PODCAzT 110 & WDTPRSL: Learning the Roman Canon in Latin for Seminarians

I received a nice voice mail from some seminarians who are learning how to say the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass on their own.  They asked for help with the Latin, since they have not ever heard the Roman Canon in Latin.

So… I made a rapid recording of the Roman Canon in Latin using the 1962MR.  I put in a few little bits from the Novus Ordo version of the Canon as well.

I took this very deliberately.  This is not how you would read it.  I offer this as a tool for learning. The key would be for you you listen to this and then go back to read along, working from a photocopy and circling the tricky parts, and then reviewing.  Reciting this several times a day for several days will finally get it into your tongue and mind.

I added the bits from the Novus Ordo version for a pointed reason. 

I am a little concerned that using Latin is going to be segregated sharply into the traditional form of Mass rather than in the Novus Ordo.  People might be tempted to say, "If you want Latin, go to that Mass".  That is one reason why I object to calling the traditional form or Extraordinary Form, simply "the Latin Mass". 

Latin is also the language of the Novus Ordo.

But there you have it.  I hope this will be helpful for seminarians (and perhaps priests or bishops) who are doing some work on their own.

BTW, when you hear volume shift or two, that is where I had phone calls!



109 10-08-17 A dust up in ancient Carthage and parishes that schism
108 10-07-23 The new translation of the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer; Fr. Z digresses and rants
107 10-07-01 Most Precious Blood and your sins; Interview with Fr. Finigan
106 10-06-25 John Henry Newman’s Kindly Light


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in PODCAzT, PRAYERCAzT: What Does The (Latin) Prayer Really Sound L and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,

    Just wondering, seminarians in our diocese are not required to learn Latin,either at the undergraduate seminary, or in graduate college seminary. Is this true for other dioceses as well? I thought there was a mandate on this.

  2. Supertradmum: Correction. Seminarians are in fact required to to be taught Latin.

    Can. 249 The Charter of Priestly Formation is to provide that the students are not only taught their native language accurately, but are also well versed in Latin, and have a suitable knowledge of other languages which would appear to be necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of their pastoral ministry.

  3. Semper Idem says:


    St. John Cantius has this on their website.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    So, why isn’t it happening? I know it is not. I really am getting battle-fatigued at mentioning problems regarding priests and seminarians to those who are in charge. Plus, even after pointing out problems, things do not change. Not all seminaries in the area omit this as required, but some do. The rule at one undergraduate seminary is that one is required either to learn Spanish or Latin, and one can test out of either. Some seminarians either take Spanish, or test out of Spanish and go on to the graduate program,which does not require Latin.

  5. Childermass says:

    Sure Father, the language of the Novus Ordo is also Latin. In theory.

    The fact is, it is almost never celebrated as such and hasn’t been in 40 years. Since the episcopacy is not interested in encouraging it, even discouraging or forbidding it in many cases, the law on the ground is Novus Ordo=vernacular.

    I get tired of telling my curious Protestant friends that such things as vernacularism, the four-hymn sandwich, communion in the hand, and versus populum celebration are *not* the norms, because I always get the response: “Then why have they been nearly universal for 40 years?”

    My Protestant friends wonder why we have all of these bishops and rules when they are ineffectual.

    Sorry about the rant.

  6. Childermass: language of the Novus Ordo is also Latin. In theory.

    No. In fact. It really is. And if no one ever in any place at any time used Latin for the Novus Ordo, Latin would still be the language of the Novus Ordo.

    But… yes. I know your point, and it is very troubling for our identity.

    I often wonder what it means for our Catholic identity in the Latin Church when we never hear the proper language of our worship.

  7. kallman says:

    This is a link to mp3 files of the usus antiquor by Fr David O’Hanlon and Keiron Ward which is a very useful learning tool


  8. Magpie says:

    Father, I’m really looking forward to your podcazt on the 3rd EP. Would you mind if I put them all on a CD and gave them to friends? It would be a good thing in the runup to the New Translation introduction.

  9. Magpie says:

    Sorry, I meant the 4th EP…

  10. Fr. Basil says:

    \\The fact is, it is almost never celebrated as such and hasn’t been in 40 years.\\

    Almost all of the televised masses of Pope Benedict XVI are the Ordinary Form in mostly Latin.

    I have also seen the OF celebrated entirely in Latin, except for the readings and sermon.

    One Anglican Use parish in Texas also celebrates the Latin OF every Sunday evening.

    All these things I know off the top of my head, and I’m not a Latin Catholic.

    Furthermore, the Tridentine Rite was celebrated in Slavonic in some dioceses on the western Adriatic for centuries before Vatican II.

  11. Jason says:

    Perhaps a useful resource, complete with both video and audio.


    It saddens me that these young men have to study this on their own.

  12. Jason says:

    I see where Semper Idem already posted the link above. Sorry for the duplication.

  13. Childermass says:

    That’s good, Father Basil, but my point remains.

    I live in an American archdiocese of nearly 2 million Catholics. To put that in perspective, that is roughly the entire population of Eastern Orthodox Christians in the United States.

    And in this archdiocese, there is not a single weekly Novus Ordo Sunday Mass celebrated in Latin.

    My question is, if a pastor suddenly decided to offer one of his Sunday Novus Ordos in Latin (with suitable catechesis beforehand), what would happen to him in many dioceses? Cease and desist?

    I ask because I am considering a call to diocesan priesthood myself, and I hope that I would be able to offer the new Mass in as much continuity with the Church’s tradition as I can manage.

  14. Supertradmum says:


    You should enter the seminary and be patient, along with all the others, who are waiting for the passing of the old guard in order to be more in obedience to Rome. I am afraid that is how it is.

  15. AMDeiG says:

    Excellent – thank you!

  16. AlexE says:

    Childermass, as a seminarian suffering a similar plight, as one of many, I beg don’t let this discourage you. We have a long row to hoe, but many good men before us had to fight hard to break the soil for us. Things are getting better and there is much hope. One day people ( and I belive this will be in our lifetime) will wonder how things were this way. Its worth all it takes to discern the priesthood, whatever that is.

  17. frdgss says:

    Thanks Father for the Podcast. Would you consider recording the rest of the Ordinary of the Mass (in particular those prayers on the altar cards)? I’m sure this would help many of us who are learning the EF and who want to get it right.

    It is also worth noting that the printed text in the Missale Romanum has diacritical/accent marks to help with the pronunciation. I find that if I stick to these, it’s not too far out.

    My first Parish Priest (now well into his late 70’s) gave me some excellent advice on ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation: say it like modern day Italian – it follows (almost) the same rules.

  18. I didn’t listen to the podcast, yet.
    But I have a question, Fr. Z.: you mention that you did a “version of the Novus Ordo” Canon; are you referring to the Roman Canon; from my recollection, aren’t both Forms identical with the Roman Canon?
    Sorry to waste your time, since I didn’t listen (bad priest!)…I’m just wondering…

  19. Okay, I get it.
    The formula of the consecration…duh!
    You’d think I’d “get it”…I celebrate both…dummm…

Comments are closed.