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The 'Tridentine' Mass vs. the Novus Ordo Mass

Latin Mass/Cath.Trad. | Latin Mass Status | Pictorial Comparisons

Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass

Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass

Notes: Refers to the 'Novus Ordo' Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) from the 1960's, in continued use through the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century (before the new vernacular translation) and to the 'Tridentine' Mass at the time Summorum Pontificum was promulgated. Primary Sources Include: Davies, Amerio. Last Update: 2/17/10

Important Notice: The following is provided for informational purposes only and is not fully comprehensive. Items may vary and information herein may be non-representative, subjective, generalized, exceptions, apparent, infrequent, abuses, etc. Items herein may not be a direct result of a particular rite of Mass. Translation / wording may vary. We may change wording, punctuation, capitalization, shorten items, etc. All applicable items subject to change without notice. We do not guarantee accuracy of any item herein. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. We are not liable for any occurrence which may result from using this site. By using this site you agree to all terms. For more terms information, click here. 

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"I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy" (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI) 


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As Seen in Latin Mass Magazine (click to view)

(Fall 2017)

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Brief Comparison of the Old & New Rites of Mass

The Desire for the Traditional Mass - a Mere 'Preference'?

Comparisons Between the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass

Parting Thoughts

Some Further Questions to Consider

In Closing...

Also See...

Brief Comparison of the Old & New Rites of Mass

You may find these and other differences between the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass and the New (Novus Ordo) Mass of the 1960's (most commonly said at Catholic parishes at the end of the 20th century):

  • The 'Tridentine' Mass has a more vertical focus - a focus more on God than on fellow parishioners

  • The 'Tridentine' Mass is clearly a sacrifice (as opposed to a meal, as many 'moderns' want the faithful to view the Mass)

  • The 'Tridentine' Mass emphasizes self-denial, awareness of sin

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the priest typically faces eastward, symbolically towards Christ (not towards the parishioners)

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is increased reverence at the altar and extreme reverence for the Holy Eucharist

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are ample references to atoning for sin, hell, judgment, and the intercession of saints

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, a fixed liturgy - containing the traditional prayers - is used throughout the Church, which is not subject to personal preference or manipulation

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are reverent silent periods where the priest leads prayers on our behalf

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is more genuflecting and kneeling

  • The 'Tridentine' Mass uses a different, fuller calendar

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are fewer rote responses by the parishioners

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the unchanged, traditional prayers of consecration are used

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, Holy Communion is given only by priests - to kneeling communicants on the tongue (excepting, of course, those physically unable to kneel)

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there are no 'altar girls', no lay readers (typically), and no 'Eucharistic ministers'

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is a longer silent period after Communion for prayer & thanksgiving

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, pipe organs and Gregorian chant are employed rather than guitars and drums

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the priest is not sitting off to the side while laity 'take charge'

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, there is no hand-holding or "kiss of peace" among the laity

  • In the 'Tridentine' Mass, the stable rubrics help assure that liturgical abuses do not occur

  • And, of course, the Latin language is used for the majority of the 'Tridentine' Mass (you may follow along with a Latin/English missal)

Latin Mass attendees state that the above contribute to a more holy and reverent atmosphere with fewer distractions.

Note: For a more extensive comparison between the old and new rites of Mass, see below. For some pictorial comparisons, click here.

The Desire for the Traditional Mass - a Mere 'Preference'?

Oftentimes the desire for the traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass is seen as a mere preference or attachment. Some may believe it has something to do with being resistant to change or about one's personal likes. Many think the two Masses are the same, except for the language. Sadly, those who think such things are very misinformed. The truth is that the two Masses are significantly different, even if said in the same language, and that many (most?) of those who desire to attend this Mass do so not because of a mere preference, or resistance to change, or nostalgia, but because they are cognizant of the superiority of the old Mass. They do not base their conclusions on preferences or feelings, but on objective truths.

Their desire for the Traditional Mass may have been influenced by the poor fruits of the New Rite of Mass over the past several decades* - by their fruits you shall know them (Mt. 7:16) - such as a huge drop in Mass attendance, widespread loss of belief in the Real Presence, greatly reduced reverence, significantly fewer conversions, widespread loss of faith, etc., by the many liturgical abuses common to the New Mass, or by concerns of high-ranking prelates, such as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci who stated that (emphasis added):

 "[T]he Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements, susceptible of widely differing evaluation, which appear to be implied or taken for granted - represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent, which, by fixing definitively the 'canons' of the rite, erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery." 


"[T]he new liturgy will delight all those groups hovering on the verge of apostasy who, during a spiritual crisis without precedent, now wreak havoc in the Church by poisoning Her organism and by undermining Her unity in doctrine, worship, morals and discipline." 


"To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division - a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith - is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error."


"We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast undertaking.

Note that Cardinal Ottaviani had "formerly headed the Vatican's Holy Office, which had the charge of protecting the integrity of the Catholic Faith."

Or, they may have come to the realization after learning how closely the New Mass parallels Protestant 'worship services' or by discovering that the changes incorporated into the New Mass parallel the changes made by the 16th century Protest-ant 'Reformers' who purposely instituted those changes to destroy the belief of Catholics. They may be troubled by the unprecedented fabrication of a Mass by men in the 1960's and that its creation was influenced by Protestant 'observers' - and that the person in charge of the New Mass' creation was a suspected Freemason. Perhaps they are troubled by the unprecedented manner in which the New Mass was imposed on the faithful and by the fact that the New Mass is now acceptable to many Protestants - always fierce opponents of the Mass - and that some Protestants have even used the New Mass in their own 'churches'. Perhaps they were troubled by the fact that those responsible for the creation of the New Mass stripped the prayers of the traditional rite of Mass of nearly all 'negative topics' (e.g. sin, judgment, hell, purgatory) and nearly all reference to the supernatural and to the Mass being a sacrifice. Or perhaps they have simply come to believe that God is more pleased with a Mass - the true re-presentation of Calvary - that is wholly focused on God, rather than one that seems to focus on our neighbor and 'self-affirmation'. 

