The Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites establishing the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum was promulgated exactly 50 years ago today: June 23, 1962, a few months before the opening of the Second Vatican Council and with all rubrics and classifications fully aligned with the Codex Rubricarum promulgated along with the motu proprio Rubricarum Instructum of 1960.
It is the edition used by traditional Catholics all over the world, as defined by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum - the "Missal of John XXIII". Or is it? As you will see in our series dedicated to the Missal of 1962 in the upcoming weeks and months, even the recognition of the definitive edition of the 1962 Missal is tricky - several details would still be added, including the famous addition of Saint Joseph to the Canon, to reach the text we have today in most sacristies. A text that, despite being quinquagenarian, has indeed been "free", following a short period in force and decades of persecution and offensive limitations, for a very short time, under five years. We know it has never been abrogated: let us get to know it better. (And if you wish to contribute your own articles, texts, and artwork to this series, please send them to us.)