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The 'Tridentine' Mass vs. the Novus Ordo Mass (2)

Return to 'Tridentine' Vs. Novus Ordo | Latin Mass/Catholic Trad.

Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass vs. the New (Novus Ordo) Mass (2)

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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Traditional Latin ("Tridentine") Mass*

New ("Novus Ordo") Mass*

Last Gospel

Beginning of the Gospel of St. John (English: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...")

Note: The Last Gospel in the 'Tridentine' Mass emphases the Incarnation and gives a "majestic profession of faith in the Divinity of Christ."



Rite of Mass Acceptable to Protestants?

No. The Mass clearly expresses Catholic doctrine which Protestants reject. Traditionally, Protestants are very hostile to this Mass (e.g. considering it "a manifest wickedness, an horrible idolatry, and a foul abomination").

Martin Luther's thoughts on the Mass: "I declare that all the brothels (though God has reproved them severely), all the manslaughters, murders, thefts, and adulteries have wrought less abomination than the popish mass."

Calvin's thoughts on the Mass: "...this mass, however much it may be varnished and adorned, offers the greatest insult to Christ, suppresses and conceals his cross, consigns his death to oblivion, deprives us of the benefit resulting from it, and invalidates and destroys the sacrament which was left as a memorial of that death; will there be any roots too deep for this most powerful axe, I mean the word of God, to cut in pieces and eradicate? will there be any varnish too specious for this light to detect the evil which lurks behind it?"

Yes. In fact, they may consider it an "acceptance, however belated, of the liturgical program set forth by the (16th century Protestant) 'Reformers'". Not only do they approve of the New Mass - despite the fact that they hold firm to their heretical beliefs - some have even used it for their own 'worship services'

"[T]he revised Roman Liturgy, so far from being a cause of dissention, now resembles the Anglican Liturgy very closely." (Anglican Observer at Vatican II)

"The changes [are] echoing everything that was done at the Reformation... the Martyrs have died for nothing." (Hugh Ross Williamson, famous Catholic convert)

"...for on many points [the New Mass] has much to gladden the heart of even the most modernist Protestant." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)

Relation of Mass to Orthodox Liturgy

(Note: The Orthodox, although schismatic, have maintained an ancient liturgy with a valid consecration.)



Note: Ironically, the changes in the Mass, designed to foster ecumenism, have brought us farther from the Orthodox (schismatics) and closer to Protestants (heretics)

Stability of Mass

Very stable

Note: The stability of the Traditional Mass well-reflects God's unchangeableness, and appears geared to please God.

Very unstable

Note: Since the New Mass may be adapted to people - who change all the time - it "will never stay the same". The New Mass appears more geared to please man, who is never satisfied and therefore always wants change. 

Feeling of Security Regarding Essential Elements


May not be present.

"In adhering rigidly to the rite handed down to us we can always feel secure; whereas, if we omit or change anything, we may perhaps be abandoning just that element which is essential. And this sound method is that which the Catholic Church has always followed." (U.S. Bishops, Province of Westminster, 1898 A.D.)


Very reverent

"[You should approach more reverently than if you] were about to approach all the rulers in the whole world seated together in one place." (St. Thomas More)

"Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we all are communicants! Christ, slain for us, the Sacrificial Victim who is placed thereon!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 392 A.D.)

"In explaining [the Sacraments], pastors should keep in view principally two things, which they should zealously strive to accomplish. The first is that the faithful understand the high honor, respect and veneration due to these divine and celestial gifts..." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"And it is fitting, indeed in this age it is specially important, that by means of the united efforts of the devout, the outward honor and the inward reverence paid to this Sacrifice should be alike increased. Accordingly it is our wish that its manifold excellence may be both more widely known and more attentively considered." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.) 