It is clear that the desire for the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass has much deeper roots than a simple preference or personal opinion, but it instead is based on objective truths. In fact, it seems well-nigh impossible that an honest, well-informed Catholic could successfully argue the superiority of the new rite of Mass over the old rite. Even if one was to ignore the decades of bad fruits associated with the new rite of Mass*, the differences between the two rites speak for themselves. For more on these differences, see below.

* Note: This refers to the new rite as compared to the old rite, of course, and does not in any way refer to the Sacrament, which is the same in both Masses.

Consider the Following Comparisons Between the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass...*

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Date Created

Created By

Mass Begun with Asperges (Sprinkling With Holy Water)?

Mass Divisions

Beginning of Mass

Confiteor (English Translation)

Separate Confiteor ('I Confess...') for Priest & People?

External Penitential Expression During Confiteor

Absolutions Given During Mass

Prayer As Priest Ascends the Altar

Reference to Relics in Altar


Gloria (English Translation)

Traditional Mass Propers? (e.g. Collect, Preface)

Sung Gospel?

Nicene Creed (English Translation)

Prayer Intentions In Mass ("General Intercessions")

Lay Presentation of Gifts to the Altar

Offertory Prayers

Bells Rung During Mass

Incensing of the Altar, Bread, Wine, and the Faithful?

Lavabo (Ps. 25:6-12) ("I will wash my hands among the innocent, and I will encompass Thine Altar O Lord...")?

Sanctus ("Holy, Holy, Holy...")

Invocation of the Saints Shortly Before the Consecration

Priest's Actions At Consecration

Mystery of Faith ("Mysterium Fidei")

Protection Shown By Priest For Particles of the Host Which May Remain on His Fingers

Words Which Immediately Follow the Consecration (English Translation)

Our Father Prayer

Recitation of 'Amen' After Lord's Prayer

Words Following the 'Our Father' Prayer (English Translation)

Sign of Peace Among Laity

Priest's Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion (English Translation)

"Lord, I am not worthy..." (Domine, non sum dignus)

Confiteor / Absolution Just Prior to Holy Communion?

Standing for Holy Communion?

Paten Used in Distribution of Holy Communion?

'Formula for the Distribution of Holy Communion'

Response of Communicant (at Communion)

Reception of Holy Communion by Laity

Some Persons Leave Mass Right After Communion?

Purification of Priest's Fingers


Last Blessing (English Translation)

Last Gospel

Rite of Mass Acceptable to Protestants?

Relation of Mass to Orthodox Liturgy

Stability of Mass

Feeling of Security Regarding Essential Elements



Emphasis (Vertical or Horizontal)

Feelings / Emotions Based?

Periods of Sacred Silence?

Liturgical Abuses

Respect for Priest (as expressed externally)

Mass Focus (primary)

Similarity to Protestant 'Worship'

Attendees "Imbibe a 'Protestantized' Spirit" Over Time?

Reflects the Unchangeableness of God?

Emphasis (Worship / Expression)

Community Emphasis



References to Purgatory

References to Hell

References to Judgment / Justice

References to Sin

References to the Blessed Virgin Mary

References to Saints

References to Angels

References to Miracles & the Supernatural

References to "Negative" Topics

Emphasis on Our Dependence on God

Sense of Changelessness?

Bowing (by Priest)


Reverent Kisses (by Priest)

Signs of the Cross

Gimmicks / Novelty



Rite of Mass Subject to Different Interpretations / False Interpretations?



Manner of Speech

Worship Vs. Entertainment


Truths Vs. Experiences

Protestant Hymns?

Abuses Tolerated?

Type of Worship

Mass Designed to be Ecumenically Acceptable?

Tabernacle Placement on Altar

Liturgical Norms vs. Liturgical Experiments


Translations Used in Mass

Unity / Disunity

Local Adaptations

Belief in Real Presence Among Attendees

Belief in Church Dogmas Among Attendees

Catechesis of Attendees

Parishioners' Entrance

Women's Dress

Women's Behavior & Speech During Mass

Solemnity of Mass

Beauty of Rite

External Dignity of Liturgy

Sense of Mystery?

Attention to Detail?

Loss of Reverence Over Time?

Offenses to the 'Sensus Catholicus' (Catholic Sense)?

Liturgical 'Anarchy'?

Invalid Sacraments Common?

Ease of Having an Invalid Sacrament

Lay Persons Handle Eucharist?

Distribution of Holy Communion

Altar Boys

Direction of Priest

Priest's Frequent Eye Contact

Awareness that Mass is the Re-presentation of Calvary

Fosters Awareness of Divine Punishment & the Need to Make Satisfaction For Sins?

Concern Over 'Last Things'?

Apparent Focus

Praise Given



Frequent Emphasis of Songs

Type of Pleasure Received

Mass Recognizable to Catholics Who Lived a Thousand Years Ago?

Persons Who Have Given Their Lives to Protect This Rite of Mass From Becoming 'Protestantized'

Church Architecture

Church Decoration


Placement of Tabernacle

Altar Relics

Typical Altar Type

Altar Rail

Side Altars?

Do Attendees Tend to Notice Liturgical Abuses, Should They Occur?

Worship of God Ever Appears Subordinated to a Community Focus?

Appears That Mass is a Sacrifice to Almighty God or a Mere Assembly?

Clear That 'Spectators' Are Not Required For Validity?

Clear that Mass is Designed to Please God Rather Than Men?

Ability to Raise Hearts & Minds to God

Mass As a Source of Joy & Peace

True Fixed Rite?

Ties to Past

Thirst for Truth / Novelty

Thirst for What is Best / What is New

Appreciation for the Most Sacred of All Things?

Highly Spiritual?

"Liturgy Affects the People" or "People Affect the Liturgy"?

Reconcilable With Working Out One's Salvation With 'Fear and Trembling' (Phil. 2:12)?

Opinion of Mass by Those Who Hate the Catholic Church

'Busyness' of Attendees


Lay Persons in 'Street Clothes' Present in the Sanctuary During Mass?

Protestants Assisting At Holy Mass?


Emphasis on Sacrificial Act or "Imparting of Information"

Teachings Focused on Those 'Pleasing to the Ears' (e.g. Love of God, Mercy)?

May Tend to Appear "Friendly With the World"?

Frequent Changes at Mass Tend to Cast Doubt in Minds of Catholics on the Dogma of the Eucharist?

