QUAERITUR: Do you want all English Masses eliminated?

From a reader (emphasis in the original):

Do you want all English Masses eliminated, or a weekly Latin Mass at each parish, or what?  Our priest has said that everything that has happened in the last forty years has been  bad.  He has a Latin Mass in the chapel about every two months.  I assume he would have more, or say them in the main church,  if there was a request from enough people.


Do I want all English Masses eliminated?

Where is Mass celebrated in English?

Ask me again when Masses can be said in an English that both translates the original and doesn’t offend the intellect.

If people want Holy Mass in the Novus Ordo in the Latin language (the actual language of our Latin Church), I suggest they start asking for it.

If people want Holy Mass in the traditional, Extraordinary Form, I suggest they ask for it.

Don’t grouse if you have done nothing.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ASK FATHER Question Box. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Prof. Basto says:

    I want all vernacular Masses eliminated.

    My wish is not law in the Church, but, since the poster is asking for the personal opinion of individuals, that’s mine. I will never be in a position of authority within the Church, but if I had the authority, vernacular Masses would be a thing of the past. A spasm of history.

    I want the Latin Church to use Latin instead of the vernacular as its liturgical language (returning the Roman Rite to its millenia old praxis regarding language) to the point of exclusion of the vernacular from the Mass (except readings).

    Even the Novus Ordo, or some improved form of it, should be only prayed in the official language of the Latin Church.

    But then there is another question: priests are supposed to know Latin. They are supposed to be fluent. They are supposed to learn it in the seminaries. They are supposed to understand Church documents in Latin, and to know the official language of their rite, which, in the Latin Church, is the Latin language. Common Law directs that priestly formation must include formation in the Latin language.

    But do most priests command at least that level of Latin necessary to understand the liturgical books, to read the rubrics and pray Holy Mass?

    In other words, if a decree were to be issued by Pope Benedict today, abolishing all vernacular Masses as of the first day of Advent 2010, would that be feasible? Would most priests know how to celebrate Mass and the Sacraments in Latin?

    I guess the answer is no. That is the disgraceful reality, the critical state of affairs of the Latin Church regarding the knowledge of its offical language, a language which, if Canon Law in force were respected, should have been learnt by each priest before Ordination day.

    And that is a reason why any restoration tending to the abolition of the vernacular Mass – a Mass that fosters undue crativity and mundane, worldly habbits and actions – needs to be gradual, step by step. Unfortunately.

  2. shin says:

    In the West, no vernacular, period.

    Complete agreement. :)

  3. Prof. Basto says:

    Where I wrote “Common Law”, the reader should read “Canon Law”.

  4. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Maybe in masses for blind people who can’t read a translation or anyone with a hard time reading and then only for the variable parts of the mass.

  5. boko fittleworth says:

    Your remarks, Fr. Z, remind me of the Fr. Rutler story in which, when asked what he missed most since converting to Catholicism from Episcopalianism, Fr. Rutler replied, “The liturgy in English.”

    Not as good as the, “Madame, I use my thumb” line, but good nonetheless.

  6. smallone says:

    I appreciate the Fr. Rutler comment, especially as a former Episcopalian.

    What about the Anglican use? Do folks here think that is worth banning?

    I don’t wish to see all vernacular masses banned simply because I am a pragmatist. I think it would alienate too many faithful Catholics.

    I would like to see more use of Latin in the OF mass even if a great deal of it is in the vernacular.

    On a side note, we are indeed in a sad state when I, with my two years of college Latin, am more qualified to “say” the EF mass (linguistically) than many priests. How did that happen?

  7. TNCath says:

    First, I would prefer that the Novus Ordo be said ad orientem in Latin, with the readings and Prayers of the Faithful in English. That said, while I would not necessarily favor a complete elimination of the vernacular, I would prefer perhaps a combination of both. For instance, why couldn’t this combination be implemented as a starter for re-introducing Latin into parish Masses?

    Opening Sign of the Cross: Latin

    Introduction to the Penitential Rite: Vernacular

    Penitential Rite: Latin (Any of the three options, although I prefer the Confiteor, which could be said in either Latin or the Vernacular with the Kyrie following).

