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The Extraordinary form of the Latin Rite Mass

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On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum by which the Holy Father allows for and promotes a wider usage of the liturgical books that were in use by the Roman Catholic Church in 1962. Pope Benedict XVI seeks in this Apostolic Letter to reconcile “in the heart of the Church” those individuals who have demonstrated an attachment to the liturgical forms that were in place before the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council. He begins by defining two forms of the rule of prayer of the Latin Church: an ordinary form contained in the Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI, and an extraordinary form, as contained in the Roman Missal of Pope Saint Pius V. Both make up the Liturgy of the Roman Rite.

Any priest of the Latin Church may, without permission from the Holy See or his bishop, celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Easter Triduum. It is noted that he may be joined by the faithful, since the extraordinary rite is primarily a private Mass. In parishes where a group of faithful are attached to the extraordinary form of the Mass, they may approach the pastor to request the celebration of the extraordinary rite, without permissions from the Holy See or the bishop. If a priest cannot demonstrate a minimum rubrical or linguistic ability in Latin, he is not to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI is very clear in his apostolic letter that the current Roman Missal (Missale Romanum) is the ordinary form of the Eucharistic Liturgy and the extraordinary form is found in the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII. He points out that there is “no contradiction between the missals” and that the history of liturgical books is characterized by “growth and progress, but not rupture.” In both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Missal, full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful is to be desired above all else. This begins with interior participation in the sacrifice of Christ. The ordinary form customarily accomplishes this participation through listening and responding to the prayers of the Mass in the vernacular and by taking part in forms of exterior communal action. The extraordinary form accomplishes this interior participation largely by listening to the prayers in Latin and following the words and actions of the priests and joining our hearts to “what is said by him in the Name of Christ and [what] Christ says [to] him.”

From all of the above we see that the Church continues to treasure the riches of its past, especially with regard to the sacred liturgy. The spirit of earlier liturgical forms, which permeated the spirit and culture of many who still remember these forms, continues in the celebration of both rites. Thus, it was through pastoral concern that Pope Benedict XVI was motivated to more easily allow for the celebration of more ancient liturgical rites and prayers by issuing Summorum Pontificium.

Msgr. Terence Hogan
Director, Office of Worship and Spiritual Life

Comments from readers

Aramis L. Perez - 07/24/2009 09:51 PM
I'd like to thank Monsignor Hogan for his original post and for continuing the discussion, as well as the Archdiocese of Miami for hosting celebrations according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 for a number of years now, and last but not least, Fr. Joseph Fishwick who has faithfully tended to the Latin Mass Community.

I would like to echo many things Monsignor has written, and to offer my own perspective as a 24 year old born and raised in the Archdiocese of Miami.

This is an exciting time for young people like me who are discovering the great treasures of the Latin Rite church, particularly the depth of our liturgical and musical traditions. There is a growing interest, not only among twentysomethings like me, but also among many others who have come to experience the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in recent decades, in liturgy and encountering God through the liturgy. We find that our participation in the Church's life, whether Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, private devotion or Christian living in general, is deepened and enriched by our contact with the older form of Mass.

The treasures of tradition contained therein are not only magnificent in their own right, but also throw into clearer relief many aspects of contemporary life in the Church, which are rooted in the way Catholics have worshiped and believed through the centuries. As the Holy Father and Monsignor Hogan have emphasized, "growth and progress, not rupture" describe the Church's development.

I am particularly interested in the possibility of seeing more Traditional Latin Masses celebrated around the Archdiocese. I believe Luis Estrada has done well to ask Monsignor Hogan about what the faithful who desire a celebration of the Mass of 1962 should present to the Archdiocese in order for this to take place. Those of you who have posted with such interest in and devotion to the Traditional Mass should take a look at Luis's blog,, where I've recently started to contribute.

I would also like to offer this facebook group, "Miami Latin Mass Society" as a way for all of us to stay in touch and promote the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Miami.
Eric Giunta - 07/24/2009 06:48 AM
I have little, if anything, to disagree with the good Monsignor in his latest post.

I'm only afraid that readers unfamiliar with the old rite might fall under the mistaken impression that the only two ways to celebrate Mass were the Private/Low Mass or the Solemn Mass (sung, with deacon and subdeacon).

In fact, the faithful were available to avail themselves of a Missa Cantata, often called a "High Mass". This is a sung Mass, but without deacon and subdeacon.

The principal service in parish churches on Sundays and Holy Days was SUPPOSED TO BE a Sung or Solemn Mass. The Sung Mass was not nearly as rare as the Solemn Mass.

I just want to emphasize that, prior to the Council, if/when there were parishes whose principal Sunday or Holy Day service was not a sung Mass, that was an abuse. Even more so if there was no sermon.

Likewise, it was clearly an abuse for a weekday Low Mass to be celebrated in anything less than a half-an-hour, and pre-Conciliar literature made this clear. The infamous fifteen-minute or (Heavens!) seven-minute Low Mass would be even more egregious.

But yes, these abuses did exist.

But do preconciliar abuses justify those of the postconciliar church?
Andrew Meszaros - 07/23/2009 07:12 PM
Dear Ms. Ana Rodriguez Soto:

Some of these comments might be perceived as negative, but it is in fact an act of true charity to point out what concerns us, even if it is not going to be pleasant. Also, some might feel that those who criticize have a “holier than thou” attitude but actually it is just a matter of fidelity.

