Rorate Caeli

St. Lawrence Press Ordo Recitandi 2010

The St. Lawrence Press Ordo Recitandi for 2010 is now available. For information on how to order, please click here.

According to the Ordo's compiler, the blogger who goes by the name "Rubricarius":

The revived traditional Ordo Recitandi was first published in England in1973 by the Saint Pius V Association and later by the SSPX. Since 1984 it has been published by the Saint Lawrence Press. The Ordo follows the Universal Calendar of the Roman rite and follows the liturgical books that were in use prior to Pius XII's reforms. The Ordo is entirely in Latin and modelled on Ordines from the middle of the last century. The Saint Lawrence Press believes that awareness should be raised of the extent of liturgical reform before the Second Vatican Council. A work, at long last, is now in preparation by the Saint Lawrence Press concerning Choral Celebration of the Office.

Until recent years, the topic of the liturgical reforms of Popes Pius XII and John XIII has remained in the background due to the more urgent task of keeping the Classical Roman Rite alive. Nevertheless the topic remains of live interest, and there is growing discussion in traditionalist Catholic circles -- and even among some scholars who are not “traditionalist” at all -- regarding the real extent and nature of the liturgical reforms that were carried out between 1945 and 1962. As is now well known, not a few of these reforms paved the way for the even greater liturgical innovations that have been enacted from 1964 to the present.

This Ordo is recommended for those who want to the say the Office the way it would have been said prior to the reforms (mainly laymen, I would suppose); and also for those who, while considering themselves bound to follow the rubrics in effect in 1962, would like to have an easier but more comprehensive way of comparing the pre-Pius XII and Johannine Office and Missal books.


  1. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Are the religious forbidden from using pre-1962 books? Why? By which act?

    Pope Benedict XVI said that "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful".

    Msgr. Bartolucci, the "Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes" said "I repeat that the continuity of the liturgy means that – except for small details – it can be celebrated today, with that old dusty missal standing on a bookshelf and which for four centuries or more has served my predecessors".

    The Office is also a liturgy. So is it really forbidden? If so, who can allow a religious to use pre-1962 breviary or missal?

  2. "Pasting from Word, tsk, tsk"

    Sorry for that, but right now in my post-flood existence my only access to the Internet is in dark and noisy shops where it is almost impossible to type decently. So, I have to compose longish posts on my laptop (and my new residence has no Internet connection yet) using MS Word, then cut-and-paste...

  3. "Are the religious forbidden from using pre-1962 books? Why? By which act?"

    Summorum Pontificum only expressly recognizes as legitimate (for those with an obligation to recite the office) the versions of the rituals in place as of 1962.

    But you have a point. SP does not expressly forbid earlier uses either. I wonder - did Pius X, Pius XII or John XXIII, with their revisions of the office (and Holy Week for Pius XII), forbid the use the earlier versions?

  4. Anonymous12:11 PM

    The penny has finally dropped! Realization that the "reforms" did not start in 1962 is a good thing.

  5. Anonymous12:25 PM

    My understanding is that the priests are not forbidden to use pre-1962 books, since the Church cannot forbid what she prayed. That was probably Msgr Bartolucci's point. ("De Missale Romano" by Paul VI tried to do that, but in 1980s a committee of cardinals set up by John Paul II judged that the Old Mass was never forbidden).

    According to Summorum Pontificum the religious can choose the 1962 Breviary on their own. If they want to use pre-1962 books whom should they ask for permission? Do they need to ask anyway?

  6. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Divino Afflatu by St. Pius X: "
    Therefore, by the authority of these letters, we first of all abolish the order of the psaltery as it is at present in the Roman breviary, and we absolutely forbid the use of it after the 1st day of January of the year 1913."

    Rubricarum Instructum by John XXIII declares the previous rubrics merely "inoperative".

    What do the reforming decrees of Pius XII say?

    I find it particularly puzzling that St. Pius X had the right to do with the liturgy what he wanted to and this right was denied to Paul VI.

    So either the Church can't forbid what was her liturgy - in that case St. Pius X was wrong - or she can, which means that John Paul II was wrong with his cardinals and Benedict XVI is wrong in Summorum Pontificum.

  7. Anonymous1:58 PM

    Just to try and get this back "on track" ; it is a very well produced Ordo,clear and easy to read.It is a big help for those who use and live by Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year,as spiritual reading and the St Bonaventure Press re-print of the St Andrew Daily Missal.
    Alan Robinson

  8. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Anonymous said...

    ... I find it particularly puzzling that St. Pius X had the right to do with the liturgy what he wanted to and this right was denied to Paul VI.

    Dear Anonymous,

    St. Pius X didn't have a new "Mass" written, neither did he concoct new sacramental forms. It's as simple as that! Oh, and he was not a modernist!

