Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2003 CIEL Proceedings now in print!

After some unfortunate delays which couldn't be helped, I am pleased to bring you the following announcement:

The English volume of the Proceedings of the Ninth International CIEL Colloquium held in Paris in November 2003 entitled “Liturgy, Participation and Sacred Music” was launched in London yesterday following the annual CIEL-UK conference and a Pontifical Mass sung in the traditional rite at St James’ Spanish Place by the Bishop of Nottingham, the Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon, OP.

To order your copy contact: Sales@CIEL-UK.org

Price: £13.00


On Liturgical Issues, the "Superiority" of Certain Liturgies, Etc.:
(With Kevin Tierney)

[Prefatory Note: This posting was originally started in January or so of 2006 at The Lidless Eye Inquisition, completed today, and blogged at that weblog a few minutes ago. Since Kevin posted his article to this humble weblog, it seemed appropriate to post my response here as well. -ISM]

This will be an interaction with part of a series that Kevin Tierney is working on at his website. But before getting to the parts I want to critique, it will be necessary to understand a difference in the manner whereby Kevin and I use certain terms. For example, we have obvious differences in how we approach the term "traditionalist" so briefly outlining those differences seems appropriate at the present time so I will do that starting with Kevin's definition as given in the first part of his series. His words will be in bold font throughout this post.

...I must define what I mean by “traditionalist.” More importantly, I am going to explain what it isn’t, and I won’t be defending.

I will not be including such people as the schismatic Society of St. Pius X as traditionalists here. It is my firm belief that the only way one can be an authentic traditionalist is unity with the Chair of Peter, the source of all ecclesial unity. Nor will I be talking about those who believe that, based on what they view a coherent theory (I for the record do not find it coherent or permissible to hold) that the Popes since Vatican II are not popes. (I.e. sedevacantists.)

On this matter, there is 100% concurrence between Kevin and myself.

Now that this is defined, we must state what a traditionalist is. A traditionalist is one who seeks either the restoration or the promotion of the “Traditional Latin Mass”, the Mass which existed in almost the same form throughout the Roman Rite for over 400 years before the Second Vatican Council. This is the unifying factor. There are many other common characteristics amongst traditionalists, but they are not as central as that of working for the Classical Roman Rite.

This is where Kevin and I part company viz. what we mean by this term. The manner in which I have always understood and utilized this term was explained in a disclaimer added to my first web writing on these subjects. To show the parallels and the divergences in understanding between Kevin and myself on the matter, I will quote it now before getting to the meat of this posting:

In this work you will see the use of terms such as ‘traditionalist’ and 'traditionalism' used oftentimes. As these terms and others like them have been so badly abused by many groups, I wish to quantify my use of them and their derivatives throughout this essay. I am in using the terms ‘traditionalist’ or 'traditionalism' going to usually preface them with qualifiers such as 'self-styled' or 'so-called' to indicate that I am referring to those who fraudulently apply these terms to themselves. In other situations I will simply refer to 'traditionalists' or some derivative in that manner and when I do that the same principle applies. Any and all attempts to refer to people or organizations who appropriate that term for themselves but who can do so honestly will be referred to either as 'Traditionalists' (note the capitalization) or as 'Tridentine Catholics'.

When I refer to 'traditionalists' I am most assuredly NOT speaking of any society or organization that has received the approval of the Roman Pontiff to offer the Old Roman Rite of Mass (aka Tridentine) and receive the sacraments in the norms which they were prevalent from approximately the fifteenth century until 1975. My reference is to those groups which claim to be ‘independent chapels’ or possess ‘independent priests’ and who in schism from the Apostolic See offer the Tridentine Mass illicitly and administer most of the sacraments illicitly (and some of them invalidly). These groups are not in communion with the Catholic Church although many of them lie and claim that they are to deceive the laity. Individually those properly referred to as self-styled 'traditionalists' would be those whom it could be reasonably deduced were formally adherent to these kinds of groups. (Judged based on their actions, attitudes, and of course their words.)...

