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The 'Tridentine' Mass vs. the Novus Ordo Mass (7)

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 (7)

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*

Liturgical Dancing?


Maybe (dancers may even appear in the sanctuary in scantily clad outfits!)

Unusual Hand Gestures


Sometimes (usually started by a few persons and, over time, the faithful experience 'peer pressure' to adopt them)

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Priest as a Representative of God or the People

Priest as a representative of God

Priest as a representative of the people

Priest Sits in 'Presider's Chair' While Lay People Read?



Childish or Distorted Looking Banners in Church?


Often yes (they may be made out of felt and look like they were crafted by second graders)

Regulation of Priest's Actions


Note: Regulations help to ensure that Mass is celebrated reverently and with due dignity.

Relatively little

Assistance of Heretics in the Drafting of the Mass? 



Note: The Protestant observers didn't just observe - they took an active part. As Davies states: "I went to the trouble of writing directly to one of the [Protestant] Observers, who assured me that they took a very active part in the study meetings which were complete free-for-alls with a very frank exchange of views." He further states: "The Protestant Observers, while not allowed to speak in the plenary sessions, were able to take an active part in the informal discussion where the real work of drafting the documents was done. Their influence is visible in the finalized documents themselves".

"They are not there simply as observers, but also as expert advisers and they participate fully in discussions on the Catholic liturgical renewal. If they had only listened there wouldn't have been much sense in it, but they contributed." [Msgr. Baum, as reported in newspaper (6/27/1967)]

Rite Required a Special Notation to be Affixed to Assure Catholics That it Truly Was an orthodox Rite?



"It must be without precedent in the history of the Church that her most solemn rite has been phrased in such a dubious manner as to require the attachment of a preface assuring the faithful that it really is orthodox." (Davies)

"[N]ever before has the hierarchy had to assure us that the liturgy really is orthodox, despite how it may be taken - such as a foreword which insists that it is orthodox" 

Children Notice the Difference Between This Rite and Previous Rite? 



Note: Some children may even compare the two as the "noisy Mass" and the "quiet Mass".

Attempt to Replace Crucifix With a "Glorified Christ"?



"From what We have already explained, Venerable Brethren, it is perfectly clear how much modern writers are wanting in the genuine and true liturgical spirit who, deceived by the illusion of a higher mysticism, dare to assert that attention should be paid not to the historic Christ but to a "pneumatic" or glorified Christ. They do not hesitate to assert that a change has taken place in the piety of the faithful by dethroning, as it were, Christ from His position; since they say that the glorified Christ, who liveth and reigneth forever and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, has been overshadowed and in His place has been substituted that Christ who lived on earth. For this reason, some have gone so far as to want to remove from the churches images of the divine Redeemer suffering on the cross. But these false statements are completely opposed to the solid doctrine handed down by tradition... Besides, the liturgy shows us Christ not only as a model to be imitated but as a master to whom we should listen readily, a Shepherd whom we should follow, Author of our salvation, the Source of our holiness and the Head of the Mystical Body whose members we are, living by His very life. Since His bitter sufferings constitute the principal mystery of our redemption, it is only fitting that the Catholic faith should give it the greatest prominence. This mystery is the very center of divine worship since the Mass represents and renews it every day and since all the sacraments are most closely united with the cross." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Mass May Appear As a Mere Commemoration Rather Than a Sacramental Action? 


"If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

Possibly yes

Mass Possibly Tends to Undermine Catholic Dogma?


Possibly yes [e.g. Communion in the hand tends to undermine the dogma of the Real Presence, 'lay ministers' tend to undermine the dogma of the priesthood, reduced references to sacrifice tend to undermine the dogma of the Mass as a sacrifice, broad references (e.g. "all the dead whose faith is known to You alone", "all who seek You with a sincere heart", etc. in place of "all orthodox believers who keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith") to tend to undermine the dogma of No Salvation Outside the Church, etc.]

Priest's Special Powers Are Clear?


Generally not

"Not a word is said, moreover, about the priest's power as a 'sacrificer,' his consecratory action or how as intermediary he brings about the Eucharistic presence. He now appears as nothing more than a Protestant 'minister'." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)

Splendor of Mass


"[Mass] should be celebrated with the proper splendor of sacred ceremonies and rites so that the greatness of this mystery will shine forth all the more even from external appearances." (Pope Pius IX, "Amantissimi Redemptoris", 1858 A.D.)

Generally little

"The new liturgy was simply not formed by saints, homines religiosi, and artistically gifted men, but has been worked out by so-called experts, who are not at all aware that in our time there is a lack of talent for such things. Today is a time of incredible talent for technology and medical research, but not for the organic shaping of the expression of the religious world. We live in a world without poetry, and this means that one should approach the treasures handed on from more fortunate times with twice as much reverence, and not with the illusion that we can do it better ourselves... The new liturgy is without splendor, flattened, and undifferentiated." (Von Hildebrand)

Liturgy Protects the Integrity of the Religion Revealed By God?


