Wednesday, July 06, 2022

An Essential Resource for Restorationists: Detailed Charts Comparing Pre-’55, ’55, and ’62 Mass and Office

In the slow but steady work of restoring the Roman liturgical tradition, it seems that we are never quite fully equipped with all the resources we might wish to have at any given moment. There is work being done today, for instance, that would have been mightily helpful to have decades ago. At the moment there is a burning need for reprints of the pre-55 breviary (both Roman and Monastic) and of the pre-55 altar missal. But things get done when they get done, and all in good time.

The magnificent resources I am posting today at the end of this short article are examples of just such a precious boon, which, once one holds them in one’s hands, will prompt wonder at how it was ever possible that they did not exist before. I speak of the following detailed comparative charts, prepared by expert calendarist and rubrician Paul Cavendish (of St. Lawrence Press fame), and now made available via NLM. Spread the knowledge of them far and wide.

Archdale King has a snippet about the desired/planned changes discussed at Lugano in 1953 (see image below) which he describes as “revolutionary.” The idea that the post-Conciliar changes to the Roman rite (whose solid outline certainly comes from Lugano) just came out of thin air and were all the fault of Vatican II, or Paul VI, or both, is simply impossible to sustain from a closer look of the patterns indicated on Cavendish’s charts.

Here, in Appendix A of H.A. Reinhold’s 1960 book Bringing the Mass to the People, is a summary of the proposals coming out of Maria Laach (1951), Ste Odile (1952), and Lugano (1953). They read as a veritable blueprint of the Novus Ordo.

Cum nostra hac aetate and Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria, both of 1955, were of course the tipping point, though the 1951 and 1952 “Easter Vigil” permissions presaged something big. There was lesser tinkering too, such as the editio VI post typicam of the Missal in 1953 which anticipated some of the 1962MR changes, such as short conclusions. Bugnini wrote a very useful article in Ephemerides Liturgicae about that.

In any case, the charts should be fairly self-explanatory, and repay close study.

PDF of “Outline of Changes to the Roman Missal between 1955 and 1962”

PDF of “Outline of Changes to the Divine Office between 1955 and 1962

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