In the above description, the reader can note a convergence in Kevin's definition and mine. Here is where we differ in our understanding of the term:

...[A]uthentic Traditionalism does not depend on what rite of Mass you attend, what devotional prayers you use, what theological positions you espouse, or what disciplines you follow. Authentic 'Traditionalism' is much more integral then that and it applies to a frame of mind and a certain attitude. It is not and cannot be found in externals - even those which may have the hallowed sanction of time. Nonetheless there are those who have a preference for the older rite of Mass and that in and of itself is of course just fine. The problem lies in how this preference is handled for it can be handled in an authentically Traditional manner or in a false serpentine 'traditionalist' way. This treatise will make the demarcation of these two terms clear for the reader. [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' --Part I (circa 2000, rev. 2003)]

As readers can see, there is a significant difference in how Kevin and I apply this term. Essentially, my net is wider if you will because I do not look at the Church as synonymous with the Latin rites as Kevin's definition is. I am sure if pressed, Kevin would adjust it to account for the eastern rites too but once he does that, he has to reconfigure his approach to the term if we take it to its logical conclusion. But that is neither here nor there since this is not a matter of defined dogma or declared doctrine of course. Having noted that, let us move onto the next part of his definition:

Another central factor is their emphasis on tradition, whether ecclesiastical or Apostolic. In far too many circles of today’s Church, we constantly hear what new ideas we need too do, yet never do we hear about those before us.

In this area, Kevin and I agree also. If respect for the Great Tradition means all of its historical manifestations and not just selective slices of the pie (as I believe it does) that would have to include by logical extension the two century plus period prior to the Second Vatican Council too. Now that we have gotten those distinctions out of the way, onto the article itself...


The source I am taking this text from is located HERE.

As the rallying symbol of traditionalists is the Classical Roman Rite before the Second Vatican Council, it is not surprising that many of the myths about traditionalists are found in this area.

Since I do not concur with part of Kevin's definition of what is and is not a "traditionalist", it should not surprise that I view the liturgical issue in some respects differently than he does.

For example, one very popular Catholic apologist compares even loyal traditionalists to modernist progressives by stating the following:

The liberals/modernists/so-called "progressives" want to de-sacralize the Mass by trivializing it, messing with the language and promoting mediocrity in liturgy, music, and architecture; the fundamentalist/"traditionalists" want to butcher it by denying that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid or vastly inferior to the Tridentine Mass; thus denying indefectibility.

I am confused. Based on the text above the "apologist" being cited appears to say that the so-called "traditionalists" want to butcher the mass by denying that the Novus Ordo (I really hate that term btw) vastly inferior to the Tridentine mass. Unless Kevin mistyped the quote, it seems to me that many who call themselves "traditionalists" assert that very thing if not explicitly than at least by logical inference. Nonetheless, there is an argumentation fallacy in the above statement by attempting to equate a view of the newer liturgical rite being inferior as being a denial of indefectibility. The two do not logically go together at all. Saying that something is free from error does not mean that it is necessarily presented in the best possible way. However, a lot of this is to get into the realm of normative questions and theories which frankly needs to be recognized up front by all parties involved.

While I would agree with him that one cannot say that the Novus Ordo Missae is invalid, I must strongly object to the idea that one cannot say the Latin Mass is somehow “vastly superior” without denying the indefectibility of the Church.

As I noted above, this position is correct.

First, we must note the patently obvious. In announcing the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve and the schism of the Society of St. Pius X, John Paul II said the following in Ecclesia Dei:

Moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.

It is therefore crystal clear that when it comes to the offering of the Classical Roman Rite, when it is performed under the auspices of the Bishop, Rome encourages this. Therefore, faithful Catholics are indeed given a choice between two liturgies. As a result, those faithful Catholics who are so inclined will have to give an examination of the two rites, and ultimately conclude that one is superior to the other for various reasons. Some may even say vastly so.

Provided that they recognize that such speculation is by its very nature generally normative (and thus subjective) certainly.

However, what this apologist does not realize is that the argument cuts both ways. He is forbidden to say that the Novus Ordo Missae is vastly superior to the Classical Roman Rite! Yet would he really want to indict Paul VI, who no doubt believed that the Rite was superior, and vastly so, as he promulgated it and passionately defended the liturgical changes he promulgated? If it’s valid for the Pope to say one is vastly superior to the other, it’s valid for us to say the opposite is.

This is true. As I noted already, these are generally normative issues and thus to a large extent subjective.

Recognizing the claim of the apologist for the utter nonsense that it is, I will now attempt to do precisely what he says I can’t; I’m going to state that the Classical Roman Rite, on the average, is vastly superior to what we currently have, and that I do not think the liturgical reform can be viewed an overall improvement.

