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


It was, however, the de facto norm in most places in America.

During the time of Latin Mass, the only time I saw a High Mass was for a funeral.


PLEASE don’t be upset with me when I say this but (HAVING NEVER ATTENDED a TLM or EF form of the Mass) all I can go by is what I read and hear from those who have experienced it. I’ve heard it was “Pray, Pay and Obey” way back when. The people went to Mass, said their Rosaries throughout Mass, the Priest of course Said the Mass and when the bells were rung that’s when everybody knew it was the time of Consecration. The laity did not respond but the altar servers did the responding. I do understand it was (is) very beautiful. I have no doubts it is BEAUTIFUL and Special.

I have been to SOME FEW OF Masses that have had me shaking my head but for the most part they have been also BEAUTIFUL & Special. I have responded, sang, taken part in these Masses and was very much at Calvary and the Last Supper. I have understood every single word said. To me that is important that I have UNDERSTOOD every single word said.

Mass is NOT a competition. Both are allowed, both are available and both are perfectly fine. MOST important is that WE GO TO MASS.


Personally I see no obvious superiority with the Latin mass. Having grown up with it, the present celebrations now seem more theatrical to me, even though they appear more sober, at least, in nature. In any case I don’t necessarily recognize more genuine reverence with the Latin Mass, just a difference in certain externals that make the Mass less readily comprehensible, for some reason I don’t comprehend. IMHO the Novus Ordo is really closer to the Old Order, minus some of the less appealing music at any rate.


Also many of the prayers “pack a punch” more than the OF. But I do love a very traditional NO in English!


Oh dear.
I think the joke is that “pay pray and obey” was the entire role of the laity in church life, not just their role at Mass.

All this runs directly counter to the adage applied for too long to the Catholic laity, that they are here simply to “pay, pray, and obey.” These three words express a gross restriction of the legitimate role of the laity, a crippling factor within the Church, anesthetizing the greater part of its body’s strength and moving it by degrees away from its proper vigor as Christ’s true Body to that of a passive religious population.


Hmm - - trying to figure out what you mean by “the Old Order”? Do you mean that the current NO (Ordinary Form) is closer to the old Latin Mass, than the way the Latin Mass is currently celebrated?


the 1958 reforms


No, just saying that there was something before/older than the Tridentine Latin Mass. I can’t help but feel that the EF is kind of a fixation or obsession for many-delivering nothing of real value in the long run. Not saying it shouldn’t be optional, if that’s what some prefer.


Oh, that Old Order! Like the Mozarabic Rite, the Sarum Rite, the Gallican Rite?


IMO the high frequency of the Low EF Masses was the reason for SC of Vatican 2.


To make the Mass universal in how its celebrated is a good thing-no doubt. But not mechanically universal at the expense of being incomprehensible. There is simply no reason to be fixated on the use of a single language, let alone a dead one. And fortunately the Church recognized this.


I think a lot of the reason that some people “fixate” on the Latin Mass is that they have been to one too many OF Masses that just seem off, wrong, irreverent, etc.
EF is not necessarily their choice due to the “dead language”, but it’s a guarantee that they (and their children) won’t be exposed to the odd / distasteful things that might happen at OF Mass. That’s why I attend EF myself, when I am able to do so. My twelve-year-old prefers EF, although my older two prefer Mass (without anything weird). But you can’t always guarantee that there won’t be anything weird happening (at an Ordinary Form Mass), can you?


Thankyou for your reply Maximilian. I am talking of later reforms to the Liturgy, specifically after St Pope John engaged the council on reform for the Jewish /Catholic question


Ok. If we can’t understand it I guess we can’t be offended at least :grinning:. Sorry, I understand the problem to some extent, especially considering more obvious excesses that have occured with the NO at times and I don’t mean to disrespect anyone else’s preference here.


The Latin language is firmly alive . Look to science and law to find it.


Ok!? So we should provide the LM for scientists and lawyers. I’m sure they’ll have no comprehension struggle whatsoever.


Thankyou for your reply fhansen. Theology is another area where Latin is alive. It’s even a language course at University level.


I know you have this idea in your head that everyone has to fully understand all texts at Mass. Consider though, all the saints that were sustained by the Latin Mass over the centuries, most of whom did not know Latin. The liturgy is a work done on behalf of the people, it’s not meant only to be Bible study. It’s a mystical ritual, to some degree. Lots of religions have a “dead” language used for ceremonies.


That’s certainly true. Jewish congregations have used Hebrew (only recently resurrected as a living language), ecclesiastic Greek used in Church isn’t the same as modern Greek, the Arabic of the Koran isn’t the same as modern Arabic, and of course our KJV-only Protestant friends insist on Elizabethan style English


To be fair, the Anglican-use Ordinariate rite also uses that kind of English, and they’re Catholic.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit