Questions about the TLM

Hello everyone,
I am a post-Vatican II kid who has recently been awakened to the beauties of traditional Catholicism. I didn’t even know there were still masses said in Latin until I found these forums. I just found our that there is a Tridintine mass said only a half hour away from my Mom’s house, so I’ll finally get to see what everyone is talking about. My mom is always talking about how she misses the Latin, so next time I go home, I’m going to get her to take me.

I was wondering what I should wear (I grew up in a parish where everyone wears jeans)? Do I need a veil, and if so where can I get a simple one? Anything else I should know before I go?
Thanks in advance,


The dress code is rather simple in most TLM churches that I am aware of.
Dresses and no pants for ladies. The closer to the ground the better.

Regarding veils: anything that covers your head is appropriate, even the use of a hat has been deemed appropriate.

Basically keep it simple. Do not dress in any way that would draw attention to yourself.

You also need to be certain that you approach the priest well before the services if you are even considering partaking in communion or any of the sacraments as well.

:confused: I normally attend Novus Ordo Mass, but when I’ve gone to TLM, I never approached the priest before Mass. I just walked up to the Communion rail and knelt down to receive the Sacrament.

Same here. Was given communion without hesitation.

Yes. I should mention in case anybody doesn’t know. At a TLM, Communion is only received on the tongue. It’s not hard though. Just walk up to the Communion rail, kneel down and wait for the priest and altar boy to walk up to where you are kneeling. The altar boy holds a paten. The priest will take a Host and say in Latin “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.” That means The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul unto life everlasting. Amen. You don’t answer the priest. You just close your eyes, open your mouth and stick out your tongue a little bit. Then you return to your pew and kneel.

When my parents and I started to attend TLM last October 29, we were not able to talk to the priest but we were also given communion. I also answered the priest with a loud “Amen” for two or three consecutive Sundays before I learned that we were not suppose to answer “Amen.”

What in the world are you talking about? I’ve attended indult masses all over the U.S, and I’ve never approached the Priest beforehand except to say hello or for confession if I needed to… As far as women wearing pants, I see lots of them and usually depending on where it is between 50 and 80% or so of the women wear head coverings.

I hate to say this but you really don’t sound like you have any idea of what a Traditional Mass is. Sorry to tell you that.

At our TLM, Father has no problem with women wearing nice pants designed for women. I am sure tight jeans would raise some eyebrows though. The main thing to remember for the women is to dress modestly. Sleeveless or low cut blouses are frowned upon, as are short skirts. The rule of thumb that Father has posted it that skirts should cover the knees both standing and sitting. In our chapel, at least at the sung Mass, virtually every woman and girl wear a headcovering. If you forget yours, there is a basket in the foyer with “loaners”.


Many of the churches perfroming TLM are not in communion with Rome, and consider them schismatic or heritical in nature.

The fact that many of the priests would not offer communion to someone who is not in a state of grace is a more serious issue to the celebrant of the mass and thus to the indivudual partaking as well.

Many people going to TLM for the first time have not been properly confessed, and are not familiar with the traditional protocols that are required before recieving.

Thus if someone is going to these services for the first time, I would not beleive anyone to think it unwise to first speak with the preist and obtain the proper instruction. Please review the original post, and you will find my comments appropriate to the context of the question.

Regarding appropriate attire:
If one is attempting to remain traditional in regards to the mass, you may imagine that they may wish to remain traditional in regards to their dress.

It is likely that no preist would keep a person from entering into church simply because they are not dressed traditionally. However I know of many places that instruct attendeds to dress appropriately if they plan on returing on a regular basis.

The pants may easily be one aspect of the traditional dress that certain institutions do not enforce vigorously; however it was frowned upon in most societies let alone churches up until 50-70 years ago.

If one wishes to remain traditional, than the head covering is most certainly appropriate, this is not only traditional but biblical as well.

Sorry if the realty differs from your experience.

The OP is a Catholic, therefore, he/she already knows that Communion is not to be received in a state of mortal sin, TLM or Novus Ordo. Also, this person’s mother has been to TLM in her youth, so she knows the protocol. I explained how to receive Holy Communion. It is no different than receiving on the tongue in Novus Ordo except you kneel at the Communion rail and do not answer the priest.

After all, when people travel, they don’t have to speak to the priest before receiving Holy Communion at a parish other than their own. I never had a priest question whether or not I should be given the Sacrament when I approached him, not in any Church in any city, TLM or Novus Ordo Mass.


With all due respect, I was simply attempting to answer the question as posed. I however did add the caveat about speaking with the priest.

It seems that many people on this thread have been taken aback by the notion of the poster simply speaking with the priest about the most appropriate protocols in regards to receiving the sacraments.

If, as you suggest, the poster’s mother is so familiar with the protocols, than there would have been no need to engage the question.

Regarding confesion and receiving: I mean no disrespect, but most Catholics ( Novus Ordo ) that I know have not been to confession since there youth. The people attending TLM tend to be much more active in these regards.

By no means do I suggest that one MUST speak to the priest before they recieve. BUT PLEASE READ THE QUESTION.
She asked if there was anything else she should know before she goes to the TLM church. Would not the priest be the best person in this situation to ask?? Why is this such a harsh suggestion?

People that I know that have gone to the TLM for the first time had a real eye opening experience. As a “post Vatican II kid” she should speak to the priest and simply be better informed.

For everyone else that is that much more enlightened, I do not mean to speak with an oleaginous deference. It was a rather simple suggestion.

Thanks for all the answers,
How do I tell if the church is in communion with Rome. From the churches website, I found that the TLM is said by a FSSP priest. I was under the impression that FSSP was in communion with Rome, but please tell me if I’m wrong.

As to being properly confessed, I am well aware of the necessity. It never hurts to be reminded though, so thank you icxc nika


FSSP is in full communion with Rome. You will not be attending a schismatic group if it’s FSSP. Here’s a link to their website:

I guess it depends on who considers whom to be the schismatic :wink:

They are not schismatic. From their website: “In 1988, Pope John Paul II canonically established the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a society of apostolic life and approved its constitutions. The Fraternity was founded in response to the Holy Father’s call to ecclesial unity and the new evangelization. Hence, our name denotes a filial love and loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff.”

Apparently you fail to understand my toungue in cheek comment.
My point is that one group considers the ROMAN Pontiff to be a heritic, and on the other side you have the people who beleive that any RC not in communion with rome to be the schismatic.

It’s a simple matter of perspective. ( thus the wink :wink: )

Oh, now I get it. :bounce: You do have a point!

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