Clearly there is something wrong in the Church when for four decades following the Council I haven’t been to a Latin Mass (except on a few rare occasions when I’ve made a long trip early in the morning to a rundown neighborhood just for that purpose) even though the Council stated very clearly: “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” Am I not supposed to be confused? How about another Conciliar statement which says that “no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.” If that is so, how come you cannot find two Masses alike? Every priest has his own version, his own substitutions, additions, and deletions to the official text? Am I not supposed to be confused? How about the music? Did the Council recommend the strumming of electric guitars and folksy tunes? Why isn’t there some place in this town where one could get away from that stuff? Not all of us enjoy that “campfire” feeling at Mass. Did the Council suggest that we sing “happy birthday” as a post communion song, followed by a generous applause and “high-fives” next to the altar, a favorite way to end the liturgy at one particular Miami parish? I thank the Lord that there are faithful Catholics, well informed, passionate, and ready to defend what they believe in. Thanks to such people, the “extraordinary” form, against all odds, has returned and is gaining momentum. Deo gratias.
Eric Giunta - 07/23/2009 03:39 PM
Mr. Estrada:

I think Mr. Kramer and I both made very clear that our criticisms were not directed at Monsignor Hogan's person, but as what we believe were some misstatements contained in the original post and in the subsequent clarifications. Mr. Kramer has been rather explicit in his praise and gratitude to Monsignor; to clear up any confusion, I too wish to explicitly make this praise my own.

Monsignor was VERY gracious to open up this issue for discussion.

I in no way meant to come across uncharitable, but yes, I am a bit critical, even jaded, about the liturgical life of our Diocese. As I noted, I am not a liturgical "traditionalist," far less a "rad-trad," but those of us who have for YEARS been trying to promote authentic Catholic liturgical reform have been meet with nothing but apathy or ridicule, not to mention segregated balkanization. For YEARS many of us have had no choice but to drive nearly two-hours every Sunday in one direction or the other - either to VERY early Mass in a not-so-safe neighborhood for a weekly sung Mass, or for a VERY late twice-a-month Low Mass.

Those of us who tried to find venues and/or celebrants closer to home were constantly told to sit in the back of the bus while every concession imaginable was given to every other language and preference under the sun '' from Chinese, Vietnames, and Tagalog to LifeTeen and Charismatic.

With all due respect, Mr. Estrada, you don't know half-of what we've had to go through, all because we WANTED Vatican II to REALLY be implemented in our parishes liturgically.

I wish to recall the statement the Archdiocese came out with when Summorum Pontificum was released. The Diocese "welcomed" it, noted the TWO less-than-generous offerings already present, and noting: "In addition, Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Miami are celebrated in 16 other languages as well, including sign language."

Many of us found this very insulting. The mother tongue of our Church was reduced to simply one language among many, which is certainly not the position of the Second Vatican Council, the postconciliar legislation, or our present Holy Father (nor, for that matter, any of the Popes before or since Vatican II).

I do NOT bring this up to make the good Monsignor or anyone else look bad. I just wish to contextualize my sensitivity to statements which I believe are either inaccurate or else serve to reinforce already deeply-embedded biases and stereotypes in the Archdiocese.

And I for one find it VERY commendable that the Archdiocese is providing this forum for us to vent our thanksgiving as well as our concerns. So long as we are adhering to the Church's teachings, it's alright for a Catholic media outlet to facilitate such discussion, no?
Joe Garcia - 07/23/2009 02:05 PM
Dear Rev. Msgr.,

In sum, I am pleased to have read this posting, and more pleased at the sentiments and motivations evidently undergirding it.

I must say that I have no real preference for one form over the other and, as such, I'd dearly love to avail myself of the EF with greater frequency; which implies a greater availability.

What I derive from said form, above and beyond all the other riches of Mass, is the knowledge of a historical and traditional continuity. The EF is the Form that unites me '' at least, in the sense of an enhanced perception '' to my grandfathers and those who came before me. The EF is the form they knew, the words were the words they heard, etc. To me, it is a palpable (and palpably wonderful) thing to know I am witnessing the exact same thing in the exact same form they did.

Msgr. Terence Hogan - 07/23/2009 01:53 PM
I do find it a bit amusing with all this "negative" attention to the "misa private." The private mass was a legitimate and accepted practice by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. For those who have grown up since Vatican II and never experienced the daily, weekly, and yearly celebration of the Tridentine Mass which took place in Latin thoughout the world in every Roman Cathoilc Church, which I and others, because of our age, did experience, I would caution not to overly romanticize the ideal that every mass in every parish on every day of the week was a solemn high mass. This is simply not so. The common celebration of daily mass was the "misa privata," usually with one or two altar servers, using the Missale Romanum, which once again was arranged in its contents that the priest was able to act as celebrant, choir, and server. Even if therewas a vist by a bishop for the celebration of a pontifical high mass, the deacons were usually ordained priests from the same or of neighboring parisheswho wore the dalmatic and acted in that capacity. This continues in Rome with se of Cardinal Deacons at papal celebrations. Why, because deacons, unlike today after Vatican II were hard to come by in a local parish! Communion was often distributed outside of Mass, to those who did not attend mass, this was legitimate and accepted even into the early 1960's. Were these practices discussed for legitimacy and theological correctness? Yes, of course and the organic development of the sacred liturgy continues to discuss liturgcal practices that exist today. But, any student of liturgy must read the liturgical sources and know the sources! When peope say to me, why don't we celebate the mass like we used to??? My reponse is always: celebrated when??? The patristic era, the age of the franko-germanic liturgical tradition, the Gregorian era, the Carolingian era, the medieval, the years before Trent, the years after Trent, 20 years ago? You get my point. What we might find different or out of touch - with the ordinary or the extraordinary forms of the Mass might be due to our own prejudices and even culture. Ergo, the concept of the "private mass" seems a bit unusual for us today because, since Vatican II the practice is not common. But it doesn't mean it didn't exist and wasn't strongly prevalent.
Eric Giunta - 07/23/2009 12:19 PM
I appreciate Ms. Soto's reflections and observations, and wish to offer my own thoughts in response to them and to clarify my own positions.