"[T]he sacred liturgy is intimately bound up with doctrinal propositions which the Church proposes to be perfectly true and certain, and must as a consequence conform to the decrees respecting Catholic faith issued by the supreme teaching authority of the Church with a view to safeguarding the integrity of the religion revealed by God." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Seems less able to protect (e.g. due to avoidance of negative topics, avoidance of mentioning Mass as a proprietary sacrifice, apparent discounting of fear of the Lord, etc.)

Variety of Prayer Options?



"A variety of prayer options makes it impossible to worship with Catholic unity throughout the world. It can even endanger the validly of the Mass since a priest may invent his own prayers without the people realizing it."

Mass Displays Nobility, Sacredness and Universality?


"Three characteristics of which Our predecessor Pius X spoke should adorn all liturgical services: sacredness, which abhors any profane influence; nobility, which true and genuine arts should serve and foster; and universality, which, while safeguarding local and legitimate custom, reveals the catholic unity of the Church." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Usually not

Note: Not only do the variations and use of the vernacular language make the Mass less universal, the rite itself removes (or makes optional) many elements which made the Mass appear noble and sacred. Further, in some areas, the Masses appear to be directly opposed to nobility and sacredness [e.g. clown masses, polka masses, 'inculturated' masses, etc. - there have even been "dancing, costumes, cheerleaders, acrobats, priests in clown suits, vehicles purposely driven inside the church, etc." - there was even a case of a waiter saying 'mass' (nowadays the parishioners seem unable to tell whether someone is actually a priest)]. (Source: Davies)

Ability to Manipulate Liturgy for Political or Social Ends?



Note: The Novus Ordo Mass is not fixed and may allow various options, inculturation, prayer intentions, etc., which may be manipulated for political or social ends.

Widespread Liturgical Abuse Necessitated Papal Apology?



"I would like to ask forgiveness - in my own name and in the name of all of you, venerable and dear brothers in the episcopate - for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, impatience or negligence, and also through the at times partial, one-sided and erroneous applications of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due to this great sacrament. And I pray the Lord Jesus that in the future we may avoid in our manner of dealing with this Sacred Mystery anything which could weaken or disorient in any way the sense of reverence and love that exists in our faithful people." (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.) 

"No one whose memory goes back to 1960 could have imagined that at that time that twenty years later a Sovereign Pontiff would find it necessary to apologize to the faithful for the state of abject degradation to which the Roman Rite has been reduced." (Davies)

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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. 

Parting Thoughts...

It should be clear from the above that the two Masses are dramatically different and that the preference for the Old Mass has nothing to do with nostalgia or "personal preferences". Instead, the Old Rite of Mass is clearly superior to the New Rite of Mass - and this is evidenced by countless proofs. If one wishes to dispute this, such an argument must be based on facts, scripture, legitimate tradition, etc. - not on one's personal opinion. In fact, it seems that those 'attached' to the Novus Ordo Mass - not those attached to the 'Tridentine' Mass do so for reasons of opinion! As Davies points out, "Pity rather than anger is the appropriate response towards those who honesty believe that we are in the midst of a liturgical renewal, and that a committee of so-called experts has indeed produced a liturgy superior to the 'Tridentine' Mass, the most venerable rite in Christendom, a rite that developed imperceptibly over a millennium under the guidance of the Holy Ghost."

We must keep in mind that our entire faith stands or falls based on whether Christ is truly made present on the altar. Since infallible Catholic teaching tells us that He is made truly present and that the Mass truly is a sacrifice, it is important that we act accordingly. If we allow the Mass to be considered a simple "get together" rather than a sacred event - the most sacred of all events - we will, over time, tend to see improper behavior, loss of faith, and even offenses against God. This has been seen countless times. Clearly, the New Rite of Mass has resulted in confusion of dogma, profanation, and sacrilege. It has turned us away from Christ and centered us on ourselves. It overthrew hundreds of years of tradition - and caused the near discarding of a Mass developed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and cherished by saints (not to mention countless laity). We went from having a liturgy that was rejected by heretics to one that heretics freely use; from one considered outstanding in beauty to one called "banal". We went from one that was holy, reverent, and universal to one that is often irreverent - even invalid - and divisive; from one that was controlled to one that is often "out of control". We went from enjoying the richest of fruits to suffering from many bitter fruits. Considering that the Mass is the "heartbeat of the Church", it is clear that the 'health' of the Mass affects the Church at large. As our enemies have always known, "It's the Mass that matters!"

