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The 'Tridentine' Mass vs. the Novus Ordo Mass (6)

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 (6)

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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As Seen in Latin Mass Magazine (click to view)

(Fall 2017)


Traditional Latin ("Tridentine") Mass*

New ("Novus Ordo") Mass*

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



Note: Consider this telling admission from Pope Paul VI, the pope who imposed the New Mass: "Some might get the wrong impression from a particular ceremony or rubric that has been added [in the Novus Ordo Mass], as if this involved or implied an alteration or diminution of the truths that have been acquired once and for all and authoritatively sanctioned as part of the Catholic faith. They might think that the correspondence between the law of praying, lex orandi, and the law of believing, lex credendi, has been compromised as a result."

The pope who called the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII, has said, "It is supremely important that the Church's liturgy fully conform to Catholic belief ('the law for prayer is the law of faith), and that only those devotional forms be sanctioned which well up from the unsullied springs of true faith."

If the well known maxim is true - which it undoubtedly is - that the "law of praying is the law of believing", then if the Catholic prayers are stripped of all that is specifically Catholic and if Catholics "pray like Protestants", then Catholics will start believing less like Catholics and more like Protestants. This has been confirmed in practice, not only by apparent beliefs, but also to the point of singing Protestant hymns during Mass.

Conducive to Proper Dispositions for Mass?


"[T]he Lord's sacrifice [Holy Mass] is not celebrated with legitimate sanctification, unless our oblation and sacrifice correspond to His passion" (St. Cyprian)

"In order that the oblation by which the faithful offer the divine Victim [that is, Christ] in this [Eucharistic] Sacrifice to the heavenly Father may have its full effect, it is necessary that the people add something else, namely, the offering of themselves as a victim." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"This we are also taught by those exhortations which the Bishop, in the Church's name, addresses to priests on the day of their ordination, 'Understand what you do, imitate what you handle, and since you celebrate the mystery of the Lord's death, take good care to mortify your members with their vices and concupiscences.' ... While we stand before the altar, then, it is our duty so to transform our hearts, that every trace of sin may be completely blotted out, while whatever promotes supernatural life through Christ may be zealously fostered and strengthened even to the extent that, in union with the immaculate Victim [Christ], we become a victim acceptable to the eternal Father. The prescriptions in fact of the sacred liturgy aim, by every means at their disposal, at helping the Church to bring about this most holy purpose in the most suitable manner possible. This is the object not only of readings, homilies and other sermons given by priests, as also the whole cycle of mysteries which are proposed for our commemoration in the course of the year, but it is also the purpose of vestments, of sacred rites and their external splendor. All these things aim at 'enhancing the majesty of this great [Eucharistic] Sacrifice, and raising the minds of the faithful by means of these visible signs of religion and piety, to the contemplation of the sublime truths contained in this [Eucharistic] Sacrifice.' ... Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father. Let this, then, be the intention and aspiration of the faithful, when they offer up the divine Victim [Christ] in the Mass." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.) 

Usually not

Note: It appears that the furthest things from most attendees' minds are facts such as: that they are at the re-presentation of Calvary, that their sins caused the death of Christ on the Cross, that they are supposed to offer themselves up as victims, that their sins are a grave matter in need of Christ's forgiveness, that they are about to receive the infinitely holy God, that they will face a fearsome judge, etc.

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Consideration of Our Unworthiness?



Note: Compare the following statement of a saint with the typical Novus Ordo "we are worthy" sentiment: "Alas! My God! What will become of me? I know not where to hide myself: I wander on, lamenting, and find no place of rest, for I am so stained with sin that I cannot appear where thou art, and yet I find thee everywhere." (St. Catherine of Genoa) Not only is she a saint, but consider that we live in a far more evil generation with rampant abortion, contraception, divorce, homosexuality, etc., and with enticement to sin constantly placed in our path (television, radio, billboards, images / messages on cars, etc.) 

