Questions About Latin Mass

I’ve NEVER been to one.

Is the WHOLE mass in Latin?

Those that go: Do you actually understand Latin?

If not, how do you follow?

What about the Homily. Is that in Latin?

It seems like it would be a beautiful and extremely spiritual experience. However, do you risk missing out on learning???


Yes the whole Mass is in Latin.

I know most of the more common prayers in Latin, the rest I follow in Latin or I read the English translation. That leads to your next question, I use a Latin Missal published by Baronius Press which has the Latin and English side by side. I was an Altar Boy many, many years ago and knew the Latin thoroughly, it’s coming back a bit faster than if I was learning it from scratch.

There is no Homily or English reading of the Epistle or Gospel at the daily Mass but the Missal has both languages. On Sunday the Epistle and Gospel are first read in Latin then are repeated in English and are followed by the Homily in English.

No. The Epsitle and the Gospel will be read again in the vernacular and the Homily will also be in the vernacular.

No. There are usually Missals there. At least to the one I went to, there are 5 different Missals, Latin to English, French, Spanish, Chinese and German.

I use the Missal. But I get lost sometimes. So I just go with the flow. I did the same when I went to a Chaldean Holy Qurbana and it was in Aramaic. I just followed what everyone did.

No. The Homily is in the vernacular.

From my perspective, I do have a short attention span and having the Mass in a language I do not understand works against me. Also I find myself burried in the missal more than praying and following the Mass.

Its a beautiful experience, yes. But I still appreciate Mass more in the vernacular. But thats just me.

My devilish side: one has to ask, is the question about an Ordinary Form Mass in Latin, or an Extraordinary Form Mass in Latin.

Because both still exist. Although the OF Mass in Latin is as rare as hen’s teeth in N. America, I know of a Benedictine nuns’ abbey near Montreal that does the OF Mass in Latin twice a week.

And I go to Mass at a Benedictine men’s abbey where Latin is used for the Propers and Ordinary of the Mass, the rest is chanted in French plainchant.

I’ve also been to Latin OF Masses at Monte Cassino, in Italy and a friend’s mother’s funeral in a nearby town.

We just started attending the Extraordinary form (Latin) Mass about a year ago, and at first it was a bit intimidating. But in only a year, we are understanding so much more, and know the prayers, responses,etc. so be encouraged it does not take long to get used to. It is so beautiful, and has brought all of us much closer to Christ! (especially my 12 and 10 year olds!) At our parish they have small missal booklets in all of the pews, that are really pretty easy to follow along in. They have the Latin words with the English meanings right on the next page. There are directions throughout on when to kneel, genuflect, etc. which are really helpful. Also, all of the readings are typed out on a paper that can be used to follow along. On Sundays, like was already said, the readings are read again in English right before the homily (also in English). I would definitely recommend checking it out!
We bought a book recently that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in attending a Latin Mass, or knowing more about what the Latin Mass is all about. It is called “The Latin Mass Explained” by Msgr. George J. Moorman. It is published by TAN books. Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

One who’s experienced with the EF should be able to recognize much of the Latin OF and vice versa. If I’m not mistaken, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, and Agnus Dei are the same in the Latin OF and the EF. Also most of the EP1 and the EF’s Canon.

Your “extraordinary” is my “ordinary”; your “ordinary” is my “extraordinary” – for those of us who have been in the Church for some time (in my case, 60+ years); the Tridentine Latin Mass was the rule, not the exception. The beauty of the Latin Mass (i’ve served Mass for 10+ years as an altar server) is, indeed, a joy in which to participate.

[edited] For those who would complain that they didn’t (or don’t) understand Latin, then they need only look at the right-side of their Latin-vernacular missalettes to read the proceedings in the vernacular.


Scientia vincit omnia [knowledege conquers all things]

I wonder why people see it fit to bash something the Church has declared good

Wow. Nice one :thumbsup: You insulted a Pope, spoke as if you are the poor soul who carries the cross of knowing the Ordinary Form is invalid (OH woe is you defender of the Truth!), patronized most people on CAF, and still managed to act like a total ignorant fool whilst going about it. Your little latin phrases, while cute, do not help you.

If this is what attending a Latin Mass does to someone; I do not want to go.

We go, along with those who attend the Extraordinary Form, to Calvary with Holy Mother Church.

Stop condescending; it does not help your cause.

(P.S. I attend the Traditional Mass exclusively unless subjected to situations outside my control).

The oridnary and the propers are in latin. Sometimes the hymns are in latin too if they are singing. The homily or sermon is in the vernacular. I find that when you go often enough you actually learn the ordinary parts ( kyrie, gloria, credo, etc) enough in latin on your own.

