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A pre-1969 Latin Rite altar with reredos:
A "high altar" (the main altar in the church) was usually preceded by three steps, below which were said the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. "Side altars" usually had only one step

The Tridentine Mass is a common name for the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions[1] of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world during that time period (as the present form of the Roman Rite is today), and it was celebrated in the Latin language in nearly every country and region.

The term "Tridentine" is derived from the Latin word Tridentinus, which means "related to the city of Trent, Italy". It was in response to a decision of the Council of Trent[2] that Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Western Church, excepting those regions and religious orders whose existing missals dated from before 1370.[3]

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, accompanied by a letter to the world's bishops. The Pope stated that the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal is to be considered as an "extraordinary form" (forma extraordinaria)[4] of the Roman Rite, of which the Missal as revised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 is the ordinary, normal or standard form. As a result, some refer to the 1962 Tridentine Mass as "the extraordinary form" of the Mass.[5]

Other names used include Traditional Mass and Latin Mass - though the revised form of the Mass that replaced it also has its official text in Latin, and is sometimes celebrated in that language.[6][7]

In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the Tridentine liturgy, or what is now the "ordinary" (normal) form of the liturgy. These Masses "may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted."[8] Permission to use the Tridentine Mass in parish Masses may be given by the parish priest.[9]

For the forms of the Mass liturgy prior to 1570, see Pre-Tridentine Mass.


In most countries, the language used for celebrating the Tridentine Mass was (and is) Latin. However, in Dalmatia (corresponding approximately to present-day Croatia) the liturgy was celebrated in Church Slavonic, and authorisation for use of this language was extended to some other Slavic regions between 1886 and 1935.[10][11]

After the publication of the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, the 1964 Instruction on implementing the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council laid down that "normally the epistle and gospel from the Mass of the day shall be read in the vernacular". Episcopal conferences were to decide, with the consent of the Holy See, what other parts, if any, of the Mass were to be celebrated in the vernacular.[12]

Outside the Roman Catholic Church, the vernacular language was introduced into the celebration of the Tridentine Mass by some Old Catholics and Anglo-Catholics with the introduction of the English Missal.

Some Western rite Orthodox Christians, particularly in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, use the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular with minor alterations under the title of the "Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory."

Also, most Old Catholics say the Tridentine Mass in either the vernacular or Latin.


Some Catholics prefer not to use the term "Tridentine Mass". In some cases, the objection is that linking the rite specifically with the Council of Trent obscures its continuity with the form that developed in previous centuries. Others object that using separate terms for the pre-1970 and post-1970 liturgies (rather than classifying them both as forms of the same Roman Rite) implies that the post-1970 liturgy constituted a breach with the preceding form.

The most widespread term for the rite, other than "Tridentine Mass", is "Latin Mass". However, the Mass of Paul VI is also published in Latin in its official text, and is also sometimes celebrated in that language.[13]

Occasionally the term "Gregorian Rite" is used when talking about the Tridentine Mass,[14] as is, more frequently, "Tridentine Rite".[15] Pope Benedict XVI declared it inappropriate to speak of the versions of the Roman Missal of before and after 1970 as if they were two rites. Rather, he said, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.[16]

Traditionalist Catholics, whose best-known characteristic is an attachment to the Tridentine Mass, frequently refer to it as the "Traditional Mass" or the "Traditional Latin Mass". Traditionalist writings sometimes also use more rhetorical expressions such as "Mass of All Time" and "Mass of Ages". Although Pius V himself spoke of revising the Missal,[17] Traditionalist Catholics also tend to emphasise that Pope Pius V "codified" the form of the Mass that they very frequently distinguish from the Mass of Paul VI, by calling it the "Mass of the Ages",[18][19][20][21][22][23] while a fringe view among them holds that the Tridentine Mass, again in contrast to the Mass of Paul VI, comes down to us "from the Church of the Apostles, and ultimately, indeed, from Him Who is its principal Priest and its spotless Victim".[24][25]

Pope St. Pius V's revision of the liturgy

At the time of the Council of Trent, the traditions preserved in printed and manuscript missals varied considerably, and standardization was sought both within individual dioceses and throughout the Latin West. Standardization was also required in order to prevent the introduction into the liturgy of Protestant ideas in the wake of the Protestant Reformation.

Pope St. Pius V accordingly imposed uniformity by law in 1570 with the Papal Bull "Quo Primum", ordering use of the Roman Missal as revised by him.[17] He allowed only rites older than 200 years to survive the promulgation of his 1570 Missal. Several of the rites that remained in existence were progressively abandoned, though the Ambrosian rite survives in Milan, Italy and neighbouring areas, stretching even into Switzerland, and the Mozarabic rite remains in use to a limited extent in Toledo and Madrid, Spain. The Carmelite, Carthusian and Dominican religious orders kept their rites, but in the second half of the twentieth century two of these three chose to adopt the Roman Rite. The rite of Braga, in northern Portugal, also seems to have been practically abandoned: since 18 November 1971 that archdiocese authorizes its use only on an optional basis.[26]

Beginning in the late seventeenth century, France and neighbouring areas, such as Münster, Cologne and Trier in Germany, saw a flurry of independent missals published by bishops influenced by Jansenism and Gallicanism. This ended when Abbot Guéranger and others initiated in the nineteenth century a campaign to return to the Roman Missal.

Pius V's revision of the liturgy had as one of its declared aims the restoration of the Roman Missal "to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers".[17] Due to the relatively limited resources available to his scholars, this aim was in fact not realised.[27]

Three different printings of Pius V's Roman Missal, with minor variations, appeared in 1570, a folio and a quarto edition in Rome and a folio edition in Venice. A reproduction of what is considered to be the earliest, referred to therefore as the editio princeps, was produced in 1998.[28] In the course of the printing of the editio princeps, some corrections were made by pasting revised texts over parts of the already printed pages.[29] There were several printings again in the following year 1571, with various corrections of the text.[30]

Historical variations of the Tridentine Mass

In the Apostolic Constitution (Papal Bull) Quo Primum, with which he prescribed use of his 1570 edition of the Roman Missal, Pius V decreed: "We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it." This of course did not exclude changes by a Pope, and Pope Pius V himself added to the Missal the feast of Our Lady of Victory, to celebrate the victory of Lepanto of 7 October 1571. His immediate successor, Pope Gregory XIII, changed the name of this feast to "The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary" and Pope John XXIII changed it to "Our Lady of the Rosary".

Pius V's work in severely reducing the number of feasts in the Roman Calendar (see this comparison) was very soon further undone by his successors. Feasts that he had abolished, such as those of the Presentation of Mary, Saint Anne and Saint Anthony of Padua, were restored even before Clement VIII's 1604 typical edition of the Missal was issued.

