Is the Latin Mass the best form of the Roman Rite?


Au contraire.

There are objectives standards.

  1. Is it valid?
  2. Is it licit?
  3. Is there Eucharist?

Both the OF & EF answer yes to all three. After that, it’s preference.

In my experience, in general there’s a greater percentage of people here who, if they prefer the EF, also denigrate the OF either as lesser form or as invalid. But when people who prefer the EF don’t denigrate the OF, they have not been suspended in my experience.

I don’t have the time to look at all the context of those quotes. But we should remember his papacy didn’t remove the OF. In addition there are going to clergy who see the OF as something that is a blessing for the Church.


The TLM is no more than 500 years old.

For centuries the Church had the Mass in the vernacular, especially as said by the Apostles and the first Christians.




Sorry, but you are not correct here at all. What is know as the Traditional Latin Mass can be dated back to the time of St. Gregory the Great. You will find few historians or Liturgist that could dispute this fact.

As to the question of the ‘vernacular’ - this is another issue again.
The Church has always set forth rules even in this regard.

For this I cite Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) laid down a rule on the use of the vernacular in the liturgy: “The Church must steadily and firmly heed that although the language of the people may change, the language of liturgy should not be altered. Thus, the Mass must be said in the language in which it was said from the beginning, even if such a language be already, antiquated and strange to the people, for it is wholly enough, if the learned men understand it .” - De Missae Sacrificio, 2, II

The saints and Pope s of the Latin rite Church have always safeguarded the Liturgy and her language for more reasons that I personally care to list, but for a more in depth look at this whole question, I will refer a great text written by Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes ( 1875).’ "The Anti-Liturgical Heresy’ -

Note what he says on the question of the Latin in the sacred liturgy of the Church:

" Since the liturgical reform had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship. This is in the eyes of sectarians a most important item. Cult is no secret matter. The people, they say, must understand what they sing. Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. ( . . .)


I wonder if the number of available Latin Mass’ are also outnumbered by more than a hundred to one.


Well, I can’t post anything more without risking being banned from CAF




Actually no, sorry to say, but those are not merely the objective standards that the Church herself uses and has used for giving an objective standard to the ritual of the liturgy. Your statements show that you don’t really grasp this point. Take some time perhaps to be more objective and look at the standards that Cardinal Ottaviani used to critique the New reform of the Liturgy. He was a man well versed in the mind of the Church. He may have known something about the standards the Church gives in this regard and it isn’t merely "Is it Valid, licit, is there Eucharist.’

‘Novus Ordo Missae–considering the new elements widely susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted–represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent.’ And as a consequence he concludes that ‘“the true Catholic, by the promulgation of the Novus Ordo, is faced with the tragic necessity of a choice”. -

Commenting on this intervention in more recent times Cardinal Stickler stated that “The analysis of the Novus Ordo made by these two Cardinals has lost nothing of its value, nor, unfortunately, of its timeliness. … The results of the reform are deemed by many today to have been devastating. It was the merit of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to discover very quickly that the modification of the rites resulted in a fundamental change of doctrine.” - November 27, 2004, on the occasion of a reprint of the Ottaviani Intervention.

What is more, perhaps consider these words of Michael Davies and the reference he makes ;

‘It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of Father Fortescue’ s insistence that in composing new services the Protestant Reformers “broke away utterly from all historic liturgical evolution”. In 1898, referring to the reform of Cranmer, the Catholic Bishops of the Province of Westminster insisted that local churches are not entitled to devise new rites:

“They must not omit or reform anything in those forms which immemorial tradition has bequeathed to us. For such an immemorial usage, whether or not it has in the course of ages incorporated superfluous accretions, must, in the estimation of those who believe in a divinely guarded, visible Church, at least have retained whatever is necessary; so that in adhering rigidly to the rite handed down to us we can always feel secure: whereas, if we omit or change anything, we may perhaps be abandoning just that element which is essential . . . that they were permitted to subtract prayers and ceremonies in previous use, and even to remodel the existing rites in a most drastic manner, is a proposition for which we know of no historical foundation, and which appears to us absolutely incredible”. - The Cardinal Archbishop and Bishops of the Province of Westminster, A Vindication of the Bull “Apostolicae Curae” (London, 1898). p. 42.


The title of this thread is misleading. Both forms of the Mass are “Latin Masses”. The only difference in terms of language is that the post-Conciliar Mass may be celebrated in the vernacular using an official translation while the older form can generally only be celebrated in Latin. The Editio Typica of the OF Mass though, is in Latin. And while the OF Mass in Latin is fairly rare on these shores, it does exist and I’ve attended several.



Yes, a good point, as it is good also perhaps to remind people that still the official language of the Roman Catholic Church is Latin, and so as Latin Rite Catholics, we should foster a knowledge and love for the mother tongue of our Holy Mother the Church.


Not actually true.

