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


Thank you for sharing this! It’s always neat to hear from what it was like before Vatican II. I remember my parish priest said he would go to a local Mass when he was younger when the priest would say Mass in 15 minutes! Just horrible. And someone shared that the priest would say the Mass so fast before the Sanctus was over, the priest was already done with the consecration. I think my generation is experiencing the same frustration but with the Ordinary Form. The people who invented this Mass already had a good understanding of the Mass. One objective of the EF is to teach and show the mystery of the Mass. This is what I, and my peers, long for. The OF seems, in my personal experience, to assume I know that this is truly the sacrifice of Calvary and the wedding feast. I feel the wedding feast is highlighted in the OF but often time, through irreverence, made as a meal we all gather ‘round. It’s always been casual with no reverence in my experience. I’ve been to one or two beautiful OF Masses with holy priests, and it’s clear they understand the gravety of the act they are about to unworthily perform. But I got of topic. I think Latin helps me and my generation understand the mystery of the Mass, the incomprehensible nature of God, the language of the Church brought to us, and the utmost respect given to the God even to the extent that we don’t speak in our own casual tongue, but a universal tongue blessed by Christ’s bride, holy mother Church.


Do you honestly not see the irony in your statement?

It is YOUR personal, individual experience and opinion which makes you think the EF is “superior,” which is against the mind of the Church which says both Rites are equal.

It is NOT the Rite itself which bestows grace - it is God. And the individual Catholics ability to receive that grace is a matter of the heart, not which Rite they attend.

This is ritolatry by the trads, plain and simple.
An unhealthy, near idolatrous obsession with the ritual ceremonies being carried out in a certain way.


So it is your contention the human tongue is, on average, cleaner than the human hand?


In public schools in Massachusetts we had it from grades 7-12; unfortunately those days are gone.


Perhaps you don’t remember, but there was a transitional Mass in the late 1960’s which had parts in both the vernacular as well as Latin. The Council Fathers were all still around at that point in time, as well as in 1970 when the all-English Mass was first celebrated. The time to speak if they liked it as a permanent liturgy was really then, and the fact they didn’t tells me about their intentions.


Interesting point, and to be honest, I’m not sure. I’d be interested to run some bacteria tests to find out, lol.

I will say that if one brushes their teeth, then observes the 1 hour fast prior to Communion, you’re much less likely to introduce new “contamination” from outside your body. Regardless of how well one washes their hands, you’re going to come into contact with other things. During any given Mass, I’ll be escorting a kid to the restroom, changing a diaper, and wiping a toddler’s nose.

In a nutshell, the instructions from the USCCB are that the hands should be clean. I’d suggest it’s easier to keep the mouth clean than the hands.


This line of argument is very perplexing to me. Perhaps it because I am a convert?

For some time, Latin was the vernacular for the Roman Church. That means that for a long time, the people did understand the words that were said in the prayers. Why is understanding every word now considered a hinderance or somehow undesirable?

(This is an honest question. I have nothing against Latin or the EF.)


What do you mean? Elaborate on what your saying


It’s not that it’s undesirable or bad, but it is a better reflection of the reality of God. You would likely not dare to say that you understand every inch of the mysteries of our Faith, or of God, or of His plan. None of us do, and yet we don’t say it’s a bad thing or that we must understand everything about Him! The fact we don’t or can’t understand everything in the TLM reflects this.


If the Council Fathers thought that everything was fine with the hybrid bi-lingual Mass of the late 1960’s, they wouldn’t have moved on to the all-vernacular Mass of the 1970’s. It was the same people that did both.


Vernacular comes from the word vulgar. So vernacular is the language of the people, not of the Church. So latin wouldn’t be the vernacular.
I think it’s fine to understand each word of the Mass. In fact both forms have the most beautiful prayers who which I find very fruitful to meditate over.
I’m just saying the vernacular, for those who don’t understand the meaning of the Mass, causes one to feel the Mass is meant to be understood for them. The Mass is us offering our prayers to God and we shouldn’t expect to understand everything. Latin also elevated the liturgy. This is why some parishes will sing the Holy Holy Holy or the Lamb of God in Latin.


Thank you for your reply, but you didn’t address the source of my confusion.

So, when people spoke Latin, and therefore understood the language mass was said in, were they missing out, presuming to know everything about the mass/God, or doing something wrong?

It seems to me that, in order to sustain this line of argumentation, one must imply that there is something wrong with rendering the words of the mass intelligible to the members. How can this be so?

Again, these are honest questions. I’m trying to understand what is being argued here. I have no problem with Latin or the EF


But, mass was said in Greek before the Roman church switched to the vernacular i.e. Latin. Why was the initial change to the vernacular ok, but subsequent changes to vernacular are not ok?

Again, these are honest questions. I’m NOT trying to be argumentative. I’m trying to understand what is being argued here. I have no problem with Latin or the EF.


There’s not just the Latin though. The TLM is also fairly quiet. Most of the time the priest is whispering, so you can’t hear everything he says.


There are also many prayers in the OF that are said quietly so that the people cannot hear them. I don’t think that’s an issue.


There is great evidence that the Roman Canon was written in Latin, not translated as many seem to imply, perhaps by the Greeks themselves so that it could be preserved for many centuries.


It’s besides the point, but that number does not compare to the amount in the TLM.


The Offertory sometimes and the priest’s communion which interestingly enough uses the old formula before 1965.


Well firstly vernacular refers to the language spoken by the people. We can’t say Latin is a vernacular language because Latin isn’t spoken by the people. Yes Greek was the language of the Mass, the Roman Rite gives us a reference of this by using the Kyrie Elyeson or Lord have mercy in Greek during the liturgy.
It was changed that the Church use Latin as her official language so that the universal church has a universal tongue. It is true the Last Supper wasn’t in Latin or Greek, but remember the Last Supper wasn’t just a meal. It was also Passover. The Jews would use Ancient Hebrew in their rituals, which many didn’t understand. The Last Supper in the Gospels focus on the parts Hesus changed and the writers assume the reader already has an understanding of the way the Passover is carried out. So Jews and Catholics both use another language not used by the people. Remember the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion which is why I make a parallel to the Jews. I can’t make any arguments based on what I personally prefer but I would say Latin connects the Church under one language. And we speak to God in such a way that is higher (a language blessed by the Church) than the average tongue to communicate to God in the most perfect form of worship.
It’s also important to note that the Church currently permits the vernacular so therefore it’s completely acceptable


Both are valid. IMHO the extraordinary form is way more reverent and prepares you better to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

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