Valid Latin Mass?

Hey everyone!
We have a new chaplain, young priest who is very reverent and traditional. Last Sunday he celebrated Latin Mass(NO), which normally occurs in our parish once a month. I thought he would be well in Latin, bus it doesn´t have to be so…
There was one mistake at the time of Consecretion. After the elevation of the bread into Christ body he repeated the same words(formula) for consecration of wine into Christ´s blood. Only after that the altar-boy showed him the fault…So with people standing (I don´t haveclue how many of them noticed the mistake) he read the formula for wine consecration and added the words “mysterium Fidei” as usually goes at Mass…
I think it went right and the Mass was valid, wasn´t it?

As an old altar boy, I can assure you that even with the prayer cards on the Altar, it was not uncommon for Priests, especially young priests to stumble over Latin words or forget them on occasion in the old days. I’m sure that these days it is exactly the same situation, even with the vernacular Mass… Young priests tend to be very, very nervous, and with good reason, think for a second just what they are doing up there. Mind boggling. I’ve seen priests so nervous they actually threw up before they started a Mass. It may be even harder for them now to do a Latin Mass, Pauline, because there are no prayer cards there to help him out.

For the info of all those who weren’t around in the old days or don’t go to Indult Masses, those three cards on the Altar are there only to help the priest remember the prayers should he get lost or just plan forget a word here or there.

Sounds to me like the altar server is to be commended for catching the mistakes and the Priest commended for correcting them. :thumbsup:

Nothing wrong with the Mass as far as I can see.

That is not my understanding of the rules. I am under the impression that the priests were required to read from the prayer cards, and were not supposed to say the prayers from memory.

Yes indeed - the priests in the TLM are REQUIRED to read all the prayers on the altar cards from the altar cards. I think it hard to remember word for word the entire Roman Canon in Latin, or the Lavabo or Last Gospel - even though most likely many old priests would be able to do it.

The Lavabo is on the other side of the altar and the priest cannot step back and look at the missal to pray the prayers at the Lavabo. The same with the Credo on the center altar card since he prays it in the center of the altar and cannot look at the missal, same with the consecration where he is forbidden to look at the missal when pronouncing the words of consecration.



The mass is vaild. I was once at a mass in which a bishop presided and did the same thing in english. Luckily one of the concelebrating bishops jumped up and showed him where he had to start over at, which was at the begining of the instiution of the Cup. “Take this all of you and drink…”

Hope that clarifies things. And yes, even with the altar cards mistaes happen all the time in the LTM, its just that the mistakes aren’t always as noticable.

Casey The Seminarian**

As far as I know, they didn’t have to read from them, although I would guess that a lot of them did. Maybe now there is such a requirement, I don’t know. I remember several Masses that I served where the cards weren’t even there. Most of the older Priests I remember said mostly from memory and barely looked at the cards. The younger the Priest, the more they tended to use them.

As far as reading the cards at the Lavabo, I never saw a Priest do that. Maybe they do now, as I said, I don’t know. The last Gospel isn’t hard at all in Latin.

The purpose for the rubric requiring that they read from the altar cards had the purpose of protecting the liturgy from unintentional and intentional error. All memories are imperfect even photographic ones.

Could you direct me to that particular rubric? I don’t doubt what you are saying may be true, but I do remember Father telling us that the cards were memory aids just in case they forgot or stumbled. That is the only reason I brought it up, since many people today think they are only for decoration.

Which rubric are you referring to?

Which rubric are you referring to?

I don’t own a 62 misale. However, if anyone out there would like to buy one for me I am willing to listen.

Seriously, I was only commenting on the statement that this was a mandate to read from them by another poster. My knowledge on this specific issue is lacking.

The one mandating the reading of the altar cards as mentioned by another poster.

From the 1964 Roman Ritual

Part I - General Rules for Administering the Sacraments:

  1. When he dispenses any sacrament he will pronounce attentively,
    distinctly, reverently, and clearly all words pertaining to its form
    and administration. Likewise he should say all other prayers with
    devotion, not trusting to memory which often fails, but reciting
    everything from the book. And he should perform the ceremonies and
    rites with such solemn demeanor that those who assist thereat will be
    attentive and duly edified.

This probably isn’t the cite that was being referred to, but it contains the same general rule.

I know that our young chaplain is veyr traditional and really serious about serving Mass correctly. Maybe unde this impression I thought he could be inclined to Latin Mass and wanted to speak to him also about Tridentine Mass. The TLM in my country is matter almost nobody knows of it.Just some people…
As the altar boy at that Mass I expected the chaplain to be well-prepared for Latin. However, to be honest the quality of seminary education in my country is low as far as I know. One Czech theologian compared priestly seminaries to “higher altar-boys institutes”. That´s another problem, though.
For me is sad, that no many priests can lead and speak the main liturgical language of the Church, Latin!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit