Wednesday, May 27, 2020 –
Yep, we covered the Latin Mass names yesterday, so today is going to be about the Novus Ordo. I will give a brief history and cover a few of the names you might see regarding this Mass.
What does “Novus Ordo” mean?
In Latin, Novus Ordo literally means “new order.” The short answer is the 60s happened, some things were said, some people got mad (on both sides), and a new Mass was made, born out of committee.
The long answer is that after Vatican II (1962–1965), Pope Paul the VI issued his apostolic constitution on April 3, 1969, Missale Romanum (On [the] New Roman Missal). In it he laid out the changes of the Novus Ordo and decreed it to go into effect on November 30, 1969, which was the first Sunday of Advent. In effect, the Novus Ordo came into existence in just five short years (1964 – 1969) by a committee of Bishops. By contrast, changes in the Latin Mass were “organic,” meaning they happened gradually over the course of centuries.
Here is a basic (short) timeline of some of the more important events leading up to Paul VI’s Missale Romanum:
- January 5, 1959 – Pope John XXIII announced his intention to convene an Ecumenical council.
- October 11, 1962 – Vatican II opened by Pope John XXIII
- June 3, 1963 – Pope John XXIII dies.
- June 21, 1963 – Cardinal Giovanni Montini is elected pope and takes name of Paul VI. He vows to continue the Vatican II council.
- September 29, 1963 – the second session of Second Vatican Council opens.
- December 4, 1963 – the second session ends and Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy) is approved and promulgated by Pope Paul VI. Also on this date, Inter Mirifica (Constitution on the Liturgy and Decree on Social Communications) is approved and promulgated by Pope Paul VI.
- January 25, 1964 – Pope Paul VI erected a committee to revise the liturgical rites. It was called the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia (Council on the implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, or Consilium, for short). Their duty was to carry out the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
- September 14, 1964 – the third session of Second Vatican Council opens.
- November 21, 1964 – the third session ends. Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) is approved and promulgated by Pope Pau VI. Also on this date, Orientalium Ecclesiarum (Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite) as well as Unitatis Redintegratio (Decree on Ecumenism) is approved and promulgated.
- April 8, 1965 – Pope Paul VI creates Secretariat for Relations with Non-believers.
- September 14, 1965 – the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council begins.
- October 28, 1965 – Christus Dominus (Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church), Perfectae Caritatis (Decree On Renewal of Religious Life), Optatam Totius (Decree On Priestly Training), Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration On Christian Education), and Nostra Aetate (Declaration On the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions) are approved and promulgated.
- November 18, 1965 – Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation) and Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity) are approved and promulgated.
- December 7, 1965 – Dignitatis Humanae (Declaration On Religious Freedom), Ad Gentes (Decree On the Mission Activity of the Church), Presbyterorum Ordinis (Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests), and Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution On the Church in the Modern World) are approved and promulgated.
- December 8, 1965 – Pope Paul VI declares Second Vatican Ecumenical Council concluded.
If you are interested in reading any of the documents listed above, please see HERE.
Interesting side note: the Traditional Latin Mass was the only “type” of Mass celebrated during Vatican II because the Novus Ordo was not in existence yet!
What are some other names for the Novus Ordo?
The Novus Ordo has relatively few names. Having been promulgated April 3, 1969 by Pope Paul VI, it has only been around for 50 years. Below are some of the other names. There are also a myriad of not nice names, none of which I will cover.
The New Mass – this is pretty self-explanatory: this is not the old Mass, but the new Mass.
The Mass of Pope Paul VI – I would hope, given the timeline above, that this one seems pretty obvious. The Novus Ordo came about under Pope Paul VI, hence the name.
Post-conciliar Mass / Post-conciliar Liturgy – the Second Vatican Council is the “conciliar” we are talking about here. Since the Novus Ordo came after (post) Vatican II (the conciliar), it is post-conciliar.
Vatican II Mass – Another obvious name because this Mass came from / after Vatican II.
So them’s the basics on the names of the Novus Ordo. Next, we will go deeper into the parts of the Mass, starting with Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
Saint John XXIII, pray for us!