The history of Latin High Mass

I’m old enough to remember the normative Latin mass of the early 60s, I think I heard high mass about once in my entire life. The normative mass of the old days was low mass.

The priests preferred to say low mass, and the faithful preferred to hear low mass.

Many parishes didn’t even have a regular high mass on the schedule.

Yet the tridentine revival, really isn’t a revival of the past at all, as it seems as if the high mass is now prevalent in that movement.

[quote=Kielbasi]I’m old enough to remember the normative Latin mass of the early 60s, I think I heard high mass about once in my entire life. The normative mass of the old days was low mass.

The priests preferred to say low mass, and the faithful preferred to hear low mass.

Many parishes didn’t even have a regular high mass on the schedule.

Yet the tridentine revival, really isn’t a revival of the past at all, as it seems as if the high mass is now prevalent in that movement.
[/quote]

Not being a TLM person, I can only guess that this is because we get so few opportunities to hear a Latin Mass, they go all out.

In my indult Latin Mass parish, before 9/11, we used to alternate Low Mass with High Mass week by week. On the first Sunday after 9/11, the pastor came out, stated in his homily what I just said in the first sentence of my post, and then cried out, “What Was I Thinking?! From Now On, Every Sunday We Will Celebrate the High Mass!” I believe the priest intends to bring out the “big spiritual guns” to fight terror.

Perhaps this decision to go all out for the High Mass every week is based on the following Biblical principal:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. – Ephesians 6:10-13

But what about the history of the Latin High Mass? I’ve heard these are pretty rare…

[quote=Kielbasi]Yet the tridentine revival, really isn’t a revival of the past at all, as it seems as if the high mass is now prevalent in that movement.
[/quote]

I have been a member of different Latin Mass communities. At my first parish we only had the Low Mass. This was only because there were no deacons to assist father. At my new parish we have a Low Mass at 9:00 AM and a Solemn High Mass at 11:30 AM on Sundays.

Weekday Mass is typically a Low Mass.

Is there a difference between a solemn high mass and a high mass? Also, isn’t there a sung mass that is between a low mass and a high mass? :hmmm:

I should add that I am talking about Tridentine Latin Masses. :clapping:

  • Kathie :bowdown:

The normative mass (used to be, before Vatican 2) is the high mass - the low mass became more widely used because of factors like the time it takes etc. The high mass properly celebrated is “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven” - so it is no wonder the TLM movement prefers it - it is so spiritual.

I’m too young to have been around, but I always sort of assumed that many parishes did not have the requisite clergy (as the poster above mentioned with the lack of a deacon, also a subdeacon) for a high Mass. While many indult communities are lucky enough to have high Mass available, I have never assisted at one because both locations I’ve attended have only one priest.

I should add that laziness or convenience could also have been strong factors in the “normative” use of low Mass (the Church was by no means perfect then or now), but I think numbers of clergy would have excluded a high Mass anyway in many cases.

[quote=Andreas Hofer] While many indult communities are lucky enough to have high Mass available, I have never assisted at one because both locations I’ve attended have only one priest.
[/quote]

From what I understant it’s not all that common to have a High Mass. I think that we’re (St. Francis de Sales) pretty lucky.

[quote=harinkj]Is there a difference between a solemn high mass and a high mass? Also, isn’t there a sung mass that is between a low mass and a high mass? :hmmm:

I should add that I am talking about Tridentine Latin Masses. :clapping:

  • Kathie :bowdown:
    [/quote]

Here are the differences bewteen the different types of TLMs…

High Mass (Missa In Cantu)

The celebrating priest sings the parts of the Mass prescribed to him in the rubrics. It can be either Solemn or Sung, as described below:

Solemn Mass (Missa Solemnis)

Where the priest celebrates Mass with the assistance of sacred ministers (the deacon and subdeacon).

Sung Mass (Missa Cantata)

Where the priest sings the appropriate parts of the Mass but is not assisted by sacred ministers.

