A blogger’s experience of the Novus Ordo in Latin

I am concerned about something.

I am concerned that with Summorum Pontificum the use of Latin will be segregated to the Extraordinary Form.

We must have far more Latin in all Masses.

So here is a blog piece from Esperu.


Okay, so based on the descriptions I’d read on various Catholic blogs, and studying the theology of the liturgy, I’d reached the conclusion that the best Mass for me to attend would be an ordinary form (yclept "Novus Ordo") Mass, in Latin, with the priest facing with the people ("ad orientem"). [facing "toward the East" with people "toward the people".]

A little research revealed that there was such a Mass on Sundays within about 1/2 hour from my home. So, on a recent Sunday I attended. I didn’t bring the wife and kids, since I didn’t think a 4-year-old would tolerate it very well, and my wife didn’t seem to have any interest.  [I think parents will say that children do pretty well with the Latin, especially Gregorian chant!]

First thing to note — despite the summer weather, everyone was dressed modestly. This is nice, but not really different from my home parish, which holds ordinary form Masses in English on Sundays. There were noticeably more mantillas than I’m used to, but this wasn’t a surprise.

The priest entered, and I noted he was wearing one of those "fiddleback" chasubles. I realize this is a matter of aesthetics, but the fiddleback looks to me like a short scapular. This has two effects: implying that the priest is a religious, even when diocesan; [Hmmm… this is not something I have ever heard.] also, since it’s short, it looks like he’s heading out to work in the fields wearing a tapestry, rather than preparing to celebrate liturgy.  [Strange… but oh well.]

Enough fashion. This particular Mass was most disappointing because of the mannerisms of the priest. This priest delivered everything, whether Greek, Latin, or English, in a kind of bored sing-song that seemed to imply nothing other than "all right, let’s get this over with." I don’t know anything about this priest, but he’s not the only reverend who could really use a quick tour with Toastmasters.  [A lot depends on the priest’s ars celebrandi.]

There didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to which prayers were in Latin, and which were in English. Okay, I understand why you say the propers in English, since no-one in the congregation (even this priest, I suspect) knows enough Latin to do an on-the-fly translation like Fr. Z. The strange thing to me was that the commons were either in Latin or English without any discernible pattern. The paternoster in Latin makes sense, but then the "Deliver us" in English. Isn’t that part of the same prayer? The congregation seemed puzzled how to answer. "For the Kingdom…" came out in English.  [Sounds like someone should talk to that priest.]

Personally, I’d prefer that the creed be left in the vernacular, since I think it’s important for people to be reminded in their own language what it is they are professing, but I acknowledge arguments for putting it in Latin. 

In fact, after attending this Mass, I’m kind of inclined to give up on Mass in Latin any time in the future. I just don’t get the appeal. I’d rather know what it is I am saying, and what is being said. It engages my mind much more in the moment. I don’t begrudge anyone their Latin Masses, but I think I’ll take a pass.

Let me put in a plug for the altar boys. [Sensible.] These guys have been very well taught. The thurifer especially knew his stuff, and did a great job with the incense. I’d say the team of 6 altar boys was probably the most well-rehearsed I’d seen in a long time.

So, here’s one thing I really liked. Ad Orientem. Once you’ve seen this, you’ll never want to go back to "versus populum." So much of the Eucharistic prayer, and the actions of the priest, just make so much more sense when the priest is offering up the Eucharist to the Lord, rather than to the congregation. (I’m exaggerating to make a point.) It’s clear when the priest turns to the people and invites them to participate, that this is exactly what he is doing. Also, the elevation of the species turns into a great high-point of the Mass (especially with that incense!) rather than just a momentary gesture.

I hope that Ad Orientem takes off throughout Christendom. [Actually, it did.] That’s really the way to go to Mass. Latin — take it or leave it. I’ll leave it, thanks.

I hear there is an extraordinary form Mass about 20 minutes away on Wednesday mornings. I’ll see if I can get to it some time soon. Based on this experience, I’m not anticipating liking it much, but I’m willing to give it a try.  [Do some homework first, perhaps?]

I respect these opinions. 

It sounds as if the priest might be trying to work Latin into the parish liturgies in pieces.  

More Latin, folks.  Far more.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. josephus muris saliensis says:

    I take it from his syntax that this chap is in the States, but what he describes in the situation in many normal, ie not rigidly liberal, English parishes. This ad hoc mix of Latin and English, often changing like flowing sands week by week, satisfies no-one. In some parishes it is mixed in too with trendy hymns of the ‘Estelle White’ variety, so that, far from appealing to everyone, the result is that at the end of Mass you have 100% grumpy and liturgically-unfulfilled Catholics.

    Get this, Reverend Fathers: IT DOESN’T WORK!

    If you cannot decide on a firm line, then have a fully vernacular Mass, with good vernacular chant; and a fully Latin Mass (at least one per Sunday); even, if you must, have a ‘folk Mass’ (for the oldies), and suddenly everyone will get off your back and stop moaning. Now surely that’s worth a try?

  2. josephus muris saliensis says:

    Addendum: when I was writing the above, I was of course speaking of having the Ordinary Form Latin Mass, (as opposed to a mixture) which I believe is important, and should be ubiquitous.

    Clearly, an Extraordinary Form Mass is also highly desirable, but a different debate. It will, we all pray, in union with the Holy Father and Cardinal Hoyos, also become ubiquitous week by week. As well, not instead.

  3. I was born and raised in the Roman Rite, but as an adult, attended a Byzantine Rite parish for many years. I came away from the experience with a number of impressions, among them a perplexity for the “one way or the highway” attitude of Roman Rite Catholics toward language, as opposed to a peaceful co-existence between the traditional and the vernacular. I suppose the determination of which part is done which way is of some consequence, but the idea that one is inherently problematic while the other is the great panacea — well, it hasn’t sat well with me ever since.

    I don’t anticipate any agreement here, but I believe any traditional Catholic who ever complained about the “dangers” of a dialogue Mass, should attend at least one Eastern Rite Divine Liturgy. They may not walk away with the same impression as myself, but they will walk away with some perspective.

    At least that’s what I think.

  4. Daniel Latinus says:

    A lady I knew at St. Marys said that fiddleback chasubles make the priest look like a soldier in armor.

  5. hibernian says:

    I agree that we need more Latin in the novus ordo, but too many churches refuse to use it, sending those of us who want it to the EF Masses.

  6. Chironomo says:

    While there is a lot in this posting that is commendable, I can’t help but find a false sense of approval on the part of the writer. The overall tone is, well, condescending. His conclusion that the use of Latin is gratuitous (since neither the Priest nor the assembly understands it) comes from his own assumption that liturgy is “cognitive”. I have brought this to many people’s attention in the past… we all know very well what the Gloria says. If we say it in Latin, the meaning doesn’t change. It still “means” the same thing that it does in English. And more to the point, when we sing it in Latin, we still know what it means. Why is it necessary to “understand it” when singing it if you already know what it means? Attend any Rosary recitation and you will hear a large group of people saying the “Hail Mary” in English with absolutely NO IDEA OF WHAT THEY ARE SAYING at any single point in that prayer, although they know what the prayer is saying as a whole. That is why the use of Latin is appropriate for the ORDINARY (the author’s use of “commons” seems to indicate something..) since we all know what the prayers of the Ordinary are saying. Why this is so difficult to understand, I don’t know…

    I also have serious doubts about anybody who would plan to attend a Mass with an attitude that they won’t “like it”… this is not a play or a movie, and quite frankly it is disrespectful to those who are at Mass to be present with a critical attitude as though you are “reviewing” it for a news article. Just my two cents…

  7. telcontar says:

    “Ad Orientem. Once you’ve seen this, you’ll never want to go back…”

    I feel the makings of a good slogan somewhere in there…

  8. John Belmont says:

    This sounds very much like a mass I went to in San Bernardino Diocese. The priest was old enough to have used the 1965 missal when he was young, and the Mass was 2/3 that and 1/3 Novus Ordo in English, i.e.: the reading as per the N.O. lectionary, with readings, responsorial psalm, alleluia, etc. all in English, as well as the confiteor (N.O. form) and the “Our Father”. The priest was no doubt used to “being creative” in the N.O., and saw no reason not to “improve on” the EF. The only person who seemed to know what he was doing was the old man acting as altar server, but when the priest started to ad lib, he got lost, too. I talked to the priest afterwards and he seemed sincere, but in “mahonyland” there are no trainings and no encouragement of the priests or people – an at best minimalist approach to the M.P.
    John B.

  9. Steve K. says:

    Since no one has said it yet, I would like to point to the outstanding example of a Novus Ordo Mass with Latin and vernacular elements, the daily Mass celebrated on EWTN. Every priest who celebrates it has done so with beauty and reverence. I believe this is essentially what the Holy Father has in mind for the reform of the Novus Ordo.

    Training priests to say the Novus Ordo like this is largely a sunk cost: the Vatican can simply post the EWTN daily Mass schedule and direct priests to tune in and get educated.

  10. Diane says:

    I would be interested to know if the author, have seen a similar pattern to what I’ve noticed in assisting at several traditional parishes in the Detroit area (Assumption Grotto, Sts Cyril & Methodius, St. Josaphat, etc.). I’m not talking about teh pattern of all male altar servers, traditional music, vestments, incense and other highly visible things. Rather, these are soft issues.

    1) As the priest processes up he is visibly in prayer. when I first encountered it my first thought was that I should be there too. In other words, my experience is that at more traditional parishes, the priest does NOT greet people because he is already giving his full attention to God, as should we.

