GUEST POST: “I celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass before today’s exorcism…”

Time and again, priests tell me that when they learn the traditional form of Holy Mass and begin saying it, it changes them profoundly.

Today I received this note from a priest (slightly edited):

I finished the [Saint John Cantius in Chicago] course on the Latin Mass and it was a work of Providence.

This immersion into the Extraordinary Form is proving to be a real renewal of my priesthood.

I’m dedicating this year to the study of the Mass (my daily spiritual reading and whatever free times I find – never seem to materialize….). I’m fortunate that I’ll be at the Carmelite hermitage in ___ next week for my annual retreat and will have a lot of time to go over the rubrics again and celebrate this form every day.

I celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass before today’s exorcism (I usually do them about 4-5 days a week) and the enemy was none too pleased. I’d normally say “offer it up” but it’s too late for him – so, just suffer is all he can do, I suppose.

Thanks for your wonderful blog and God bless your work. I hope to stay in touch.

And God bless you too, Father.

FATHERS: Learn the older, traditional form.  Doing so will teach you about who you are.  Also, the changes in you and your ars celebrandi will have a knock on effect with all those in your charge.  Moreover, you aren’t fully trained in your Rite, in this our Roman, Latin Church, until you do.  Yes, this might mean learning Latin.

EVERYONE: Ask, urge, cajole, prod, plead with your priests to learn the older, traditional form.  Be willing to pay any price to get him trained up.  Find all the materials and things he needs and generously, cheerfully, give them to him.  Pray and fast and perform other mortifications in reparation for his failings and ask God to give him strength and good resolve.  If he is stubborn ask his Guardian angels and Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy to get on him to learn the older form and open his mind and heart.

We need, now more than ever, the riches that the widespread use of the Usus Antiquior will bring.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, HONORED GUESTS, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Si vis pacem para bellum!, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. benedetta says:


  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    I have been reading about this issue for several years now, and I have come to the tentative conclusion that the Novus Ordo has, somewhere in its fine print, a copyright notice that is shared by the hippies that brought you the communal yoghurt cup.

  3. majuscule says:

    Doing so will teach you about who you are.”

    Often when Father knows there are people at Mass who have not experienced the Extraordinary Form before, he will remind us that, as Catholics, it is also who we are.

    Pray and do all you can to encourage your priests!

  4. Charles E Flynn says:

    When I was in junior high school in the early 1960s, I served as an acolyte at early morning masses (probably 6:30 A.M.) at a convent populated by nuns who taught at a local Catholic school. The chapel was so small that when the priest left the altar, he had about five steps to reach the communion rail.

    Despite the modest surroundings and the early hour, I never forgot the reverence with which the priest put on his vestments, especially the cincture, and the beautiful Latin cards from which he read while donning them.

    When I look back upon this, I note that I did not fully appreciate at the time my mother’s ironing of my black cassock and white surplice the night before the mass, and her efforts to make certain that I arrived at the convent on time. There were times when I slipped on black ice at the ends of driveways while walking to the chapel, and hurt myself badly. Now back in the house in which I grew up, I walk the same route to the church associated with the chapel, a little more aware of the hazards, both physical and liturgical.

  5. JesusFreak84 says:

    Part of me is curious about specifically how the enemy was displeased with him offering the TLM o_O

  6. Liz says:

    God bless this good priest. I just said a little Hail Mary for him and will try to remember to pray for him at mass today. The same for you, Fr. Z. Thank you to all of the priests out there that help us all so much.

  7. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Time and again, priests tell me that when they learn the traditional form of Holy Mass and begin saying it, it changes them profoundly.

    And all of this is quite true about the Mass in the Extraordinary Form and priests; I have witnessed myself how the MEF has changed priests. It has changed me, a layman, in the seven years that I have been assisting at the MEF.

    Yet I have my doubts about the EF Divine Office having the same result, although I am willing to hear an argument. I pray the LOTH, the OF Divine Office, and since praying the whole Office, it has changed me profoundly.

  8. TWF says:

    Sid Cundiff – I have the same thoughts regarding the Office. The EF mass is essentially the mass of St. Gregory the Great going back 1500 years. I’m not sure this is true of the Office. If you really want to pray a TRADITIONAL office, you will have to take up the traditional monastic office of St. Benedict. The Roman Breviary that many traditionalists prefer only dates back to 1910. As I understand it, St. Pius X’s reform of the Divine Office was very substantial…

  9. Supertradmum says:

    I have some priest friends who are exorcists who have told me that the Latin Mass is more efficacious for intercessory prayer, and that the devil hates Latin. God bless this priest. I belong to the Third Order of the Most Sorrowful Mother and we pray for exorcists and those to whom they minister.

    We need to pray for these brave men.

