1962 and 1965

Just as another approach to the subject of auctoritas in canon law as it relates to liturgy, I commented on Patricius’ post Numquam abrogatam?

I touched upon the notion of custom, sometimes known as auctoritas, in canon law and its bearing on the liturgy. A landmark piece was written by the Florentine canonist Count Neri Capponi in the Some juridical considerations on the reform of the liturgy in the 1970’s. This text seems not to be available on the internet, but similar arguments are advanced by the same canonist in The Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei” and the Extension of the Indult. I remarked that Capponi represents a minority opinion, since Paul VI’s words seem to indicate his intention to trash the pre-Novus Ordo liturgy and make the Novus Ordo the sole Roman rite. A piece of work to consider is Fr Anselm J. Gribbin, Immemorial Custom and the Missale Romanum of 1962 (usus antiquor).

I also mentioned the committee of Cardinals of the 1980’s that included Ratzinger and Stickler among others. The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI affirmed that the “old” rite had never been abrogated. Is this deliberately sloppy legislation coming from a pastoral and pragmatic sentiment?

Rubricarius responded thus:

But the established principles of custom cannot apply to the 1962MR as it was only in use in its entirety for just over two years, its ritus was entirely re-written and it cannot be protected by virtue of immemorial or centennial custom. Caponi et al are vague and refer to the ‘old’ rite etc and write as though the Roman rite was unchanging; their essential argument is certainly valid but cannot apply to such a novelty as 1962MR. The whole argument was that Paul VI’s Missale Romanum did not contain an abrogatory clause that would affect immemorial custom but that cannot apply to 1962MR – it is even younger than you and I dear Fr! No supporter of SP has come up with a coherent argument of why Ratzinger’s assertion that particular, short-lived, edition of the MR was ‘never juridically abrogated’. They all start talking of the ‘vetus ordo’, centuries of use etc ad nauseam but the damned thing was only in use between 1962 and Lent 1965 at best.

I responded:

I am no more “for” the 1962 or 1965 than you are. I’m not trying to catch anyone out or be unpleasant. Far from it. I’m just trying to discern some cogent argumentation. I would like to ask you whether you consider the principle of custom to have applied to the Roman liturgy since the Editio Princeps of 1474. Can it be argued that Pius V put law above custom when he promulgated the 1568 breviary, 1570 missal, etc? Was there essentially any difference from this point of view between the 1962 version and (for example) that of Clement VIII, Urban VIII, etc. Perhaps if we want to use the Roman rite, as opposed to a local use, should we not be pressing for the Editio Princeps of 1474?

Rubricarius answered me:

Fr. Anthony, I thought I had re-iterated my support for the argument of custom above? The point is 1962 was so novel, so transient, custom can have no bearing on it.

Give me 1474 any day!

I’m not sure he really understood my question. My real question goes much deeper than many traditionalists. The Novus Ordo of 1969 was a new rite to replace the old. What is the “old” rite? The one that immediately preceded the new one? Do we assume that the 1962 (or the 1965) for that matter was a new rite, or a revision of the old? I may seem to be laborious and pedantic in this, but I am trying to get some clarity in our thinking.

It happens that if I were to use the Roman rite, I would prefer the 1474 missal to the succession of reformed missals from 1570 to 1965. After the edition of Puis V of 1570, the first new typical edition was promulgated in 1604 by Clement VIII. This version replaced the old Roman biblical texts with texts from the revised Vulgate. He also amended a rubric following the consecration of the chalice. The next typical edition was issued in 1634 by Urban VIII. The next edition came in 1884, when Leo XIII introduced some minor changes. In 1911, Pius X made signifcant modifications to the rubrics through the bull Divino Afflatu, but the resulting edition came in 1920, promulgated by Benedict XV. Pius XII did not issue a new missal, but allowed it to be supplemented by the new Holy Week ceremonies, changes in the calendar and the common of sovereign pontiffs. Naturally, all the way along the line, the Congregation of Rites in Rome approved propers for newly canonised saints’ feasts. These changes were enshrined in the 1962 edition of John XXIII. The 1965 and 1967 versions severely simplified the rubrics and allowed parts of the liturgy in the vernacular.

