Is it ok to go to a "traditional" Catholic mass?

I’m talking about the pre-Vatican II kind where the priest’s back is to the congregation, mass is said in Latin, etc. There’s a church like that nearby and I’ve been wondering what it’s about. Is it ok to go?

As long as they are in communion with Rome it is absolutely fine. Some would say it is recommended over the post V2 Mass.

Look on the website for your diocese. If that church is listed as a Catholic parish, it’s OK to go to their traditional Mass. If it is not listed, it’s not in communion with the Catholic Church, and it is not at all OK to attend.


Yes, but check your diocese like the above poster mentioned. Be wary of groups like SSPX, SSPV, CRMI, Sedevacantists, independent chapels.

I agree with all of the above posts. If it is a Roman Catholic mass, by all means, go. Use one of the missalettes with English translations, so you can understand what is going on. It will also help you with understanding the new translation of the NO Mass coming up in the next year, IMO.

Contrary to what was posted above, faithful Catholics can indeed attend Mass said by a priest of the SSPX without problems.

Sorry but this is not true. Since they do not have any canonical status within the Church right now, any Catholic who is aware of this issue cannot rightfully attend an SSPX Mass.

I think its been mentioned several times already. Just be careful that you do not go to a Mass held by a group that is in schism or have no canonical status within the Church. You can seek out diocesan EF Masses or go to the FSSP website and check if they have a personal parish in your area.

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If you want to be technical, yes you can attend an SSPX Mass, the same that you may attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy or a Protestant worship service. You may not receive the Eucharist because they are not in full communion with the Pope at this time.

To the OP: As above, make sure it’s a Church in full communion with the Church (checking the diocese website should usually be good enough). If it is, by all means go, participate, receive the Eucharist.

It must be noted that nothing you described precludes Mass in the Ordinary Form, which is written in Latin, and can be celebrated ad orientem. However, the OP is probably describing the Extraordinary Form, or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM.)

The tumb rule to decide: if the canon and the words of consecration is said in audible voice, it is Ordinary Form; it is is said in inaudible voice that is Extraordinary Form. There is no visible audible test for the canonical status of the celebrant. As other posters mentioned the website of the diocese gives sufficient information about those with canonical status, at this moment personal diocese with canonical status exists only in Brazil.

if it’s in communion with the Catholic Church, then yes it’s fine…

how do you know?

well if it’s an oratory of the diocese, or FSSP, it’s in communion and totally valid…

if it’s SSPX or another similar group (especially if it’s schismatic), then I’d stay away. SSPX are getting closer to communion with the Church though :slight_smile:

I sometimes attend an FSSP parish and it’s great :thumbsup: FSSP was started by John Paul II, it’s completely ok to go there

If they are in communion with Rome, GO! Read up on it though.

Yes! It’s called the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. It is one of the uses of the Roman Rite. It is fully authorised by the Church.

The priest’s back isn’t to the congregation. He’s facing the same way as the congregation. He’s leading them in worship. This position is called ad orientem. It means facing to the east, the direction from which Christ will come at the Second Coming.

Yes, if the church is in full communion with the Latin (Roman) Catholic Church.

Hmm. :hmmm:

I’m pretty sure you’re talking about the post-Summorum Pontificum kind that every Roman Rite Priest is entitled to celebrate since 2007, where the Priest and the faithful all face the Crucifix together, the Mass is said in Latin, the language of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Church, etc. Since 2007 frequently called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

However, as others have pointed out, not 100% clear since it’s perfectly OK for the post-Vatican II Mass to be celebrated in Latin (using the so-called editio typica or typical edition of the Missal) with Priest and faithful all facing God together, etc. (Cf. Vatican II doc on reform of liturgy, section 36) Since 2007 frequently called the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

By all means, go. It has been a wonderful blessing for me and my family.


Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar

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