Why are there so many different ways


To celebrate the Mass? Was there ever one way that mass was specifically done in history?


Approximately 33 AD, there was only one way… just about 13 guys at a table. Shortly after that, they started having to figure things out.


In the Roman rite, there are only two main ways to say the Mass. The few permissible alternative prayers do not make a different Mass. (and I am ignoring the minor rites such as Dominican).

So I really don’t understand your question, unless you are referring to the Eastern rites.


Technically speaking, three now. OF, EF, and Anglican Use.


What’s Anglican use?


The form of the mass intended for the Ordinariates that are primarily Anglican communities that reunited with the Church and Rome.


Not really, this is why we have different liturgical rites. That being said, how the Liturgy works out in different parts of the world, is largely done the same way, most of the differences really have nothing to do with what’s actually being done. Some of the prayers might be a little different, and in the East they put more of an emphasis on chanting, and in the west, there is a bit more silence. It’s not that one is more right than the other, it’s just how things developed. If I had to, I would say that the earliest liturgy was probably closest to one of the variations of modern Syriac liturgy. Byzantine would have come along at about the same time that the Latin Western liturgy came along, although they would have both been very similar at first. Keep in mind though, I’m certainly no expert in these areas, but I to know that the last supper was probably not done in Latin. Apologies if that sounded a wee bit confusing, but it’s almost 2 a.m. where I live.


I had overlooked the Anglican Use. However, is it any larger than any of the other minor rites (e.g. Dominican) in terms of parishes which use them? I have no numbers on any of them.


I understand there is also a “Zaire” rite incorporating sub-Saharan Africa elements that is used there.


There are many liturgical rites because the Church is a living, breathing entity that is made up of people worshiping God. Worship is a personal and communal endeavor.

The essential piece of mass, the consecration, is specified in Scripture, otherwise the mass comes to us through Tradition and tradition. There have always been a number of different forms of the mass— hyper local for most of the Chirch’s history until Trent. Trent did away with most all the rites in the Latin Church with a few exceptions such as Ambrosian. The Eastern Rites grew up as a matter of culture, language, and political separation from the West.


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