How should I be prepared to go to a Latin Mass?

You *may *have a dialogue Mass where the people are permitted to respond.

Someone else will be able to tell you about a low Mass if there is any singing before and after (don’t think it’s allowed during the Mass itself) but at a Sung Mass or a High Mass, according to the rubrics the texts of the Mass- (Introit, Gradual/Tract/Alleluia, Offertory, Communion, etc.) and the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) are to be sung. It is not permissible to substitute them with other songs in the absence of an indult (which doesn’t exist as far I know). Some places have the custom of concluding the Mass with the antiphon to the BVM of the season. Technically before the Mass and after the Mass you could sing anything.

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]I grew up with the Latin Masses of the pre-Vatican II time – is the current TLM just like those Masses? Would I be able to use my old missal (which I still have) – it’s a St. Joseph Continuous Sunday Missal from 1957.

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The 1960 rubrics differ from the earlier ones, but you would probably not notice it at all-except that the priest is no longer required to stand at the altar and read the Epistle and Gospel silently in a Solemn High Mass. You would still be able to use your missal, even though the rubrics may have changed but the texts are all the same
[for example, it may direct one Preface to be said, but the priest may be saying another one because of the revised rubrics. That preface would also be found in the missal. But that doesn’t happen all that often].1956 saw the main changes to the missal anyway, so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem, I would think. But someone with practical experience could probably tell you better.

I use a 1956 Fr. Stedman Sunday Missal and I couldn’t tell you where any difference lies between it and the TLM I attend (indult). Your 1957 missal should be more than adequate.

Those who cannot kneel, stand at the altar rail in what would be their normal place if they were kneeling. I have noticed that most lean a little to make it easier for Father to reach their mouth.

For the most part, you won’t see any difference if you have a pre-1962 missal. However, if you do have a pre-1962 missal then you’ll want to be aware of at least two primary difference: Ember days and Holy Week.

Prior to 1962 the Ember days had more “Lessons” readings prior to the Epistle. Otherwise, they are the same. As long as you can detect when the priest is beginning the Epistle as opposed to a Lesson, then you just simply skip ahead to the Epistle when the priest begins it and that’s that. It also helps to know in advance that just because your pre-1962 missal has six Lessons doesn’t mean that’s what going to happen at Mass.

Holy Week, especially the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday through the end of the Easter Vigil) in the where the big differences are between the pre-1962 liturgy and the 1962 liturgy. The difference are too numerous to cite; I recommend getting the a Triduum Missal if you happen to have a pre-1962 missal otherwise you’ll get lost easily (and if you don’t read Latin with any proficiency then getting un-lost will be a tough challenge).

Lastly, there might be some differences with the Rogation Days, but I am not sure on this one (I usually work and can’t get to Mass on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the Ascension).

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