Word of God (Bible) Given Greater Emphasis Than the Word (Christ) Made Present on the Altar?

Gregorian Chant

Respect Shown for Tradition in the Imposition of the Mass

Ongoing Respect For Tradition After the Imposition of the Mass

Necessitated the Overthrow of Hundreds or More Years of Tradition?

Mass is Peaceful?

Emphasis on Humility?

Tremble in Awe vs. Dance & Hold Hands

Silence / Noise?

Possible to Have Poorly Celebrated Mass Even if Rules Are Followed?

Nearness to Biblical Example

Persons Have to Pick and Choose Which Parish (or Mass Time) to Attend in Order to Find 'Safe' Mass?

All Masses At All Parishes (Or Even the Same Parish) Essentially the Same?

Feeling That Mass May Be Tailored to Suit the Personal Preference of the Priest (or a Lay Committee)?

Stable Liturgy?

Changes to the Liturgy are "Gradual, Almost Imperceptible"?

Average Parishioner Knows True Purpose of Mass?

Personal Prayer Encouraged at Mass?

Reverent Silence?


Faith in Real Presence

Use of Latin Language

Priest Acts as Though He Truly Believes in the Real Presence?

Spiritual Vs. Bodily Perspective

Vernacular Mistranslations

Generally the Same Words Used As Our Forefathers Used?

Chaos Uncommon?

Chaos Accepted?

Freedom Encouraged?

Mass Seems to be Subject to the 'Creativity' of the Priest?

Sacred Vs. Theatrical?


Mass Generally Conducted With the Reverence Due Almighty God?

Clear That Mass is Offered to God to Atone for Our Sins?

Frequent Concern Over the "Infinite Malice of Sin"?

Encourages a "Vehement Hatred of Sin"?

Apparent Priority

Prayers in Plural (Community vs. Personal Assent)

Charged With the "Worship of Ourselves Rather Than God"?

Awareness of God as Our Judge?

Mass Imposed on the People?

Respect Shown For People's Attachments?

Precedence of Changes in Liturgy

Changes to Rite of Mass Welcomed by Protestants?

General Lowering to Meet the Perceived 'Needs' of Certain Persons (e.g. Children)

Persons Generally Appear to Observe the Eucharistic Fast?

Doctrinal Orthodoxy of Attendees

Have to Seek Out Special Mass or Feel at Home in Any Mass in the World?

Ability to Feel at Home at Mass With Any Group of People, Rich or Poor, Foreign or Native, Young or Old?

Church Recognized as the Place for the Solemn, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or as a Community Gathering?

Meal vs. Sacrifice

Socializing / Restaurant Atmosphere?

Protection of Missal From Error

Mass Possibly Detrimental to One's Catholic Faith?

Fate of Those Things in Mass Which Are "Not Liked"

Purpose of Changes

Heavenly Home Vs. Earthly Home

Priority of Faith Vs. Social Issues


Build Up to the Consecration?

Laity's Discernment At the Consecration

Produces Converts?

Power of Laity to Impose Things on Others, Even to the Detriment of Some?

Widespread Use of the Vernacular Language?

Introduction of Mass Required the Removal of Previous Prayers?

Silent Canon

Aesthetical Appeal?

Self-Communicating (Placing the Holy Eucharist in One's Hands and Then One's Mouth)?

Similarity Among Various Churches?

Uneducated are Able to Understand the Mass?

Charged with 'Banality'?

Typical Musical Style

Choir Location

Purpose of Music

Musical Instruments

Use of Traditional Catholic Music?

Applause in Church?

Lay Readers?

Altar Cloths

Use of Very Large Altar Breads?

Sacred Vessels

Tabernacle Design

Candles (Lit on Altar)

Liturgical Vestments

Sacred Images

Priestless Parishes

Mass Often Thought of as an Act of the Community or of the Church?

Confusion Among Parishioners Regarding Catholic Dogma

Clearly a Sacrifice?

Clearly a Propitiatory Sacrifice?

Kneeling Throughout Communion?

Kneeling After Holy Communion?

Respect for the Sacred Role of the Priest

Priest's Focus on Christ During the Mass

Produces a Healthy Fear of the Lord?

Produces a Healthy Fear of Hell?

Prepares One For Death and the Fearful Judgment?

Encourages Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory?

Importance of the Priest's Personality During Mass

Impression Given to Those Outside the Church

Safeguarding of the Eucharist

Primary Role of Priest During Mass

Role of Priest in Relation to Laity

Respect for the Awesome Power of the Priest

Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist Vs. God's Presence in the Community

Clear That Sacrifice of the Mass Takes Away Our Sins?

Taste of the Supernatural

Sober vs. Joyful

Signs of Respect for the Holy Eucharist

Careful Prescriptions in the Event a Host Falls to the Ground?

External Rite Generally Regarded as "the Best Humans Can Do" in Giving Honor to God?

Mass Takes Us Away From Everyday Life, Brings us Closer to Christ?

Tabernacle Located on Altar?

Focal Point

Makes the Importance of the Sunday Obligation Clear?

Continuity With the Past

Protection Against Errors

Ability to Penetrate More Deeply Into the Mass as Time Goes By?

Manipulation of the Liturgy by Priests

Community at the Expense of the Individual?

Comparability to Heavenly Worship

Widespread Criticism of the Rite of Mass by orthodox Prelates

Placing a Single Council Over the Admonitions of Many Popes

Apparent Concern For the Will of God Over One's Personal Desires

Mindfulness of Almighty God During Mass

Laity Placing Selves on Equal Level With Priest

Priest Put on Equal Footing With Laity?

Clear That Sacrament Depends Upon Priest's Powers?

Rite of Mass Encourages Conversion of Protestants?

Conformance to Protestant Practices

Message Sent to Protestants and Other Non-Believers

Necessitates an Apparent Rejection of Previous Rites?

Clear That the Consecration of the Bread & Wine is More Important Than the Coming Together of the People?

Ease of Distinguishing the Body & Blood of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist

Produces Awe?

Relative Importance of the Real Presence / Instruction / Socializing (as apparent)

Emphasis on God's Mercy / Judgment

Clear Distinction Between Sacred & Profane?

Disciplined Laity?

Laity Instinctively Know Right From Wrong?