    2) Most priests I’ve encountered in more traditional parishes tend to be meditative throughout the Mass, and during the Eucharistic prayer, even when celebrated versus populum, focus fervently no the Eucharist. Once again, this led me to pay attention not to him as a person, but to his actions.

    3) The recessional is like the processional – with no greetings. Some will even bow their heads as the priest walks by, not because they hold him as a person in higher regard, but because they know that during the Mass, he walks in persona Christi.

    4) Homilies tend to NOT be dynamic in terms of bodily movement. I get the impression that seminaries have been training priests to bob their heads around when they talk, or that they have been taught “presentation skills” to use during their sermons (without the props, of course). It’s rare that you would see a priest in a traditional parish preach away from the pulpit.

    5) Homilies at traditional parishes tend to be more catechetical (in the fullness of the faith), rather than full of feel good namby-pambyism.

    6) As to environments, you are not likely to see people tripping over each other to get to the local diner, back to the TV for the football game, or to the mall as soon as they receive Communion. No, in traditional parishes, the culture itself is very respectful of not only waiting for the priest to exit, but a good number remain in thanksgiving.

    7) Also to environments, people generally do not talk in the Church before or after Mass, but enter and exit quietly. There is a good deal of praying going on before Mass, as opposed to the kind of chatter that would rival a mall on Saturday morning in deciblels.

    I really think there are a set of characteristics that could be compiled, with these being only some of them. I’m just curious whether anyone else has picked up on it.

  11. Thomas says:

    Last summer, a one-time ordinary form Mass in Latin was made available in my city. This was months before I ever assisted at the EF. There was a reverent beauty to the Mass, celebrated at the old high altar, but I could not help getting a little bored (and this was beyond the priest’s difficulty with pronouncing Latin). Hearing the Canon aloud was quite draining and somewhat distracting. This is somewhat apparent in English but is quite overt in Latin. Now that I have had the opportunity to assist at the EF even several times a week when I am at school, I confess that I am never bored, and though my mind may wander a little, the Mass, the silence and the sound have a powerful command of my attention in mind and soul. I see the need for celebrating the OF in line with tradition, but for months now, I cannot help but feeling that its all just trying to do the EF without actually doing the EF. If I can get the whole thing, why not the whole thing. All I know is I long for the day when there is a single Missale Romanum.

  12. Diane says:

    I had a typo up there in my last post and meant to ask if others, along with that author, noticed any of the things in mylist when they have gone to a more traditional parish (new or TLM).

  13. Deusdonat says:

    You know what we (traddies) need? Good PR. Perception is everything. We need to be VISIBLE. If I had my way, I would:

    a) do more public processions, targetting “at risk” areas of town. Have outreach ministers pass out pamphlets along the way for services and agencies if anyone needs them
    b) target specific Catholic organizations (i.e. Catholic charities) for direct interaction and sponsorship
    c) get Traddie members involved in more city/local politics
    d) continue media coverage (i.e. in the style EWTN) such that Trads are the “go to” clergy of choice for CNN, FOX etc on Catholic issues.

  14. Larry says:

    Fr. Z

    You found it “odd” that the writer prefers English for the Creed. I found your comment odd. It seems to me that the Creed is a declaration of Faith and as such should be clearly understood by the one professing. Hence even though one “knows the Creed” and hence can read it in Latin and in general know what he is saying I think it more proper that one profess to God his belief in the clearest way he can understand it because God certainly understands all our languages and wants us to speak from our heart and not simply from intellect or memorization. If the Creed is chanted then I think the Latin is better; but, the laity would do well to say it silently to God in the vernacular. Just an opinion. Maybe someday Latin will have become a second language to all Catholics and will be as clearly understood. Until then I think it better to be sincere rather than merely speaking words I don’t understand just because I can read them. [Don’t get worked up. I simply misread his comment and made a change. – Fr. Z]

    In the matter of fiddlebacks. These were far less common in my diocese. In fact until I visited our Cathedral museum I had never seen one in our diocese. I am 62 years old so these are at least that old and in fact much older. Only with the revival of the EF has this vestment become common in that form of the Mass in this diocese, and only in the EF. It is important I think not to make the style of vestments too important. While the vestments are important their style speaks of various ages of development and taste not doctrine or law. That is precisely why the Pope can move from one style to another in vesture in either form of the Mass. All personal opinion from the pew not the sacristy. Pax et Bonum.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    So much about our own personal impressions and experiences.

    So little about the most appropriate manner to offer God in the way He desires and that brings HIM the greatest glory.

    If we keep talking about our own preferences and experiences rather than relying upon the traditional worship of the Church going back to the Fathers of the Church, we will always have disagreements.

    Let’s start with the question: What gives God the greatest glory? Then read Archbishop Bugnini’s memoirs and then Msgr. Klaus Gamber’s Reform of the Roman rite (and maybe read all of Leviticus) and the answer should certainly be obvious.

  16. Cacciaguida says:

    Perhaps (sadly) unique, but I was just at St. John’s in Front Royal, Virginia, USA, where the 10:45 is Latin O.F., ad orientem, and the 12:30 is — E.F.

    All hail Father Jerome Fasano, pastor, and Father Christopher Pollard, parochial vicar! Due props as well to Bishop Paul Loverde.

  17. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    One of my students once observed that what converted her to the practice of liturgical tradition was one book: “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, 1948-1975”. Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to make sense of that quarter century in liturgical history.

  18. Sam Schmitt says:

    I have the opposite reaction to the writer – I find that mass in English can be *too* understood, that there’s too much information coming at you (since when in the history of Christendom has worship been a person talking at you in your own language for 60 minutes, and amplified to boot?!)

    Even though I can understand most of the Latin being said (or sung) at a Latin mass, I find it – especially silence of the EF – to be a relief from the “cognitive overload” of typical OF mass.

    And if I just have to catch everything the priest is saying, there’s always my handy missal :).

  19. Diane says:

    I would really caution people about the whole issue of being “bored” whether it is a traditional OF or EF Mass.

    Mass is not about what we get ot of it. Rather, it is about what we give. The OF has been so oversaturated with stimulii taht we find it difficult to sit in silence and dive deeply into meditation and even contemplation should God grace us with it.

    Silence is truly the language of God because it is when we are in a meditative quiet that we hear Him the loudest. It is not necessary to hear and understand each and every word during Mass to get the graces that come with it, provided we work at giving God our full attention.

    Some would say that this is too difficult because it is hard to not let the mind wander with so much silence or, during so many paragraphs of Latin. With spiritual maturity comes the ability to endure, not for what we get, but again, for what we give to God – our mind, our hearts, and our wills.

    The traditional Masses (both EF and OF), have taught me to give to God, not go with my hand out looking for something in return for showing up, be it consolation or some sort of petition.

    One of the greatest spiritual tests we can undergo is to continue to give to God when the consolations are withdrawn. In this era where “feelings” mean everything, to the point of almost being a heresy in themselves (if it isn’t already), this is difficult for many to understand.

    Make no mistake: Being at Mass, when there is nothing to keep us from being “bored”, is when it is most pleasing to God. This is where traditional Masses enable an increase in spiritual maturity, imho, because they are fully stripped of anything remotely entertaining, aside from chant and polyphony. Even there, those things transport the soul inot a nother dimension outside of the world. It has nothing to do with taste, but with detachment from the world.

  20. Marilyn says:


    I have noticed all of the things you mention in your list of “soft issues” at my EF Mass. Our priest even told us not to talk to him immediately after Mass because he was still ‘in persona Christi.’ He always appears at our coffee hour later and is more than happy to socialize then. Our coffee hour is another thing I love about our community; many people stay after for a long time. We have refreshments and talk endlessly about the faith–no one seems to be particularly interested in football or any other such thing.

  21. TNCath says:

    Steve K. wrote: “Since no one has said it yet, I would like to point to the outstanding example of a Novus Ordo Mass with Latin and vernacular elements, the daily Mass celebrated on EWTN. Every priest who celebrates it has done so with beauty and reverence. I believe this is essentially what the Holy Father has in mind for the reform of the Novus Ordo.”

    Indeed the EWTN does provide a good example of a well said Novus Ordo with both Latin and English. Some of the hymn choices are a bit obscure at times, but, all in all, the Mass is said reverently and in keeping with the rubrics of the GIRM.

    I am still waiting for EWTN to resume the ad orientem position, though, and am disappointed that Bishop Baker of Birmingham hasn’t revisited the norms for televised Masses his predecessor promulgated. Televising Masses ad orientem would certainly be a catalyst for the desire for more ad orientem Masses in parishes.

  22. I couldn’t agree more about the use of Latin, especially in sung Masses, but having experienced the novus ordo in several languages in various countries, I find it is the posture of worship which most affects the liturgy. I think my prority would be to get rid of the table altar in favour of the old high altar. And if the altar has been moved too far forward for ad orientem worship ? Move it back.

  23. Mitchell says:

    Why can we not simply use the English translation from the 1962 Missal for Vernacular Masses, and then build some changes into that, leaving the Latin 1962 missal alone for now….Wouldn’t that satisfy many people?? A return to good language, better translations, a better reflection of Catholic identity before this obvious suppression, and an overall tone of reverance. Why is this option rarely mentioned as at least on the surface it seems to solve many problems and would indeed bring the two uses of the rite closer together. Scrap the NO altogether and sart the reform with the vernacular 1962 Missal..Does this appeal to anyone else?