Depending on how these positions are approached, I could either agree or disagree with Kevin at least in part. For example, I would agree that the manner in which the Tridentine liturgy is celebrated today is on average better than how the Revised Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI is celebrated. However, at the same time, I would argue (and have) that the liturgical reform on paper and in some parts theologically is a significant improvement in many areas; however, these have often not translated into actual practice yet for various and sundry reasons.{1}

There is something to be said of stability, especially in worship. Stability represents the timelessness of God, and hence the worship of Him is also timeless. It reflects of the transcendent. It is for this reason that the prayers of both liturgies are structured, with many parts of the Mass (known as the Ordinary) never changing, being the same every week.


However, I feel on emphasizing the aspect of transcendence, the Classical Roman Rite far surpasses that of today’s Mass and what is on the books.

In practice this has shown itself to be true today. But when one compares today's liturgies to how the Tridentine liturgy was celebrated in most of the world prior to the Second Vatican Council, the comparison breaks down.

In saying the Novus Ordo Missae, the priest has about 40 options of ways he can lawfully say Mass. This varies from parish to parish, as depending on the options one employs; the Masses will not be similar, except for maybe 5-10 minutes out of the entire hour. This can hardly be said to reflect stability.

But of course this is fairly standard throughout most of history. Different dioceses had variations, different religious orders, even sometimes different parishes. The degree to which the variations existed varied of course: something not assisted much by the propaganda of some so-called "traditionalists" like Michael Davies (RIP) and the counter-propaganda of those who take a view opposing his. But to go into that subject would be to get offtrack so we shall return now to Kevin's article.

(1) Whereas with the Classical Roman Rite, it is the same essentially no matter where one goes.

Which was itself a novelty of the post-Trent period -specifically the two hundred years prior to Vatican II.{2} Furthermore, this whole notion is problematical when one takes into account church history. Or to quote from my favourite western academic orientalist on the problem with the outlook Kevin refers to above:

Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly Western character of Catholicism for over 900 years makes it necessary for us to remind ourselves that variety within the Church is not only a fact, but that any other situation would be deplorable. There was a time not so long ago when some sort of proof for the universality of the Church was found in the false belief that, "Wherever a Catholic goes, he will feel at home when he enters a Catholic church because there he will find the familiar Mass celebrated in the common language of the Church." Not only is this untrue, but if it were true, it would be not the glorious thing we might have once imagined, but a chilling commentary on the narrowness we had imposed on the Body which Christ fashioned for all mankind. To impose one Rite on everyone does not render that Rite, or the Church, more universal. It only impoverishes the catholic expression of the Church’s life. [Fr. Robert F. Taft SJ: Excerpt from Eastern-Rite Catholicism - Its Heritage and Vocation]

This is far more proper and Traditional a view of liturgical issues than what Kevin appears to be proposing -and I say appears because I suspect there is more nuance to his position than his article involves at the present time.{3}

The only difference being that on some days, a priest may choose to follow one feast day over the other, and hence different Propers (those prayers which do change weekly) are used. The beginning is the same, the readings are always the same (2), communion is the same, etc.

Other than the part about the "readings are always the same", what Kevin notes in the above paragraph is correct. (I will deal with the readings issue later on.)

So on the issue of liturgical stability, I believe that the Classical Roman Rite far easily trumps the Novus Ordo Missae.

Perhaps so but the operative presupposition in that statement is that somehow a more uniformed liturgical approach is properly speaking "Traditional." History not only does not countenace this but the notion of a liturgical rigidity being more "authentically Traditional" is the exact opposite premise advanced by Counter-reformation Catholic apologetics against our Orthodox brethren. To quote from a points to ponder segment from The Lidless Eye Inquisition weblog (circa June of 2005):

The growing estrangement between East and West was accentuated by the diversity in national character, language, rites, and discipline. Since the time of Justinian the Great, the Eastern church had sunk into a state of stagnation and rigid adherence to the forms and traditions of the past; and because she adhered to them, she looked askance at those who did not; because she was stagnant, she was suspicious of those who moved. If she had been satisfied to hold onto her traditions, all might have been well; but she insisted on imposing them on the west too. Any ritual or disciplinary practices not in harmony with those in vogue in the East, she declared "contrary to the apostolic tradition" and therefore to be abolished. [John Laux: Excerpt from Church History pg. 291 (c. 1930) with Nihil Obstat from J. Scanlan, STD and Imprimatur from Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York (circa May 20, 1930)]

The above depiction was a standard one prior to the Second Vatican Council which Catholic apologists used as a kind of apologetical expedient against the positions of the Orthodox. However, when it came to the Protestants, the exact opposite approach was taken.{4} Consistency however would require (if Kevin is to not be purely arbitrary in his approach here) to recognize the approach taken by the Orthodox in opposition to Catholic liturgical innovations as authentically "Traditional" but this writer suspects he would not do that. Furthermore, what the Catholic apologists criticized in the Orthodox (uniformity of rites, rigidity of adherence to past practices) was then used against the Protestants in a classic case of violating the law of non-contradiction. For reasons I allude to in a footnote below, there seems to be a good reason why the garden variety counter-reformational view espoused against the Protestants is not infrequently taken as the truth by Catholic converts from Protestantism without looking at the broader picture and what it reveals.{5} But enough on that point for now.

