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Monday, March 16, 2009



That pretty much sums up my experience of the tridentine mass. We have two priests who take turns doing it, one is very old (90's I believe) and the other is in his 50's so I can say that age isn't a factor... they both like to mumble.

I'm sure microphones are allowed, most of the time but I don't think they are needed.

I think priests just need to talk louder. You can hear anyone in my church talking if they just use their normal speaking voice so I can only conclude that they are intentionally talking in a half whisper.

maybe they think that "oh well no one knows latin so I can talk as fast and quiet as I want" but who knows what their reasons are.


You should rename this blog "The Roman Revolter." Why don't you just leave, like the Protestants did?


First question, was it a high or low Mass? Makes a big difference. Low Masses a very quiet.

Second, EF can and frequently is miked. No problem there.

Third, ad orientem isn't really a big factor in my experience. I've been to many OF Masses offered in that manner and if the priest is mindful to speak up just a bit, it isn't a problem.

Fourth, did you have a hand missal? In my experience, especially at low Masses, hearing the precise words in Latin, which I don't know terribly well anyway, is not an issue because I'm following along.

Fifth, and I don't mean this in a snotty way, there seems to be an implication in your post that something in inherently defective in the way the Mass was prayed from the apostolic era until the 1960s. After all, it was in Latin, ad orientem, and, obviously, unmiked during those 1900 years. My point is that despite those elements, it nourished the growth and spread of Christianity, as well as the individual lives of millions of people.

Just my thoughts. God bless.


If I didn't have one of those little booklets where it shows the priests hand position and what he is doing when his hands are in those position... I would be completely lost, and I do know some latin. I don't think its too much to ask for them to just speak in their normal speaking voice, no yelling or dancing around, but certainly we can get above the whispering.


"Little booklets"? "Get above the whispering"? A little self-education on the form and merits of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass seems to be in order.


I agree a hundred percent that I need to know more about whats going on and when its going on... but a person shouldn't have to go to school to understand his mass.

if we didn't already have 8 servers at the latin mass I would volunteer, just so I could hear what he is saying.

This form of worship seems very genuine, I just feel like I am missing out on it.

Central Valley

It sounds like the writer attended a Low Mass. The prayers are to be said in a low or inaudable tone. The Canon is to be silent. For those not familiar with the traditional worship of Holy Mother Church, a Low Mass or any Mass in the extraordinary form may seem a bit odd. After all, we have suffered through forty hears of Fr's Touchy and Feely celebrating a Mass that looks like a Las Vegas lounge act gone bad. The problem with the ordinary form and many who regularly attend it, is they are looking for immediate gratification, they want to feel good. The extraordinary form is contemplative, it is not about entertainment. The writer posting this article is a gifted writer, perhaps he should focus on the poor treatment of the extraordinary form communities in the diocese of Fresno under the reign of Cardinal Mahoney classmate John T. Steinbock


I think you and I would agree on much, much more than we would disagree. And I have no interest in picking a fight.

But no one suggested that you need to go to school to understand the EF. In fact, I specifically recommended "self-education" - simply reading a good book or two. If that is too much to ask of Catholics, then we've got bigger problems than I thought.

Finally, my 10, 8, and 5 year olds attend a Catholic school where they have the great privilege to attend the OF on Mondays and the EF on Tuesday through Friday. As a family we attend the OF on Sundays. My kids appreciate both forms and, with a little time and practice, completely "get" the EF. I respectfully suggest that if children are edified by the Mass of ages, so too can intelligent adults - provided they are willing to put in a bit of effort.


I'm not sure I made myself clear, I apologize. I love the "EF" as you call it, My first time going let me know right away that something was missing from the "OF" that contemplative aspect, the time to pray and let myself focus on Jesus.

I guess maybe I should see if there is a high mass done at my church, i'm sure that would spoil me for sure. lol.


I'm glad you attended the EF at St. Anthony's. We're always happy to see new faces.

