WO THINGS happen at Mass: (1) Jesus Christ is made present on the Altar; (2) Jesus Christ is offered to His Heavenly Father. If we were to ask the average Catholic for a basic definition of the Mass, how many could provide one? I don’t need to answer that question, because our readers know how dreadfully low the percentage would be.
Yet, we still find authors posting lengthy statements about the “massive effect” Magnum Principium will have. In my view, we would obtain a massive effect if we taught every Catholic the basics about the Holy Mass.
Here’s an 1846 ORDO MISSAE published for the laity:
The entire book is phenomenal, and Google has placed several (complete) versions online:
This was published 90 years before most homes in America had electricity!
Viewing a book like this, we’re reminded how seriously Catholics once took the sacred liturgy. Those of us who love liturgical history can’t help but admire the careful illustrations:
The Vatican II bishops had good intentions, I’m sure. But after the Council, our liturgy was greatly impoverished, in direct contradiction to the what the Vatican II documents actually said. How many Catholics, for example, will hear the official Entrance Chant for the Pentecost, which even today is supposed to be identical to what is found in the 1846 Missal?
Most parishes delete the official prayer—even though it’s incredibly ancient—and replace it with a song of their choosing. If you don’t believe me when I say the 1974 Graduale texts are ancient, pick up a copy of the Jogues Illuminated Missal (which has full approval from the USCCB as well as the local bishop).
Have you noticed the liturgical progressives are never happy? All we’ve heard for fifty years is grumbling and bellyaching. Those who love the traditional liturgical practices, on the other hand, cannot say enough. They love to share the music and prayers and books containing these treasures. They are filled with joy. And it’s the same with authentic Catholic music. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to Guerrero, Palestrina, and plainsong. Such things—being pure, holy, and beyond reproach—constitute the “worm that dieth not” for liturgical progressives.
I’ll never forget reading a 2009 article wherein a leading progressive liturgist (Fr. Robert Taft) was asked “What is the biggest liturgical abuse out there?” He didn’t talk about disrespect for the SANCTISSIMUM. He didn’t mention irreverent, goofy music. Instead, he cited priests distributing the Blessed Sacrament from the Tabernacle. Many popes have said it is more fitting (from a liturgical point of view) to distribute “hosts consecrated at the same liturgy”—and that’s just fine, as far as I’m concerned. 1 But at the end of the day, when we receive the SANCTISSIMUM, we receive Jesus Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This is a reality, irrespective of when Consecration took place. To imply that Jesus Christ—our Infinite God—is somehow deficient (in any way whatsoever) is utterly wrong. It’s actually satanic to say that “God is not enough for me.”
Rev. Taft has a right to claim “the biggest liturgical abuse” is Catholics receiving from the Tabernacle. But I also have a right to say: “No, that’s not the biggest abuse.”
Here are a few more images from that marvelous 1846 Missal:
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Some will fail to carefully read my words, and erroneously claim that I oppose this church rule: “As a general rule, Holy Communion is given from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and not from those reserved in the tabernacle.” I have made it clear I do not oppose that rule.