Click here for 'Reverence' Reflections (Church Talk Section)

Much less reverent (and irreverence is very common)

"Among sins opposed to religion, the more grievous is that which is the more opposed to the reverence due to God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he end of religion is to pay reverence to God. Wherefore whatever pertains directly to irreverence for God is opposed to religion." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")



"It is, therefore, the keen desire of the Church that all of the faithful kneel at the feet of the Redeemer to tell Him how much they venerate and love Him." (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei)

"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)

"Give to the LORD the glory due God's name. Bow down before the LORD'S holy splendor!" (Ps. 29:2)

"But what means His bending of knees? of which it is said, And he kneeled down, and prayed. It is the way of men to pray to their superiors with their faces on the ground, testifying by the action that the greater of the two are those who are asked. Now it is plain that human nature contains nothing worthy of God's imitation. Accordingly the tokens of respect which we evince to one another, confessing ourselves to be inferior to our neighbors, we have transferred to the humiliation of the Incomparable Nature. And thus He who bore our sicknesses and interceded for us, bent His knee in prayer, by reason of the man which He assumed, giving us an example, that we ought not to exalt ourselves at the time of prayer, but in all things be conformed to humility; for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

Click here for 'Kneeling' Reflections (Church Talk Section)

Often discouraged / prevented

Note: It is not uncommon to find that kneelers have been removed, churches are built without kneelers, persons are prevented from kneeling, persons are reprimanded for kneeling, etc. Yet these same innovators who try to prevent the faithful from kneeling would undoubtedly kneel before an earthly king or queen as a sign of respect. Further, it is clear that this reduction in kneeling advances an ecumenical agenda (since Protestants don't believe in the Real Presence, they may find Catholics' kneeling before the Eucharist to be offensive).

"A faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)

"['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)


Vertical (on God)

Horizontal (on neighbor)

Note: This is especially apparent at certain times (e.g. the greeting, the 'sign of peace', etc.)

"During the past several decades there has been a concerted effort by a misled portion of the Church to put more emphasis on the horizontal relationship in relation and less on the vertical... Not only is this false theology... but it can lead to disastrous consequences, since the less we are awed by Almighty God, the more we are likely to consider Him as a fellow partner. That being the case, people are not so disturbed when they violate God's precepts - after all He is a loving partner and surely He is also understanding. In line with this, most anything can be justified so long as it brings happiness to our neighbor... There has also been a tendency in recent years to stress the importance of Mass as a community celebration. But what does a celebration mean to many of our people today? Well, it is an occasion where we gather with our friends and have a jolly good time. Unfortunately this concept has been instilled in our good young people by many priests and nuns who should know better because first and foremost: The Mass is primarily a sacrifice." (Fr. Burns)

Feelings / Emotions Based?



Periods of Sacred Silence?


"But the LORD is in his holy temple; silence before him, all the earth!" (Hab. 2:20)

"Silence in the presence of the Lord GOD!" (Zeph. 1:7)

"Let all mortal flesh be silent, standing fear and trembling; for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ our God is about to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faithful." (St. James)

Click here for 'Silence in Church' Reflections (Church Talk Section)


Note: The elimination of sacred silence has been thought to be "ecumenism oriented". Since "silence implies the coming of the Real Presence of God and the offering of a sacrifice and offsets the priest from the laity", its removal advances ecumenical objectives.

Liturgical Abuses

Very Rare

Very Common

Note: Not only are abuses numerous and widespread, but "sometimes [they are] so serious that they cast doubt on the very Faith in the Real Presence, on the adoration and reverence due the Blessed Sacrament." Numerous, substantiated liturgical abuses have occurred in the New Mass throughout the world, even causing the pope to take various actions. Unfortunately, many of the faithful have been so confused that they may not recognize an abuse when it occurs (or they might approve of the abuse if it furthers their particular agenda). Further, many abuses have occurred which have (unfortunately) later been tolerated.

