Rorate Caeli

In pictures: Palm Sunday according to the older Roman Missals

1. As previously announced on Rorate, the Melbourne community for the 1962 Missal, the Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman, had a Solemn Pontifical Mass for Palm Sunday this week. Pictures are now available of the Blessing of Palms and Procession, Solemn Pontifical Mass, and Simple Benediction with a Relic of the True Cross.

2. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Blackfen. The Palm Sunday ceremonies were offered by Fr. Tim Finigan according to the pre-1955 form. More pictures here. (H/t Mulier Fortis)

3. Eglise Saint-Eugène, Paris (which is one of the three churches / chapels in Paris where Mass according to the 1962 Missal is offered daily under diocesan auspices).

This year's Palm Sunday ceremonies in Saint Eugene seem to have been a hybrid of the pre-1955 and post-1955 Missals, as indicated by a comment in the NLM combox from Henri Adam de Villiers, who states that:

At Saint-Eugène this Palm Sunday, here are some elements that have been done which refer to the traditional rite and not to the 1955 one :

1. The palms have been blessed on the major altar of the Church

2. The 2 Pueri Hebræorum have been repeated several times (without any psalm nor Gloria Patri) during the distribution of palms

3. The antiphons sung for the procession were those of the books before 1955.

4. The Gloria laus was sung by cantors inside the church, the procession was responding outside.

5. The opening of the doors was made by the cross, in fact according the old Parisian use (still observed in Notre-Dame de Paris by our Archbishop in the modern rite). In this Parisian use, it is the celebrant and not the sub-deacon who hit by three time the door with the cross, singing special verses of psalms with responses by the choir inside the church.

6. The last part of the passion (suppressed in 1955) was sung, with its special tune.

Note also that the new final prayer of the procession was sung facing East and not facing people. Last year, the processional cross was veiled in violet but wasn't this year (?!?).

4. Bialystok, Poland (where Mass according to the 1962 Missal is offered every 3rd Sunday).
More photos can be found on Picasa (H/t to Una Voce Malaga)

5. Toledo, Spain, at the Iglesia del Salvador (where, thanks to Cardinal Canizares-Llovera, Mass and Office according to the liturgical books of John XXIII are said or sung everyday by the biritual congregation Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa Maria Reina).


  1. Concerned English Pastor10:12 AM

    It is good to see the EF more commonly celebrated. However, and while I do prefer the 1955 Form, I do wonder how we can protest with any interity about disloyalty to the Holy Father when it is the 1962 Missal for which we have permission and no earlier edition.I would beg my fellow pastors to stick with the permission we have been given rather than do the Traditional mobement harm in the sight of those who are antagonistic to it.

  2. Anonymous11:04 AM

    Whilst I understand 'Concerned English Pastor's point of view I do wonder if he is missing something in his thinking?

    Is there not a danger of wanting to use the Holy Father as a weapon by some EF supporters who want to turn to their neighbours and say 'We are better than you because we do what the Pope tells us!' After all it was following Popes in the last century and their promulgation of revised liturigcal rites that got us into the state we are in today.

    The current Holy Father has spoken many times about how liturgy cannot be just changed on a whim. He has also said that what was once sacred remains so. If the venerable ancient Holy Week rites were not sacred what was?

  3. CEP,

    So what? As if there are any bishops in England who have read Summorum Pontificum anyway or anyone in Rome who cares.

  4. Anonymous12:00 PM


    What is the Priest doing in the last picture -- the one standing at a podium?

  5. What is the Priest doing in the "last picture -- the one standing at a podium"

    Most likely he's delivering his sermon. Not all Traditionalist priests remove the maniple for this.

  6. Quareitur12:34 PM

    I can hazard a guess as to who "Concerned English Pastor" really is - no doubt he was a member of the now defunct St. John Fisher society for priests, who rather callously tried to sabotage a pre-1955 triduum some years ago in London.

  7. "This year's Palm Sunday ceremonies in Saint Eugene seem to have been a hybrid of the pre-1955 and post-1955 Missals"

    Oddly, the things described were exactly what I saw at the ICRSS shrine in Chicago.

    I wonder if there was some "consensus" ceremony released secretly by someone.

