Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tridentine rite mass

Pope Benedict XVI has allowed the general celebration of the Tridentine rite mass by his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on 7/7/2007. With effect from 14/9/2007 Tridentine rite mass can be celebrated by priests without permission from the bishop. The 1962 missal can be used. Since 1970 the missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI has been in use.
Pope Benedict XVI has said that there are no two rites. These are two forms of one Latin rite. The 1970 Latin rite mass is the ordinary form. The Tridentine rite mass is the extraordinary form.
Vatican Council II changed many things. Tridentine rite mass was celebrated in Latin all over the world. Vernacular masses replaced Tridentine rite mass. Though 1970 mass could be celebrated in Latin and Pope Paul VI had wished that certain parts of the mass must be said in Latin, vernacular masses without any part being said in Latin became the norm. Use of Gregorian chant diminished. Medium in instruction in seminaries was changed from Latin to other languages.
Many yearned for Tridentine rite mass. Marcel Lefevre did not like what followed Vatican Council II. He founded Society of St. Pius X and a seminary at Econe, Switzerland, to keep the tradition alive. He consecrated four bishops in 1988 and was excommunicated.
Institute of Christ the King was allowed to follow Tridentine rite. In USA some years ago Tridentine rite mass was allowed at one place. Half of the people who attended were young. It was a great experience for them. Raymond Arroyo who hosts The World Over on EWTN described it as being struck with lightning.
There are not many priests and bishops who know Latin. Tridentine rite mass will require that they study Latin. How many will do so remains to be seen.
General permission for Tridentine rite mass will take Society of St. Pius X one step closer to the Church.
Introduction of vernacular masses had some unpleasant consequences. In Bangalore there were fights between Kannada and Tamil peoples. In large cities masses had to be in different languages. People from Bombay who went to suburbs where masses were celebrated in Marathi wanted masses in English. At St. Roque’s Church, Gokhivare, 9.00 a.m. Marathi mass on Sundays was cancelled to make way for 8.45 a.m. mass in English. This led to bitterness. Gokhivare people did not want migrants to be part of their parish. That led to the establishment of Evershine City parish without the church being built.
Bishops are required to give accounts of their experiences to the Pope after three years of use of Tridentine rite mass. Hope there will be many positive things in those accounts.

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