Tridentine Mass Questions

I am a cradle Catholic born in 1969. I have never been to a Tridentine Mass or Latin Mass, at least not that I can remember. My wife and I are thinking of going to one just to see what it is like. I would like to know if I need to know anything special prior to going? Does my wife need to wear a dress? Do I need to wear a suit? Does she need to wear a veil? Anything else that is completely different that you can tell me would be appreciated. I have no clue as to what the differences are or what to expect. Maybe this is all nervousness of the unknown.

Thanks :slight_smile:

The people don’t have to wear anything special to Latin mass that they don’t wear to any other mass, at least at regular indult masses. But you might still want to dress up, if for no reason other than not to look out of place, depending on the church you plan to attend. Try to find out the customs there before you attend, or just get into a suit.

Some “independent chapels” do have dress codes however. I’d call ahead if that is your intent.

As far as the mass is concerned, you don’t need to know latin. The altar servers make the responses, the people stay silent.

Follow the lead of the other people as to whether or not you should stand, sit or kneel.

We make quite a few responses in the indult high mass I attend, including singing the Credo. In any case the church will most likely provide some kind of printed reference or missal with the Latin and rubrics.

Even so, lorathon, you are not required to do or say anything in particular. If you wish to receive, be prepared to take communion on the tongue, kneeling. And be prepared for a feeling of the sacred that you may not have experienced at mass before.

As long as you and your wife are not professional clowns who show up in clown outfits, you should be all right! :smiley:

It would be good to wear a suit, or at least a shirt. It would also be good for your wife to wear a dress and headcovering, but the main thing is that you are both dressed modestly. If you receive Holy Communion you kneel and you don’t say ‘Amen’ before or after you receive. You will probably given missal to follow along the Mass. Maybe you should stay a little at the back of the church so you can follow when everyone else stands, sits etc. I hope you both enjoy this Mass.
God Bless

I attended my first Latin Mass last week after decades. I asked the advice of the folks here who were very knowledgebale. I also called and talked to the priest about dress code. He stated nice dress slacks for a woman was fine and so I have wore those and I have seen a few others do the same. All women were wearing head coverings…a black mantilla for me.:slight_smile:

It is without a doubt one of the most memorable experiences. I can’t put it into words. I was concerned that i would lose track of where I was,. but I went to the church bookstore and got a little missallette that has both the Latin and English and what the priest is doing and where he is at the altar. Some of the Latin came back to me. What got me the most, I think was the complete reverence by the servers who look to be the same age range as the servers at my NO church…plus the ringing of the bells when the priest came out. WOW!

One thing I found to be really “strange” though was when I went to the one Catholic bookstore/religious supply store. I asked if there was a book on the Tridentine Mass and the woman said they didn’t have anything about it. I said that I was going to be going to one and she said **“Why would you want to do that? There was a reason for Vatican II you know.” ** :rolleyes: I thought that was kind of a strange response, so I went to the other Catholic bookstore and found the little missallette. I studied it for a few days before going and no problem at all.

Take care…and enjoy…it is awesome…:thumbsup:


Kielbasi’s suggestion here needs to be repeated. Some traddies – a very small minority, but a very vocal one – feel the need to police the dress and demeanor of new-comers. I would recommend that if you’re in doubt then you should err on the side of over-dressing, which really is impossible considering that you’re going to adore God (and that’s regardless of whether you’re going to the TLM or the NOM). God is everything, we are nothing, and what we wear and how we act is part of our physical devotion and worship to Him.

I wish I could have been there to ask her what that reason was. When Pope John XXIII was asked that question he responded by saying that the reason was to throw open the window of the Church to the world. I’ve thought about that statement often and still don’t have the first clue what it’s supposed to mean.

First off I guess I need to make something clear. I DO find reverence in the NO mass. I am not looking for an alternative. I just want to experience this type of mass. I realize that some who go to the NO mass don’t. But I believe this is more from the lack of knowledge of what is happening. I don’t claim to know it all, but I think a lot of Catholics seem to know very little about what is actually happening at the mass. This is dis-heartening to me. We ALWAYS dress up for mass. I cannot understand why some don’t. If you can afford a TV, I think you should be able to purchase a dress shirt and slacks. Not come to mass in shorts and flip-flops. I DO NOT want to get in a discussion about the TLM and the NOM.

I was a little upset with this comment by Cranch

And be prepared for a feeling of the sacred that you may not have experienced at mass before.

I realize you said may but it still hurt a little.

Anyways, Thanks for all the help.

It seems as though you have a very healthy Catholic attitude. I don’t think it would hurt most to experience many other Rites of the Catholic Faith, including Byzantine, etc.

You know, “see the world” type of thing. After all, we are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.


We do hope that after you attend a Tridentine Mass you report back promptly. Don’t mind someone like Cranch. There is a big difference between the two when it comes to a sense of the sacred, reverent and solemn. Many here were turned onto the Tridentine Mass because we have seen how open the Novus Ordo is to abuse, and how often that abuse occurs.

Our church is having one this Sunday afternoon. My wife and I are just becoming Catholic and everything is new to us. We’re really looking forward this experience.

I got a chuckle out of your post Kieran. I’m sure you meant to type “shirt and tie,” but a shirt…definitely. :thumbsup: :smiley: No shirt, no shoes, no service! :wink:

I have attended just 3 Tridentine Masses (since the early 60s…LOL):wink: and I am still in awe. I am not going to take anything away from the NO Mass I go to at my own parish, but I will make sure to attend the Tridentine Mass 2 or 3 times a week. I cannot explain the feeling I get while I am there and afterward.

It is something that I am glad that I have not missed out on in my life after all this time.


did we miss something? did we or did we not receive e-mails from this forum requesting assistance in returning reverence to and eliminating abuses is the church? if a mass or service is attended at any time it would be deemed proper repect to, dress appropriately. i do believe it demeaning to come to church looking like you are ready to wash your car or something of that sort. have a good year. (alih)

Though actually a TLM is a lot freer as regards appropriate dress and behaviour. The focus is on the sanctuary, not on the congregation. So things which wouldn’t be tolerated in an NO Mass are more acceptable in the Tridentine rite. Obviously, as with any organised activity, there are limits, but pretty much the congregation can do what they want at a traditional Mass.

Are there rules when taking pictures of the Mass especially during Consecration?


Need permission of the priest, I would think. Look at all the Mass videos on YouTube; I haven’t heard any major protests on this.

I never wear ties myself, even when going to Mass, just the suit, but no tie…maybe I should say shirt and suit or something…I might start a trend:)

I completely agree with the first sentence. I can’t think what you mean by the second sentence, except perhaps the practice of a private devotion during mass like saying the rosary. And even then, who is going to enforce this N.O. “intolerance”?

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