Couple of Questions regarding TM Mass

Hiya CAF,

First question. When was the Tridentine Mass first practiced and how did it come to into being?

Second question. What was the Mass like before the Tridentine Mass?


God bless.

The Tridentine Mass gets its name because it was the mass that was codified after the Council of Trent in the late sixteenth century.

What the mass was like before Trent is a little complicated. You see Rome had never imposed one version of the mass on the Latin Rite and there were many, many liturgies used throughout the church. However, the Reformation made it necessary for the Latin Rite to have one primary liturgy so the Council of Trent made the Tridentine Mass the official liturgy, but it also gave permission for the continued use of liturgies that could show they were older than 200 years old.

However, the Tridentine Mass wasn’t a new mass that the Council of Trent just adopted. It’s actually a much older liturgy that really goes back to Gregory the Great in the sixth century. Indeed, the canon is basically exactly the same as when Gregory the Great composed it. However, in the centuries that followed Gregory this form of the mass fell into disuse, typically only being celebrated once a year by the Pope, and the “Gallican” rite became dominant. However, Saint Francis decided he wanted to use this form of the mass for his order as he believed it was the oldest form of the Mass. Thus, the Franciscans through their ubiquity ended up popularizing this form of the mass. At the same time the mass picked up many elements that had been used in the Gallican rite. The Mass of Gregory the Great had very few visual cues so basically all the visual elements of our modern TLM came from the Gallican rite.

By the century preceding Trent the Mass was very, very close to its final form.

Very informative and succinct post. :thumbsup:

A good book to get (if its still in print), is, “How Christ Said the First Mass” from TAN Publishers. I had read it back in the 1970s.

Thanks so much for concisely stating the history of the Tridentine Mass. I had always wondered. I personally perfer the TM over the NO any day of the week, but I had wondered where the roots came from.

Would you happen to know where I could find the “Gallican” Rite so that I might compare and contrast?

God bless.


Thanks I will definetly look into it. Thanks for recommending it.

God bless.

This article sums up the Gallican liturgy pretty well:

The Roman Canon and the basic structure of the Mass goes back to the middle of first millennium. Naturally that was living liturgy w/o codification and slightly different from diocese to diocese. By the time of St Gregory the Great in incorporated the processes which are now part of the New Form of the mass (entrance process, offertory process with the gifts, rite of peace, closing process)

Second question. What was the Mass like before the Tridentine Mass?

During the renaissance the human side of the Church was overemphasized, like in our time, and the Holy Mass lost the set aside sacrificium attributes, became volk celebration, with many excesses. As a reaction St Pius V frose the liturgy and excluded the participation of the people, to keep the Mass intact and specifically Catholic, different from the protestant services.

A process since St Pius X is moving toward a balances syntesis between the gathering, learning, offering, SACRIFICE, meal, misson. Unfortunatelly recently at least in the Western world again the people’s side is dominating and hides the sacred (set aside) side.

Thank you.

God bless.

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