Each mass has an intrinsic value, being the one sacrifice of Christ, but the mass can be more meritorious when offered with greater solemnity and greater reverence.

It’s a metaphysical certainty- when two substances occupy the same class, de facto one will have greater perfection than the other.

Consider Luke and Robert. Both are men and have an inherent human worth and dignity. But Luke is smarter and stronger and more pious than Robert, so he has greater perfection and is “better” in that respect. Same thing.


Solemnity and reverence though, are not intrinsic to the form of the Mass but rather the manner in which it is celebrated. The monk I work with told me of a pre-Conciliar Mass he used serve at, where he’d be finishing singing the Sanctus and the priest had sped along so fast he was already finishing the consecration. Hardly a solemn celebration…


Vernacular Masses are a lot more “high maintenance” than Latin Mass is.

Vernacular languages change over time, they are living. Yet, the theology of the liturgy is stable, so the vernacular has to be changed on a regular basis to stay accurate.


It is one allowed form.


The idea that Latin should be the language of the liturgy (which is the standard for the Novus Ordo if we look at the Vatican II documents) comes from the idea that God is unchanging, so to is Latin. God doesn’t develop and Latin doesn’t develop. That’s the Church’s reasoning I’ve learned. Also we mustn’t forget Latin is the official language of the Church. We pray to God (at Mass) in a different manner than we would speak to another average person.
Also Latin in all liturgies creates a visible sign of church unity. Yes the Church is truly one Church, but the Latin in all Roman churches (at one point in history) reflects this truth. If I were to go to a Mass in Rome, I’d be able to follow along as if I was at home. This also is a visible sign that there is truly only one Mass.
One could argue that because the Roman Rite of Mass uses basically all the same prayers throughout the world (I wont get into how many options are permitted) that no matter what language we are all praying one prayer in unison.


Cardinal Ottaviani and his office made proposals for the consideration of the bishops who would be coming to Vatican 2. They were soundly rejected and new documents were proposed and voted on.

Sacrosanctum Concilium was voted on and passed by 2,147 to 4.

There is a small minority who still want to go back and change that including the Monsignor.

The Ef and the OF are the Mass of the Roman Rite; when I last looked there were 17,200 parishes +/- in the US, and the vast majority do not offer the EF. That has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of either form; but is simply a fact.

I would hazard a guess that most of the laity knows little or nothing of most of the rubrics of the two forms of the Mass, and that the move to the vernacular was, and continues to be one of the most appreciated/desired aspects of the OF, and contributes mightily to the overwhelming acceptance of the OF. I doubt that very many (if any) OF Masses will have a choir singing one of the Palestrina Masses, and one can certainly argue that the beauty of the music from past centuries is a loss.


If your speak fluent Latin


Well, then we listen to the SSPI* and move away from the heretical Mass said in Latin as opposed to the original Greek. (None of those above ground vhurches either.)

I’d trust a pope to be well-educated on the Mass so that he says that tells me that either he has been misquoted or that he was talking in a different manner than the ‘obvious’ interpretation reveals.

Well the OF was institued by Vatican II. So that’s not a case of mere local churches doing something on their own.

To repeat: The OF and EF are equally valid and give equal graces. Though one may be more meaningful for a person and therefore better for them.

*SSPI is a satire of the SSPX. There’s a blog post out there that points out the errors of the SSPX by being even more traditional.


Unity is not the same as uniformity. And latin is not and never has been used in the Eastern Rites, which are as thoroughly Catholic as the Roman Rite. And whether it is in Swahili or Urdu or German or Japanese, the OF prayers of the Mass are the same worldwide; your comment about options permitted are so small as to be irrelevant.

The Mass is to be worship that we participate in, not one that we sit and observe (and yes, I am well aware of missals with Latin on one side and the translation on the other) but there probably was not one person in one thousand in, say, 1955 in a parish who could converse in Latin - and the greater majority did not own missals. Yes, someone can parrot back a Latin prayer and know what it means in their language; but they cannot likely use any words from it in speech. Further, taking Latin to third world countries often provides the stumbling block of a perceived colonialism.

I have attended both the EF and the OF, and I grew up before vatican 2. I know the beauty of the EF - Low, High, and Solemn High Mass. and I continue to hope that those who favor the EF will be able to attend, even if it may be infrequently.


Quite so. And the final “product” not only goes far beyond what Sacrosanctum Concillium called for, but flat out contradicts the document in points like

As for my opinion on the question, I quote László Dobszay (The Bugnini-liturgy and the Reform of the Reform):


The word “best” is not the correct word to use.

The correct description would be that the Latin mass is an “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite.

I suggest you read Summorum Pontificum for yourself, esp Article 1, to see what Pope Benedict had to say about it.

God bless


No one teaches how to speak Latin. Wish they would. But the grammar and vocabulary are beautiful to read and hear.

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