Crucifix at Altar?

Yes (required)

"The crucifix has been called the 'principal ornament of the altar' and is 'placed on the altar to [remind] the celebrant and the people that the Victim [Christ] offered on the altar is the same as was offered on the Cross' (Catholic Encyclopedia). The placement of the crucifix on the altar is a requirement of the Traditional Latin ['Tridentine'] Mass" 

Often no (if there is one, it is generally not visible to the priest who may have his back to it)

Decorating & Incensing of Altar

Yes / yes (High Mass)

Often not / usually not

"Protestants want to get rid of the 'superstitions opinions of the popish Mass' and get rid of the altar - which is the focal point of the Mass. Protestants want a table which is used to eat upon. The altar has always been given high reverence and dignity by Catholics as it represents the Lord Himself. Attached to it were the strictest regulations concerning construction, cloths, etc. No expense was spared for beauty - and even the poorest people were very generous - so that it would be worthy of the sacred action which occurs at Mass. There were relics of martyrs (cf. Rv. 6:9), and various regulations were in effect, each of which took in to account the fact that it is a most sacred place - 'the place where heaven and earth meet'. After the Second Vatican Council, these regulations have been overthrown. The altar may no longer be elevated. Generally there is no incensing the altar. There are greatly reduced requirements for decoration of the altar and reduced symbolism. There is no clear sense of its great worth. In fact, altars that were works of art were thoughtlessly destroyed. Is it any surprise that belief in the Real Presence has diminished?" (Source: Davies)

'Destroyed Old Rite'?



"English translations have contained hundreds of glaring errors (many may be said to further ecumenism). One editorial in the 1960's even stated that 'The ancient and venerable text of the Roman Canon has been mutilated beyond recognition.'" 

"Indeed it is impossible not to see the destruction of the Roman Rite as the greatest triumph of Satan since the Protestant 'Reformation' - and it appears that the Father of Lies is running out of ideas as he is making precisely the same changes now as he did then." (Davies)

Note: Thankfully, however, the old rite has not actually been 'destroyed', but remains as a valid option for Catholics throughout the world. Click here for more information on the status of the 'Tridentine' Mass.

Diminished Role of Priest?



"A good number of changes incorporated into the 1965 Missal diminish the unique role of the celebrant, particularly in sung Masses. He no longer says quietly those parts of the Proper that are sung by the choir or the people. Thus when the Introit is sung the priest does not recite it after the prayers at the foot of the altar. The celebrant has the option of singing or saying the parts of the ordinary said or sung by the choir or the people with the choir or the people, as if he were simply a member of the congregation, rather than saying them separately sotto voce. Note how this diminution of the distinct role of the celebrant is developed in the 1969 Ordo Missae - where, for example, he is deprived of his separate Confiteor and is just one of the brothers and sisters who confess their sins." (Davies)

Note: Also consider that the role of the priest is diminished by the use of lay readers, lay 'ministers', 'lay committees', etc. During Mass, he often sits in the "presider's chair" while the laity 'take charge'.

Attempts to Give Due Respect & Honor to Almighty God?

Yes (as far as humanly possible)

Does not appear to (especially considering Communion in the hand, elimination of all signs of reverence, shift from focus on God to the community, etc.)

Clearly Adoration and Supplication of God?


Often no

Clear Sense of the Sacred?


Usually no

Sacrifice of the Mass Sometimes 'Trivialized'?


Maybe (especially the sacrificial element)

Ease of Focus at Mass


Much more difficult

Note: Persons are often distracted away from parts of the Mass by the music, the noise, etc.

Ease of Adoration


Usually difficult

Note: In fact, precisely when Christ is on the altar, the laity are often effectively encouraged to ignore Christ and focus on their neighbors (at the 'sign of peace')

Emphasis on Real Presence?



