went on, it was found advisable to have the men and women take separate places, the men on the one side, the women on the other. It need not be said that, in those days, according to the true spirit of worship, there was nothing of the "old home week" idea about the rite. Also, that women, dressed like street-walkers might be allowed to enter the church was unthinkable.

    It is plainly contrary to all reason for anyone and everyone to be permitted, even encouraged, to take part in such a ceremony. The peace of Christ cannot exist between His friends and those who, for whatever reason, refuse to accept His total sovereignty over them. His peace resides in the heart of the man who adheres to Him through the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Peace is the fruit of such a relationship. Peace among men, the peace which is supposed to exist in the Catholic community, is the unity and harmony which exists among those who share this relationship of union with Christ. The union of all is in Christ. Christ Our Lord, then, is the source and bond of their unity. The Blessed Eucharist is both the cause and the perfect symbol of this unity, as the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is the visible embodiment of it. Such a communion of peace and love is impossible among people who are indisposed for, or uninterested in, or incredulous of the Mystery of the Eucharist and the Truth of Catholicism.

    Yet, the undeniable implication of the Rite of Peace in the "New Liturgy" is that no supernatural basis for peace, charity, or fraternity is necessary, or, as far as anyone can judge, even exists. It is no accident that while all the glad-handing is taking place, Christ (if the Consecration of the host has been valid) remains on the "altar" alone and unattended and almost certainly forgotten.

    Some may argue: "You are suggesting that to perform this rite is to neglect and dishonor Christ." I most certainly am. This "rite" falsely suggests that all the feigned and forced friendliness is in honor of Christ, Who is (allegedly) physically present on the "altar." My argument is very simple. This rite does not unite one with his neighbor in the Eucharistic Christ; it pits his neighbor against Christ. It says in effect that those present are failing in love if, during these most precious and solemn moments when Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, they do not turn away from Him and fuss over their brothers and sisters. This rite makes it an obligating, a strict duty of charity, to turn away from Christ and to devote oneself to the greeting and salutation of his fellows.

    It may be objected: "But in the 'Old Mass' there was the kiss of peace. This is just the same thing, except that now all the people participate." I have already discussed some of the ways in which the Rite of Peace in the "New Mass" is not at all the same thing as the kiss of peace in the True Mass, in that it includes everyone present, regardless of his condition of soul and relationship to the Church. If there had been any dishonor to the Divine Majesty in the ceremony of the kiss of peace as it has been practiced in the Church for many, many centuries, the great saints would have prevailed upon the Popes to suppress it. The old rite needs no defense.

    What I am saying here is that the Rite of Peace in the "Novus Ordo" is something patently and intrinsically different. It is indefensible. It is another and most striking instance of how, by seemingly minor adjustments, the "New Mass" has the people worshipping themselves, instead of God. "The people is Ball." If there is any time in the whole "mass" when absolutely no need exists for those present to concern themselves with each other and begin to act as if, after having been together since the beginning of the service, they have just discovered long-lost friends, if there is any time, I say, it is at this period of the "mass." Otherwise nothing could prevent them from spending the rest of the day with each other once "mass" is over, just a few moments later. Imagine it: at just the time when every mind and heart should be bent on the adoration of Christ and preparation for Communion, all are supposed to begin to "pal around" with each other! The "liturgists" have the nerve to call this a symbolic action. It is that indeed; it is an incomparable symbol of the scorn Satan has for the Blessed Jesus and those who adore Him.

    The only thing truly required of those present for the new Rite of Peace is that they join in, which suggests another unaccidental turn-about: those who perceive the sacrilegious impiousness of this light-headed socializing and who for reasons of conscience refuse to participate, those who do cherish their union with Christ enough not to offend Him thus, become, by their refusal, outsiders! They are regarded as uncooperative, uncharitable, and even defiant of the laws of the Church, and, incredible to say, as irreverent! It should be plain that the true basis of this "love-making," as the "New Order" imposes it, is simply "being human" and not minding participation in it. In a word, the thing is sheerest paganism. Indeed, it is worse because it claims to be religious; pagans usually know the difference. The Rite of Peace celebrates a fiction, a falsity! It implies that Christ is present and is imparting His own Spirit of love and joy to all who are taking part in an act which He cannot but find hypocritical and loathsome.

    Not only is there nothing in this silliness worthy of Christ's truth, but we must see it as really a form of Revolutionary "Sensitivity Training." These words have gotten to be a technical term. "Sensitivity Training" refers to contrived situations in which people, knowingly or otherwise, are subjected to a process of "depersonalization," or better, "communization." In such situations, they are seduced into saying and doing things which implicitly, sometimes very explicitly, go counter to their own personal beliefs, clear knowledge, and natural inclinations. They are cornered into violating their own natures and personalities and consciences.

    The aim of the Revolution is to demoralize, corrupt, and dehumanize us. It would have us renounce our Faith, our need of Christ and of His Sacrifice, even our inner spiritual selves and our individualities. Such a renunciation is necessary in order that we become the complete possession of the community.