(My first clarification is that I don't want to come across as angry or yelling when I employ CAPS in my sentences. I do so to compensate for my inability to italicize the words.)

1) Many Catholics are unaware, but it is perfectly legitimate for one, on a day which is not "of obligation", to "drop in" to Mass in time for Communion, and to leave right after receiving. So long as the intention and the demeanor is reverent, this is perfectly legitimate if it one's first time receiving Communion that day. Canon law says one may receive Communion up to twice-a-day (assuming he is in the state of grace, and is of reverent disposition), with the sole caveat that the SECOND time one receives MUST be in the context of his having assisted at Mass.

There are many laity who, for any number of practical reasons, wish to devoutly receive Communion, and do so in just the manner Ms. Soto's mother did as a child in Cuba.

2) Very few people, least of all myself, will doubt that there were liturgical abuses in the "olden days," and that among these was the tendency for the Mass to be perceived as a private act of the priest, for which the laity showed up as passive observers.

The point that I and others endeavor to make is that this was never, IN PRINCIPAL, what the Church intended her Mass to be, and this is shown in the teachings of her saints, theologians, doctors, bishops, and Popes, not to mention the official liturgical directives, the very prayers of the Mass which presuppose active participation, and even the very language of what it is the laity do at Mass. Many Catholics are unaware that the traditional way of indicating that one was going to Mass was the word "assist." If you attended Mass, you were said to be "assisting" at it, as opposed to the priest who "celebrated."

The point is, there were any number of tools at the disposal of pastors and laity to help the congregation actively participate in the rite. And it could very well be argued, in light of the drastic dearth in Mass attendance and in belief in the Real Pressence among today's self-styled Catholics, that in some ways our Catholic ancestors, even the illiterate, truly "understood" the Mass better than most of today's Catholics do. I'm not saying the case is conclusive, just that it can be argued.

3) I wish to clarify my own position on the liturgy. I am NOT a "traditionalist," in the sense some Catholics purport to be. I do NOT deny the validity, liceity, or holiness of Vatican Council II, nor do I insist that the Church must or should turn back the clock and return to the Tridentine Mass in the long-term.

I am 100% in favor of Vatican II's efforts to reform the liturgy, and believe this impetus was from the Holy Spirit. But I am, and have been for several years, a subscriber to Ratzinger/Benedict's vision of a liturgical "reform of the reform." I believe that Vatican II's vision of a reverent, solemn, revised liturgy that is ORGANICALLY CONTINUOUS with what came before it has yet to be realized in the Catholic Church.

I do not for one moment question the quality of Ms. Soto's religious experiences. My concern as a Catholic, however, is not simply for how the Mass is subjectively appreciated by the lay faithful, but for how what goes on in the parish objectively corresponds to how THE CHURCH says we are to celebrate Mass.

The problem is, it;s difficult to discuss these questions when the majority of the Archdiocese's priests have never read, if they're even familiar with, the major Vatican II and postconciliar legislation on the liturgy. I know from my own personal experience, that most priests have no idea what one means when they mention Sacrosanctum Concilium or Musicam Sacram: THE MAJOR documents outlining the liturgical reform.

Nor are they familiar with the Catholic principle, often articulated by our present Holy Father, of organic continuity, whereby new developments in the church are never radical departures from what she had in the past.

And so again I ask, based on the Church's official legislation: Where in the Miami Archdiocese do the faithful know the ordinaries of the Mass by heart in Latin; where is Latin given pride of place in the liturgical celebration; where ismusical pride of place is given to Gregorian chant, the pipe organ, sacred polyphony, and classical hymnody (both ancient and modern)? How many parishes in the Archdiocese have a Sung Mass on Sundays and Holy Days?

Finally, does the Mass as it is celebrated in most of the Archdiocese's parishes even REMOTELY look like the same rite our grandparents knew when they went to church? Does it resemble a simplified form of the same Roman rite, or like another form of worship altogether?

Why is that when one compares the worship at most of the Archdiocese's parishes with that of the Eastern Catholics, or the Tridentine Mass, it seems like not only a different rite but a different religion entirely?

I ask these questions out of love, because I want what is best for my church, as I know Monsignor Hogan does.

The Ordinary Form of the Mass CAN be celebrated beautifully and reverently. I am studying at the University of Oxford (UK) this summer and am in Ordinary liturgical heaven! The Oxford Oratory and Westminister Cathedral are models for Catholic worship (as are several of the Anglican parishes!). Also model for Catholics is the way the Ordinary form is celebrated by the St John Cantians, to whose website Msgr Hogan has referred us to.

Having visited Rome, I can also speak to the beauty and fidelity of celebrations by the Holy Father.

In fact, I have the option here in Oxford of assisting at the Ordinary AND Extraordinary forms of Mass on any given Sunday, and I CHOOSE the Ordinary. I just wishto establish my mainstream credentials!


4) The reason why I support the Tridentine Mass, and the spread of its celebration, is in the hopes that it will have a kind of "gravitational pull" on ALL Masses celebrated throughout the Archdiocese, to make them more authentically Catholic.

Likewise, the Ordinary form CAN have a salutary effect on the Extraordinary; an example is the Holy Father's recent concession that the readings at the latter may be read/sung solely in the vernacular, along with plans underway to reportedly make use of the some of the newer Eucharistic prefaces and saints' days (with their prayers).

