Roman Rite Mass, a very brief history
We submit the following for now, just to try to ensure that people don't get the strange idea that Jesus may have used the Traditional Latin Mass or its English equivalent at his Last Supper. Jesus spoke in a form of the Hebrew language called Aramic--so the original Last Supper was not in Greek or Latin. Astounding!
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Even the supporters of the Latin Mass readily admit that it was
nearly 300 years, three centuries of Christians, before Latin came
into more common use in the early day church. In other words until
that time, Mass in Greek or the vernacular or “common tongue” of a
people in a given place was the rule. To this very day the “other”
Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox or as John Paul II puts it the
“other lung” of the Church, continues to use the common tongue of
a region to determine which language its Divine Liturgy or Mass will
be said in. Tell me, did
Christ speak in a tongue that was different from the language and the
people he grew up with? The answer is, no.
As for the Latin Mass itself, as promulgated by
St. Pius V in 1570, the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1908 reveals that it
bore little resemblance to the early Roman Rite Mass.
(Remember, the Latin Mass itself was
the only Mass in use among Catholics in 1908):
…In the West,
however, the principle that rite should follow patriarchate did not
obtain till about the eighth century. The pope was Patriarch of all
Western (Latin) Europe, yet the greater part of the West did not use
the Roman Rite.
….But in the long and gradual
supplanting of the Gallican Rite the Roman was itself affected by its
rival, so that when at last it emerges as sole possessor it is no
longer the old pure Roman Rite, but has become the gallicanized Roman
Use that we now follow. These Gallican additions are all of the
nature of ceremonial ornament, symbolic practices, ritual adornment. Our
blessings of candles, ashes, palms, much of the ritual of Holy Week,
sequences, and so on are Gallican additions. The original Roman Rite
was very plain, simple, practical. Mr. Edmund Bishop says that its
characteristics were "essentially soberness and sense"
(" The Genius of the Roman Rite",
p. 307; see the whole essay). Once these additions were accepted at
Rome they became part of the (new) Roman Rite and were used as part of
that rite everywhere.
When was the older simpler use so
enriched? We have two extreme dates. The additions were not made in
the eighth century when Pope Adrian sent his "Gregorian
Sacramentary" to Charlemagne. The original part of that book (in
Muratori's edition; "Liturgia romana vetus", II, Venice,
1748) contains still the old Roman Mass. They were made by the
eleventh century, as is shown by the "Missale Romanum Lateranense"
of that time, edited by Azevedo (Rome, 1752). Dom Suitbert Bäumer
suggests that the additions made to Adrian's book (by Alcuin) in the
Frankish Kingdom came back to Rome (after they had become mixed up
with the original book) under the influence of the successors of
Charlemagne, and there supplanted the older pure form (Ueber das sogen.
Sacr. Gelas., ibid.).
…It remains to say a
word about the various medieval uses the nature of which has often
been misunderstood. These medieval uses are in no sense really
independent rites . To compare them with the Gallican or Eastern
Liturgies is absurd. They are simply cases of what was common all over
Europe in the later Middle Ages, namely slight (often very slight)
local modifications of the parent Rite of Rome. As there were Sarum
and Ebor, so there were Paris, Rouen, Lyons, Cologne, Trier Rites. All
these are simply Roman, with a few local peculiarities.
In 1570 Pope Pius V
published his revised and restored Roman Missal that was to be the
only form for all Churches that use the Roman Rite.