Respect for Priest (as expressed externally)

Very High

Much Lower

Note: It is not uncommon even for persons to refer to a priest by his first name (e.g. "Fr. Bob")

Mass Focus (primary)


"For it is right to prefer the good of the soul to the good of the body, and our duties toward God are far more sacred than our duties towards men." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae")


Note: Not only are the readings and other parts of Mass more earthly focused, but even the songs and the decoration of the Church may be more earthly focused (e.g. modern wheat and grapes vs. traditional images of saints)

Similarity to Protestant 'Worship'

Very different

Closer to Protestant 'worship'

"The 'founding fathers' of Protestantism changed the Catholic Mass into a protestant communion service [in the 16th century]. Similar steps taken by these 'founding fathers' have been taken by those involved in the Catholic liturgical 'renewal' [since the 1960's], resulting in a 'protestantized' service. In fact, Protestants participated in concocting it"

"[T]he new Roman rite is similar to, and sometimes identical with, Cranmer's Anglican Mass produced in the sixteenth century" (Iota Unum, footnote)

One famous Catholic convert (Evelyn Waugh) said to Cardinal Heenan: "Why were we led out of the church of our childhood to find the Church of our own adoption assuming the very forms we disliked?"

It has even been reported that one person attended Lutheran services for years, thinking they were Catholic.

Protestants now praise that we have 'dropped the false perspective of a sacrifice offered to God'.

Considering the following comparison between traditional Catholic practices and Protestant practices...

Catholic (Traditional)


Latin Language

Vernacular Language

Inaudible Liturgy

Audible Liturgy

Two Readings

Three Readings

No Lay Readers

Lay Readers

Altar / Facing East

Table / Facing Congreg-


Frequent Kneeling

Little Kneeling

Kneeling for Holy Communion

Standing for communion

Holy Communion Received on the Tongue

Reception of communion in the hand

Holy Communion Received Under Species of Bread Alone

Reception of bread and wine

References to sacrifice

No such references

References to Real Presence

No such references

Packed churches

Small congreg-




Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

"Lord's Supper"


Presider is easy to see that the New Mass has diverged from Catholic tradition and has adopted many Protestant practices. Davies points to the fact that "our liturgies are now converging and in some cases have a striking resemblance." Not only can Protestants "feel comfortable in the New Mass, since they can interpret it according to their false beliefs, but they sometimes use the text in their own 'worship services'". In fact, there has even been talk about joint churches! It is important to recall that Protestants have not maintained a valid priesthood - therefore their 'communion' is mere bread and wine. Further, they reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist at the Catholic Mass. An honest Protestant would have to admit that their rejection of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist forces them regard Catholics who maintain this belief and act accordingly as idolaters. When one thinks of the implications of their willingness to participate in the New Rite of Mass, it should be quite unsettling.

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


Often Yes

Note: Some might argue that it's "almost impossible not to imbibe a 'Protestantized' spirit after much attendance, at least in some regard."

Reflects the Unchangeable-

ness of God?




Note: Unlike the 'Tridentine' Mass, the Novus Ordo Mass is subject to frequent change and has various options so that Masses, even at the same parish, may be quite different.


Worship of Almighty God

Self-expression, self-affirmation 

Note: This may be evidenced especially by the prayer intentions, songs, dress, and behavior of persons at Mass.

"Men invariably worship what they like best." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Two loves, therefore, have made two cities. There is an earthy city made by the love of self even to the point of contempt for God, and a heavenly city made by the love of God even to the point of contempt for self. The earthly city glories in self, while the heavenly glories in God. The earthy city seeks glory from men; but conscience bears witness to the fact that God is the greatest glory of the heavenly city." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 420 A.D.)

Community Emphasis


Note: Each person will be judged alone!

"[T]he community gathering is not more important than the Eucharist - the most sacred of all things. The common priesthood of all believers is not more important than the ministerial priesthood - the dispenser of the holy mysteries"


Note: Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci even referred to "obsessive references to the communal character of the Mass"




"But if we seek the cause of the misery of the bad angels, it occurs to us not unreasonably, that they are miserable because they have turned away from Him who exists supreme, and have turned to themselves, who do not exist supreme" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 420 A.D.)

"When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the 'Son of Perdition' of whom the Apostle speaks (II. Thess. ii., 3). Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the Divinity! While, on the other hand, and this according to the same apostle is the distinguishing mark of Antichrist, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such wise that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has contemned God's majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored. 'He sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God' (II. Thess. ii., 2)." (Pope Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903 A.D.)




Note: The human focus may be especially apparent in the greeting, prayers, responses, and songs, not to mention the 'sign of peace'.