In the course of the following centuries new feasts were repeatedly added and the ranks of certain feasts were raised or lowered. A comparison between Pope Pius V's Tridentine Calendar and the General Roman Calendar of 1954 shows the changes made from 1570 to 1954. Pope Pius XII made a general revision in 1955, and Pope John XXIII made further general revisions in 1960 simplifying the terminology concerning the ranking of liturgical celebrations.

While keeping on 8 December what he called the feast of "the Conception of Blessed Mary" (omitting the word "Immaculate"), Pius V suppressed the existing special Mass for the feast, directing that the Mass for the Nativity of Mary (with the word "Nativity" replaced by "Conception") be used instead. Part of that earlier Mass was revived in the Mass that Pope Pius IX ordered to be used on the feast.

The typical editions of the Roman Missal

Altar of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, as arranged in 1700:[31]
It is one of many churches in Rome whose altar, placed at the western end of the church, was positioned so that the priest necessarily faced east, and so towards the people, when celebrating Mass [2]

In addition to such occasional changes, the Roman Missal was subjected to general revisions whenever a new "typical edition" (an official edition whose text was to be reproduced in printings by all publishers) was issued.

After Pius V's original Tridentine Roman Missal, the first new typical edition was promulgated in 1604 by Pope Clement VIII, who in 1592 had issued a revised edition of the Vulgate. The Bible texts in the Missal of Pope Pius V did not correspond exactly to the new Vulgate, and so Clement edited and revised Pope Pius V's Missal, making alterations both in the scriptural texts and in other matters. He abolished some prayers that the 1570 Missal obliged the priest to say on entering the church; shortened the two prayers to be said after the Confiteor; directed that the words "Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis" should not be said while displaying the chalice to the people after the consecration, but before doing so; inserted directions at several points of the Canon that the priest was to pronounce the words inaudibly; suppressed the rule that, at High Mass, the priest, even if not a bishop, was to give the final blessing with three signs of the cross; and rewrote the rubrics, introducing, for instance, the ringing of a small bell.[32]

The next typical edition was issued in 1634, when Pope Urban VIII made another general revision of the Roman Missal.[33]

There was no further typical edition until that of Pope Leo XIII in 1884.[34] It introduced only minor changes, not profound enough to merit having the papal bull of its promulgation included in the Missal, as the bulls of 1604 and 1634 were.

In 1911, with the bull Divino Afflatu,[35] Pope Pius X made significant changes in the rubrics. He died in 1914, so it fell to his successor Pope Benedict XV to issue a new typical edition incorporating his changes. This 1920 edition also included a new section headed: "Additions and Changes in the Rubrics of the Missal in accordance with the Bull Divino afflatu and the Subsequent Decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites". This additional section was almost as long as the previous section on the "General Rubrics of the Missal", which continued to be printed unchanged.

Pope Pius XII radically revised the Palm Sunday and Easter Triduum liturgy, suppressed many vigils and octaves and made other alterations in the calendar (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII), reforms that were completed in Pope John XXIII's 1960 Code of Rubrics, which were incorporated in the final 1962 typical edition of the Tridentine Missal, replacing both Pius X's "Additions and Changes in the Rubrics of the Missal" and the earlier "General Rubrics of the Missal".

Changes made to the liturgy in 1965 and 1967 in the wake of decisions of the Second Vatican Council were not incorporated in the Roman Missal, but were reflected in the provisional vernacular translations produced when the language of the people began to be used in addition to Latin. This explains the references sometimes seen to "the 1965 Missal".

The calendar was revised partially in 1955 and 1960 and completely in 1969, again reducing the number of feasts.[36]

Liturgy of the Tridentine Mass

The Mass is divided into two parts, the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. Catechumens, those being instructed in the faith,[37] were once dismissed after the first half, not having yet professed the faith. Profession of faith was considered essential for participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice.[38]

This rule of the Didache is still in effect. It is only one of the three conditions (baptism, right faith and right living) for admission to receiving Holy Communion that the Catholic Church has always applied and that were already mentioned in the early second century by Saint Justin Martyr: "And this food is called among us the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined" (First Apology, Chapter LXVI).

Before Mass

  • Asperges (Sprinkling with holy water, Psalm 51:9, 3) is a penitential rite that ordinarily precedes the principal Mass on Sunday.[39] In the sacristy, a priest wearing an alb, if he is to celebrate the Mass, or surplice, if he is not the celebrant of the Mass, and vested with a stole, which is the color of the day if the priest is the celebrant of the Mass or purple if he is not the celebrant of the Mass, exorcises and blesses salt and water, putting the blessed salt into the water in the form of a cross once while saying, "Commixtio salis, etc." After that, the priest, vested in a cope of the color of the day, while the choir sings an antiphon and a verse of Psalm 50/51 or 117/118, sprinkles with the holy water the altar three times, and then the clergy and the congregation. This rite, if used, precedes the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. During the Easter season, the "Asperges me..." verse is replaced by the "Vidi aquam..." verse, and "Alleluia" is added to the "Ostende nobis..." verse and to its response.

Following the Asperges, Mass begins.

Mass of the Catechumens

The first part is the Mass of the Catechumens.[40]

Prayers at the foot of the altar

  • Sign of the Cross
    • The priest, after processing in with the servers and, at Low Mass, placing the veiled chalice on the centre of the altar, makes the sign of the Cross at the foot of the altar. At Solemn Mass, the chalice is placed beforehand on the credence table.
  • Psalm 43 42 ("Judica me, Deus"), preceded and followed by the antiphon "Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam", is recited by the priest, alternating with the servers, who symbolically represent the people. Then the priest makes again the sign of the Cross, saying: "Our help is in the name of the Lord", to which the servers add: "Who made heaven and earth."
  • Confession (Confiteor)
    • First the priest says the following while bowing low:

"Confíteor Deo omnipoténti, beátæ Maríæ semper Vírgini, beáto Michaéli Archángelo, beáto Joanni Baptístæ, sanctis Apóstolis Petro et Paulo, ómnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres (tibi, Pater), quia peccávi nimis cogitatióne, verbo et ópere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa. Ideo precor beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, beátum Michaélem Archángelum, beátum Joánnem Baptístam, sanctos Apóstolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et vos, fratres (te, Pater), oráre pro me ad Dóminum Deum nostrum." (Translation: I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault (in Latin, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa). Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin ... and you, brethren, to pray to the Lord our God for me.) The servers pray for the priest: "May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting." Then it is the servers' turn to confess sinfulness and to ask for prayers. They use the same words as those used by the priest, except that they say "you, Father," in place of "you, brethren", and the priest responds with the same prayer that the servers have used for him plus an extra prayer.