According to the rubrics, certain parts of the 1962 Missal are supposed to be said "silently." The Canon, which begins right after the Sanctus, is the longest such part. With most priests, all you really hear of the Canon is the phrase "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the middle. Ironically enough, Fr. Ciranni (by the way, he's Italian) actually says the Canon a bit louder than he's supposed to!

I've found that although many other parts are said fairly quietly and facing the altar, I've been more and more able to follow along with experience.

You wanna REALLY hear the Mass? Come back this Sunday. We're having a High Mass with Gregorian chant. Fr. Masutti, our young visiting priest, will be chanting many parts, such as the Epistle, Gospel, and Preface. High Masses can seem a bit confusing because multiple things are happening at once (for example, the schola chants the Introit while the priest is saying the prayers at the foot of the altar). But it's beautiful and much more audible.


ANTHONY, I attend the Latin Mass and have since I was 4 I am now 40. I attend the "new mass" and was shocked by dancing girl in tights and "priests" wearing multi color table cloths. I have seen "priests" perform magic and comedy routines. This is not the Holy Mass. With the Latin Mass if you do not know latin you pray along with the missal. Please take the time and effort to understand that the Holy Mass is the greatest prayer on earth. We should all realize the miracle that takes place at each Mass. We are not there to be entertained! we are there to ask for forgiveness and praise to God Almighty. The Latin Mass has a discipline and has rules to worship. When the disciplines were taken away for the use of entertainment the whole mass was destroyed. The new mass reminds me of a mass for simpletons. People just stand and sit and stand and forget about kneeling for the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. EWTN has a beautiful Mass if you like to see how a "new mass" should be prayed. As a Marine and Marine Recon for 8 years I love the rules and regs and Disciplines - Thats way Marines are the best. I would like to open a boot camp for some of these priest. SEMPER FI (ALWAYS FAITHFUL)


I have been attending the Tridentine (EF) Mass since the 1950s (when I came into this world). I have probably attended more EF Masses than the Novus Ordo.

Here's the deal -- it's a ritual to which one becomes accustomed. Upon the first visit or experience, one should not expect to "understand" what is going on as though it were a movie or city council meeting. It is an ancient, formalized, stylized ritual imbued with meaning via gestures, posture, movements, incense, vestments, an ancient liturgical language, and, at times, silence.

If you attend the EF on a regular basis, with missal in hand, you will become familiar with every part of the Mass and know exactly what is happening. How many times do you need to hear "Pater Noster.." to know that it is the beginning of the Our Father? Or, how many times do you need to see the priest praying the Roman Canon silently to know that he is consecrating the bread and wine?

Countless generations of illiterate people probably had a better understanding of the Mass than most Novus Ordo attending Catholics of this generation.

Much is communicated without the use of words. When I was a kid people were quiet and prayerful in Church before Mass. Attention was directed toward the tabernacle which was front and center. Children learned there was something special on the altar when they saw their parents genuflect. More was communicated through behavior than by words and abstract ideas. Nowdays, people behave as though they are in a gymnasium waiting for a basketball game to begin.

By the way, I have attended many Eastern Rite liturgies. The priest goes behind the iconostasis for what you would refer to as the Eucharistic Prayer -- the Consecration.


I know most would say my faith should have remained intact even though I left the church the day guitars were brought in. I went to Catholic school in the fifties.
I sang in 2 chiors in latin. Like others say, I didn't understand all the words, and I was actually saying them. One thing that made me proud of my Catholic heritage - You could go anywhere in the world for 1900 years and hear THE Mass and recognize it.
I felt betrayed and disgusted when the guitars, shaking hands, hugging, English, etc. came along. I'm 57 and haven't been to mass since the late 60's.
I got to this site looking for a latin mass.
Much more "entertaining" and thought provoking than today's stupidfest.
I can hardly wait to attend. How am to going to 'splain this to my wife and friends?

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