I have just one final word of counsel: Treating those of us who treasure the traditional worship of the Church has freaks or anomalies, by not seeing to it that we have a weekly sung liturgy at a decent time of day and in a convenient location, is not going to do much to reconcile schismatics or to make us feel any more loved or appreciated by the Archdiocese.
Luis Estrada - 07/23/2009 11:13 AM
With all due respect to Mssrs. Guinta, Kramer I am greatly concerned at the critical tone of the posts. I have lived in this Archdiocese for most of my life and would love to see the EF celebrated more, HERE. There are numerous families that I know of personally who would also love to see the EF celebrated more. I would like to make it clear that Mssrs Guinta and Kramer do not speak for me nor anyone but themselves.

I am dismayed that the posts would focus on trying to excoriate Reverend Monsignor and other parishes in Miami, rather on how to promote the EF in more parishes (including our home parishes where we attend with our families). Anyone who reads this blog would think that all those attached to the EF Mass are litugical snobs because of a real lack of charity in some of the posts. It seems almost impossible but, some of those who have such an exquisite technical understanding of liturgy, seem unmoved by the mysteries the Sacred Liturgy imparts. Now when others try to promote the EF in their own parishes these posts will be a GREAT example of why it should be avoided!, what trouble discussing the EF brings!, how uncharitable and cranky "traditionalists" can be! You have truly poisoned the well.

I previously posted that this blog is being followed by another internet blog, that of Father Zuhlsdorf. I have been reading "Father z's" blog for some years now and know him to be well informed if not expert in the subject of the EF. Indeed, he has faculties from the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" prior to Summorum Pontificum for use of the 1962 typical edition of the Missale Romanum. They are signed by his Eminence Augustine Card. Mayer, OSB, then President of the Pontifical Commission and by Msgr. Camille Perl, then, until his recent retiring, Secretary of the same Commission, with whom he is well acquainted I believe. I am dismayed as to why, if the good and knowledgable Father Z could say and I quote:

"...kudos to Msgr. Hogan. Well done." and

" folks in Miami can be pleased that this priest has a clear sense of some very important concepts for a sound liturgical praxis. He has a far better understanding of active participation than we have seen coming from most liturgical offices for several decades. He speaks with respect about the older form and has not merely conveyed a reluctant tolerance toward it. He speaks of continuity and eschews clichés about the Second Vatican Council."

Father Z clearly lauds the Reverend Monignor's efforts... so why would posts, by "experts" here, be so negative? Really, what is up?

Monsignor Hogan has spent the better part of this discussion dodging the slings and arrows of criticism rather than discussing how to PROMOTE the EF throughout the Archdiocese. That is not his fault it is ours. That is unacceptable. Those who would presumably speak for "traditional Mass" would do well to remember some rules:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched by Summorum Pontificum, not because "we win". Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a "zero sum game".

2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".

3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the SOURNESS some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

4) Be engaged in the whole life of YOUR PARISHES, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.

5) Don’t be a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

I, for one, believe that Msgr Hogan is owed an apology.
Ana Rodriguez-Soto - 07/23/2009 09:49 AM
Once again, having read everyone's comments (and just approved Eric's although with trepidation since they were rather harsh) I would just like to throw my 2-cents' worth in: My 79-year-old mother has often told me how she was a daily communicant in Cuba (the church was across the street from her house) back in the 1940s and '50s. But she did not attend Mass and go to Communion. She merely arrived when Communion was being distributed, prayed and left. As this was perfectly legitimate, it would seem, on a practical level, to give credence to the idea that the priest was celebrating a private Mass which the people could "hear" if they wanted to. The way attendance at Mass was described back then is also important to note: People "heard" Mass. Now people "celebrate" Mass. This is not to take anything away from the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, just making a point using the language that we used to describe it.

As for the Ordinary Form of Mass, I would not be as harsh as Eric in describing what goes on at archdiocesan parishes today. (And I have covered many Masses at many parishes over the years). The Easter Triduum at Our Lady of the Lakes was awe-inspiring this year, as usual, and Masses at the Cathedral always transport me to heaven. I would argue that it is not the Extraordinary or the Ordinary Form of the Mass that matters but how the priest and people celebrate it that makes for a prayerful, sanctifying experience '' or not. Perhaps, as with anything that we do all the time, we have begun to take the Ordinary Form of the Mass for granted and celebrate it in a less than "extraordinary way". What we need is for people to appreciate the miracle that takes place at every Mass each Sunday '' be it ordinary or extraordinary form '' and celebrate it accordingly. Which is why all this discussion is good - but please, let's keep it charitable!
Eric Giunta - 07/23/2009 06:22 AM
While I appreciate Monsignor's clarification on the celebration of the Pascal Triduum, I must still take exception to his characterization of lay participation in the Extraordinary Form.

For starters, it is NOT the case that in MOST instances the priest acts as "celebrant, deacon, sub-deacon, server,choir, and assembly" at a private, or Low Mass. The overwhelming majority of Low Masses had at least one server assisting at the altar, who would pray the responses while the faithful either followed along in their missals or united their so-called "private" devotions to the sacred action at the altar.

In parochial settings, it was also understood that the principal Mass on Sundays and Feast Days was to be the Missa Solemnis (with deacon and sub-deacon) or (more usually) the Missa Cantata, a sung Mass. Nothing remotely "private" about either of these.

