Tridentine/Extraordinary Form supremacy


Why is it that the majority of people who grew up with the Tridentine/Extraordinary Form Roman Rite have a preference for the Ordinary Form, whereas many people who grew up with the OF and later discover the EF become EF supremacists?

What’s the dynamic causing this? A cultural paradigm shift away from “tradition” which swept the West in the 1960’s and 70’s? Young people simply embracing novelty? Modern Western youth rediscovering their Occidental patrimony?

Personally I believe the EF and OF are equally valid, licit, and meritorious usages of the same Roman Rite. I feel there are pros and cons to both usages, and I think the attitude of seeing one form as superior to the other to be both prideful and in contradiction to the Magisterium of the Church. I’d like your input here CAF, thanks.


Do you have some evidence to support the premise of your question? I don’t see en masse switching from EF to OF or vice versa.


I’m not sure I understand your comment.

The mass switching from EF to OF happened in the early 1970’s. There has been no mass switching from OF to EF since. The OF is the normative and majority usage of the Roman Rite. These are objective facts, nothing more needs to be said on these facts.

Besides, I didn’t say anything about “mass switching.” I was talking about preferences of certain people for one form over another.

And the personal preferences I mentioned are just trends I’ve picked up on.

Lastly, there’s a difference between having a preference for one form over the other, and being a OF or EF supremacist. An EF or OF supremacist believes one form is more objectively meritorious over the other - some even go so far as to say the other form is illicit or invalid. I have a personal preference for the OF, but I believe the EF is equally valid, licit, and meritorious.


There were a couple important typos, which I have fixed, but I think I understand your point.

When you say “grew up with the EF”, you are referencing people who were BORN before the VatII reforms being happy about the new mass?


That’s where I disagree, strongly.

I believe the merit of a Mass has to do with the piety, devotion, and reverence with which it’s celebrated and the charity and reverence in the hearts of the faithful more than the Rite itself.

For example: you could have an extravagant Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the EF, and if the celebrant and congregation are all prideful and hate filled people the Mass will have very little merit.

You could also have a bare bones OF weekday Mass celebrated in a parishoners mothers basement on a slab of plywood, and if the celebrant and congregation were filled with the Spirit of charity, humility, piety and devotion, it would be tremendously meritorious.

I believe the OF and EF usages of the Roman Rite, on an objective/intrinsic level, are equally meritorious. I believe the subjective/extrinsic merit of each form is dependent upon the hearts of those involved and not on external forms.


I believe you completely missed the word “extrinsic”.

Read it again:
“I believe there is differences in extrinsic merit.”

He made no comment about the interior disposition of the people involved. He was speaking of the extrinsic merit of the liturgy. Considering a comparison between the two forms of the liturgy where the interior dispositions of the people involved are equal, I think an argument can be made for the Extraordinary Form having many extrinsic merits which the Ordinary Form unfortunately no longer has.


I reject that notion. It seems to be contradictory to what the Church teaches, and seems to be an idea which arose in traditionalist circles. In the groups I’ve seen where people talk about the EF having more extrinsic merit, there is without an exception always a prideful disposition to be found. Every group I’ve seen talking about the EF having more extrinsic merit also displays an attitude of supremacy of the EF and disdain for the OF.

Honestly, if the groups who prefer the EF get too far out of control in disparaging the OF, I think the Holy Father will be forced to proscribe the EF usage… I hope it doesn’t come to that, but the divisiveness, the pride, the bitterness that comes out of traditionalist circles may require the Holy Father to do it.


Wow, you think you know everything about “traditionalist circles”, don’t you? You know all of their interior dispositions, with such confidence that you can say “there is without an exception always a prideful disposition to be found”.

I encourage you to reflect on the presumption you are displaying, in assuming to know the interior dispositions of a large group of people based on your very small sample experience of them (especially if you are basing your opinions on people you meet online, which is not at all representative of the group at large).

I might also add that it is a logical fallacy to reject a notion (the thought that the EF might have more extrinsic merit than the OF) based merely on the fact that you have a negative opinion of the people who hold that opinion. If you’re going to make a serious argument against that notion, you should be able to do so without any ad hominem reference.


