Sunday, February 27


The Mass of St. Gregory. Adriaen Isenbrandt (c.1490-1551).

Ordo Karolingianus Update

Last time I wrote about the Ordo Karolingianus, my project seeking to envision what a "reform of the reform" of the Mass would be like, my gentle readers expressed great interest in obtaining a copy of the revised draft. While I hope eventually to write a full-length commentary explaining the general principles of my hypothetical reform, I have decided to make the actual text of the Ordo available in PDF format via the Shrine. Most of my sources and the logic behind the choices I've made are mentioned in the footnotes. Feedback would be much-appreciated, certainly, as I've always been impressed by the quality and intelligence of my readership.

For those unfamiliar with the Ordo Karolingianus, it is a proposed draft of a Mass, named in honor of Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) and striving to unite the best aspects of the Tridentine and Novus Ordo masses in a dignified and practical vernacular. The Ordo has several purposes: 1) To "re-run" the reforms of 1970 in a manner which is truer to the substance of Sacrosanctum Concilium and possessed of the hindsight accumulated in the last thirty years. 2) To imagine a form of the Mass, which, while familiar to those who have grown up with the Novus Ordo, would nonetheless provide a more potent link with organic liturgical tradition. 3) To prove that in order to fulfill the aspirations of the Fathers of Vatican II, the Tridentine Mass could have been reformed less drastically, with greater subtlety, and with less trauma to the faithful; and most importantly, 3) to provide a common liturgy derived in substance from the historic Roman Rite behind which, it is hoped, both traditionalists and conservative reformists could unite.

This last point is very important as while the liberals do not need a united front to obsfuscate the maintenance of the Church's liturgical heritage, it is clear to me that in order to reform the Novus Ordo that the bickering between various liturgically conservative and traditionalist groups must give way to a greater sense of mutual trust, a realistic, prudent program for reform and more mutual and specific proposals. In proposing this draft Mass, I have read the writings of the twentieth-century Liturgical Movement, with proposals both radical and traditional, Vatican II, modern traditionalists and modern conservative reformists of all stripes, and also many works of liturgical history. As I have said before, I hope the Ordo Karolingianus will provide a model for how to go about achieving such a goal. I'm only just one man, but my ideas are out there in the marketplace for anyone who's buying.

Read the Ordo Karolingianus in PDF form.

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