Another area in which the Mass shines over its modern form is it emphasizes the distinctive “Catholic features” of our faith. The mass is full of invocations of the saints, prayers for the dead in purgatory (the sacrifice is asked to help remit the sins of the dead on two occasions), and strongly emphasizes repentance from sin. The Novus Ordo Missae not only emphasizes these tenets less, but in some areas, decidedly so.

I will deak with this in a moment.

Explicit devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and John the Baptist disappears from the New Mass. As Peter and Paul were the founders of the Church of Rome, it is very fitting that the Roman Churches liturgy pays homage to those mention explicitly, giving them special mention apart from the other apostles. Many have had varied reasons for this change, whether it be not wishing to offend our Protestant brethren, or reverting to the second century liturgical practices (when the Church was underground), the change is obvious. I happen to lament this “development”, and I believe even many strong defenders of the Novus Ordo Missae (who view it either superior or vastly superior than the Classical Roman Rite) should agree with me.

I will deal with this in a moment.

The efficacy of the sacrifice for the dead is mentioned only once in the Novus Ordo, and even then only implicitly. (3)

Okay, this seems the appropriate place to deal with this subject in general.{6} And the beauty of past writings is that I can do that without reinventing the wheel by quoting from my essay Confusing Culture With 'Tradition' where I interacted with an essay by Cardinal Alfons Stickler circa three years ago (TM and PM are references to the two liturgies in question here with TM being a reference to the Tridentine ritual):

[It] seems that the Cardinal is falling into a trap not at all uncommon to those who prefer the TM - even among the ones who are faithful to Rome: the misguided belief that Catholicity means uniformity.

There is this tendency towards viewing the Mass as some kind of verbal theological treatise and feeling that if certain doctrines were more explicit in the rite that the problems of today would be corrected. With this view it is not uncommon to proclaim that a decrease in belief in the Real Presence or in other doctrines are the fault of the Council or of the Revised Missal. Unfortunately, the blame should go squarely on the shoulders of poor catechizing programs and the secular humanism of today which have had devastating effects on the Church. It is there that our focus should be, not the "tilting at windmills" approach where the naïve assumptions are made that if we just reinstate the Tridentine Missal and impose communion by mouth that all problems would subside. No matter how simplistic or complex a liturgy is, there will always be complexities that the text is capable of arousing. With the TM, many of its ambiguities were covered over by the Latin and properly explained through a prudent catechizing program. The PM, because it is predominantly in the vernacular, tends to have its ambiguities more readily noticable. [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from Confusing Culture With 'Tradition' (circa March 4, 2001)]

Objectively, it is not the promoting of any liturgy apart from proper catechizing as if it is the solution to the problem. Indeed, Pope Pius V in 1566 (four years prior to the promulgation of his Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum) issued a papal brief authorizing the printing of a catechism called for by the Council of Trent. And popes subsequent to that time and despite the usage of the Missal revised by Pope Pius V nonetheless bemoaned at times the lack of catechesis amongst the faithful. And considering that there are several ambiguities in the older liturgy which are obvious when that text is approached at face value,{7} all this does is sustain the very assertion I am making here about the importance of catechesis and how the kind of arguing that Kevin is making above is problematical to his position.{8} Moving on...

As far as the issue of sin, many say that it was emphasized far too much during the Mass of the classical Roman Rite. I disagree, in that before our reception of the Eucharist, one cannot focus on our sins enough.

As with anything, a proper balance is required. Kevin's statement about "[not] focus[ing] on our sins enough" encapsulates the germ of the heresy of Jansenism.{9}

(It is after the reception of the Eucharist we should be in a mood of profound rejoicing.)


In the area where one confesses their sins, it is only optional to emphasize one’s personal responsibility.

Okay, Kevin makes a good point about the subject of introductory options. The original reason for that was to provide for shorter masses on weekdays but the shorter options are often used today on Sundays and Holy Days where they were never intended to be used.