  • Some verses are then said by priest and servers, ending with the priest saying: "Oremus" ("Let us pray.") After this he goes to the altar, praying silently "that with pure minds we may worthily enter into the holy of holies", a reference to Ex 26:33-34, 1 Kgs (or 3 Kgs) 6:16, 1 Kgs (or 3 Kgs) 8:6, 2 Chr (or 2 Para) 3:8, Ezek 41:4, and others. He places his joined hands on the altar and kisses it while silently praying that by the merits of the Saints whose relics are in the altar God may pardon all his sins.

The priest at the altar

Dominus vobiscum ("The Lord be with you") before the Collect.
In the Tridentine Mass the priest should keep his eyes downcast at this point.[41]

  • Introit
    • The priest again makes the sign of the Cross while he begins to read the Introit, which is usually taken from a Psalm. Exceptions occur: e.g. the Introit for Easter Sunday is adapted from Wis 10:20-21, and the antiphon in Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary was from the poet Sedulius. This evolved from the practice of singing a full Psalm during the entrance of the clergy, before the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were added to the Mass in medieval times. This is indicated by the very name of "Introit".
  • Kyrie
    • This part of Mass is a linguistic marker of the origins of the Roman liturgy in Greek. "Kyrie, eleison; Christe, eleison; Kyrie, eleison." means "Lord, have mercy; Christ have mercy;..." Each phrase is said (or sung) three times.
  • Gloria in excelsis Deo
    • The first line of the Gloria is taken from Lk 2:14. The Gloria is omitted during liturgical seasons calling for penitence, such as Advent and Lent, both generally having the liturgical color violet, but is used on feasts falling during such seasons, as well as on Holy Thursday.
  • The Collect
    • The priest turns toward the people and says, "Dominus vobiscum." The servers respond: "Et cum spiritu tuo." ("The Lord be with you." "And with thy spirit"). The Collect follows, a prayer not drawn directly from Scripture. It tends to reflect the season.


  • The priest reads the Epistle, primarily an extract from the letters of St. Paul to various churches. In his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI has permitted this to be read in the vernacular language when Mass is celebrated with the people.[42]
  • Between the Epistle and the Gospel two (rarely three) choir responses are sung or said. Usually these are a Gradual followed by an Alleluia; but between Septuagesima Sunday and Holy Saturday, or in a Requiem or other penitential Mass the Alleluia is replaced by a Tract, and between Easter Sunday and Pentecost the Gradual is replaced by a second Alleluia. On a few exceptional occasions (most notably Easter, Pentecost, and in a Requiem Mass), a Sequence follows the Alleluia or Tract.
    • The Gradual is partly composed of a portion of a Psalm.
  • The Gospel reading, an extract from one of the four Gospels
    • Before the reading or chanting of the Gospel, which, in the case of Mass celebrated with the people, Pope Benedict XVI has permitted to be done in the vernacular language, the priest prays: "Cleanse my heart and my lips, O almighty God, who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias...", a reference to Isaiah 6:6. In this passage, after being cleansed by the angel, Isaiah was instructed to prophesy.
  • The Sermon
    • Before the sermon, the priest may make announcements, especially of marriages, requirements of the liturgical season such as fasting, events for the week, and requests to pray for the ill or deceased. If the Epistle and the Gospel have been read in Latin, it is customary also for the priest to read a vernacular translation of at least the Gospel, before giving the sermon. The sermon is required on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
  • The Creed
    • This is the Nicene Creed, professing faith in God the Father, in God the Son, the Word made flesh, in God the Holy Ghost, and in the Holy Church. At the mention of the Incarnation, the celebrant and the congregation genuflect.

Mass of the Faithful

The second part is the Mass of the Faithful.[43]


Offering with the prayer "Suscipe, Sancte Pater" the not yet consecrated chalice at the Offertory

  • Offertory Verse
    • After greeting the people once more ("Dominus vobiscum/Et cum spiritu tuo") and giving the invitation to pray (Oremus), the priest enters upon the Mass of the Faithful, from which the non-baptized were once excluded. He reads the Offertory Verse, a short quotation from Holy Scripture which varies with the Mass of each day, with hands joined.
  • Offering of Bread and Wine
    • The priest offers the host, holding it on the paten at breast level and praying that, although he is unworthy, God may accept "this spotless host (or victim, the basic meaning of hostia in Latin) for his own innumerable sins, offences and neglects, for all those present, and for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may avail unto salvation of himself and those mentioned. He then mixes a few drops of water with the wine, which will later become the Blood of Jesus, and holding the chalice so that the lip of the chalice is about the height of his lips, offers "the chalice of salvation", asking that it may "ascend with a sweet fragrance." He then prays a prayer of contrition adapted from Dan 3:39-40.
  • Incensing of the offerings and of the faithful
    • At a High Mass, the priest blesses the incense, then incenses the bread and wine. Among the prayers the priest says is Psalm 141:2-4: "Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed as incense in Thy sight;...", which is prayed as he incenses the altar. The priest then gives the censer to the deacon, who incenses the priest, then the other ministers and the congregation.
  • Washing the hands
    • The priest prays Psalm 26:6-12: "I will wash my hands among the innocent..."
  • Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity
    • This prayer asks that the Divine Trinity may receive the oblation being made in remembrance of the passion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and in honor of blessed Mary ever Virgin and the other saints, "that it may avail to their honour and our salvation: and that they may vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven..."
  • Orate fratres, Suscipiat and Secret; Amen concludes Offertory
    • Here the priest turns to the congregation and says the first two words, "Orate, fratres," in an elevated tone and then turns around while finishing the exhortation in the secret tone. "Pray, Brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father almighty."
    • The altar servers respond with the Suscipiat to which the priest secretly responds, "Amen.": Suscipiat Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuis, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui, ad utilitatem quoque nostram, totiusque ecclesiae suae sanctae. A translation in the English is: "May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands, to the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of all His Holy Church."
    • The Priest then says the day's Secret inaudibly, and concludes it with Per omnia saecula saeculorum aloud.
    • The altar servers and congregation respond with "Amen."


