How come some priests don't want to celebrate EF?


This evening I was asking a priest if he was going (or knew of someone in area who was going) to celebrate EF. There followed some negative comments about it not being a good choice to make (the MP) and I was wondering why all the negativity I’ve heard on this coast?
Now, I mean this as purely a question as to sincere beliefs that I’ve seen/heard and with the utmost in charity!

When I’ve heard Bishops on this coast refer to the EF it was not in a favorable light. I’m a post-VII convert and haven’t any idea as to what may have been going on before the Council in regards to this. So, let me say again, PLEASE respond in charity!

This is apparently a stumbling block to some and I merely want to find out some reasons why that might be so.:shrug::confused:


Best of luck.


I’m honestly not entirely sure why there are some people who are intent on suppressing the extraordinary form and denying people a form of worship which they particularly desire. I suppose they have the idea that the pre-Vatican II sacraments were ‘closed’ and difficult to understand. Some people associate a more ‘closed-minded’ and ‘medieval’ spirituality with the extraordinary form. Some priests may want to suppress it because they want to protect their faithful from the ‘backwards’ beliefs and practices of the past…

Others might argue along the lines of lex orandi, lex credenti - the law of prayer is the law of belief. If we have two forms of the Roman Rite, it means that we have two different ‘laws of prayer’ and two different sets of beliefs; one which is ‘angry’ and ‘unweilding’ and one which is ‘tolerant’ and ‘progressive’. Some argue that these two ‘different faiths’ can’t coexist, and that the Holy Spirit has moved us into a new era and a new spirituality from which we cannot turn back.

Obviously, the Holy Father disagrees. He sees that today’s faith is exactly the faith the church has always had. He feels that we can’t simply throw out what was great and holy for many generations of Catholics.


There are many priests who do not know Latin and probably are a little intimidated by it.

Of course there are also many priests who enjoy an attitude of allowing things to slide and just get along with everyone. To them it probably seems a little too extreme and rigid.

As someone who grew up with only the NO I know I was very intimidated and somewhat distrustful of those who are attached to tradition.

The line of thinking is this, why are these people so rigid, why don’t they just loosen up and enjoy themselves a little. Many people have a mindset that how you act really doesn’t matter too much and why get so uptight over things that everybody does?
If everyone does it why get all bothered over it?

It all comes from a misunderstanding of points of view.
The people who are distrustful of traditional Catholics usually think of them as uptight, rigid and old fashioned.

The traditionalists usually believe that people who attend the NO and knock the Latin Mass are usually ultra-liberals who do not believe in the real presence, contracept, don’t go to confession and believe it is ok to dissent from Catholic belief.

This is not universal but those who are prejudiced against the other seem to be of these mindsets. What helps is charity and a willingness to talk about what is good about holding to tradition and how we can open up to modernizing our actions in living out Catholicism, without destroying the liturgy or our beliefs.

In Christ


I thank both of you Dauphin and Scylla, for your interesting and enlightening replies. This is so sad. I’ll really need to do some big-time praying for our Church and priests (including bishops and the Pope).


The only thing that worries me is that I do not speak latin and would have absolutly NO clue what is going on in the Mass. I am a cradle Catholic, but I have never been taught latin…What would I do in that situation???


I think groups like the SSPX and sedevacantists and other bitter “traditionalists” (who, unforetunately, happen to be the most outspoken ones) have loaded the EF with a lot of negative baggage that causes many priests and bishops to shy away from it.

You have to show priests that this is not the case. People who desire the EF need to be enflamed with charity–gentle and mild–showing in all kindness that there are good fruits from the EF in our times, and not just the bitter fruit they read about.

St. Vincent de Paul has some wise words:

“I have never succeeded when I have spoken with the faintest suspicion of hardness. One must be ever on one’s guard not to embitter the heart, if one wishes to move the mind.”


A very elderly Priest who ordinarily says the 1970 Mass said that the old Mass is in our Catholic “genes”, as if to say that a Catholic will instinctively recognise it as their own, regardless of whether they spoke Latin or not. He said it is a good and holy thing to have a devotion to the old Mass.

It is not necessary to understand all of what is being spoken at Mass for it to be efficacious in giving grace to your soul. In fact, mass is so mysterious, that the vernacular can lead to a distorted understanding (not that it always does) that because it is in our own language, we can understand what is going on, and tends to eliminate the utterly unfathomable mystery of what happens on the altar. That can lead to a decline in belief in the things that can only be known by revelation rather than our cognitive powers, such as the Real Prescence or the Holy Sacrifice. All the Eastern orthodox churches use non vernacular languages, as did the catholic Church until the late 60’s. The Jews have their ceremonies in Hebrew which is not vernacular. It preserves tradition, and helps us understand that what we are participating in is timeless and eternal, not only contemporary and “now”.

There are plenty of online resources to help you with the translation of what is being said, plus 1962 Missals for sale from St Joseph Press and Baronius Press. And usually an indult Mass will have a Missalette at the door for you to use, with Latin on one side and the vernacular on the other. After a few Masses, It is not hard for most people to have a fair idea of where they are up to, if they pay attention. The Exraordinary form of the Roman Rite is the oldest of all the rites in Christendom, and it has served hundreds of generations well enough to see tha Faith handed on over the millenia.

