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Christmas and Devotions

The impending "common rite" mass and the identity of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Mass is the "source and summit" of the life of the Catholic Church.
In 2011 the Vatican made known that there was an impending "Common rite" Mass.
Its implementation will mean a defining moment for the Church. This because, in effect,
whoever controls the identity of the Mass controls the very identity of the Church.

There are many concerns about what identity the proposed "Common rite" mass will bring.

see Questions and answers on Home Page (in context)

and/or the following as evidence as to what is currently happening in the Church:

And specifically from the Questions and Answers, as follows

Q. 47 Is the Mass itself crucial in this whole context?

A. Yes. Because whoever controls the identity of the Mass controls
the identity of the Church. And the Common rite mass, when it
appears, will likely be the bridge link into the new
ecumenical /protestant structure.

Q. 48 Has there been an actual announcement as to the Common
rite?

A. Yes it was announced at the Vatican in 2011. Developments
since, for example with regard to the Ordinariate and the seeking to
agree on and share a common Eucharist with the Lutherans, have
indicated that the Common rite will have a distinctive protestant
identity.

Q. 49. Is the Tridentine Mass crucial to maintaining the identity of the
Catholic Church?

A. Yes. Of course it is so vital. The Canon of the Mass goes back to
at least the 4th century (traced in writings to that time) and the
Council of Trent and the Council of Florence both affirmed its origin
in Apostolic times. The Mass is Our Lord's great Sacrifice (which
was complete and for all time) but repeated; in an unbloody form,
everyday on the altar and with the faithful; both living and dead,
benefiting from Our Lord's precious Body and Blood and from the
graces and merits won for us through His great Sacrifice
accordingly. And with Our Lord Himself as the principal celebrant.
Pope(St) Pius X, echoing St John Vianney (patron saint of parish
priests) referred to the Mass as being: "The Highest prayer that
exists." It is the great offering to God the Father by God the Son
Himself. And so we can look at the Catholic Mass, the Tridentine
"Mass of Ages" in a very particular way precisely because we expect
it to be the very best that the Church can do. Our Lord God and
Saviour deserves the best for the reenactment of His sacrifice. And
because of this; what the Mass is, it had to be pristine; had to be the
very best; had to be protected and fortified; this all the duty and
primary role of the Church, guided by God the Holy Ghost, and so
this; the Tridentine Mass, must have fulfilled that role of being the
very best that the Church can do. It is not a question of a wardrobe
of Masses. There can be no better Mass. The Tridentine Mass is
fully qualified as being the Mass of the Catholic Church. To say
otherwise is to say that the Magisterium of the Church, under the
guidance of the Holy Ghost, failed Her Lord and Master in this one
of Her great primary functions and roles. Fr Faber, a convert to
Catholicism, described the sung Tridentine Mass as being "the most
beautiful thing this side of heaven."

Q 50. Yes. But because of it being banned from general use for so
long, it is the Novus Ordo that is known exclusively by almost all
practicing Catholics. Does the Novus Ordo retain much Catholic
identity?

A. The Novus Ordo retains a Catholic identity. But it is what might
be termed a transitional Mass, it retains a Catholic identity, but with
the active potential within it not to.

Q.51. What do you mean by this?

A The changes, the introduction of the Novus Ordo had its own
build up period and in that time, a number of the senior hierarchy;
Cardinals and Archbishops, endeavoured to do what they could to
protect as much of a Catholic identity as they could in the new Mass
that was being proposed. And to an extent they succeeded.

Q. 52. Can you give an example?

A. Yes. There was an indication of the changes ahead when the first
draft proposals emerged and the 'fight' (successful) at the 1967
Synod in Rome, to have the Orate fratres (Brethren, pray that my
Sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father almighty)
be re-instated that the proposals had left out. But also the
(unsuccessful) 'fight' to have the Mass termed: "The Mass" rather
than termed "The Lord's Supper or Mass" (reminiscent of Cranmer's
terminology.) And so the benchmark; the "tug of war" was at that
time becoming clear, between the Mass as a Sacrifice (Catholic) its
true identity, or the Mass as a narrative and a memorial of the Lord's
Supper (ecumenical/protestant.) And keeping in mind, for example,
that when the Novus Ordo first appeared it was most often said or
sung in Latin and with the priest facing the altar. But that gradually
changed. Latin, the sacred language of the Church, and which also
helps maintain unity of worship.

Q.53 And so how do you see the Novus Ordo and the benchmark in
practical terms now?

A. In the Mass being a Sacrifice, Catholic; "Go unto the altar of God"
(Calvary.) And the Mass as a narrative of the supper, a memorial
(ecumenical/protestant.) In terms of both the Novus Ordo (in its
potential), or the lurking Common rite mass this means a narrative of
past events, ie that the readings, rather than being an active focus
upon, instead replace anything that takes place by way of enacting
"here and now" (sacrifice.) And so if the readings are extended and
with community based features developing further eg bidding
prayers, and community based mass "themes" then this is a
protestant direction.

Q. 54 And so at the moment the Novus Ordo is Catholic?

A. Yes. It has a Catholic identity but which needs to be maintained
since it is in danger.

Q 55. Is it a great danger?

A. Yes. We must always remember that the Lex Orandi is the Lex
Credendi; the way we worship reflects what we believe. And the
Novus Ordo is very vulnerable. It is always the Tridentine Mass that
should be said or sung wherever this is possible. And there is a duty
to try and ensure that it is said or sung whenever possible.

Q 56. What stage would you say that the Church is at at the moment
and is this covered in the book?

A. Yes, this is covered in the book. And the following is what
happened to me recently on a Sunday morning in a Catholic Church,
in the context of the Tridentine. Perhaps this will give an idea of what
is happening and which many Catholics are as yet unaware of:

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