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



"Many readers will be shocked to learn that the American hierarchy is actually preparing the way for Catholic acceptance of the concept that the sacrifice in the Mass is that of Christ being offered in virtue of His presence in the congregation who offer themselves [a Protestant concept]. In the official Newsletter of the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy, a ruling was laid down that when distributing Holy Communion a priest must not say: 'Receive the Body of Christ' or 'This is the Body of Christ.' The reason given is that the congregation itself is the Body of Christ." (Davies)

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



Explicitly Sacrificial Prayers



Note: The removed prayers tend to parallel those removed by the Protestant 'Reformers' of the 16th century.

Externals Bring Home Truths?


Note: In the traditional Mass, one's senses bring home Catholic truths (e.g. the Real Presence, the Majesty of God, our dependence on God, etc.), especially from the external signs of reverence (e.g. bows, kisses, genuflections, signs of the cross, candles, incensing of the altar, etc.)


Note: In fact, the externals of a Novus Ordo Mass encourage one's senses to actually battle against what one knows to be true (e.g. when one knows the truth of the Real Presence but sees the Holy Eucharist being treated like ordinary bread).

Facilitates Our Purpose in Life?

Greatly facilitates

"Man was created to praise and adore the Lord his God, and in serving Him to save himself. This is his end." (St. Ignatius Loyola)

"By the 'end of man' we man the purpose for which he was created: namely, to know, love, and serve God." (Baltimore Catechism)

Less facilitation

Faithful Reflection of Traditional Catholic Doctrine?


As a whole, may appear to be a less faithful reflection of doctrine (e.g. reduced references to sin, hell, judgment, souls in purgatory, the Blessed Virgin Mary, saints, the Mass as a sacrifice, etc.)

Fixed Canon?


"And since it is fitting that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and this sacrifice is of all things the most holy, the Catholic Church, that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted the sacred canon many centuries ago, so free from all error, that it contains nothing in it which does not especially diffuse a certain sanctity and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer it. For this consists both of the words of God, and of the traditions of the apostles, and also of pious instructions of the holy Pontiffs." (Council of Trent, 1562 A.D.)


"The very idea that new Eucharistic Prayers were needed to enter into 'free competition' with the Roman Canon must send a shudder of horror through anyone imbued with a trace of true Catholic pietas, who still thinks with the mind of the Church - sentire cum ecclesia... Our canon is the most venerable prayer in use in any liturgy." (Davies)

Focus on Honor Paid to God?



Note: Mass often seems to be about the people at the expense of God.

Focus on Parish Community or 'Heavenly Community'?

Heavenly community

Tends to focus on the "accidental parish community"

Fosters a 'Spirit of Prayer'?


"When a soul is continually being influenced by her contact with the Church through the liturgy, it is impossible for the spirit of prayer not to grow within her, and, either imperceptibly or suddenly, produce in her a transformation into Him, who, being God, has united Himself to our nature, in order that, through Him, we might be united with God." (Liturgical Year)


Note: In fact, personal prayer during Mass is often discouraged or nearly impossible (e.g. due to noise, distractions, loud music, inability to kneel, etc.).


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


Note: It is clear in the Traditional Mass that God is our superior and that an infinite distance separates us.

Possibly yes (or at least that the distance between us and God is slight or less than infinite - especially due to lack of kneeling, Communion in the hand, 'presumed salvation of all present', etc.)

God Focused / Community Focused

God focused

Community focused

Guitars & Drums?



Mass as Our Heritage


Note: The 'Tridentine' Mass was passed on to us and will - God permitting - continue to be passed on as a precious heritage to future generations


Note: The Novus Ordo Mass is subject to continual change and therefore does not provide us any heritage to pass on to our children

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


"Holy things, it cannot be too often repeated, should be treated holily and with due reverence." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The perfection of religion is to imitate whom you adore." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Reminder: The Eucharist is the most holy of all the Sacraments. "But if we consider the dignity of the Sacraments, the Eucharist, for holiness and for the number and greatness of its mysteries, is far superior to all the rest." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)


Note: Some Masses are so irreverent that it is hard to imagine anyone - even non-believers - consider them to be conducted in a holy manner.