    Gloria: Sung in Latin

    Opening Prayer: The invitation in Latin (“Oremus”) and the prayer in the vernacular

    Readings and Psalm: The readings themselves in Latin and the Psalm in Latin or the vernacular.
    The responses to the readings and the Gospel in Latin (“Verbum Domini,” “Deo gratias,” and “Laus Tibi Christi”)

    Credo: Sung in Latin or recited in the vernacular, depending on the Mass

    Suscipiat: Latin or English, depending on the circumstances

    Prayer over the Gifts: Vernacular

    Preface: Latin for the introductory dialogue; the vernacular for the preface itself?

    Sanctus: Latin

    Eucharistic Prayer: Vernacular

    Our Father: Latin

    Agnus Dei: Latin

    Prayer after Communion: Same as the opening prayer

    Final Blessing and Ite Missa Est: Latin

    I think this combination would be a fair and reasonable way to begin educating our young people and those lost generations of those who grew up ever knowing Latin in the liturgy. It might also increase reverence in the Novus Ordo. Ad orientem wouldn’t hurt either, but, as Father Z. says, “brick by brick.”

  8. southern orders says:

    I celebrate both forms of the Mass and while I love the Latin, the vernacular is a blessing. The cruse has been the poor ICEL translations of the Mass. The one thing that most of the Laity loved with the 1965 missal was that it incorporated Latin, but allowed for English or the vernacular for a significant part of the Mass. The English of the 1965 missal is (I have a mint edition) very good and accurate, for the greetings, Gloria, Creed and Domini non sum dignus (said three times in English)! I see no problem with this compromise found in the 1965 missal–it should be extended to the 1962 missal and “perhaps” mandated for the OF Roman Missal: Vernacular for all the parts of the Mass that the assembly hears and says; Latin for all the the non-changing priest’s parts. If the canon is prayed silently, Latin for it; if aloud, vernacular. This is not to exclude all Latin Masses where appropriate or desired or all English ones where appropriate or desired. Just as Pope Benedict wants to be pastorally sensitive to those attached to the 1962 Roman Missal and make it easy for them to celebrate it, so too must we be pastorally sensitive to the hundreds of millions of Catholics who love the Mass in the vernacular. Just make sure the vernacular is faithful to the Latin standard.

  9. diezba says:

    TNCath: can’t we already do that in the OF? By “that,” I mean using a combination of Latin and vernacular? It was my understanding that nothing in the rubrics prevents a bi- (or even trilingual when, for example, parts of the Mass are said in English, Spanish, and Latin) lingual mass. (And I suppose it would be quadrilingual if we do the Kyrie in Greek).

    I know that at our daily Masses, we use Greek for the Kyrie, Latin for the Gloria, Latin for the Sanctus, and Latin for the Agnus Dei. What’s stopping us from adding more in?

  10. TNCath says:

    Diezba: Exactly! I am simply suggesting that this is a way parishes could introduce Latin in the liturgy, while also using the vernacular when practical. As “southern orders” says, “The one thing that most of the Laity loved with the 1965 missal was that it incorporated Latin, but allowed for English or the vernacular for a significant part of the Mass.”

    I also can’t emphasize enough how much the ad orientem position will enchance reverence during Mass, Latin or vernacular. It takes the emphasis on the celebrant becoming a performer and puts him in his rightful place in leading the people towards the Lord. If we could get back to that practice, the rest might just fall into place.

  11. HighMass says:

    TNCath and Diezba,

    Your are both were alot of us would like to be. When the Priest faces the east it is not easy to put into words the Sacredness and Solemnity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Vencular, Latin, or combination of both or even a “Low Mass”/old term from TLM.

    It Beautiful! FR.Z isn’t this what The Councel intended, including Blessed John XXIII.
    Two more things TNCath, I remember the first Latin/English Masses.

    Again EWTN Priests (and visiting Priests) pretty much abide with the above.

    Father facing the east Ad orientem creates a spirit of continuity as Our Beloved Pope Benedict has call for.

