This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A guide to the Novus Ordo 1

This should really be written in Latin, so that as many people as possible will understand it, but since my blog is mostly in English, I shall use that.

Most of you will be used to a traditional Latin Mass (some, indeed, swear by the Sarum Rite and find the Tridentine chaps a little too modern), so the idea is to let you know what to expect if you stumble into a NO Mass by mistake.


Men do it too... prepare for the Mass by catching up on your gossip.

Now, when you go into church for an EF Mass, you expect the congregation to be praying reverently, in total silence. For a NO Mass, the liturgy says that you should gossip with your neighbour until the priest arrives (which is sometimes as part of an impressive procession, involving deacons, altar servers, liturgical dancers, late-comers, people wanting their farm animals blessed, and so forth).

sheep at Mass

Sorry, Father, I couldn't get a babysitter.

Now, what should you gossip about? The Missal is somewhat vague on this point, but here are some good opening lines:

1. I'm going to be taken off the sex-offenders register next week, 
you know.
2. Ugh, you sneezed! Have you got some loathsome disease?
3. I heard that the deacon called you a skonk. What's a skonk?
4. Warm today, isn't it? But then it was cold yesterday. 
I blame that carbon dioxide stuff. Have you got any in your garden?
5. Oh, is that a baby you're holding? I was going to give it 
some peanuts.
6. Let me finish this cheeseburger, and then we can have a 
good natter.
excitement in Mass

Excitement mounts as the priest leaves the vestry.

Well, in the NO it is quite usual to start with a hymn. Nothing written before 1965 is acceptable, but Shine, shine in the Light, or I the Lord of Kum Bah will do nicely. Then the singing stops, the altar-servers pick their noses (boys) or do their make-up (girls), and the priest is ready to speak!

Kaixo eta ongietorri gure Igande goizean meza!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the Mass will be in the local tongue of the people (in this case, Basque). If you are lucky, the Missal will contain a parallel translation into Latin, but don't count on it.

French act of penitence

Je ne regrette rien - the French version of the Act of Penitence.

Well, in the second instalment, we'll explain how to get through the bit that many people avoid by coming in late - the bit where we admit that we might possibly have sinned. Not seriously, of course. No worse than that horrible woman two rows in front. But a little bit. Maybe.

Continued in Part 2.


  1. Darling eccles, is that why it is called NO Mass? Xx Jess

    1. Jessica, I think it really means No más – as in: enough already!

  2. Where can I go to this Nervous Order Mass?

    Our parish is very modern and I normally go to the Missa Traddy

  3. Old ladies - please make sure that your hearing aids are off before attempting to converse with your friend three rows back about your cystitis. Switch them back on when Father Trendy appears in his alb, so that you can respond to his cheery "Good Morning" as Mass starts.

  4. Dear Sir,

    I too would like to complain about the New Ordure Mass. I stepped in it once and had to go home and change my footwear before pre-prandial Sunday drinks.

    Yours apoplectically,
    Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

  5. "I stepped in it once"

    That'll teach you to be a sandalista

  6. Isn't point 3 under "Gossip", above, a local indult only applicable to certain Greater London parishes in the Archdiocese of Southwark?

    1. That's as may be, you soft sootherner - but no-one north of Macclesfield would darken the church door unless they could spend ten minutes or so discussing next-door's nets, and the sexual antics of the cast of Corrie.

  7. . Nolaco elizalde, alaco abade.

  8. Well it is exactly what it says it is - NO Mass - we traditionalists have been saying this since 1969.

  9. Novus Ordo 1 Eccles? Did Pope Paul VI gaily produce Novus Ordo 2?

  10. I can't understand what F1 sees in it?

  11. 'Well, in the NO it is quite usual to start with a hymn.'

    You are so behind the times. It is called a Gathering Song. In the UK, these are normally approved by Paul Inwood.