TLM in English?

Hi all,

I’m currently in RCIA and had a question. I really enjoy going to the Tridentine Latin Mass for its sense of reverence, the priest facing the proper way, etc. Is there (or if there is not, why isn’t there) a version of this mass where English is used instead of Latin? Just curious.


I don’t know about the Tridentine Liturgy – I have never heard of an English version of it. But there are English Novus Ordo Masses that are very reverent and make use of Latin. I’ve been impressed with the Anglican use liturgy (the one I’ve attended, the priest faces the altar and Holy Communion is distributed by intinction with people kneeling – no Communion in the hand). I haven’t found many parishes where those are offered, but it’s worth the try to find them if they’re available in your area

The short answer is no. There is no approved missal which includes all the parts of the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular.

However, Eucharist Prayer 1 of the current Mass is the Eucharist prayer (called the Roman Canon) of the Tridentine Mass translated into the vernacular.

Correction- the Eucharistic Prayer #1 is an edited abbreviated version of the Roman Canon and it is not translated word for word, specifically the formula used for the consecration is one change.


The Anglican Use one at OLOA is wonderful. There are currently seven parishes, five with websites, one on the way. As for the OP’s inquiry, I don’t think so. As for Anglican Use parishes:

For the one on the way:

If there are no TLM ones in your area, do consider this, if it is offered in your area. Or you may consider a reverent Novus Ordo.

The TLM cannot be said in the vernacular !!! :thumbsup:

But it could be if a pope allowed it.

But then it wouldn’t be the TLM, would it?

No, of course not. The TLM MUST BE IN LATIN END OF STORY !


Those whose biggest complaint about the Tridentine Mass is the use of Latin wouldn’t like it if it were in English.

The Tridentine Mass is, to quote Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, “Eucharistic centered.” The prayers and rubrics are very different from the Novus Ordo.

Those attached to the Novus Ordo would not go to the Tridentine Mass no matter what language is used. It’s not the language that gives them trouble, it’s the theology behind the Mass.

LOL! You don’t know some of us very well at all! That’s an extraordinary statement. You’ve no idea why some of us are attached to the Pauline Rite. AND the last paragraph does nothing at all to dissuade anyone that many TLM adherants are not elitist, not to mention arrogant. Anyone who wanted to know what the TLM was like in English would simply have to read it from the translation. I think it’s quite lovely.

And the Mass of Paul VI is very “Eucharistic centered.”

The “L” wouldn’t be there, but it would still be the Tridentine Mass. Trent did not condemn the vernacular out of hand, Trent simply said that it did not seem appropriate at that time to have the Mass in the vernacular.

And I’ve heard the offeratory in English, at a Carmelite monastery.

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Actually, it’s not quite the end of the story. I don’t know the exact details – and I’m going to continue researching this matter – but after the Council of Trent, in certain geographical regions of Eastern Europe (today’s Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc.) the Roman Rite according to the Missal of Pius V was allowed to be said in the local language, as a means to help reverse some of the damage and loss of the Catholic Faith caused by the Hussite rebellion. I believe that permission stayed in effect for at least several centuries, and that such usage was in fact quite popular and effective among the populace.

Also, for many decades the Patriotic Catholic Church in China used a Chinese translation of the Tridentine Rite which was otherwise celebrated precisely as the TLM. Having the PCC maintain that rite was in fact a way for the Communists to thumb their noses at the Holy See which had promulgated the new rites in 1969. In the last 10 years, though (I think), the PCC finally did adopt a revised rite of Mass which is or is the equivalent of the Pauline Rite.

I know that the information I’ve related is true, but it’s stuff that I heard from reliable sources in the past few years, and for which I don’t have “hard” sources. If someone with more precise knowledge can help clarify these matters, please do so, even if it means pointing out that I haven’t relayed the facts correctly.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


Wasn’t there a short period of time between 1962 and 1970 before the Novus Ordo was fully implemented where the TLM was offered in the vernacular?

I want to start out by saying I do enjoy reading your posts and find you one of the few people attached to the Novus Ordo that is not against the Tridentine Mass. While you have your preference for the Novus Ordo, you aren’t someone who wants to force those who love the Tridentine Mass to attend the Novus Ordo. You also don’t look on all of us who love the Tridentine Mass as schismatic.

