Rorate Caeli

1962 Missal at 50
Saint Joseph is added to the Canon: the last major change to the Traditional Mass as we know it

A threshold previous pontiffs had not dared cross: but Pope John XXIII (born Angelo Giuseppe - Joseph - Roncalli) did, and, weeks into the first session of the Second Vatican Council, the last major change in the history of the Missale Romanum as we know it took place when a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, promulgated exactly 50 years ago, on November 13, 1962, added the phrase "and also of the blessed Joseph, Spouse of the same Virgin" to the text of the Communicantes, in the beginning of the Canon Missae. 

The text of the Missal, adapted to the 1960 rubrics, had been made available just a few months earlier. The change went into effect on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1962.

38 comments:

Stephen said...

Why is this such a big deal? Does not the authority of the Pope encompass all things liturgical?

John Gerardi said...

I heard the following story about why St. Joseph's name was added to the Canon. I'm not sure of its authenticity, but I believe it makes sense given Bl. John XXIII's character.

During the early stages of Vatican II, there was apparently a bishop from Eastern Europe who spoke before the Council fathers advocating the inclusion of St. Joseph's name in the Canon. Some of the other bishops were laughing at his poor speaking skills. Apparently the bishop in question had received a kind of speech impediment as a result of torture he had undergone in defense of the Faith at the hands of Communists. Pope John (unbeknownst to the Council Fathers) was watching this exchange as it was happening, was angered at the conduct of the bishops mocking their heroic brother, and therefore immediately ordered St. Joseph's name to be put into the canon.

josef said...

I seriously think the Canon of the Mass should be left untouched. Gosh. Now that a pope had added St Joseph, who is to say that the current modernist-minded pope (or God alone knows how many more such pontiffs)cannot tamper with the Roman Mass?

SM of Kansas said...

Since I first learned of this years ago (being too young to have been part of it when it took place), I've always been a little torn. On one hand, we have one of the greatest of saints, Foster Father of Our Lord, being given one of the greatest honors, which he is truly worthy of. ON THE OTHER HAND... we have the issue of make a change to the canon, which should NEVER be touched - Pius V's mandate and setting precedent included. As well, there is the issue of a hidden desire to do it as A) a sinister test to see if change would be accepted in the Mass, and B) as a more sinister point, the possibility of communist forces pushing the "Saint of Labor" - think about how "St. Joseph the Worker",established to counter May Day, then just became the acceptable version of it.

So, in the long run, as much as I honor St. Josepj, this was a foolish (and perhaps calculted) move by a pontiff who unleashed Hell itself upon the Church.

Katavasia said...

"Now that a pope had added St Joseph, who is to say that the current modernist-minded pope (or God alone knows how many more such pontiffs)cannot tamper with the Roman Mass?"

The Roman Mass has been tampered with and tinkered with since it was first celebrated. If you doubt me, simply look at different editions of it before 1962.

"we have the issue of make a change to the canon, which should NEVER be touched "

The Ambrosian Rite uses what is basically the Roman Canon with some interesting changes. Among them (but not limited to the following) are the addition of Milanese saints and martyrs and a variant of the Per ipsum.

Are you saying that these Milanese variations are wrong?

Stephen said...

The Pope has the authority over liturgy and the ability to change it. Get over it. This wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. A Catholic HAS to accept that authority and whatever changes are made by the Pope; otherwise, one cannot honestly call oneself a Catholic.

Champagne said...

It is not of course diminish the sanctity of St. Joseph, but does the recent developments of his cult (the Fathers of the Church did not say so much upon it) required to modify the Roman Canon, untouched for at least a millennium? This opened a precedent: even what was holiest and most revered in the Roman liturgy could therefore been change. Given the context, the timing was quite wrong...

Remember that adding the name of St. Joseph in the canon, although what might been seen in some recent printed editions, is not legally part of the typical edition of the Roman Missal of 1962, several months earlier.

Prof. Basto said...

The elevation of St. Joseph to the role of Patron of the Church Universal by Pope Pius IX is mentioned in the decree.

And, given the said patronage of St. Joseph over the whole Catholic Church, it is only logical that his name should be included in the Canon.