  12. HighMass says:

    Sorry for the Typo’s

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    I’m pretty devoted to Latin – say the whole Divine Office in Latin, would prefer not to hear a vernacular word in the TLM between processional and recessional (no, not even a vernacular sermon interrupting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass), carry Latin propers with me to a Novus Ordo Mass when I can and usually follow the vernacular Canon in Latin, doubt that anyone can understand Church and Faith without as well as with a knowledge of the language in which the mind of the western Church developed.

    However, I realize that an all-English Mass can have all the attributes of reverence, holiness, sacrality, verticality, etc. that most associate only with a TLM. Anyone who doubts it is invited to view the Anglican Use Mass at http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5333606/14060414

    The current problems with the Novus Ordo are due not to the language in which priests celebrate it, but with their beliefs and attitudes towards the Mass itself. A Latin requirement might mask these beliefs and attitudes, but would not likely change them soon.

    I doubt that we’ll see a significant reversal of the past forty years of decline until ad orientem celebration is common and again instills a view of the Mass as preeminently sacrifice. I’m afraid that most everything else is tinkering around the edges. But

    TNCath: If we could get back to that practice, the rest might just fall into place.

  14. Penta says:

    I could see Latin returning to the Mass as commonly heard by most people.

    I disagree with those who would advocate the readings, psalms, and homilies in Latin, though.

    Where the verbiage is constant, then Latin makes sense. Where the verbiage changes from Sunday to Sunday or Mass to Mass, though, then the vernacular is the way to go.

    And…C’mon, sermons in Latin? Latin’s vocabulary is a kludge when you try to incorporate modern concepts and technologies into it. I know, I know, it can be *done*…But it doesn’t exactly work well.

  15. CantateDomino says:

    In short, yes. If it were up to me, all Masses in the vernacular would be eliminated. Too much can go wrong, and indeed does. That being said, I do not see a problem with translating the readings into the vernacular *during the homily*, which would also be in the vernacular, as both serve as instruction for the faithful, most of whom don’t speak Latin :) We should educate our priests to learn Latin, catechize the faithful more frankly instead of watering-down the Faith, AND worship God in the most reverent and holy way possible. Most of that will come with changes in Liturgy – aka celebration of the TLM. Save the Liturgy, Save the World. …At least ideally.

  16. Henry Edwards says:

    Penta: C’mon, sermons in Latin?

    I’ve never heard of a sermon in Latin, nor of anyone suggesting one. My own remark regarding the sermon was to the effect that I’d ordinarily prefer that the Mass not be interrupted by any sermon (vernacular, of course) at all. In the traditional view, the sermon is not part of the Mass, but an interruption in it. Which is the reason for the occasionally observed practice of the celebrant removing his chasuble before going to the pulpit, then replacing it before returning to the altar.

    One of the things I miss about daily TLM is the fact that a sermon is seldom heard on weekdays. And whereas there may be good reason for vernacular readings from the pulpit on Sundays, the people seen nowadays at a weekday TLM almost always follow the Latin readings in a Latin-English missal, so repetition from the pulpit is redundant.

    In any event, I wonder whether in a half-century and more of sermons, I could count on my fingers the number of sermons that actually contributed to the Holy Sacrifice. I’ve certainly heard more than I could count that detracted from the liturgy. In a TLM, certainly, there’s a build-up of liturgical “pressure” in the initial part of the Mass, so it’s almost impossible for a homilist to avoid letting the air out of the balloon.

  17. TNCath says:

    Penta: C’mon, sermons in Latin? [On several occasions, I have preached in Latin.]

    Actually, I have. Years ago, during the reign of the late Bishop Carroll T. Dozier of Memphis, a group of high school students asked their chaplain to celebrate a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin for their Latin class. In those days, Bishop Dozier forbade even the celebration of Novus Ordo Masses in Latin. When the chaplain of the school asked Bishop Dozier if he could celebrate a Mass in Latin, Bishop Dozier replied, “Well, if you insist on saying the Mass in Latin, you must PREACH in Latin.” And so, they managed to find one of the priests (who is now a bishop, by the way) to come out to to the school and read an oration from one of the Latin orators (I think it was Cicero) in place of a sermon.