  24. Michael S. says:

    In Portland, OR, it seems that mainly the Ordinary Form in Latin is making headway.
    The only regular EF Mass is out in the boonies, and generally a 4-hymn low Mass.

    Interestingly, neither of the regular Latin OF Masses are celebrated ad orientem. At least in the
    case of one parish (at which the Dominican Rite is occasionally celebrated), the space does not prevent it.

    Both have wonderful music, employing a repertoire of sacred polyphony and chant, with the congregation
    joyously adding their voices to the chant ordinary. One is almost totally in Latin, save for the readings
    and the general intercessions. The other completely depends on which priest is celebrating that day.

  25. David Andrew says:

    I had the pleasure of attending the NO in Latin at St. Agnes in St. Paul MN this last Sunday for the first time since last summer. (As an active parish musician, I don’t often get the luxury of a Sunday with no morning responsibilities, but when it happens, the car practically drives itself to Lafond St!)

    There were people of all ages there, and as with any parish congregation there were a few shrieking babies that really needed to be dealt with better. (In that accoustic one scream from a strong-lunged toddler rolls around for a while, let me tell you!)

    But what caught my attention was a young mother in a mantilla with a young girl, probably about 5 yrs. old, in her lap. This girl appeared to suffer from some kind of developmental disability. This observation aside, I happened to notice that during the chanting of the offertory by the schola she was standing up on the kneeler in front of her mother quietly and with slow flowing gestures waving her arms from side to side in front of her, to the flow of the chant. It was as if she were responding in a prayerful manner, in the only way she new how.

    I don’t want to make too much of it, but it just struck at my heart that this “old, churchy stuff” that the progressives have been telling us the church has grown beyond, was capable of reaching this developmentally disabled young girl in ways those progressives not only will never understand, but are clearly afraid of.

    As for me, with our new pastor coming soon, I’ll be making my case for more Latin and more chant in the Sunday Masses, and also the daily Masses.

  26. Jason says:

    Recently we had a religious Priest visiting from Brazil, and he did not speak English. So he said Mass in Latin. The responses were in English, because the people were not familiar with Latin responses. But it’s just a matter of Latin becoming a part of our culture again, and I think everyone will pick it up.

  27. josephus muris saliensis says:

    In respect of the Creed, it is not necessary that this be pronounced in the vernacular for us to assent to it and make it our own, nor even that we speak the words all ourselves, as in the case of an ‘alternatim’ chanted creed, or even a polyphonic setting, which we only assent to internally.

    The Holy Father reinforced this point on SS Peter and Paul, when the creed was proclaimed by him and the Patriarch in Greek, no-one in the crowd joined in, and yet they were not in any way excluded.

  28. Thomas says:

    I suppose I should note that “bored” is not the correct term for me to have used, but sometimes I have trouble coming up with a precise term.

    Indeed, when I was my high school’s choir director, I was beginning to introduce Gregorian Chant, and I found myself in debate with one of my friends. He was a fan of the contemporary worship and insisted that if the music at Mass was chant, he would fall asleep since the chant is boring, meaningless and irrelevant (I will note that he does not sing.) I had to say that whether it makes us sleep or not does not matter; we should be willing to suffer the things we do not like for the worship of God, though we must do what is in our power to keep ourselves focused. In the English OF, I have found that following along in my missal is extremely helpful, particularly since I am primarily visual and spatial in my learning and comprehension. But for others, listening is surely better. I suppose there again is an argument for the EF; it seems that it has an excellent balance of the different modes of cognition.

    To bring things more to the topic, I must wholeheartedly agree that the one biggest thing by far that can be done to properly focus liturgy is the reintroduction of ad orientem.

  29. Mick says:

    I have to say, I sympathise with the writer. I grew up in a regular old novus ordo parish, and when I first went to a mass in the extraordinary form, I was very confused. I had always fancied myself a traditionalist, but a lifetime of the “low church” experience did not prepare me for a high mass. I didn’t know what was coming next, I had to flip back and forth between two books, I never knew when to stand, sit , or kneel, and I didn’t understand why someone else needed to say the responses, rather than the congregation. The consecration caught me by complete surprise, and I really didn’t understand why we couldn’t hear the priest half the time. The microphone has been around for a long time. It made it even harder to follow along.

    I am sure if I had grown up with it, I would have a different feeling about it, but I think I would personally prefer a more reverent Novus Ordo, with better English, some Latin prayers, ad orientum, communion rail, no Eucharistic Ministers, communion on the tongue. I know this makes me sound like an uncultured barbarian to some on this blog, but I think some of the changes that were made were good ones.

  30. If the imposition of the vernacular hadn’t so total and forced, I think traditional Catholics wouldn’t be so tense around the subject of language. Ditto for dialogue Masses. We come to these discussions with forty years of history.

  31. dcs says:

    As far as saying the Creed in Latin it makes a lot of sense since the English translation is so mangled. Same thing with the Eucharistic Prayers, Collects, etc.

    Steve K. writes:
    Since no one has said it yet, I would like to point to the outstanding example of a Novus Ordo Mass with Latin and vernacular elements, the daily Mass celebrated on EWTN. Every priest who celebrates it has done so with beauty and reverence. I believe this is essentially what the Holy Father has in mind for the reform of the Novus Ordo.

    I’ve heard this from a lot of people but I still find EWTN’s Mass lacking in some respects. (Have they returned to celebrating ad orientem under their new Ordinary, by the way?) For example, they read (not sing) the Responsorial Psalm instead of chanting the Gradual. For another (and not to dwell too much on fashion) their vestments, while rich, are pretty ugly.

  32. Sam Schmitt says:


    Give it some time.

  33. m.a. says:

    Chironomo said: “we all know very well what the Gloria says. If we say it in Latin, the meaning doesn’t change. It still “means” the same thing that it does in English. And more to the point, when we sing it in Latin, we still know what it means. Why is it necessary to “understand it” when singing it if you already know what it means? ”

    – – – – –

    Regarding the Gloria and other prayers in English: It is not only a question of knowing what the words mean; but that I want to PRAY the words I speak. And that goes for the entire Mass in English.

    This is also the reason that the Rosary is not my prayer of choice. It is usually said so fast that one cannot easily become part of the words. It is more like a mantra…

  34. TJM says:

    What I find so interesting about the EWTN televized Masses is that the most solemn part of the Mass, the Canon, continues to be said in English. If I was force
    to make a choice, I would choose that the Canon said in Latin and the rest of the Mass be in the vernacular. Tom

  35. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I know this will sound weird, but I wish there were a way to make it more apparent/obvious that when a priest celebrates ad orientem, he is praying in the same direction as the people are and toward a common focus. With the priest so far in front of the people, usually looking down at the book or the Sacrament, speaking in whispers, the body language communicates something drastically different (IMHO) from what the theology professes he is doing. I really believe that ad orientem posture is crucial and indispensible, but it there another way of doing it that uses body language to reinforce rather than obfuscate the doctrine? Can it be done with an altar closer to the people and a tabernacle and crucifix further ahead?

  36. Todd says:

    In response to Mitchell,

    I have advocated for some time now that the EF in the vernacular (or at least partially) should be a consideration if we are to get people used to a form of Mass that is totally foreign to them. After all, most parishioners have never attended the EF. I propose that, once the EF (with some English) is well attended, slowly introduce more Latin into the Mass again. I worship in a parish that offers a very reverent NO mass. Altar boys in black with surplices, insense more often that not, Kyrie sung during Lent and the Sanctus, in Latin, during Lent. We also hear exclusive use of our old church’s beautiful organ (we have a traditional minded organist). Since Summorum Pontificum, we have had our priest’s mentor down from Chicago about three times. He has offered two High Masses and one Low Mass while he was here. All of them were very well attended but I have heard frownish comments such as “it wasn’t what I remembered” or “I’ll stick with the new Mass”. The EF partially in English would be very well accepted here, I believe. There must be a meetpoint between the OF and the EF. Most people can’t just go from one to the other that easily, I don’t think, without a bridge. Shouldn’t English be that bridge?

  37. Scott W. says:

    I think parents will say that children do pretty well with the Latin, especially Gregorian chant

    I remember playing some chant on my stereo and my 4-year old said, “that sounds like church”. Here’s the kicker: He has never been to a church featuring gregorian chant and there is no practical explanation for the association.

    Out of the mouths of babes…

  38. Chris says:

    On a very basic level, if the ultimate goal isn’t a reform of the reform but the restoration of the traditional Mass and Faith, then I’m fine keeping Latin in the traditional form of Mass only. It may speed up the process of restoration and help ensure we don’t end up with some hybrid mass one day.

  39. Geoffrey says:

    “…the ultimate goal isn’t a reform of the reform but the restoration of the traditional Mass and Faith…”

    Is this the ultimate goal? In my opinion, the ultimate goal would be what Vatican II decreed, which we have in neither the ordinary or the extraordinary forms… I think eventually the two will influence the other until one day, far in the future, we have what Vatican II actually desired.

  40. We all know that Father Z cringes at mention of “the Latin Mass” without reference to whether EF or OF. So do I, but perhaps for a different reason.

    Although a Latin lover — say my daily office in Latin, follow in Latin propers as well as the ordinary at each EF Mass I attend, etc. — I’m not sure the language, whether Latin or vernacular, in which a Mass is celebrated makes the big difference that is generally assumed, as to how a Mass affects people or is perceived by them. Surely the kinds of factors Diane enumerates are more important.