  • preface of the Canon
    • "The Roman Canon dates in essentials from before St. Gregory the Great, who died in 604, and who is credited with adding a phrase to it.[44] (See History of the Roman Canon.) It contains the main elements found in almost all rites, but in an unusual arrangement and it is unclear which part should be considered to be the Epiclesis.
    • Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo. Sursum corda. Habemus ad Dominum. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro. Dignum et justum est. The first part can be seen above at the Collect; the rest means: Lift up your hearts. We lift them up unto the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is meet and right.
    • Next a preface is prayed, indicating specific reasons for giving thanks to God. This leads to the Sanctus.[45]
  • Canon or Rule of Consecration[46]
    • Intercession (corresponding to the Reading of the Diptychs in the Byzantine Rite - a diptych is a two-leaf painting, carving or writing tablet.[47])
      • Here the priest prays for the living; that the Church may be united and that God may govern it together with the Pope and "all true believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith". Then specific living people are mentioned, as are those present, and all those known to God as faithful. Then Mary ever Virgin, the Apostles, and Popes and other Martyrs are mentioned, for they live in Heaven as members of the Church Triumphant.
    • Prayers preparatory to the Consecration
      • A prayer that God may graciously accept the offering and deliver [us] "from eternal damnation".
    • Consecration (Transubstantiation) and major Elevation

      Elevation of the chalice during the Canon of the Mass at a High Mass

    • Oblation of the Victim to God
      • An oblation is an offering;[48] the pure, holy Victim is now offered, with a prayer that God may accept the offering and command His holy angel to carry the offering up, and that those who will receive the Body and Blood "may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing."
    • Remembrance of the Dead
      • The priest now prays for the dead ("those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace") and asks that they may be granted a place of refreshment, light and peace. This is followed by a prayer that we may be granted fellowship with the apostles and martyrs. Some martyrs, men and women, are then mentioned by name.
    • End of the Canon and minor Elevation; Amen ratifying the Canon prayer
      • The concluding doxology is: "Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, be unto Thee, O God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory, world without end."


  • The Lord's Prayer and Libera nos[49]
    • The "Libera nos" is an extension of the Lord's Prayer developing the line "sed libera nos a malo" ("but deliver us from evil"). The priest prays that we may be delivered from all evils and that the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with the apostles and saints, may intercede to obtain for us peace in our day.
  • Fraction of the Host
    • During the preceding prayer, the priest breaks the consecrated Host into three parts, and after concluding the prayer drops the smallest part into the Chalice while praying that this commingling and consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ may "be to us who receive it effectual to life everlasting."
  • Agnus Dei
    • "Agnus Dei" means "Lamb of God." The priest then prays: "Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us." He repeats this, and then adds: "Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace." The Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday has "have mercy on us" all three times. In Requiem Masses, the petitions are "grant them rest" (twice), followed by "grant them eternal rest."
  • The Pax
    • The priest asks God to look not to [our] sins but to [our] faith. He prays for peace and unity within the Church, and then, if a High Mass is being celebrated, gives the sign of peace, saying: "Peace be with you."
  • Prayers preparatory to the Communion
    • In the first of these two prayers for himself, the priests asks that by Holy Communion he may be freed from all his iniquities and evils, be made to adhere to the commandments of Jesus and never be separated from him. In the second he asks: "Let not the partaking of Thy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ...turn to my judgment and condemnation: but through Thy goodness may it be unto me a safeguard...."
  • Receiving of the Body and Blood of our Lord
    • Several prayers are said here. One of these, prior to communion, is based on Matthew 8:8: "Lord, I am not worthy...." If the priest is to give Communion to others, he holds up a small host and says: "Behold the Lamb of God ..."; then says three times "Lord, I am not worthy ..."; and then gives Communion, saying: "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul for eternal life. Amen."[50]


  • Prayers during the Ablutions
    • The prayers now focus on what has been received, that "we may receive with a pure mind", "that no stain of sin may remain in me, whom these pure and holy sacraments have refreshed."
  • Communion Antiphon and Postcommunion
    • The communion antiphon is normally a portion of a Psalm. The Postcommunion Prayer is akin to the Collect in being an appropriate prayer not directly drawn from Scripture.
  • Ite Missa est; Blessing
    • "Go, it is the dismissal." The word "Mass" derives from this phrase.
    • After saying a silent prayer for himself, the priest then gives the people his blessing.
  • The Last Gospel
    • The priest then reads the Last Gospel, the beginning of the Gospel of John, John 1:1-14, which recounts the Incarnation of the Son of God. On certain occasions, as for instance at the Day Mass on Christmas Day, another Gospel passage was read instead because that Gospel is read as the Gospel of the Mass, but Pope John XXIII's revision of the rubrics decreed that on those and on other occasions the Last Gospel should simply be omitted.

Prayers after Mass (not part of the liturgy)


  • Pope Leo XIII prescribed that three Ave Marias, a Salve Regina followed by a versicle and response, and a prayer for the conversion of sinners and the freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother the Church, and a prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel be recited following a Low Mass celebrated with the people. Pope Pius X added a thrice-repeated "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us." Pope Pius XI ordered that these prayers be said for the conversion of Russia. In English-speaking countries they were recited in the vernacular; but in countries such as Italy Latin was the language used. Since these Leonine Prayers were suppressed with effect from 7 March 1965,[51] and since they were never part of the Mass itself and were never included even in an appendix of the Roman Missal, specifically the 1962 typical edition, it is unclear whether they are to be considered obligatory in present-day public celebrations of the Tridentine Mass in accordance with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.[52]
  • A similar uncertainty attaches to the status in present-day Tridentine Masses of the long-standing tradition in Ireland for the priest to recite in Latin, together with the altar servers, the psalm De profundis immediately after Mass. When the Leonine Prayers were introduced, they were placed after the De profundis. This custom were abolished at the same time as the suppression of the Leonine Prayers, and so after the time of the 1962 Missal.


Tridentine editions of the Roman Missal also contained prayers recommended, but not imposed, for recitation by the priest privately after Mass.[53] The Canticle of the Three Youths (Dan 3) is one of these prayers.

Participation by the people

Nuptial Low Mass

Prayers at the foot of the altar at a Solemn Mass

The participation of the congregation at the Tridentine Mass is interior, involving eye and heart, and exterior by mouth.[54]

Except in the Dialogue Mass form, which arose about 1910 and led to a more active participation of the congregation, the people present at the Tridentine Mass do not recite out loud the prayers of the Mass. Only the server or servers join with the priest in reciting the prayers at the foot of the altar (which include the Confiteor) and in speaking the other responses.[55] Most of the prayers that the priest says are spoken inaudibly, including almost all the Mass of the Faithful: the offertory prayers, the Canon of the Mass (except for the preface and the final doxology), and (apart from the Agnus Dei) those between the Lord's Prayer and the postcommunion.