References to Purgatory


Deleted / Reduced

Note: One can only imagine the consequences this must have for the Poor Souls who need our assistance, as well as on the behavior of Catholics who tend to discount the great sufferings of purgatory, even thinking that sins are 'no big deal' or that they will not bring painful consequences. Note: Click here for more information on purgatory (Catholics Activities Section / Purgatory Release Project) 

References to Hell


Deleted / Reduced

Note: "Less talk of hell invariably results in less belief in it!"

References to Judgment / Justice


Deleted / Reduced

"The mercies of God may be considered; but then his justice should also be remembered. He hath prepared a heaven, but he hath prepared a hell too" (St. Cyprian, c. 258 A.D.)

References to Sin


Deleted / Reduced

References to the Blessed Virgin Mary


Deleted / Reduced

References to Saints


Deleted / Reduced

References to Angels


Deleted / Reduced

References to Miracles & the Supernatural


Deleted / Reduced

References to "Negative" Topics


Deleted / Reduced

Note: "Concepts and terms which are not as likely to appear in the new Mass may include: The term 'soul' (even in funeral Masses!), negative concepts such as sin and its consequences, judgment, detachment from the world, devil, Satan, evil, wicked, tribulations, battle, enemies, sacrifice, victim, being unworthy, hell, heresy, references to conversion, references to the merits of the saints, invocations to saints, references to praying for the dead, purgatory, miracles, and other items which might offend Protestants and modernists." Also, terms that may might be offensive to feminists may be downplayed - e.g. the duty of obedience to one's husband ["Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything." (St. Paul, Eph. 5:22-24); "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord." (St. Paul, Col. 3:18)]. Such important topics may even be omitted in Nuptial Masses. "Happy words" now often take the place of "negative" terms.

Emphasis on Our Dependence on God / Our Servitude to God



Sense of Changelessness?



Bowing (by Priest)


Deleted / Reduced



Deleted / Reduced

Reverent Kisses (by Priest)


Deleted / Reduced

Signs of the Cross

Many (the priest makes the Sign of the Cross over 50 times during the Mass)

Note that the sign of the cross is very powerful. As stated by Fr. Delaporte, "By the frequent employment of the sign of the cross in exorcisms, the Church attests the power of that sign, and recommends it to her children." 


Note: Innovations made to the Mass were supposed to be for the good of the Church - "there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them" (Second Vatican Council). By what stretch of the imagination is the near elimination of these signs of the cross "genuinely and certainly" required for the good of the Church?

Gimmicks / Novelty



Note: It has been said that the reason there are so many novelties and gimmicks associated with the New Mass is that the new rite of Mass has lost so much of the beauty of the old that its "inherent banality" requires entertainment to appeal to the "spectators" who are present.




Note: The New Mass provides so many options that the priest may "experiment" with it, causing further disunity and division. Further, these experiments tend to pave the way for the introduction of error / heresy.

"Liturgy is never anyone's private property" (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"Let everything be done with due order and dignity, and let no one, not even a priest, make use of the sacred edifices according to his whim to try out experiments." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)



"Let us be like the holy angels now. If you wish to place your son in the court of a king or bishop, you will have to begin to teach him court manners beforehand. So it is with us: if one day we are to be in the Angelic Court, we must learn how, while we are still here, the manners of the angels." (St. Vincent Ferrer)


Note: The informality is often especially noticeable by the dress of attendees, by their noisy entrance into the church, by their behavior at the 'sign of peace', etc.

Rite of Mass Subject to Different Interpretations / False Interpretations?



Note: Due to ambiguous texts, even Protestants have been able to accept the New Mass without giving up their heresies.


Very orthodox

May be unorthodox, depending upon the interpretation given to the ambiguous texts (and the 'spin' of it possibly given by the priest)




Manner of Speech

"Truths, grim realities"

"Happy talk"

Worship Vs. Entertainment

Clearly worship

May seem like entertainment



Often yes

Truths Vs. Experiences

Historical Truths

Personal Experiences

Protestant Hymns?


Often yes

Abuses Tolerated?