  18. TJerome says:

    If we’re speaking of the OF, I would say that the most sacred part of the Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer, should always be in Latin. That’s what I find frustrating with the EWTN broadcast Masses. In addition to the Eucharistic Prayer, the rest of the Ordinary Prayers should be in Latin. Only the changeable prayers should be allowed in the vernacular, and even with that, the propers, readings, could also be in Latin for solemn occasions as long as vernacular translations are
    provided. Actually what I’ve just said is what an old priest friend of mine who was a peritus at the Council indicated was the Council’s original
    intention. Oh well. Tom,

  19. servusmariaen says:

    This is something that I feel very strong about and have all my life (i’m 43). I’ve lived in a liturgical wasteland most of my life. I think the Ordinary of the Mass (Novus Ordo)should always be in Latin. I think it should be done Ad Orientem. I think altar rails should be used, installed etc. I think Gregorian Chant should be utilised. I think people should learn their prayers in Latin. I think the readings should be in the vernacular. I think the Asperges/Vidi Aquam should be used. I think it would be nice to sing a Marian Anthem afterward. I think this type of Novus Ordo should be the norm and not just part of an archipelago of “traditional” oriented parishes. I strongly dislike the ICEL translation. I think the new one will be better but I think it will still be lacking in sacral character. I think the disorientation and devastation is so widespread and accepted that most of the rank and file people in the pews have either left, just accepted it or just don’t care.
    One of the things that always inspires and strengthens me when I assist at Holy Mass at a traditional chapel is the decorum, modesty, piety and devotion of those there. Even little children are recollected! It never ceases to amaze me! I’m amazed that at those chapels the people come dressed in their “Sunday best”. They don’t come in shorts, miniskirts, lowcut blouses, tight revealing t shirts, flip flops and chewing gum. I think people are going to come dressed for whatever it is they perceive is transposing in their parish church. The “garden variety” Novus Ordo at most parishes is not offered in tradition & continuity. A steady diet for the past 40 years of non chalant, informal liturgy stripped of transcendence accompanied by “Gather Music”, heterodox homilies and little or no catechesis has created a whole generation of people who have no conception of Catholic culture and tradition. Just last week I had NO OTHER CHOICE but to assist at one such liturgy. The 12 year old in front of me with his family played a video game the WHOLE TIME even during the consecration. It didn’t bother his parents nor seem to bother anyone else around him. In fact it seemed as though it was “normal”. I leave such liturgies shaking my head, in shock and with knots in my stomach. It has been and continues to be the greatest trial in my life.

  20. Penguins Fan says:

    I am not in favor of doing away with Mass in the vernacular. Let’s remember that most Latin Catholics are not native speakers of English and they probably want to attend Mass in their own language.

    I would scrap the Missal of Paul VI and translate the Anglican Use liturgy into other languages or translate the Missal of 1962 into the vernacular.

    Just my thoughts.

  21. thereseb says:

    IMHO, wherever there are two Masses on a Sunday, there should be both forms – and Masses with an international congregation – e.g. at World Youth Days, or in Rome should always be fully in Latin. (BTW is there going to be a new ICEL NO Latin translation?). Where there is only one Mass in a center – perhaps alternate?

    I would really appreciate going back to the 1962 calendar for readings, though. ABC years really annoy me for some reason!

    We really need to ditch the missalettes and get back to proper missals – then the language of the readings would be immaterial.

  22. Eliminated? Why?

    I get the feeling that some of you would have complained about St. Jerome’s translation of the books of the Bible from Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, and Old Latin into the vernacular of the time.

    I think that use of the vernacular should be the exception and not the rule, but not eliminated. There should be no more than one Mass in the vernacular per weekend, if there is enough interest in the community. Amend that slightly to allow up to two Masses, so long as the vernacular used differs between them (i.e., one English, one Spanish), and an equal number of Latin Masses are celebrated.

  23. RichardT says:

    Sermons in Latin? Not impossible. When Oxford University gives honorary degrees, the Public Orator introduces each recipient with a speech in Latin, explaining their career and why they are worthy of such an honour.