Thus, although as a general rule the Canon should be left untouched, and even the Ordinary of the TLM should not undergo much change, nevertheless, this change was completely justified.

Less than 100 years prior, the Church had been given a Patron Saint. It was THE ONLY TIME in history, that the Church had been appointed a Patron this way. St. Joseph will probably remain Patron of the Universal Church until the end of time. He, the Spouse of the Virgin Mary, the guardian and foster father of Jesus Christ is an important enough saint to be included in the canon.

So, this addition was most extraordinary, but justified.

St. Leo I added sanctum sacrificium immaculatam hostiam, St. Gregory I added diesque nostros in tua pace disponas.

The addition of St. Joseph, being a change to contemplate the Patron of the Catholic Church, in no way can be said to have "opened the doors" to what followed. It had such a good motive, and was so extraordinary in its link to St. Joseph's proclamation as Patron, that the less then ordinary changes that followed cannot even compare.

Rodez said...

What I found surprising was the reason for the change as alleged in the Decree. It was meant to be a memorial and testament of the fruit of the Second Vatican Council. I'll never listen to it the same way!

Torkay said...

"The interdiction of adding or changing refers to the act of any prelate of any rank, by his private preference or authority. It does not forbid a subsequent pope, as supreme legislator, from making changes."

http://www.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/catholic_faqs__liturgical.htm#saintjoseph

And here is Father Z on this story:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/11/john-xxiii-50-years-ago-st-joseph-added-to-the-roman-canon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=john-xxiii-50-years-ago-st-joseph-added-to-the-roman-canon

Te Rev. Michael P. Forbes said...

In point of factthe Canon is not a sacred cow. Manynations practiced the custom of Sarum of including the soverign in the communicantes. I do not know if Trent ended this custom or, if it ended differently in different places, but end it did. So an accepted element of the canon could be changed.

Mike+

Josemaria Paulo Jeromino Martin Carvalho-Von Verster said...

One Capuchin Friar from Guam put his view on the addition to St. Joseph to the Roman Canon in this way:

"I Love St Joseph but I agree with fellow trads that Small Changes may be used by others to justify messing up the liturgy".

-Fr. Eric Forbes O.F.M Cap.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Stephen. Changing the Roman Canon means that the Roman Canon no longer exists.

You will have to cut a little slack for those who lament the death of the Roman Canon; besides, up until that radical Papal intervention, the Roman Canon only included martyrs.

It is one thing to have authority and it is another to use that authority unwisely.

When some Pope jettisons from the Barque of Peter a thing you value dearly, I expect you to just get over it.

Oh, as an aside, a layman, Mr. Omlor refused to just get over it when it came to translating pro multis as for all. Due largely to his diligence and determination, and intellect - and his refusal to just "get over it" - the Pope has corrected the error of Pope Paul VI.

Marie Auxiliadora said...

67ornallyxpProf. Basto said...

"The elevation of St. Joseph to the role of Patron of the Church Universal by Pope Pius IX is mentioned in the decree.

And, given the said patronage of St. Joseph over the whole Catholic Church, it is only logical that his name should be included in the Canon..."

No Sir, It is not "logical". If it was "logical" the Church would have done it centuries ago. The tradition of only listing martyrs in the Canon would have been unthinkable by any previous pope. Only VII had the nerves to do it. I assure you St. Joseph would not wish to be the the object of braking of Tradition. St. John is celebrated by the Church as a martyr and our Lady is honored as "Queen of Martyrs". They belong. St. Joseph is loved by everyone but Tradition is not democracy.

Marie Auxiliadora said...

Quote:
""I Love St Joseph but I agree with fellow trads that Small Changes may be used by others to justify messing up the liturgy".

The Church has always and will always love St. Joseph. In Her Wisdom, She would have done it already if it was possible but this change was only "small" to those who don't understand Tradition. After this Tradition was broken, along with the ancient prayer for the "conversion of the Jews", all hell broke loose.

HSE said...

When my grandmother heard that they messed with the Canon (adding St. Joseph), she cried.

By then, she had already converted to the Catholic faith and knew that changing the Canon in any way, shape, or form was merely a test to see what would be "accepted." From there, she saw (her former) protestant ideas move quickly into Catholic Churches.