Now, having said that, I will take exception with two of your statements. The first is calling me elitist and arrogant. I understand you are a convert to Catholicism, which may be the reason you read the statement about those attached to the Novus Ordo have a problem with the theology behind the Mass.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the Novus Ordo and Tridentine Masses:

Tridentine Mass begins with prayers at the foot of the altar. The priest recites the confeitor before ascending to the altar.

The Novus Ordo begins with the priest at the sedelia. The priest doesn’t need to be at the altar because the Novus Ordo separates the “Liturgy of the Word” from the “Liturgy of the Eucharist” which diminshes the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

The Tridentine Mass has specific rubrics to signify the life of Christ on earth. The center of the altar represents Jerusalem, where Christ was sacrificed. The priest, facing east, ascends to the center of the altar and kisses it. He then moves to the south to read the introit, which is the first prayer that changes in the Mass. He moves south because Bethlehem, where Christ was born, is south of Jerusalem. The priest faces east when he reads the prayer. The reason the priest moves south for the first changeable prayer is because it signifies the beginning of the Mass of the day. It is a the “birth” of a new Mass, just as Christ was born in Bethlehem.

The priest returns to the center for the Kyrie and Gloria. Christ gave glory to the Father and poured out his mercy for us in Jerusalem, which is why the priest returns to the center.

The priest the reads the collect and epistle at the south end of the altar, again to signify the birth of Christ. The collect is just as it sounds, the priest offering the prayer for the people to the Father. The epistle is a reading from the Old or New Testament which compliments the Gospel reading of the day.

When the priest finishes the epistle, he returns to the center to say the munda cor, which he asks God to “purify his lips to proclaim the Gospel.” This corresponds again to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in Jerusalem to purify us from our sins.

The priest then moves north to proclaim the Gospel. The reason for this is because Nazareth, where Jesus lived for the first 30 years of His life, is north of Jerusalem. Jesus began his mission to preach the Gospel from Nazareth, which is why the priest reads the Gospel at the north end of the altar.

All of this was eliminated from the Novus Ordo Mass. The priest doesn’t even read the epistle readings. The Gospel is read from the ambo, as well as the epistle readings and the repsonsorial psalm. The priest hasn’t even approached the altar at this point in the Novus Ordo Mass.

Continued in the next post.

Continued from the previous post.

The second comment is that the Novus Ordo is very Eucharistic centered. I do not doubt the validity and licitness of the consecration at the Novus Ordo Mass. The priest turns bread and wine into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at every Novus Ordo Mass. However, to say that it is very Eucharistic centered is to miss the point of the liturgical revolution that was forced upon the Church in the name of the Second Vatican Council.

The Novus Ordo Mass was deliberately centered on the people. We all know the Novus Ordo can be said ad orientem. The fact that the priest doesn’t even ascend the altar until after the Nicene Creed takes away from the sacrificial aspect of the Mass. The Novus Ordo also puts a focus on the “active” participation of the people, as if the people aren’t actively participating by following the actions of the priest at the Tridentine Mass. Focusing on the people means taking away the focus on the Eucharist. The focus of the Mass can’t be on the people and the Eucharist at the same time.

I don’t have a problem with people attached to the Novus Ordo. I am having a problem with attending the Novus Ordo. I find it more difficult to attend a Novus Ordo Mass. I attend the Novus Ordo Mass daily (Monday–Saturday) about 20 of the 26 weekdays of the month. I also attend the Novus Ordo about 15-20 Sundays of the year.

I don’t doubt the fact the Novus Ordo is valid and licit as I have previously stated. I am struggling with the deficiency of the Novus Ordo as compared to the Tridentine Mass. The examples I gave are just a few reasons for my struggle. I am not a “traditionlist” in the sense that I reject Vatican II and I’m certainly not a sedevacantist. I just can’t see attending the Novus Ordo when I have the fullness of the Catholic faith expressed beautifully in the Mass that was codified by St. Pius V.

I ask your prayers for me at this difficult time. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

Your missal has Latin/English so you can follow the Mass. The whole point is that is universal…so if I attended the Tridentine Mass in say Spain, the locals would have the missal in Latin/Spanish, in Russia the similar. Because the Church is universal Latin was deemed tobe the appropriate language of a universal church, something that is deemed unnecessary today?

