Rorate Caeli

The Mozarabic Rite - Renovation or Destruction?

This very interesting website includes many relevant texts on the old and revised (1990) forms of the Hispanic Rite, also known as Gothic, Hispano-Mozarabic, or simply Mozarabic Rite, in Latin and in Spanish (it was exclusively in Latin in its pre-revision texts).

The new texts of the Mozarabic Missal were published by Cardinal González Martín, in 1990, "so that the faithful may participate, fully, actively and consciously in the liturgical celebrations (Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 14) [...] extensively to the other non-Roman rites, which, if necessary, are to be revised according to sound tradition to acquire new vigor." (Preface to the new Hispano-Mozarabic Missal). Well, that does not sound very promising.

The changes in the Gothic Canon (now called "Prex Eucharistica"...) were significant, but not extensive. Compare the pre-revision and post-revision consecration formulas below:

Adesto adesto Jesu bone Pontifex in medio nostri: sicut fuisti in medio discipulorum tuorum: et sancti fica hanc oblationem ut sanctificata sumamus per manus sancti angeli tui sancte Domine et redemptor eterne.

Dominus noster Jesus Christus in qua (abstergit digitos) nocte tradebatur accepit panem (accipit Hostiam) et gratias agens (inclinet caput) benedixit ac fregit: deditque discipulis suis dicens. Accipite et manducate HOC EST CORPUS MEUM QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR. Hic elevetur Corpus. Quotiescumque manducaveritis: hoc facite (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in meam commemorationem.
R\. Amen

Hic elevetur calix coopertus cum filiola.
Quotiescumque biberitis: hoc facite (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in meam commemorationem.
R\. Amen

Quotiescumque manducaveritis panem hunc et calicem istum biberitis: mortem Domini annunciabitis: donec veniat; (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in claritatem de celis.
R\. Amen.


Qui prídie quam paterétur,accépit panem (Sacerdos accipit patenam cum pane et elevans oculos prosequitur): et grátias agens,benedíxit ac fregit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite et manducáte:Hoc est Corpus meum quod pro vobis tradétur. Quotiescúmque manducavéritis, hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem.

Omnes respondent:


Sacerdos patenam in altare deponit. Accipiens calicem, sacerdos prosequitur: Simíliter et cálicem postquam cenávit dicens. Hic est calix novi testaménti in meo Sánguine qui pro vobis et pro multis effundétur in remissiónem peccatórum. Quotiescúmque bibéritis, hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem.

Omnes respondent:


Sacerdos calicem in altare deponit. Extensis manibus dicit:

Quotiescúmque manducavéritis panem hunc et cálicem istum bibéritis, mortem Dómini annuntiábitis donec véniat in claritáte de cælis.

Omnes acclamant:

Sic crédimus, Dómine Iesu.


The consecration formulas themselves have thankfully been preserved (and there is not a flood of different "Eucharistic Prayers", as it happened in the New Roman Mass), but several parts have been altered.

There are several changes in the Calendar (end of Septuagesima), in the Lectionary (years I and II), and so forth... Quite a splendid way to preserve their ancestors' heritage! The Mass may (must?) be wholly celebrated in the vernacular (poor people of old, who could not understand what the Mass was!), and may be ordinarily "concelebrated".

The website is quite interesting and full of up-to-date information (in Latin and Spanish), including some audio files, on the old and new forms of the Mozarabic Rite. More information on the unrevised Mozarabic Rite may be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia (and, offline, in extensive comments by Fr. Adrian Fortescue in several of his works and particularly in Dom Prosper Guéranger's Institutions Liturgiques).

Finally, is the new form celebrated versus Deum, as it had always been done? It has been difficult to find further information on this; the picture of this outdoor New Mozarabic Mass does not look promising (see here, last image). When will the liturgical revolution end?


  1. It appears that there is no elevation in this reformed consecration, and also that the host itself is not touched, but only the paten.
    Is this really possible?

  2. You are correct, at least that is what is simplied by the texts themselves -- the very few priests who celebrate Mass in this rite may, however, preserve the elevation even if the rubrics themselves do not mention it (they do not forbid it either).

    The lack of the elevation makes sense since the "spirit of renewal" of the Mozarabic Rite wishes to free it from the "Medieval additions", one of the most important of which, throughout the Latin Church, was the elevation.

  3. Nice post. I recently procured a CD of Mozarabic chant and find it quite haunting and beautiful. Hopefully the Rite won't be totally destroyed.

  4. Finally, is the new form celebrated versus Deum, as it had always been done?

    I've seen the Mozarabic Chapel in the cathedral of Toledo. The chapel has been renovated with a modern and free-standing altar, low candlesticks--everything arranged for versus populam.

  5. Finally, is the new form celebrated versus Deum

    Having been to the cathedral of Toledo and seen the Mozarabic chapel, I can say that it was renovated with a modern, free-standing altar with low candlesticks--everything arranged for versus populam.

  6. Sorry for the repeated posts

  7. "When will the liturgical revolution end?"

    Already over. Noone seriously believes in the revolution any more. We are living with the after-shocks and side-effects. They are terrible enough.

  8. This is not new. The Maronites felt pressure from the liturgical revolution, and, unlike other eastern Catholics, changed their liturgy to face the people, even though its totally foreign to their liturgy.
    I love the concept of restoring when in fact it is nothing but unbriddled novelty. Like with concelebration. The claim was that it was an ancient practice being restored, and hey look, the Eastern Rites have had it for years.
    Not exactly, as in the Eastern Rites they do not concelebrate as we do in the NO, rather the preist assists in a fashion reminiscent of an assisting priest at the Tridentine Liturgy. For there is no co-consecration.
    The Novus Ordo's practice of priests standing around muttering the prayers of the celebrant is completely novel. It is nowhere in the tradition east or west, and its entrance into the Mozarabic rite is sad. Perhaps in the future priests will depart from the nonesense and celebrate this venerable rite as it should be.

  9. A few observations:
    The changes in the mozarabic mass are not comparable to those in the Roman Rite, fortunately...
    We cannot speak of a true "mozarabic canon" because the Prex Eucharistica is formed by several variable prayers troughout the liturgical year(v.g. Illatio, Post pridie...), in that sense the Mozarabic has been more variable than even the Novus Ordo.
    At first I also was shocked by the change in the "Adesto, adesto" and the change of "in qua nocte" (what sets appart this liturgy from all the other Western liturgies) for "qui pridie" (the Western formula). The argument is that the "in qua nocte" was an interpolation that somehow was copied in the Missale Mixtum, but was not representative of the Mozarabic liturgy that used originally "qui pridie" (and the "prex post pridie" that follows suggests that). I'm trying to find out more about this.

    It must be remembered that anyways the words of consecration of this rite weren't used since the XVI century, but the Roman words.

    Finally, if the rite is used "versus populum" that is really a pity and a lost.


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