Her response to what followed, "That is the church I left!"

And the rest is history folks!

Grandma was a wise woman who loved (and defended the Faith) - may she RIP!

I am not Spartacus said...

Catholic Encyclopedia (Fortescue entry on The Canon)

...Since Pius V our Canon, then, has been brought back to its original simplicity and remains unchanged throughout the year, except that on a few of the very greatest feasts slight additions are made to the "Communicantes" and the "Hanc igitur", and on one day to the "Qui pridie quam pateretur" (see below). Clement VIII (1592-1605), Urban VIII (1623-44), and Leo XIII (1878-1903) have, each in his own time, re-edited the Missal, and a great number of additional Masses for new feasts or for local calendars have been added to it. But none of these changes have affected the part now under consideration. The Canon that we say is always the one finally restored by Pius V, that remains as it was in the days of Gregory I, and that goes back far behind his time till its origin is lost in the mists that hang over the first centuries when the Roman Christians met together to "do the things the Lord commanded at appointed times" (Epistle of Clement 40). Through all the modifications and additions that, in recent years especially, have caused our Missal to grow in size, among all the later collects, lessons and antiphons, the Canon stands out firm and unchanging in the midst of an ever-developing rite, the centre and nucleus of the whole liturgy, stretching back with its strange and archaic formulæ through all the centuries of church history, to the days when the great Roman Cæsar was lord of the world and the little community of Christians stood around their bishop while they "sang a hymn to Christ as to a God before day-break" (Pliny, Epp., X, xcvii). Then the bishop lifted up his hands over the bread and wine, "gave thanks and glory to the Father of all through his Son and the Holy Ghost, and made the Eucharist" (Just., Apol., III, lxv). So that of all liturgical prayers in the Christian world no one is more ancient nor more venerable than the Canon of the Roman Mass.


And so when the Mass Revolutionaries destroyed it we are just supposed to get over it.

Mike said...

I understand the desire for organic growth of the liturgy.

The radical changes of our time are a scandal.

But, please, the Church is not a dead oak tree--it is alive.

Taylor said...

Is the liturgy never to change after the promulgation of Pope St. Pius V? After all, everything before it was an organic change.

Perhaps the liturgy could have changed organically had Vatican II or its sentiments never happened? Or is it not allowed to?

Sincerely, a new-ish convert trying to be traditional.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Mike. What happens to an Oak when its roots are severed?

Besides, as Rev Fortescue noted, the Mass has changed - a lot - but never was it thought that destroying its roots made sense but effete ecumenism required the destruction of the Roman Canon - it was too exclusive and could NEVER be said by protestants in their worship services.

In the epoch of effete ecumenism that which differentiates must be destroyed.

And now I am going to solicit a dispensation from the no-drinking-on-a-school-night norm.

Anonymous said...

"What happens to an Oak when its roots are severed?"

So please tell me in what concrete, palpable, direct ways is adding St. Joseph in the Roman Canon tantamount to severing of roots, severing of faith?

It would be interesting to know; please, indulge us in your acrobatics.

Love,

Observer

Ad Altare Dei said...

Dear Moderators,

I know this is probably none of my business and that this comment will be deleted anyway, however, may I ask for a post to be written requiring commentators on this blog to watch their tone when the talk about our Holy Father? He is still the Vicar of Christ and deserves our respect. God bless you all!

Pedro said...

"Canon" means "fixed rule". If you change the Canon of the Mass, it kinda stops being a Canon since it stops being fixed.

And if you lose the "fixedness" of a rule, you end up with no rule at all. Hence the Novus Ordo.

(Which is quite a palpable, concrete severing of the [apostolic] roots of the rite of the Mass).

Prof. Basto said...

This is by no means a small change used to justify bigger ones.

This is only evidence that, had bl. John XXIII continued to live, the Second Vatican Council and the post-council would have been very different.

Blessed John XXIII cannot be blamed for the errors of Paul VI.

The addition of St. Joseph to the canon cannot be blamed for what followed.

The addition could not be done centuries before, because before St. Joseph hadn't been declared patron of the Church yet. Only in 1870 was the title bestowed upon him. Less than one century later, this was reflected by a corresponding change in the Canon.

