My Catholic Source on "The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven"

9:37 AM

A member of the Mother Of Divine Grace yahoogroup recommended this website chock full of Catholic information - . I found this comparison there (below) that matches my own experience of falling in love with the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Brief Comparison of the Old & New Rites of Mass
You may find these and other differences between the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass and the New (Novus Ordo) Mass of the 1960's (most commonly said at Catholic parishes at the end of the 20th century):

* The 'Tridentine' Mass has a more vertical focus - a focus more on God than on fellow parishioners

* The 'Tridentine' Mass is clearly a sacrifice (as opposed to a meal)

* The 'Tridentine' Mass emphasizes self-denial, awareness of sin

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the priest typically faces eastward, symbolically towards Christ (not towards the parishioners) (At the IHM homeschool conference in Virginia I was impressed to hear how many "well-known" priests encourage and celebrate Mass Ad-Orientum, facing God.)

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is increased reverence at the altar and extreme reverence for the Holy Eucharist

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are ample references to atoning for sin, hell, judgment, and the intercession of saints

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, a fixed liturgy - containing the traditional prayers - is used throughout the Church, which is not subject to personal preference or manipulation

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are reverent silent periods where the priest leads prayers on our behalf (and with the helpful missal we pray every prayer, the whole Mass along with him, silently.)

*In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is more genuflecting and kneeling

* The 'Tridentine' Mass uses a different, fuller calendar

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are fewer rote responses by the parishioners

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the unchanged, traditional prayers of consecration are used (they are soooo beautiful! Why were they changed!)

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, Holy Communion is given only by priests - to kneeling communicants on the tongue (excepting, of course, those physically unable to kneel)

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are no 'altar girls', no lay readers, and no 'Eucharistic ministers'

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is a longer silent period after Communion for prayer & thanksgiving

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, pipe organs and Gregorian chant are employed rather than guitars and drums

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the priest is not sitting off to the side while laity 'take charge'

* In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is no hand-holding or "kiss of peace" among the laity (which I believe breaks up the reverent tone right before the consecration.)

*In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the stable rubrics help assure that liturgical abuses do not occur (like Fr. Z says, they Say the black and Do the red!)

* And, of course, the Latin language is used for the majority of the 'Tridentine' Mass (you may follow along with a Latin/English missal)

Latin Mass attendees state that the above contribute to a more holy and reverent atmosphere with fewer distractions.

Note: For a more extensive comparison between the old and new rites of Mass, see below. For some pictorial comparisons, click here.


And others, with videos -


Wendy in VA said...

Great post, Allison! Our family attended our first TLM about 3 years ago, and like you, we have fallen in love with it.

Jenny said...

Really great comparisons. Doesn't the Latin Mass just make sense?

Soul Pockets said...

I have never been to a Latin Mas but I would LOVE to go. The closest one is about 30 min away but I think the drive would be worth it. I also heard that a local parish around me may be doing a Latin Mass on certin days.

"*In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the stable rubrics help assure that liturgical abuses do not occur (like Fr. Z says, they Say the black and Do the red!)"

I love this :)

Jamie Jo said...

Our diocese just started a Tridentine Mass in our parish this past Sunday and it will be the first 2 Sundays/month.

The first time I went to a Latin Mass many years ago, I was so surprised that not EVERYTHING is in Latin and it is easy to follow along in a missel.

My DH does not like the Latin Mass because he does not know Latin and doesn't want to follow along for everything...with 4 little kiddos, it's hard enough to follow along a song.

That picture you picked for this post, my good friend's brother used that for his ordination holy card. It's SO beautiful.

regan said...

first, i love your header picture too. it reminds me of this huge statue of the Sacred Heart that i saw once in tijuana, mexico. sure wish i'd had my camera that day!

secondly, to jaimie, my husband didn't like latin mass when we first started going about 6 years ago either. and being a spanish-speaking man, you'd think he wouldn't have so much trouble understanding, but fast-forward to the present, we go, he comes and he is fine. he reads this book called for the visitor at mass and he has learned so much from that book. he doesn't complain at all anymore. sometimes we go to a very holy novus ordo mass, but it is about an hour from our home and that is the only time i'll attend a mass that is in english, but i think we have received so many blessings from the tridentine mass.
i don't know how it is for y'all back east, but california is TERRIBLE. the day that i went to a mass and felt like a stranger, i realized that i had to find something else. something that didn't compromise my catholic identity.

i'll get off my soapbox. sorry for taking up so much space!!

blessings to totus tuus.
happy new year.

regan said...

kindred spirits, definitely. i have been secretly reading you for a long time, over a year now and always enjoy your blog!
i just never understood the whole comments thing until i became a blogger. now i know how nice the encouragement is and am so happy to find so many great women out in this great big world!
please come again!

Ruth said...

You're on a roll :-)

I love it!!! Great post.

Unknown said...

Another great post, Allison! I am fortunate enough to attend a very orthodox church, so I think the differences between our Masses are not so many. I would love to go once, though! When I lived in Rome, I went to many Papal Rosaries in Latin and just loved it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for entering my contest! You'll have to come back and see the answer on Monday!

Thanks for the compliment on my hair-it was a good hair day! LOL!

Jessica Gordon said...

I am dying to come back and read these past two posts!! They look wonderful!!

I don't have your email, so I thought I'd come here and ask... I deleted a few things that I think helped, but it's hard to tell from my computer. Would you mind stopping by when you have a chance and let me know if it's any better? Thanks!!!

Nadja said...

Great post, thank you. I am in a predicament myself now because I love the Extraordinary form, but the only one we have is at noon. Why is this a problem? My husband likes an early Mass so as to have more time to relax at home on Sundays. We are fortunate that the Novus Ordo we attend is with the Fathers of Mercy, very orthodox mission priests, and many parts of the Mass are sung in Latin. There is a communion rail, nearly everyone kneels, and there are a number of women who cover their heads, so it isn't too bad. Still, I love the ancient rite and I hunger for it!

Laura O in AK said...

When asked a few months back why we bothered to attend TLM on occasion, I responded that it all boils down to reverance. Things that distract me at our regular parish just don't exist at the TLM. Yes, it's a little challenging to follow along at times. But, I figure that we can learn with time.

Sure hope we're able to attend TLM on a semi-regular basis. Too bad it's an hour drive each way for it.

Allison said...

Hey Laura - Besides it's beauty and reverence, I know the kids like seeing their friends every week.

Wish you were closer.

Allison said...

Dear Regan, I am honored to pick for your family!

St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church! (may 2)

This saint is the champion of Orthodoxy defending the faith from heresy.

Pray for the faith and courage to defend the faith and not lose heart amidst the setbacks of life.

God bless you in your assignment!

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Allison said...

These Ancient Egypt sites look great for 6th grade student of Mother of Divine Grace curriculum. I shared your links, thanks!

Julie said...

Thank you for your informative post! I actually did a search on the "common core" standards and was directed to your site, but as new Latin mass attendees, I really appreciated reading about the Latin mass.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! The Latin Mass is the "unabridged version" and is sooo much more reverent. For those of you who don't understand Latin, like me, there are these wonderful little red books with the words in Latin on one side and the English Translation on the other- HIGHLY RECCOMEND! The books can be purchased at:

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