Latin Mass
Sancta Missa

Frequently Asked Questions

PROMOTING THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS

1.  Why restore the Traditional Latin Mass?

Living in a secularized world, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass helps us be rooted in the tradition and heritage of the Church. The Traditional Latin Mass helps Catholics sanctify their lives in a desacralised age.

The ancient form of the Roman Mass fosters a sense of respect for the Church's sacred traditions. This vital link with the Sacrifice of the Mass is a secure anchor and guarantee that we do not drift away from that bedrock of the Catholic Faith.

In the sacred atmosphere that is experienced in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, the faithful are well disposed to give our Triune God the worship that is due to Him.

The Church's treasury of sacred music, especially Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony, are strongly promoted in the celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962.

And the promotion the use of Latin, the Church's own language, in her worship, teaching and administration, is ensured in the celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

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2.  The Council of Trent stated that, "Holy things must be treated in a holy way." How does the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass help promote this reverence?

When celebrated with faith, devotion and adherence to the mind of the Church, the ceremonies of the Traditional Latin Mass foster beauty, dignity, silence, and reverence in the faithful by providing ample room for recollection and private prayer in the midst of the communal worship of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

According to Christian Tradition, reverence is fundamental to worship as it increases a sense of the sacred and allows us to 'see' the eternal and the supernatural. Cardinal Newman said that anyone who does not fear and revere has not known the reality of God.

It is also true that reverence for the traditional form of worship and fear of abandoning it are fundamental to the continuity of the Faith. "Lex orandi, lex credendi" (As we pray, so we come to believe) sums up the Church's centuries-old wisdom.

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3.  Is the Extraordinary Form useful for evangelization?

The Traditional Latin Mass has inspired countless saints and martyrs, fostered devotion to the Mass among successive generations of the faithful, increased vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and attracted converts in unrivalled numbers.

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4.  Why should be preserve the Extraordinary Form of the Mass?

The traditional Roman Mass is our heritage from great antiquity, a sublime gift of God and the fruit of centuries of inspired Catholic thinking. It goes back without significant change to the 6th century when Pope St. Gregory the Great left the old rite in all its essentials just as we have it today. - Pope John Paul II

This was the Mass that Pope St. Pius V in 1570 decreed should remain unchanged in perpetuity. Thus he did not promulgate a new Order of Mass, but simply gave new legal force to a rite of Mass that had already existed for centuries and had been protected by the Church's Law of Immemorial Custom.

In 1984 the Holy Father issued an Indult for the traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated world-wide. In a motu proprio entitled Ecclesia Dei (1988) he mentioned its 'lawfulness' and manifested his will that permission for its celebration be granted on a 'wide and generous' basis.

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5.  Where can I experience the Roman liturgy in the Extraordinary Form?

For the United States of America, The Coalition in support of Ecclesia Dei gives this directory of Masses in the Extraordinary Form here:
http://www.ecclesiadei.org/masses.cfm

In the United Kingdom, the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales provides a similar listing at: http://www.latin-mass-society.org/masses.htm

An international listing of Masses in the Extraordinary Form celebrated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is located at:
http://www.fssp.org/en/coordonnees.htm

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6.  What if there's no Mass in my area?

Due to the wisdom of Benedict XVI, this problem can be resolved on the parish level, according to the principle of subsidiarity. Parishioners should encourage their parish priest to study and learn the Traditional Latin Mass. If the request is not met, parishioners should contact the local bishop for assistance, who is encouraged to welcome this request and make the necessary provisions. If the parish or diocese is unable to find a solution, parishioners may contact the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in Rome for assistance:

Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei,
H.E. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos,
President, Piazza del Sant’ Uffizio 11,
00120 Vatican City, Italy

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