As well, the traditional practice in monasteries was actually to have one conventual Mass, which was Solemn (or at least Sung) preceded earlier in the day by the priest-monks (i.e., all but the one priest who celebrated the conventual Mass) celebrating their "private Masses", yest, often simultaneously at various altars. Those who has celebrated earlier in the morning would typically sing in the choir for the conventual Mass. This practice is still done in many orthodox Catholic religious communities.

Most seriously, I must take exception to Monsignor Hogan's interpretation of "active participation," especially with regards to Summorum Pontificum. Again I mean this with all due respect, but it seems to betray an unfamilarity with everything Joseph Ratzinger has ever written on the subject of what constitutes such active participation, and how the usus antiquior is in no way detrimental to it. As one who is personally well-acquainted with the Ratzingerian corpus, I am again morally certain that our Holy Father would NEVER countenance the view that the Tridentine Mass is "essentially private".

Article 4 is speaking of PRIVATE Masses, Monsignor Hogan, as is clear from the fact that it is referring back to Article 2, which itself, as I have shown below, speaks SOLEY of PRIVATE Masses, i.e., "Mass without a congregation."

As a quasi-convert who grew up spiritually in the Miami Archdiocese, and have had EXTENSIVE experience with BOTH rites of the Mass''the good, the bad, and the ugly''I seriously contest any and all assertion that your average congregant at the Tridentine Mass is passive, and not actively participating. Ignoring rude caricatues, the REAL facts on the ground are these, at your average sung Mass (which is supposed to be the principal service on Sundays and feast days): the faithful follow along with all the ritual gestures, they sing the responses (as well as the Ordinaries when they are in a simple or regularly-employed Gregorian tone), and they follow along prayferully in their Missals with the sacred action. Not to mention popular hymns, both Latin and Vernacular, which have their places, and always have, at these celebrations.

In the Miami Archdiocese, there are only TWO parishes that even REMOTELY follow Vaitcan II's liturgical directives and principles, only TWO parishes where the faithful know the ordinaries of the Mass by heart in Latin, where Latin is given pride of place in the liturgical celebration, where musical pride of place is given to Gregorian chant, the pipe organ, sacred polyphony, and classical hymnody (both ancient and modern): Saint Robert Bellarmine and Church of the Epiphany.

At your average parish in the Archdiocese, your liturgy is dull, banal, and rote. No sense of beauty, of the transcendent, is conveyed; the Holy Father's efforts to "reform the liturgical reform" have gone completely and utterly unnoticed, as the liturgical celebrations have the level of reverence of a Barney-n-Friends sing-a-long.

And by the way, when was the last time ANYONE in the Archdiocese, with the SOLE exception of congregants at Saint Robert, actually assisted at a SUNG Mass? In virtually every parish of the Archdiocese, the entire Mass is said/read, with the talking occasionally interrupted by cheesey hymns.

I will concede that the Cathedral has decent music (more operatic than liturgical), but even there the services are never sung, as Musicam Sacram says they should be.

I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant; I am not a "traditionalist" in any extremist sense of the word. But I am a devotee of good liturgy (Catholic and Protestant, East and West), and it's very disheartening to find our venerable liturgical traditions disparaged and caricatured.

If only liturgists would take the logs out of their own eyes before removing the specks in others.
Andrew Meszaros - 07/22/2009 09:07 PM
Reverend Monsignor:
I would like to comment about one particular statement of yours, namely:
“The ordinary form customarily accomplishes this participation through listening and responding to the prayers of the Mass in the vernacular ...”

One might question what you mean by the word “customarily”. Yes, most Novus Ordo Masses are celebrated these days in some vernacular but per se, the Mass in the ordinary form is based on the “typical” Latin edition and ideally it is meant to be celebrated in Latin: therefore, one might also say that every Mass is ordinarily to be celebrated in Latin, either in the extraordinary form or in the ordinary form. Presently, the vernacular exception has become the quasi rule for Novus Ordo Masses, but Latin remains the Church’s liturgical language, as confirmed by the Second Vatican Council. Unfortunately, it is nearly extinct in the Latin Church, due to neglect: a fact lamented by more than one modern Pope. Here is my conclusion: the differentiation of the two forms into the Latin Mass and the Vernacular Mass adds to the confusion. Indeed both of these forms are Latin Masses.
Yours in Christ,
Andrew M.
Mssgr. Terence Hogan - 07/22/2009 04:41 PM
Since my description of Summorum Pontificum was meant to be a brief general introduction for discussion on blog, it has certainly become very educational. Which is a very positive point for all concerned. The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite has a rich history and that is why I have included links to more information. Once again, regarding the private Mass issue: I contend that the rationale for Summorum Pontificium using the words in Art 4 "Celebration of the Mass...may - observing all the norms of law-also attended by faithful, of their own free will, ask to be admitted" are there for a specific historic and theological reason. It is my continued belief that the word "particpate" was not used in the Apostolic Letter because the faithful would "attend" and be " present" at the Extraordinary Form, which in most cases at pre-Vatican II parishes on a daily basis was a "misa privata" whereby the priest acted as celebrant, deacon, sub-deacon, server,choir, and assembly. The Missale Romanum of St. Pius V which grew from the 1234 Ordo 'Indutus planeta' of Haymo of Faversham is so structured to represent this fact. The local priest had in one book (the missal) the prayers, rubrics, and chants requiring only his participation.Yes, certainly, there were solemn masses on occassions within parishes, especially the solemn pontifical if the bishop were to visit the parish. But the majority of parishes, monasteries and religious communities on a daily basis had the "private mass" at which one priest celebrated. There might be multiple masses (or two, or three) being clebrated at the same time at a side altar. The faithful were in attendance. This is why in my article I say that the extraordinary form is primarily a "private mass" at which the people "attend." The solkem pontifical mass of deacons, choir, and those in the minor ordinaries was not a regular occurence.The reforms of Vatican II were very much intent on restoring the "active particpation of the faithful" through the vernacular and the execise of the offices of various ministries. Has this always been prayerful or successful? Of course not. Neither was the 7 minute Mass in Latin that I occsionally served as a young boy at a side altar a very good sign of ecclesiology. BOth the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms when celebrated correctly and with great dignity and devotion lead the faithful to Christ. The second concern about the Triduum is valid, but also a pastoral concern. I only repeated what the document says in Art.2. It is true that there are various communities that have celebrated the Triduum according to the Extraordinary Form, and very beautifully, however an individual priest cannot decide on his own to celebrate those days in private using the extraordinary form.
Michael Kramer - 07/22/2009 12:56 PM
Reading Monsignor's post a second time, I am thrilled to see "coverage" for the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese I have lived in for 20 years and always heard very little of it from priests. So to that end, thank you again Mosignor!

