The Roman Breviary
The Catholic Divine Office Online

The Importance of the Liturgy

Modernist Reforms and the Guild's Work of Restoration

Reforms of Pius XII

The first stepping stone to the New Mass.  It began with a complete overhaul of the ancient and venerable ceremonies and texts of Holy Week, introducing the altar facing the people on Palm Sunday, vernacular into the liturgy on Holy Saturday, and the abolition of the most ancient ceremony still in use, the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.  A few years later, most of the vigils and octaves were suppressed, as well as the First Vespers of most feasts, the Preces and many other texts of the Breviary.  The author of the Pius XII reforms was Fr. Annibale Bugnini, a self-confessed freemason, who was appointed by Pius XII as Secretary to the Commission of Liturgical Reform.  The only traditional group that we know of to choose their litugy based on this first stage of the Bugnini Reforms is the CMRI.

Reforms of John XXIII

The second stepping stone was not long in coming, as John XXIII appointed Bugnini to the post of Secretary of the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy, signalling the approval of his fellow mason's "progressive" approach to the liturgy.  With Bugnini's guidance, John XXIII totally suppressed ten feasts from the calendar (eleven in Italy with the feast of Our Lady of Loreto), reduced 29 feasts of simple rank and nine of more elevated rank to mere commemorations, thus causing the ferial office to take precedence. He suppressed almost all the octaves and vigils, and replaced another 24 saints' days with the ferial office. Finally, with the new rules for Lent, the feasts of another nine saints, officially in the calendar, are never celebrated. In sum, the reform of John XXIII purged about 81 or 82 feasts of saints, sacrificing them to "Calvinist principles."  The next and most startling stage of the John XXIII reforms was to make a change to the canon of the Mass, the first since Pope Gregory the Great in the seventh century, with the introduction of the name of St. Joseph.  This unleashed the more comprehensive attack on the Mass that would continue after the death of John XXIII.  The so-called Missal and Breviary of 1962 are based on this short-lived stage of the liturgical reforms, and is celebrated by the Society of St. Pius X, the Fraternity of St. Peter, and most of the other traditional and indult groups today.

Reform and Restoration

The Importance of the Liturgy

Loosely translated as "the law of praying is the law of believing" the axiom Lex orandi, lex credendi is familiar to Christian liturgists, who have always recognized that it is prayer which leads to belief,  that it is liturgy which leads to theology.  There is an intricate relationship between worship and belief, and it was the prayer texts of the Church, the Church's liturgy, that eventually led to many of the ancient Christian creeds, the canon of scripture and other doctrinal matters.  Liturgical tradition preceded and provided the theological framework for the common creed and the officially sanctioned biblical canon.

The modernists of the Liturgical Movement were certainly well acquainted with the power of the liturgy to determine the beliefs of the Church, and they set about under the papacy of Pius XII to use the liturgy as their Trojan horse to infect the Faith.  The Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula seeks to bring about the restoration of the Church through its preservation of the same Liturgy, in the form it had before the infection was introduced.  It is for this reason that the Guild insists on the exclusive use of the rubrics of Pope St. Pius X, and considers even the early changes of the modernist reformers as plainly repugnant to the spirit of the Church.

It is through the ancient liturgy, in particular the pristine beauty of the traditional Mass, that we have the best chance of restoring the Church to her true role as the beacon of truth in this increasingly godless world.  Through the reverence and unchanging nature of the traditional Mass we experience the awe of being in God's eternal presence.  Through the ever-present references to sacrifice in the traditional Mass, we are constantly reminded of what we are doing - offering to God the infinite reparation of his Son's death on the Cross.

Most importantly of all, the traditional Mass emphasizes the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  It does so  over and over again and in so many ways, not just in the texts of the Mass, but through the priest's gestures of adoration, the reverent silence of the faithful, the flicker of the sanctuary lamp and candles, the decoration of a magnificent High Altar facing God.  Take all this away and you eventually take away something far deeper, the belief that God is really present with us.  Take away our Mass and you take away our faith in God, leaving us to face the evils and temptations of the world alone, with only the help of other men who are just as powerless as we are.  The modernists knew very well what they were doing, and they pursued their goal gradually but relentlessly, tossing out the venerable prayers and traditions of two thousand years, and replacing them slowly with what we have today.

The Guild believes that we must preserve our ancient heritage of prayers and traditions, never allowing them to fade into obscurity.  By preserving, we hope to restore, and through the prayers of our priests, religious and oblates there is no question but that restoration can be accomplished by the grace of God, bringing back to the Church the Faith of our Fathers that is so well reflected in the unchanging liturgy of tradition.

Reforms of Paul VI

Despite its popularity among traditional Catholics today, it is important to note that the 1962 Missal was in force for a mere three years before replaced by Paul VI's 1965 Missal.  Now, the final onslaught of the Bugnini reforms would begin their final stages.  The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were reduced to almost nothing, the Latin reading of the Epistle and Gospel was replaced by readings in the vernacular facing the people, and the Last Gospel was suppressed altogether.  Another three years later, the entire Mass came under the inspection of a liturgical commission replete with Protestants, and all references to Mass being a sacrifice were expunged from the missal.  The New Mass was introduced in 1969, the work of Bugnini was done, and Paul VI rewarded him by consecrating him an archbishop.

Guild Restoration

The Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula categorically rejects all the so-called reforms of modernist and freemason Annibale Bugnini, and has adopted the mission of preserving and restoring the revered and ancient form of the liturgy in use before his first changes to the Missal and Breviary.

One of the fundamental elements of the Guild's Rule is the exclusive use of the Traditional Rites of the Church for the celebration of Mass, the administration of the Sacraments, and the recitation (both in public and private) of the Divine Office. The Guild defines the Traditional Rites of the Church as “those prayers, rites and ceremonies used for the celebration of Mass, the administration of the Sacraments, and other liturgical rites found in liturgical books approved by the Holy See for use in the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church prior to the year 1950.”

The rubrics of the Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, the Breviarium Romanum of St. Pius X, the Cæremoniale Episcoporum, and the decisions and decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites are followed for liturgical worship. Use of the so-called “Revised Psalter of Pius XII” is expressly forbidden to Guild members, even in private devotion. No member of the Guild shall ever, whether publicly or in private, employ the rubrics of any of the liturgical reforms instituted since the 1950s, including the revised Holy Week, or any of the other modifications authored by the liturgical reformers as stepping stones to the Novus Ordo. No dispensation shall be requested or granted in this regard for any reason.

| or Call: 513-435-1726

Tweet Me!