    When the Revolution speaks of peace, it means "surrender." In the context of the Rite of Peace, "Peace be to you" means: "May you surrender yourself completely to the new rules and programs and desensitizing manipulations of your handlers. Under this regimen you must be convinced that it is blameworthy obduracy on your part not to accept and welcome, with feeling, your own depersonalization."

    Now you can understand why in the "Confiteor" you must confess to your brothers and your sisters; you must think as sins all those things which keep you from being one with the community. The new, fanatical insistence on participation has a similar purpose. The Revolution cannot tolerate the solitary man, the self-possessed man, the contemplative, the man who does not need to be forced to conform.

    The Revolution incessantly repeats the word "freedom." What it means by this word is that every man should free himself from the laws and self-preserving instincts of his own nature, that he should dispossess himself of all inner strength, restraint, and virtue, to say nothing of the inner dominance of Christ by His truth and grace. The purpose of corrupting a person is to put him at the disposal of his fallen nature; the purpose of destroying his faith and of dispossessing him of all certainty is that he will have to be controlled from without. The Revolution means to unshackle a man interiorly, that it may have the excuse of encircling him with the mindless mob (which the "Community" is), of regimenting hi, binding him, and putting him under guard. Despising virtue, which is man's mastery of himself by the power of Christ, even being unable to comprehend it, the Revolution cannot conceive a community of truly free men, nor the idea of peace through the rule of the Spirit of God.

    The true Revolutionary cannot stand to be alone, to be in silence, to be inactive. In such a condition he would either go mad or find God. Because of his own spiritual vacuity and restlessness, and because of his conceited passion for ruling, for managing others, he cannot permit anyone to be alone. In the traditional Liturgy, having learned from long and loving experience, the Church has arranged periods of silence. It exhorts him who comes to Mass to search his soul, to admit his sinfulness, to express his sorrow, to implore the Father of good gifts for strength, light, charity, and peace, for all that is necessary to serve Him. The time after the Our Father is to be spent preparing for the great moment of Communion, when Christ the King enters the body and the soul and holds secret tryst. "Heart speaks to heart." The time after Communion until the end of Mass is all too brief, so we are urged to remain and continue to give our souls to God alone, that He might in His turn and according to His measureless goodness bestow his Godly powers, His tender mercy, and His peace such as the world cannot give.

    With the introduction of the "New Mass" we have been given to understand that these beautiful manifestations of the sanity, purity, and wisdom of the Roman Rite were all wrong, and must be curtailed. Yes, I know, they will tell you: "No, we are not saying all these things were wrong; they are just out-of-date." Either way, it is a lie.

    According to the thinking embodied in the "New Mass," charity and communal harmony require you to busy yourself doing something with everyone else-sing along, march around, listen to the commentator, go here, go there. In the Rite of Peace, all are saying, "peace, peace." But there is no peace. They will not leave you alone that you may find any. Therefore, true to the unfailing policy and method of the Revolution, probably that which has caused more disturbance, distraction, anger (totally justified), and dissension than any other of all the detestable innovations in the "New Mass" is this execrable artificiality called the "Rite of Peace.

    This "rite" has been introduced by those very men who are supposed to be pastors and men of peace. Yet they have been so "communized," that they are incapable of seeing the effects of their own brutality, the sorrow and distress of the best of God's people.

    As these good people will tell a priest whom they trust, "We go to pray, we remain to fulfill an obligation, we come home to weep. Father, what shall we do?" I for one will say, "Do not go back there. But do not surrender."

    How truly symbolic is the "Rite of Peace". It begins with the "president." From him, it spreads among his prisoners. He has no peace in his own soul because he is involved to his very ears in the Great Sacrilege. He is at that moment committing another mortal sin. He now wishes the others, "Peace." Yes, "surrender." He and his confreres have been busy trying to pacify the consciences and placate the indignation of the people for many months now, telling them that they must accept "the changes," that it is virtuous to go along, that they must surrender their wills and reasons to the authority of the Church, that the Pope can do no wrong. No lie, no subterfuge is impossible to these "peace-keepers". They are no longer shepherds; now they are herders.

    The "presidents" may take consolation in the fact that they have done their work well. The planners of the Revolution knew from the beginning that they could find no more effective hands than those of priests. The process of the "pacification" of the people has succeeded surprisingly well under their ministrations. By now the great majority of the faithful have lost all will to resist. They now come to church dutifully, listen dumbly to any sort of vomitable mismash, blare out any vapid chanty, say, "We beseech you to hear us" to any entreaty, be it sane or silly, shell out thousands and thousands for the denudation of their churches, or for the building of new prayer-halls, compel their children to submit to any perversion (in the public schools they will do it for nothing), and do all this smilingly, songfully. They have become numbers, faces, bodies, sheep-the "Community"-the Commune! What more could a "president" want? Or a commissar, for that matter!

      • Next: Chapter Four The "New Mass" - Part Ten The "Communion"

      • Previous: Chapter Four The "New Mass" - Part Eight The Purpose of Archaism

      The Great Sacrilege by Father James F. Wathen