At a Solemn Mass or Missa Cantata, a choir sings the servers' responses, except for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. The choir also sings the Introit, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Gradual, the Tract or Alleluia, the Credo, the Offertory and Communion antiphons, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei. Of these, only the five that form part of the Ordinary of the Mass are usually sung at a Missa Cantata. In addition to the Gregorian Chant music for these, polyphonic compositions also exist, some quite elaborate. The priest largely says quietly the words of the chants and then recites other prayers while the choir continues the chant.

Different levels of celebration

There are various forms of celebration of the Tridentine Mass:

  • Pontifical High Mass: celebrated by a bishop accompanied by an assisting priest, deacon, subdeacon, thurifer, acolytes and other ministers, under the guidance of a priest acting as Master of Ceremonies. Most often the specific parts assigned to deacon and subdeacon are performed by priests. The parts that are said aloud are all chanted, except that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which before the reform of Pope Pius V were said in the sacristy, are said quietly by the bishop with the deacon and the subdeacon, while the choir sings the Introit. The main difference between a pontifical and an ordinary High Mass is that the bishop remains at his throne almost all the time until the offertory.
  • Solemn or High Mass (Latin: Missa solemnis): offered by a priest accompanied by a deacon and subdeacon and the other ministers mentioned above.
  • Missa Cantata (Latin for "sung mass"): celebrated by a priest without deacon and subdeacon, and thus a form of Low Mass, but with some parts (the three variable prayers, the Scripture readings, Preface, Pater Noster, and Ite Missa Est) sung by the priest, and other parts (Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual, Tract or Alleluia, Credo, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus and Benedictus, Agnus Dei, and Communion Antiphon) sung by the choir. Also, incense may be used exactly as at a Solemn Mass with the exception of incensing the celebrant after the Gospel which is not done.
  • Low Mass: the priest sings no part of the Mass, though in some places a choir or the congregation sings, during the Mass, hymns not always directly related to the Mass.

In its article "The Liturgy of the Mass", the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia describes how, when concelebration ceased to be practised in Western Europe, Low Mass became distinguished from High Mass:[56]

The separate celebrations then involved the building of many altars in one church and the reduction of the ritual to the simplest possible form. The deacon and subdeacon were in this case dispensed with; the celebrant took their part as well as his own. One server took the part of the choir and of all the other ministers, everything was said instead of being sung, the incense and kiss of peace were omitted. So we have the well-known rite of low Mass (missa privata). This then reacted on high Mass (missa solemnis), so that at high Mass too the celebrant himself recites everything, even though it be also sung by the deacon, subdeacon, or choir.

On the origin of the "Missa Cantata", the same source gives the following information:

... high Mass is the norm; it is only in the complete rite with deacon and subdeacon that the ceremonies can be understood. Thus, the rubrics of the Ordinary of the Mass always suppose that the Mass is high. Low Mass, said by a priest alone with one server, is a shortened and simplified form of the same thing. Its ritual can be explained only by a reference to high Mass. For instance, the celebrant goes over to the north side of the altar to read the Gospel, because that is the side to which the deacon goes in procession at high Mass; he turns round always by the right, because at high Mass he should not turn his back to the deacon and so on. A sung Mass (missa Cantata) is a modern compromise. It is really a low Mass, since the essence of high Mass is not the music but the deacon and subdeacon. Only in churches which have no ordained person except one priest, and in which high Mass is thus impossible, is it allowed to celebrate the Mass (on Sundays and feasts) with most of the adornment borrowed from high Mass, with singing and (generally) with incense.

Revision of the Roman Missal

Pius XII began in earnest the work of revising the Roman Missal with a thorough revision of the rites of Holy Week, which, after an experimental period beginning in 1951, was made obligatory in 1955. The Mass that used to be said on Holy Thursday morning was moved to the evening, necessitating a change in the rule that previously had required fasting from midnight. The Good Friday service was moved to the afternoon, Holy Communion was no longer reserved for the priest alone (as before, hosts consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass were used) and the priest no longer received part of the host in unconsecrated wine. The Easter Vigil service that used to be held in morning of Holy Saturday[57] was moved to the night that leads to Easter Sunday and many changes were made to the content.

The prayer after the Confiteor that until 1960 was said before Communion was given to the faithful. Pope John XXIII removed it,[58] and it is therefore not included in the form of the Tridentine Mass authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

In 1960, Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) ordered the suppression of the word "perfidis" ("unbelieving" i.e. not believing in Jesus), applied to the Jews, in the rites for Good Friday. He also revised the rubrics to the Order of Mass and also the Breviary. Two years later, in 1962, he made some more minor modifications on the occasion of publishing a new typical edition of the Roman Missal. This is the edition authorized for use by virtue of the Quattuor abhinc annos indult (see below, under Present status of the Tridentine Mass). Among the other changes he made and that were included in the 1962 Missal were: adding St. Joseph's name to the Roman Canon; eliminating the second Confiteor before Communion; suppressing 10 feasts, such as St. Peter's Chair in Rome (or, more accurately, combining both feasts of St Peter's Chair into one, as they originally had been); incorporating the abolition of 4 festal octaves and 9 vigils of feasts and other changes made by Pope Pius XII; and modifying rubrics especially for Solemn High Masses.[59] Among the names that disappeared from the Roman Missal was that of St Philomena: her liturgical celebration had never been admitted to the General Roman Calendar, but from 1920 it had been included (with an indication that the Mass was to be taken entirely from the common) in the section headed "Masses for some places", i.e. only those places for which it had been specially authorized; but her name had already in 1961 been ordered to be removed from all liturgical calendars.

On 4 December 1963, the Second Vatican Council decreed in Chapter II of its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium:[60]

"[T]he rite of the Mass is to be revised ... the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance. Parts which with the passage of time came to be duplicated, or were added with little advantage, are to be omitted. Other parts which suffered loss through accidents of history are to be restored to the vigor they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary. The treasures of the Bible are to be opened up more lavishly so that a richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word ... A suitable place may be allotted to the vernacular in Masses which are celebrated with the people ... communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think, for instance, to the newly ordained in the Mass of their sacred ordination, to the newly professed in the Mass of their religious profession, and to the newly baptized in the Mass which follows their baptism..."

