Questions about starting a EF mass in my parish


I recently inquired to my liturgical director for our parish about starting a Extraordinary Form of the Mass at some point in time. My inquiry was more "could it be a possibility" and he responded with:

"With regard to the celebration using the Extraordinary Form of Mass, our parish has not attempted to do so because we do not have any priests who, as required by Article 5 Paragraph 4 of Summorum Pontificum Motu Proprio Datae, which indicates that a priest must be qualified to use the Missal of Blessed John XXIII."

Understandably a priest must understand what he is saying and have a working knowledge of Latin, but I would think this would be a requirement for any Priest whim answers to the Church in Rome. This is obviously not the case; a couple questions of mine question would be:

** Exactly how much Latin would a Parish Priest be required to take while in seminary?

If any is required; are they expected to make any type of effort to maintain this knowledge?**

Further, our liturgical director also stated that in the brief existence of our parish (40 years), that the facts remains to be proven that "a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition" (Article 5 paragraph 1) could be found in our parish. This statement kind of set me back a bit, I have no doubt that there have been very few to inquire about a EF mass, but have they ever offered the opportunity up to the parish. And what exactly constitutes a "stable group"...

20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew (RSV) 18)

I am not trying to be obtuse, I would not expect a parish to schedule a EF mass for a minuscule group; although I would be interested in exactly what is meant by "a stable group" and the numbers of souls they apply this statement to.

Our liturgical director also asked:

"....who would benefit from this form. Those who have never attended a Tridentine Mass, but have only been told about it, cannot be said to "adhere" to a tradition which they never had."

This seems myopic to me. Obviously everyone could benefit from the EF Mass, whether or not anyone would attend is remains to be seen. He implied that if you do not know Latin 'at the collegiate level', you will not "fully understand" the liturgy, or much else. I know very little Latin and I can attest that at least I can fully understand and my family of 5 can appreciate the EF Mass, even if we have to follow the liturgy in a Latin/English translated Missal.

Thanks in advance.


Hi. I attend a parish that offers both forms, and I know our pastor pretty well. I can tell you, from what he and others have told me, that knowing Latin is not all a priest needs to know to be able to celebrate the EF Mass. Back in 2009, when our pastor was still going through the FSSP classes, we had a couple of Sundays where the priest who usually says the EF wasn't available due to illness. Our pastor said a Latin OF instead, because he wasn't yet qualified to say the EF. I'm not sure what all is involved, but apparently, it's hard for a priest who has been saying the OF for several years to get used to saying the EF. In addition, if your parish were to find a priest who can celebrate the EF, that priest must be in good standing with Rome, I.E. not in a schismatic group.

If you know any other people in your parish who would like to have the EF there, you probably should get them together and approach your pastor about it. If that fails, and if there is no parish that offers the EF in your dioces, you could approach your bishop with your concern, and see what he has to say. If you know other people in your dioces who would like to have an EF, that would be even better. I would also pray about it before the Blessed Sacrament. When approaching your pastor or bishop about this, I would do it with humility and charity.

I hope that what I've said here can help you at least a little.


Hi, I would suggest going to you may want to google it and they have chapters for the celebration of the EF. Also, you might want to contact any parish nearby which celebrates the EF. Since I don't know where you are, I can't give you parish referrals. For example: Southeastern Massachusetts EF is celebrated at St. Brendan's near Holliston, Holy Name of Jesus in Providence, RI, the Benedictine abbey at Still River, Massachusetts. But try Unavoce first.

Jubilate Deo omnis terra, servite Domino in laetitia!

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth, serve the Lord with gladness!

George Largess


Thank you George and Josh for your help in resolving this matter. Also, George I live near Austin, Tx (78734) and I am aware of the EF at our Cathedral at 3:30 every Sunday (this is 30 mins for my driveway on any given Sunday) and I do feel blessed to even have an EF offered in our diocese (we actually have two, the other is in Waco - about 1.5 hrs from my driveway). The problem that I have encountered is that if I want to attend an EF Mass I need to go outside of my parish (proper). I now have 4 children that are in dire need of CCD, and not being a registered member of the Cathedrals parish we cannot go through this process while we attend the EF Mass. please keep in kind I have no problem with the NO Mass, outside of it being abused normally at times. So, while my Kids attend CCD I am attending my local parish. While I am at my local parish, I took on the choir of doing whatever I can to have a third EF Mass offered in my diocese (and really, it would benefit all of west Austin which has the 3 largest parish in the greater Austin Area) This is why I have made these inquires.

God be with you. :crossrc:


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