How To Attend The Traditional Latin Mass (For The First Time)

Jude Missa

The Traditional Latin Mass or the Tridentine Mass is a Mass that was used and celebrated by the Church before Pope Paul VI introduced the Novus Ordo Mass in 1969. Currently, the Traditional Latin Mass is only used by traditional Catholic society or by the priest who prefer to celebrate it. Traditional Latin Mass is no longer common to the Catholic faithful. Even our priests today don’t know how to celebrate it or even speak Latin – the language of the Church. Most of the faithful do not even know that this kind of mass still exists. But for those who are curious or want to experience it, here are the basic steps of how to attend the Traditional Latin Mass:

I. INTENTIONS and REVERENCE

This is the very first step that before we go to the Traditional Latin Mass, intentions. This is important because this mass is part of the History of the Catholic Church and this Mass gives adoration to our Lord for many centuries. But some modernist attends this mass with an ill intention and give bad comments about it because it contradicts the modern teachings of the Vatican II Council. So, before we attend the Traditional Latin Mass, we must clear our minds that we attend this mass to adore and glorified our Lord, and make sacrifice for Him, not to criticize it. Remember, the Traditional Latin Mass was used to adore our Lord for many centuries. It was celebrated and attended by many saints in the past and we must give respect for it.

II. RESEARCH 

Before we go to the Traditional Latin Mass, we must learn more of its background. Like where the priest facing during the mass and what language they use. We must have an idea so we can lessen the culture shock that we will experience when we attend the Traditional Latin Mass. In the previous centuries, parents brough they children to the Mass so they will get used to it and learn how to adore and glorify God in the Mass until they grow up. And also in the previous century, Catholic Church has Cathecism where the children can also learn about the Mass. The Cathecism is become more available in every church under the leadership of Saint Pope Pius X. But After Vatican II Council, Cathecism is no longer available in every church except for the Churches under the Traditional Priest Societies.

III. BOOKLET MISSALE 

One of the important things that we must have before attending the Traditional Latin Mass is to have the Booklet Missale. This booklet is a guide that contains the prayers in Latin with translation, gestures that we must do during the mass and the Priest’s movement. You can acquire this booklet in the Church that celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass. Or you can buy it from the internet, but make sure that these copies are legitimate.

IV. WEAR PROPER CLOTHES 

In our generation today, people just wear anything that they like when attending the mass. But what they don’t know is there’s a proper dress when we attend the mass, including the Traditional Mass. For the men, they must wear shirts or polo shirts, pants and shoes. For the women, they must wear shirts, long skirts and a veil. Veil are the most important dress for the women, some churches provide veil for the women including those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass for the first time. But we suggest that you bring your own veil. Please do not wear revealing clothes such as tank top and backless shirts. And do not wear shorts because this is also improper clothes. We attend the mass for our Lord, we must give respect to Him by wearing the proper dress.

V. GO EARLY TO CHURCH BEFORE THE MASS 

This is the most basic thing that we must do when we attend the mass, is to be present in the church before the mass, even it’s a Traditional or the Novus Ordo Mass. If this is your first time attending the Traditional Latin Mass, you must go to the church before the mass so you can understand the whole mass. Before the mass, there’s always a confession and rosary prayers. You can take a confession and pray the rosary, and pray to our Blessed Mother to help you in praying the Traditional Latin Mass.

VI. OBSERVE FIRST WHILE PRAYING THE MASS 

When you attend the Traditional Latin Mass for the first time, we suggest that you observe the Mass first before relying to the Booklet Missale. According to the Traditional Catholic teachers and book writers, you must know the flow of the mass first before looking to the booklet missale to guide you. If you wish to know the flow of the mass first before attending it, you can find some videos on YouTube, especially from the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) and from the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP).

VII. COMMUNION IN THE TONGUE 

When taking a Holy Communion, you must be aware that in the Traditional Latin Mass, Communion in the Hand is not allowed because it is a liturgical abuse. Only the consecrated hands of the Priest can hold the Holy Eucharist. You must also kneel when taking the Communion in the tongue, just like you practiced in your first communion. Because the Holy Eucharist that you will take is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, our King and our God. You must give respect.

VIII. AT THE END OF THE MASS, DO NOT LEAVE THE CHURCH FIRST IF THE PRIEST IS STILL PRESENT 

Some Catholics today leave the church first even of the priest is still inside. But traditionally, the Priest and the altar servers must be the ones who leave the church first, especially in the Closing Procession. Because the Priest represents our Lord, Jesus Christ. So please refrain yourself leaving the church first before the priest.

So, these are the basics when you attend the Traditional Latin Mass for the first time. If you wish to know more about this mass and its parts. You can view some videos from YouTube especially from the Traditional Catholic Societies. We hope these steps can help you attend the Traditional Latin Mass.

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