Peer Pressure to Adopt Particular Behaviors / Gestures?

'Blind Leading the Blind'

Stable Annual Cycle Making Truths Easier to Remember?

Careful Selection of Scripture to Avoid 'Unpleasant Realities' (e.g. Hell, Judgment)?


Unequivocally Catholic?

Protects Against Heresy / Favors Heresy

Some (Non-heterodox) Catholics Refuse to Attend this Rite of Mass, Considering Themselves "Conscientious Objectors"

Some (Non-heterodox) Priests Refuse to Celebrate Mass in This Rite?

Implementation of Rite Surrounded With Much Controversy & Even Scandal?

Laity Commonly Ignorant of Truths of the Faith?

Profanation & Sacrilege During Mass

Beauty of Rite "Universally Acknowledged and Admired"?

Holy Sacrifice Vs. Celebration

Mass Vs. Eucharist or Liturgy


Ease of Focusing on the Sufferings & Death of Christ During Mass

Encourages Thanksgiving After Communion?

Emphasis on the Grave Matter of the Salvation of One's Soul?

Emphasis on Holiness?

Penetrating Sermons vs. "Feel Good" Homilies

Awareness of our Sinfulness

Personal Piety Encouraged?

Attendees Appropriately Attired?

Examples of Laity in Church

People Will Commonly Drive Many Miles (Or Even Move) to Attend This Rite of Mass Over Another Rite of Mass

Charged With "Blurring the Distinction Between the Hierarchical Priesthood and the 'Priesthood of the Faithful'"?

Great Importance of Mass is Clear

Mass is Timeless?

Liturgical Abuses Legalized?

Agrees With Council Directives?

Charged With Ambiguity?

Communion Under One or Both Species?

Great Continuity With Previous Councils?

Break With Tradition?


Retention of Ancient Ceremonies?

Choirs / Soloists

Choir Members

Communion in the Hand?

Fear of Compromised Law of Praying (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi - The Rule of Prayer is the Rule of Belief)?

Conducive to Proper Dispositions for Mass?

Consideration of Our Unworthiness?

Crucifix at Altar?

Decorating & Incensing of Altar

'Destroyed Old Rite'?

Diminished Role of Priest?

Attempts to Give Due Respect & Honor to Almighty God?

Clearly Adoration and Supplication of God?

Clear Sense of the Sacred?

Sacrifice of the Mass Sometimes 'Trivialized'?

Ease of Focus at Mass

Ease of Adoration

Emphasis on Real Presence?

Danger of Equating the Real Presence of Christ with the 'Mystical Presence'?

Charged With "Excessive Optimism" / Apparent Forgetfulness of Concupiscence?

Explicitly Sacrificial Prayers

Externals Bring Home Truths?

Facilitates Our Purpose in Life?

Faithful Reflection of Traditional Catholic Doctrine?

Fixed Canon?

Focus on Honor Paid to God?

Focus on Parish Community or 'Heavenly Community'?

Fosters a 'Spirit of Prayer'?

May Give the Impression to Outside Observers That We Think God is Our "Equal"?

God Focused / Community Focused

Guitars & Drums?

Mass as Our Heritage

Holiness of Mass is Apparent, Even to An Outside Observer?

Inaccuracies in Creed?

Changed Formula of Consecration?

Inaccuracy in Formula of Consecration?

Focus on Interior or Exterior Participation?

Lay Processions?

'Extraordinary Ministers'?

'Liturgical Pluralism'?

Mass is Clearly the Center of Christian Piety?

Mass is Useful For Combating Protestant Heresies?

'Nationalization' of Liturgy?

Clearly Observes Hierarchical Order?

Omission of Elements Offensive to Protestants?

Obstacle to 'One World Religion'?

Ongoing Change?

Perceived Focal Point of Mass

Placement of Faithful in Relation to God

Clearly Places God First?

Prayerful Atmosphere?

Priests' Apparent "First Concern"

Willingness of Priests to Speak About 'Hard Truths'

Widespread, Well-Proven Fruits?

Clear Realization That We Are Sinners Standing in God's Presence?

Use of Words That Protestants Reject

Sacrifice / Memorial

Effective Liturgical Safeguards Protect From Abuse?

Widespread Abuses Have Necessitated Papal Intervention?

Secular Music?

Society Borrows From Liturgy?

Rite of Mass Has Inspired Great Works of Art?

Treated As the Most Sacred Thing on Earth?


Preparation For Lent

Unanimity in the Transmission of Doctrine?

Clear that the Holy Eucharist is the Supreme Object of Our Worship?

Holy Eucharist Given the Highest Degree of Veneration / Adoration?

Clear Differences Between Rites Among Adjacent Regions?

Overthrow of Canon of the Mass?

Irreverent Reception of Holy Communion

Faithful Know Not To Approach Holy Communion Without Proper Dispositions / State of Grace?

Rite Receives High Praise?

Reason Rite of Mass was Codified / Imposed

"Cognitive Dissonance"?

Parishioners Customarily Pray Before Mass?

Priest Leads Prayers After Mass?

Capitalization of the Word 'Catholic' in the Missal(ette)

Certain Songs / Responses Often Unusually Elongated by the Choir?

Missal vs. Missalette

Liturgical Dancing?

Unusual Hand Gestures

Priest as a Representative of God or the People

Priest Sits in 'Presider's Chair' While Lay People Read?

Childish or Distorted Looking Banners in Church?

Regulation of Priest's Actions

Assistance of Heretics in the Drafting of the Mass?

Rite Required a Special Notation to be Affixed to Assure Catholics That it Truly Was an orthodox Rite?

Children Notice the Difference Between This Rite and Previous Rite?

Attempt to Replace Crucifix With a "Glorified Christ"?

Mass May Appear As a Mere Commemoration Rather Than a Sacramental Action?

Mass Possibly Tends to Undermine Catholic Dogma?

Priest's Special Powers Are Clear?

Splendor of Mass

Liturgy Protects the Integrity of the Religion Revealed By God?

Variety of Prayer Options?

Mass Displays Nobility, Sacredness and Universality?

Ability to Manipulate Liturgy for Political or Social Ends?

Widespread Liturgical Abuse Necessitated Papal Apology?