To attempt to argue that the New Rite of Mass was directly willed by God seems contrary to logic. God is unchanging, and the fruits of the New Rite speak for themselves. To argue that the New Rite of Mass has been more beneficial to the faithful than the Old Rite defies clear evidence to the contrary. Even if the New Rite is celebrated according to the rubrics - which would be an improvement for many - problems will still remain. The trouble is not so much the abuses (although this is a grave problem), but it may be traced to the rite itself - the rite which Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci said "represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent".

Clearly we are not discussing a matter of little significance nor are we considering two rites that are "substantially similar". Rather there are "oceans of difference" between them (one may say that the Traditional Latin Mass and the 1960's Novus Ordo Mass are about as alike as Gregorian chant and guitars). 

Finally, since we must "always act in the way that will give [the] most glory to God" (St. John Vianney), it would seem that we are obliged to attend the rite of Mass that best accomplishes this goal, the Mass which is unequivocally Catholic - the Mass which developed 'under the guidance of the Holy Spirit', the 'Tridentine' Rite, called "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven". Our faith and souls may literally be at stake! Note: Thankfully, the Church has provided for the continued celebration of this incomparable rite. For information on its availability, contact your bishop. You should also note that it is in NO WAY disobedient to attend licit 'Tridentine' Masses (even though some prelates may attempt to convince you of the contrary). Click here for more information.

Some Further Questions to Consider:

  • "[R]ather than focus on supernatural elements like penance, commands, faith and virtues, we are looking towards 'openness' and 'community'. Is this what Jesus asks of us in the Gospels?"

  • "So now we think we're smarter than all those who have gone before us? All of the sudden we think we can create a new rite of Mass which is better than one attributed to the guidance of the Holy Ghost working throughout the centuries? Is it not the epitome of arrogance?"

  • "How can we be content with a Mass created by man?" 

  • "Take out the altar, put in a table. Take away Christ, put in 'bread' - will this satisfy anyone?" 

  • Is the "Novus Ordo" Rite - almost inseparably associated with abuses - truly worthy of God's praise? [Reminder: 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]

  • "God is our creator, and as His creatures it is our first duty to love and serve Him. How does the new Mass do this better than the old?" - As one Fourth Century apologist has said, "It is on this condition that we are made to exist: that we pay the debt of service justly owed to the God who makes us to exist, and that we recognize and follow only Him." 

  • "Why would we desire that which is inferior?" 

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In Closing...

In closing, consider these quotations...

  • "The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church" (Archbishop Bugnini, "chief architect of the New Mass") (emphasis added)

  • "Was it not Luther who said that if the Mass was destroyed Roman Catholicism would be done for?" (A. Von Hildebrand)

  • "[The common denominator in the changes] is the aim of bringing Catholic worship into conformity with that of the Protestant sects...the present liturgical revolution, while not identical with [the Protestant 'Reformer'] Cranmer's, has more than sufficient parallels to outrage any Catholic who loves the Faith." (Davies)

  • "The various customs of the Church in the divine worship are in no way contrary to the truth: wherefore we must observe them, and to disregard them is unlawful." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

  • Even the Pope who imposed the Mass, Pope Paul VI said the imposition of the New Mass was a "many-sided inconvenience", and that "This novelty is no small thing". He referred to the New Mass as an "innovation", and a "grave change". He said that by parting with Latin "we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance" and that "We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant." He even said that "We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment."

  • "In 1969 a new rite of Mass was promulgated in which, to paraphrase the bishops of the province of Westminster, prayers and ceremonies in previous use were subtracted, and the existing rite was remodeled in the most drastic manner. It was proclaimed triumphantly that this reform, better termed a revolution, would initiate a second Pentecost within the Church, but from the very beginning it initiated an unprecedented collapse in Mass attendance and Catholic life in general throughout the Western world. Msgr. Gamber sums up the true fruits of this revolution as follows: The liturgical reform, welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike, has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions - a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped - for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests. Instead of the fruitful renewal of the liturgy, what we see is a destruction of the forms of the Mass which had developed organically during the course of many centuries. Cardinal John Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster, England, warned in 1972: 'One does not need to be a prophet to realize that without a dramatic reversal of the present trend there will be no future for the Church in English-speaking countries.' The trend to which the Cardinal referred was not confined to English-speaking countries. Cardinal Danneels of Brussels, in an interview given in England in May 2000, warned that the Church in Europe is facing extinction. That this is also the case in the United States is made clear in an article by Dr. James Lothian, a professor of economics, published in the Homiletic & Pastoral Review in October 2000. Dr. Lothian notes that the official view from the Vatican on down is that what it terms the 'liturgical renewal' that was promised 'has taken place and that the Church is all the better for it.' The statistics that he cites prove that the opposite is true. Particularly significant is that he proves that during the period following Vatican II, when the catastrophic decline in Mass attendance got under way, there was no such decline within Protestant denominations. 'Church' attendance for Protestants, in contrast, has followed a much different path. For most of the period it was without any discernible trend, either up or down. In recent years it has actually risen. The notion that the Catholic fall off was simply one part of a larger societal trend, therefore, receives absolutely no support in these data.'" (Davies)