There is nothing at all to fear from it, but everything to gain. You would be most welcomed by the usuals. I highly recommend attending if circumstances allow.


There are missals easily available that have the Latin on one side of the page and English on the other. Using these, and attending enough Masses to become acquainted with the movements of the priest, ringing of the bells, etc. which clue you in as to where you are in the Mass, you should have no problem in following the TLM. Hopefully you’ll be caught up in the deep reverence of this Mass…


This isn’t true. Many (if not most) of the Eastern Churches (separated or Catholic) have traditionally used the vernacular (even if a more stylized form–like elizabethan english, etc.). Of course, the Roman Mass was done in Latin to begin with because it was the vernacular. I’m not making any value judgment as to which is better, but it does bear pointing out that there is a history of both pracitces…


It might be more correct to say that it has certain elements in common with the oldest rites, the Antiochene and Alexandrian. The Extraordinary Form is not the oldest of all the rites in Christendom.

"In any case the old Roman Rite is not exactly that now used. Our Roman Missal has received considerable additions from Gallican sources. The original rite was simpler, more austere, had practically no ritual beyond the most necessary actions (see Bishop, “The Genius of the Roman Rite” in “Essays on Ceremonial”, edited by Vernon Staley, London, 1904, pp. 283-307). It may be said that our present Roman Liturgy contains all the old nucleus, has lost nothing, but has additional Gallican elements."


Quite correct. See this section “Use of Latin.”


Thank you for your explanation. Being raised Catholic, I kinda get the reason for the Latin. However, dh who was not raised Catholic, but has since developed his faith and participates fully in the Sacraments, would be totally intimidated by Latin. It is just within the last three years that he has “some around” to Catholicism (although he is as devout now as if he had been a praticing Catholic for years!)…I dunno, I guess I am not that good with other languages and that is what concerns me…:shrug:


The EF is DIFFICULT. Even a low Mass takes a lot of practice and is extremely exacting.

Producing a Missa Cantata on Sunday with extra servers requires a LOT of work. Altar boys must be prepped to make all those responses FLAWLESSLY and on cue, and there is a lot of choreography and coordination. It is a BIG deal.

The EF requires the use of Latin. Many clergy are terrified of it.

If you have followed the issue at all, despite the Holy Father’s gentle presentation of the subject and his very high and good intentions, the EF still sets off fireworks between the extreme factions at both ends of the spectrum. It very quickly becomes a bone of contention.


I wanted to zero in on this. I used to think the same way. How did “I” feel at mass. Ever since I met me wife and joined her parish I sure have learned ALOT. It is not about what “I” want. It is about what God wants, it is about being at Mass a minimum of 1 to 1 1/2 hours a week focusing and worshiping God.(which is a small amount of time, but the min req.) It should not be about how I feel good or am entertained.

I am now at a more conservative church and at first though “there seems to be a sense of stuck up people here” However I though, they are not ignoring me, they are paying attention to God, HE is who we need to focus on and the EF mass seems to stress more on HIM than US. We can have the pats on the back and the hugging, and the jumping up and down at the social after mass, not during. Mass is the time to stop everything and focus only on God, we have the rest of the week to focus on each other, that is HIS time. So I see where people get offended and get upset at the EF mass because that mass (to me) is more strict about paying attention to God and not others, that is why I think people see the EF mass as the “snooty mass”


I have a feeling that if you asked an FSSP priest if he was going to start celebrating the ordinary form of the Mass you would also get a negative reaction. I don’t think it’s unusual that some people are drawn to one form and some to the other.

And as someone mentioned above, I think the extraordinary form carries a lot of baggage because of ultratraditionalists who consider themselves the “real” Catholics while the rest of us are dissenters and the like.


Really? Even ‘back in the day’ a priest would help an altar server who couldn’t quite remember the responses.

And, here in Detroit, the EF Mass has been said using only diocesan priests. They learn the rubrics of the Mass in a few practice sessions. I know, my ( N.O.) parish pastor is one who went through that program and has been celebrating the EF at our ‘indult’ parish.

Don’t sell our clergy short, they are intelligent, competent men. If a priest has an interest, and paid attention during Latin class in the seminary, they can learn the EF in relatively short order.


Speaking from personal experience in dealing with the SSPX and CMRI, I know this is true. They are intent on shoving th EF down our throats whether we want it or not. This has turned me completely off in terms of the EF.

Also, in many parishes, if there is 10 to 20 who want the EF in a parish of a couple thousand inconvenience who do not want it.

As for myself, the parish I have been attending will be doing both one daily and one Sunday in the EF (There is enough demand to make it viable). The rest will be OF with plenty of Latin and ad orientum (I attend the Saturday eveing Mass which is OF).


How come some priests don’t want to celebrate EF?



They like the OF better.

Seriously, though, we’re going to get into an even more serious version of the “liturgy wars” if we don’t get all of the priests in the frame of mind to offer BOTH. IMHO, since both are forms of the same Mass (though I’m not certain that’s going to work out) according to the Holy Father, priests should be required to consent to offer both before they’re ordained. Otherwise, you’ve just got camps.

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