"Abuses first tolerated, then legalized, then virtually imposed"

Type of Worship

Spiritual, reverent

"Happy clappy"

Mass Designed to be Ecumenically Acceptable?



Note: Click here for information on false ecumenism

Tabernacle Placement on Altar

Main Altar

Usually not on altar (sometimes not even in main church building)

"To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together." (Pope Pius XII)

Liturgical Norms vs. Liturgical Experiments

Liturgical Norms

Liturgical Experiments




Translations Used in Mass

Not needed (all in Latin)

Often Faulty

Note: Official translations of the Novus Ordo Mass have contained various errors, some of which are significant (and which have remained uncorrected for many years).

Unity / Disunity



"From a liturgical unity that was guaranteed by unity of language, ceremony and material objects, there has been a transition to a syncretism in which very varied elements coexist, in language, in ceremonies, in vestments and in singing. Assertions are still made to the effect that there is a single Roman rite, but such unity is not actually expressed in deeds, and is therefore nullified. The Roman authority, which used to guarantee unity, is bending and weakening before the centrifugal forces of the new democratizing ecclesiology." (Amerio)

Local Adaptations

Few / None


Belief in Real Presence Among Attendees

Very High

Very Low

Note: It has been reported that around 70% of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Not only is this belief necessary, but St. Paul says that...

"...anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying." (1 Cor. 11:29-30) 

We see in John 6:66 that Christ let those who could not accept his Eucharistic teaching leave him!

It is clear that today's dire situation is directly related to the many novelties in the Novus Ordo Mass, such as: Self-communicating (Communion in the hand), lay 'ministers', Communion received while standing, reduced signs of reverence towards the Holy Eucharist, demotion of the Tabernacle in many churches, texts in Mass that appear to deny the Real Presence (e.g. saying "Christ will come again" right after Christ is truly made present on the altar, the formula of consecration recited as a narrative, etc.), etc.

Click here for more on the Real Presence (Eucharist / Sacraments Section)

Belief in Church Dogmas Among Attendees

Very High

Very Low

Note: Surveys have shown that many attendees do not believe in the Real Presence and in other important Catholic doctrines.

Catechesis of Attendees

Well catechized

Often poorly catechized

Parishioners' Entrance

Formal, genuflection, respectful, silent/quiet

Informal / casual, may not genuflect, often talkative

Women's Dress

Modestly dressed, wearing veil

Often immodestly dressed, no veils

St. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels." (1 Cor. 11:5-10)

Click here for 'Some Thoughts on Modesty / Immodest Dress' (Catholic Life Section)

Women's Behavior & Speech During Mass

Quiet, humble, reverent

Often talkative, proud, irreverent

St. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "...As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.... what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord." (1 Cor. 14:33-37)

Click here for 'Proper Role & Behavior of Women' (Priests & Vocations Section)

Solemnity of Mass


May be "all but gone"

Beauty of Rite


"Whatever could be conceived as more religious, whatever more excellent in beauty, whatever more sublime in power, this, you may be sure, belongs to God." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 378 A.D.)

"From time immemorial the ecclesiastical hierarchy has exercised this right in matters liturgical. It has organized and regulated divine worship, enriching it constantly with new splendor and beauty, to the glory of God and the spiritual profit of Christians (that is, Catholics)." (Pope Pius XII)

May be little

External Dignity of Liturgy

Great dignity

"[S]acred rites should be performed with due external dignity." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947)

"[I]t is a matter of great concern to the Church that the Eucharist be celebrated and shared with the greatest dignity and fruitfulness." (Congregation for Divine Worship, 1969 A.D.)

Lessened dignity

Note: Some of the least dignified examples may even include clown masses & polka masses. In fact, numerous written works have been written concerning such occurrences, which are not uncommon. And even when a Mass of the New Rite appears "relatively dignified", it is still far from the external dignity present in the Traditional Latin Mass.

Sense of Mystery?


Note: The old Mass much more clearly reflects the incomprehensibility of God. As stated by St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (c. 375 A.D.), "Knowledge of the divine essence consists in our perceiving His incomprehensibility; and the object of our worship is not that of which we comprehend the essence, but that of which we comprehend that the essence exists."


