The development of the Roman missal: fostering the growth of the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman rite

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Theology


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: William H. Johnston


This study seeks to examine the development of the Roman missal in order to contribute to the discussion of the methods and potential changes for the Holy Mass. The task for us in this work involves analyzing several key areas in order to understand the foundations for liturgical growth and demonstrate how these foundation can be applied in order to facilitate the growth of the Roman missal. Our first goal is to examine the historical account of how the Roman missal has developed, which is seen through what is called organic development." This often involves growth from the ground up; a gradual process that usually begins on the local level. Through the passage of time, some liturgical features mature and graft themselves onto the liturgy in a more permanent fashion, which may then be adopted Church-wide beyond the more local boundaries where it grew. Often, these developments have as their motivation some type of pastoral response involving the current situation in the Church. Therefore, this study will also examine the Liturgical Movement of the 20th century leading into the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. This pastoral maneuver establishes the precedent to move the Roman missal out of its nearly 400 year stagnation since the Tridentine reforms and respond to the need to generate the "active participation" of the laity. The movement quickly developed into a Church-wide entity calling for not only education and intelligent involvement with the Roman missal, but also a call to enact reforms and revisions to the Holy Mass in order to better facilitate this "active participation." The concept of "active participation" and the laity was the banner of the 20th century liturgical changes and is still one of the major focuses today. Our study will also analyze and attempt to derive from the concept of "active participation" several subcategories. This is in an effort to identify other forms of active participation, which reveals the interior, individual, and unitive aspects that see "active participation" as not merely belonging to the category of external physical activity. This is an important feature to fully understand, as the 20th century reforms were based largely upon active participation and any future reforms and restorations should revolve around a better understanding of the major pastoral foundation of the liturgical renewal. Having established the foundations for our work, the organic development of the liturgy and the pastoral desires of the Church with regards to active participation, we will then examine the necessity to continue the development and reform of the Roman missal. This is explained by firstly investigating the Extraordinary Form, or what is essentially the Roman missal of 1962 which Pope Benedict XVI authorized for a wider use in the Church. Here, we will argue that it should continue its development, moving out of the year 1962, and follow Benedict XVI's vision of its enrichment derived from the "Ordinary Form" or the reformed Roman missal of Paul VI. Conversely, pastoral issues surrounding the Ordinary Form will be examined in order to justify the reform and enrichment it can derive from the Extraordinary Form. The potential future development of each form of the Roman missal will be followed by various examples of how this process may begin and what fruits it may bear in the near future. The proposals given here will take into account the organic development of the liturgy, the pastoral desire of the Church with emphasis on the active participation of the lay faithful, the edification of the Body of Christ, and the glorification of God."


Catholic Church. Missale Romanum (1970) History, Catholic Church. Missal History, Liturgical movement Catholic Church, Theology, Religion, Clergy, Religious Education, Religious History, History, development roman missal, mutual enrichment, organic development liturgy, active participation, liturgical movement, Summorum Pontificum, roman rite, ordinary form, extraordinary form

Rights Statement

Copyright 2016, author