My real question to Rubricarius is that of singling out the John XXIII 1962 version (with the 1965 and 1967 Paul VI versions). Was the Benedict XV version part of the “old” rite covered by the principle of custom or auctoritas? Did the entire line of missals from 1570 to 1967 represent a notion of liturgical law by which the Pope’s legislative authority was higher than custom? Was the whole notion of liturgical custom abrogated by Pius V in 1570 despite his will to let the 200-year old rites through the net? I think we need to discuss this point from a canonical point of view as well as from that of common sense. If the 1962 is to be singled out from the “good” versions, this is to be established on the basis of what criteria?

Rubricarius gave the beginning of an answer in 1962 was so novel, so transient, custom can have no bearing on it. It was certainly the shortest-lived edition, especially for those who forked out the cash to buy an altar missal that year. Was such transience intended? Would this transience alone single out the 1962 missal from the 1570, 1604, 1634, 1884 and 1920 series?

To many traditionalists, such question will inevitably seem cranky. Didn’t the 1474 missal come from papal legislation, added to by the Ordo of Burchard under Alexander VI? Were the Ordines Romani and Sacramentaries not also the results of papal legislation? Did these rites just develop out of usage and custom? I am just trying to get down to the bottom of things.

I really do welcome comments and discussion, because I do think this is an important question, in a blog that is free from the influence of Roman Catholic conservatives and their tendency to use arguments of authority rather than reasoning. This is a space of real discussion.

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13 Responses to 1962 and 1965

  1. The Rad Trad says:

    I would suggest that the Roman rite is not to be found in a particular edition of liturgy books but in a series of features: the Canon of Mass, the psalter, the kalendar and its ranking system, chant, and use of Latin—which allows the [sadly] defunct local rites to be counted among the Roman liturgy, too. While Pope Sixtus did make Rome the liturgicla legislator when he created the Congregation for Rites in 1588, he and his successors (like Clement VIII and Urban VIII) could be said to have been caring for the existing liturgy, although not very effectively. What happened in the 20th century was clearly the creation of something new, in which 1962 was a small stepping stone. A brick is not an entire wall, and a two year transitional rite is not an immemorial custom (or at least that is where I believe Rubricarius is going with this). The Missals/Offices/Pontificals/Rituals issued by the previous popes were at least links in the original chain, although forged unconventionally.1962, and most of the 20th century books, belong to another chain.

  2. Rdr. James Morgan says:

    Is there any place on the internet where one could peruse the changes btween 1474 and subsequent ‘revisions’ and ‘alterations’ to the rite (rubrically and textually)? This would be helpful to inquirers, but a burden on whoever does the heavy lifting! Ah, those’ immemorial customs’ etc….

    • Dale says:

      James, not too long ago I did post the web site that carries, in modern script, the whole of 1474. In the Mass itself, I think that there are two words different from the edition of 1570 (prayers in the Orate Fratres); and there are no directions for saying the last Gospel, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are the same as in 1570. The edition of 1474 has very, very few rubrics since at that time it was still the tradition to use a manual of rubrics, which was a separate book from the Missal. In the 1570 edition, for clarity and some level of uniformity the rubrics from the Manual were inserted into the Missal itself (most likely because of the advance of printing). The use of a manual is still evident in many Eastern rites where the liturgical books for clergy have virtually no rubrical directions, but these are provided in another book.

      • Here is what I once wrote about the Ordo of John Burchard some years ago (without the footnotes) (see my whole work). If I were writing this now, I think I would be less naive about many things than when I was an undergraduate, and I would read the documents with a more critical mind.

        I largely based my work in this section on:

        Dom Pierre de Puniet, OSB., The Roman Pontifical, London 1932.

        Patrizi, Cæremoniale Romanum, original preface, appendix of the facsimile republication by Gregg Press, 1965

        Burchard and Patrizi, Sacrarum cæremoniarum sive Rituum ecclesiasticorum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ libri tres, re-edited with a commentary by J. Catalani, Rome 1750.

        Pierre Jounel, Les Rites de la Messe, Tournai 1963.