Note: There is no mysterious language, all words are said audibly, the priest faces the people and all his actions are subject to the gaze of attendees, there is usually no incense, people put the Holy Eucharist in their hands, 'lay ministers' (often poorly dressed) usurp priestly duties, etc.

Attention to Detail?


Not usually

Note: In contrast with the many rubrics in the 'Tridentine' Mass, the Novus Ordo Mass allows much more flexibility, and much less attention to detail is needed. One can see a clear illustration of this by comparing an altar prepared for the 'Tridentine' Mass and an altar prepared for the Novus Ordo Mass. 

Loss of Reverence Over Time?


"[W]e on our part are bound to show to God, as our Lord, the highest reverence" (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902)

Click here for 'Reverence' Reflections (Church Talk Section)


Note: In the hundreds of years since the Traditional ('Tridentine') Mass was codified - although the most important elements trace back even to Apostolic times - the Mass has never seen a widespread lack of reverence among Catholics. In contrast, in the decades since the introduction of the New Mass, the loss of reverence is striking.

"Among sins opposed to religion, the more grievous is that which is the more opposed to the reverence due to God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he end of religion is to pay reverence to God. Wherefore whatever pertains directly to irreverence for God is opposed to religion." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Offenses to the 'Sensus Catholicus'

(Catholic Sense)?


Common (although many have, sadly, lost this sense altogether)

Liturgical 'Anarchy'?



Note: Priests and lay persons alike may participate in 'liturgical anarchy', simply discarding any norms they don't care for. Some have even resulted in invalid Masses.

Invalid Sacraments Common?


Yes (especially in some areas / parishes)

Note: In fact, in some locations invalid sacraments have continued for years.

"There is no Sacrament if any of these is missing: the proper matter, the form, including the [priest's] intention, and the priestly ordination of the celebrant." (De Defectibus, 16th Century A.D.)

Ease of Having an Invalid Sacrament

More Difficult


Note: Aside from requiring the proper matter and using the proper words of consecration, the proper intention of the priest is required for a valid Sacrament. Since the Mass was changed and references to sacrifice and the Real Presence have been suppressed, it may be argued that it is more difficult for the priest to maintain the proper intention.

"There is no Sacrament if any of these is missing: the proper matter, the form, including the [priest's] intention, and the priestly ordination of the celebrant." (De Defectibus, 16th Century A.D.)

"If any one saith that in ministers, when they effect and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention at least of doing what the Church does; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

Click here for Sacraments Information (Sacraments Section)

Lay Persons Handle Eucharist?



"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand." (Mother Teresa) 

Click here for more on this topic

Distribution of Holy Communion

By Priests

"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) 

By priests or lay persons (even women)

Note: It should be noted the practice of lay persons distributing Holy Communion has contributed to much profanation and sacrilege. The practice has been condemned by popes and saints.

Click here for more on this topic


Altar Boys

Male only

May be female

Note: Recently, Pope John Paul II approved the document which states that "Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers". Unfortunately, however, the calculated disobedience by certain persons resulted in the eventual, reluctant toleration of "female altar boys". Since this practice was always rejected by the Church and was only permitted as a result of disobedience, faithful & obedient Catholics continue to reject this practice which is so harmful to vocations and promotes a feminist agenda.

Click here for 'Proper Role & Behavior of Women' (Priests & Vocations Section)

Direction of Priest

Note: Click here for more information regarding priests' traditional direction

Eastward, towards God

"...a common turning to the east [the traditional position, wherein the priest and the people face eastward, and not each other]...remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord." (Cardinal Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict XVI)

Note: "This practice is symbolic of a shepherd leading us. It is not that the priest is turning his back to the people, but that we are all facing the east. We turn to the Lord together." Although Modernists attempt to claim that facing the people better corresponds with the Last Supper, one should note that "Christ did not face the people at the Last supper - they were all on the same side of the table facing the Jerusalem Temple - they all faced the same direction." It is also clear that that facing Eastward has been the constant tradition of the Church. This has been confirmed many times by archaeological evidence.

