Low Mass vs High Mass Question

Well…I have now been going to a TLM (Low Mass) for awhile now and am very familar with it and so i am going to be going to a High Mass this coming Sunday and it has been an eternity since I attended one, so I am asking for your help. What is there that I should know that would be different from the Low Mass. Are there things I will be having to do differently?

Sorry for the stupid questions, but you folks answer them so well without making me feel like a dunce…LOL;)



No, frankly you will be doing less. Because certain parts where sometimes you might make responses (like perhaps the prayers at the foot of the altar, though many leave that to the servers)…will be sung over by the introit, etc…

The high mass could be compared with a Latin musical with Gregorian Chants. I was at High Mass last Sunday and the chants for the 11th Sunday of Pentecost were pretty much the same as the Saint Benedict Monk site below.

These are the Gregorian Chants for next Sunday (Asspumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

See also the Second Vespers

I load these MP3 files into my player and listen to them during my walk each day. Also, I have one of those large stereo’s from the early 80’s that I was ready to haul to the dump. When I hookup the tiny MP3 player’s digital sound to it, the 14 inch woofers and array of smaller speakers make the pipe organ and chanters sound like I was actually in a cathedral.

It’s tricky to get the chants loaded in proper order, and I have had better luck loading them one at a time rather than as a batch.

By the way, the High Mass lasted for over an hour and a half and no one got up and left early. We were entranced by it.


If you like to follow the Mass in your missal, be sure and watch the priest, not listen to the choir. For instance, at the Kyrie, the choir will start it before the priest actually says it. The choir will still be singing the Kyrie as the priest goes forward with the Mass. Trying to keep your place in the missal by following the choir’s parts will leave you playing catch up.

At the High Mass, you can sing the responses with the schola or choir after the prayers at the foot of the altar- the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Agnus Dei.

You will also be sitting and standing more and kneeling less. If you have one of those red missallettes from the Ecclesia Dei Coalition it will direct you when to sit, stand or kneel. Or just follow everyone else.


Well… you do not hear the priest recite the Kyrie- he prays it in silence. And the priest usually waits for the choir on several occasions so you do not have to play catch up. The choir and lay people do things seperately from the priest- and that is for a doctrinal reason. The Protestant reformers knew this and that is why they invented what we have today with the confiteor.

At High Mass the priest begins Mass with the prayers at the foot of the altar. During that the schola chants in Gregorian Chant the Introit. When the prayers at the foot of the altar are finished he incenses the altar. The schola finishes chanting the Introit and then goes into the Kyrie.

The priest, after incensing the altar goes to the Epistle side of the altar and prays the Introit the schola just chanted (note the difference between them and the priest- the priest’s prayer is seperate from the schola who just chanted it). Then he prays also the Kyrie. After he prays the Kyrie he comes to the middle of the altar and waits for the choir to finish- if the Kyrie is lengthy, such as the Lord Nelson Mass, he retires to the sedellia until the Kyrie has finished.

After the Kyrie he comes to the center of the altar and intones the Gloria, singing aloud the words “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” and praying the rest of the prayer in silence while the choir sings it. He finishes before the choir so he retires to the sedelia.


Thank you everyone. I appreciate the information and I am looking forward to it.


Sorry, but I made mistake and listed the Assumption of the Virgin Mary for next Sunday, and it is actually tomorrow. (Wednesday August 15th) I caught my mistake while reading the Bulletin before Mass this evening. Everything else is correct.

Here are the Gregorian Chants for next Sunday August 19th. Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost:


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