Documents of the Magisterium related to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Explanations, both practical and spiritual, of the liturgy in general and parts of the Mass by different authors.

Various Manuals of Instruction on the Tridentine Latin Mass.

Official Liturgical Books for use in the Extraordinary Form.

OFFICIAL

LITURGICAL 

DOCUMENTS

Major Documents

Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum - Pope Benedict XVI (June 7, 2007)

This is the document by which Pope Benedict XVI allowed for more widespread use of the 1962 Missal.  Each priest may now celebrate the Extraordinary Form without permission from the bishop.

Letter to the Bishops Accompanying Summorum Pontificum - Pope Benedict XVI (June 7, 2007)

Pope Benedict XVI sent the letter to the bishops of the world to explain his reasoning for allowing more widespread use of the 1962 Missal.  He also coins the terms Ordinary Form for the Missal issued by St. Paul VI first in 1970 and Extraordinary Form for the Missal last issued by St. John XXIII in 1962.

Official Documents

Instruction Universae Ecclesiae - Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (April 30, 2011)

After three years of consultation, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei issued the follow-up to Summorum Pontificum to clarify a number of points regarding the use of the Extraordinary Form.  It states that by issuing Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI wished to promote reconciliation at the heart of the Church.

Other Official Documents

Circular Letter Quattuor Abhinc Annos - Congregation for Divine Worship (October 3, 1984)

By this letter, the Congregation for Divine Worship first granted diocesen bishops the possibility of issuing and indult for the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal for those faithful who requested it.

Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei adflicta - Pope John Paul II (July 2, 1988)

By this letter, Pope John Paul II established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which handed matters pertaining to the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal until it was subsumed into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2019).  It also encouraged bishops to give a wide and generous application of permissions to use the older form of the Mass.

Apostolic Letter regarding the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei - Pope Francis (January 19, 2019)

By this letter, Pope Francis “decommissioned” the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and assigned its functions to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Decree Cum sanctissima - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (February 22, 2020)

With this decree, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith allowed for the optional celebration of saints canonized since 1960 using the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  A newly-canonized saint may be celebrated or commemorated on any liturgical day of the 3rd or 4th class, except those feasts mentioned at the end of the decree.

Decree Quo Magis -  Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (February 22, 2020)

With this decree, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith allowed for the optional use of seven new prefaces in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  Their use is governed by the rubrics present before each preface.

 

LITURGICAL RESOURCES

SPIRITUALITY

OF THE MASS

Outlines of the Mass

Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of Holy Mass - Dom Prosper Guéranger

Dom Prosper Louis Pascal Guéranger (1805—1875) was a Benedictine priest and abbot of Solesmes.  Abbot Guéranger encouraged the chant research and restoration work of the monks of Solesmes. Dom Guéranger is credited with reviving the Benedictine Order in France, and revitalizing the Tridentine Latin Mass, especially gregorian chant.  This work is a collection taken from conferences Guéranger gave to

the monks.

Calvary and the Mass - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Bishop Sheen's reflections on what is now known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is one of his most dynamic and eloquent books. It is a vivid, inspiring explanation of the true meaning of the Mass, an explanation that is filled with wisdom and beauty. Leading us through the several phases of the celebration of the Mass, Sheen shows us its relationship to Christ's Crucifixion on Golgotha. He points out how the seven parts of the Sacred Ceremony are based upon the Lord's seven last words from

the Cross.

Articles and Books on the Liturgy

The Saints of The Canon Of The Mass - Rev. Nicholas Gihr

An excerpt from The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; Dogmatically, Liturgically and Ascetically Explained by the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr, this article offers background and meditation about all the saints mentioned in the Roman Canon, the Euharistic Prayer.

The Spirit of the Liturgy - Romano Guardini

Rev. Romano Guardini's profound reflection, The Spirit of the Liturgy, discusses the nature of liturgical worship and still stands as a guiding light for today's renewal of worship and prayer.
In poetic terms, The Spirit of the Liturgy clarifies the underlying principles and existential implications of the belief that when Christians join in the Eucharist and other liturgical celebrations, they do so not as discrete individuals but as interconnected members of the one Mystical Body of Christ.

Rev. Romano Guardini (17 February 1885, Verona – 1 October 1968, Munich) was a Catholic priest, author, and academic. He was one of the most important figures in Catholic intellectual life in the 20th century.

Sacred Signs - Romano Guardini

Originally published in 1911, this book goes through the various motions and signs and symbols of Mass in great detail, explaining their meaning and history.