"There is a certain fittingness in adoring towards the east. First, because the Divine majesty is indicated in the movement of the heavens which is from the east. Secondly, because Paradise was situated in the east according to the Septuagint version of Genesis 2:8, and so we signify our desire to return to Paradise. Thirdly, on account of Christ Who is 'the light of the world' (John 8:12;9:5), and is called 'the Orient' (Zechariah 6:12). Who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east (Psalm 68:33), and is expected to come from the east, according to Matthew 24:27, 'As lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Towards the people

Note: This novelty was originally an invention of Martin Luther.

"By 1965 the practice of celebrating Mass facing the people was already becoming the norm. This practice was not so much as mentioned in the Liturgy Constitution [of Vatican II] and was alien to the universal practice of celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice facing the East in both the Eastern and Western Churches, including the [schismatic] Orthodox. Apart from the imposition of the vernacular, this practice more than any other destroyed the ethos of mystery and reverence that permeates the traditional Mass." (Davies)

"Other threats loom against Supernatural Hope. When Holy Mass becomes a zone of self-realization rather than the sacred ground of adoration, then man's eyes are cast away from Heaven and focused entirely upon himself. Hope begins to wither, and gradually Catholics become as prone to ordinary fears as others. Cardinal Ratzinger [the future Pope Benedict XVI] gave pungent commentary to the effects of this inverted liturgy in his magnum opus, the Spirit of the Liturgy: 'The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out to what lies ahead and above, but is closed in upon itself.' The Cardinal continues, with amazing candor: 'Looking at the priest at Holy Mass has no importance. What matters is looking together at Our Lord. It is now not a question of dialog but of common worship, of setting of toward the One Who is to come'." (Fr. Perricone)

"Prior to Vatican II the prime concern of the Church was the worship and dignity of God. Since the Council the Church has turned in upon itself; it has become preoccupied with an obsessive and unhealthy introspection. It cares little for God, little for the unevangelized mass of mankind... The symbol of this introspection is the turning around of the altars. Prior to Vatican II priest and people celebrated Mass as a united body, facing out towards the East, symbol of Christ the Sun of Justice, symbol of the Resurrection and the Second Coming. [Now we turn and face each other.]" (Davies)

"Perhaps the most dramatic symbol of the man-centered nature of the new liturgy is the turning round of the altar, or rather, its replacement by a table...the manner in which Mass was celebrated before the Council, with priest and people together on the same side of the altar facing east, was an effective symbol of the heavenly orientation of the traditional liturgy. It is now an inward-looking celebration. Man has turned away from God to face his fellow men." (Davies) 

Priest's Frequent Eye Contact

Altar / Host


Awareness that Mass is the Re-presentation of Calvary


May be non-existent

"When you hear Mass, do you come in the same frame of mind as the Blessed Virgin at Calvary? Because it is the same God, and the same Sacrifice." (St. John Vianney) 

Click here for more information on the Holy Eucharist / Mass (Sacraments Section)

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


"Do not plot to repeat a sin; not even for one will you go unpunished." (Sirach 7:8)

"Sin cannot go unpunished. It were unseemly, improper, and unjust for sin to go unpunished. Since, therefore, sin must not go unpunished, let it be punished by you, lest you be punished for it. Let your sin have you for its judge, not its patron. Go up and take the bench against yourself, and put your guilt before yourself. Do not put it behind you, or God will put it in front of you." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

"From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God's love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Should anyone be conscious of sin, he should immediately accuse himself, humbly solicit pardon from God, and implore time to confess and satisfy for his sins." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[P]enance also demands that we satisfy divine justice with fasting, almsgiving, prayer, and other works of the spiritual life. Every wrongdoing - be it large or small - is fittingly punished, either by the penitent or by a vengeful God. Therefore we cannot avoid God's punishment in any other way than by punishing ourselves." (Pope Clement XIII, "Appetente Sacro", 1759 A.D.)




Concern Over 'Last Things'?


