Questions about the Latin Mass

Common questions about the Traditional Latin Mass are answered and some myths are corrected.

General Questions and Answers

How can I find a Traditional Latin Mass near me?

There are several online directories, such as Ecclessia Dei Coalition's directory and the Mater Dei Latin Mass Community directory. You may also call your diocese's offices and ask.

How can I get a Traditional Latin Mass started in my parish?

In his document "Summorum Pontificum," Pope Benedict XVI decreed, "In parishes where a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably, let the pastor willingly accede to their requests for the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962."

The best way to begin is to respectfully request it from your pastor and discuss the opportunity with other parishoners. From there, the parish may offer the Mass a few times to gauge interest, and then schedule it regularly.

One should always be kind and charitable and rely on prayer, for that is what's responsible for the widening use of this form of Mass in the first place.

Can funerals and weddings be held using the Traditional Mass?

Yes. All of the sacraments may be administered in the traditional form of Mass. Even Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.

Was the Traditional Latin Mass ever banned?

No. After the introduction of the newer form of Mass in 1969, Pope Paul VI allowed the Traditional Latin Mass to be offered in various places, including England and Wales. Among many others, two great modern saints, St. Padre Pio and St. Josemaria Escriva, used it until God called them to eternity.

In 1984 and again in 1988, Pope John Paul II expanded this permission by giving bishops the authority to allow this Mass. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI removed all obstacles with the document "Summorum Pontificum," and now priests may offer the Traditional Latin Mass privately without any permission and pastors of parishes may add it to their Mass schedule.

Questions and Answers for Priests

Is any special permission needed to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass?

For private Masses, no permission is needed. Every priest has the right to celebrate this Mass privately, and faithful may attend and participate in those private Masses.

As with public Masses of the newer form of Mass, the pastor is in charge of Mass schedules. However, pastors should willingly acceed to the faithful's request, finding a willing priest to offer the Mass or even learning the ancient rubrics themselves.

What must a priest know to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass?

Priests may have a general understanding of Latin in order to offer the Traditional Latin Mass; fluency is not a requirement. However, the rubrics of the Traditional Latin Mass must be followed precisely; therefore, priests should familiarize themselves with the rubrics and practice beforehand.

Also, the celebration of the extraordinary form can be an anchor, giving priests a solid traditional perspective that should be used when offering the ordinary form.