Sure, people follow in Latin-English missal. It takes a little effort, which we like to call “active participation,” but it’s quite manageable and very gratifying.

In fact, the fascinating paradox is that. very often, people who go to Traditional Latin Mass understand the Mass better than people who go to Ordinary vernacular Mass.

Anyway, I think we should step back and get a little perspective. Sometimes Americans talk about Mass in Latin as if it were nuclear physics or something insanely difficult, but it’s not.

People all over the world in all generations have managed to learn something of languages other than native tongue. In fact, my guess is that majority of people who have lived knew something about more than one language.

It doesn’t really make sense to assume it would be too much for us. So, I wonder why people do that? What’s motivating them?


Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar

Everything except the Homily is in Latin, and the Epistle and Gospel are usually re-read in the vernacular before the Homily.

Those that go: Do you actually understand Latin?

Some, yes. But I still have to use a Latin-English missal to follow along.

If not, how do you follow?

With a missal that has the Latin on one page and the English on the other. It takes practice, but eventually you get the hang of it.

What about the Homily. Is that in Latin?


It seems like it would be a beautiful and extremely spiritual experience. However, do you risk missing out on learning???

Most certainly not! I learn more from the homilies given by the Priest at my FSSP parish than I do at my OF parish, and I find the prayers said in the EF to be much more (I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive) theologically grounded. For instance, the Priest begs for the mercy of Our Lord that the Sacrifice he offers will be wholesome. And Our Lady is asked for intercession quite a few times.


Thank you so much!

We have one or 2 Latin Masses in my area. I may see about getting to them on occassion.

I happen to be one of those that can pick up the european languages (although fluent in Nothing but English)… enought to spell like an idiot when words are similar to English. Blue, Bleu… etc. My brain mushes it together. So, I’d probably start picking it all up… And actually translating in my head…

That could be fun. Now I wish I had taken Latin in high school… would be helpful!

Again, Thanks!

Nope, the Kyrie is in Greek, and the “Amen”, “Alleluia” and part of the Sanctus are in Hebrew :rolleyes::cool:

Why is this thread in this section?

Perhaps it could be moved to the Traditional section.

I’ve been admonished to stay away from the Traditional Section and I have obeyed for several months.

It doesn’t seem right, though, that those threads that I am supposed to avoid reading are now in this Section which I do have permission to read and respond to.

It seems to me that this is kind of like taking a recovering alcoholic out to the bars. It’s not right.

To the OP–I realize that this isn’t anything you have done incorrectly and I’m not trying to chastise you. I think that you’ll get even more responses to your question if you place this thread in the Traditional Section.

Think of it like this: if you attended an OF Mass in Germany, you would know exactly what was going on, even though you didn’t speak a word of German, because you’re thoroughly familiar with the liturgy. It’s not so different with the EF Mass. You know what is happening because you know what is going to happen. It isn’t as accessible as the OF in the vernacular, no doubt about that; there is prep work to do, even to reach the point where one can follow along in the missalette.

It seems like it would be a beautiful and extremely spiritual experience. However, do you risk missing out on learning???

The first time I attended one, it was not “a beautiful and extremely spiritual experience”; I had very little idea what was happening and found it impossible to follow along. (For instance, I didn’t realize that when they say the canon is silent, they really mean it.) It took a few times, and some research—reading through the Mass several times at and getting a feel for the overall structure of it—before it started to feel comfortable. It’s only once you reach that point that it becomes “a beautiful and extremely spiritual experience.”

Of course, what I forgot is that as a convert, my experience at my first few OF Masses was basically the same! Anything that is new to you will be difficult at first.

My suggestion is, find some videos online—youtube has a few, I think EWTN has one, the latin mass society has one—and watch so that you have some idea what you’re getting yourself into. Read through the Mass. As I said, has the whole thing in parallel latin and english, and it has audio recordings so that you can hear how the latin sounds. Get yourself some “anchor points” so that if you get lost, you know that when you hear X, you should be on page Y. And then attend for real. Just have in mind that the first time is probably going to be quite difficult. It gets easier, though!

Just to remind everyone, Latin is the language of the Latin Rite whether or not the liturgy is celebrated in the vernacular, therefore, Latin is the language of the OF Mass just as much as the EF Mass. So, please don’t promote the EF over the OF as if Latin were foreign to the OF Mass. It isn’t. Thank you all.

Thanks SimonDodd,

I love it when a NEWBIE shows me new resources…

Congratz on your conversion!

Yes, several times.

Yes, but that’s due to secular education, though listening to the Mass has made for a good refresher course.

I read the right side of the Missal.

No, it’s in the local language.

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