Pope Saint Pius V
Servant of the Servants of God
For a Perpetual Memorial of the Matter
Upon Our elevation to the Apostolic throne, We gladly turned Our mind and energies, and directed all Our thoughts, to the matter of preserving incorrupt the public worship of the Church ; and We have striven, with God’s help, by every means in Our power to achieve that purpose.
Whereas amongst other decrees of the holy Council of Trent, We were charged with revision and re-issue of the sacred books, to wit, the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary; and whereas We have with God’s consent published a Catechism for the instruction of the faithful and thoroughly revised the Breviary for the due performance of the Divine Office, We next, in order that the Missal and Breviary might be in perfect harmony, as is right and proper (considering that it is altogether fitting that there should be in the Church only one appropriate manner of Psalmody and one sole rite of celebrating Mass), deemed it necessary to give Our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, namely the re-editing of the Missal with the least possible delay.
We resolved accordingly to delegate this task to a select committee of scholars; and they, having at every stage of their work and with the utmost care collated the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and reliable (original or amended) codices from elsewhere, and having also consulted the writing of ancient and approved authors who have bequeathed to us records relating to the said sacred rites, thus restored the Missal itself to the pristine form and rite of the holy Fathers.
When this production had been subjected to close scrutiny and further amended We, after mature consideration, ordered that the final result be forthwith printed and published in Rome, so that all may enjoy the fruit of this labor; that priests may know what prayers to use, and what rites and ceremonies they are to observe henceforward in the celebration of Masses.
Now therefore, in order that all everywhere may adopt and observe what has been delivered to them by the Holy Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of the other churches, it shall be unlawful henceforth and forever throughout the Christian world to sing or to read Masses according to any formula other than that of this Missal published by Us; this ordinance to apply to all churches and chapels, with or without care of souls, patriarchal, collegiate, and parochial, be they secular or belonging to any religious Order, whether of men (including the military Orders) or of women, in which conventual Masses are or ought to be sung aloud in choir or read privately according to the rites and customs of the Roman Church; to apply, moreover, even if the said churches have been in any way exempted, whether by indult of the Apostolic See, by custom, by privilege, or even by oath or Apostolic confirmation, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them in any other way whatsoever, saving only those in which the practice of saying Mass differently was granted over 200 years ago simultaneously with the Apostolic See’s institution and confirmation of the church, and those in which there has prevailed a similar custom followed continuously for a period of not less than 200 years; in which cases We in no wise rescind their prerogatives or customs aforesaid. Nevertheless, if this Missal which We have seen fit to publish be more agreeable to these last, We hereby permit them to celebrate Mass according to its rite, subject to the consent of their bishop or prelate, and of their whole Chapter, all else to the contrary notwithstanding. All other churches aforesaid are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be wholly and entirely rejected; and by this present Constitution, which shall have the force of law in perpetuity , We order and enjoin under pain of Our displeasure that nothing be added to Our newly published Missal, nothing omitted therefrom, and nothing whatsoever altered therein.
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator and all other persons of whatsoever ecclesiastical dignity, be they even Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church or possessed of any other rank or preeminence, and We order them by virtue of holy obedience to sing or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herein laid down by Us, and henceforward to discontinue and utterly discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, howsoever ancient, which they have been accustomed to follow, and not to presume in celebrating Mass to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
Furthermore, by these presents and by virtue of Our Apostolic authority We give and grant in perpetuity that for the singing or reading of Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal may be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty , judgment or censure, and may be freely and lawfully used.
Nor shall bishops, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious of whatsoever Order or by whatsoever title designated, be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than enjoined by Us. We likewise order and declare that no one whosoever shall be forced or coerced into altering this Missal and that this present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall for ever remain valid and have the force of law, notwithstanding previous constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the usage of the churches aforesaid, established by very long and even immemorial prescription, saving only usage of more than 200 years.
Consequently it is Our will, and by the same authority We decree, that one month after publication of this Our constitution and Missal, priests of the Roman Curia shall be obliged to sing or to read the Mass in accordance therewith; others south of the Alps, after three months; those who live beyond the Alps, after six months or as soon as the Missal becomes available for purchase.
Furthermore, in order that the said Missal may be preserved incorrupt and kept free from defects and errors, the penalty for non-observance in the case of all printers resident in territory directly or indirectly subject to Ourselves and the Holy Roman Church shall be forfeiture of their books and a fine of 100 gold ducats payable by that very fact to the Apostolic Treasury. In the case of those resident in other parts of the world, it shall be automatical excommunication and other penalties at Our discretion; and by Our Apostolic authority and the tenor of these presents, We also decree that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to take delivery of such books without Our approval and consent, or without express permission of the Apostolic Commissary in the said parts appointed by Us for that purpose. Each of the said printers must receive from the aforementioned Commissary a standard Missal to serve as an exemplar and agree faithfully therewith, varying in no wise from the first impression printed in Rome.