Traditional Latin ("Tridentine") Mass*

New ("Novus Ordo") Mass*

Date Created:

Main parts may be traced to apostolic times

Fabricated in the 1960's

Created By:

Developed over many centuries under the guidance of the Holy Spirit

Note: This Mass wasn't created by men, but was merely codified by Pope St. Pius V, the last sainted pope until Pope St. Pius X.

Created by a commission of men 

Note: The commission even received 'assistance' from six Protestant (heretical) observers.

"The great Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand has rightly castigated the authors of the new liturgy for imagining that they could improve upon a rite which had developed almost imperceptibly over the centuries under the guidance of the Holy Ghost." (Davies)

Mass Begun with Asperges (Sprinkling With Holy Water)?

Yes (High Mass)

Note: The text of the Asperges is replaced by the Vidi Aquam during Paschaltide

Generally not (if so, it may replace the penitential rite)

Mass Divisions

Mass of the Catechumens, Mass of the Faithful

Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist

Note: This division alone seems to place Scripture on par with the Holy Eucharist. 

Beginning of Mass

Judica Me (Psalm 42), addressed to God ("Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man...")

Greeting addressed to the people (e.g. "Good Morning!", "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.")

Confiteor (English Translation)

"I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me."

May be a 'Penitential Rite' such as:

"Lord, we have sinned against you. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, show us your mercy and love. And grant us your salvation." 


"I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God."

Note: Notice the reduced emphasis on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints.

Separate Confiteor ('I Confess...') for Priest & People?


Note: The separate confiteor for the priest is instructive for the faithful who see that even the priest - who is placed first - is a sinner.


Note: Having a single "penitential rite" places the priest on the "same level as the people"

"In the new Penitential Rite which begins the Mass, the Confiteor has now become collective; hence the priest is no longer judge, witness and intercessor before God." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)

External Penitential Expression During Confiteor

Triple striking of one's breast ("mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa" - "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault")

May be none (or may be a single striking of the breast)

Absolutions Given During Mass

One or two

None (rather than indicate "absolution", the priest asks for mercy)

Prayer As Priest Ascends the Altar

"Take away from us our iniquities, we entreat Thee, O Lord, that with pure minds we may worthily enter into the Holy of Holies. Through Christ our Lord. Amen." (English Translation)


Reference to Relics in Altar

"We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy Saints, whose relics are here, and of all the Saints, that Thou wilt deign to pardon me all my sins. Amen." (English Translation)

None (may be no relics in altar)

Note: This breaks with longstanding tradition, which required that relics be placed in altars - this practice is tied to the early Christian (Catholic) practice of celebrating Masses on the tombs of martyrs.


Said by the priest, in Greek, alternately with the server:

P: Kyrie, eleison.

R: Kyrie, eleison.

P: Kyrie, eleison.

R: Christe, eleison.

P: Christe, eleison.

R: Christe, eleison.

P: Kyrie, eleison.

R: Kyrie, eleison.

P: Kyrie, eleison.

"The frequent repetition of the Kyrie denotes in general the ardor, perseverance and importunity with which, impelled by the consciousness of our sinfulness and unworthiness, we implore mercy and assistance; then there is also therein a still higher, mystical and hidden meaning; wherefore the number three is thrice repeated. The three Divine Persons are separately and consecutively invoked: first, the Father by the Kyrie eleison; then, the Son by the Christe eleison; and finally, the Holy Ghost by the Kyrie eleison. The invocation of each of the Divine Persons is repeated exactly three times, to signify that with each of the Divine Persons the two others are at least virtually invoked, since by the fact of their mystical indwelling in one another...all three of the Divine Persons are and live eternally in one another. Other meanings, founded rather in devotion than otherwise, have still been given to this ninefold cry for mercy; thus, for instance, the ninefold signification of the Kyrie is devoutly thought to refer to the nine kinds of sins and wants, or it has been said that thereby we express our desire of union with the nine choirs of angels." (Gihr)

The traditional ninefold repetition is replaced by a variety of options which are typically shortened (e.g. a sixfold repetition) and give the people - rather than the priest - the "last word". The shortened form dispenses with the symbolism in honor of the Trinity, as well as any other traditional symbolism. Furthermore, if said in English, the only Greek words are thereby entirely omitted from Mass.

Note: Greek is the language from which the word "Catholic" is derived and it was one of the three languages appearing on the Cross (along with Latin & Hebrew)

Gloria (English Translation)

"Glory be to God on High. And on earth peace to men of good will. We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory. Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. Lord Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. Thou Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Thou Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou alone art holy. Thou alone art the Lord. Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high. With the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father. Amen."

"Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayers. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen."

Note: Although the prayers are similar, at least one notable difference may be found (e.g. the 'Tridentine' Rite prayer indicates "peace to men of good will" while the Novus Ordo rite indicates "peace to his people on earth").

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Traditional Mass Propers? (e.g. Collect, Preface)


Note: Many prayers used in the Traditional Latin Mass date back to antiquity, including prayers from Pope St. Leo the Great and Pope St. Gregory the Great. "The most of our Collects, therefore, are venerable for their antiquity and their use throughout many centuries." (Gihr)

Probably not

"Most of the traditional prayers have been replaced, re-worded (e.g. stripped of 'negative' terms, references to the supernatural, etc.), deleted, left to choice, gutted, etc."

Note: In contrast to the traditional prayers "distinguished as much for the beauty and perfection of its form as for the copiousness and depth of its contents" (Gihr), the new prayers have been charged with banality and lack of depth.

Sung Gospel?

Yes (High Mass)


Nicene Creed (English Translation)

"I Believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made: consubstantial with the Father; by Whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven (kneel) AND WAS INCARNATE BY THE HOLY GHOST OF THE VIRGIN MARY: AND WAS MADE MAN (rise). He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. And He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: of Whose kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life: Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified: Who spoke through the Prophets. And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven (bow): by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man (end of bow). For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believing the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church, We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

Note: Although the prayers are similar, at least two notable differences may be found [e.g. professing the faith of one's neighbor ("we" vs. "I") and the substitution of the very precise term "consubstantial" for "one in being")].

Note: It is expected that the incorrect translation of the above into "we" instead of "I" will be corrected in upcoming translations. However the fact remains that this prayer has been mistranslated for decades (even though the mistranslation was well known).