  8. Anonymous2:00 PM

    I think it's inevitable that over time the worst features of the 1955-1962 books will be quietly ignored, just as they were by John XXIII at Good Friday, 1959. Those who watch for such things can confirm that this year there was a significant uptick in the number of locales using the pre-1955 Palm Sunday.

  9. Steve2:14 PM

    Can't believe that Melbourne has servers!
    From what I here they're oft scared away by the draconian pompous attitude.
    Well done....

  10. What is actually wrong with using the 1955 missal?

  11. Anonymous3:39 PM


    The reason I was interested is that when I have been attending Mass in Spain, they almost always remove the whole chasuble, not just the maniple. I have never witnessed a sermon there with maniple on.

  12. Johnny Domer3:48 PM

    @ Concerned English Pastor,

    My initial gut reaction is to agree with you ("Say the black, do the red," and all that), but then when I look at the obvious fidelity to Peter and general good-will of the groups that have used the pre-1955 Holy Week form (such as the beloved Fr. Finnigan, the Institute of Christ the King, the saintly late Abbé Quoex), it gives me some pause. Furthermore, the fact that Bl. John XXIII himself in 1959 made a point personally to celebrate the pre-1955 right of Good Friday is a pretty weighty argument. I don't think Bl. John XXIII would either willingly disobey liturgical law, or artificially carve out some special exemption for himself publicly to offer the pre-1955 right just that one time.

    Maybe the weight of history, custom, and tradition are in favor of the pre-1955 rites as an option. What were they supposed to do after 1955--throw away all of their shortened chasubles and broad stoles? I highly doubt that in 1956 every priest in the world was expected to offer the new Holy Week rights, and would be guilty of a serious liturgical abuse if he didn't.

    The older rites had been in use for centuries upon centuries, almost entirely unchanged--the 1955 right was used for 14 years, and then basically disappeared along with the Missal of St. Pius V itself, only to be revived again on a small scale in 1988 after Ecclesia Dei, but only in any significant way in the last 10-15 years. In the current revival, and in the preceding "underground" period of 1969-1988, nobody who uses/used the 1955 form actually likes it--hence the constant attempts to mix the two forms, to add older elements, or just outright use the older form. Which of these forms (1955 or pre-1955), then, should we take more seriously?

    I think the Holy See, if they ever do release some revised version of the Missal of Pius V in the next several years with the saints who have been canonized since 1962, should allow the pre-1955 Holy Week rites, perhaps even as another, secondary option along with the 1962 rites. They could even require certain changes to the older forms--mandate that they be celebrated at the appropriate time of day (evening of Holy Thurs, afternoon of Good Fri, nighttime on Holy Sat.), perhaps allow people to receive Holy Communion on Good Friday, keep the Holy Father's new Good Friday prayer for the Jews, etc. It could be a sort of "extraordinary form of the Extraordinary Form" of the rites of Holy Week, perhaps. In general, they ought to restore all of the pre-62 rubrics (shortened chasubles for Lent, the second confiteor, etc.), at least as options.

  13. What is actually wrong with using the 1955 missal?

    The only thing wrong with it is that the Church authorises the use of the 1970/2002 Roman Missal and the 1962 Roman Missal, but not the 1955 Roman Missal.

    A case can be made for its use on the grounds of tradition and custom, however. If the SSPX is ever regularised, I would think any agreement that is hammered out would not insist on the 1962 Missal but would permit earlier editions.

  14. Louis E.5:16 PM

    One of the reasons the SSPV split from the SSPX was that Lefebvre insisted on the 1962 rite when the priests who left to form the SSPV wanted older ones.Would the SSPX now fight for what they then fought against?

  15. I was comparing the Missal of 1962 and the Fr Lasance Missal [which has the Holy Week reforms of Pius XII] and they still differ.

    The Missal of 1962 [Angelus Press] Holy Thursday Liturgy ends with Compline being recited.
    The Fr Lasance has it with Vespers being recited.

    Does this mean that they are two differnt missals, one with Mass beginning at 7pm [Compline] and the other with Mass beginning earlier [Vespers]?

    nb: In the preface to the Father Lasance Missal [imprimatur 1948] it states that the Holy Week reforms of 1955 are in place.