    But, all other things being equal — orientation, music, reverence of celebration, etc. — I don’t see all that much difference between the OF in English and the OF in Latin. Either way, the Novus Ordo is unmistakably the Novus Ordo.

    On the basis of a lot of experience with both forms in Latin, I’ve come to the conclusion that to focus on language in distinguishing the EF and the OF is to miss the real difference.

    The differences that “make all the difference” (both to us and to God, I believe) are ones of ritual and ceremony, of gesture and posture. Not just ad orientem — without which there’s simply no continuity with the Mass of history — but the whole EF paraphernalia of reverence, the 52 signs of the cross the priest makes, the 13 genuflections (if I recall correctly), the many bowings, etc.

    On the one hand, I have seen a (very) few largely vernacular OF Masses that seemed more reverent than any Latin Novus Ordo I’ve attended personally, because of greater attention to ritual and gesture.

    On the other hand, though I haven’t seen one personally, I suspect that an EF Mass celebrated according to the Anglo Catholic (Knott) English Missal — a faithful translation of the Tridentine missal into soaring English — following religiously the traditional rubrics as prescribed in Fortescue, might seem “just like” the real thing, despite the difference in language.

    So, while I personally feel than the Mass in any form should be celebrated as Vatican II directed — that is, largely if not entirely in Latin — I wonder whether preoccupation with the language of the Mass is not a red herring.

    In particular, I thought the original poster’s reaction to the OF Mass he attended carried little or no implication of his reaction were he to attend an EF Mass.

  41. Chironomo says:


    I understand what you’re saying and I respect (greatly) your reasons for saying so. What I don’t understand is the difference in some people’s minds between understanding a memorized prayer in English, and understanding a prayer memorized in Latin, the meaning of which you already know in English. I agree that there is a great difference when considering texts which are unkown to the listener in a language they don’t understand. However, I would claim with considerable sureness that if you have the “Gloria” (for instance) memorized in English, and you also memorize it in Latin, you are in fact “understanding it” when you say it in Latin. This is the basis of how we learn languages via translation (as opposed to early childhood learning of lanaguage). Whether you would want to admit it or not, you “understand” the Gloria in Latin when you say it from memory, assuming you also know it from memory in English. This being said, I would also claim that you are just as able to “pray” the Gloria in Latin with the same degree of understanding as you do in English, providing you have it memorized in both languages.

    My point about the Rosary was this: The way people say memorized prayers as a complete thought indicates that we do not “translate” individual words into concepts when we speak them. We know the meaning of the complete thought, and say the words that we have memorized. Whether we say them in English or Latin doesn’t matter, provided we know the meaning of the corresponding complete thought. I apologize to all here if this is a bit erudite, but it bothers me when people start with the prayers “in a language I don’t understand” argument applied to the Ordinary or other memorized texts. It simply isn’t supported by any understanding of language.

  42. SARK says:

    Could someone explain why one would want a NO in latin Ad Orientem rather than a straight forward Tridentine Mass in dialogue form. In what way is the fomer superior to the latter and if not superior why bother with it when its predecessor is perfectly good (infact perfect and good).


  43. John H. says:

    While the reform of the reform appears to have made some serious gains, it seems to me that we cannot continue pretending that the Novus Ordo is a legitimate reform in itself. It constitutes such a break with the Roman Rite, that it is not a reform, but an institution of its own. This is why we speak of a ‘hybrid’ Mass, for it is truly another species of liturgy. As such, it does need reform, but let’s not try to confuse it with the Traditional Mass of Rome.

  44. josephus muris saliensis says:

    spot on Chironimo.

    To those who feel this problem (non-problem) about not understanding and translation I would counsel saying the Rosary in Latin in small groups or alone [A good suggestion! – Fr. Z] (I always say it in Latin). You will find it very liberating, the fact that you are ‘thinking’ your meditations is one language, while praying aloud in another, allows the words to flow over you like a spirit, and will greatly enhance the meditation. NOONE can honestly say they cannot understand the hail may or Our Father in Latin, these are prayers you understand intrinsically (inasmuch as any of us can understand the mysteries they contain). For those not convinced enough to follow a few search links (with apologies for taking up space):

    In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

    PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

    AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

    Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
    Sicut erat in principio,
    et nunc, et semper,
    et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

    Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae,
    Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, Salve!
    Ad te clamamus, exsules filii [H]evae,
    Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes,
    In hac lacrimarum valle.
    Eja ergo, Advocata nostra,
    Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
    Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
    Nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende,
    O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

    Good luck! A few days of this, and Holy Mass in Latin will become a deeply spiritual exercise, far far more intense than anything you have experienced in the vernacular.

  45. I hate to say it like this but… I think latin in the Novus Ordo is a lost cause. Now let me explain. Basically, those priests that are interested in implementing Latin (especially in a high Mass) will be the ones most likely to be interested in the EF. That being said, those priests will focus their Sunday resources on celebrating a High Mass in the EF rather than the High Mass OF in Latin. And the EF High Mass will attract the kind of people who are interested in Latin so it will be that much more difficult to introduce Latin in the other Sunday Masses. And from what I have heard around the Arlington Diocese this is what has happened. The EF has made the OF High Mass extinct. Why focus time, money & effort on having a OF High Mass when now you have a High Mass EF? Especially as pastors are trying to introduce the EF in their parishes — all the focus must be on the EF. If pastors really want to make a change in the Novus Ordo, I think it would be best to introduce Latin, ad orientem, kneeling for communion etc at daily Mass. You are much more likely to get a better response. Although, how many priests really use latin in the daily Novus Ordo?!? I don’t believe either Father Fasano or Father McAfee do (correct me if I am wrong) and they are the most traditional pastors in all of the Arlington Diocese.

  46. SARK: Could someone explain why one would want a NO in latin Ad Orientem rather than a straight forward Tridentine Mass in dialogue form.

    As indicated in my preceding post, there’s all the difference in the world between an ad orientem Latin OF Mass — recited with no music, e.g., introit instead of opening hymn, say — and a dialogue low EF Mass.

    Despite the fact that the people there the same things at either Mass — the differences, for instance, in the Offertory, being mostly silent — and make precisely the same verbal responses.

    In short, the difference between the two forms is not one of words, whatever the language, but one of ritual and ceremony.

    In plain language (so to speak), the ritual of the EF makes unmistakeably clear that sacrifice is being offered — in the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross — to God in propitiation for the sins of man.

    However well it is celebrated, the OF does not make so clear that we are present at the Sacrifice of the Cross. One can well assume instead, for instance, that he is present at a reenactment of the Last Supper.

  47. Pleased as Punch says:

    Josephus Muris Saliensis has hit the nail on the head. The spiritual benefits of a sacred language are manifest and many. Just think of it: Latin worked for well over a thousand years as a non-vernacular ecclesial language. And we’re supposed to think that a few decades of enforced abeyance have rendered it feckless? Millions upon millions of ignorant peasants sought heaven through the Latin liturgy and Latin sacraments. And we, who make up perhaps the most broadly educated age cohort in human history (if you’re reading this blog, I bet you went to college), are supposed to be unequal to hoc est enim corpus meum? How much time and money has each of us sunk into his hobbies, his personal passions, his own interests? Isn’t the worship of God worth at least a fraction of that effort?

  48. athanasius says:

    My experience as a layman who attended the Novus Ordo in Latin for two years, moved from annoyance to boredom. Since I also know Latin, the faults of the Latin Novus Ordo were all apparent. In the end I prayed my Tridentine Missal, ignored the ugly sounding Novus Ordo Latin proper prayers which did not correlate to my breviary readings from the old rite in any way shape or form, ignored what people do at the Novus Ordo, and listened to the Gregorian chant, matching my private prayer to it as best as it might match up in the Traditional Mass.

    Fortunately, the Norbertine priests who celebrated it did so ad orientem with reverence and correct pronunciation of the Latin, with no mixing amidst prayers, so it was nothing like what this fellow had to endure. I found in everything, the psalm texts are horrid (coming from the New Vulgate), the prayers in Latin many times were just as ambiguous as the ICEL translations, just slightly more filled with content, and all of the beautiful ritual which the priest performs in the Traditional Mass such as his bows at the confiteor (Christ weighed down by the world’s sins) the multiple signs of the cross, the gestures, blessings, proportions and movements of the missal which represent so much tradition are all gone and suppressed. Plus, if you had a “Daily Roman Missal” or any other book for following a Latin Novus Ordo, you were constantly stuck with the problem that you don’t know what Eucharistic prayer a priest may use, (he really should just use the Canon since it is the oldest continually in use in the Church) so that you think he’s doing three, and lo and behold it is two, so flip pages back, oh wait, it is 4 never mind, so you flip back, it makes following prayers you are not used to impossible.

    At the Traditional Latin Mass, it will always be the same ordinary, the propers are pre-appointed and can rarely be changed, especially on Sunday, if like me you memorize the parts of the ordinary to recite at work, you almost come to a point where you don’t need a missal except for the propers, unless you are up close and can hear. I generally have my missal for before and after prayers, the rest of the time my wife uses it. That is absolutely impossible at the Novus Ordo in Latin.

    So if having the NO in Latin helps some folks, then that’s great, but I’d prefer to see the TLM fostered instead, or Latin NO’s to help bring people to the TLM exclusively.

  49. I totally agree with Athanasius Contra Mundum. It would be better to bring people into the Gregorian Rite completely and let those not interested in it, have higher quality English translations. 95% of the Catholic world has zero interest in having more Latin in the OF.