  • "What was intended by Vatican Council II as a means of making the liturgy more easily understood by the average Christian, has turned out to be something more like an orgy of stripping it of all sense of reverence, bringing it down to the level of commonness where the very people for whom the changes were made now only yawn out of sheer boredom with the banality of the result." (Archbishop Dwyer) 

  • "The results of the council seem cruelly to contradict the expectations everybody had, beginning with John XXIII and Paul VI: it was expected to produce a new unity among Catholics, but instead dissention has was expected to produce a leap forward, but we have been confronted instead with a continuing process of decay" (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)

  • "Opposition to the New Mass is not based to any great extent upon suffering caused by cultural deprivation... I am sure that most traditionalists would prefer to assist at a Low Mass in an accurately translated vernacular text of the Mass of St. Pius V rather than a sung Latin version of the New Mass, however dignified and beautiful. Let it be made clear once and for all, opposition to the New Mass is based on theological and not cultural considerations, although, clearly, responsible Catholics will also make every effort to fulfill the express command in the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy to preserve the Church's treasury of sacred music and the use of Latin in the liturgy." (Davies)

  • "The innovations in the Novus Ordo Missae, and on the other hand the things of eternal value relegated to an inferior or different place (if indeed they are still to be found at all), could well turn into a certainly the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by Christians can be altered or silenced without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. Recent reforms have amply shown that fresh changes in the liturgy could not but lead to utter bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who are already giving signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith. Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonizing crisis of conscience of which numberless instances come to our notice daily." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci)

  • "[T]he Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements, susceptible of widely differing evaluation, which appear to be implied or taken for granted - represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent, which, by fixing definitively the 'canons' of the rite, erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci) Commentary by Davies: "Subsequent events have proved the two Cardinals to have been true prophets. The barriers are down, the consequences are plain for everyone to see." 

"Give to the LORD, you heavenly beings, give to the LORD glory and might; Give to the LORD the glory due God's name. Bow down before the LORD'S holy splendor!" (Ps. 29:1-2)

"We must honor God as he requires us to honor him" (St. John Vianney)

"It is the highest duty of religion to imitate Him whom you adore." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"In order to discover the character of a people, we have only to observe what they love." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"There is indeed nothing which is more contrary to, or bad for, church discipline, than negligently and disrespectfully to carry out liturgical worship." (Pope Benedict XIV) 

"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Our dearest churches, which had been erected by the piety of our ancestors, and were sacred by innumerable memories - how many times have they not been made ruins! Satan's ambition is to efface every vestige of Christ's kingdom on earth, for that kingdom is his defeat." (Dom Gueranger) 

"Every injury offered to external worship, which is the great social link, is an injury to the interests of mankind. Even if there were not the word of God for it, it is but just that such a consequence should follow." (Dom Gueranger)

"[T]he crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy" (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI) 


Also See...

'Tridentine' Vs. Novus Ordo: Some Pictorial Comparisons 

Why the Latin Mass?

Traditional Latin Mass (Topic Page)

Novus Ordo Mass (Topic Page)

Second Vatican Council (Topic Page)

Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition: Q & A

Status of the Latin 'Tridentine' Mass

How to Find a Latin 'Tridentine' Mass

Attending the Latin 'Tridentine' Mass for the First Time

'Traditionalist Testimonies'

The Traditional Latin Mass: A Brief History

Parts of the Latin Mass (Summary)

The Traditional Liturgical Calendar

How to Learn More About the Latin 'Tridentine' Mass

What to Do / How You Can Help

Sacraments Section

Sacraments Section Reflections

The Holy Eucharist / Mass (Sacraments Section)

Proper Behavior in Church (Church Talk Section)

Church Talk Section

Church Talk Reflections

Ecumenism (Q & A)

Summary of Changes Since Vatican II: A Revolution in the Church?

Vatican II and its Fruits

Heresy / Schism Reflections (Coming Home Section)

Do All "Good People" Go To Heaven? (Coming Home Section)

Tough Love in the New Testament

Classic Encyclicals

Current Issues (Catholic News Links Section)

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* Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Topic Page)

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* Modernism (Topic Page)

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