That said, Mr. Giunta echoes precisely what I was saying and clarification is needed as I have heard other Diocesan officials in different dioceses have trouble with the same paragraph, yet priests and orders and people in Rome that I have spoken to have absolutely no differing opinions on this: The Extraordinary Form can be used during the Triduum, and its not primarily a private Mass. Recently, Father Zuhlsdorf on (a few posts down by now) also took issue with the "private Mass" comment but let it pass because as is evident, the post is rather positive by Mosignor Hogan, and certainly he means well.

The key things to keep in mind is that the paragraph begins "in Masses celebrated without the people", and this holds true for the Ordinary Form as well, no Triduum if no congregation PERIOD, Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form.

Also the Miami Archdiocese has been blessed to have the Triduum celebrated in the Extraordinary Form for at least 8 years that I'm aware of but I'm sure its been much longer.

Using the term "private" loosely, some of the actions of the priest can be considered private in the extraordinary form, and perhaps this is what led the Monsignor to consider it a "primarily private Mass", however private is not determined by the volume the priest is employing.

High Masses can absolutely never ever be considered private, and never can the people be considered spectators or just watching. The observations from the USCCB website no doubt come from someone who has not experienced the Extraordinary Form on a daily basis as have I for the last 10 years and do not reflect the atmosphere at nearly all Extraordinary Form Masses since John Paul II's Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei.
Eric Giunta - 07/22/2009 12:10 PM
With all due respect to Msgr Hogan, I am morally certain that he is in error in his reading of Summorum Pontificum.

Perhaps I am reading him wrong, but Msgr Hogan is incorrect in what seems to be his assertion that the usus antiquior is, by its very nature, a "private Mass." A private Mass is one which is not considered a parochial celebration. There's a lot of grey area as to what exactly differentiates a private Mass from a low Mass; generally the former will be celebrated by the priest alone, or with a server, or with a handful of people. In any event, it's a selebration not "open" to the public, though technically speaking every liturgical act always has a public dimension.

Further, Article 2 of SP very clearly does NOT forbid the usus antiquior from being celebrated during the Triduum. PRIVATE Masses are forbidden during those three days, and to my knowledge that was always the law, since well before Vatican II. Read the article for yourselves:

"In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary."

It's all very clear, in plain English: the "ban" pertains SOLEY to "Masses celebrated without the people," and applies to BOTH forms of the Roman Rite.

Where I think the good monsignor may be drawing his confusion from is the fact that the older books often refer to any LOW Mass (i.e., a Mass which is not sung) as a "Missa Privata," as opposed to the Missa Cantata or the Missa Solemnis.

While technically this does translate as "private Mass," the phrase is a misnomer, and the words "private Mass" are seldom (and in my experience, NEVER) used to denote a congegational Low Mass.

Wikipedia, of all places, has a very well-documented article on what a Private Mass is:

Let me add by way of disclaimer that I am a former postulant of the Canons Regular of St John Cantius, and am morally certain that no one of that order would corroborate the assertion that ALL Tridentine Masses are private, or that they are forbidden during the Triduum.
Luis Estrada - 07/22/2009 06:17 AM
Wow, As my nephews would say... "That's off the hook, Monsignor!" is an outstanding website. Thank you. In addition to the online tutorial for priests and servers, it is FULL of material for the laity. The section entitled Spirituality of the Tridentine Mass has numerous articles by great Catholic intellectuals like, Dietrich von Hildebrand, the Holy Father and Romano Guardini. This website is a wealth of information. Most of the material is in pdf format including whole books on Sacred Music by the late Msgr. Richard J. Schuler to "An Idiot’s Guide to Square Notes" Did you know there's a PowerPoint presentation on Singing Gregorian Chant- Pitch and Mode? Incidentally, your blog is being blogged about, quite positively, at That is Father Zuhlsdorf's Website, "What do the Prayers Really Say" Father Zuhlsdorf has been a commentator on FoxNews regarding the Extraordinary Form and graduated from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1996 (perhaps you have met him).
Thank you again Monsignor Hogan, especially in this, the Year of the Priest.
Msgr. Terence Hogan - 07/21/2009 05:57 PM
Bloggers might find interesting the web site that provides a tutorial for the Extraodinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass. It is sponsored by the Canons of St. John Cantius which is in union with Rome and who are located in Chicago.
Avelino D. Perez, Esq. - 07/21/2009 11:14 AM
Dear Monsignor:

Having been born in the late 1960's I never really had the opportunity to experience Tridentine Rite. However, recently I have been learning more about it and occasionally attend the Latin Mass at St. Robert Bellarmine. It really is beautiful. I do enjoy the Ordinary Form of the Mass but I really like having Extraordinary form available. In fact, I am also grateful that in South Florida we also have other ancient rites such as the Maronite and Melkite Rites available to us.