Prayer Intentions In Mass ("General Intercessions")

No. Appropriate, general prayer intentions are included within the rite of the Mass itself

Yes. Note that these prayer intentions: (1) are distracting ("I didn't know Bob was sick...") and may lead to loss of focus at Mass ("I wonder how he is doing..."), (2) are sometimes objectionable ("That women may not be kept from the highest roles in the Church"), (3) tend to make the Mass individualistic / turn the Mass in on itself (rather than being universal), (4) may be political, and (5) are truly unnecessary if the Mass includes all appropriate intentions in its text, as the 'Tridentine' Rite does. Furthermore, the people generally have become so undiscerning that one could probably insert the prayer intention that "The church catches on fire" and the people would parrot the response "Lord, hear our prayer." 

Lay Presentation of Gifts to the Altar



Note that this procession often involves poorly dressed persons who were accosted and asked to take up the gifts as they walked in the door. The persons may be irreverent, they may living in sin, they may not have been to Mass in years, etc. Further, those who bring the gifts may include women, children, and even non-Catholics. Note that this is also distracting as the parishioners look to see who has been "selected" for this "honor". The number of distractions created by this practice is truly incalculable.

Offertory Prayers



Note: The 'dogmatically rich' and clearly sacrificial offertory prayers were essentially replaced in the New Mass by the "presentation of the gifts" (which even incorporates text based on a 'Jewish meal prayer'). Note that the heresiarch Luther also removed the offertory prayers - he referred to them as the "abomination called the offertory and from this point almost everything stinks of oblation."

Bells Rung During Mass

Several times (may be rung ten times at the consecration alone)

Note: Bells serve to draw one's attention to the most important points of the Mass

Possibly twice (once for each consecration)

Incensing of the Altar, Bread, Wine, and the Faithful?

Yes (High Mass)


Lavabo (Ps. 25:6-12) ("I will wash my hands among the innocent, and I will encompass Thine Altar O Lord...")?


No (replaced with: "Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin.")

Sanctus ("Holy, Holy, Holy...")

Majestic, succinct, recited by priest (bowed), accompanied by three bell rings, with the faithful kneeling

Usually tends to be elongated by the choir (even to the point of appearing to be a musical production), with the faithful standing (in contrast to Rv. 4:8-11 where the elders "fall down before the one who sits on the throne and worship him" and do not cease to exclaim "holy, holy, holy...")

Invocation of the Saints Shortly Before the Consecration 

"In communion with, and honoring the memory in the first place of the glorious ever Virgin Mary Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ; also of blessed Joseph, her Spouse; and likewise of Thy blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints. Grant for the sake of their merits and prayers that in all things we may be guarded and helped by Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." (English Translation)

Omitted in most "Eucharistic Prayers". Where it remains, nearly all of it is indicated as "optional".

Priest's Actions At Consecration

At the Consecration of the Host, the priest makes a reverent, low bow and slowly pronounces the words of consecration over the bread. This is followed by a genuflection, adoration and elevation, and another genuflection. Over the Chalice, the priest also bows, and afterwards genuflects, adores, elevates the Chalice, and genuflects again. (During this time, the bell may be rung a total of ten times)

At the Consecration, the words are usually pronounced in loud voice in "narrative" fashion. The priest may not even look at the bread while consecrating (and may even "consecrate in mid air"). A bow and elevation may occur after the consecration. During this time, the bell may be rung a couple of times (e.g. once at the consecration of the bread, and once at the consecration of the wine), if at all.

Mystery of Faith ("Mysterium Fidei")

Spoken by the priest. Refers to the mystery surrounding Transubstantiation & the Real Presence ("...for this is the chalice of my Blood, of the new and everlasting testament, the mystery of faith, which for you and for many shall be shed unto the remission of sins...")

"You have asked (indeed) who has added to the form of the words which Christ Himself expressed when He changed the bread and wine into the body and blood, that in the Canon of the Mass which the general Church uses, which none of the Evangelists is read to have expressed... In the Canon of the Mass that expression, 'mysterium fidei,' is found interposed among His words... Surely we find many such things omitted from the words as well as from the deeds of the Lord by the Evangelists, which the Apostles are read to have supplied by word or to have expressed by deed...  From the expression, moreover, concerning which your brotherhood raised the question, namely 'mysterium fidei,' certain people have thought to draw a protection against error, saying that in the sacrament of the altar the truth of the body and blood of Christ does not exist, but only the image and species and figure, inasmuch as Scripture sometimes mentions that what is received at the altar is sacrament and mystery and example. But such run into a snare of error, by reason of the fact that they neither properly understand the authority of Scripture, nor do they reverently receive the sacraments of God, equally 'ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God' [Matt. 22:29]... Yet 'mysterium fidei' is mentioned, since something is believed there other than what is perceived; and something is perceived other than is believed. For the species of bread and wine is perceived there, and the truth of the body and blood of Christ is believed and the power of unity and of love...Therefore, we believe that the form of words, as is found in the Canon, the Apostles received from Christ, and their successors from them..." (Pope Innocent III, 1202 A.D.)

"Proclaimed" by the assembly (except the actual words "mystery of faith"). May refer to Christ's death, resurrection, and second coming ["Let us proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again." (Or,  "Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory"; Or, "When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory"; Or, "Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world")]

Note: The traditional Mystery of Faith may be offensive to Protestants who may not believe in Transubstantiation or the Real Presence, while the new "mystery of faith" may be generally agreeable to Protestants. Deemphasizing the traditional Mystery of Faith (and, in fact, replacing it with text that seems to contradict the Real Presence - e.g. saying "Christ will come again" when Christ is already truly present on the altar) may result in reduced belief in the Real Presence, which must be believed by the faithful. As St. Paul says in 1 Cor.11:29: "For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself."

Protection Shown By Priest For Particles of the Host Which May Remain on His Fingers

From the Consecration until after Holy Communion, the priest never disjoins his fingers and thumbs (except to take the Host). 

No such protection. In fact, the priest may even shake hands with parishioners after the Consecration without even checking his fingers for sacred particles.