  9. Anonymous5:45 PM

    I am currently using an online version of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which dates from 1599. It is very similar to the 1962 version, but with some added Psalms and prayers to the saints. Here is the link:

  10. Speaking as a cleric, I can highly recommend Rubricarius' "Ordo Recitandi, etc." He is extremely knowledgeable about the Sacred Liturgy, in particular the Divine Office, and his Ordo has been of great benefit to me for reciting the Office and saying Mass. (As for the other "current" in this stream: I'm not sure the mind of the legislator, i.e. the Holy Father, means to make any kind of definitive judgment relating to the use of pre-1962 rubrics; it's doubtful that he, like so many of us, has a comprehensive knowledge of the changes that were actually introduced between 1955 and 1962.)

  11. Louis E.9:00 PM

    Having been a priest since 1951,surely he would have been made acquainted with those reforms as they happened?

  12. Anonymous9:30 PM

    There are those who feel that the destruction of the liturgy started with Pius X's reform of the Roman Breviary. Although I forget the name of the document, the Roman Breviary had a document simmilar to Quo Primum which was to protect it. What Pius X did definately set a precident for what Paul VI would later to the Mass.

    Here is some interesting reading discussing pre 1962 breviary reforms:

  13. Although I forget the name of the document, the Roman Breviary had a document simmilar to Quo Primum which was to protect it.

    You're thinking of the 1568 Apostolic Constitution Quod a nobis. It contains language similar to Quo Primum which, if one reads it literally (i.e. erroneously), forbids the Breviary from ever being changed. The Church has never understood that language to mean that the Breviary can never be changed -- Pope Clement VIII revised the Breviary in 1602, and Pope Urban VIII revised it again about 30 years after that. Similarly, the Church has never understood Quo Primum as forbidding changes, even major changes, to the Roman Missal.

    What Pius X did definately set a precident for what Paul VI would later to the Mass.

    That's true. There can be no serious question that the Roman Pontiff has the authority to reform the liturgy, as Pius XII indicates in Mediator Dei. The only questions have to do with the prudence, fittingness, and pastoral advisability of the reforms.

  14. "St. Pius X didn't have a new "Mass" written, neither did he concoct new sacramental forms."

    Please. As if the Divine Office is not liturgy?

  15. Seeing how the Roman liturgy had been hacked to pieces even well before 1969, one wonders whether the Western idea of Papal monarchy and Roman centralization are not in fact profoundly destructive concepts?

  16. Anonymous12:36 PM

    A brief comparison of the pre-55 and the 1962 Missals, together with two articles on the "legal" question are found under the heading:

    Liturgy: John XXIII/Pius XII changes


    -- Father Cekada

  17. While we're on the topic of pre-1962 liturgy, you all might want to take a look at this:

  18. The revival of the traditional Ordo is more than welcome news. The reformed vernacular editions are appalling and amount to a hatchet job.

    Contrary to popular views, The Councils of Trent did not invent a new Mass nor did they make major changes to The Holy Mass. They removed local accretions that had built up over the centuries. The essential elements of the Roman form of The Holy Mass remained the same. Michael Davies intimates, "The very idea of composing a new order of Mass was and is totally alien to the whole Catholic ethos, both in the East and in the West. The Catholic tradition has been to hold fast to what has been handed down and look upon any novelty with the utmost suspicion. Also, Cardinal Gasquet observed that every Catholic must feel a personal love for those sacred rites when they come to him with all the authority of the centuries.

    Moreover, studying Fr Adrian Fortesque, the great expert on The Roman Rite, demonstrates how "In its eighteenth session, the Council appointed a commission to examine the Missal, to revise and restore it "according to the custom and rite of the Holy Fathers." Fr. Fortescue considers that the members of the Commission established to revise the Missal "accomplished their task very well": Their goal was not to make a new Missal, but to restore the existing one "according to the custom and rite of the holy Fathers," using for that purpose the best manuscripts and other documents.

    Claims made about sweeping changes here are misinformed. Furthermore, all the popes succeeding Pope St Pius V accepted the need to maintain the integrity of the liturgy and the principles upon which it is based. That is until the modernist papacies of Paul VI (RIP) onwards. Pope John XXIII (RIP) certainly had no intention of making radical alterations to The Holy Mass of All Times and determined that Latin maintain linguistic primacy throughout the Roman Catholic liturgical and doctrinal world. It is also likely that had Pope Pius XII not been so ill towards the end of his pontificate, Bugnini may not have gone as far as he succeeded in doing. John XXIII stopped him in his tracks, temporarily as it transpired.

