"Business" case for Latin Mass?


Does anyone know of one? i.e. example of a parish who was not doing so well or was average, then tried out TLM-EF for a few times, got great response, eventually turned parish around - financially and community wise.

I don’t mean to make it that simple, I do understand that there are a lot of things involved to make a parish successful. There must be one or two success stories out there, changed to EF, overhauled homilies - sticking to traditional message, mirroring early church fathers commentaries on the gospels etc.

Like if you were to pitch this to a parish priest, how would you go about it, specially if financial bottom line is a current important concern.


A lot of it would, I think, depend on the type of area (population density, number of parishes, etc.). Will be interested in seeing realistic and positive comments also.


I sing in a Gregorian schola in the city of Sherbrooke Quebec, where we rotate around different parishes each month.

I can say that there are some parishes that won’t give us the time of day, and others that welcome us with open arms, and a number in between where we are an occasional curiosity. This, in a small city population 212k (metro area). In short, some like the traditional trappings of the Church, of which Gregorian chant is one, and some can’t stand them, and some tolerate them occasionally.

As far as the EF Mass (can I interject here for a moment and please ask people to stop using the term “Latin Mass” to designate the older form Mass? Because the Ordinary Form Mass can and is said in Latin in many places, and I have been to many; please call it the Extraordinary Form, or add the word “traditional” before Latin Mass… end rant), I’m sure that the same will apply, In some places it will be a draw, in others it will drive folks away. YMMV.

In any event the Motu Proprio for the EF Mass has some very (broad) guidelines about a “stable group” of parishioners requesting it. I would guess that if it’s tough to assemble such a group, it will be tough to have the EF Mass spark a financial turn-around unless it can draw people from other places.


The EF Mass in my home city is said in a beautiful old church, well equipped for such a Mass, and has a stable group of attendees coming to it. The church in question is in a neighborhood that has gone way downhill in the last century and has an oversupply of Catholic churches. It was originally the German Catholic church in that area (there’s also one that was Irish, a couple that were Italian etc). It still has German language OF Mass once a month.

If not for the Latin Mass community, this church would probably have to close. Like I said it is also well equipped for Latin Mass, which is a concern for those who plan to say it as many modern churches do not have the necessary structures such as an appropriate altar, communion rail etc.

I believe the church in question is also now run by an order, as are several of the other churches in the area (the Mercedarians took over two of the formerly Italian ones).

I am glad the church is still with us and I enjoy going to Latin Mass there sometimes and thinking about what the neighborhood was like back when it was a very active church.


In this article, it mentions a parish - St.Edward in Oakland, CA - Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, how EF had a positive effect. I wonder if anyone has insights to this and if EF is still going there.


I know that in my city (and others) these ethnic churches are usually in neighborhoods that are now pretty run-down – having an influx of people every Sunday who need to eat, buy gas, etc, certainly helps local buisnesses


I think I just found a very good use case for the EF:

Its a long read. This was way back in 2010. Old St. Patrick Church in Ann Arbor Michigan. I like the part where the Bishop himself came and celebrated the EF.


St. John Cantius in Chicago

Christ the King in Chicago

And other “restored” parishes by the ICRSS


Mary Mother of God in DC and the Basilica/Shrine on Michigan AVE in DC. There was talk about not doing Latin mass anymore, but since it di make good business sense and there was a need, that talk deisappeared…


The Mass was in Latin until I was about 13. This required – for me-- to have a “missal” to follow along with the priest. So, I was more engaged reading in parallel to the priest. Whereas today, we’re supposed to “listen” to the priest say the prayers – this active listening is called participation today, but I think the “business case” for Latin is that I was more engaged before. But, I couldn’t say that for everybody at Mass. Private recitation of the rosary at Mass was common.

Today we need large hymnals and/or printed sheets for all the songs. Congregational singing was one of the BIG developments of the Reformation, and now Catholics are doing it. Previously, the sung parts were standardized hymns (for the most part) and I could follow along the words in the missal, no matter what the tunes were.

Carrying a missal, the scripture readings could be read privately, and there were lots of prayers in the missal for private devotion.

People don’t carry their missals to Mass now, so they get to church and just talk before, during, and after Mass.

It was a big culture shift which many people did not like.

The rebound argument is that communal prayers like today were the gold standard before TLM was standardized.

There’s a whole wasteland of distracting songs in the NO Mass. They’re songs for the sake of singing, but distract from the progress of the Mass.

There would be nothing wrong, in principle, if the choir sang a song and the congregation just listened to it, but we have the rigid adherence to congregational-only singing - with some rare exceptions.

The business case is this: give people the choice and see which they like more. You know, this was never done. And, it’s done only in isolated cases now. You can see how this would complicate parish assignments of priests who were not cross-trained in both forms of the Mass.

The NO is not a mature liturgical rite. Before, we had 1st thru 8th graders at daily Latin Mass and the world did not fall apart.

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