    See here for an example from last summer:

    Even though I don’t read Latin, I can’t help thinking that they would make more sense than many English sermons I’ve heard

  24. Jon says:

    Background: I’ve attended an FSSP parish exclusively for six years.

    Preference 1:
    The Novus Ordo suppressed. Complete, utter return to the Traditional Mass in Latin effective Easter Sunday, 2010, accompanied by a liturgical encyclical by His Holiness which begins “Siquidem ex fructu arbor agnoscitur.”

    Preference 2:
    The Traditional Mass in Latin, along with the Traditional Mass in hieratic vernacular. The latter would be translated solely by the Holy See.

    Preference 3:
    The Traditional Mass in Latin, along with the 1965 Ordinary in a unified Missal. The ’65 would exist as an option within the Missal, with Ordinary in Latin, and propers in vernacular translated by Rome. Rubrics for the ’62 Mass would apply overall.

    Preference 4:
    Return to the 1965 Ordinary/Missal, with ’62 rubrics. This, as Alcuin Reid acknowledges, was an organically developed liturgy, reformed precisely – no more, no less – according to Sacrosanctam Concilium. I would allow it entirely in Latin, or with a Latin Ordinary, along with vernacular propers translated by the Holy See.

    Preference 5:
    TLM existing alongside Reform of the Reform Novus Ordo. NO however would include only Confiteor and triple Kyrie as penitential rite. TLM Offertory would be restored. Only Roman Canon would be used. Triple Domine non sum dignus would be restored. TLM rubrics would be imposed over NO inasmuch as possible. All later additions to NO, i.e., female altar servers, Communion in the hand to the standing, EMHC’s, would be abrogated. TLM calendar would apply to both forms.

    For the peace and good of the Church, I think preference 4 would probably be best. No liberal can argue that it’s not the fruit of the Council. It was definitively proclaimed and believed as such at the time. No orthodox conservative can deny it’s not organic (with the possible exception of the archeaologismic Prayers of the Faithful). Afterall, it was used by Archbishop Lefebvre for nearly 15 years as I understand it.

  25. servusmariaen says:

    I like preference 4 best.

  26. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I want the Mass all in Latin.
    Latin unites better than diverse languages, the translations stink. Unfortunately it is true, most priests are completely unprepared to use the language of the Church.

    Me? I like English. I like knowing what’s being said. I like singing songs I know. BUT

    Understanding the words of the Mass is nice but that is NOT the objective of the Mass. The priest faces the Tabernacle because the priest is talking to God. The Mass is a conversation between the priest [Jesus Christ] and God. This is a holy “conversation” making it perfectly reasonable to be in a sacred language set apart for God. Whether or not we understand or even can hear the Mass is not the most important. The most important is that the priest’s prayer/Sacrifice/Supplication/Thanksgiving be as acceptable and pure as possible.

    We assist at Mass uniting ourselves with the intentions of the priest with as much humility and gratitude as possible, opening our hearts. The laity attends Mass as a privilege and benefit, sort of as fantastically lucky bystanders. Sheesh, in the Temple, the high priest went behind a curtain to address God and the people weren’t even allowed to watch! The Byzantines preserve some of this separation with the wall still in use separating the sanctuary from the laity.

    It is laudable to read and learn what is said, privately add our own intentions and do everything in our puny lay power to open ourselves to the infinite graces.

    Nice to know, hear, understand the Mass, but not necessary for the graces received.

  27. Mitchell NY says:

    I thought there would be a poll button on this one..Well I would be happy with the Ordinary in Latin and the other parts in the vernacular. I agree with the importance of Latin and what it means to the Church to use it. Though sometimes you would never know it. If all the other major religions have a sacral language that they pray in I find it hard to believe Catholics can not. But I do think that people do ask, and ask often for Latin in Mass or a Latin Mass. Perhaps it is better time for the people who make the decisions to start listening. Asking, begging, pleading, which year after year falls on deaf ears in the majority of places begins to wear you down. It is similiar to a country with laws and yet anarchy reigns. What do you do when you have the force of law and no one will listen? Somewhere down the line you question is it worth it, which will sooner or later put you at odds with someone in the Church and that is something none or very few feel comfortable with. Numb, or torpid I think was the adjective Pope Paul VI once used to describe the laity and Mass before the revolutionary Council. Well it is still the same, now induced from being fed up.