Inaccuracies in Creed?



Note: The text of the Creed has been wrongly translated for years as "We believe" instead of "I believe". Praying using the plural "we" means that each is professing faith for others - even if those around us are heretics!

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).

Changed Formula of Consecration?



Note: Not only is the formula different, but the entire consecration is recited as part of a narrative (the "Institution Narrative"). Further, the consecration is no longer highlighted with special typography (e.g. no large letters, no capitals, no red ink, etc.) or marked off, but instead is "apparently part of a historical context". Especially it should be noted that when the consecration is part of a narrative, there is a greater danger of invalid consecrations - if a priest recites the prayer as a mere narrative, his intention may be defective, resulting in no consecration whatsoever (for a valid consecration, the priest must have the desire to consecrate in the here and now, and not merely read about Our Lord's past actions).

Inaccuracy in Formula of Consecration?


Yes (the formula of consecration has been wrongly translated as "for all" instead of "for many" for years)

Note: It is expected that the incorrect translation of "for many" will be corrected in upcoming translations. However the fact remains that the formula used for consecration has been mistranslated for decades (even though the mistranslation was well known).

Focus on Interior or Exterior Participation?


"[T]he chief element of divine worship must be interior." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)



Note: "The Mass was changed from interior participation to exterior participation. But what exterior participation can we really provide - the sacrifice is completed by the priest alone. Interior participation is personal, exterior is not - it's mechanical"

Lay Processions?


Yes [including both before and after Mass as well during Mass (the 'bringing up of the gifts')]

'Extraordinary Ministers'?

Note: Click here for more on this topic


"To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained" (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.)

"To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion. Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The dispensing of Christ's body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because...he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ's body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"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)

"[L]aymen are officially incompetent to dispense any sacrament: and that they can baptize in cases of necessity, is due to the Divine dispensation, in order that no one may be deprived of spiritual regeneration." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")


Note: The use of so-called 'Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist'+ (also wrongly, but popularly called "Eucharistic Ministers") - lay persons (including women) distributing Holy Communion - began in the 20th century as a result of disobedience to the Pope. Their use, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, has contributed to irreverence, loss of faith, confusion of the priestly role, desecration, and sacrilege. Their use is an entire break with Catholic tradition, and it coincides with Protestant sensibilities. The use of lay "Ministers of Holy Communion" is problematic for many reasons including the following:

* Leads to additional handling of the Holy Eucharist (two additional people may now touch It - the lay 'minister' and the communicant) and therefore there is greater danger of spillage, profanation, and sacrilege 

* Diminishes respect for the Holy Eucharist 

* Diminishes respect for the priesthood by placing lay persons on the same level as priests 

* Leads to loss of faith in the Real Presence 

* Is a manifest rejection of tradition. Note that the practice of 'lay administered Communion' during Mass has no historical precedent whatsoever (remember that even if the apostles 'self-communicated' they were bishops - not lay persons). 

* Is traced to acts of disobedience to the Pope 

* Leads to 'self-communication' (the recipient may put the Holy Eucharist in his own mouth). Note: Click here for more on this topic 

* Reduces reverence and creates distractions 

* Has been condemned by popes and saints 

* Has been used as a tool by liberals and feminists who want to change the Church 

* Is often used where it is prohibited - and becomes the de facto "norm" rather than an "extraordinary" occurrence 

* Is especially scandalous given the poor behavior, immodest dress, and bad example of some 'extraordinary ministers' 

* Conforms to Protestant sensibilities - heretics who reject the Real Presence and the hierarchical priesthood 

* Leads to the deplorable situation of Holy Communion being taken to the sick by lay persons - thereby depriving the sick of the presence of the priest & the other sacraments in their critical hour of need - possibly leading to the loss of eternal souls! Note: For more information on this topic, click here.