        J. Wickham Legg, Tracts on the Mass, London 1904, pp 124-174.

        * * *

        The Ordo Missæ of John Burchard and the Pontifical of Patrizi

        The most important pre-Tridentine stage in the development of liturgical codification was the work of John Burchard (c. 1450-1506). This was to be the most important single source for the elaboration of the Missal under Pius V. The rubrics were more in need of codification than the body of liturgical texts. John Burchard was born at Strasbourg towards 1450 and became Pontifical Master of Ceremonies in 1483. Having served Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII and Alexander VI in this function, he became Bishop of Città del Castello and Orta in 1503. Burchard played an important role in the elaboration of the Roman Pontifical of Augustine Patrizi, published in 1485. Burchard participated also in the production of the Cæremoniale Romanum of Patrizi, published in 1516. In this work is found the Ordo Missæ which, in the context of the Pontifical and Ceremonial, formed the basis of the celebration of Low Mass. The Ordo servandus per sacerdotem in celebratione Missæ sine cantu et sine ministris secundum ritum sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ appeared in 1498. Approved by Alexander VI in 1501, it was edited a number of times: in 1523 it appeared in the Liber Sacerdotalis of Castellani and was translated into Italian in 1534. From 1541, it is to be found in some editions of the Roman Missal .

        In his preface, Burchard indicates the reason for his work, and this is very important for our understanding of the orientations of the post-Tridentine Commission. Having proposed the observance of these rules for all priests and bishops, including the Pope, in the celebration of private masses, he outlines his desire to remedy the abuses and situation of liturgical anarchy already rampant at the beginning of the sixteenth century. For Burchard, it was necessary for the Church to offer to all priests a firm an univeral rule, especially for newly ordained presbyters. Burchard elaborated this code of rubrics from previous decrees of the Popes and Fathers. He did not make the rite himself, but sought to express the previous tradition in a new and canonical form.

        In his presentation of the Pontifical and Ceremonial, of which the Ritus Servandus forms a part, Burchard reveals a marked sense of tradition, and a well-organised and clear manner of thinking. The Ordo Missæ being taken in the context of the full pontifical liturgy, the rules for the celebration of a private Mass are considered as a reduction of the full ceremonies, and not as the basis. On its own, the Ordo treats only the private Mass. The post-Burchard tendency of separating the private Mass from the full pontifical celebration was to lead to a repetition of the medieval error of considering the rites of Mass from the basis of Low Mass.

        On examination of the text of Burchard’s Ordo, it is easy to see the development of the Ritus Servandus of 1570. However, many elements of this Ordo are richer and directly inherited from a number of medieval diocesan missals. The Gloria is farced with Marian interpolations, as may be found in the northern French Uses and at Sarum. A feature of particular interest in Burchard’s Ordo is the offertory procession, abolished in the 1570 Missal. When the gifts are brought to the altar, the celebrant is directed to go to the Epistle corner, to take off his maniple and to accept the offerings. Each faithful kissed the priest’s hand and made his offering. The celebrant would say: Acceptabile sit sacrificium tuum omnipotenti Deo or Centuplum accipias: et vitam wternam possideas. Having accepted the oblations, the priest put on his maniple and went to the middle of the altar. He then proceeded with the offering of the host. The rest of this offertory rite was exactly reproduced in the 1570 Missal. For the Canon, all the ritual directions are as in the Tridentine Missal, though differently worded. Already, genuflections, before and after the elevation of each Species, are prescribed.

        Another curious aspect of the old Ordo is the usage of the Missa Sicca. Whilst a priest may say Mass once a day, if there is a second feast on a particular day, he could say a second Mass proper with some prayers of the Ordo Missæ, but without the consecration, for his personal devotion. Having said Mass, the priest was directed to put off his chasuble, but keeping his other vestments, he went to the Epistle corner of the altar. He said the Introit, and if the Gloria was not said at Mass, he then said it. He then read the Collect, the Epistle, Gradual and Tract or Alleluia, the Gospel, Offertory, Communion and Postcommunion. There is no mention of communion from the presanctified and reserved Sacrament. Directions are given for missæ siccæ to be celebrated at sea and in the homes of the sick. Since it is mentioned in the rubrics of the missa sicca for the sick that the Sacrament is not to be shown, it can be assumed that in these circumstances, there is a communion, like at the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday. The Ordo of Burchard is clearly a capital stage in the codification of the liturgy.

