Cistercian Missal… strange for us Romans

When clergy of a more traditional stripe get together, what do they do besides tour battlefields, have some decent meals and have some laughs?

Why, they look at old missals, of course.

I had the chance to look at an Missale for the Cisterician Rite, yesterday.  

It has interesting features.

For example, it points the readings so that you know how to sing them.  Very useful.

Also, weird chants for the beginning of prefaces.

Cisterician chant tends to be simpler than Gregorian chant, in keeping with the austere aims of St. Bernard.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I don’t mean to give you more work, Father Z, but here’s a little request. How about a brief overview of the differences between the different rites in the Catholic Church (Ie. Latin, Cistercian, Ambrosian, etc.) I’ve always been curious what the major differences are. Or if such a comparison already exists that you know of, would you be so kind as to post a link at your leisure?

    Thank you.

  2. puella says:



    My inner missal geek is no longer ashamed of herself. Thank you Fr. Z.!

  3. Antiquarian says:

    I have often heard Father Logan (pictured in his shoulderboards) preach at USNA, but in that setting it’s easy to forget that along with being a Navy chaplain he is a Cistercian of the Strict Observance, i.e., a Trappist.

  4. dcs says:

    Odd seeing Fr. Aidan out of his habit…

  5. Bailey Walker says:


    The long out of print and hard to find “Liturgies of the Religious Orders” by Archdale A. King would provide the comparison you are looking for. Good luck!

  6. JD Treat says:

    Several of the peculiarities of the Cistercian Rite did survive into the modern use such as having the mixed chalice on the credence before the Mass, the single oblation of the elements in which the celebrant lifts the chalice with the paten on top of it, and the individual elevation of the elements with separate acclamations after the consecration. The Cistercian Breviary and its accompanying choir customs retain even more material that is distinct from both Roman and Benedictine custom.

  7. JD Treat says:

    Here are some photos, including a couple of liturgical sets, from the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank in Wisconsin:

  8. Greetings to Fr. Logan from Assumption Grotto!

  9. ENS Doug Gates says:

    I know that house! I served my first 3 TLMs in the chapel of that apartment, just down the hall. I’m glad to see Fr. Aidan doing well and advertising the particulars of his community’s rite…

  10. Max Script says:

    Hey Thomas,
    There is a chart that compares the canons of many different rites-
    Check it out.

  11. Thomas says:

    Thank you, Bailey and Max.

  12. This page appears to offer explanations of the different chants (but not by religious orders, which, I believe were “corrupted” from Gregorian):

  13. patrick f says:

    I love chant script. Its so much easier to follow than your 5 bar standard music.

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