The instruction Inter Oecumenici of 26 September 1964 initiated the application to the Mass of the decisions that the Council had taken less than a year before. Permission was given for use, only in Mass celebrated with the people, of the vernacular language, especially in the Biblical readings and the reintroduced Prayers of the Faithful, but also, "until the whole of the Ordinary of the Mass has been revised," in the chants (Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and the entrance, offertory and communion antiphons) and in the parts that involved dialogue with the people, and also in the Our Father, which the people could now recite entirely together with the priest. Most Episcopal Conferences quickly approved interim vernacular translations, generally different from country to country, and, after having them confirmed by the Holy See, published them in 1965. Other changes included the omission of Psalm 42 (41) at the start of Mass and the Last Gospel at the end, both of which Pope Pius V had first inserted into the Missal (having previously been private prayers said by the priest in the sacristy), and the Leonine Prayers of Pope Leo XIII. The Canon of the Mass, which continued to be recited silently, was kept in Latin.

Three years later, the instruction Tres abhinc annos[61] of 4 May 1967 gave permission for use of the vernacular even in the Canon of the Mass, and allowed it to be said audibly and even, in part, to be chanted; the vernacular could be used even at Mass celebrated without the people being present. Use of the maniple was made optional, and at three ceremonies at which the cope was previously the obligatory vestment the chasuble could be used instead.

Pope Paul VI continued implementation of the Council's directives, ordering with Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum[62] of Holy Thursday, 3 April 1969, publication of a new official edition of the Roman Missal, which appeared (in Latin) in 1970.

Opposition to the latest revisions of the liturgy

Some Traditionalist Catholics reject to a greater or lesser extent the changes made since 1950 (see Traditionalist Catholic). None advocate returning to the original (1570) form of the liturgy, or even to its form before Pius X's revision of the rubrics, but some refuse to accept the 1955 changes in the liturgy of Palm Sunday and the Easter Triduum and to the liturgical calendar (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII). Instead, they use the General Roman Calendar as in 1954. Others accept the 1955 changes, which were introduced by Pius XII, but not those of Pope John XXIII. Others again, in accordance with the authorization granted by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum, use the Missal and calendar as it was in 1962.

Some of them argue that, unlike earlier reforms, the revision of 1969-1970 which replaced the Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Pope Paul VI represented a major break with the past. They consider that the content of the revised liturgy is, in Catholic terms, seriously deficient and defective; some hold that it is displeasing to God, and that no Catholic should attend it.[63]

When a preliminary text of two of the sections of the revised Missal was published in 1969, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre gathered a group of twelve theologians, who, under his direction,[64] wrote a study of the text. They stated that it "represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent".[65] Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, a former Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, supported this study with a letter of 25 September 1969 to Pope Paul VI. Cardinal Antonio Bacci signed the same letter. The critical study became known as "the Ottaviani Intervention". Cardinal Ottaviani subsequently stated in writing that he had not intended his letter to be made public, and that Pope Paul VI's doctrinal exposition, on 19 November[66] and 26 November 1969,[67] of the revised liturgy in its definitive form meant that "no one can be genuinely scandalised any more".[68] Jean Madiran, a critic of Vatican II[69] and editor of the French journal Itinéraires, claimed that this letter was fraudulently presented to the elderly and already blind cardinal for his signature by his secretary, Monsignor (and future Cardinal) Gilberto Agustoni, and that Agustoni resigned shortly afterwards.[70] This allegation remains unproven, and Madiran himself was not an eyewitness of the alleged deception.[71]

In October 1967, a meeting of the Synod of Bishops had already given its opinion on a still earlier draft. Of the 187 members, 78 approved it as it stood, 62 approved it but suggested various modifications, 4 abstained, and 47 voted against.[72]

From the 1960s onwards, Western countries have experienced a drop in Mass attendance (in the United States, from 75% of Catholics attending in 1958 to 25% attending by 2002). These same countries also saw a decline in seminary enrollments and in the number of priests (in the United States, from 1,575 ordinations in 1954 to 450 in 2002), and a general erosion of belief in the doctrines of the Catholic faith. Opponents of the revision of the Mass liturgy argue, citing opinion poll evidence in their support, that the revision contributed to this decline.[73] Others, pointing to the fact that, globally, there are more priests and seminarians now than in previous years (in 1970, there were 72,991 major seminarians worldwide; in 2002, there were 113,199), suggest that the apparent decline of Catholic practice in the West is due to the general influence of secularism and liberalism on Western societies rather than to developments within the Catholic Church.

Recent Popes and the Tridentine Mass

Pope Paul VI

Following the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969-1970, the Holy See granted a significant number of permissions for the use of the former liturgy. For example, elderly priests were not required to switch to celebrating the new rite. In England and Wales, occasional celebrations of the Tridentine Mass were allowed in virtue of what became known as the "Agatha Christie indult". However, there was no general worldwide legal framework allowing for the celebration of the rite. Following the rise of the Traditionalist Catholic movement in the 1970s, Pope Paul VI reportedly declined to liberalise its use further on the grounds that it had become a politically charged symbol associated with opposition to his policies.

Pope John Paul II

In 1984, the Holy See sent a letter known as Quattuor Abhinc Annos to the presidents of the world's Episcopal Conferences. This document empowered diocesan bishops to authorise, on certain conditions, celebrations of the Tridentine Mass for priests and laypeople who requested them.[74] In 1988, following the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and four bishops that he had consecrated, the Pope issued a further document, a motu proprio known as Ecclesia Dei,[75] which stated that "respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition". The Pope urged bishops to give "a wide and generous application" to the provisions of Quattuor Abhinc Annos, and established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to oversee relations between Rome and Traditionalist Catholics.

The Holy See itself granted authorization to use the Tridentine Mass to a significant number of priests and priestly societies, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney. Some diocesan bishops, however, declined to authorise celebrations within their dioceses, or did so only to a limited extent. In some cases, the difficulty was that those seeking the permission were hostile to the church authorities. Other refusals of permission were alleged to have stemmed from certain bishops' disapproval in principle of celebrations of the Tridentine liturgy.

Pope Benedict XVI

As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was seen as having a particular interest in the liturgy, and as being friendly towards the older rite of Mass. He famously criticised the erratic way in which, contrary to official policy, many priests celebrated the revised rite.[76] His election to the papacy as Benedict XVI in April 2005 gave new hope to Catholics who favoured the Tridentine Mass or wished to reform the Mass of Paul VI.

