Part of the series,
What did Vatican II really say about the Mass? Because of the many changes that we will have to take into consideration this will be the first installment of a series on the subject. Most Catholics normally would list the changes that they experienced after Vatican II, but they are not necessarily things that the Council was concerned with. Pope Benedict, who was a young theologian at the Council, said that the bishops at Vatican II really weren’t concerned about changing the Mass at all, and the possible changes were supposed to be minimal. The document on the liturgy was one of the first documents issued. One of the primary criteria that the Council calls for is that no changes should be made for the sake of innovation, sadly many changes were made because when things were implemented some felt that innovation was suppose to be the rule of thumb.
So what happened? A committee called Consilium was assigned to evaluate the liturgical books, and see what changes would be beneficial. These liturgical scholars were given great liberty to change things. Many of them disagreed about the vast changes, but there was a push to have the new liturgical books printed as soon as possible. Some changes were innovations, precisely what the Council wanted to avoid.
So let’s look at what the Council really said.
First of all most people will say that Vatican II got rid of Latin. In reality the Council said that Latin was to remain the language of the Roman Rite, but there was a provision that thecould be used in some parts of the Mass. Thus, the readings and some prayers, ie the parts of the Mass that change, could be done in the , but the majority of the Mass was supposed to remain in Latin. When is the last time you heard any Latin at an Vatican II Mass?
Other articles in this series
- Altar Rails and the Holy Mass – the significance of. (December 8, 2011)
- It’s beginning to look a lot like… Sanity. (December 10, 2011)
- Rings and Wings in the Holy Mass (January 23, 2012)
- Did Vatican II Remove Latin from the Mass? (This post) (March 6, 2012)
- When The Priest Faces The Altar (March 20, 2012)
- Participation at Mass – Active, Passive, or Middle Voice (June 3, 2012)
- Behind the Altar (June 7, 2012)