Women should especially consider that the use of 'lay ministers' is used as a tool to advance a feminist agenda, which is contrary to the will of God [Click here for 'Top Reasons Why Women Can't Be Priests'. Click here for 'Proper Role & Behavior of Women' (Priests & Vocations Reflections)]. Note that the Church - in accordance with Holy Scripture - has always rejected certain roles for women as improper. 

+ Reminder: The correct term for such 'lay ministers' is "Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion" (NOT 'Eucharistic Ministers' and NOT 'Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist')

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'Liturgical Pluralism'?


Yes (except for the Traditional Mass)

"It must however, be recognized that with a new liturgy that varies so much according to national tastes as to make the way it is celebrated in one country unrecognizable to Catholics from another, and when a rite in one language, of one heart and mind, has been replaced by a rite lacking all these qualities, it was an affront to the much vaunted principle of liturgical pluralism that the traditional rite of Mass should be the one thing that was not allowed" (Amerio)

Mass is Clearly the Center of Christian Piety?

Yes (and it also helps to foster piety)

"The Mass is the chief act of divine worship; it should also be the source and center of Christian piety." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Much less clear (and it may even discourage personal piety - e.g. preventing kneeling, personal prayer, etc.)

Mass is Useful For Combating Protestant Heresies?



'Nationalization' of Liturgy?


"[T]he Sacred Liturgy expresses and celebrates the one faith professed by all and, being the heritage of the whole Church, cannot be determined by local Churches in isolation from the universal Church" (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)


Note: While the old Mass prevented nationalization and individualism, the new Mass seems to embrace these concepts. In doing so, the various (new) Masses may "give off different meanings, some may contradict or appear to contradict Church dogmas - and will change with each Mass, turning them into expressions of our own views"

Clearly Observes Hierarchical Order?




"It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon nor the custom permits those who do not offer sacrifice to give the Body of Christ to those who do not offer the sacrifice. This, too, has become known: that some deacons are now receiving the Eucharist even before the bishop. All this is to be discontinued, and the deacons are to be kept within their own proper bounds, knowing that they are the servants of the bishop and that they are less than presbyters [priests]. They are to receive the Eucharist, in accord with their rank, after the presbyters, either a bishop or a presbyter giving it to them. And neither are the deacons permitted to sit among the presbyters; for this is contrary to rule and order. If anyone, after these directives, still does not tender his obedience, he is to be deposed from the diaconate." (First Council of Nicaea, 325 A.D.)

Omission of Elements Offensive to Protestants?



Note: In fact, the elements omitted from the New Mass parallel those omitted by Protestants in the 16th century. "The sound and invariable practice of the Church in the West was breached for the first time by the sixteenth-century Protestant 'Reformers'. They broke with the tradition of the Church by the very fact of initiating a drastic reform of liturgical rites, and this would still have been the case even had their reformed liturgies been orthodox. The nature of their heresy was made clear not so much by what their rites contained as by what they omitted from the traditional books." (Davies) As Fr. Bugnini, architect of the new Mass, has admitted, "[it was necessary] to push aside any stone that could constitute even a shadow of a risk of stumbling or of displeasure for our separated brethren." 

Obstacle to 'One World Religion'?



In the Novus Ordo there has been an "'unbelievable convergence' in liturgical practices between Catholics and Anglicans." (Source: Davies)

"Just how close [the Novus Ordo Missae] has now come [to Protestant services] was made clear by [a Protestant] in a lecture delivered at London Colney, Herts, on 11 November 1974. He spoke enthusiastically of a Mass which he had attended containing virtually nothing with which he, as an evangelical, could disagree but for one phrase in the Thanksgiving Prayer (Canon). He knew, however, that many of his Roman Catholic colleagues did not mean by it what they actually say - 'they may say it but they don't actually mean it, so they assure me.' He went on to add that anyone who did a little research would find that the common ground between Series III [Protestant liturgy] and the new Mass is the liturgy of the 'Church of South India' - though neither 'Church' seemed keen to admit this! (The 'Church of South India' was formed by uniting Anglicans and 'Free Churches' into one body. It resulted in a good number of Anglican 'clergymen' becoming Catholics as they correctly interpreted this step as incompatible with Anglican claims to apostolic orders...)" (Davies)