But, since it would be difficult for this present Constitution to be transmitted to all parts of the world and to come to the notice of all concerned simultaneously, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of Apostles, at those of the Apostolic Chancery, and at the end of the Campo dei Fiori; moreover, We direct that printed copies of the same, signed by a notary public and authenticated with the seal of an ecclesiastical dignitary, shall possess the same unqualified and indubitable validity everywhere and in every country that would attend the display there of Our present text. Accordingly, no one whosoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, direction, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, in the year of Our Lord’s Incarnation one thousand five hundred and seventy, on the fourteenth day of July in the fifth year of Our Pontificate.
Servus Servorum Dei
Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam
Quo primo tempore ad Apostolatus apicem assumpti fuimus, ad ea libenter animum, viresque nostras intendimus, et cogitationes omnes direximus, quae ad Ecclesiasticum purum retinendum cultum pertinerent, eaque parare, et Deo ipso adjuvante, omni adhibito studio efficere contendimus.
Cumque inter alia sacri Tridentini Concilii decreta, nobis statuendum esset de sacris libris, Catechismo, Missali et Breviario edendis atque emendandis: edito jam, Deo ipso annuente, ad populi eruditionem Catechismo, et ad debitas Deo persolvendas laudes Breviario castigato, omnino, ut Breviario Missale responderet, ut congruum est et conveniens (cum unum in Ecclesia Dei psallendi modum, unum Missae celebrandae ritum esse maxime deceat), necesse jam videbatur, ut, quod reliquum in hac parte esset, de ipso nempe Missali edendo, quam primum cogitaremus.
Quare eruditis delectis viris onus hoc demandandum duximus: qui quidem, diligenter collatis omnibus cum vetustis nostrae Vaticanae Bibliothecae, aliisque undique conquisitis, emendatis atque incorruptis codicibus; necnon veterum consultis ac probatorum auctorum scriptis, qui de sacro eorumdem rituum instituto monumenta Nobis reliquerunt, ad pristinam Missale ipsum sanctorum Patrum normam ac ritum restituerunt.
Quod recognitum jam et castigatum, matura adhibita consideratione, ut ex hoc instituto, coeptoque labore, fructus omnes percipiant, Romae quam primum imprimi, atque impressum edi mandavimus: nempe ut sacerdotes intelligant, quibus precibus uti, quos ritus, quasve caeremonias in Missarum celebratione retinere posthac debeant.
Ut autem a sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia, ceterarum Ecclesiarum matre et magistra, tradita ubique amplectantur omnes et observent, ne in posterum perpetuis futuris temporibus in omnibus Christiani orbis Provinciarum Patriarchalibus, Cathedralibus, Collegiatis et Parochialibus, saecularibus, et quorumvis Ordinum, monasteriorum, tam virorum, quam mulierum, etiam militiarum regularibus, ac sine cura Ecclesiis vel Capellis, in quibus Missa Conventualis alta voce cum Choro, aut demissa, celebrari juxta Romanae Ecclesiae ritum consuevit vel debet, alias quam juxta Missalis a nobis editi formulam decantetur, aut recitetur, etiamsi eaedem Ecclesiae quovis modo exemptae, Apostolicae Sedis indulto, consuetudine, privilegio, etiam juramento, confirmatione Apostolica, vel aliis quibusvis facultatibus munitae sint; nisi ab ipsa prima institutione a Sede Apostolica adprobata, vel consuetudine, quae, vel ipsa institutio super ducentos annos Missarum celebrandarum in eisdem Ecclesiis assidue observata sit: a quibus, ut praefatam celebrandi constitutionem vel consuetudinem nequaquam auferimus; sic si Missale hoc, quod nunc in lucem edi curavimus, iisdem magis placeret, de Episcopi, vel Praelati. Capitulique universi consensu, ut, quibusvis non obstantibus, juxta illud Missas celebrare possint, permittimus; ex aliis vero omnibus Ecclesiis praefatis eorumdem Missalium usum tollendo, illaque penitus et omnio rejiciendo, ac huic Missali nostro nuper edito, nihil unquam addendum, detrahendum, aut immutandum esse decernendo, sub indignationis nostrae poena, hac nostra perpetuo valitura constitutione statuimus et ordinamus.
