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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Novus Ordo 40th anniversary

Fr Z has an excellent podcast analysing Pope Paul VI's General Audience address for 26 November 1969 in which he speaks about the "liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass" which was to be introduced on the first Sunday of Advent, four days later.

I was struck by this passage in the address:
So what is to be done on this special and historical occasion? First of all, we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms.
Four days is not much time to prepare; clearly people were expected just to get on with it and "prepare" as they went along. Another passage makes this clear:
But there is still a practical difficulty, which the excellence of the sacred renders not a little important. How can we celebrate this new rite when we have not yet got a complete missal, and there are still so many uncertainties about what to do?
Those of us who were around at that time remember that for years every altar was littered with booklets and bits of paper to keep up with whatever had recently changed in the rite of Mass by way of texts, translations and temporary books.
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