Had the Pauline reforms never happened, we could today see the addition made by blessed John XXIII as just one mall and pious addition, as acceptable and regular as the additions that had been done by Leo the Great and Gregory the Great. One addition made in 1962, to be followed by another one only in 2960, perhaps.

The present fury of some traditionalists against this addition is anachronistic. It fails to take into account the sequence of events in time. John XXIII is not responsible for what happened after the end of his reign. There was no traditionalist outcry against the addition of St. Joseph to the Canon back then.

Easterner said...

There is actually another theological issue here.

Over there at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's, it is mentioned that the inserted of the name of St. Joseph into the Canon after the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary was intended to acknowledge, doctrinally and liturgically, that his sanctity was second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary's.

What should not be forgotten is that historically in the Latin West, and to this day in the East, this place has been given to St. John the Baptist, which is why he used to occupy the place that St. Joseph now occupies in the Canon.

Trivial? Not when it comes to tinkering with the ancient belief that Our Lord spoke literally when he said that "Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." -- Mt 11:11 (At the time the Church had not yet been established by Christ, as He was still in the days of His earthly ministry.)

Marko Ivančičević said...

There sure was a time when the names of martyrs were being added to the Canon. Surely st. Pope Linus didn't mention Cletus in the Canon(or whatever the name of Roman Dyptich was of that time. To be added to the Roman Canon is where the word canonize comes from.

But yeah. The Canon had become fixed in some point of time. And the Church had plenty of time to add st. Joseph but She didn't do it, until 1962.

I am not Spartacus said...

So please tell me in what concrete, palpable, direct ways is adding St. Joseph in the Roman Canon tantamount to severing of roots, severing of faith?

It would be interesting to know; please, indulge us in your acrobatics.


A plant (Mass) with a tap root can not easily be plucked from the ground, transplanted into the garden of ecumenism, and be expected to blossom; no, such a plant (Mass) must be a Novus Ordo Hybrid that has been genetically engineered so as to eliminate its tap root (Roman Canon).

The Roman Canon was the tap root of The Mass and it no longer exists. Now, that is not to write that Faith has been destroyed but it is to claim that The Roman Canon Tap Root has been destroyed and with it our connection with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass firmly rooted in an exclusive garden of Faith; we've got a hybrid plant that provides little nourishment.

For well more than thirteen centuries Popes refused to surrender to the temptation to change The Roman Canon (if such temptations ever even existed) ; it took the advent of the radical 60s for a Pope to tumble to the temptation.

I am not the one engaged in acrobatics. Those who make such changes and those who defend such changes are the ones engaged in progressive summersaults all the while insisting they are standing firm.

The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass is the single most sacred and important act undertaken by Holy Mother Church at any moment in time on Earth and too many Catholics have become inured to radical changes in The Mass and destroying the Roman Canon (while having the audacity to still call it the Roman Canon) was a radical idea of incalculable consequences and I'll bet you ten million squat-thrusts to one sit-up that those today who are perfectly fine with the destruction of The Roman Canon will be perfectly fine with the excision of St Joseph from the Roman Canon and its return to a Tradition that does not describe destruction as continuity - if some future Saint Pope has the wisdom to undertake such a revision.

I am not Spartacus said...

The addition of St. Joseph to the canon cannot be blamed for what followed.

Well, yes it can because it turns out that Pope Blessed John 23rd's missal was intended to be a transitional one as has been well documented many times.

The addition could not be done centuries before, because before St. Joseph hadn't been declared patron of the Church yet. Only in 1870 was the title bestowed upon him. Less than one century later, this was reflected by a corresponding change in the Canon.

Dear Prof. Bastro. But there was no need to destroy the Canon. Naming Saint Joseph Patron of Church did not require destroying the Canon because such a requirement would mean that Popes from 19870 until Pope Blessed John 23rd were derelict in their duties.

That is, there was no natural, organic, corresponding change twixt St Joseph being named Patron and destroying the Roman Canon - how can such a radical change be thought organic or natural?

If it was as you say, The Roman Canon would have reflected as much at a much earlier time.

