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  • Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

Destruction of the Offertory in the Novus Ordo: Cardinal Bugnini & Martin Luther

Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

Today, we are going to look at the major changes in the Offertory prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as there is an old erroneous argument floating around that the only difference, between the Novus Ordo Mass & the Traditional Latin Mass is the language. With the facts below one will learn that the Novus Ordo alters the nature of the Sacrificial Offering by presenting the Offering into a "type of exchange" with a Protestant orientation molded from Martin Luther's Liturgical destructions & put into place by Novus Ordo architect Cardinal Annibale Bugnini.


The Ottaviani Intervention and Study:

After a thorough examination of the Novus Ordo Mass, Cardinal Ottaviani, along with several other cardinals, who were present at the Second Vatican Council, concluded that the Novus Ordo was nothing short of a dissenting revolution that could only be detrimental to the Church if allowed to be enacted. Like Msgr. Gamber, Cardinal Ottaviani’s conclusions on Vatican II came to pass. Cardinal Ottaviani explicitly revealed that the Council’s immediate effect on the Liturgy, namely that, “the central role of the Real Presence has been suppressed. It has been removed from the place it so resplendently occupied in the old liturgy.” [1] What he warned before had become reality. Indeed, the Cardinal began his study by clearly stating the very purpose of the Sacrifice of the Mass:

The ultimate purpose of the Mass is the sacrifice of praise rendered to the Most Holy Trinity. This end conforms to the primary purpose of the Incarnation, explicitly enunciated by Christ Himself: "Coming into the world he saith: sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast fitted me." In the Novus Ordo, this purpose has disappeared: From the Offertory, where the prayer ‘Receive, Holy Trinity, this Oblation…’ has been removed. From the conclusion of Mass, where the prayer honoring the Trinity, ‘May the Tribute of My Homage, Most Holy Trinity…’ has been eliminated. From the Preface, since the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity, formerly used on all ordinary Sundays, will henceforth be used only on the Feast of the most Holy Trinity. [2]

Not to mention all the Gloria Patri’s that got removed as well. Further, Cardinal Ottaviani refers to the following prayer now said in the Novus Ordo offertory: “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.” This, he says, is the juxtaposition of entirely different realities – immolation and eating, the Real Presence and Christ's Second Coming – which brings ambiguity to a new height.[3] Further still, the deconstruction of the Offertory in the Novus Ordo form is of considerable significance. The prayer said over the Host and Chalice in the Novus Ordo only extends the theology of a meal rather than that of a sacrifice. Theses prayers instead follow the more ancient Jewish notion of the Passover meal blessings (Seder). The Offertory of the Tridentine Mass reveals to the participant the importance and purpose of the Sacrifice, which is indispensable. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a Sacrifice to atone for sin and purifies the soul. The prayers of the Offertory in the Traditional Mass show this clearly in its phrasing and intention. This can be clearly seen in every action and prayer, (Refer to the video below for a visual). For example, before placing the Host back down to the corporal, the priest makes the sign of the Cross with the paten and Host signifying that it is through the Cross that Jesus offers Himself for the redemption of souls. Moreover. “For these reasons, at every Mass the priest with closed hands resting on the edge of the altar prays, that Christ may offer the Oblation on the Heavenly altar, before the throne of His Eternal Father, amid the vast unnumbered angels and saints of that heavenly Jerusalem, saying:

We humbly beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thou wouldst command these gifts to be carried by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thy altar on high, before the sight of Thy Divine Majesty, that all of us, who by partaking of this altar, shall receive the most holy Body and Blood of Thy Son, may be enriched by every heavenly blessing and grace. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.[4]

Side-by-Side Examples of the Differences in the Offertory Prayers:


Therefore, there is a HUGE difference in the Offertory prayers with their purpose and orientation. To actually see this further, watch here this video titled: The New Nass vs the Traditional Latin Mass Part II the Offertory. This video goes over the prayers and the history of where the Novus Ordo Offertory prayers come from, for example in the Novus Ordo prayer “the work of human hands” comes from the writings of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, a modernist and evolutionist. https://youtu.be/kY9acZJElFs


The Importance of the Offertory Prayers:


Clearly, there has been a radical change in the Offertory and, as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci observe in their study, the Novus Ordo alters the nature of the Sacrificial Offering by presenting the Offering into a type of exchange. Cardinal Ottaviani notes that: “The Novus Ordo alters the nature of the sacrificial offering by turning it into a type of exchange of gifts between God and man. Man brings the bread, and God turns it into ‘the bread of life;’ man brings the wine, and God turns it into ‘spiritual drink,’” praying in the Novus Ordo, as noted earlier:

“Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have this bread [or wine] to offer, fruit of the earth [vine] and work of human hands. It will become for us the bread of life [spiritual drink].


“The expressions ‘bread of life’ and ‘spiritual drink,’ of course, are utterly vague and could mean anything. Once again, we come up against the same basic equivocation: According to the new definition of the Mass, Christ is only spiritually present among His own; here, bread and wine are only spiritually – and not substantially – changed.” [6] Thus, we can seen clearly how the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament has been obscured.


Furthermore, the Preparation of the Gifts was likewise refashioned, having originally contained “two magnificent prayers,” the Deus qui humanae and the Offerimus tibi:


The first prayer, recited at the preparation of the chalice, begins: ‘O God, by whom the dignity of human nature was wondrously established and yet more wondrously restored’. It recalled man's innocence before the Fall of Adam and his ransom by the Blood of Christ, and how it is summed up the whole economy of the Sacrifice from Adam to the present day.