"Facts have now emerged which provide an even more disquieting aspect to the unprecedented phenomenon of Protestants being asked to help compile a new Catholic Mass. There is evidence of a concerted scheme for different denominations to reform their respective liturgies in the direction of an eventual united Christian rite. This becomes clear simply by examining the text of the new Anglican Series III Communion Service. Material not found in the Roman Mass or the Anglican Prayer Book has suddenly found its way in to the revised rites of both communions. The celebrant is referred to as the President, there are Bidding prayers and a 'sign of peace'; after the Consecration the congregation says 'Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.' After the Our Father, the following appears: 'For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.' No rational person could brush this evidence aside as mere coincidence, particularly in view of the fact that an Anglican observer on the Consilium, Dr. Jasper, played a leading part in the compilation of the Series III service. It is hardly surprising that another Anglican 'minister' was able to write to the London Catholic Herald, stating: 'Today's liturgical study has brought our respective liturgies to a remarkable similarity, so that there is very little difference in the sacrificial phrasing of the prayer of oblation in the Series Three and that of the Eucharistic Prayer II in the Missa Normativa.' The Anglican 'bishop' of Southwark has stated on several occasions that he greatly admires the Novus Ordo Missae, uses it himself, and would like to see it generally available to Anglicans at least as an alternative. He has also 'con-celebrated' Mass with Catholic priests when traveling on the continent!" (Davies)

Ongoing Change?



Note: Since the Mass is no longer perceived as fixed, the "liturgical revolution" may continue unabated unless it is reigned in by Church authorities.

Perceived Focal Point of Mass


"As for the people, it is abundantly possible for them to understand and follow the Mass without either knowing Latin or possessing minute knowledge of the ceremonies. The Mass has broad features, which are easily brought within the comprehension of the least cultivated minds. It is easy to make the faithful realize what is the central point of the Mass - the consecration of Our Lord's Body and Blood." (Bishop Hedley)

"Sign of peace" 

Note: Sadly, many people think the 'sign of peace' is the focal point of Mass. Note: Click here for more information on this topic.

Placement of Faithful in Relation to God

Emphasizes the faithful's clear dependence on God

Oftentimes appears to place the faithful as equals (e.g. Communion in the hand) or at least appears to consider the distance between the faithful and God as much less than infinite 

Clearly Places God First?



Note: Although it is easy to say "Praise God", it is not that easy to follow His commands. As Jesus has said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (Jn. 14:15). In the Novus Ordo Mass, it is much less clear that it is necessary to keep these commands in order to save our souls since God's great mercy seems to be overemphasized at the expense of God's fearful justice. Since God wishes to be worshipped "in spirit and truth" (Jn. 4:24), it would seem wrong to simply say "Praise God", when one has no intention of doing all that is necessary to keep His commands. Remember that "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:21)

Prayerful Atmosphere?


"It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 19:46)


Note: Whereas the 'Tridentine' Mass offers the faithful a reverent, prayerful atmosphere, the Novus Ordo Mass almost never produces an atmosphere conducive to personal prayer. In fact, it can be nearly impossible to offer personal prayers at certain times during the Mass (and even before and after Mass) due to the constant chatting, noise, loud music, frequent distractions, proscriptions against kneeing, etc. And, in some cases, personal prayer may even be explicitly discouraged during Mass. 

Priests' Apparent "First Concern"

Salvation of souls

Social issues

Note: Priests should first concern themselves with the salvation of souls rather than social work. "If the priest isn't focusing on holiness, where does that leave us?"