However, what he does not seem to realize is that there was a serious imbalance in all the ad nausium repetitions on the subject of sin. Or as my good friend Dr. Art Sippo once noted on with regards to a theological virtue that for a long time was not handled in a balanced fashion:

One thing I have to agree with the 16th Century Reformers on is that we need to encourage our Catholic people to be more confident of their salvation and God's good will towards them. The problem with some Catholic spirituality is that after a whole life of piety, it makes it seem like a crap shoot as to our final destination.

Any adult Catholic who has practiced the faith, kept the laws of the Church, made regular use of the sacraments and who dies with the full benefit of the Church's rites is virtually guaranteed to go to Heaven. Such a person does not need to be perfect. After all, Jesus came to help sinners, not the righteous. When we deny ourselves of the confidence that the means of grace gives to us, we do ourselves a disservice and we fail to avail ourselves of the theological virtue of Hope. [Dr. Art Sippo: Excerpt from His Article Catholic Soteriology (circa 2001-2)]

What Kevin sees as a "lessening" in this area could be viewed as an attempt to restore balance...the extent to which this was successful is (of course) a matter of legitimate debate.

(4) Gone is Psalm 42, which was also chanted by the Jews during the time of the offering of the sacrifice for sin.

And in its place was the restoration of the traditional Responsorial Psalm which varies from mass to mass. One of the intentions of the liturgical revisions was to restore the liturgy to "the pristine norm of the holy Fathers" and a liturgical addition in the eleventh century{10} would not generally be viewed as achieving that purpose.

The prayers Suscipe, Sancte Pater and Offerimus tibi, Domine were changed radically, and in that change removed the references to sin and clemency, rather focusing on the bread and wine presented before God, not the reason for that offering.

It is debatable if this is reflected in the underlying Latin text or a product of mistranslation.

Others could be listed but I think one gets the point. When it comes to stressing the reality of sin, it is my contention that those of yesteryear, even if to a fault, definetly gave it better coverage than we see today.

The question remains if they did so to the detriment of certain other teachings which are supposed to be emphasized along with the teaching on sin....see what was noted above about the theological virtue of hope for one example.

So I’ve stated why I believe the Novus Ordo to be inferior, and why I believe in many instances vastly so.

Again, generally speaking Kevin has approached this from a normative standpoint which is subjective.

Now the question, am I within acceptable Catholic parameters by stating so? The answer is yes, for numerous reasons.

He is within his rights to believe that certainly.

1.) I nowhere state that the Novus Ordo denies the things I mentioned above. I do believe the emphasis was wrongly lessened, but that simply is a question of degree, not of kind.


2.) I do not believe much of what we see today in the liturgy is what the Council Fathers of Vatican II had in mind.

The same could be said about the revisions to the missal under Pius V: that the final product may not have been what the Council Fathers (of Trent) had in mind either. Either way though, what happened happened and whatever any grouping of Council Fathers (be they the Fathers of Trent or the Fathers of Vatican II) had in mind is not really germane to this issue.

Indeed, when told that after Vatican II the Mass would be completely in the vernacular by a Bishop who was concerned about introducing the vernacular into Mass, the Bishops laughed at their brother Bishop. Within 20 years of him being laughed at, he was proven right.

Perhaps so but there was also lay approval of the vernacular far beyond what the Fathers expected. So much so that bishops began petitioning the Apostolic See for use of the vernacular and the application of the vernacular expanded probably significantly beyond what was originally envisioned.{12}

3.) Organizations such as Adoremus, while their criticisms might not be as strong as the one I outlined, are similar in kind, and hence they advocate a “reform of the reform”, which admits that the first reform was either botched or done in a fashion that was not as good as originally anticipated. (One should charitably favor the second idea.) Very few people would accuse men like Fr. Fessio of denying the indefectibility of the Church.


In the end, while many of these people might mean well, by stating the claim that we cannot assert something is vastly superior, all they are doing is stifling what is a necessary debate on the liturgical reform.


As faithful Catholics have been given a choice in which Mass to attend lawfully, let the discussions be conducted in charity. If anything, people can learn from each other. Many times those who seek to reform the Novus Ordo Missae listen to the criticisms of traditionalists, and attempt to incorporate them into their plans for reforms. Likewise traditionalists listen to the concerns of those who attend the New Mass, and attempt to incorporate their concerns into making the Mass they celebrate better. Far from denying it’s indefectibility, in the end the Churches indefectibility can be emphasized even more.<

Well said.