Low Mass (Missa Lecta)

Where the priest reads the entire Mass and is not assisted by a deacon and subdeacon.

Pontifical Mass (Missa Pontificalis)

A solemn mass celebrated by a bishop or others having the faculty, with the solemnity appointed in the Liturgical Books.

Requiem Mass (Missa Pro Defunctis)

Mass celebrated for the benefit of the departed. There are subtle changes in the ceremonies of this Mass to reflect the sorrowful nature of this liturgy.

Conventual Mass (Missa Conventualis)

The Mass celebrated in churches in which the Divine office is to be said publicly every day. This mass is usually celebrated as a Missa Solemnis.

Chapter Mass (Missa Capituli)

In cathedral and collegiate churches which have a chapter the missa conventualis may also be referred to as the missa capituli.

From here…

[quote=harinkj]Is there a difference between a solemn high mass and a high mass? Also, isn’t there a sung mass that is between a low mass and a high mass? :hmmm:

I should add that I am talking about Tridentine Latin Masses. :clapping:

  • Kathie :bowdown:
    [/quote]

Being old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II days, I wil add my memories.

Simply put, a High Mass is sung, a Low Mass is read. When a High Mass is sung with the help of a Deacon and a Sub Deacon it is called a Solemn Mass. When sung solely by the Priest it is called a Missa Cantata.

The Low Mass is actually an abridgement of the High Mass and was instituted due to the difficulty in finding Deacons and Sub Deacons. The normal Mass during the week was Low Mass. On Sundays and Holy days of Obligation you normally had either a Solemn High Mass or a High Mass. It was rare that you would have a Low Mass on a Sunday. I don’t ever recall having one on a Holy Day of Obligation. You would also be likely to have High Mass on Feast Days of the Double First Class variety such as the Feast Day of Sts Peter and Paul for example.

High Mass takes a little longer, due to the Asperges preceeding and the incensing during the Mass. :thumbsup:

[quote=Freeway4321]But what about the history of the Latin High Mass? I’ve heard these are pretty rare…
[/quote]

Attention* Marian Carroll*, why for did you edit my post? Are we not allowed to joke? Now my post is just repeating what the thread is about.

Thank you Dropper and Palmas85 for your explainations of the various masses. :clapping:

  • Kathie :bowdown:

[quote=palmas85]Being old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II days, I wil add my memories.

Simply put, a High Mass is sung, a Low Mass is read. When a High Mass is sung with the help of a Deacon and a Sub Deacon it is called a Solemn Mass. When sung solely by the Priest it is called a Missa Cantata.

The Low Mass is actually an abridgement of the High Mass and was instituted due to the difficulty in finding Deacons and Sub Deacons. The normal Mass during the week was Low Mass. On Sundays and Holy days of Obligation you normally had either a Solemn High Mass or a High Mass. It was rare that you would have a Low Mass on a Sunday. I don’t ever recall having one on a Holy Day of Obligation. You would also be likely to have High Mass on Feast Days of the Double First Class variety such as the Feast Day of Sts Peter and Paul for example.

High Mass takes a little longer, due to the Asperges preceeding and the incensing during the Mass. :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Just out of curiosity, I’ve attended a sung Mass without Asperges or incense. Is that traditionalist liturgical abuse, or simply a sung low Mass?

[quote=Andreas Hofer]Just out of curiosity, I’ve attended a sung Mass without Asperges or incense. Is that traditionalist liturgical abuse, or simply a sung low Mass?
[/quote]

I BELIEVE it is a just a sung low mass. I too have attended and do attend such a mass. I was actually quite surprised my first time at such a mass.

[quote=Kielbasi]I’m old enough to remember the normative Latin mass of the early 60s, I think I heard high mass about once in my entire life. The normative mass of the old days was low mass.

The priests preferred to say low mass, and the faithful preferred to hear low mass.

Many parishes didn’t even have a regular high mass on the schedule.