  28. peregrinPF says:

    A little history before I comment.

    Up to just over 2 years ago I would of never though of going to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It was not because I did not want it, it was because of my interactions with those associated with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. I did see the validity and the need for it though. Besides, my parish offered the Ordinary Form of the Mass: Ad Orientum, in Latin (certain Masses), Chant, Communion while kneeling at the Altar Rail, and no EMHC’s.

    However, I did start attending the EF Mass just after “Summorum Pontificum” went into effect and my Parish started to offer it (it was because I could not attend at my normal time). After a few weeks, I decided I liked the EF Mass better than the OF Mass and that has increased the past two years.

    I now almost exclusively go to the EF Mass. In fact, I even attend a Low Mass, and prefer it to the High Mass, one day during the week. In fact, I am at the point now where, I would not mind the scrapping of the OF Mass and go back to the EF Mass exclusively.

  29. tired student says:

    My proposal:

    I like Jon’s options #3 and #4. A modified Low Mass or Missa Cantata would not be difficult. The Judica Me and the Last Gospel could be optional as in 1965. A rubric should be inserted that the celebrant and servers must speak in an audible voice throughout Low Mass or during the non-accompanied parts of the Missa Cantata. Vernacular readings could be read from a pulpit or lectern (presuming an instituted lector is present to read the Epistle). This latter suggestion would be completely optional, and the current way of a priest reciting all the readings at the altar would remain valid. The Latin propers and vernacular translations would be printed side by side so that the priest could decide what parts of the Mass to recite in Latin and what parts to recite in the vernacular. The blended Missal would include some of the Novus Ordo prefaces, as the Gallican and Tridentine propers don’t provide much variety.

    The Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei must remain in Greek and Latin. The Preface and Canon must also remain in Latin. Perhaps the Credo should be allowed in the vernacular as it is the confession of faith. I think the 1965 missal went too far by permitting most of the ordinary in the vernacular.

    Solemn and Pontifical Masses should be strictly according to 1962 rubrics.

  30. edwardo3 says:

    I would prefer The principal Masses on Sundays and the great feasts to be in Latin in the OF with the exception of the lessons and the petitions. I would also prefer that everything be sung, even the lessons and petitions when we finally get translations fo the Lectionary that are worth singing. For daily Mass and the additional Sunday and feast day Masses, I’m fine with the vernacular, as long as it is accurate. I would also like to see the vernacular Masses for Sunday and feasts sung, just like the Latin.

  31. Ogard says:

    Tridentine Mass.
    I would like to see unchangeable parts, that are read (Low Mass) or sung (High Mass), all in Latin. Withing a few years people should be able to read and understand Latin text without difficulty. It is not necessary to know Latin; only to read and understand the texts referred to above.

    Unchangeable parts which the priest recites in low voice should be always in Latin; others, like Introit, Collect, Epistle, Gospel etc. should be always in vernacular. It is too much to burden seminarians so to master Latin to be able to understand these texts which change every day. It would be far better for them to study Moral Theology more thoroughly.

    Novus Ordo
    should gradually be reformed to conform to the Tridentine Mass.

    In the meantime the unchangeable parts, which are read or sung, including Consecration, should be in Latin. Others in vernacular.

  32. southern orders says:

    Another proposal:
    1965 Missal for Low Mass and option for High Mass–this does not exclude the whole thing in Latin, but allows for English for the majority of the people’s parts, Latin for the priests’ unchanging parts that are normally silent. I do think there should be an option for the canon to be proclaimed aloud and our additional Eucharistic prayers.

    1962 missal for Sung Mass and Solemn High Mass.

    Do away with the current OF Mass–only if 1965 missal is allowed.

    The new lectionary must remain an option for either missal and the Roman Calendar should be adapted that respects the best of the two we have now so that we only have one calendar.