Mandantes ac districte omnibus et singulis Ecclesiarum praedictarum Patriarchis, Administratoribus, aliisque personis quacumque Ecclesiastica dignitate fulgentibus, etiamsi S.R.E. Cardinales, aut cujusvis alterius gradus et praeeminentiae fuerint, illis in virtute sanctae obedientiae praecipientes, ut ceteris omnibus rationibus et ritibus ex aliis Missalibus quantumvis vetustis hactenus observari consuetis, in posterum penitus omissis, ac plane rejectis, Missam juxta ritum, modum, ac normam, quae per Missale hoc a Nobis nunc traditur, decantent ac legant; neque in Missae celebratione alias caeremonias, vel preces, quam quae hoc Missali continentur, addere vel recitare
Atque ut hoc ipsum Missale in Missa decantanda, aut recitanda in quibusvis Ecclesiis absque ullo conscientiae scrupulo, aut aliquarum poenarum, sententiarum et censurarum incursu, posthac omnino sequantur, eoque libere et licite uti possint et valeant, auctoritate Apostoloca, tenore praesentium, etiam perpetuo concedimus et indulgemus.
Neve Praesules, Administratores, Canonici, Capellani et alii quocumque nomine nuncupati Presbyteri saeculares, aut cujusvis Ordinis regulares, ad Missam aliter quam a nobis statutum est, celebrandam teneantur: neque ad Missale hoc immutandum a quolibet cogi et compelli, praesentesve litterae ullo umquam tempore revocari, aut moderari possint, sed firmae semper et validae in suo exsistant robore, similiter statuimus et declaramus. Non obstantibus praemissis, ac constitutionibus, et ordinationibus Apostolicis, ac in Provincialibus et Synodalibus Conciliis editis generalibus, vel specialibus constitutionibus, et ordinationibus, nec non Ecclesiarum praedictarum usu, longissima et immemorabili praescriptione, non tamen supra ducento annos, roborato, statutis et
consuetudinibus contrariis quibuscumque.
Volumus autem et eadem auctoritate decernimus, ut post hujus nostrae constitutionis, ac Missalis editionem, qui in Romana adsunt Curia Presbyteri post mensem; qui vero intra montes, post tres; et qui ultra montes incolunt, post sex menses, aut cum primum illis Missale hoc venale propositum fuerit, juxta illud Missam decantare, vel legere teneantur.
Quod ut ubique terrarum incorruptum, ac mendis et erroribus purgatum praeservetur, omnibus in nostro et S.E.R. dominio mediate, vel immeditate subjecto commorantibus impressoribus, sub amissionis librorum, ac centum ducatorum auri Camerae Apostolicae ipso facto applicandorum: aliis vero in quacumque orbis parte consistentibus, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae, et aliis arbitrii nostri poenis, ne sine nostra vel speciali ad id Apostolici Commissarii in eisdem partibus a nobis constituendi, licentia, ac nisi per eumdem Commissarium eidem impressore Missalis exemplum, ex quo aliorum imprimendorum ab ipso impressore erit accipienda norma, cum Missali in Urbe secundum magnum impressionem impresso collatum fuisse, et concordare, nec in ullo penitus discrepare prius plena fides facta fuerit, imprimere, vel proponere, vel recipere ullo modo audeant, vel praesumant, auctoritate Apostolica et tenore praesentium similibus inhibemus.
Verum, quia difficile esset praesentes litteras ad quaeque Christiani orbis loca deferri, ac primo quoque tempore in omnium notitiam perferri, illas ad Basilicae Principis Apostolorum, ac Cancellariae Apostolicae, et in acie Campi Florae de more publicari et affigi, ac earumdem litterarum exemplis etiam impressis, ac manu alicujus publici tabellionis subscriptis, nec non sigillo personae in dignitate ecclesiastica constitutae munitis, eamdem prorsus indubitatam fidem ubique gentium et locorum, haberi praecipimus, quae praesentibus haberetur, si ostenderentur vel exhiberentur. Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam nostrae permissionis, statuti, ordinationis, mandati, praecepti, concessionis, indulti, declarationis, voluntatis, decreti et inhibitionis infringere, vel ei ausu temeratio contraire. Si quis autem hoc attentare praesumpserit, indignationem omnipotentis Dei, ac beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum ejus se noverit incursurum.
Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, anno Incarnationis Dominicae millesimo quingentesimo septuagesimo, pridie Idus Julii, Pontificatus nostri anno quinto.