Holy Week Destroyed: Monday

Holy Week Destroyed: Monday

[Once the recording for Monday in Holy Week is uploaded onto YouTube, it will be placed here with full attribution.  As with Palm Sunday, this may take a day or two.]


The prayers of the fully (pre-1951-1955/6) traditional Monday in Holy Week focus on the persecution of the Church and Her members:

The Introit: “Overthrow them that fight against me…rise up to help me…shut up the way against those who persecute me…”

The Prayer: “Grant…that we may take heart anew…”

The Lesson: “I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me and spit upon me…”

The Gradual: “Bring out thy sword, and shut up the way against those who persecute me.”

The Gospel: “Then…Judas Iscariot…he who was about to betray Him…”

The Offertory: “Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord: To Thee have I fled…”

2nd Secret (For God’s Holy Church): “Protect us, o Lord…”

Communion: “Let them be clothed with shame and fear who speak malignant things against me.”

2nd Postcommunion (For the Church): “Suffer [us] not to succumb to human hazards…”

As Fr. Carusi will explain below, the Bugnini/Pius XII “reforms” sought to avoid drawing attention to this theme of the Church being persecuted by her enemies, and it becomes evident in today’s revised 1956 Mass, in light of what has been excised from it (below).


[From the exceptional study of Fr. Stefano Carusi:]


We now arrive at a detailed analysis which will cast in relief some of the more obvious changes brought about by the “Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus” [“The Restored Order of Holy Week”] of 1955-1956 and which will explain why this reform became the “head of the battering-ram” in the heart of the Roman liturgy and “the most important act since St. Pius V until now.”

For each of the innovations cited there is given as well a commentary which relies as much as possible on […] what the actual authors of the texts later stated; then there is also a brief sketch of the traditional practice.


(OHS 1956): The prayer “Contra persecutores Ecclesiae [Against the Church’s persecutors]” is prohibited, as is the prayer for the Pope. (50)

Commentary: This move abetted the elimination of all references to the fact that the Church has enemies. The reformers’ “reason” desired to obscure, with euphemisms and the suppression of entire passages, the reality of the Church’s persecution at the hands of enemies both earthly and infernal, who struggle against the Church with both violence and the insinuation of heresy among the faithful. (So one reads in the suppressed prayer.) This same irenic attitude is encountered again on Good Friday, as Fr. Braga frankly admits. (51) In the same context, the concurrent suppression of the prayer for the Pope is decreed; and so begins the practice of reducing the presence of the name of the Roman Pontiff in the liturgy.

(MR 1952): The prayer “Against the Church’s persecutors” and the prayer for the Pope are recited. (52)