TLM vs. NO in latin and ad orientem

Why are so many people keen on bringing back the Tridentine Mass, when you could just as well celebrate the Novus Ordo in latin with ad orientem? In my country (Sweden) there is no parish where it is done that way, but I know there are at least some in the U.S. (for example, Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit,

Isn’t saying that the Tridentine Mass is better than the Novus Ordo the same thing as saying that the ecumenical council which decided on the liturgic reform made a mistake? And what is it really that’s better with the Tridentine Mass than the Novus Ordo celebrated in Latin and ad orientem? For my part, I would definitely prefer ad orientem before versus populum, but it would be perfectly ok if at least the readings where in the vernacular language (just as Vatican II said). What I don’t understand is why there’s so many people who thinks that the best thing to do is just throwing away all of the liturgical reform, like it was just a big mistake. That doesn’t sound very much like something an infallible Church would do to me.


  1. VII never called for a new Mass or the Novus Ordo
  2. NO Ad orientem and in latin is not the same as the Old Rite Mass - nowhere near
  3. The novus Ordo throws away 1500 years of ORGANIC liturgical reform and development - it is pure fabrication (and even the then Cardinal Ratzinger has attested to this fact)

Archibishop Lefebvre (Gasp! SSPX :rolleyes: ) once commented:

“We would perfer the Old Rite on a table, facing the people and in the vernacular, to the New Mass on a High Altar, ad orientem and in Latin.”

(or something to that effect)

I am a conservative Catholic who, up until recently, had the same view as you do. After reading more Traditionalist literature, I understand where they are coming from. The prayers of the Novus Ordo have dropped a lot of the sacrificial overtones, and there are ways in which the priest’s role is diminished in the normative mass. It is a matter of faith for many of them, and the New Mass does not deliver hard enough (for some, not at all).

I still think a Latin NOM would be easier to transition to since it harkens back to something familiar with the younger generation. It is less cumbersome and redundant with bows, crossing yourself, silent prayers, the Last Gospel, etc… There really is something to “noble simplicity”, and the laity has become accustomed to it. Latin, Gregorian chant, pipe organ, and beautiful vestments would be ideal for many reasons. First, the Latin precludes ad lib additions, and it also sets the overall tone of sacredness for the Mass. Second, the music would create the same aura of solemnity as in the TLM. Vestments would need to reflect the actions occurring, too. Cheap chausibles should be replaced.

There are many beautiful things about the TLM that need to be preserved in the NOM, but I have a feeling it is going to be one or the other. Either the vernacular NOM or the TLM. I hope that most priests take the time to learn the TLM if it becomes available to them. They may see a swell in Mass attendance (and collection plate tallies). With the two Masses held in the same parishes, it’d be interesting to see which one would win out in 20 years.

Whatever happens, I hope that pastors will catechize the laity before acting. They will get a stronger support when they know what to expect. This did not happen when the VCII (except in Poland), and the People grew weary of innovation.

Indeed Nick !!!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

And what is he aiming at then? That the Mass attendees should not participate orally in any prayers, that the eucharistic prayer is to be said inaudibly, that there should be an extra confiteor before communion, that there should be only one year-cycle of readings, that the last gospel should be read at the end of every Mass…?

Isn’t saying that the NO in every aspect is worse than the TLM the same thing as saying that pope Paul VI made a mistake when he approved of it?

Could you tell me what the differences are, and why the TLM is better in these aspects?

Ahlman the 1969 Missale Romanum (What is commonly and incorrectly referred to as the “Novus Ordo”) simply isn’t the same thing as the 1962 Missale Romanum (What is commonly and incorrectly referred to as the “Tridentine or Traditional Latin Mass”). Celebrating the 1969 Missale Romanum ad orientem wouldn’t make it the 1962 Missale Romanum.

I wish I could find a particular article I read recently that discussed this. You’ll find some good reading on Wikipedia, particular in the “See also” section for the page I linked above. There’s also an article by Fr. Fessio, S.J. linked somewhere in these forums. I’ll try finding it and I’ll provide the link.

Compare and contrast

I don’t know, I just got back from a ‘Tridentine’ mass today, and my wife and discussed how very similar it was to the NO Latin mass we usually attend. Differences to be sure, but really quite close when you thinka about.

You cite Lefebvre, but why cite then Cardinal Ratzinger (in 1998) who stated that the NO properly offered (presumably in Latin) according to the prescribed rubrics is closer to the Tridentine mass than it is to the way the NO is generally done. Maybe you need to attend a ‘proper’ NO before making this judgement?

