Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The following is excerpted from "We've Been Robbed!" by Jay Boyd, Ph.D., published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, May 2008

...The Asperges seems to me to be a wonderful preparation. It reminds us of our sinfulness and of God’s mercy in cleansing us of that sin. In fact, throughout the prayers of the Mass of the extraordinary form, I find this constant reminder of the tension between our sin and the mercy of the Father. Not only this, but the penitential rite of the forma extraordinaria continues this examination of conscience and petition for forgiveness in a more intense way than occurs in the Novus Ordo, or forma ordinaria.

Of course, the Novus Ordo also offers an opportunity to examine and confess our sins in a meaningful way. The problem is that liturgical abuses have so marred the ordinary form that the differences between it and the extraordinary form are exacerbated. The fault lies not in the Novus Ordo itself, but rather in its implementation, in the flagrant disregard for the norms set forth in the GIRM.

Returning to some of the differences between the two forms, let us examine, for example, the offertory prayer. From the forma ordinaria, we hear “Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation; through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.”

But in the forma extraordinaria, we find a much richer prayer: “Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, this unspotted Host, which I, Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my countless sins, offenses, and negligences: on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may avail both me and them as a means of salvation, unto life everlasting.”

To me, the difference between the two prayers is like the difference between sending a text message on a cell phone, and having an actual face-to-face conversation with the Person. Have we reduced ourselves to prayers of the form “Tnx. Pls bless r gifts”?

For a copy of the entire article, send an email request to drjayboyd@msn.com

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