St. Peters

Vatican II:
Celebrating 50 years

November 29 - December 5

Permission for English-language liturgies was one of the reforms generated by the approval of Sacrosanctum Concilium. On May 1, 1964, the National Catholic Welfare Conference published a Roman Missal that contained prayers and responses of the congregation in English, while the presidential prayers of the priest remained in Latin.

Beginning on the first Sunday of Advent, November 29, 1964, this new text began to be used. The following parts of the Mass were in English.

Remaining in Latin were most of the words of the priest:

Basically, English, or, the vernacular, the language of the people, was for the first part of the Mass from the opening prayers up until the end of the Creed. Latin was retained for the central part, from the offertory to communion. The communion of the people and the final dismissal and blessing were also in English.

How was this "New Mass" received? The Marquette Tribune in an article published on December 17, 1964, interviewed six current students. Said junior Barry Bonneau:

The new Mass makes more sense. It is more personal. In the old Mass there wasn't much participation. Each person would say his rosary or some individual prayer, but he wasn't really participating in the Mass. Now, however, he is forced to participate because he can understand what's going on.


Vatican II