  50. RichR says:

    I think the more you try and put the OF on par with the EF (ie. ad orientem, Latin, altar boys, altar rail, Roman Canon, Gregorian chant, etc….) the more the OF will stand out as less desirable, esthetically. I agree with Athanasius and Greg: the options of the OF render it difficult to follow in Latin, and the Propers don’t often make sense with the feast of the day.

    I agree with the original article: the single most important thing you could do for the OF is turn the priest back around to the liturgical East.

  51. KOM says:

    An ordinary form mass ad orientem and in Latin! Puhleez! If a Priest knows Latin, and worships ad orientem, why not do it in the Extraordinary form? That’s like putting a new paint job on a Pinto when you can drive a Ferrari. Why would a Priest rehash the protestantized Bugnini Mass if he wants to pray the Mass in English? I don’t get it…

  52. KOM says:

    Latin, that is..

  53. Fortitude says:

    To Henry Edwards
    Re: “I’ve come to the conclusion that to focus on language in distinguishing the EF and the OF is to miss the real difference.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! As someone who assists at both forms, I haven’t been able to pinpoint the real difference. Your summary makes perfect sense.

  54. m.a. says:

    Chironomo, thank you for your kind response. I grew up with German as my second language. My parents spoke it at home and I grew to understand it but could not speak it. Later on, I took German on the university level and also spent some time in Germany visiting relatives during which time, I had to speak the language well enough for my relatives to understand me. Believe me, it was not easy even with the background I had. At some point, I found I could almost THINK in German. That is crucial in being fluent in any language.

    I again use the Gloria as example. Although I know in general what the Latin words of the Gloria mean because I know the English words, when I look at the string of Latin words or hear them said, they are just that. They are simply a string of words. I have no connection in my mind or heart as to what I am saying. I want to be able to THINK of what I am praying; to offer every word I am saying to my God.

    In a comment after yours, someone wrote out the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, etc. in Latin. That was absolutely useless to me. I had no connection to those words even though I had taken two years of Latin in high school. Again, they were another string of words that could not touch my heart and soul. This is why I want the Normal Form of the Mass to remain in English.

  55. Brian Mershon says:

    Greg Hessel’s comments are spot on. There is no lay demand for the Novus Ordo in Latin. There are even fewer priests who care to offer it that way.

    Nearly all priests who start that way end up offering the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Why not offer to God the best we have to offer?

  56. John says:

    For those in the Inland Empire, the 10 (or maybe 10:30) Sunday Mass at Mary Queen in Spokane is in Latin with the priest facing ad orientem. Very beautiful.

    Also following up on Josephus Muris Saliensis’s comment regarding praying the Rosary in Latin, I’ve been doing that for a short while. Then it sort of hit me one day that while the Holy Family wouldn’t have prayed the Rosary, they most likely would understand me praying it in Latin. Two millenia bridged just like that!


  57. Rouxfus says:

    James Cardinal Gibbons gives us a wonderful explanation of the Mass as a sacrifice in The Faith of Our Fathers:

    In the Old Law there were different kinds of sacrifices offered up for different purposes. There were sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God for His benefits, sacrifices of propitiation to implore His forgiveness for the sins of the people, and sacrifices of supplication to ask His blessing and protection. The Sacrifice of the Mass fulfils all these ends. It is a sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, a sacrifice of propitiation and of supplication; hence that valued book, the “Following of Christ,” says: “When a Priest celebrates Mass he honors God, he rejoices the angels, he edifies the church, he helps the living, he obtains rest for the dead, and makes himself a partaker of all that is good.” To from an adequate idea of the efficiency of the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass we have only to bear in mind the Victim that is offered–Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

    First–The Mass is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. If all human beings in this world, and all living creatures, and all inanimate objects were collected and burned as a holocaust to the Lord, they would not confer as much praise on the Almighty as a single Eucharistic sacrifice. These earthly creatures–how numerous and excellent soever–are finite and imperfect; while the offering made in the Mass is of infinite value, for it is our Lord Jesus, the acceptable Lamb without blemish, the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased, and who “is always heard on account of His reverence.”

    With what awe and grateful love should we assist at this Sacrifice! The angels were present at Calvary. Angels are present also at the Mass. If we cannot assist with the seraphic love and rapt attention of the angelic spirits, let us worship, at least, with the simple devotion of the shepherds of Bethlehem and the unswerving faith of the Magi. Let us offer to our God the golden gift of a heart full of love and the incense of our praise and adoration, repeating often during the holy oblation the words of the Psalmist: “The mercies of the Lord I will sing forever.”

    Second–The Mass is also a sacrifice of propitiation. Jesus daily pleads our cause in this Divine oblation before our Heavenly Father. “If any man sin,” says St. John, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”[I John ii. 1, 2.] Hence the Priest, whenever he offers up the holy sacrifice, recites this prayer at the offertory: “Receive, O holy Father, almighty, eternal God, this immaculate victim which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer to Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offences and negligences, for all here present, and for all the faithful living and dead, that it may avail me and them to life everlasting.”

    Whenever, therefore, we assist at Mass let us unite with Jesus Christ in imploring the mercy of God for our sins. Let us represent to ourselves the Mass as another Calvary, which it is in reality. Like Mary, let us stand in spirit beneath the cross, and let our souls be pierced with grief for our transgressions. Let us acknowledge that our sins were the cause of that agony and of the shedding of that precious blood. Let us follow in mind and heart that crowd of weeping penitents who accompanied our Savior to Calvary, striking their breasts, and let us say: “Spare, O Lord, spare Thy people.” Or let us repeat with the publican this heartfelt prayer: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” At the death of Jesus the sun was darkened, the earth trembled, the very rocks were rent, as if to show that even inanimate nature sympathized with the sufferings of its God. And should not we tremble for our sins? Should not our hearts, though cold and hard as rocks, be softened at the spectacle of our God suffering for love of us, and in expiation for our offences?

    Third–The Sacrifice of the Mass is, in fine, a sacrifice of supplication: “For, if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of a heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the Holy Ghost, offered himself without spot to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”[Heb. ix. 13, 14.] If the prayers of Moses and David and the Patriarchs were so powerful in behalf of God’s servants, what must be the influence of Jesus’ intercession? If the wounds of the Martyrs plead so eloquently for us, how much more eloquent is the blood of Jesus shed daily upon our altars? His blood cries louder for mercy than the blood of Abel cried for vengeance. If God inclines His ear to us miserable sinners, how can He resist the pleadings in our behalf of the “Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.”

    “Let us go, therefore, with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in seasonable aid.” [Heb. iv. 16.]

  58. Patrick T says:

    Over at the NLM there was some discussion of the OF in Latin in the comboxes.

    Interestingly, a couple of people indicated that, at St. John Cantius, the most attended Mass is the OF Latin. One commentor even noted that it appears to be more solemn than the EF high Mass. Of course, since it is St. John Cantius, all the Masses are said ad orientem and accompanied by beautiful chant. The demand seems to be for reverence and solemnity not necessarily the 1962 missal. It’s very clear at parishes like St. John Cantius that there is “no rupture.”

  59. SARK says:

    Dear Henry Edwards,

    Rather than explaining why one would want a NO in latin AO rather than the Tridentine Mass, you have made clear why one would not.

    I rather agree.

    Let’s get rid of the pretence about the NO being on a par with the Tridentine Rite and return to the exclusive use of latter as soon as possible.

    Why do we need both the NO and Tridentine Rite when these are either different Rites (the former inspired by a novel non-Catholic theology) or the former is a far inferior version of the latter.

    Having said all this my knowlegde of the NO is a little rusty I havn’t assisted at one for 18 years.


  60. Matt says:

    Yes, I agree. A Latin OF is like painting the Ford Pinto red to match
    the colour of the Ferrari, and then claiming that the Pinto is the equal
    of the Ferrari because they are both red.

  61. Antiquarian says:

    “Interestingly, a couple of people indicated that, at St. John Cantius, the most attended Mass is the OF Latin. ”

    In the Archdiocese of Washington, attendance at the Latin OF at St Matthew’s Cathedral dwarfs the combined attendance at the three (formerly) indult masses combined. And now that there are five weekly EF masses here (counting the Shrine and GU) it dwarfs all five combined.

  62. TJM says:

    Patrick T,

    I frequently go to Mass at St. John Cantius (to escape my painfully boring suburban parish Sunday liturgy) and find that both the OF and EF are celebrated
    magnificently. I truly believe the EF has had some influence on the manner in which the OF is celebrated. I think one of the reasons the OF in Latin may
    be attended by more folks is that the format is more familiar to them and secondly the time of the Mass. The OF is at 11:00 whereas the EF is at 12:30. People do tend to be practical.


  63. Brian Mershon says:

    Regarding St. John Cantius…

    Dare I bring up the following caveat.

    If the TLM were to be moved to the 11 a.m. timeslot and the Novus Ordo moved to the 12:30 p.m. timeslot, I would venture to guess that the 11 a.m. would be packed and the 12:30 p.m. would be more sparsely attended than the 12:30 TLM is now.

    Anyone want to wager?

  64. NY Priest says:

    Ever notice the cheap disposable Missalettes in almost every parish?
    Notice that they never print the Latin ordinary of the Mass?
    I think the publishers have no incentive to add the Latin. They know the order from the parishes is almost automatic each year.

    Tell your pastors to stop wasting your donations on those Missalettes which omit the Latin ordinary.