Rev. Romano Guardini (17 February 1885, Verona – 1 October 1968, Munich) was a Catholic priest, author, and academic. He was one of the most important figures in Catholic intellectual life in the 20th century.

The Mass of the Western Rites - Dom Fernand Cabrol

This book offers a dedicated comparison of the various forms of the liturgy found in the Roman West, including the Gallican, Mozarabic, Celtic, Ambrosian, and Roman liturgies.

Dom Fernand Cabrol was a French theologian, Benedictine monk and noted writer on the history of Christian worship.  He was eventually named abbot of St. Michael’s Abbey in Farnborough, England.

The Splendor of External Worship - Rt. Rev. Msgr. John P. Chidwick

This homily was given for the Golden Jubilee of St. Agnes Parish in New York City in 1923.  It explicates the importance of external acts in the worship of God, drawing on worship in the Temple.

The Rt. Rev. Msgr. John P. Chidwick was Pastor of St. Agnes.  He was chaplain of the U.S.S. Maine, which was blown up in Havana Harbor in 1898.  A plaque in his honor can be found in Central Park.

Hierurgia; or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - Daniel Rock

After a side-by-side English-Latin translation of the ordinary of the Mass, this book offers detailed explanations on the nature of sacrifice in general, the Mass as a sacrifice, the Catholic understanding of the Real Presence and Transubstantiation, along with a history of the Mass and many other topics.

 

LITURGICAL

BOOKS

Graduale Romanum - 1961

This book contains all the chants sung by the choir for Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  These chants are to be used at all sung Masses, whether High Mass, Solemn Mass, or Pontifical Mass. It contains the commons (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) and the propers (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion) for Mass on each day of the liturgical year.

Liber Usualis - 1961

This book contains the chants for every Mass of the year along with chants for the Divine Office for Sundays and Feast Days, all according to the Extraordinary Form..  It contains much of the same material as the Graduale Romanum. In this edition, the rubrics and instructions are in English.

Missale Romanum - 1962

The Missale Romanum contains all the texts for the priest at the altar for celebration according to the Extraordinary Form.  This is the currently in-force edition of the Missal. Older editions may contain extra prayers or have different rankings of feast days.

Pontificale Romanum

This book contains all ceremonies and blessings reserved for a pontiff, either a bishop, or abbot, or another with the privilege of pontificating.  It contains the rites of ordination, confirmation, dedication of a church, blessing of bells, and many other rites to be performed by a bishop.

Rituale Romanum - 1964

This book contains all the blessings and rites of sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form.  The 1964 Rituale Romanum is nearly identical to the 1962 Edition. However, the Rite of Marriage was slightly altered in the 1964 edition, and so we provide the rite of Marriage from the 1962 Rituale Romanum.


This English translation is for study only since most of the blessings and sacraments must be performed in Latin according to the 1962 books.

Vesperale Romanum - 1913

This book contains all the chants (antiphons, hymns, etc.) for celebrating sung vespers according to the Extraordinary Form.  The ranking of feasts is out of date, but the chants remain substantially the same.

Priest's Ritual - 1962

This book contains the ceremonies for the sacraments which a priest may perform in the Extraordinary Form, as well as a selection of many blessings from the Rituale Romanum.  It is updated in accordance with all the permissions given for use of the vernacular in the Extraordinary Form as of 1962.  Thus, it is a more precise resource than an earlier (1956) or later (1964) Collectio Rituum or Rituale Romanum.  See the note on page 1 for proper use of the vernacular.

 

RUBRICAL 

GUIDES

Learning the Mass - A Manual for Seminarians and Priests - Rev. Walter J. Schmitz

This is the gold standard for learning the rubrics for celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  It has a side-by-side explanation of all the rubrics with the texts of the Mass.  It is fully updated in accord with the 1960 rubrical simplifications.

A Manual of the Ceremonies of Low Mass - Rev. L. Kuenzel

This book outlines the detailed regulations about the items and vestment used in the celebration of Mass, from the size and shape of a pall, to the type of vestments to be worn with citations from the relevant official decrees.

Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described - Fortescue, O’Connell & Reid

This is the gold standard rubrical guide in English.  It contains detailed instructions for each minister and server for Low Mass, High Mass, Solemn High Mass, Pontifical High Mass at the faldstool or throne, Requiem Mass, and Mass in the presence of a greater prelate.  It also includes detailed instructions for Vespers, Benediction, Sacraments, and the various ceremonies of the Liturgical Year.  This version is updated in accord with the 1983 code of Canon Law and all recent rulings regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

 

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