Finally, I would also like to give a piece of advice to those interested in attending the Latin Mass for the first time. The first time I attended I made a little mistake. I was unaware that when one receives communion in the Latin Mass the Priest says the Amen for you. I mistakenly interupted him and said "Amen."

Luis Estrada - 07/21/2009 10:13 AM
Reverend Monsignor,
Thank you for your response. I know that parish priests already have a "full plate" of responsibilities. I would expect that it would be easier to "borrow" a priest who already is familiar with the Extraordinary Form. I know of a few priests who would, very generously, drive 100 miles to fill such a request (with permission from the appropriate Chancery office, of course!), not to mention those in South Florida who know the EF. It is also why I think it best, at present, to limit requests for the EF to once or twice a year. It also might be an opprotunity to promote "progressive solemnity" called for by the USCCB, (although not on during the Triduum) Perhaps on the titular feast of a parish....

1) Is there a minumum number of people that your office would consider "a stable group" in order to render assistance in providing an EF Mass once or twice a year at my home parish. Would one or two families be sufficient?

Naturally, I don't want to present any "extra projects" to my pastor, who is very generous with his time, which wouldn't be worth the trouble of requesting assistance from your office.

Also, not that this has happened anywhere in the Archdiocese of Miami, but,....

2) What if a pastor will not allow an EF on a limited basis after a request by a "stable group?" Are there any other considerations, other than competence, that would justify not allowing an EF in a parish such as that it would be divisive in the parish. Is there any recourse for parishoners in such situations, other than attending the EF at another parish?

Thank you again Father Hogan for your generosity intitiating and participating in this discussion. I hope they invite you back on a regular basis!
Chris Mangiaracina - 07/20/2009 11:56 PM
Dear Monsignor
I would like to thank you for opening this informal forum on the merits of expanding the Extraordinary Form within the Archdioces. My personal experiences with the mass are very limited. For someone like myself who does not know Latin and has no training in the Mass, I was overwhelmed by how "communicative" the Mass actually in both an interior and communal sense. My wife and I have taken our six children with us, and about half of them have found the mass to be full of wonder and invoking reverence. I submit that as crucial as the intellectual arguments are to be made here, there are also obvious parallels with the effects and breadth of an instrumental to the commoner - and the "untrained ear. " I am hoping to see an aggressive expansion of the Extraorinary Form throughout our Achdiocese, as it is the CLEAR intention of our Holy Father to make this so.
I second the motion for the formation of an Extraordinary Form Society here in Miami.
Yours In Christ,
Chris Mangiaracina
Msgr. Terence Hogan - 07/20/2009 05:51 PM
The question of local celebrations of the Extraordinary Rite does sometimes arises and parishioners should seek the advice of their pastor. It may happen that the pastor or an asosciate does not feel competent or trained in this liturgical form and the priest can receive advice from the Office of Worship on how to best proceed. It is an interesting phenomenon that the desire for the rite might be there, but given the fact that it is now nearly 45 years since seminarians were trained in the liturgical form we now call the Extraordinary Rite, it does require a certain knowledege of the Latin language to be able to pray the prayers and read the complicated rubrics and not simply read them without any understanding.
Luis Estrada - 07/20/2009 03:06 PM
Thank you again Reverend Monsignor,
With all due respect to Mr. Kramer (whose enthusiasm for the subject I respect and truly admire) I would defer to Msgr Hogan’s competency for interpretation of Summorum Pontificum. I am also certain Monsignor Hogan decries the misunderstanding that the liturgy is simply a “past tradition” or a “museum piece” since I have heard Monsignor make the point, himself, on other occasions. I believe that Monsignor’s post is designed to foster appreciation and interest in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, TODAY, which is something we ALL share in common.

To that end… Monsignor,
1) What advice can you give to parishioners who might want to have Mass in the Extraordinary Form at least once or twice a year in their home parish?
2) Is this something that the Office of Worship and Spiritual Life is encouraging?
3) and if so how can the laity assist you in this regard? Is it possible to organize Latin Mass Society, perhaps?

Ana - 07/20/2009 02:39 PM
Just to clarify, here is the link Msgr. Hogan is asking people to go to:
Msgr. Terence Hogan - 07/20/2009 02:13 PM
I would strongly suggest that anyone interested in the specifics of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum with theaccompanying letter by Pope Benedict XVI as well as 20 Questions and Answers consult the USCCB website = This clarifies some of the concerns of various bloggers regarding the fact that the faithful are invited to "attend" (cf. Art. 2 &4 Summorum Pontificium) the Extraordinary Form of the mass, since historically it is a "private" mass (as is traditionally noted in the Missale Romanum of St. Pius V and in subsequent editio typica until the reforms of Vatican II) and that the Extraordinary Form is not to be celebrated during the Triduum (cf. Art 2 Summorum Pontificium). Within the Archdiocese of Miami the aprishes of St.Paul in Lighthouse Point and St. Robert Bellarmine continue to regularly celebrate the xtrairdinry Form of the Roman Rite. Regarding changes in the future the Archdiocese will be posting the list of other churches where it is celerated on regular basis.
Michael Kramer - 07/20/2009 12:59 PM
Thank you Monsignor Hogan for your post on the Extraordinary Form. Far be it from me to understand the Motu Proprio better than a priest, but perhaps I will word things a little more clearly. I would like to make a few comments to clear up some things.