The second prayer, which accompanies the offering of the chalice, embodies the idea of propitiation for sin: it implores God for His mercy as it asks that the offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the presence of His Divine Majesty. Like the first prayer, it admirably stresses the economy of the Sacrifice.

In the Novus Ordo, both of these prayers have been eliminated.[7]

Hence, as Michael Davies says: “It would seem that the New Rite obscures rather than clarifies the Sacrificial ethos of the Mass and makes their participation each Sunday or any other day, an act of heroic obedience, rather than joyful participation.”[8] Consequently, the Offertory leading to the August Sacrifice is reduced to a mere exchange between God and man. The Sacrificial aspect, which directs all attention to God, has been lost. These changes, some small, others larger, are very crucial. For as Fr. Joseph Gelineau, S. J., who was one of most influential members of Bugnini’s Concilium, said in 1976 that it is important to note that:


The Liturgy is not simply a means of imparting information, a lesson in which nothing matters but the content. It is constituted a symbolic action by formulae with a definite signification. If the formulae change the rite is changed. If a single element is changed the signification of the whole is modified. Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth, it (Novus Ordo) is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exist. It has been destroyed.[9]


In The Reform of the Liturgy, Novus Ordo “architect” Cardinal Annibale Bugnini (a known Freemason) makes his erred argument for the simplification of the Latin Rite Offertory in the supposed interest of its comprehension and participated by the laity and making it more acceptable to the Protestants, saying “It should be reduced to a simple offering of the bread and wine.” [10] This is a crucial turn from the traditional understanding of the essence of the Mass. For where is the notion of the Sacrifice of Christ continued and explicitly said; in the mentioning and offering of mere ‘bread’ and ‘wine’? Where is it said that we are ransomed by the Sacred Blood of Christ for our salvation? The sacred words that say explicitly that it is Christ Who is offered up, have all disappeared. The question is then, what is being re-presented?


Such a proposition defies the Tradition of the Church; namely, that the Eucharist is not a simple or strict offering of bread and wine! We see, then, how Bugnini’s language denies that Christ is offered up to the Eternal Father as a propitiation for our sins, and that the priest today, as he was in the temple, stands as mediator between the laity and God. This, of course, further casts the role of the priest into a tumultuous obscurity and results in the deemphasis the Sacrifice of the Mass.


Traditional Catechism states that "The purposes for which the Mass is offered are as follows: (1) to adore God, (2) to thank Him for His benefits, (3) to make satisfaction for our sins and (4) to obtain from Him other graces and blessings.” Yet, Martin Luther himself called for the abolition of the Offertory of the Mass, which expresses unequivocally the propitiatory and expiatory aims of the Sacrifice. It may be of great enlightenment to note some important quotes from the Doctrine of Martin Luther on the Mass:

  • Martin Luther's slogan was: "Tolle missam, tolle Ecclesiam." Destroy the Mass and you destroy the Church.

  • “The principal expression of their cult, the Mass, surpasses all impiety and abomination in that they make of it a sacrifice and a good work. Were this the only reason to leave habit and convent and abandon the vows, it would be amply sufficient’. (Mgr. L. Christiani, From Lutheranism to Protestantism, 1910, p. 258. All other quotes of Luther are also from this book).

  • The Mass being reduced to a simple memorial, there is no longer need of a real substantial presence of the victim. Consequently, in the words of his disciple Melanchton, who strongly opposed the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, "Christ instituted the Eucharist as a memorial of His Passion. To adore it is therefore idolatry".

  • “It is, therefore, clearly erroneous and impious to offer or apply the merits of the Mass for sins, or the reparation thereof, or for the deceased. Mass is offered by God to man, and not by man to God”.

  • In his sermon of March 10, 1522 Luther stated: Thus the mass is an evil thing, and God is displeased with it, because it is performed as if it were a sacrifice and work of merit. Therefore it must be abolished. Here there can be no question or doubt, any more than you should ask whether you should worship God. Here we are entirely agreed: the private masses must be abolished. As I have said in my writings, I wish they would be abolished everywhere and only the ordinary evangelical mass be retained. [Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 51: Sermons I. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, and H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 51, p. 75). Philadelphia: Fortress Press].

See here a side-by-side comparison chart between the Traditional Latin (Tridentine) Mass of All Times, the Protestant Service formed by Martin Luther and the Novus Ordo Mass


It is therefore very clear that the Novus Ordo offertory expresses a departure from the Traditional teaching and Doctrine of the Catholic Church and a great likeness to Luther’s heretical reforms.


[1]Ottaviani and Bacci, Ottaviani Intervention, Ch. IV. http://www.catholictradition.org/Eucharist/ottaviani.htm [2]Ottaviani and Bacci, Ottaviani Intervention, Ch. III. http://www.catholictradition.org/Eucharist/ottaviani.htm [3]IBID. Ch. IV. [4] Meagher, How Christians Said the First Mass: Or the Last Supper, pp.81-82. [5] Taken from A Comparison Between the Texts of the Traditional (Tridentine) Missal and the Novus Ordo Missal. Last modified 4th July 1999, by David Joyce. http://www.thepope.com/missals.html. [6]Ottaviani and Bacci, Ottaviani Intervention, Ch. III. http://www.catholictradition.org/Eucharist/ottaviani.htm [7] IBID. [8] Davies, Liturgical Shipwreck, 6-7. [9] Demain la Liturgie (Paris 1976), 9-10. [10] Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, (Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1983), Part III. Ch. 24, 366.

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