About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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“The scholar who lives only for his subject is but the fragment of a man; he lives in a shadow-world, mistaking means for ends.”
— Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957)

PDF Downloads • Vernacular Mass Settings Published During The 1960s
published 18 May 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

755 Mass in honor of FATIMA COVER EVERAL YEARS AGO, I received a letter from a bishop quite upset with our blog. Specifically, he didn’t like some of the information we published regarding the reforms—such as the testimony of Cardinal Antonelli—and declared that we were wrong to be critical because “everyone associated with the reforms had good intentions.”  1

We will continue to investigate the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. These reforms exceeded what was called for by the documents of Vatican II, yet certain “scholars” still carefully ignore statements they dislike, such as the Council’s mandates regarding Gregorian chant and the retention of Latin. 2

The following Mass settings were published almost immediately after the promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium on 4 December 1963:

    * *  1964 • ENGLISH MASS No. 2 (Sister M. Elaine)

    * *  1965 • AVE MARIS STELLA MASS (Carroll T. Andrews)

    * *  1965 • ENGLISH MASS Honoring Our Lady of Fatima (Sister M. Florentine)

    * *  1965 • ENGLISH MASS for the DEAD (J. G. Phillips)

    * *  1965 • CHORAL MASS IN ENGLISH (William J. Marsh)

    * *  1966 • ENGLISH MASS in honor of SAINT RICHARD (R. K. Biggs)

    * *  1967 • ENGLISH MASS “Peace on Earth” (V. Carnevali)

You’ll notice tons of curiosities, especially regarding approval for texts and music. Someone has written “wait for kiss of peace” in the Requiem score…but does the PAX occur in a Requiem? These settings strike me as utilitarian and “thrown together” rather than true art. By the way, I wish ICEL had kept “peace on earth to men of good will.” I hate the wording in the current version. If they were set upon avoiding the word “men,” I wish they would have done something like “peace on earth to those of good will.” But nobody asked me.

Why didn’t they create simple settings, based on Gregorian chant? Here’s one of my attempts; judge for yourself whether it makes sense:

That setting is found in the Jogues Illuminated Missal. Simple melodies can also be made more ornate; here’s an attempt by yours truly:

We’ve mentioned many of the unanswered questions caused by the post-conciliar reforms, such as the approval debacle, the contradiction regarding Holy Days, and the “reverse effect” caused by trying to give more options. But what drives me crazy is how certain reformers left their personal mark on the liturgy. Countless venerable texts were replaced with contemporary settings composed by “experts.” Ancient ceremonies were “corrected” arbitrarily. It is often difficult to trust in their skills when we observe careless errors in the official books. Here’s one example.

Nevertheless, I wish to publicly apologize for the times my rhetoric has come across as caustic, inflammatory, or mean-spirited. Such actions do not help our cause.


1   I sent him a nice response, choosing not to argue with him, but was dying to ask how he could be so sure that everyone associated with the reform had good intentions, especially in light of the revelations by an Oratorian priest, Fr. Louis Bouyer, who was intimately involved with these very reforms.

2   It’s important to remember that the Vatican II documents were not available to the average Catholic in those days. The internet has altered this situation.