Willingness of Priests to Speak About 'Hard Truths'

Far more willing

Much less willing

Note: In the past, priests spoke about hell, judgment, sin, purgatory, sin, etc. Nowadays, priests often shy away from such topics, as if they were no longer Catholic dogma.

Widespread, Well-Proven Fruits?


Note: If nothing else, the long list of saints showed the excellent fruits of the old Mass. However, many other good fruits have also been apparent (e.g. widespread faith, orthodoxy of attendees, large number of vocations, etc.) 

No. In fact, many poor fruits have resulted.*

* 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

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



Use of Words That Protestants Reject


Deleted / reduced

Note: The New Rite of Mass deleted many words and concepts - and even entire prayers - that Protestants reject. Deleted items include: invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to saints and to angels, references to purgatory, references to a propitiatory sacrifice, references to the hierarchical priesthood, etc.

Sacrifice / Memorial



Note: Rather than considering Mass as a "propitiatory, sacrificial act by a priest acting 'in persona Christi'"- the true Catholic doctrine - there is an attempt to consider the Mass as a mere memorial. As Amerio has stated, "We are not commanded to remember what Christ has done, but rather to do the same thing that Christ did and to do it to remember."

Effective Liturgical Safeguards Protect From Abuse?


"No wonder, then, that the Roman Pontiffs have been so solicitous to safeguard and protect the liturgy. They have used the same care in making laws for the regulation of the liturgy, in preserving it from adulteration, as they have in giving accurate expression to the dogmas of the faith." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Cultus", 1928 A.D.)


Note: "If one thing has been consistent in the New Rite of Mass, it's liturgical abuse." At times this abuse is so serious as to call the validity of the Sacrament into doubt, or even completely to invalidate the Sacrament. In fact, in some locations invalid sacraments have continued for years.

Widespread Abuses Have Necessitated Papal Intervention?



Secular Music?


"[Sacred music] must be holy. It must not allow within itself anything that savors of the profane [i.e. that which is not sacred] nor allow any such thing to slip into the melodies in which it is expressed." (Pope Pius XII, "Musicae Sacrae", 1955 A.D.)


Society Borrows From Liturgy?




"Anyone who reads [certain writings] will be amazed at the knowledge people of the lowest classes had of the formulas and ceremonies of the liturgy, not always of course properly used, and often bearing a twisted meaning, but attesting nonetheless the influence the Church's rites had on the popular mind. Today such influence has entirely vanished, and popular speech takes its style from anything rather than the liturgy, especially from sport. The reform is an important linguistic phenomenon that has changed the ritual language of a half a billion people and has removed the last traces of liturgical influence upon ordinary speech." (Amerio)

Rite of Mass Has Inspired Great Works of Art?

Note: This refers to the rites themselves, of course, and not to the Sacrament, which is the same in both Masses

Yes (it has inspired artists, musicians, poets, etc. throughout many centuries)

None known

Treated As the Most Sacred Thing on Earth?



"The Mass is the holiest thing on earth and should be treated as such. If we treat the holiest thing on earth with little respect, not only do we offend God, but what can we hope for for lesser things?"


More seasons, more instructive names

Fewer seasons, less instructive names (e.g. "Ordinary Time" vs. "Time After Pentecost")

Preparation For Lent 

Three weeks of preparation

Minimal/no preparation

Unanimity in the Transmission of Doctrine?



Note: Although the Church alone maintains true doctrine, if it is presented in different ways, it may be subject to various interpretations, possibly even leading to the loss of souls (e.g. if truths that must be believed are not believed or if mortal sins are not given sufficient consideration, etc.)

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


"The Blessed Sacrament is the first and supreme object of our worship." (St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier)


Holy Eucharist Given the Highest Degree of Veneration / Adoration?


