Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The pre-Vatican II origins of liturgical changes

Most of us, I think, tend to see Vatican II as the watershed event with respect to liturgical developments since the 1960s, and there is no doubt that the changes set in motion during and after the Council have had a momentous impact on the quotidian lives of Catholics, the way they understand and live their faith as well as the way they worship.

The revolutionary changes that rocked the Catholic world came as a shocking upheaval to many. Fifty distinguished celebrities, scholars, historians, artists and writers, including the famed novelist Agatha Christie, signed a 1971 petition to Pope Paul VI to preserve the old Mass, whose "magnificent Latin text, has ... inspired a hosto of priceless achievements in the arts ... by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs." Whether it was because Paul VI like Christie or not, the petition was met with some limited success, in what came to be known as the "Agatha Christie Indult." (Source)

Yet anyone who has delved more deeply into the sources of the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and '70s will know that while the proximate causes of the changes may be found in Vatican II and the liturgical innovations that flooded the Church in its wake, the principal causes of these changes lie much earlier, far back in the reforms of the Pian pontificates and even somewhat before.

A convenient brief summary of some of those pre-Vatican II influences may be found in a recent post by a Thomas Aquinas College student under the moniker of Maestro, "Vatican II and the Origins of the Liturgical Reform" (January 9, 2015). The author also references a number of much more detailed posts on the subject over at the New Hampshire blog by the unabashed name of "The Rad Trad."

Readers, especially those to whom the subject is new, will find a good beginning here. There is, of course, much, much more to be read and digested.

[Hat tip to L.S.]


Mighty Joe Young said...

The more one reads these interesting historical recapitulations, the less one is susceptible to the hysterical arguments of the SSPX and certain trads who (like MJ used to) blamed the existence of the Lil' Licit Liturgy on V2.

The evisceration of the Real Mass began a long time ago and the great liturgical centralisation that came fully of age during the reign of Pope Pius XII is an event not to be celebrated.

Rad Trad's Blog is fascinating to read; the man has a wealth of knowledge and he is generous and kind to those of good will.

He is not unlike you, Doc

Ron Rolling said...

I would also like to point out a post by Msgr. Charles Pope that also gives an excellent synopsis of events:


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

V2 was the Vitamix delivery system which transformed the inedible chunks of modernist nutrition into a heterodox smoothee that the Church's personal trainers have been forcing down our gullets ever since, aided by slews of paid and unpaid neocath Grub Street scribblers telling us that "no, really, it's good for you."

V2 didn't create "it". V2 made "it" possible.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

By the way, MJ, one of the best little histories of the ideologists of liturgical reformation is written by Fr Didier Bonneterre, who I believe is an SSPX priest. Nothing hysterical about it. "The Liturgical Movement"

Anonymous said...

According to the "Maestro": "I am in agreement with Msgr. Pope's historical arguments: that the liturgical crisis we are witnessing today does not stem primarily, if at all, from the Second Vatican Council"
Traditionalists do of course recognize the changes made by Popes Pius X and XII. They do not however think that because preparation was being made for 50 years before V II that therefore VII had nothing to do with the revolution in the liturgy.
In Missale Romanum Pope Paul VI himself justified the innovations to the Mass almost entirely on passages from SC. And after V II bishops the world over tore out altars and smashed statues claiming V II passages as their justification.
I have lived through all this and find it beyond comprehension that anyone could believe that V II had little or nothing to do with the revolution we are living through. As a young girl I heard over and over that Vatican II changed all that. No more Confession; no more altar, now it's a table; no more "superstition" which included such things as Novenas. Amongst my parents generation the only Catholic practice that survived at all was the Rosary. Nothing to do with the revolution that was V II, absurd. Patricia

Raider Fan said...

Dear Ralph. Amen. And this also


Few even know that it was the Pian reforms that set in motion the train wreck we must try to avoid in our daily lives and as for the seeds who think Pius XII was the last real Pope, well, what about his concoction with and promotion of the bug man?

All the studies by Prof Dobszay are illuminating