“Ask a Priest: What If I Hear the Novus Ordo Mass Attacked?”

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Q: I grew up with the Latin Mass and then, post Vatican II, welcomed the Novus Ordo Mass, which I have been attending for the past 50-plus years. So many people, even friends of mine who celebrate the traditional Latin Mass, say that the “new” Mass is irreverent, it is not the true Mass, and it is a false service. Then I saw an interview with a bishop who called the Novus Ordo Mass “counterfeit.” This makes me so angry. The sacrifice of the Mass has sustained me throughout my life and now it is under attack. How do I answer these dark remarks? Thanks, and God bless you! – K.R.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It’s good to hear that the Mass has sustained you throughout your life. What a great grace!

While there have been a lot of liturgical abuses over the years, those in no way detract from the core value of the Novus Ordo Mass. Those who say it isn’t a true Mass simply aren’t in line with the Church.

The Novus Ordo is reverently celebrated in numerous churches every day. And many people appreciate being able to understand everything in their own language and to participate actively in the celebration.

So how can you answer the dark remarks? There might not be a simple answer; just about any response could fan the flames of debate.

If you feel compelled to reply, you could simply share what you mentioned in your e-mail: that the Novus Ordo has helped you a lot for more than a half-century.

That simple witness might be the most powerful, least confrontational thing you could say.

Let’s pray for the Church. The devil is doing his best to sow disunity.


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One Comment
  1. I am SOOOO grateful for this post!!
    Lately, for the past several months, I have had a nagging doubt concerning the Novus Ordo Mass, which I have attended for the past 40 years.
    Like the questioner here, I grew up in the Traditional Latin Mass, left the practice of my faith for several years (from about the age of 19 until just after I married at 24yo)…and have been faithful ever since.
    Recently, I joined a Trad. group on social media, and many there condemn the NO Mass and those who attend. To them, it is a MORTAL SIN, and we are not “in communion” with the True Church of Jesus Christ. The more I read these posts, the more I am scared and thinking, “Maybe they are right? Maybe all these years I have been deceived??”
    I attend a parish where the NO is very reverently offered, and I also attend a nearby parish where the TLM is also offered, where I go when possible.
    Now, I am torn. I pray, I visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament often, I ask Him to direct me…
    What to do??
    I’m still going back and forth, in my mind, in my heart.
    But I trust in God’s guidance that some day soon I will be at peace…and take it from there.
    God bless. ~ Jenn.

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