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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 different:

"1. The Catholic Mass - Latin. Protestant Communion Service - vernacular.

2. Catholic - much of the liturgy inaudible. Protestant - the entire service audible.

3. Catholic - only two readings. Protestant - generally three readings.

4. Catholic - no lay readers. Protestant - lay readers used.

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 standing.

7. Catholic - the people receive Holy Communion on the tongue. Protestant - Communion given in the hand.

8. 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 Presence.

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.

Neither 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.