In September 2006, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei established the Institute of the Good Shepherd, made up of former members of the Society of St. Pius X, in Bordeaux, France, with permission to use the Tridentine liturgy.[77] This step was met with some discontent from French clergy, and thirty priests wrote an open letter to the Pope.[78] Consistently with its previous policy, the Society of St Pius X rejected the move.[79]

Following repeated rumours that the use of the Tridentine Mass would be liberalised, the Pope issued a motu proprio called Summorum Pontificum on 7 July 2007,[80] together with an accompanying letter to the world's Bishops.[81] The Pope declared that "the Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nevertheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi'".[82] He further stated that "the 1962 Missal ... was never juridically abrogated".[83] He replaced with new rules those of Quattuor Abhinc Annos on use of the older form: essentially, authorization for using the 1962 form for parish Masses and those celebrated on public occasions such as a wedding is devolved from the local bishop to the priest in charge of a church, and any priest of the Latin Rite may use the 1962 Roman Missal in "Masses celebrated without the people", a term that does not exclude attendance by other worshippers, lay or clergy.[84] While requests by groups of Catholics wishing to use the Tridentine liturgy in parish Masses are to be dealt with by the parish priest (or the rector of the church) rather than, as before, by the local bishop, the Pope and Cardinal Darío Castrillón have stated that the bishops' authority is not thereby undermined.[85]

Present regulations

The regulations set out in Summorum Pontificum provide that:

  • In Masses celebrated "without the people", every Latin Rite priest may use either the 1962 Roman Missal or that of Paul VI except during the Easter Triduum (when Masses without participation by the people are no longer allowed). Celebrations of Mass in this form (formerly referred to as "private Masses") may, as before, be attended by laypeople who ask to be admitted.[86]
  • In parish Masses, where there is a stable group of laypeople who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the parish priest should willingly accept their requests to be allowed to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, and should ensure that their welfare harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392 of the Code of Canon Law, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the Church.
    • Mass may be celebrated using the 1962 Missal on working days, while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.
    • For priests and laypeople who request it, the parish priest should allow celebrations of the Tridentine rite on special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and pilgrimages.
  • Communities belonging to institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life which wish to use the 1962 Missal for conventual or "community" celebration in their oratories may do so.

Present practice

Tridentine Mass in the chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

The publication of Summorum Pontificum has led to an increase in the number of regularly scheduled public Tridentine Masses. On 14 June 2008 Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos told a London press conference that Pope Benedict wants every parish to offer both the old and the new forms for Sunday Mass.[87]

The cardinal also said that the Vatican was preparing to instruct seminaries to teach all students the Tridentine form of the Roman Rite. The complexity of the rubrics makes it difficult for priests accustomed to the simpler modern form to celebrate the Tridentine form properly, and it is unclear how many have the required knowledge.

A list of priestly societies and religious institutes in good standing with the Holy See that use the Tridentine Mass is given at Communities Using the Tridentine Mass.

Some Traditionalist Catholic priests and organisations, holding that no official permission is required to use any form of the Tridentine Mass, celebrate it without regularizing their situation,[88] and sometimes using editions of the Roman Missal earlier than the 1962 edition approved in Summorum Pontificum.

In order to provide for priests who celebrate the Tridentine Mass, publishers have issued facsimiles or reprintings of old missals. There were two new printings of the 1962 Tridentine Missal in 2004: one, with the imprimatur of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, by Baronius Press in association with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter; the other by the Society of St. Pius X's publishing house, Angelus Press. There was a new printing of a facsimile 1962 Tridentine Altar Missal in 2008 by PCP books. Some other missals reproduced date from before 1955 and so do not have the revised Holy Week rites promulgated by Pope Pius XII. They are used by traditionalists who reject Pius XII's liturgical changes. As well as such altar missals for use by the priest, old hand missals for those attending Mass have also been reproduced, including a St Bonaventure Press facsimile of a pre-1955 edition of the St Andrew's Missal.


