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The Catholic Mass.

The Novus Ordo (New Mass)

This New Mass was brought in 1969 and is the Mass that almost all practicing Catholics are familiar with .

The Tridentine Mass (Latin Mass.)

The Tridentine Mass.

The Tridentine Mass was encapsulated by the Council of Trent and which means it cannot of itself be changed (and for which we must be most grateful.) Also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the Latin Mass or the "old" Mass, it is always said in Latin and the priest always faces the altar. The Mass brings a tremendous focus on Our Lord's Sacrificial act and it also very explicitly engages the priest and the congregation in a great "effort" to be worthy(although we are unworthy) during the build up to the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This is a real and a very engaging focus. It brings with it a true sense of the sacred. The intercessions of the Blessed Virgin are invoked throughout the Mass, as are those of the angels and saints. To say that there is no participation in this Mass by the congregation is wrong. The words of Pope (Saint)Pius X come to mind here. Under the heading, "Pray the Holy Mass" and reminding us of the great status of the Mass, he writes:

"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the
Sacrifice dedicated by Our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on
the Altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with
eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the Altar. Further, you must pray with
the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ
says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are
contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens
on the Altar. When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass."
"Don't pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass." (Pope (Saint) Pius

The Low form of the Mass; the form it is most often said in, may be accompanied by some participation by the congregation (in Latin) and the congregation always joins in the set prayers that immediately follow the Mass, and which most often include one of the four Marian anthems. For the High Mass, participation is mainly through singing (in Latin.)
The High Mass is accompanied by a choir, and this, the role of the priest and the very complex work of the altar servers, all brings to the High Mass a true sense of occasion; it is a most beautiful and engaging Mass!

We must indeed identify with Our Lord's Sacrifice and with the Lord Himself in a very special way, especially since we are partaking of His Body and Blood; in His "Sacrament of Love" the Eucharist; instituted at the Last Supper and on Calvary. This means that the context; the service of the Mass, the church building and interior in which it is set, and indeed society itself, must be as entirely appropriate as it can be, and we ourselves too, since our deepest love, gratitude and reverence must be our response to the great suffering and Sacrificial act that Our Lord made of Himself on Calvary for us. He paid the price of every sin and restored the life of grace. His sacrifice is our life and our future. The "old" Mass very particularly brings with it a true sense of the Sacred and of itself is a true catechesis and encourages a sound catechesis, since it is very rich in traditional Catholicism.

For more on the Tridentine Mass see:

The Latin Mass Society:
And which also has information on pilgrimages etc.

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