  10. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    The laudable Benedictine Office is not the tradition of the laity. The real tradition for the laity is the misnamed “Cathedral Office”, which predates the Benedictine by several centuries. See Robert Taft on this.

    The “Cathedral Office” had its problems (e.g. no cycle of Psalms), yet in an age when easily 90%+ were illiterate, the Church did what she could. Now with mass literacy, cheap(er) books, and apps, we can do better: a public LOTH with each and all holding a breviary or an iphone with an app.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “I’m dedicating this year to the study of the Mass (my daily spiritual reading and whatever free times I find – never seem to materialize….).”

    The English translation of a book I have been grateful for ‘making the acquaintance of ‘ (I have not yet read it cover-to-cover) is available at Internet Archive: The Liturgy of the Mass by Pius Parsch.

    Very rewarding, too, is as much as I have read (Vol. 1: Advent to Candlemas) of his work, The Church’s Year of Grace (I think only available second-hand or perhaps in libraries, though I fear many libraries may have passed their copies on to the second-hand book trade).

  12. Legisperitus says:

    TWF: I have no knowledge about the specifics of St. Pius X’s reform of the Breviary, but I seriously doubt whether there was any change in the basic structure of it (what you might call the “Ordinary” of the Divine Office).

    What I have read is that he substantially reduced the number of obligatory proper Offices of Saints in the Breviary because he believed the number of such observances had multiplied to the extent that the sanctoral cycle was eclipsing the structural rhythm of the liturgical year.

  13. majuscule says:


    Thank you for that link.

  14. TaylorKH says:

    So, let me get this right Fr. Z. is completely t-totally sold on one individual priests claim that, somehow, and this is the implicit meaning, their is no validity in the Novus Ordo Missae? [?!? I haven’t EVER made that claim, or even hinted at such a stupid notion. You are out of line.]

    I am disappointed that a priest would not first consult the Holy Spirit of God and discerning before launching such an emotion-filled plea. [?!? Are you psychic?]

  15. SKAY says:

    TaylorKH said–
    “I am disappointed that a priest would not first consult the Holy Spirit of God and discerning before launching such an emotion-filled plea.”

    How do you know that he has not?

  16. @TaylorKH: Fr. Z never says anywhere “their is no validity in the Novus Ordo Missae”. LOL.

    If an exorcism is more powerful due to the saying of the Extraordinary Form, this is good to know for the relief of the many victims of diabolical interference, infestation, and possession. Have you ever witnessed the depths of suffering meted out by the devil on victims? Surely you can’t mean to disregard making such help as effective as possible?

    What information do you have about exorcism or the Extraordinary Form? Have you studied, side by side, the differences between the fuller old rite of exorcism, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and other prayers, blessings and rites out of the old Rituale? Clearly the Rituale offers much fuller, more specific, and more complete expressions than the newer. This is not the same thing as saying there is no validity to the new.

  17. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    I fear you did not get it right: “Moreover, you aren’t fully trained in your Rite, in this our Roman, Latin Church, until you do.” Not fully trained because the Roman Rite has Novus Ordo Missae (authoritatively in Latin, as you imply) and the Extraordinary Form (also in Latin). “Yes, this might mean learning Latin” – which might seem a striking understatement, except that so many lands and tongues tend, in practice, to favor official translations of Novus Ordo Missae into their vernaculars.

    Actual practice is variously richer and poorer. The Church whose Latin NOM I have most frequently attended recently tends (with formal permission) to use the Ambrosian Rite (in Latin) on the Feast of the Epiphany, for example. And, alas, many Churches tend to play fast-and-loose with the official vernacular translations.

    But I wish the Sarum Use would be given more latitude (though I know as good as nothing about the details of this discussion: the YouTube account “brunothelabrador” has videos loaded of what I understand to be an officially permitted celebration of the SarumUse for Candlemas).

  18. TaylorKH says:

    A lot of words here. Pope Francis is in charge now, and is moving forward with reform as per the will of God as very clearly outlined in the ecumenical council of Vatican II. Let’s try to move away from superstition and get on with the works of Vatican II and the Holy Spirit and the obedience due to God. Thanks.

    [Okay, I’ll bite. To what, precisely, are you referring when you bring up “superstition”?]

  19. Bressani56 says:

    It’s amazing more parishes don’t emulate what the John Cantius brothers are doing in Chicago. They literally “turned around” a dying parish, making it into a thriving one. Ad multos annos!

  20. Legisperitus says:

    Whenever I see the phrases “very clearly” and “Vatican II” in the same sentence I have to wonder.

  21. Michelle says:

    I would believe this, and some things my parish priest has told me seem to agree.
    He only celebrates Mass in the Ordinary Form, albeit very solemnly and reverently and in Latin once a week. Yet he still uses the “old” form of the blessing for holy water, salt, and other sacramental and even commented to our RCIA class about how he feels like the older forms of blessing and exorcism have more “teeth”.

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