N 16 JULY 2021, Pope Francis issued a truly perplexing motu proprio called Traditionis Custodes. In the very recent past, Pope Francis has issued documents supporting the traditional rites. For instance, consider the Vatican document issued on 22 february 2020. Traditionis Custodes took effect immediately, which is bizarre. Out of the whole world, Pope Francis picked Cardinal Sarah and asked him to “continue the good liturgical work begun by Pope Benedict XVI.” None of this makes sense—and once we’ve had time to process this letter, we’ll have more commentary.
Mysterious Choice Of Words: In the document, Pope Francis repeatedly references “the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970.” According to Canon lawyers, laws which restrict “are to be interpreted strictly,” i.e., narrowly. According to the dictionary definition, the word “antecedent” means preceding in time or order:
The 1965 Missal: This perplexing document of Pope Francis, therefore, seems to be making reference to the 1965 Missale Romanum, which was “the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970.” There might be ways to explain away his bizarre choice of words—and I have no doubt some will attempt to do precisely that. Corpus Christi Watershed scanned the complete 1965 MISSAL back in 2013:
* PDF Download • 1965 MISSALE ROMANUM (1,785 pages)
Warning! This is a large file: 120MB
What does this mean? Do words matter? I suppose time will tell.
The 1965 Missal • What is it?
The 1965 Missal resembles the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal. But it’s identical to neither.
Differences between the 1965 and 1962 editions of the Missal:
(1) The 1965 allows the vernacular for all prayers except the Offertory; the 1962 does not allow the vernacular.
(2) The 1965 has various “Eucharistic Prayers”—added in June 1968, if memory serves—but the 1962 has only the ancient Roman Canon.
(3) Certain ceremonies in the 1965 differ from the 1962: the Nuptial Mass, the feast of the Purification, Ash Wednesday, and so forth.
(4) The 1965 contains certain Prefaces which the 1962 does not contain.
(5) Certain editions of the 1965 Missal allow concelebration, which the 1962 Missal only allows at Ordinations.
(6) The Prayer for the Jews on Good Friday was modified (yet again).
(7) Certain parts of the 1965 Missal can be sung aloud—if memory serves—which cannot be sung in the 1962, such as the Minor Elevation.
(8) Certain parts of the 1966 “Appendix” resemble in no way the 1962 Missal.
The 1965 Missal • Sample Pages