  16. Lautensack6:02 PM

    The question of obedience is naturally a tricky one. Although I would very much like to go to a Pre-1955 Triduum I would be somewhat uncomfortable to celebrate it, if I were a priest.

    I have the feeling that the choice for '1962' is to a good deal a historical accident, and that quite a few prelates are not even aware of the fact that '1962' is not the same as 'Tridentine' (I believe that some years ago Card. Canizares praised the richness of the EF Vigil of Pentecost; he apparently either did not know that all its special features had been abolished in the 1950s, or encouraged the use of the older version).

    I believe that one needs to present scholarly the case for the earlier forms to the authorities.

  17. Does anyone actually know whether the pre-55 Holy Week really is prohibited?
    For 40 years we were told that the TLM is prohibited and now the Holy Father has admitted that this never was the case.
    Perhaps it's the same for the Holy Week, who knows?

  18. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Yes, the 'Usus Antiquior' is 'sacred then and sacred now', and the last books to be issued with this form of Mass are those for 1962 (and, yes, I am aware of another missal in 1964). While I do sympathise with those who wish the pre-1955 rites, the phrase 'sacred then and sacred now' does not mean that we can pick and choose - e.g. are the ancient sacramentaries and the earliest 'ordines Romani' not 'sacred then and sacred now'. Where does one stop ? That said, there MAY be a case for certain elements to be used from pre 1955 if one is intending to form a custom 'contra' the rubrics, which takes thirty years, not to mention other conditions that must be present for a custom to become lawful. However while customs were formed in the liturgy after 'Quo Primum' (1570)- and a number explicitly approved - the Church generally did not really encourage them. Perhaps the case should be argued for showing our love and support for the Holy Father by using those books mandated by the Apostolic See. Fr. A.M.

  19. Johannes8:12 PM

    It is encouraging that the Paris Mass utilized elements from the Gallic Liturgy ante-dating even the pre-1962 Missale.

    I have always believed that a possible good from the evident evil that was or was from Vatican II (and the difference means little, speaking practically) is the opening for us go further back than previously allowed regards Latin liturgy. If all the abominable innovation introduced via the Novvs Ordo liturgies (Latin and vernacular) - why not prior, holy and historical, purely local customs and variants? Gaul, and it remained the Ecclesia Gallicana even in Frankia and it remains still in France, Gaul - I repeat, alone had very many such local variants and customs in very important churches or cities (Lutecia is only one of them; and later, it's importance originally owed to the Merovingians). Many have been lost over centuries of (imposed; Carolingians...) change, and the chant is now irretrievable, but enough remains to have required Dom Guéranger to work a lifetime to eliminate them and push direct dependence on Rome.

    I believe this is the natural course things shall take. The vernacular, for many, answered, or was claimed to have answered, a need for something "local", something "ours". It fails in traditio, gravitas and sanctitas and is a variation that almost precludes unity (in worship). Historical continuity, solemnity and "ours" can be, and I think many shall come to see it is so, found in the old manuscripts pertaining to local liturgies compiled by the local churches that can easily be found by those who look and ask. Most parishes keep a firm hold upon their records; I say nothing of dioceses dating from the second or third or fourth centuries Anno Domini. Still - we need priests willing to read those manuscripts and a willingness to employ them. The difference between mere history and tradition is doing what one reads - and not just leaving it upon the page.

    In time - I hope.

  20. I use a pre-1955 Missal but on balance 1962 is probably the way to go in the short term until we see some clarity.

    What the laity have to understand is that it is in the interests of our priests that they abandon the NO.

  21. Johannes8:25 PM

    Post Scriptvm

    I find this talk of "obedience" and caution regarding the liturgy remarkable. Do the clowns, ballerinas and DJs or the bishops or priests who hire them to participate in their Masses show caution and careful obedience? This is the ethos of the restrictive interpretation of Smmorvm Pontificvm. If liturgical abuses and adulteration are tolerated without an authoritative finger lifted to stop them (but plenty of private pagers of complaint in his published works on the liturgy) by Benedictvs - are we really going to stand still?

    I would further note that liturgy is within the direct authority of the local bishop of a diocese and is usually delegated to the priest as well. I was baptized according to a pre-1962 (perhaps even earlier - I shall ask my priest tonight) Ritvale without my priest having sought permission from his bishop; when I asked him concerning this it clearly did not even occur to him to do so. Some priests forbid candles; others put flowers on the altars.