        Burchard’s successor as Papal master of ceremonies was Paris of Grassi (†1528). Paris was opposed to the reform attempts of the humanist tendency, and collaborated with Patrizi in his work on the pontifical ceremonial. Paris left a manuscript of the last Ordo Romanus, which served as a Roman ceremonial.

        The characteristic of these liturgical canonists is that they in no way attempted to change the practice of the liturgy. They largely succeeded in expressing the liturgical tradition in terms of canon law, but this process of codification was only to be completed by the edition of the Missal of 1570, and by centuries of work of the Congregation of Rites.

      • Dale says:

        Here is what A.H. Pearson says about rubrics in the missal, this was included in his 1868 translation of the Sarum Missal:

        “The rubrics in these various editions greatly vary, but a thoughtful student of Missals will know that nothing is proved by their absence, as until some time after the invention of printing, space was, as heretofore, an object, and traditional knowledge was considered as sufficient for these purposes. An impression not perhaps unnaturally prevails in some quarters that the edition of 1557, and other Marian Missals, 1554 and 1555, are less trustworthy than those of earlier date. But the text of the Canon and Ordinary in the Manual is surely preferable to that of the Missal, as it was intended specially for the use of parish priests;and for the same reason the rubrics are there given more at length. (Pearson XXI) “

  3. Stephen K says:

    The debate over “custom” and “authority” may be something of a second-order problem: to the extent that things become customs for any group larger than the local community by means of a decision by others, one by one, or collectively, to adopt or copy a particular usage. What role does any overarching “authority” play in relation to such usages if it is not in fixing or confining them? My point is that custom and authority appear to have a curious coincidence or interdependence. If something is designed de novo, whether in the first or the twentieth century, it clearly only becomes a custom by the imposition by, and assent to, an authoritative decision and body. If something is adopted or copied slavishly from one’s forebears or peers, it is called and constitutes a “tradition”. But even traditions have their beginnings. Someone will have imitated the prayers and symbols of the Last Supper, or the Sedar, perhaps, at the very first post-Pentecostal Eucharist; this was adopted until some other community improvised perhaps other prayers and ceremonies. And so on, until one fateful day, a bishop or overseer insisted on a standard for all those within the area of his apostolate. And so on, until by degrees, a more universal model was insisted upon. It’s always helpful I think to look at the very ordinary means by which we humans do and effect things, including devise or impose or accept liturgies.

    This is why I encourage those with particular spiritual and aesthetic preferences to not get too upset with the fact that changes will occur by fair means or foul, so to speak. If we each lived long enough, say, for about 600 or 700 years long, we might see lots more and see things in perspective, as I think Rad Trad and Rubricarius, in their different ways touch on. Rad Trad makes an interesting and persuasive point, I think, about what might distinguish the two ritual species (i.e. ‘old’ and ‘new’) streams or chains, and about the 1962 Missal being more an embryonic part of the latter than a culminating part of the former. Mind you, I don’t think I would be prepared to shed my blood over the difference between a 1962 and 1961 Mass.

    Dr Hull’s thesis in his The Banished Heart goes directly to the heart of the debate on what place and meaning liturgy will have for people – whether it will be part of their fibre and sinew through being so unchanged that it becomes taken for granted like the sky or air, or whether, through imposition and change it becomes something more self-conscious, which can be either a good or bad thing, in different contexts. If I recall it correctly, Dr Hull has it that the juridical approach to liturgy in the RC Church was essentially a post – schismatic and post – Reformational development out of odds with the older spirit, that culminated in the Paulian reforms. But I wonder. Perhaps the Roman mentality was always bureaucratic and legalistic, even from the earliest days, and we Westerners will always find it hard to shake off our Roman psyche, no matter where we sit religiously. The Empire may be that pervasive to our existence, still.