"Yes, the same Jesus Christ is just as much in a particle of a host as in a whole host." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

Words Which Immediately Follow the Consecration (English Translation)

A prayer by the priest: "And now, O Lord, we, Thy servants, and with us all Thy holy people, calling to mind the blessed Passion of this same Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, likewise His Resurrection from the grave, and also His glorious Ascension into heaven, do offer unto Thy most sovereign Majesty out of the gifts Thou hast bestowed upon us, a Victim which is pure, a Victim which is holy, a Victim which is spotless, the holy Bread of life eternal, and the Chalice of Everlasting Salvation. Deign to look upon them with a favorable and gracious countenance, and to accept them as Thou didst accept the offerings of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered up to Thee, a holy Sacrifice, an immaculate Victim. Humbly we beseech Thee, almighty God, to command that these our offerings be carried by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thine Altar on high, in the sight of Thy divine Majesty, so that those of us who shall receive the most sacred Body and Blood of Thy Son by partaking thereof from this Altar may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing..."

A "Memorial Acclamation" by the priest and people (often elongated by the choir), such as: "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. Most "memorial acclamations" may tend to cast doubt on the Real Presence since instead of referring to the "Victim" (as in the 'Tridentine' Mass) who is made truly present on the altar, they skip over His presence in the Holy Eucharist - as if It was not truly there - and refer instead to Jesus' future coming - e.g. "Christ will come again", "until you come in glory", etc.

Our Father Prayer

Sung by the priest alone, in the Church's official language, Latin (High Mass)

May be sung by the choir (it is usually said or sung in any vulgar language, with very limited use of the Latin language)

Recitation of 'Amen' After Lord's Prayer

Recited by priest

"The word amen, with which the Lord's Prayer concludes, contains, as it were, the germs of many of these thoughts and reflections... Indeed, so frequent was this Hebrew word in the mouth of the Savior, that it pleased the Holy Ghost to have it retained the Church of God. Its meaning may be said to be: Know that thy prayers are heard. It has the force of a response, as if God answers the suppliant, and graciously dismisses him, after having favorably heard his prayers. This interpretation has been approved by the constant usage of the Church of God. In the Sacrifice of the Mass [in the Traditional Latin Rite], when the Lord's Prayer is said she does not assign the word amen to the server who answers: But deliver us from evil. She reserves it as appropriate to the priest himself, who, as mediator between God and man, answers Amen, thus imitating that God has heard the prayers of His people. This practice, however, is not common to all the prayers, but is peculiar to the Lord's Prayer. To the other prayers the server answers Amen, because in every other this word only expresses assent and desire. In the Lord's Prayer it is an answer, intimating that God has heard the petition of His suppliant." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

No 'Amen' (at least until after the 'Protestant-preferred' ending: "For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever")

Words Following the 'Our Father' Prayer (English Translation)

"Deliver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all evils, past, present and to come, and by the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of God, together with Thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew, and all the Saints, mercifully grant peace in our days, that through the bounteous help of Thy mercy we may be always free from sin, and safe from all disquiet."

"Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

Note: Afterwards, the prayer is concluded with the Protestant-preferred ending: "For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever". Also note that all references to the Blessed Virgin and the saints have been removed.

Sign of Peace Among Laity



Note: In the early day of Christianity, a "kiss of peace" among the laity was reserved for those members of the Church who were in the state of grace. It was not given indiscriminately to just anyone. Note that in the Novus Ordo Mass, this "sign of peace" is generally given to anyone in the vicinity, be they Jewish, Protestant, adulterers, abortionists, those living in sin, etc. - thereby sending a very wrong message. Further, this practice is very distracting and requires that the laity - and possibly even the priest - turn their backs on the Holy Eucharist, which lays alone on the altar. It also tends to take one's focus away from Christ and turns the Mass from being a solemn sacrifice to a "jovial party". It is also an unsanitary practice (especially for those who will, in a few moments, proceed to take Holy Communion in the hand), and involves strange men and women inappropriately making physical contact with each other (and with children). Sadly, this practice has created so much distraction that many people consider this the highlight of the Mass! Note: For more on this topic, click here.

Priest's Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion (English Translation)

"O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who, by the will of the Father and the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, hast by Thy death given life to the world: deliver me by this, Thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all my iniquities and from every evil; make me cling always to Thy commandments, and permit me never to be separated from Thee. Who with the same God, the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen."

"Let not the partaking of Thy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I, though unworthy, presume to receive, turn to my judgment and condemnation; but through Thy mercy may it be unto me a safeguard and a healing remedy both of soul and body. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen."

No prayers specified in Missal. 

"Lord, I am not worthy..." (Domine, non sum dignus)

First said three times by priest, then said three times by faithful (by the servers)

Said one time by the priest and people together. 

Confiteor / Absolution Just Prior to Holy Communion?

Yes (although it may be omitted)


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Standing for Holy Communion?

No. Communicants receive the Holy Eucharist kneeling, unless physically unable.

"Enter, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us." (Ps. 95:6)

"In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (St. Paul, Phil. 2:10)

"All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage." (Ps. 22:30)

"I bend my knee to the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all paternity in heaven and on earth is named" (St. Paul, Eph. 3:14).

Often yes

"['The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican.' (Lk. 18:11)] It is said 'standing,' to denote his haughty temper. For his very posture betokens his extreme pride." (St. Theophylact)

"Why is it these same people who stand upright to receive their Lord Jesus would almost instinctively know better than to adopt this very same posture when being presented to mere earthly royalty?"

Paten Used in Distribution of Holy Communion?


Often not

Note: When a paten is not used, particles of the Holy Eucharist may fall to the floor and be trampled on. Remember that even the tiniest particle of the Eucharist contains Christ's Body, whole and entire.

"Yes, the same Jesus Christ is just as much in a particle of a host as in a whole host." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

"[O]ur Lord is not in the Sacrament as in a place. Place regards things only inasmuch as they have magnitude. Now we do not say that Christ is in the Sacrament inasmuch as He is great or small, terms which belong to quantity, but inasmuch as He is a substance. The substance of the bread is changed into the substance of Christ, not into magnitude or quantity; and substance, it will be acknowledged by all, is contained in a small as well as in a large space. The substance of air, for instance, and its entire nature must be present under a small as well as a large quantity, and likewise the entire nature of water must be present no less in a glass than in a river. Since, then, the body of our Lord succeeds to the substance of the bread, we must confess it to be in the Sacrament after the same manner as the substance of the bread was before consecration; whether the substance of the bread was present in greater or less quantity is a matter of entire indifference." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If any one denieth that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

'Formula for the Distribution of Holy Communion'

Said by the priest to each communicant: "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen." (English: "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.")