    In addition–we need a national Common Book of Prayer that contains:
    1) A good order of Mass in both forms, easily grasped by long time Catholics, visitors and inquirers.
    2) three year lectionary cycle with responsorial psalms set to music (much like Worship Hymnals had). Also the EF lectionary in English. This would help us to do away with those paperback missalettes!
    3)Musical settings of plain chant for Entrance Antiphon(Introit), Offertory Antiphon and Communion antiphon for both the EF and OF Masses–in English.
    4) Common Mass settings for Kyrie, Gospel Acclamation, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei–in both English and Latin.
    5) Separate hymnal for metrical hymns in the various languages needed in our country, allowing for inculturation for these, but only to be used as icing on the cake of our Liturgies: traveling music for Entrance Procession but never replacing the Introit which could be sung once the priest arrives at the altar. Same of offertory, Communion Procession and Recessional–vernacular hymns that are have good theology, are good cultural renditions and respect the congregation–but again these never replace what is in the official Book of Common Prayer.

  33. tecumseh says:

    Don’t grouse if you have done nothing..??

    Father when people DO something, anything, they are given the Third Degree….to the Nth degree.

    You are not a stable group, why do you want this, your disruptive.

    I put a written request right on to the table at a Deanery meeting, my wife was on the deanery council, she was there, that was two years ago….still waiting for a reply..??

  34. ssoldie says:

    I want all ‘fabricated’ Mass’s elimanited. I want the T.L.M.’Gregorian Rite’ both Low Mass and High Mass, and total restoration of all Tradition.
    Episcopalians never had the Mass.

  35. Father S. says:

    RE: EWTN

    I love EWTN. I love that we have a Catholic television station. That being said, the way that they offer Holy Mass is continually frustrating. The priests who offer the Holy Mass with parts in Latin often seem as if they have no idea what they are saying. They seem to be just rattling off phrases with no understanding. This is especially the case with the ones who do not know how to pronounce Latin. They read it as if it were rearranged English.

    I had Latin all through high school and college, so when I got to the seminary I did not take any more classes. I still read it today in order to keep the language up. I think it is safe to say that less than ten percent of the entire student body had any working knowledge of the language, though a great deal more than had a desire to offer the Holy Mass in Latin.

    My wish is that more people would ask for the Latin. I would be more than happy to offer it more if there were more interest. I will say that, working in a parish with both English speakers and Spanish speakers, when we celebrate holy days of obligation, there is one Holy Mass offered almost entirely in Latin.

  36. Henry Edwards says:


    All this discussion is well and good, and of course your five preferences are all excellent and finely stated. But wouldn’t you agree that the Benedictine liturgical program has already been written on the wall, that in fact it’s going to be #5 for the foreseeable future–TLM existing alongside reform of the reform Novus Ordo–and that:

    (1) Any idea of an exclusive return to 1962, or of any kind of resurrection of 1965, is a non-starter at the present time.

    (2) Use of the TLM will grow gradually as new priests are ordained and the problem generations expire and are replaced by younger generations not carrying past baggage. Ultimately, most sizable parishes will have a TLM or two on the weekly schedule, and no one will be uptight about it. Perhaps there will be some gravitation toward the TLM as the “high Mass” for solemnities including the Christmas and Easter vigils.

    (3) The reform of the reform will proceed in measured fashion–and at different paces in different places–with no dramatic changes in either the red or the black in the Novus Ordo missal. Largely by means, instead, of “mutual” enrichment of the OF ars celebranda by the TLM. The principal agency being not promulgations from on high but the commonly observed change in a priest’s celebration of the OF once he begins to celebrate the EF. I.e., one priest at a time.

    So in an organic way, rather than by any discontinuity, ad orientem and Latin will come to be common, with no one either obsessed with them or uptight about them.

    Finally, within the lifetimes of some of those alive today–but probably not yours or mine–the OF with have gradually been transformed to something maybe 80% to 90% of the way toward the EF (itself largely unchanged except perhaps with vernacular readings in low Masses). By that time, some changes like those in your #5 will perhaps be codified by new OF rubrics, and ironically something close to the 1965 ordinary may in this way re-emerge, thus carrying out the implementation of Vatican II, a mere 75 to 100 years after the conclusion of the Council.