  1. In this context, "typical edition" means the officially approved edition to whose text other printings are obliged to conform.
  2. Council of Trent, session of 4 December 1563
  3. These regions included those in which a variant of the Roman Rite, called the Sarum Rite, was in use for more than the minimum required time. On a few recent occasions Roman Catholic prelates have used this variant as an extraordinary form of celebrating Mass. But, like most of the other regions and the orders concerned, the Sarum Rite areas have adopted the standard Roman Missal. The most important non-Roman liturgies that continue in use are the Ambrosian Rite, the Mozarabic Rite and the Carthusian Rite.
  4. [1]
  5. Pope Benedict spoke of it instead as "an" extraordinary form. While in English, "extraordinary" often has laudatory overtones, its meaning in canon law is illustrated by its use with reference, for instance, to "the extraordinary minister of holy communion" (cf. canon 910 §2 of the Code of Canon Law.
  6. Code of Canon Law, canon 928
  7. Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, 112
  8. Summorum Pontificum, articles 2 and 4
  9. Summorum Pontificum, article 5
  10. Krmpotic, M.D.. "Dalmatia". Catholic encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008. "The right to use the Glagolitic language at Mass with the Roman Rite has prevailed for many centuries in all the south-western Balkan countries, and has been sanctioned by long practice and by many popes." 
  11. Japundžić, Marko. "The Croatian Glagolitic Heritage". Croatian Academy of America. Retrieved 2008. "In 1886 it arrived to the Principality of Montenegro, followed by the Kingdom of Serbia in 1914, and the Republic of Czechoslovakia in 1920, but only for feast days of the main patron saints. The 1935 concordat with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia anticipated the introduction of the Slavic liturgy for all Croatian regions and throughout the entire state." 
  12. INTER OECUMENICI Sacred Congregation of Rites, 2007,, retrieved 2008-03-25 
  13. Redemptionis Sacramentum, 2004,, retrieved 2008-03-25, "Mass is celebrated either in Latin or in another language, provided that liturgical texts are used which have been approved according to the norm of law. Except in the case of celebrations of the Mass that are scheduled by the ecclesiastical authorities to take place in the language of the people, Priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin" 
  14. Thompson, Damian (2008-06-14). "Latin mass to return to England and Wales". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  15. Medieval Sourcebook; Pope reformulates Tridentine rite's prayer for Jews
  16. Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of Summorum Pontificum
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Quo primum". Retrieved 2008-03-25. "We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published." 
  18. The Mass of Vatican II
  19. The Mass of the Consilium and the Mass of the Ages
  20. God Was Worshipped Here Today
  21. Meditation before Holy Mass
  22. Is the Novus Ordo Mass Actually the Indult Mass?
  23. :Priories of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
  24. The Mass of the Apostles
  25. Cf. Extract from a Letter to a Philippine Mayor .
  26. Braga - Capital de Distrito
  27. "Just after the Council of Trent, the study 'of ancient manuscripts in the Vatican library and elsewhere', as Saint Pius V attests in the Apostolic Constitution Quo primum, helped greatly in the correction of the Roman Missal. Since then, however, other ancient sources have been discovered and published and liturgical formularies of the Eastern Church have been studied. Accordingly many have had the desire for these doctrinal and spiritual riches not to be stored away in the dark, but to be put into use for the enlightenment of the mind of Christians and for the nurture of their spirit" (Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum).
  28. ISBN 88-209-2547-8; publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana; introduction and appendix by Manlio Sodi and Achille Maria Triacca
  29. Introduction to the reproduction of the editio princeps, pages XXVI-XXX
  30. Introduction to the reproduction of the editio princeps, pages XXI
  31. S. Cecilia in Trastevere, main altar, presbytery, ciborium
  32. Solemn Papal Mass. See further The Tridentine Mass by Paul Cavendish
  33. Apostolic Constitution Si quid est
  34. Missal in Catholic Encyclopedia
  35. Divino afflatu
  36. Mysterii Paschalis and Ordorecitandi website
  37. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48, 1913,*&Query=catechumen, retrieved 2008-03-25 
  38. Chapman, John (1908), Didache,, retrieved 2008-03-25, "Let no one eat or drink of the Eucharist with you except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord." 
  39. It is an additional ceremony, not part of the Mass itself, and in the Tridentine Missal is given only in an appendix.
  40. Text of Mass of the Catechumens
  41. Rubrics V
  42. Summorum Pontificum, article 6
  43. Text of Mass of the Faithful
  44.  "Pope St. Gregory I ("the Great")". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  45. Santus
  46. Mass of the Faithful - The Canon
  47. Diptych
  48. oblation definition
  49. Mass of the Faithful - Closing Prayers
  50. Ritus servandus, X, 6 of the 1962 Missal
  51. Instruction Inter Oecumenici, 48 j
  52. See discussion in Anthony Cekada: Russia and the Leonine Prayers, which considers that the obligation no longer holds.
  53. Post Missam
  54. Pope St. Pius X said: "If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him" (The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual from the Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962, Baronius Press, London, 2004, p. 897).
  55. They gave responses to "Kyrie eleison", "Dominus vobiscum", "Per omnia saecula saeculorum", the Gospel reading, the "Orate Fratres", "Sursum Corda", "Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro", the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer, the "Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum" and the "Ite Missa est"
  56.  "Liturgy of the Mass". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  57. Conventual Mass (Mass of a religious community) on a Vigil, such as that of Easter, was celebrated after None, at which point the fast could be broken (see Rubricae generalis Missalis, XV, 2). Though None was in origin an afternoon prayer, it was then celebrated in the morning. Similarly, Lauds, which was originally a morning prayer, was commonly celebrated in choir on the evening before, as in the office of Tenebrae. "Private Masses" (Masses celebrated by a priest without a congregation) could, even on days of fast, be celebrated at any hour from dawn to noon (see Rubricae generalis Missalis, XV, 1). Most celebrations of the Easter Vigil were in the form of private Masses, since concelebration was not allowed.
  58. Codex Rubricarum, 503
  59. The Pius X and John XXIII Missals Compared
  60. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
  61. Tres abhinc annos
  62. Missale Romanum
  63. Pope Benedict XVI, who has several times deplored departures on private initiative from the rite of Mass established in the 1970 revision of the Roman Missal has declared this contention unfounded, writing: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. ... Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness" (Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter motu proprio data Summorum Pontificum).
  64. A Short History of the SSPX
  65. Ottaviani letter
  66. Talk on 19 November 1969
  67. Talk on 26 November 1969
  68. Quotation from Documentation Catholique, 1970; the full text of the letter in an English translation is given in The New "Ordo Missæ": A battle on two fronts
  69. Je suis un témoin à charge contre mon temps
  70. The Ottaviani Intervention - Part I, by Michael Davies
  71. The Ottaviani Intervention - Part 1, by Michael Davies
  72. Ottaviani
  73. Jones, Kenneth C. (January 2003). Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II. Oriens Publishing. ISBN 0-9728688-0-1
  74. English translation of Quattuor abhinc annos
  75. Ecclesia Dei
  76. Preface to the French edition of Die Reform der Römischen Liturgie by Klaus Gamber; partial English translation; cf. The Spirit of the Liturgy, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000; and Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger: Proceedings of the July 2001 Fontgombault Liturgical Conference, Farnborough, Hampshire: St. Michael's Abbey Press, 2002. For a Vatican condemnation of aberrant liturgical practices, see Redemptionis Sacramentum
  77. Brian Mershon, "New French traditionalist priestly society founded," The Wanderer, September 18, 2006.
  78. "French clerics rebel on Latin Mass," The Conservative Voice, October 29, 2006
  79. Communiqué de la Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint Pie X
  80. Text of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in Latin and English
  81. BENEDICT XVI (2007-07-07). Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter "motu proprio data" Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  82. Article 1 of the motu proprio. In his letter to the Bishops he said: "It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were 'two Rites'. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite."
  83. Similarly, Clement VIII did not juridically abrogate the Missal of Pius V, nor did the other Popes who issued later typical editions of the Roman Missal before that of Paul VI (Urban VIII, Leo XIII, Benedict XV, John XXIII) juridically abrogate the previous editions. Even Pius V juridically abolished only those variants of the Roman Rite that had less than 200 years' antiquity.
  84. Indeed, "Mass should not be celebrated without a minister or at least one of the faithful, except for a just and reasonable cause" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 254). Masses celebrated without the people were once called "private Masses", a term that fell out of favour in the mid-twentieth century: the 1960 Codex Rubricarum, which preceded the Second Vatican Council, declared: "The most sacred Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated according to the rites and regulations is an act of public worship offered to God in the name of Christ and the Church. Therefore, the term 'private Mass' should be avoided" (Rubricae Generales Missalis Romani, 269). Cf. Review of Mass without a Congregation: A Sign of Unity or Division?, by Fr Marian Szablewski CR.
  85. In the letter to bishops by which he accompanied the motu proprio the Pope told them that the new regulations "do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful." Cardinal Castrillón has stated: "The Pope has not changed the Code of Canon Law. The bishop is the moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese. But the Apostolic See is entitled to shape the sacred liturgy of the universal Church. And a bishop must act in harmony with the Apostolic See and must guarantee the rights of every believer, including that of being able to attend the mass of Saint Pius V, as extraordinary form of the rite" (30Days, June/July 2007).
  86. Article 4 of the motu proprio
  87. "Pope says old-rite Latin Mass should be on offer in every Catholic parish"
  88. Article 5 §4 of the motu proprio says priests who use the Missal of Blessed John XXIII must not be juridically impeded.

External links

Full texts of Tridentine Roman Missals

Texts of parts of the Tridentine Missal (post-1604)


Comparison with non-Roman Western rites and uses


Organizations favouring use of Tridentine Mass

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tridentine Mass. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.