Yet the tridentine revival, really isn’t a revival of the past at all, as it seems as if the high mass is now prevalent in that movement.
[/quote]

The normative Mass preVatican II was the Traditional Latin Mass, in its Sung High form with deacon and subdeacon. The Low Mass should have been reserved for private Masses and and parochial daily Masses.

The American standard of saying Mass was the Low Mass in the 1950’s while in the rest of the world it was the Sung Mass. Basically, the modern TLM movement is not a revival of old abuses.

[quote=Andreas Hofer]Just out of curiosity, I’ve attended a sung Mass without Asperges or incense. Is that traditionalist liturgical abuse, or simply a sung low Mass?
[/quote]

Asperges is to be only done before the Suma on Sundays.
Incenses doesn’t need to be used for a Sung Mass.

[quote=Dropper]From what I understant it’s not all that common to have a High Mass. I think that we’re (St. Francis de Sales) pretty lucky.
[/quote]

Yes you are, Dropper (although I suppose we should say, “blessed”). Finally, this summer I was able to get to St. Francis de Sales in Mableton, and several times at that.

Just yesterday I was telling our local (Archdiocese St. Paul/Mpls.), indult priest about SFFP in Atlanta. He said, “I bet they do it really well, don’t they?” I had to admit that they do, although we have to be very grateful to have at least one Traditional Mass each week.

When I was in Georgia, I got to the FSSP Masses five or six times, but always on weekdays or for the Sunday Low Mass. I didn’t mind as it was such an achievement to get there, but next time I hope to attend the High Mass. Once when I was there, the priest who is the director of FSSP for the US gave the homily. He also commented on the great ethnic diversity of the parish, and I certainly do think that is another wonderful thing about St. Francis de Sales.

I hope you don’t have to drive too far for Mass, but they say the people in Atlanta drive more miles per day than anyone else in the world, so perhaps you’re accustomed to it. For me (I came from Villa Rica), it was no farther than I drive to our indult Mass.

I have supported FSSP for some years now, and I am overjoyed to see what is happening. I will pray that your parish continues to grow and prosper.

God bless,

Anna

[quote=Anna Elizabeth]Yes you are, Dropper (although I suppose we should say, “blessed”). Finally, this summer I was able to get to St. Francis de Sales in Mableton, and several times at that.
[/quote]

Indeed! Quite blessed.

Just yesterday I was telling our local (Archdiocese St. Paul/Mpls.), indult priest about SFFP in Atlanta. He said, “I bet they do it really well, don’t they?” I had to admit that they do, although we have to be very grateful to have at least one Traditional Mass each week.

Yes, I was in that situation when I was in Corpus Christi. There was an indult and we had a stable chapel, but it was only one time a week. I guess though in these times we should consider ourselves blessed even for that opportunity.

When I was in Georgia, I got to the FSSP Masses five or six times, but always on weekdays or for the Sunday Low Mass. I didn’t mind as it was such an achievement to get there, but next time I hope to attend the High Mass. Once when I was there, the priest who is the director of FSSP for the US gave the homily. He also commented on the great ethnic diversity of the parish, and I certainly do think that is another wonderful thing about St. Francis de Sales.

I may have been at that very Mass. I do find that diversity is a wonderful thing at our parish as well. That is definately a blessing.

I hope you don’t have to drive too far for Mass, but they say the people in Atlanta drive more miles per day than anyone else in the world, so perhaps you’re accustomed to it. For me (I came from Villa Rica), it was no farther than I drive to our indult Mass.

I am actually from Northern Georgia. You are luck to have only driven from Villa Rica. There are some who drive from South Carolina to assist at Mass. Myself, I drive about a 125 mile or round trip. At first it seemed to be a bit too much, but now I don’t see it as a long drive at all. I guess I was just spoiled from having our indult in Corpus Christi about 3 miles away from my front door.

I have supported FSSP for some years now, and I am overjoyed to see what is happening. I will pray that your parish continues to grow and prosper.

Thank you and the same goes for your indult. I will pray that it continues to grow and flourish.

Pax Christi

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