    There are other bishops than the bishop of Rome.

  22. Since it has been ascertained here about what the Church should or shouldn't do, or what is right or wrong, why do you need a pope?

    Surely there is no need for a pope, or a heirarchy, for that matter, for the good folks here, since you all are able to decide for yourselves what is best for the Church.

  23. Anonymous12:32 AM

    How does it not go against liturgical law that Pope John XXIII used the pre 55 liturgy for Good Friday? Alot at the time must have been written about this but I can not find to much on the subject today. What reason was given? That would mean he used the post 55 liturgy for 3 or 4 years and then reverted to the former, correct? This is a curious event. Using the former Holy Week rites is becoming more popular for a reason. Does anyone know if their possible "legal" use is under discussion at all in the halls of the Vatican? Are any groups lobbying for it? Are some sanctioned to use it?

  24. Jack B.1:16 AM

    Were I a priest, I would have no scruples about using the pre-Bugnini forms.

    Most places use a hybrid of the '62 and pre-'55 forms because the '62 forms are almost worse than the Novus Ordo Holy Week ceremonies. In some ways, as mentioned above, the NO restored what the '55 version removed.

    The New Liturgical Movement has an excellent compendium on these reforms:

  25. Anonymous6:07 AM

    >>What is the Priest doing in the "last picture -- the >>one standing at a podium"

    He is not delivering a sermon - This is simple benediction and blessing with a relic of the true cross.

  26. Good for Fr. Finegan for using the pre-1955 Holy Week. It's the future. It is a rediculousness that the 1969 rite has the capability to be a fuller expression of the Vigil mass, whereas the 1962 rite is reduced to only four prophecies. Wha'appen? Are the other prophets suddenly not important enough to merit inclusion? Were they superfluous prophets? The '62 vigil mass is a hashed up rubbish. and after you've been through it once, it fails to satisfy.

    And there is a larger issue at heart: the "restoration of the vigil" to the evening has the effect of dissuading people from attending on Easter morning, because "they've already been."

    And further, the forcing of the Mandatum mass into the evening pits it against the Tenebraes, which are one of the only times in the year that average working people, students and families are able to attend the solemn offices, outside of Vespers, which no one is doing anyway, making the Tenebraes of Holy Week all the more important. There was a reason why the masses were done in the morning, because the needs of the church and society dictated it.

    It's time to quit prissing about and standing on false pretenses which were designed to pit the church against itself anyway: lets have a truly restored Holy Week, a sensible one lets undo the damage.

  27. Lautensack8:14 AM

    I am not aware of any lobbying for the pre-1955 Holy Week. I suspect that quite a few Trads are not even aware of these changes (since naturally the Missals printed in the last years only contain the later form), and that some priests who prefer the earlier form use elements of it quietly in the hope that no-one will find it out and denounce them.

    I cannot see a strong reason why Rome would as a matter of principle condemn the earlier forms, but I do not know how many people there are even aware of the problem.

    Hence I do think that a respectful and scholarly campaign for the use of the older forms is really necessary now.

  28. My personal position is that we have too many fights already, and that this is not one worth having.


  29. Liturgy Enthusiast8:44 AM

    "...that some priests who prefer the earlier form use elements of it quietly in the hope that no-one will find it out and denounce them."

    The fact of the matter is that almost all who offer the TLM incorporate elements of the pre-1962 Missals, mainly due to the pressure to imitate the practices of the SSPX and the FSSP (which inherited the liturgical praxis of the SSPX, the so-called "Rite of Econe").

    It is hypocrisy to condemn anyone for using the pre-1955 Missal's Holy Week, then promote TLM's where elements of the same Missal that are no longer in the 1962 Missal are still used on a WEEKLY or even DAILY basis.

    I am referring to the following:

    1) Confiteor-Misereatur-Indulgentiam before Communion

    2) The use of the biretta during Mass (and not just during the entrance and recessional)

    3) Bows to the crucifix (instead of to the Missal)

    4) The recitation of the Leonine prayers even after Low Masses where the Leonine prayers were NEVER required or expected prior to 1962.


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