Our friends at Rorate Cæli have published a translation of an absolutely fascinating study of the liturgical changes to the Latin rites of Holy Week that took place during the waning years of the pontificate of Pius XII. This is one of the most important articles published on the internet this year, and it is a must read for everyone who loves the ancient Latin liturgy. If you manage your own blog, please make sure you link to this article for your readers.
This study demonstrates clearly that the Holy Week innovations of the 1950s were "the head of the battering-ram" (to use the words of one of the very same modernists who initiated the changes) that breached the august fortress of the Latin liturgy, leading ultimately to its destruction in the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council. Going through each of the innovations, one easily discerns that the changes reflected more the theological errors espoused by the movers of the 20th century liturgical movement than a return to a more ancient form of the liturgy. Often the innovators replaced the ancient rites with novel constructions of their own for no other purpose than the ancient rites simply were not to the innovators' modernist tastes.
Accounts of the institution of the Eucharist were suppressed, random changes made that neither reflect ancient practice or explicate Christian symbolism, and the introduction in so many places of the versum populum orientation of the priest foreshadows the sacrilegious treatment of the Eucharist and the abolition of the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the priesthood at the center of the post Vatican II deformations. The ecumenical heresies of the innovators are seen clearly in their elimination of prayers that point out the truth that the Church has enemies. Attempts to introduce concelebration are apparent in the changes made to the Holy Thursday liturgy.
For those of you who follow this blog, you are already well acquainted with the position that the whole of the 20th century liturgical reform needs to be rejected if we are to re-discover authentic Catholic liturgy and worship. Indeed, all the liturgical innovations and writings of 20th century liturgists need to be held suspect. All the usual suspects were present on the commission that was responsible for the liturgical changes in the 1950s, Bugnini, Bea, Braga and Montini (lest it be forgotten that he was actively involved in the liturgical movement prior to VCII). These were the disciples of Beauduin, Guardini, and Michel, the men whose work succeeded through the course of the 20th century to change the ancient, majestic, nurturing, and nourishing, most holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a modernist Borborite liturgy, a liturgy that is tearing apart the very fabric of modern Catholicism.
Understanding the battle that must be waged is necessary. We can not settle for a "new" liturgical movement that fails to address the errors that reside at heart of the 20th century liturgical movement. We can not pretend that there was any good inherent in the modernist liturgical movement that left us the novus ordo missae. This new liturgical movement must embody a full and complete restoration, otherwise it will simply come full circle to the destructive elements that are currently ravaging Holy Mother Church.