HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
1703 Macomber St., Toledo, Ohio 43606
Phone: 419.206.2190 / E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WESTERN RITE ORTHODOX MASS
VS. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MASS
When you place the prayers and ceremonies of the Mass in the ancient and venerable traditional Orthodox Western Rite Liturgy, the traditional Latin Mass and most other ancient liturgies side by side with those of the New Catholic Mass, you can easily see to what degree the ancient Church's traditional doctrine has been "edited out." And the "editing" always seems to have been done on those parts of the Mass expressing some Orthodox Catholic doctrine which Protestants find "offensive."
Here are some examples:
1. Common Penitential Rite: The traditional Orthodox Liturgy of St. Gregory and the Latin Liturgy begins with the Priest reciting personal prayers of reparation to God called "The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar." In the Celtic Orthodox tradition, the prayers at the foot of the Altar are prayed from the “Little Entrance Table.” The New Catholic Mass begins instead with a "Penitential Rite" which the priest and people recite together. Who were the first to introduce a common penitential rite? The 16th Century Protestants, who wanted to promote their teaching that the priest is no different from the layman.
2. The Offertory: The Offertory prayers of the traditional Western Rite Orthodox Liturgy and the Latin Mass clearly express a number of ancient Biblical teachings, namely that the Mass is offered to God in reparation for sin and that the saints are to be honored. The Protestants rejected these teachings and so abolished the Offertory prayers. "That abomination called the Offertory," said Luther, "and from this point almost everything stinks of oblation!" In the New Catholic Church Mass as well, the Offertory is gone – it has been replaced with a ceremony called "The Preparation of the Gifts." The prayers "offensive" to Protestants have also been removed. In their place is the prayer "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation," based on a Jewish grace before meals.
3. The "Eucharistic Prayer": The traditional Western Rite Orthodox Liturgy and Latin Mass has only one Eucharistic Prayer," the ancient Roman Canon. The Canon was always a favorite target of Lutheran and other Protestant attacks. Instead of just one Canon, the New Roman Catholic Mass now has a number of "Eucharistic Prayers," only one of which we will mention here. Eucharistic Prayer No. 1 is an edited" version of the Roman Canon. The lists of Catholic saints, so despised by Protestants, are now optional, and hence rarely used. The translators did some further "editing." Among other things, the idea that Christ the Victim is offered at Mass (a notion Luther condemned) has disappeared. All the Eucharistic Prayers now incorporate some typical Protestant practice. They are recited in a loud voice instead of silently, and they have an "Institution Narrative," instead of a Consecration. According to Protestant beliefs, their ministers do not consecrate the Eucharist like an Orthodox or Catholic priests does; they just narrate the story of the Last Supper. Even Christ’s own words in the Consecration were altered: ". . . Which shall be shed for you and for “many”, unto the remission of sins was changed to ". . . It will be shed “for you and for “all men so that sins may be forgiven." (Rome acknowledged this "mistranslation" recently and corrected this in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, but this may change as many want to go back to the use of “for all” instead of “for many”.) The various signs of respect toward our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament (genuflections, signs of the cross, bells, incense, etc.) have been reduced, made optional, or eliminated.
4. Communion in the Hand: The 16th century Protestant Martin Bucer condemned the Church's practice of placing the Host on the tongue of the communicant as something “introduced out of a double superstition: first, the false honor they wish to show to this sacrament, and secondly, the wicked arrogance of priests claiming a greater Priestly role than that of the people of Christ in the pews by virtue of the oil of consecration." The practice in Protestant churches of "communion in the hand" is thus based upon their rejection of Christ's Real Presence and the Priesthood. At the New Mass, just as at a Protestant service, there is Communion in the hand. But the men who created the New Mass went even further, for a layman may not only receive Communion in the hand – he is also permitted to distribute it, even on a moment's notice. Let us recall St. Thomas Aquinas' (1225-1274) words on this subject: "The body of Christ must not be touched by anyone, other than a consecrated priest. No other person has the right to touch it, except in case of extreme necessity" (III, 82 a.3). (St. Thomas Aquinas was given the title "Angelic Doctor". His canonization decree states, "His doctrine was none other than miraculous. He has enlightened the Church more than all other Doctors")
5. Veneration of the Saints: The prayers of the traditional Mass frequently invoke the saints by name and beg their intercession. The Church's veneration of the saints in her worship was another practice which Protestants dismissed as "superstition." The New Order of the Mass dropped most invocations of the saints by name, or made them optional. In the new Missal, moreover, the weekday prayers for saints' feast days (most of which are also optional) have been rewritten for the benefit of Protestants – allusions to miracles, the defense of the Orthodox Catholic Faith, or to the Orthodox Catholic Church as the one, true Church have disappeared.
6. False Translations: Lastly, there is the matter of the false official English translations of the New Mass. A whole book could be written on the errors and distortions they contain. Here we will mention briefly only the official translations of the prayers for the 34 "Sundays in Ordinary Time." The following are some of the ideas which the English translation suppresses: God's wrath, our unworthiness, error, sins which "burden our consciences," God's majesty, obedience to His commandments, supplication, humility, eternity, heaven – many more could be listed. Perhaps the most serious omission is the word "grace." It appears 11 times in the traditional liturgies. It does not appear even once in the official English "translation"!
THE ORTHODOX LITURGY OF THE MASS