At New Liturgical Movement, one reads this claim about the unreformed rite (what the author calls the “traditional rite”) celebrated before the Second Vatican Council:

“It is precisely in the celebration of the traditional rite that we see the authentic fulfillment of what Vatican II wanted and asked for in Sacrosanctum Concilium.”


All the evidence indicates that the fathers of Vatican II intended not that the old rite continue, but rather that it be entirely replaced by a reformed rite. Here is a quick selection of relevant phrases from Sacrosanctum Concilium:

… “reform of the liturgy,” “rites revised,” “a general restoration of the liturgy itself,” “elements subject to change,” “both texts and rites drawn up,” “new forms,” “liturgical books revised as soon as possible,” “revision of the liturgy,” “rites should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions,” “more reading from holy scripture, more varied and suitable,” “no rigid uniformity,” “legitimate variations and adaptations,” “drawing up rites and devising rubrics,” “adaptations,” “an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy,” “restoration of the liturgy,” “necessary experiments,” “rite of Mass revised,” “rites simplified,” “elements discarded,” “elements restored,” “more representative portion of the holy scriptures,” “prayer of the faithful restored,” “communion under both kinds,” “new rite for concelebration,” “changes have become necessary,” “particular rituals prepared,” “catechumenate restored,” “both rites of baptism of adults revised,” “rite for baptism of infants revised,” “baptismal rite should contain variants,” “a new rite drawn up,” “rite of confirmation revised,” “rite and formulas for sacrament of penance revised,” “number of anointings adapted,” “prayers of rite of anointing revised,” “ordination rites revised,” “marriage rite revised and enriched,” “sacramentals to undergo a revision,” “rite of religious profession drawn up,” “rite of burial of infants revised,” “Compline drawn up,” “Matins adapted,” “Prime suppressed,” “revising the Roman office,” “psalms no longer distributed throughout one week,” “readings from sacred scripture arranged,” “liturgical year revised,” “more use of baptismal features proper to the Lenten liturgy,” “an edition prepared containing simpler melodies,” “revision of the liturgical books,” “laws less suited to the reformed liturgy harmonized or abolished” …

The point is not that Vatican II emphasized only change and innovation. One could readily draw up a second list of citations from Sacrosanctum Concilium stating that the new, reformed liturgy would be similar to the previous rite, in continuity with it, or the like. But the items on this second list would be entirely about a reformed liturgy, never about the preconciliar liturgy.

There is no indication, anywhere in Sacrosanctum Concilium, that the pre-Vatican II rites should remain in public use alongside the reformed liturgy. None.

Paul VI said this in 1976:

We beseech all our children, and all Catholic communities to celebrate the rites of the restored liturgy with dignity and fervent devotion. Use of the new Ordo Missae is in no way left up to the choice of priests or people. The Instruction of 14 June 1971 provided that celebration of Mass according to the former rite would be permitted, by faculty from the Ordinary, only for aged or sick priests offering the sacrifice without a congregation. The new Ordo Missae was promulgated in place of the old after careful deliberation and to carry out the directives of Vatican Council II.

The claim made at New Liturgical Movement is absurd, and repeating it will not make it true.