Primary Sources on the Liturgical Reform Online

A commenter on the “Mass of the Ages and Conspiracy Theories” on YouTube asked for some primary sources on the liturgical reformers of the 1960s. Below is a small list of books and journals you can find on the internet, mostly via the ever helpful Internet Archive. It is surprising how much is actually available.

Of the books listed below, Reinhold’s is the most important. In it, he summarizes the conclusions of the various liturgical congresses that took place in the 1950s, many of which were international in scope. It represents something like a compendium of the reformers ideas. I would also recommend looking at Jungmann. His scholarship was impeccable, and his influence can’t be understated, even if many of his claims have turned out to be questionable. Last but not least, Bugnini’s memoirs, though self-serving, are crucial to understanding the mindset of the most important figure, outside of Paul VI himself, in the reform’s implementation.

I have also listed three of the main journals associated with the reform. Orate Fratres/Worship was the American flagship of the reformers, while La Maison-Dieu and Ephemerides Liturgicae were primary French and Italian vehicles for them, respectively. I skimmed some of the Worship issues from the 50s and 60s, and just looking at their contents give you a sense of their concerns. It also underscores how tiny this movement was: the same names come up as authors in these journals again and again.

If you are new to this and feel like you need a guide to make sense of this, I might consult the articles on the reforms at The New Liturgical Movement website, or if you have it, Dom Alcuin Reid’s Organic Development of the Liturgy. Anyways, happy hunting!


H.A. Reinhold, Bringing the Mass to the People (Internet Archive)

Cipriano Vagaggini, The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform (via Matthew Hazell)

Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975 (Internet Archive)

Nicola Giampietro, The Development of the Liturgical Reform as Seen by Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli from 1948 to 1970  (Internet Archive)

Proceedings of National Liturgical Weeks in the United States (Internet Archive)

Gerald Ellard, S.J., The Mass in Transition (Internet Archive) and The Mass of the Future (Internet Archive)

Johannes Hofinger, Liturgy and the Missions (Internet Archive)

Joseph Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite (Internet Archive) and The Early Liturgy: to the time of Gregory the Great (Internet Archive)

Frederick McManus, The Revival of the Liturgy (Internet Archive)


Select issues of La Maison-Dieu (BNF Gallica)

Select Issues of Orate Fratres/Worship (Internet Archive)

Issues of Ephemerides Liturgicae (at Hathitrust)

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