First, I didn’t state that you were arrogant and elitist. What I said was that statements like this:

“Those whose biggest complaint about the Tridentine Mass is the use of Latin wouldn’t like it if it were in English.”

and this:

“Those attached to the Novus Ordo would not go to the Tridentine Mass no matter what language is used. It’s not the language that gives them trouble, it’s the theology behind the Mass.”

did nothing to dissuade anyone that many of those pushing for the TLM are not elitist and arrogant. If you feel that it was aimed at you, perhaps you should go back and look at what you wrote.I t is uncharitable to lump people together so that they can be simply dismissed. Not all American Catholics that love the Mass of Paul VI or (I suppose) any Mass in the vernacular are Sr. Joan Chichester or Father Richard McBrien. Despite the spectacular examples of abuse and weirdness that crop up on the forums, I doubt MOST of them are.

As for rest of what you wrote, you’ve trotted out the same complaints about why some believe the TLM is inherently, in and of itself, more reverent, why the Pauline Mass is deficient, that we’ve all heard before. I’ve never been able to get this across and I doubt I will this time, but: Reverence is NOT in how many times one genuflects or makes the sign of the Cross. Certainly those things are signs that are terribly important, but I think we can take a warning from the Savior in one of His “woes” to the Pharisees, whom He scorned for lengthening their prayer tassels and for widening the straps of their phylacteries. Reverence is an interior disposition which can be demonstrated by an outward action. Doing something over and over doesn’t make that interior reverence more than what it already is. Less CAN actually be more. The NO Mass can certainly be abused, but I know too many old Catholics who’ve lived with both liturgies to believe that silly assertion that the old was abuse proof.

You brought up your problem, I’ll bring up mine (and I have never in these forums criticized the TLM before): Latin (first and foremost): I don’t see the logic in insisting on Latin. Sure, it’s a dead language and immutable. That doesn’t matter, though, since no one can understand it! “But the translation is there on the next page!” But I thought that the point was that translation lead to a corruption of meaning, so this essentially means that the faithful are being given something a little skewed, a little off. Do we need to accomodate God by having the Mass in Latin? The Ancient of Days doesn’t understand English or German or Tagalog? God needs Latin? Please. And those who think we COULD have a little of the vernacular want to limit it to the readings, they want EVERYTHING else in Latin. I very much think that will effect the Church adversely.

Have you watched the video of the TLM that Archbishop Sheen of happy memory narrarated? You can find it several places. If you haven’t, watch it. I find the Asperges as it is done there almost funny. People complain (and rightly so) about liturgical dance, yet this looks like nothing so much as a “liturgical line dance,” a “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” down the nave of the church. And what’s with the server’s continuing the practice of lifting the hem of the priest’s chasuble when he elevates the Chalice? I could see it back in the day when the chasuble was actually encrusted with gems, was actually heavy. And the continued insistence on the part of “traditionalists” on things like birettas on priests, the absolute necessity of the Roman chasuble (looks like a an overdone Dairy Queen apron), the changing from cope to chasuble mid-service, just seems more than a tad fussy, a little on the precious side, slightly effeminate, flowery, overdone, mincing. Even if the NO Mass was ONLY in Latin, I’d attend it (esp. inasmuch as it possesses the fullness of Catholic Truth as well) rather than the TLM. There is a noble austerity and simplicity to the Pauline Mass well and reverently celebrated. Yes, it’s sometimes abused and that needs to be stopped. But it is not, of its form or nature, any less Catholic than the TLM, despite all of the things you mention. It’s an excellent example, to my mind, of “less is more.”

Think I’m alone in that opinion? Read what Cardinal Dulles (hardly a liberal, he hung out with Fr. Feeny) has to say about his experience of the old Mass:

Prayer never hurt anyone, so I thank you and assure you of mine.

How often do you travel to places that speak other languages? For most people in the world, this isn’t an issue. And if you can’t understand it in Latin, what’s the harm of not understanding it in French, or Spanish, or Swahili?

It is not abbreviated. Apart from some changes in the words of consecration, the Latin text of Eucharistic Prayer 1 (from the Sanctus to the Great Amen) is identical to the text of the Roman Canon

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