1.) Elsewhere I have argued that the way to get around this problem would be to make the permissible options only permissible on the diocesan level, where the Bishop sets the options used, and every parish must follow that option.

This is a reasonable idea and eminently traditional actually. The Bishop of the Dioceses is supposed to have some role in liturgical regulation after all.

2.) I mean the readings are the same in the following manner. Numerous times in the Lectionary of the Novus Ordo Missae (the readings of Scripture), the reader, at his own choice, may choose to omit certain parts of the passage lawfully. Normally brackets are included around the words he has the option to ignore/omit. In the Classical Roman Rite this is not so.

I do agree that the bracketing idea was better in the abstract than it has at times shown to be in reality; ergo, I am in favour of requiring the whole text to be read unless there is a significant reason not to.

3.) One could view this just as easily the prayers of the faithful are just as important if not more important than Christ’s sacrifice for the dead.

I disagree.

However, our prayers are only efficacious because of Christ’s sacrifice. The Classical Roman Rite leaves nothing to chance, since it says “Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offenses, and negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead, that it may avail both me and them for salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.” While one could perhaps question the placing of this prayer, it explicitly references one of the effects of the Sacrifice of the Mass is for those souls in purgatory.

I promised I would not go into one of the objective theological problems with the older liturgical form; ergo I will not comment on the "offertory" prayer Kevin refers to above since they would encompass part of the aforementioned objections.

4.) I am also of the opinion that if this was made the one true option, this would be called an improvement over the Classical Roman Rite, as it talks about sins of omission and commission (in what I have done and what I have failed to do), something that the Older Rite did not emphasize clearly I believe.

I appear to be missing something since Kevin refers above to the confiteor whereas the footnote appears to refer instead to Psalm xlii. If I am wrong about this and I may well be--this wording will be changed to reflect what he is referring to at that point of the writing.


{1} I have argued this point before to the silence of the Tridentine promoting gallery and do not intend to repeat myself here. Oh and to anticipate one possible objection to this point, this is not contrary to what I said about this issue being "generally normative" since what I am denoting here is an exception to the rule (and the exceptions I have in mind here are quite few and specific).

{2} Yes, I am aware that Quo Primum was promulgated four centuries prior to Vatican II but there was not liturgical uniformity for some time afterward. And though hardly the only place where this was a problem, it was nonetheless particularly acure in France where the decrees of Trent took about a century to be implemented and the post-council papal liturgical reforms longer still.

{3} One of the strengths of Kevin's writing style is its general brevity -and yes, before anyone snidely notes it in the comments boxes brevity is an area of weakness in my writing style admittedly. (Though I have improved in this area considerably over the years.) Nonetheless, a strength in my expository approach is greater nuance and precision which is difficult to achieve with more economical writing approaches.

{4} Perhaps one of the reasons why a significant number of those who prefer the Tridentine liturgy amongst Catholics are converts is this reason: they bought into the apologetical casting of the "uniformity" of the Catholic view vs. the "divergent", "contradictory", or otherwise "anarchic" traits common to the overall view of things expressed by various Protestant communities and theologies.

{5} See footnote four.

{6} More could be noted than this but for lack of time on my part.

{7} It is only for the sake of not wanting to make this posting longer than it already is (as well as time constraints) that I do not delve into these issues yet again at this time.

{8} The sacred liturgy...does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic faith. [Pope Pius XII: Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (circa November 20, 1947)]

{9} This in no way whatsoever is an accusation of heresy either directly or proximately on the part of Kevin so readers are kindly asked to not waste my time, Kevin's time, or comments box space trying to make that connection.

{10} Before the Introit the Psalm "Judica me," the "Confiteor," the versicles "Aufer a nobis," the "Oramus te, Domine," were added; and, in Solemn Masses, the censing of the altar.

Psalm xlii. is indicated in the ancient Missals as a preparation for Mass since the eleventh century. It is well chosen for such an office; and the anthem "Introibo ad altare Dei," taken from the text of the Psalm, emphasizes, as is intended, the principal verse which usually determines the use of a Psalm.

The Confession of Sins before Mass is mentioned in the "Didache," and other ancient liturgical books. It is an apostolic practice. The formula here employed was the "Confiteor," in the form which prevailed from the tenth- eleventh centuries, and which had been used ever since, though with numerous variations. [Rt. Rev. Dom fernand Cabrol: From The Mass of the Western Rites from Ch. IX (circa 1934)]

{12} I am not about to go into the subject of whether or not this was a good thing: a subject which is by its own nature far too normative anyway.