"Our love for the Blessed Sacrament should be carried to the highest degree" (St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier)

Often not (in fact, many people even turn their back on the Holy Eucharist during the 'sign of peace', and then proceed to receive Holy Communion, standing, from a lay person, and with unwashed hands)

Clear Differences Between Rites Among Adjacent Regions?


Yes (in fact, sometimes even in the same parish!) 

"As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions should be avoided." (Second Vatican Council, 12/4/1963)

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Overthrow of Canon of the Mass?


Yes (although after some controversy a modified version of it was added as an option, albeit rarely used) 

Note: "The Council of Trent anathematized anyone who alleged that the Canon contained errors or should be done away with." (Davies)

Irreverent Reception of Holy Communion

"Almost never"

Very common

"If it is not becoming for anyone to approach any of the sacred functions except solemnly, certainly, the more the holiness and the divinity of this heavenly sacrament is understood by a Christian, the more diligently ought he to take heed lest he approach to receive it without great reverence and holiness, especially when we read in the Apostle those words full of terror: 'He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself not discerning the body of the Lord' [1 Cor. 11:29]." (Council of Trent, 1551 A.D.)

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


Often (apparently) not

Rite Receives High Praise?


No (except from liberals, feminists, Protestants, etc.)

"There is no living priest who can speak with greater authority concerning the liturgical movement and the Liturgy Constitution of Vatican II than Fr. Louis Bouyer. He gave the [Second Vatican Council's] Constitution a rapturous welcome in his book... praising it as the culmination of the movement - and yet now he condemns the reform which has been imposed as a deliberate turning of the back upon both. There is, he claims, no liturgy worthy of the name in the Catholic Church today [note that this was before the Traditional Latin Mass was 'brought back to widespread public use (click here)]" (Davies)

Reason Rite of Mass was Codified / Imposed

Mass was codified to combat heresy, to offer the most fitting worship to God, to raise the mind to God, to help save souls, etc.

Mass seems primarily imposed to please Protestants and to make 'worship' more agreeable to 'modern man'.

"Cognitive Dissonance"?


Note: In the 'Tridentine' Mass, all elements correspond to the truth of Catholic dogma and create no internal discord.


Note: A well catechized Catholic may find that there is great discord between what one knows to be Catholic dogma and what is seen occurring in Mass (e.g. knowing the truth of the Real Presence but seeing the Holy Eucharist treated like simple bread).

Parishioners Customarily Pray Before Mass?


Often not - instead they may talk, walk around, socialize, greet others, etc., making it almost impossible for others to pray.

Priest Leads Prayers After Mass?

Usually yes (Low Mass)

Note: The "Leonine prayers" have been said for various intentions and are not part of Mass itself.


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

In English, usually appears capitalized 

In English, often appears in lower case letters

Certain Songs / Responses Often Unusually Elongated by the Choir? 


Often certain songs are so elongated by the choir as to: (1) shift the emphasis of the Mass to individualistic concerns, or (2) to appear to give excessive importance to a particular part of Mass (relatively speaking), or (3) distract others from interior prayer, or (4) to make the singing almost appear to be a musical production or entertainment. Some music that may typically be elongated includes:

* Response: "Lord hear our prayer"

* Holy, holy Lord (may take a very long time to complete)

* Amen (this single word alone may appear to take minutes to sing! - "Aaaaay-men, aaaaay-men, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa-men")

Missal vs. Missalette



Note: In contrast to the 'fixed' Missal as used in the 'Tridentine' Mass, the changeable "missalettes" provided at many Novus Ordo Masses subject readers to many novelties. They may surround the text with "fluffy, feel-good" commentary, use capital letters improperly (even for significant words), detract from the Mass as a sacrifice, etc. Since they are not fixed in nature, and tend to change so frequently, they do not protect persons from liturgical abuse as the old missals do (in fact, they may even tend to promote various novelties). In especially liberal parishes, they may discourage the use of a missal altogether, in order that they may improvise during Mass.

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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