Here they are side by side.


That is harder for some people than you might think. While many people drive 100 miles or more on Sunday for a Tridentine Mass in many places it seems that one would have to drive twice that or more to find a ‘proper’ Novus Ordo. They are certainly much more rare in much of the US than the TLM.


I don’t doubt it all, I just think we need to correctly locate ‘blame.’ Many on these forums blame the NO for all the problems in the church–fair enough, it’s their right and opinion. CatholicNick went so far as to cite a schismatic’s (at least in some eyes) view of the NO to ‘prove’ how different the NO and TLM are (‘nowhwere near’ the same, etc. I on the other hand choose to side with pope and place blame not on the NO inherently, but on its poor implementation.

Oh, and anyone with an internet connection can see a very reverent NO on EWTN, for free, every day of the year. Such a mass shows (I think) what I argue, drawing on the words of our pope, that a properly celebrated NO is much closer to the TLM that CatholicNick, et al, would have you believe.

The no as “celebrated” on EWTN is nothing like the Old Roman Rite.

Many on these forums blame “poor implementation” for all the problems in the Church. As if poor decisions, implemented properly, would’ve made all the difference. :rolleyes:

Well Doc, as I posted earlier, I just got back from the TLM today, and was struck by the vast similarity between it and the EWTN NO. Some people just see more difference because that’s what they want. Emoticon away.

Well Vox, I just got back from the TLM today and was struck by the dissimilarity between it and ewtn. But then I haven’t watched tv in a year, so maybe they’ve changed. Their radio presentation of Holy Mass, however, is less than edifying.

And let me clarify. I don’t blame this on ewtn per se. They do an adequate job with the material they’re given. No, the blame resides some distance from a few Alabama friars

In my opinion, one of the biggest differences is that at the Tridentine Mass, I’m not subjected to the music of the NO, which I consider a train wreck.

As Fr. Fessio points out in his article, Vatican II stated that the church’s greatest treasure is its music - Gregorian chant, which we don’t have at our NO mass.

Our NO begins with a request for all to stand and greet their neighbors - not that I’m antosociable, but I’m at mass to worship God. Our priest also typically throughs a joke in at some point after his initial greeting - again, I’m not anti social, but humor at the mass is wholly inappropriate. Then there’s the hand holding during the Our Father, uggh!!. Then last night the children’s choir sang a song following communion and half the congregation clapped afterward.

Quite honestly, I appreciate the hour or so at mass to be quite, contemplative and reverent, none of which are available at our church. I often feel like I walked into a Protestant church with all the interactions with the congregation. Maybe I’ve yet to experience a good NO mass, but I’ll receive the Latin mass if given a choice.

And let me restate. The no was never meant to be said in Latin and ad orientem. To say it in that manner would be, what’s the phrase I’m looking for…“improper implementation.” Yeah, that’s it.

Vox Borealis, I don’t think there’s any comparison between the 1962 Missale Romanum and the 1969 Missale Romanum. Even a very reverent 1969 Missale Romanum isn’t the same thing as a 1962 Missale Romanum. I’ve been a part of one and it is quite beautiful. A real shame that every parish doesn’t celebrate it that way. There may be some similarities, as evidenced by the link James0235 provided, but it is not the same thing.

tmw I fully agree with you. No Mass, anywhere, at any time, ought to be celebrated as you describe. Unfortunately it’s all too commonplace today. The Mass ought to be reverent, quiet, and contemplative. It’s a terrible truth that so many abuses occur.

Dr. Bombay, forgive my misperception here if that’s the case but Sacrosanctum Concilium states otherwise, at least about Latin use:

    1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

But again, look at the GIRM. Such an introduction is not inherently part of the NO rubrics, but rather the way those rubrics have been poorly implemented. Likewise the awful music. The music need not be awful; bad music was not mandated in the rubrics. Rather, this was an unfortunate development–more bad implementation. In fact, check out Amy Wellborn’s blog–she recently pointed out that the FIRST option in the NO Missal is NOT for hymns (the ol’ Four Hymn Sandwich), but for chants. Again, the ‘trainwreck’ of Catholic liturgical music is a matter of implemementation, not the rite itself.

I agree. Much of what occurs at the NO is due to either poor interpretation or purposeful and, hopefully, well meaning mis-implementation.

I like the “ol’ Four Hymn Sandwich” reference.

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