QUAERITUR: Prayer for a priest as he is tasked to learn the TLM

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From a reader:

Fr. Z-

During his homily this weekend, my pastor stated that our bishop asked him to learn to say the TLM so that he can say mass for a group of Carmelite nuns who recently moved to the area.

I would like to pray for my pastor as he learns to say the TLM . Do you know of a prayer the purpose of which is to ask for assistance for a priest learning to say the TLM?

P.S. – I asked my pastor (paraphrasing) if he has seen any “gravitational pull” effects from learning to say the TLM. My pastor (60+ years old, socially liberal but liturgically conservative) said he had.

Of course he has. Time and time again I hear that learning the older form of Holy Mass changes the priest and the way he says all Masses. That will have a knock-on effect with congregations. Brick by brick.

A prayer for a priest as he learns the Extraordinary Form.

First, try this:

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
℣. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur;
℟. Et renovabis faciem terrae.
℣. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created
℟. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray:
O God, Who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that, by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here is a prayer that I say after every Mass I celebrate for the intention of a short list of bishops. It is one of the most direct and effective prayers I know. Ask the Queen of the Clergy to help the priest in his efforts.

Memorare, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

And because the Devil and the powers of Hell and their willing agents and dupes on this earth hate priests, and hate the older form of Mass with demonic malice, I would also add this one, for the priest, once a day at least, or as often as he pops into your mind.

Sancte, Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen. Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Another thing you can do to help Father is to get a whole bunch of people praying for him. Do that to.

Of course, bishops should be asking ALL THE PRIESTS of the diocese to learn the older form of Holy Mass. ALL OF THEM. This is, after all, our Rite.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    How providential to see this post today as I was with a fellow priest who has offered to train me to celebrate the Extraordinary Form. I must admit to a sense of “beginner’s intimidation”, mainly due to my not being fluent in Latin. I am fluent in Spanish which does help a lot in understanding it, but how I wish I were fluent in Latin!

  2. Will D. says:

    At the risk of sounding exceedingly Protestant, what would be wrong with a prayer along the lines of:

    “Lord, please bless Fr. N. as he seeks to learn the TLM. Amen.”

    And then praying to St. John Vianney to intercede for him as well. [Good idea. He had a hard time learning Latin and the rubrics.]

  3. Bea says:

    Fr. Z (quote)
    Of course, bishops should be asking ALL THE PRIESTS of the diocese to learn the older form of Holy Mass. ALL OF THEM. This is, after all, our Rite.

    Oh Yes ! Father Z. The key word SHOULD. Could you be so kind as to add our bishop to your “short list of bishops” I think you know who I mean SW Bishop GK. With God nothing is impossible. [My short list includes bishops with whom I have a personal connection. But I am sure everyone reading this will stop now and say a Memorare for that bishop’s intention.]

    Will say the Memorare and St. Michael prayer daily for this priest and for mine as well, that they find a zeal to learn it with great love.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Bea, when Latin is not even required in major seminaries, against the wishes of the Vatican, [Against the explicit requirements for formation of seminarians as laid down in Canon Law.] how can we hope that bishops will demand what we want regarding the TLM? I say a prayer for this priest and others. I, too, know one who changed his mind about the TLM after having to learn it.

  5. The Sicilian Woman says:

    May I suggest praying a novena to St. Pope Pius X, consisting of the litany and the prayer supplied in the links below? He foresaw what would happen with modernist thinking, relativism, and dissenting clergy. He is known for his wish “to restore all things in Christ.”

    I like that the prayer focuses especially on priests and asks for vocations.

    I actually started a novena (litany + prayer) for my pastor yesterday so it would end on St. Pope Pius X’s feast day, August 21, which is also the first day of my pastor’s much-deserved sabbatical. Perhaps you might have a Mass said for your pastor on that day as well? St. Pope Pius X’s feast day in the traditional calendar is September 3, so you could do one prior to then, too, though of course, you can pray it at any time. I will try to remember your pastor and Father G. above in my novena, too!



  6. Blaise says:

    Will D – of course there is nothing “wrong” with the very simple prayer you suggest. I might even go so far as not even to pray verbally for this priest. But I think many readers of Fr Z’s blog appreciate the continuity in the Church’s life that comes from praying traditional prayers for specific things. Fr Z has effectively provided a reminder that the treasure house of the Church’s prayers can be brought to bear in many situations and by praying the Memorare or the prayer to St Michael we will be enlisting the help of two great advocates in heaven for this priest. Just as you so appropriately suggest enslisting the aid of St John Vianney and others have suggested St Pius X.

    I often find that using a prayer whose words have long been by the Church helps me to remain focussed in my prayer on the parituclar intention and the many aspects of it.

  7. acardnal says:

    As Elizabeth D. mentioned on another post, Bishop Morlino wants all of his 32 seminarians to learn the Extraordinary Form. God bless him!

  8. robtbrown says:

    Actually, the proper place for the study of Latin is prior to the study of theology (major seminary). Of course, we now have a situation in which students begin to study theology without having had any exposure to Latin. From my experience this is not a problem in Italy although it is in much of the world.

  9. Dismas says:

    I’m fortunate to attend a parish that after dismissal is lead in the Prayer to St. Michael and then sings the Salve Regina. Before I leave, I also say the following prayers in honor and thanksgiving for our Church, the Eucharist, and Clergy. I hesitate to mention these, but my intention is not prideful, I mention them because I’m convinced of the many graces I experience and witness by their careful recitation.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be: For our Holy Fathers intentions, for our Church and all Clergy which includes seminarians ordained to the office of Deacon, but especially for my Parish Priests, all Diocesan Priests and Bishop.

    I follow this with Three Hail Marys and Glory Be: First, in honor and thanksgiving of Mary, Daughter of God the Father and Her Immaculate Conception. Second, in honor and thanksgiving of Mary, Mother of God the Son and the Incarnation. Third, in honor and thanksgiving of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost, the Birth of our Church. Finally, Glory Be, in honor and thanksgiving of the Holy Trinity, for our Church and especially the Eucharist.

  10. FloridaJoan says:


    ” This is … our Rite ” ; was the pun intended ? ! :-)

    pax et bonum

  11. Joseph-Mary says:

    Out first EF of the Holy Mass was offered yesterday–the middle of a Monday morning on our new priest’s “day off”. And still about 60 came. And we had a choir and it was glorious. Father has been ordained for 2 years and took the efforts on himself to learn this liturgy while in seminary. I look for the day when all faithful seminaries teach it and when it is a part of the regular parish schedule.

  12. RuralVirologist says:

    Please also pray for the priest in our archdiocese who is practising but hasn’t yet said his first EF Mass. And for the priest who has shown interest in going for training. We only have one, in the furthest corner of the archdiocese (175 miles away.)

  13. Cantor says:

    Of course, bishops should be asking ALL THE PRIESTS of the diocese to learn the older form of Holy Mass. ALL OF THEM. This is, after all, our Rite.

    With respect … WHEN?

    Our parish has 8,000 registered families, approximately 20,000 members. We have 6 Masses each Sunday, about 1200 attendees each, and there are 2 major hospitals within our area of responsibility. The pastor, mid-40s, is a good and holy man who celebrates a very reverent Mass, but whose life and formation introduced him to neither Latin nor the Extraordinary Form. He is assisted by two semi-retired priests, 72 and 81 years old. They’ve stayed on through the recent Liturgical Upgrade, but show no fondness for the Extraordinary Form.

    So just when is it that our pastor should kick back and start learning? In his copious spare time?

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