    I imagine if we had in the pews Missalettes with Latin on one side and English on the other the faithful would become more familiar with the Latin just by seeing it. Perhaps some people would try to match up the Latin to English instead of reading the bulletin. And if the Latin were not often used, some people might start to wonder why. Knowing the Latin were in the Missalette would give the priest confience that his Latin “Dominus vobiscum” would not be greeted with silence.

    There has to be a way to pressure the publishing companies to start including the Latin ordinary in the Missalettes. I say tell your pastors to call them and cancel the parish orders until the companies find it economically advantageous to include the Latin.

  65. RBrown says:

    Yes, I agree. A Latin OF is like painting the Ford Pinto red to match
    the colour of the Ferrari, and then claiming that the Pinto is the equal
    of the Ferrari because they are both red.
    Comment by Matt

    A Pinto Testrossa!!

  66. Brian: I’ve heard pastors say that who in their parishes attends which Mass is determined more by when it’s scheduled — late Sunday morning being prime time — than by what happens at it.

    But perhaps, from the vantage point of upcountry South Carolina, you can tell us what happens next month when Prince of Peace Church in Taylors changes its principal parish Mass at 11 am Sunday from (Latin?) Novus Ordo to TLM.

  67. This comment is late and the thread, and in uncongenial company, but…

    I am in favor of including Latin and chant in the ordinary form of the Mass, something we do in my two parishes, and are doing more of progressively over time. I have no objections to the extraordinary form, but I am not yet able to offer it, and while I am off in September for training (if events don’t intervene, as they did this past April), I’ll get started. When I will be ready to offer it suitably, who can say? I do what I can.

    But the OF is the Mass most Catholics in this country are going to attend, for some time to come, unless it’s suppressed. Hope all you like, but don’t hold your breath.

    So do you want the Mass most Catholics experience to become more like the Mass of the ages, or let it be? I favor what I take to be the Holy Father’s plan, which is the OF will be pulled gravitationally toward the EF (but not oblitered by it). Hence, I do favor Latin and chant, even if only some.

    But I have to say, there is every reason in the world for priests to choose the path of least resistance, so why be surprised when they do? Especially when a number of posters effectively endorse that, when they say, who cares about the OF? It’s awful, can’t be salvaged, let it go down…

    Frankly, sometimes reading these threads is discouraging to a priest trying to make things better. Good thing I seek my motivation for re-sacralizing the liturgy elsewhere, because I find little of in a lot of the comments here.

  68. KOM says:

    *A Pinto Testrossa!!*

    Not the Diablo, of course.

  69. Geoffrey says:

    “There is no lay demand for the Novus Ordo in Latin.”

    This is incorrect. The Latin Liturgy Association (US) and the Association for Latin Liturgy (UK) promote the use of Latin in both forms of the Roman Rite. As a layman, I personally would actually prefer the Ordinary Form in Latin to the Extraordinary Form. However, they are so rare that I don’t have much of a choice.

  70. KOM says:


    OK, maybe the Diablo. The V-12 is more apropos to the EF than the Pinto’s V-4.

  71. Deusdonat says:

    hello Patrick,

    Back in May I was fortunate enough to attend St John Cantius church too! It was an incredible experience and you are so fortunate to have such a parish near you! The church itself is a work of art on par with anything you’d see in Europe (save Italy : ) and the liturgy itself was amazing. I especially liked the homily from the young priest; he was spiritual, topical and spoke in a commanding yet humble tone. He didn’t resort to cheap wit or pop culture to keep the people interested. And you could tell he didn’t let his charisma go to his head (i.e. a cult of personality as is so often the case) at least that was my observation. And the day i went the church was packed (young and old alike…mostly families).

    Anyway, I am sincerely envious of you : )

  72. KOM says:

    The Bugatti is a dream machine, no doubt about it, but for a car that mere mortals could afford and is almost as fast, [As the Veyron?!?] Nissan is coming out with a new GTR:


    (I know I’m straying, forgive me)

  73. Fr. Martin Fox: I favor what I take to be the Holy Father’s plan, which is the OF will be pulled gravitationally toward the EF (but not oblitered by it). Hence, I do favor Latin and chant, even if only some.

    I wonder whether I’m correct in inferring that, to you, “reform of the reform” inevitably means more and more Latin, with a Latin OF Mass perhaps being an ideal goal, even if one that will not likely be feasible for the majority of Catholics in the foreseeable future.

    I ask as someone who is completely devoted to the EF, which I attend on Sundays and on an occasional weekday. But I am also devoted to the OF, which I attend almost every other weekday. Among the latter is a Latin Novus Ordo about once a month.

    But I believe the best end result of the reform of the reform for most Catholics at the present time might be something like the Mass I described at


    after I read in George Weigel’s Letters to a Young Catholic that “St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, South Carolina ….. is as good a place as there is in North America to experience what Catholic worship is and ought to be.” Be that as it may, I can say that this Mass was more beautiful and reverent than any Latin OF Mass I have ever attended, even though most of the Mass was chanted in English, with only the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin (just as in many a typical and much more prosaic local Sunday liturgy these days).

    So I’d really suggest that more Latin in and of itself may not be the best objective for the reform of the reform, and by itself is no guarantee of getting from here to there.

  74. Henry:

    ‘I wonder whether I’m correct in inferring that, to you, “reform of the reform” inevitably means more and more Latin, with a Latin OF Mass perhaps being an ideal goal, even if one that will not likely be feasible for the majority of Catholics in the foreseeable future.’

    To that I would answer, “not necessarily,” but perhaps. It seems clear to me that Vatican II called for the celebration of the reformed Mass either all in Latin, or in a combination of Vernacular and Latin, but I see little warrant for the banishment of Latin altogether.

    I would be very happy if my current efforts helped facilitate either the Mass as described in the link you provided, or Mass more in Latin, or even entirely in Latin, but the latter is not, to me, the only successful outcome. I do not consider it primarily about language, but the issue of Latin is not irrelevant. For example, I am offering Mass once a month, according to the OF, mostly in Latin, but the readings and orations are in English, but I usually use a Latin preface. (FWIW, what St. Mary in South Carolina has accomplished, I assume took a lot work to make happen.Perhaps Father Newman should write a book or give seminars on how to do it. I would love to know.)

    But here’s the thing about Latin — so many parishes are places where Latin is effectively banished, and I think that is an impediment to proper implementation of the Mass called for by Vatican II, considering Vatican II said teach the people certain prayers in Latin.

  75. Matthew Robinson says:

    I think the lessons learned over the past 40 years is that man simply cannot create a liturgy. We can talk about tweaking this and tuning that, but ultimately as the East says, the liturgy is Divine….it is a gift of God not a construct of man.

    We can reform all we want, but I fear the same end result. “Man
    proposes and God disposes”. No doubt even more so for “modern” and “Post modern” man!

    That is why I’ve come be a Trad….the TLM is the only truly Apostolic Western Rite, we shouldn’t mess around with it.

  76. Maureen says:

    1. I don’t mind a sane mix of Latin and English, and I don’t mind Latin. I honestly don’t see a lot of difference between a reverent OF Mass and a Missa Cantata or High Mass.

    It’s Low Mass that’s… um… Well, it’s Mass and that’s not bad; but you sure don’t go to Low Mass to hear Latin, or indeed, anything. I think Low Mass should be done exclusively in sign language, to prevent the startling effect of Father occasionally raising his voice above a whisper. (The sanctus bells should be replaced by flashing lights, as they sound about as loud as a siren and darn near make me jump up in my seat.)

    2. One of the Old Irish poems was written by a monk, complaining about his lack of concentration at Mass. This isn’t something that’s ever going to go away.

  77. Regina Quintero says:

    Brian – I’ll wager that some of the regular attendees at the 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace will flee to several local churches that still offer the hootenanny Mass.I think Msgr. Brovey is very brave to commit that time to a Latin Mass, and he is hardworking to offer yet another Mass on the schedule to accommodate everybody, although at 7 a.m. ( For those not local, he is the sole priest and pastor there.)His Latin Mass is the most beautiful I have ever attended. St. Mary’s has a beautiful Mass at that time also, but it does not compare in reverance, stillness,and closeness to God and His merciful sacrifice as evidenced by both pastor Brovey and his congregation at Prince of Peace.

  78. Tina says:

    So my question about the Latin in the Latin liturgy is this: what is said in place of the Kyrie Eleison since that is Greek? Or is it just skipped?

    As to the person who posted the Rosary prayers in Latin, that was very nice but how do you pronounce all the words? I’m guessing Latin isn’t pronounced the same way as English. I could probably read the prayers but wouldn’t be able to speak them.

    Just a thought

  79. athanasius says:

    So my question about the Latin in the Latin liturgy is this: what is said in place of the Kyrie Eleison since that is Greek? Or is it just skipped?


    The Kyrie Eleison continues in Greek in the Traditional Latin Mass. It is a remnant of the ancient greek liturgy which was retained in the Gregorian rite. Incidentally on Good Friday in the Traditional Liturgy there are prayers of petition from the ancient Divine Liturgy which are still said in Greek.

    As to the person who posted the Rosary prayers in Latin, that was very nice but how do you pronounce all the words? I’m guessing Latin isn’t pronounced the same way as English. I could probably read the prayers but wouldn’t be able to speak them.

    I could type it all out for you, but there is a website that does this which you can see here which would save me the time. It is not very difficult, particularly with practice.

