Has the Catholic liturgy been Protestantised?
Before the Second Vatican Council, an independent observer would
have noticed, among others, the following ten differences that provided external
signs that the two faiths, Catholic and Protestant, are radically
"1. The Catholic Mass - Latin. Protestant Communion
Service - vernacular.
2. Catholic - much of the liturgy
inaudible. Protestant - the entire service audible.
Catholic - only two readings. Protestant - generally three
4. Catholic - no lay readers. Protestant - lay
5. Catholic - clearly performing solemn rites upon
an altar facing east. Protestant - a meal served upon a table often
facing the congregation.
6. Catholic - kneeling throughout long
periods of the service, particularly for the reception of Communion.
Protestant - little kneeling. Communion often received
7. Catholic - the people receive Holy Communion on the
tongue. Protestant - Communion given in the hand.
Catholic - Communion received only under one kind. Protestant -
Communion received under both kinds.
9. Catholic - frequent
liturgical reference to the doctrines of sacrifice and Real Presence.
Protestant - no reference whatsoever to the offering of any sacrifice
beyond that of the congregation itself. Some references to the Body and Blood of
Christ which could give the impression of belief in the Real
10. Catholic - churches packed. Protestant -
generally small congregations in England."
- "Pope Paul's New Mass" by
Michael Davies, page 254, available from the Angelus Press.
Michael Davies, nor I, are trying to suggest that the reforms since the Second
Vatican Council and those of Cranmer (original author of the Anglican Protestant
service) are identical, but the parallels are quite shocking and are very
obvious for all to see.
I now provide three essays that concentrate
further on whether the liturgy has been "protestantised":
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Last modified 21st April 1999, by David Joyce.