Said by the priest or the 'lay minister' to each communicant: "The body of Christ" (or "The blood of Christ"). Note: It is common to see neither "body" or "blood" be capitalized in the 'missalette'.

"Another very significant change that also made clear that no prayer in the Mass was sacrosanct was made at the very moment of receiving Holy Communion. The traditional practice had been for the priest to make the Sign of the Cross with the Host over the ciborium before each communicant, and then to place this Host upon his tongue with the words: 'Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.' In the 1965 Rite the Sign of the Cross is abolished; the priest says simply: 'Corpus Christi' and the communicant responds 'Amen.' There is, of course, nothing unorthodox in this formula. It is found in the De Sacramentis of St. Ambrose (d. 397). Its significance, as with the omission of Psalm 42, is that it made it clear to the communicant that if this sacred ritual, which he had known and revered since the day of his First Holy Communion, could be callously suppressed, then nothing in the Mass was sacrosanct. This point was reinforced by the revisers with very shrewd psychological perception by radically curtailing the conclusion of the Mass, omitting the Last Gospel and the Prayers for the Conversion of Russia. Thus at the beginning of Mass, at the moment of Holy Communion, and at the conclusion of Mass, breaches with tradition were mandated that were certain to impose themselves upon the consciousness of the faithful. It is correct that the Judica me and the Last Gospel were among the latest additions to the Ordinary of the Mass, but what of it? Is there a more inspiring passage in the whole of the Sacred Scriptures than the first fourteen verses of the Gospel of St. John? Did the good of the Church genuinely and certainly require the suppression of this inspired evocation of the Incarnation, the event in history that is the foundation upon which our entire Catholic faith is built, and which connected the Sacrifice of our Redemption with the Incarnation of the Word?" (Davies)

Response of Communicant (at Communion)

No external response (The priest says "Amen", the recipient adores in silence, e.g. by silently reciting "My Lord and my God")


Note: The focus on external actions may distract persons from true interior adoration of the Holy Eucharist and focusing on the Real Presence.

Reception of Holy Communion by Laity

Recollected, kneeling at altar rail unless physically unable. Communion received directly from priest on Communicant's tongue. Sacred particles collected on paten. Communicant may remain at altar rail for brief moment without "holding up the line"

"It must be taught, then, that to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist. That this has been the unvarying practice of the Church, that the faithful should receive the Sacrament from the priests, and that the officiating priests should communicate themselves, has been explained by the holy Council of Trent, which has also shown that this practice, as having proceeded from Apostolic tradition, is to be religiously retained, particularly as Christ the Lord has left us an illustrious example thereof, having consecrated His own most sacred body, and given it to the Apostles with His own hands." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

Often standing, with hands sticking out in a somewhat hurried fashion (due to awareness of people waiting in line directly behind the Communicant). The Holy Eucharist is frequently placed by a lay 'minister' on the Communicant's bare (unwashed, unconsecrated) hand. Communicant may take the Host from his hand and put It in his mouth (self-communicating). Usually the Communicant fails to check for sacred particles, which thereby end up on the floor. Communicant generally cannot pause after reception of Holy Communion without "holding up the line"

Note: Prior to receiving Holy Communion, Communicant may have bowed - usually, however, the bow is made to the back of the Communicant in front of them rather than bowing directly in front of the Holy Eucharist, leaving open to question what the person was actually bowing to. A mere earthly dignitary would not accept that someone who came to meet them didn't bow directly in front of them, but rather bowed behind someone else who was standing in front of them.

Some Persons Leave Mass Right After Communion?

Generally not


Note: The Real Presence is said to remain for approximately 15 minutes after Holy Communion.

Purification of Priest's Fingers

Accompanied by the prayer (English translation): "May Thy Body, O Lord, which I have received and Thy Blood which I have drunk, cleave to my inmost parts, and grant that no stain of sin remain in me; whom these pure and holy Sacraments have refreshed. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen."


" is impossible to ignore how ritual gestures and usages expressing faith in the Real Presence have been abolished or changed. The Novus Ordo eliminates... Purification of the priest's fingers over the chalice... All these suppressions only emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)


"Majestically" sung by the priest (High Mass): "Ite, missa est." (Or, on occasion, "Benedicamus Domino")

Note: This recalls to mind the Jesus' last words on the Cross: "It is consummated" (Jn. 19:30), a most appropriate ending for the solemn re-representation of Calvary.

A line such as "The Mass is ended, go in peace" or "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord" is usually said by the priest in a regular tone with no solemnity.

Note: These final words do not recall to mind the Passion of Christ and do not emphasize that a sacrifice has just been completed. In fact, considering the "festive" manner in which many Novus Ordo Masses are conducted, the traditional, solemn "Ite, missa est" may seem out of place.

Last Blessing (English Translation)

"May the tribute of my homage be pleasing to Thee, O most holy Trinity. Grant that the Sacrifice which I, unworthy as I am, have offered in the presence of Thy Majesty, may be acceptable to Thee. Through Thy mercy may it bring forgiveness to me and to all for whom I have offered it. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. May Almighty God bless you: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen." 

May vary (e.g. "May almighty God bless us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.") 

"As with the so-called 'exorcism' in the modern Rite of Baptism, simply placing the sub-heading Exorcism does not make what follows an exorcism. What is extremely worrying is that, according to the new rubrics, the deprecatory form must always be used, but the second form, the imperative, is an optional extra. What lies behind this change? The same denigration of the priesthood described above. It is a true Protestantization: the reduction of the ordained priest to the level of the common priesthood. It is the fruit of embarrassment about the visible priesthood. It is the same mentality that is at work when a priest says at the end of [the Novus Ordo] Mass: 'May Almighty God bless us...' When a priest does that, he is losing his identity, and is uncomfortable about the fact that he is different, and that he can confer blessings." ("Father X")

Continued On Next Page

Pg. 1 | Pg. 2 | Pg. 3 | Pg. 4 | Pg. 5 | Pg. 6 | Pg. 7

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