    The NO service is a radical departure from Roman Catholic liturgical norms and so are the values it propagates. Cardinal Ratzinger called it "fabricated" which is the best that can be said on its behalf. It is the embodiment of revolution and novelty with continual change implicit and underwritten. Its bitter fruits include loss of vocations on a catastrophic scale, parish and seminary closures and subsequent liturgical chaos which are the product of disobedience to the Sacred Traditions of the liturgy. The post-conciliar church has harvested the consequences of disregarding them. It ignored the admonitions of Pope St Pius V. No less than Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand has been more blunt: "Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better."

    The sooner we restore The Holy Mass of All Time to its proper integrity and we change gravely disorientated NO hearts towards accompanying St John and Our Blessed Lady at the foot of The Cross with The Christ at Calvary, as St Pio da Pietrelcina has intimated, the better it will be for Christendom. There is no better exemplar for The Latin Mass and how it should be said than this great stigmatist saint.

  19. Anonymous4:15 PM

    I read where Pope Pius X reformed the Office due to accretions that had set in. For example, feast days of saints over took it..

    For reference see,

    ...somewhere in there I think.

    Great Post LeonG!

  20. Thank you Anonymous.

    Out of ardent love for The Latin Mass this prompted studies into liturgical history because I was aghast at some of the extravagant claims made by modernist NO advocates with their new vernacular service.

    Every so often we need a good Roman Catholic pope to revise liturgy and office but this time round the liberal modernists were ready to hijack the processes and "raze bastions" using conciliar authority to do so.

    Relatively very few Catholics understand fully the nature of what past popes have done to protect the sacredness of Roman Catholic liturgy guaranteeing its authenticity and continuity. Pope St Pius V encapsulates his marvelous work & the Trent Councils in propagating one missal and one united church. "Quo Primum" signifies much more than is comprehended by a materialistic generation dominated by the imperatives of change for its own sake, secularism & egalitarianism. This has corrupted Catholic thinking on liturgical matters, among other matters. This helps to explain why we have consequent liturgical anarchy. Moreover, if we are not careful the Latin Mass of All Time will be altered so much it will be seriously compromised, if the neo-modernists & other elements have their way.

    If we are absolutely honest with ourselves the vernacular service "fabricated" by Bugnini is a symbol of rupture with the liturgical past. There are many respected observers in The Church who have had some very poignant observations to make about it in this vein. The contrasts are so sharp that my children having attended NO ad nauseam, were confounded by the dissimilarities following their first Latin Mass. Was this this same church, they were asking? Children often observe what adults prefer to conveniently ignore.

  21. I ask myself at times what the great Roman Catholic martyrs of England and Wales of the "Deformation" era would say if they returned to the UK and found that the Holy Mass they had been brutally persecuted for had been swapped by the same church for the protestant type vernacular one they had attempted to have stopped through their self-sacrifice of love for Our Blessed Lord. It is truly shocking.

  22. Leong;

    The topic of this post is the process of liturgical reform between 1945-1964, a topic about which you are apparently completely ignorant. We are NOT discussing the Novus Ordo here -- I think no one will disagree with you on the fact that the Novus Ordo represents an unprecedented rupture in the liturgical history and tradition of the Catholic Church, but then we aren't discussing it.

    Either you stay on topic or I will delete all your future comments.

  23. Mr Palad.

    If you look back at many of the posts elsewhere on this site you will find a fair few that go completely off topic but continue in any case, that is unless they end acrimoniously. In fact, some of them become personal dialogues between two or perhaps three contributors. One or two of them feature with regularity.

    Earlier in this posting some commentary makes claims about radical liturgical change in the earlier centuries. This does not stand up to the objective evidence available and according to expert research. It is necessary to put that in its proper place otherwise there are those here and besides who are ready to believe it.

    My posts, therefore, still remain on the topic of liturgical reform, however, and if you like I could make a case for how the liturgical reform movement was hijacked in the period you mention. Most certainly, in any case, the movers for reform cannot claim that Pope St Pius V and the Trent Councils created a new Mass as this is a palpably false claim. It is as erroneous as the claim that a pope can create a completely new Mass if he wishes. Precedent combined with Sacred Tradition indicate quite rightly and clearly he cannot. And evidently not without severe consequences to Christendom. In truth, Pope St Pius X never ever intended what eventually transpired in the 1950s and 1960s: this is absolutely impossible.

  24. Anonymous4:20 PM

    I concur with LeonG.

    Further, let us all thank St. Francis and his holy brothers and sisters who were largely responsible for spreading the Missal (and Breviary).

    Franciscans today especially have the right and duty to remain faithful to the Rule, liturgy and office of our Seraphic Father St Francis.

    I pray the 800 anniversary will clue in the modernists to the venerable and obligatory heritage we are bound to obey.

    Enough revisions! Enough with trying to be something we are not meant to be.

    Perhaps I will give the Ordo as a gift for our modernist Bishop.

    Jerry, TOSF


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!