Firstly, the Sacred Triduum may be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, and this is/was true both now and before the Motu Proprio. Indeed this is done in the Archdiocese of Miami, is done in many many dioceses around the Country, and is done in Rome. What is absolutely forbidden is the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in private, as that article of the Motu Proprio begins "In Masses celebrated without the people....(then we have the reference to the Triduum)". This should come as no surpise though as a priest cannot celebrate the Ordinary Form duing the Triduum without people either. The Extraordinary Form can be celebrated on any day of the year then by any priest of the Roman Rite.

Further down Msgr. observes that the priest may be joined by the faithful since the Extraordinary Form is primarily a private Mass. In this case the premise does not lead to the conclusion and the premise is not correct.

The people may attend the Extraordinary Form Mass because it is a Mass of the Roman Catholic Church. It has never been abrogated as the Holy Father points out and indeed every priest has the right to offer it whenever he chooses, and the faithful have the right to attend. Cardinal Hoyos stated soon after the Motu Proprio that the Mass is FOR ALL and that priests should provide it even when the faithful do not request it. It is a Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, indeed the Mass that gave us much of western culture, to push it aside caused unimaginable trouble, hence the statement was made so that there would be no more doubt, it is to be made readily available to the faithful.

The Extraordinary Form Mass is not primarily a private Mass, infact, a priest offering the Ordinary Form can more easily offer one with 2 or 3 other people present than a priest offering the Extraordinary Form as it should ordinarily be offered (as a sung Mass), a schola is REQUIRED and a minimum number of altar boys are REQUIRED as well. If by private, Monsignor was alluding to perhaps the amount of silence during the Mass. This is a wonderful balance given that compared side-by-side the people make/sing far more responses in the Extraordinary Form than they do in the Ordinary Form, especially at a High Mass.

The Second Vatican Council encouraged all faithful to be able to say and sing the responses at Mass, and indeed many parishes that offer the Extraordinary Form have achieved this goal.

Perhaps that the priest has the option to offer a Mass on a side altar with one altar boy present and recite everything with the altar boy or perhaps 1 or 2 faithful present gives the impression that it is a private Mass. Again the same can be done in the Ordinary Form and this was not even possible in the Extraordinary Form until the recited Mass was introduced much later, but all that is accomplished during one such celebration is directly aimed at the devotional life of the priest anyway, and in all the parishes offering the Ordinary Form I have attended in Miami, I would love to see some personal devotion from a priest...IT ATTRACTS VOCATIONS!

It is true that no priest should be able to offer the Extraordinary Form without minimum rubrical and linguistic ability. The same holds true with the Ordinary Form, however, sadly, far too often these standards are not imposed on the priest and the Mass becomes theirs and not the Churches. If we saw half the enthusiasm the bishops are showing the ensure that no priest offers the Extraordinary Form poorly when it comes to the Ordinary Form, much of the abuse we endure week after week in our parishes, that the Holy Father points out in the Motu Proprio on the Extraordinary Form Mass would not have to be endured.

Monsignor Hogan explains that the people participate in the Ordinary Form by, among other things, making the responses in the vernacular. This is of course the extraordinary way to offer the Ordinary Form. The ordinary way to offer the Ordinary Form is in Latin, as was promulgated by Pope Paul VI, and as more and more parishes are starting to offer it. Furthermore, as the Second Vatican Council declared, the people should be able to make the responses in Latin. The vernacular is an option, and just that, certainly not the juridical norm.

The Monisgnor's observations regarding participation in the Extraordinary Form pre-date the Second Vatican Council and are no doubt, honest memories from his childhood.

Since the Second Vatican Council however, the manner in which the Extraordinary Form is celebrated has changed dramatically with respect to observable participation by the people. As I noted before, there are actually more responses to be made by the people in the Extraordinary Form Mass than the Ordinary Form, and its not even CLOSE.

The Extraordinary Form is not a treasure of the past, but a treasure of the present. It is a current and living Rite as can be seen by the modifications to it in the year 2007. It is supposed to be familiar to every Catholic of the Latin Rite and indeed as the former President of the compentent commission declared "available in every parish".

Happily I can report that three of my friends were ordined this year for their dioceses and all of them offered the Extraordinary Form as their first Mass, attended by thousands of people. Younger seminarians are immensely attracted to the Extraordinary Form Mass and indeed they are attracting young families with many children. This will aid in advancing the word and knowlege that the Extraordinary Form is not history or something previous to us, but indeed something present and living and GROWING.

Thank you Mosignor for your thoughts.

In Christ,

Michael Kramer
Luis Estrada - 07/20/2009 11:57 AM
Reverend Monsignor,
Thank you for your post regarding the Extraordinary Form. Having grown up in South Florida I have had limited exposure to the Extraordinary Form but can say that the few times I have experienced the Extraordinary Form have been remarkably moving. Despite having no training in Latin I had no difficulty following along in the English/Latin Missal. I also felt it "deepened" my appreciation for Mass in the Ordinary Form. Unfortunately, now that St. Robert Bellarmine is closed, the nearest Mass is in Lighthouse Point. What advice can you give to parishioners who might want to have Mass in the Extraordinary Form at least once or twice a year in their home parish. Is this something that the Office of Worship and Spiritual Life is encouraging and if so how can the laity assist you in this regard. I can tell you that I know many parents, some quite young, who would love to see the Extraordinary Form in their own parish.

I, myself, am a father of a school age child who would like to include this form of the Latin Rite as a real part of formation. I especially don't want to approach the Extraodinary Form as just some bit of nostalgia or to satisfy some "museum-like" fascination. That doesn't seem possible given the current availability in South Miami.
Thank you again

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