That’s not the case with the Catholics I know .


That’s pretty inflammatory. How come the switch from EF to OF have theirs listed as a preference but OF to EF people are supremacists? I resent that label and notion.


You’ve obviously made a very generalized statement, but a lot who felt otherwise just quietly stopped going at all (at least that’s what I’ve gleaned from friends and family members from that era). Seminarians who objected to the new stuff didn’t last long. I also get the impression from others that they think the Mass was just translated and lay people got to do more stuff, not really recognizing how many prayers were changed or suppressed.

There were also real issues before the Council that, when the discipline was loosened, exploded. For many, it felt like the best time ever–that made a huge impression that even the sharp decline in practically everything good in the Church that came after can’t seem to erase.

See pages 75 (starting halfway down) to 76 and 94 to 96 here, where a priest who was a seminarian explains how fun and exciting it all was compared to their life in the seminary just a year or two before (he is a rare one for whom that impression wore off… )

The whole thing is a good read on how we got to where we are.

Those of us born later see how seminaries, monasteries, and churches have emptied and how reverence for the Blessed Sacrament is mimnimum and its appreciation as a propitiatory sacrifice is almost non-existent. We have more information to see how the Saints and Fathers and and the Church’s members in the past treated the liturgy and their faith in general.

The music and other aesthetics attached to the new Mass are also more strictly tied to the aesthetics of the late 60s and 70s–and with all due respect to those who had their hayday in that time, the aesthetics of that time seem pretty outdated, cheap, and cheesy to most of us who came later. The old Mass and all that went along with it, while not literally timeless, still have an organic connection reaching back centuries that give it a more universal and timeless feel.

Anyway, that’s just my opinion…

My own experience, I went to a TLM as a curiosity the first time (only at the time being vaguely aware that Mass used to be in Latin and the priest faced the wall). Afterward, I honestly couldn’t understand why we would have dumped that for what we had…


I started going to the EF after I got tired of the rock-style worship music and some of the practices at my home parish that are objectively more community-focused than God-focused.

But I also found that the parish that has both the EF and OF celebrates the OF with the same reverence, and also with chant and a mix of Latin and English.

I have found that I like the EF because it is quieter and better allows me to contemplate the mystery and the sacrifice of the Mass. I don’t mind not hearing everything the priest says or not having as much to say as we do in the OF.


“Extrinsic merit” is mentioned in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia and was known to theologians centuries before then. As for your main inquiry, I think your best bet is to consult Fr. Ripperger’s treatment of this subject, which is surely more exhaustive than any of our posts can be:,%20F.S.S.P.).pdf


I HAVE seen OF supremacists, but they are few and far between.

The majority of liturgical supremacists I’ve come across have been traditionalists/EF supremacists.

@Genesis315 and @0331 thank you for charitable and eirenic responses, that is what I was seeking. I’m not seeking polemics or argumentation. I’m honestly not trying to be inflammatory, I’m seeking understanding.


This thread is precisely why this topic used to be banned on CAF (and should be still).


Why was my post about extrinsic vs. intrinsic merit deleted?


Thanks for providing the link to that paper by Fr. Ripperger. I was planning on doing it.


I don’t believe it is just youth who are wanting to see a return to the EF or at least to the sacredness of Catholicism, but many people, probably more youth, but even older people too, (myself included) who are just tired of some of the “silliness” that has entered in to the OF.

There are a lot of Catholic reverts that have returned to the Church and are wondering what happened over the years and want to restore respect and reverence.

People just aren’t into the late "60’s and "70’s anymore and want to see the sacred and bring back respect for the Eucharist.


To second what has been said above, why do you reject this notion? Can you give an example of how this notion is contrary to the teaching of the Church? Or do you reject it because it supposedly arose from disgruntled traditionalist circles?


Sadly, I think that is what some people who prefer the OF would like to see happen, at least here at CAF. I have seen some posts on here from those who want to do away with the EF. Sometimes I wonder if it is because it is not available to them and to hear something is better but you can’t get to it, can be frustrating. I know. We rarely have an EF in our area, but I keep praying we will. The more I hear and study tradition and the Mass, the more I pray.

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