    Just some thoughts that may assist in the discussion.

  4. Rubricarius says:

    I hope I did not misunderstand your question Fr. Anthony, indeed I believe there are several questions involved.

    What I was pointing out on Patricius’ blog was that the right to use the rite contained in an edition of the Roman Missal published by a private decree of the SRC on 23rd June 1962; a rite in its celebration that is different every day of the liturgical year (when its rubrics are actually followed) to the typical editions that preceded it; a rite partially derogated by Paul VI’s Motu proprio Sacram liturgiam; and in use either until Advent Sunday 1964 or the first Sunday of Lent 1965 – depending on one’s diocese; further derogated in 1965 by Inter Oecumenici (the ‘1965 Ordo) and Tres abhinc annos – not to mention several other less important instructions, was certainly abrogated by Paul VI’s Missale Romanum. I share that view with the liturgical authours Huels, Glendinning, Grillo, Auge, Baldovin and Cameron-Mowat to name but a few. I cannot see how the law regarding custom (centennial or immemorial) can have any standing on such short-lived rite.

    Surely there is a wider question which is whether the Liturgy should be treated as a mere appendix to a code of Canon Law – which is what it had become in effect. Certainly the post-Trent situation of regulation of the Roman liturgy by a centralised bureaucracy under papal control has been an unmitigated disaster.

    • Rubricarius, I think you have a very good point about the 1962 missal, which was a part of the mess from the Pius XII Holy Week to the Novus Ordo. Insofar as 1962 represented a break from the previous Roman tradition (it certainly did by enshrining the Pius XII reforms and things like the celebration of canonised Popes as sovereign pontiffs and not as bishops), then it was something that could be abrogated by Paul VI’s stroke of the pen.

      What really was my question is whether the notion, that immemorial custom cannot apply to such a short-lived missal as 1962-67, could also apply to the entire series of missals of 1570, 1604, 1634 and 1920. I am disposed to believe that the “break” occurred between the 1920 missal and the 1950’s.

      As you say, there is the wider question about reducing the liturgy to being an adjunct of canon law. The whole notion of custom has been destroyed since the Council of Trent and replaced by positive law – what is not specifically allowed or obligatory is forbidden. I remember my time in the early 1980’s with the SSPX. Indeed the letter kills and the spirit gives life.

      It would be easy to resume the Roman liturgy of before 1570 with the Editio Princeps of 1474 and the Ordo of Burchard, which is very detailed. I have managed it with Sarum, at least for Mass on my own which is just about all I have. If more “independent” clergy will revive the usages from when liturgy was traditional, then I think there is hope, but it could never be done with Rome.

      The Counter-Reformation approach to liturgy indeed killed it. I believe that “obsolete” liturgical tradition can be revived, but not everyone agrees. This is a discussion I would like to encourage.

      • The Rad Trad says:

        I seem to be in the minority here, but aside from the excision of certain feasts (like Ss Joachim & Ann, and the Presentation) I like the 1570 Missal. The kalendar is very slim and well balanced between the ferial and temporal. The loss of sequences from the 1474 Missal does not disappoint me. Most of them were quite ugly and I think the sequences of the neo-Gallican liturgies were far more beautiful and insightful.

        It is interesting though, is it not, that France was the one place after Trent where there was organic liturgical development. If not for the politics of the Bourbon court I doubt anyone would have taken the baseless (in my studies) charges of Jansenism seriously. The same France that produced these rites also welcomed the vernacular of 1965 but birthed the Traditionalist movement. Indeed traditional monasticism thrives no where in the world as it does in France. They seem to have had, and in some areas still do have, a healthy outlook on the ownership of the liturgy and its purpose.

      • Personally, I have no interest in the 1474 missal and went the Sarum way. For the 1570 rite, I thought the same way for many years, especially during my time at seminary. Many of the problems with the weight of the sanctoral reappeared with the 1570-1604-1634 missal. I don’t know the 1474 sequences, but am rather more familiar with the Sarum and French ones. Most of the “neo Gallican” missals and Sarum had the sequences in common, since the roots are the same. Sarum is a French rite.