  80. Lucy says:

    If I duplicate anyone’s responses, I apologize right now. I read half of them and now don’t have time to finish, but here goes. My family started attending a Gregorian Mass here in Fresno, CA several years ago. At first it is weird. There’s nothing like it and it’s odd to our senses. But I must say, after some time and allowing this Mass to sink into your soul, it’s absolutely beautiful. It takes time for you to really absorb it. I say that you should think about attending every now and then, maybe once a month and then slowly you will feel the pull to be there all the time. It’s really something that grows on you. Our young children all love it and actually whine a wee bit when we must go to the Novus Ordo instead. There’s something to be said for children to want to sit through something that takes an hour or more, instead of 50 min to an hour, not forgetting the quiet that is entailed in this endeavor. They much prefer the quiet and the mystery and the smells and bells. I agree wholeheartedly, though it took some time. I hope for you that you will give the Gregorian Mass a fair shake in future. Try to get to an FSSP Mass if you can. As for any blunders your current priest is having, perhaps he just needs a refresher course. God Bless !!

  81. Melody says:

    I’m no Latin expert, but between English, a smattering of Spanish, and memorization of the prayers, I comprehend 90% of the prayers during the Latin NO where I attend. It’s not that hard if you compare the prayers side-by-side in the missal.
    I must say that I prefer the TLM sung and second to that a Novus Ordo in Latin. I would hold them equal if the NO had the Aspergesme. The local Norbertines chant the Ordinary in Latin and chant or say the readings in English, except for the psalm, which is also chanted.
    But, the low mass! I have been to the low mass a few times and it made me understand what the original reformers of VII must have been driving at. Yes, I was honored to witness and receive my Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament, but it was very hard to actually worship Him with all the silence because there were so few cues to draw one’s attention back from worldly things. I kept drifting to WDPRS posts, shopping lists, and what time I had to catch the bus later.
    Most of my attention to the mass was absorbed by the continuing quest to figure out which part the priest was on. I wonder how often the low mass was said in the previous era as the regular mass for the people.
    Forgive my presumption, but the low mass seems like an adapted version of the high mass for the priest to celebrate privately.

  82. “Although, how many priests really use latin in the daily Novus Ordo?!? I don’t believe either Father Fasano or Father McAfee do (correct me if I am wrong) and they are the most traditional pastors in all of the Arlington Diocese.”

    At St John the Beloved, where Father McAfee is pastor, we used the reformed missal — the “Novus Ordo” — in Latin, with limited English, for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. It is difficult to do otherwise in a parish where the both forms of the Roman Rite must co-exist. Besides, there is no place for the restored catechumate in the Traditional Mass for the Great Vigil.

    In addition, the use of the new missal in Latin is often an easier transition for such parishes. Remember, in most cases (not all, obviously), the two must co-exist, and oftentimes most parishioners have yet to be persuaded as to the benefits of the Traditional Mass. Many people are content with “a reverent Novus Ordo.” I do not mean to suggest that they should be.

    All in good time…

  83. Fr. Fox: “But here’s the thing about Latin—so many parishes are places where Latin is effectively banished, and I think that is an impediment to proper implementation of the Mass called for by Vatican II, considering Vatican II said teach the people certain prayers in Latin.”

    This seems to me the key point in all of this. I’m not one who necessarily thinks the OF is “better” when said in Latin — nor when dressed in satin, as a wag has rhymed — but as I understand the instruction of Vatican II, the Mass was to remain primarily in Latin, with vernacular the exception rather than the rule. So, after the biblical hiatus of 40 years, it’s surely time to implement Vatican II faithfully, [Indeed! – Fr. Z] as Pope Benedict is emphasizing.

    “what St. Mary in South Carolina has accomplished, I assume took a lot work to make happen.”

    In his Letters to a Young Catholic — which consists of 14 chapters (or “letters”) about 14 special places in the Catholic world, with one on St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, SC sandwiched between chapters on Chartres Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel! — George Wiegel suggests that it was done within 2 years. But, after Fr. Newman’s arrival there at the end of June 2001, much was accomplished in the first day:

    “When the people of St. Mary’s came to church on Sunday morning, July 1, 2001, they noticed that things had changed in the previous twenty-four hours. The tabernacle, which had been banished to the side of the sanctuary in 1984, had been restored to its proper place [centered behind the altar] ….. The tattered paperback ‘worship resources’ (which is what some confused people call ‘hymnals’) had been removed from the pews and consigned to the parish dumpster; a music program for that Sunday’s Mass had been made for every congregant.”

    Not being a priest myself, perhaps I’m free to draw the lesson for new pastors: If it’s worth doing at all, then it’s worth doing immediately. At any rate, Wiegel then fast forwards two years:

    “One June 22, 2003, Corpus Christi Sunday, the parishioners of St. Mary’s packed the church for a Solemn Mass. In a little less than two years, the church had been transformed. . . . . A glorious new golden tabernacle had been installed . . . But if you’d been there that day, what would have struck you most powerfully would have been how the congregation itself had been transformed. More than six hundred people lustily sang three classic hymns: ‘At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing,’ ‘Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,’ and the Latin motet Adoro Te Devote; the choir sang Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus and William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus; both congregation and choir were accompanied by organ, trumpet, tympani, violin, and viola. The congregation had learned to chant its proper parts of the Mass — the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Agnus Dei. . . . . . Everyone’s attention was riveted as Father Newman sang most of the Eucharistic Prayer in a simple chant that underscored the solemnity of this central action of the Mass.”

    And this is the Sunday morning liturgy that some say is the second most beautiful and reverent in the Greenville (SC) area!

  84. Deusdonat says:

    Regina – I compliment you on your fine usage of the word hootenanny : )

  85. ASD says:

    Although it may seem like a crazy, mixed up thing to say, for me the unfamiliarity of the Latin is what’s so great about it. That is, the distance or the strangeness makes me think harder about what I’m reading or hearing. Put the other way around, I think the notion that everyday language leads to “active participation” or involves people more intensely is just wrong. In my experience, the unfamiliar, the exceptional, the elevated is what leads to intense, active involvement. I’m tempted to say that the neat, simple proposition that using familiar language will lead to active participation is just about what one would expect from a committee of bureaucrats.

  86. Brian Mershon says:

    Henry Edwards: “And this is the Sunday morning liturgy that some say is the second most beautiful and reverent in the Greenville (SC) area!”

    Indeed it is! The Traditional Latin Mass will be offered every Sunday at 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace in Taylors, a 12-minute drive from St. Mary’s in Greenville.

    Just a quibble. St. Mary’s maximum capacity is around 450 congregants. So unless 150 were standing (which they were not), Weigel’s description is somewhat exaggerated.

    As an attendee at St. Mary’s for many years, and more recently, the past few weeks, I can say that the congregational and choral singing are indeed loud. In fact, there seems to be some shrieking going on in the choir loft. It might make more sense to emphasize the proper volume, pitch, etc. and back off somewhat. There is a unique sense that God is being worshipped in His majesty. But one detects sometimes that some may be quite proud of the way they worship. Just a feeling that has been detected by some, and again, a quibble.

    In any event, the Traditional Latin Mass is now available in August for those who want to experience ad orientem worship with the Missal for which it was intended.

  87. Brian Mershon says:

    Regina: “I’ll wager that some of the regular attendees at the 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace will flee to several local churches that still offer the hootenanny Mass.”

    The flight from both Prince of Peace and St. Mary’s to these two other local parishes has already taken place by now. What has been interesting is that the reverent “High” Novus Ordo at Prince of Peace at 11 a.m. lessened in attendance over time because many of us went to an alternative Traditional Mass instead, and many other parishioners simply did not like a 1 hr. 20 minute Mass with smells and bells, Novus Ordo or Missa Cantata. It really made no difference to them.

    When Fr. Brovey periodically had the TLM at 11 a.m. for several months, the attendance was much bigger for that than the 11 a.m. reverent Novus Ordo “High” Mass.

    The fact that there are three English Masses on Sunday and one on Saturday evening more than compensates for those who want nothing whatsoever to do with the Traditional Latin Mass

    Remember, Pope John Paul II asked 20 years ago for bishops and priests to be “wide and generous” in allowing the TLM for those who desire it. Once per week in only two locations in the entire diocese is hardly “wide and generous” if we count the number of English, Spanish and Vietnamese Masses offered in the diocese.

    I believe the emphasis on doing things “prudently” and “slowly” is exaggerated and overemphasized. If one obeys the Pope and Tradition and the Church and also catechizes along the way, then perhaps the Priest gets to experience what Our Lord experienced when he repeatedly told the Jews “If you eat my body and drink my blood, you will have life within you” and those who do not, did not. He had many leave him, didn’t he?

    And so will some priests. But the meaning of “wide and generous” is obvious to those who have struggled for years for the crumbs of monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly Traditional Masses.

  88. peregrinator says:

    I find myself in the same position as Fr. Martin Fox a few posts back- late and in uncongenial company.

    I am heartened to see that other posters have already pointed that Brian Mershon’s assertion that “there is no demand for the NO in Latin” is false. It’s in demand with me, if no one else.

    I grew up (from infancy to 20-some years old) attending the Pauline Mass in Latin, (Latin was never abandoned in my home parish following Vatican II) thus Latin is my first language for prayer.

    And aspect of my experience which I find Traditionalists unwilling to adress (it usually meets with the sound of crickets chirping) is the role of Gregorian chant in a the Latin Pauline Mass. Many of the Tridentine Mass devotees in these comments imply that silent participation at Mass is the most desirable form worship.

