Paul VI's Missale Romanum turns 50

From the National Catholic Register article St. Paul VI's 'Missale Romanum' Turns 50:

On April 3, 1969, Pope Paul VI promulgated the apostolic constitution, paving the way for the celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal promulgated in 1969 (with another slightly revised missal promulgated in 1970), one of the most visible changes to occur in the post-conciliar Church. The revisions to the Roman Missal that Paul VI announced in Missale Romanum went into effect later that year on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 1969.

The document, which details the changes that the Roman Missal would undergo, was greeted with great optimism, as many believed these changes would lead to a greater love for and understanding of the liturgy. But the hopes placed in such changes are today tempered by the reality that much work remains to be done to bring Catholics to a greater appreciation for the liturgy, even as the Mass that Paul VI’s document precipitated remains a pastoral touchstone for priests and an accessible entry point for converts to the faith…”

Go read the entire thing there. It is a very optimistic view of the effect of the Novus ordo Missae on the Church.

And we have Fr. Zuhlsdorf's comments:

Precisely 50 years ago today the “God of Surprises”, through his permissive will and his vicar Paul, allowed us to experience a brand new version of Mass.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum was promulgated by Paul VI on 3 April 1969.

The world would never be the same.”

I would especially recommend the comments, not because they’re snarky, but because many of them are thoughtful. For example:

The new Mass has so many permutations with various options, you could visit 10 parishes on a single Sunday and not find the same Mass twice. Imagine there are priests who never use the Confiteor. (This is the case in my parish – TC) The Confiteor! There are Catholics who haven’t said, “I confess to Almighty God…” in years!

That, to me, is one of the greatest among the manifold problems with the New Order of the Mass: the countless number of varieties and permutations and “options”; you never know what you’ll be served up. Is it going to be a beautiful, reverent Mass (and, yes, the N.O can be done beautifully and reverently) or is it going to be flying monkey and space aliens? One never knows. Please note, the NCR points to all this variety as one of its greatest strengths. I believe it is one of the great weaknesses in a liturgy remarkable for its brokenness. And, more importantly, it’s the only thing most Catholics today know.

Curate, ut valeatis!

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