It seems to me that if Pope Saint Pius X thought there was a natural, organic, connection, he surely would have changed the Roman Canon. - but he never did (and he is a fairly reliable guide to how to restore all things to Christ).

Common Sense said...

Dear Ad Altare Dei,
Yes, I fully agree; we ought to be respectful in our reference to our superiors. Having said that, we also have to earn our respect, which doesn't come automatically. Recalling the story from the Gospel where Jesus, Our Divine Lord, rebuked the Pharasees for imagining themselves to be sons of Abraham, implying that they are somewhat better than the others, without having earned that. Jesus' response was that God can raise sons of Abraham out of those randomly lying rocks. Respectful language for the person of the pope, yes; however, how about his actions?

Peterman said...

"The elevation of St. Joseph to the role of Patron of the Church Universal by Pope Pius IX is mentioned in the decree.

And, given the said patronage of St. Joseph over the whole Catholic Church, it is only logical that his name should be included in the Canon."

Exactly, I trust whatever Pio Nono did IMPLICITLY. I even have my Pio Nono mouse pad here with the beautiful pontiff staring at me.

Saint Joseph, terror of demons pray for us.

Alsaticus said...

The usual hoax about the 1962 addition of Saint Joseph is still running as I can see whether among English-speaking or French-speaking folks. Some French blogs have reprinted it these days.
It's simply insane.

I would certainly question the mental sanity of the person who typed this sentence :

"That is, there was no natural, organic, corresponding change twixt St Joseph being named Patron and destroying the Roman Canon - how can such a radical change be thought organic or natural?" (I am Spartacus)

How the h... the addition of such a major saint to a list of saints can possibly be called "a radical change" and denied its blatant "organic" nature ? The only alternative is this person has no idea of what "change", "radical" or "organic" can mean in English (and every other languages).

Naturally Prof. Basto is 100% right, I can cosign his post entirely.

- we all know that only the litniks and arch-progressives at Vatican II were enraged by this papal decision
- we all know that indeed John XXIII did not support any radical reforms in liturgy : this is heavily documented by serious historians.
- we should know that cardinal Larraona was very close and in fact an associate to the Coetus internationalis Patrum during the Council
- we should know that he sacked Bugnini from the liturgical commission of Vatican II
- everybody also should know, even "I am Spartacus", that Bugnini was not into adding things to the Roman Canon but erasing things so the exact opposite process. An "organic growth" means precisely that : adding something as a natural development. The 1962 addition is a model of "organic growth" as the Conciliar constitution would be deciding the next year in 1963.

There are so many things to be criticized in the Liturgical revolution that we should stay on the real "radical changes" instead of being caught in a cloud of nonsensical reconstruction of history.

Alsaticus

Peterman said...

Hey, thanks for correcting my post. I did write "Saint joseph pray for us who have recourse to thee" and as soon as I posted it I realized my mistake. good work and another great Rorate post, I always learn so much here.

Stephen said...

I am not Spartacus,

"You will have to cut a little slack for those who lament the death of the Roman Canon; besides, up until that radical Papal intervention, the Roman Canon only included martyrs"

I hope you extend to the Orthodox the same courtesy; you have summed up their concerns regarding the addition of the filioque to the Creed.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Stephen. I don't. The Filioque was added to combat, yet another, heresy from the East.

Stephen said...

Dear I am not Spartacus:

So if the Pope had the right to insert the filioque, how can you object to another Papal ukase (say inserting St. Joseph into the Canon or the Novus Ordo in toto)? Logic and consistency would dictate that one either accepts Papal authority as promulgated and all it encompasses, or not.

HSE said...

If they can change the Canon, why not change the words of Christ? Guess what? They DID!

Jim Larkin said...

One challenge we face as traditional Catholics is discriminating between positive, worthy changes and harmful innovations. If St. Joseph had been added to the 100 100 years ago, we would find it entirely unremarkable. Likewise with the Luminous Mysteries -- had they been promulgated by Leo XIII or Pius XI for example, they would have been readily accepted.

I think we are so jaded by the many destructive innovations that we may reflexively distrust and reject any and all change.

Stephen said...

Jim, the horse left that barn a long time ago.