    But, because I attended Mass in Latin, I can chant the ordinary in most of the common settings and the responses. I feel slightly cheated when not permitted to chant- not because I’m “bored,” but because to me chant (and particularly the “call and response” form of chant used in the liturgy) is a way of prayer. I assume that this view is shared by the Church as the Divine Office has been chanted in this way for centuries.

    It seems to me that a wider availability of the Pauline Mass in Latin would make this (ancient, and for me, fruitful) way of prayer more available to lay Catholics.

    With regard to the original correspondent’s observations on hybrid Masses; I find it difficult to try and function in two languages at once and thus find them challenging- although the worst language disconnect I ever experienced was attending an English Mass. There was a lady sitting behind me who kept making the responses in Spanish and hearing her had me slipping into Latin!

  89. mpm says:

    ““Ad Orientem. Once you’ve seen this, you’ll never want to go back…”
    I feel the makings of a good slogan somewhere in there…

    Comment by telcontar — 15 July 2008 @ 10:06 am”

    St. Ambrose of Milan inspired the following

    “Turn to the East, and your back to the Beast!”

    in his de Mysteriis (Caput ii):
    “Ingressus es igitur ut adversarium tuum cerneres, cui renuntiandum in os
    putaris: ad orientem converteris; qui enim renuntiat diabolo, ad Christum
    convertitur, illum directo cernit obtutu.”
    [So, thou hast entered [the holy of holies] to recognize thy adversary,
    to renounce him flatly. Thou turnest to the East — for who renounces the
    Devil, is turned toward Christ, recognizes Him at a glance.]

  90. peregrinator says:

    By way of addendum:

    I should say that as much as I find hybrid Masses difficult, I’d prefer that difficulty to Latin vanishing from the Pauline Mass altogether.

  91. peregrinator says:

    And (hit enter too quickly) I applaud and honor and support priests like Father Fox who are trying to re-introduce Latin step-by-step.

  92. mpm says:

    I also applaud the efforts of priests like Fr. Fox, and I agree with
    Peregrinator that engaging in the responses in the EF is an excellent
    way to participate, especially at a “Low Mass”. [And, BTW, that is how we
    did it right up to the promulgation of the Novus Ordo.]

  93. Brian Mershon says:

    Regarding demand for Latin Novus Ordo.

    Of course there are a few exceptions, but with those few exceptions, there are not hundreds nor thousands of laity clamoring for the Novus Ordo in Latin (with the propers, which even most of the Latin Novus Ordo parishes do not use)with chant.

    The number of such parishes, while nice, are much more infrequent than Traditional Latin Mass outposts, whether SSPX, FSSP, ICR or diocesan. There are a handful of them in the country. And most of them are hybrid Masses, NOT Novus Ordo in Latin.

    There is very little demand for it among priests. There is even less demand for it among the laity.

    Laity drive hours to go to the Traditional Latin Mass weekly at an inconvenient time and place. How many drive for hours to go to the Traditional Latin Mass.

  94. Brian Mershon says:

    Should have read: “Laity drive hours to go to the Traditional Latin Mass weekly at an inconvenient time and place. How many drive for hours to go to the Novus Ordo in Latin?”

  95. Brian:

    Right after the motu proprio came out last year, I took to the pulpit at all six Masses, for both parishes (something I rarely do, since I don’t offer all six Masses, two of which overlap), and gave a homily explaining the motu proprio, along with what I saw in the general trends in liturgy, and explaining my own decisions in that context…

    And I said, very clearly, that I would “willingly accede” to the requests of the faithful for the extraordinary form of the Mass.”

    Guess what flood of requests I had?

    One. For the man’s funeral when he died.

    Now, I will do my best to honor that, and I am open to the classic Mass. But my own experience belies the oft-heard claim that there are all these folks, ready to support the extraordinary form of the Mass, if only, if only, they would be welcomed.

    They’re welcome here, I’ve said so. Where are they?

    Until they come around, I am doing what I’m doing; in particular, a schola that sings chant and polyphony. Until such time as they may be able to sing at a Mass in the older form, where else shall they sing, but at Mass in the ordinary form?

    And it’s getting good responses.

  96. Jackie says:

    Fr Fox- As a young laywoman I think the things you are doing are wonderful. (I follow your blog also and enjoy it greatly.) You are slowly reintroducing the traditions of the Church but doing in in a non threatening way. I think the more people are exposed to things like latin, chant etc, the less it becomes threatening. And sometimes you have to crawl before you walk. :-)

  97. Patrick T says:

    Fr. Fox,

    It’s because people don’t yearn for the traditional Latin Mass, they yearn for reverence. I will assume that your parishes celebrate Mass according to the rubrics and accompanied by appropriate music. It’s therefore not surprising that your congregations have not requested the extraordinary form.

    It’s very much the same in my parish. We had 1 person ask. Why? Because the Masses nourish people spiritually and they are not looking for anything more. Guitars, dancing and hoards of “eucharistic ministers” force people to look for reverence elsewhere.

  98. Deusdonat says:

    Patrick – It’s because people don’t yearn for the traditional Latin Mass, they yearn for reverence.

    Actually, in my case I yearn for both, FYI.

  99. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Martin, I am in no way taking away from what you have experienced. What you are doing is withing the heart and soul of the Church.

    However, if/when Catholics get to reading and comparing the propers and other issues outside of the horrendous translations, I cannot but help believe that Catholics will realize a dressed up, reverently said Novus Ordo is still far inferior to worshipping the way our ancestors have worshipped for at least 1600 years.

    The fact is that the Novus Ordo said “reverently” with Gregorian chant, without altar girls, without “extraordinary” mistresses, etc. etc. is all based upon decisions of the priest. Some will decide to do that. Most will not–or have their own variations.

    Again, what you are doing is to be commended, as little as I know about it. However, the parishes where I have been are large and the vast majority of the parishioners could care less about Latin, Gregorian chant, etc. They want Mass within an hour and in English.

    For those of us who have “imposed” ourselves into the parish within the past few years, the “mainstream” parishioners have convinced the pastor that since he has provided the TLM for us, he certainly doesn’t need to offer Holy Mass ad orientem, in Latin, with Gregorian chant, etc. for the “mainstream” Masses.

    Most of the younger families who have joined us go right through the Latin Novus Ordo reform of the reform Mass and end up at the TLM regularly.

    Because there have been groups like Una Voce and others throughout the world and very few lay groups for just the Novus Ordo in Latin (and no priestly organization that forms priests in that vein), I would say the worldwide demand for the Novus Ordo in Latin with Gregorian chant is much smaller than traditionalist demand if you count Una Voce, SSPX, FSSP, ICR, Latin Mass Society, diocesan parishes, etc.

    Again, I’m certain what you are doing is fine. But this subjective preoccupation and emphasis on how the particular priest says Mass is subjective. The TLM rubrics and formation mitigate against much variation for the Traditional Latin Mass.

  100. TJM says:

    Brian, I frequently go to St. John Cantius in Chicago and I bounce back between the OF and EF there. Both are extremely satisfying religious
    experiences. Maybe one reason I am comfortable with either, is because Father Phillips and his team of priests celebrate both forms exquisitely. Tom

  101. Brian:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I don’t really have a quarrel with you, so hope I didn’t give a different impression.

    I’m just trying to send a message to folks who keep lamenting in these threads about how much they wish a priest would give them a welcome. I’m giving you a welcome. Haven’t seen you yet.

    And the secondary message is to those who insist on these threads, loudly and combatively, how many are these folks. And I’m saying…I haven’t seen ’em.

    But they’ll be welcome, I could use your help.

  102. DelRayVA says:

    Thanks to all who commented–I’m the blogger at Esperu. I’ve posted a response on my blog: http://esperu.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-on-latin-and-good-liturgy.html

  103. Regina says:

    It was not my intention to initiate a battle here between two beautiful parishes.I should have kept my pride in check. In fairness, though, one must realize that a loud and booming congregation is not always a sign of active participation,but rather a mic system turned up to the max.
    The ambiance at Mass is a matter of personal preference as is the type of Mass one most enjoys attending. Not everyone is happy with one or the other, but many are happy with one. And didn’t Pope Benedict say “not either/or, but both types” of Masses should be available? So, everybody should quit arguing and be more respectful of each other. I have learned so much from this blog, but so many times I have wanted Father Z to soar out of cyberspace and like a good Sister whack a few of you with a ruler on your opened palms.There is no need to be so snippy with someone who doesn’t share your fervor.
    That said- I appreciate the link to the Latin pronounciations, and to the poster having trouble following the priest ad orientum, I would suggest carrying a missal to Mass. When in doubt, I look at the diagram ( I have the old missal- you know, the one where the priest always looks like the father in Leave It To Beaver)and I know where Father is in the sequence. Also,attending a Low Mass helps to hear the pronounciations better since there are fewer people in attendance. With so many people responding at the High Mass, it is difficult to hear clearly since nobody’s ever on the same word and it is moot to try to distinguish the “ch’s”, “k’s” and vowel blends.

  104. Patrick says:


    Right on.

    It should be both/and not either/or. Let’s have both forms in parishes where people request it (that cuts both ways). And priests who are ready, willing and able to celebrate either form of the Latin rite. No priest should refuse to celebrate one form or the other, not in this post SP world. And let’s drop the whole “people will inevitably choose the EF over the OF because it’s sooooo much better.” When done right both forms are good and holy.

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