    And by this time, Catholic attendance at the TLM–which of course the Council fathers never intended to abolish–will have grown to something in the 15% to 35% range.

  37. Dr. Eric says:

    As we now have Vigil Masses, how about this proposal: The Vigil Mass would be a Low Mass preceded by Vespers and a Solemn High Mass on the next day which would be the Feast Day- this is the Extraordinary Form. The Ordinary Form would be for weekdays and Sundays- the Ordinary Form. All Rubrics would stay from the Extraordinary Form. Ordinary Form Masses could be in the vernacular with the Roman Canon on Sundays and EP II which may be used on weekdays.

    All rubrics, clothing, and acolytes would be as in the EF. The OF Masses would retain the Kyrie and Confiteor only for the Penitential Rite. Only the propers would be sung in Gregorian Chant, the Santus, Pater Noster, and Agnus Dei would be in Latin as well for the OF, the rest would be in the vernacular. As Fr. Brian Dudzinski put it “We Catholics need to keep some Latin in our Masses so we don’t lose our Catholic identity.”

  38. Mark R says:

    I’ll take whatever the Church offers.

    I see Traditionalist being liturgical bullies as bad as the Novus Ordo apparatchiks were thirty years ago.

    I worry that once the novelty of Latin Mass subsides it will be taken for granted by the many who adhere now and have little impact on improving/cross pollinating the vernacular Novus Ordo liturgical praxis.

    It would be nice if we all just listened to the Church instead of superimposing our needs/wants/fixations on her.

  39. mfg says:

    Henry Edwards: Generally agree with your comments (as usual) but would change your last part slightly: l00 years after the conclusion of the Council Catholic attendance at the TLM will have grown to something in the 80% to 90% range.

  40. Patrick J. says:

    I attend the Divine Liturgy in English – lofted language, poetic, non PC diluted – and this I prefer to the Mass in Latin. And though I have nothing against that form of the Mass, I think most Catholics would prefer the vernacular, although let’s get rid of the bland, neutered, de-fatted translations, or as well, a mix of some Latin, but especially should the Lessons be in English, ala Douay-Rheims.

  41. Sixupman says:

    Afetr Christmas I was scheduled to stay with a friend in the North of England. In order to escape my much Protestanised parish church [ criticism of Pope and Magisterium; Communion as a “meal at the best table in town”; pro – lay minstry, maried clergy, et al; clergy engaging in conversation with congregation prior to Mass; etc.] I decided to hole-up in a budget hotel in Manchester and attend The Holy Name – three days of a virtual retreat. Travelled Christmas Eve and went to Confession – three rows of benches full as a queue [n.b. Confessions twice a day every day through week]. Did not go to Midnight Mass, but went to the 11:00 Mass on Christmas Day and likewise on the Saturday [St. Stephen]. The two were High
    Masses NOM, choir and organ, with a balance of Latin and English and used my 1962 Missal throughout. Sunday was similar, but as a ‘parish Mass’ with limited lay participation. In each case all knelt for Communion and on the tongue as far as I could make out. There was good attendance at each Mass that I heard. Masses here are all ‘ad orientem’ and each Sunday a 16:00 TLM.

    Whilst I was fully absorbed by the ceremonies, I also realised that which I would miss as a replacement for the TLM – the Ordinary words of my Missal, which do not weaken by endless repetition.

    If the Vatican II/Bugnini intentions had been honourable, surely they would merely have loosened the restriction on the vernacular and retained the TLM as it was. On that basis the[exceptional]Celebration of Mass at The Holy Name is certainly moving and acceptable, but I cannot accept it as substitution for the TLM. However, I fully accept their cannot be an overnight change and a disenfranchisement of laity – as we were so disenfranchised by the execution of Vatican II.

  42. Grabski says:

    Personally, I think that the EF in the vernacular – the new, corrected translations – would sweep away the OF.

Comments are closed.