Generally, No

"Death, judgment, heaven, hell seem reduced to 'death and heaven'" 

Apparent Focus


The congregation (of sinners)

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [the future Pope Benedict XVI] noted that in some contemporary liturgies, the people celebrate only themselves, which, he points out, means that they celebrate absolutely nothing... The religion of God made Man has been replaced by the religion of man who has made himself his god." (Davies)

"Such easily fall into error, because, instead of fixing their gaze on God, first principle and last end of the whole universe, they fall back upon themselves, becoming attached exclusively to passing things of earth; and thus their restlessness will never cease till they direct their attention and their efforts to God, the goal of all perfection, according to the profound saying of Saint Augustine: 'Thou didst create us, O Lord, for Thyself, and our heart is restless till it rest in Thee.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929 A.D.)

Praise Given

To God

To God and to one another

Note: This may be especially apparent in the music selections.



The people




Frequent Emphasis of Songs


The community

Type of Pleasure Received


Often earthly

Mass Recognizable to Catholics Who Lived a Thousand Years Ago?



"It has been said that Catholics who could time-travel from a few hundred years ago would 'run in horror (from the New Mass) thinking they had been in a Protestant 'church'"

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

"Numerous persons have died as martyrs for their refusal to participate in a protestantized Mass."

None known

Church Architecture

Holy, beautiful, raises mind to God

"[T]he house that is to be built for the LORD must be made so magnificent that it will be renowned and glorious in all countries." (King David, 1 Chron. 22:5)

Also Try 'Church Talk' Section

Functional, egalitarian, keeps mind focused on earthly concerns

Church Decoration

Ornate, beautiful

"[Y]ou should undoubtedly always give special attention to the beauty of the house of God and the splendor and dignity of objects dedicated to the divine service. Such beauty and splendor often greatly inspire the faithful, and draw them to the veneration of sacred realities." (Pope Pius VI, "Inscrutabile", 1775 A.D.)

Click here for 'Beauty & Decorum in the House of God' (Church Talk Reflections)

Barren, unaesthetic (even distorted / offensive)

"We cannot help deploring and condemning those works of art, recently introduced by some, which seem to be a distortion and perversion of true art and which at times openly shock Christian taste, modesty, and devotion, and shamefully offend the true religious sense. These must be entirely excluded and banished from our churches, like 'anything else that is not in keeping with the sanctity of the place.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei")


Clearly visible, prominent, marked off by altar rail

Tends to be egalitarian, no altar rail

Placement of Tabernacle

Front and center

Demoted, may not even be located in the Church

"A church without the Eucharistic Presence is somehow dead." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)

"[T]he very thing that makes our churches holy is now carelessly relegated to the side or to another building. It is often given pathetic decoration and no reverence."

Altar Relics


Note: The placement of relics in the altar corresponds to the practice of early Christians (that is, Catholics) who celebrated Masses on the tombs of martyrs.

Maybe not

Note: Although it is considered "desirable", altars are not always required to contain relics.

Typical Altar Type

Marble altar

"An altar is for a sacrifice, a table is for a meal."

Wooden table

" would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947)

Altar Rail


Often not

Note: With the removal of the altar rail from many parishes, not only are communicants encouraged to stand rather than kneel, but its removal serves to blur the distinction between the sanctuary and the nave and between the priest and the faithful. Furthermore, Communicants now must wait - standing - in single file lines (like in movie theatre ticket lines) rather than waiting reverently - kneeling & recollected - to receive Holy Communion.

Side Altars?

Often Yes

Usually No

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


No (they are often so accustomed to abuses that they don't recognize abuses as such)

"There have been so many changes over the past decades that if a priest was now to do something 'way out there' - something that was blatantly heretical, the average parishioner, who has become so accustomed to change, may not even flinch."

Worship of God Ever Appears Subordinated to a Community Focus?



Continued On Next Page

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

* Note: Not fully comprehensive. Items herein may be subjective. Items herein may be "in general" and may not occur all the time, if at all. Items herein may be exceptions or there may be exceptions to items herein. Items herein may be limited to appearance only (and not to actual fact). Items herein may be 'abuses'. Items herein may not be a direct result of a particular rite of Mass. All applicable items subject to change without notice. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. By using this site you agree to all terms. For more terms information, see "Important Notice" above. 

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