        On the other hand, I am not so keen on the “reformed” rites of Paris and Rouen of the early eighteenth century. The ordo missae is Roman and not the medieval rite. Quite a lot of the propers are arbitrarily butchered, and do not represent “organic” development. Though Dom Guéranger was an Ultramontanist who wanted the Roman rite and to stamp out all diocesan uses, he did have some very valid criticisms of the Vintimille Parisian rite and many of the other revised missals and breviaries.

        French liturgy, especially here in Normandy, was very rich and the use of the organ is nowhere more developed. Ceremonial was highly developed, and I saw the last traces in Fr Montgomery’s parishes and a couple of others near here. The priests are dead and it’s all over. Only the furnishings in the churches give some idea. The stools for the choir Rulers are now used as – flower stands. The traditionalists have shown no interest in local uses, except the Fraternity of St Peter putting on a few Lugdonese use Masses in Lyons.

        I spent six months as a working guest at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Triors, a daughter house of Fontgombault. The liturgy is very full but it is essentially 1965 Roman, only with the traditional Monastic Office and Solesmes Antiphonale for the early twentieth century. The monasteries have absolutely no influence in the parishes. The national average of Catholics going to church in France is 5%, which puts the mean in country parishes at much less. If I were not a priest, I think I would have nowhere I would want to go to church. It doesn’t bear thinking about!

      • Dale says:

        Rad Trad,
        No, I love the Missal of 1570, but unfortunately, because of the force of history it carries certain baggage and although I readily admit that most of this is not at all deserved, for so many it becomes easy to blame so many post Trent problems on the liturgy. What is interesting, and I have been saying this for years, that the changes are so minor as to be virtually unimportant. But in many circles, especially amongst our Byzantine imperialist brethren, simply the name “Tridentine” sends them into proxies of revulsion, but the same forces seem at work amongst the modernist Romans as well. Their hatred of the Missal of 1570 is simply a pathology. Using the 1474, with proper rubrics, would avoid some of these, admittedly silly, problems in the first place. That is of course for those of us who love the Roman rite, but are not interested in modern Rome at all.

      • I answer this one only having replied to Rad Trad’s comment. One thing we have discovered about liturgy is how little people are interested in it but to what extent they will use it as a banner to brandish their favourite political ideology (under the cover of Christ’s “social kingship”).

        I have also discovered that any rite or use other than “Tridentine” just doesn’t have the political overtones: Lyons, Dominican, Ambrosian, Sarum. We are up against the lowest instincts of human nature, but that in itself isn’t a reason to get rid of a liturgical rite or have the non “intégriste” priests abstain from wearing cassocks.

        An opportunity we have in Continuing Anglicanism (as a kind of “English Gallicanism”) is to short circuit both the Reformation and the Counter Reformation and find inspiration for the present time in the late middle ages. It isn’t perfect and the “methodology” is just the same as the “back to sources” people and those who would dig out fragments of Hippolytus and put them together with a lot of conjectures and DIY liturgist geekery. The later developed liturgies are closer to our time and are well documented, making it possible to use them with a high degree of authenticity.

        The alternative is the end of western sacramental-liturgical Christianity, choosing between Protestantism or Orthodoxy – or abandoning Christianity for either Paganism or atheism. That might seem an exaggeration, as there are many Christian communities with various kinds of modern liturgy that are sacramental.

        We do need to work out to what extent traditional liturgies are important to us, or whether we just give in and go to our drab and sad once-monthy Novus Ordo and overcome our revulsion and alienation. The other big problem is that we no longer live in a Christian culture, and the secular references that gave links are no longer there. We run the risk of being “liturgy enthusiasts” without living the liturgy, and we lose the stable basis of community life – but we live too far from each other in any case.

    • Dale says:

      “It would be easy to resume the Roman liturgy of before 1570 with the Editio Princeps of 1474 and the Ordo of Burchard, which is very detailed. I have managed it with Sarum, at least for Mass on my own which is just about all I have. If more “independent” clergy will revive the usages from when liturgy was traditional, then I think there is hope, but it could never be done with Rome.”

      I would concur….

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