Latin Mass in Ordinary Form in Ateneo de Manila University High School on July 28, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

From the Ateneo Blueboard:

Everyone is invited to a Solemn High Mass in Latin in Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) on Thursday, July 28, 2011, 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Chapel of the First Companions in Ateneo High School.  This is a votive mass in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  The priest celebrant will be Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ, Professor of Liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies.

The mass responses will be sung and the choir shall sing the chants in Missa de Angelis.

Those interested may like to confirm their attendance by sending an email to the  the ALMS coordinator:

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.

Ateneo Latin Mass Society

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Chapels in Ateneo de Manila University High School: Chapel of the First Companions and Chapel of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Chapel of the First Companions in Ateneo de Manila University High School

Latin Mass at Ateneo High School Chapel postponed to June 2011 due to chapel renovation

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. celebrating the Ateneo Latin Mass Society's Inaugural Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University High School Chapel last March 3, 2011

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. celebrating the Ateneo Latin Mass Society's Inaugural Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University High School Chapel last March 3, 2011

25 April 2011
Dear ALMS members and friends,
Happy Easter!
Today I called Ma’m Ditas of the Ateneo High School Campus Ministry to finalize our schedule of May 4 for our Latin Mass.  She said that the renovation of the Ateneo High School Chapel shall start next week; all activities for May at the chapel are canceled.  Our next mass shall be on June 2011.
The Loyola Schools Campus Ministry has agreed to place one of our posters in the College chapel bulletin board.  We need to recruit more people to attend our mass.  I met Fr. Tim yesterday in Novaliches.  He wishes that on our next mass, more will attend.  We shall set the mass at 6 pm at not anymore at 7 pm so that more can come.  Those with mass intentions can send them directly to Fr. Tim before the mass: put your donation on a sealed letter envelope, then write your name (optional) and your intention (birthday, souls in Purgatory, thanksgiving, healing, etc).  Those who wish to help defray the minimum expense for the mass can send their donations to me before or after the mass. The minimum expense for the mass is Php 4,000. Php 2000 goes to Fr. Tim, Php 1,000 goes to the chapel rental, and Php 1,000 goes to the campus ministry staff overtime pay. Place your donation on a sealed letter envelope, write your name (optional), and write “For Latin Mass Expenses”.
We are currently laying the groundwork for the sacristan and choir training in the first semester.  We shall ask experts to train us.  We shall also have tutorials in Latin.  Donations to ALMS can defray the costs of these trainings (because we also need to financially support our priests, religious, and lay experts).  The trainees can opt to divide the cost among themselves–more trainees, lesser cost.  And our donors and experts would be happy to know that what they impart reaches a greater audience for the greater glory of God.  So let us recruit more people to join the sacristan, choir, and Latin language training. Spread the word.  We wish ALMS to set the standard for serving at the altar and singing the Gregorian chants in both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.  After we finish ironing out the kinks in these trainings, I shall post the invitations in the Ateneo Blueboard and in the College Chapel.
By the way, Fr. Tim has trained his altar servers and choir in his parish in Novaliches.  The Easter mass last Sunday (ordinary form) was sung mostly in Latin (Credo, Gloria, Pater Noster, etc), even if it was not Fr. Tim who celebrated the mass.  If Fr. Tim can do it in Novaliches, we can also do it here in Ateneo. 
Sincerely yours,
Monkshobbit: The Latin mass is in the ordinary form (Novus Ordo) of the Roman Rite; our choir and altar servers are not yet trained for the extraordinary form (Tridentine).

Archbishop Jesus Dosado of Ozamis on liturgical terrorists and hijackers

Looking back, some of the culprits for me for the gradual loss of the true reform of the liturgy were the so-called “liturgists” who were more like technicians and choreographers rather than pure students of liturgy.

They had a peculiar affinity for refined liturgical celebrations coupled with disdain for the old rites and devotions. Unfortunately, some bishops, not pure students of liturgy either, gave in to their terrorist proclivities.

A search for creativity and community were dominant projects in “reform-minded” Catholic circles in the 1960s and beyond. In itself, this might not have been bad. But the philosophy that the community was god, and that “God” was not fully “God” without the community was the source of ideas that have done most damage to the Church.

This secular notion of community made its way into the liturgy to gradually supplant the inherited Christian tradition.

These self-appointed arbiters of the reform were, and I hate to say this, liturgical hijackers who deprived ordinary parishioners – and bewildered pastors – of their right to the normative worship of their own Church. Hence, there was the need for a reform of the reform

read more: UCANews

Going to an ordinary English mass with an extraordinary Latin-English missal

Since my friend bequeathed to me her Baronius 1962 missal last October, I always bring it with me whenever I go to mass–even to to an ordinary form of the Roman Rite.  I would usually go to the church 15 minutes before the start of the mass.  Then I will read the Devotions Before Communion such as those of St. Ambrose and St. Thomas Aquinas.  After this, I would read the Psalms in Preparation for the Holy Mass: Psalms 83, 84, 85, 115, and 129.

During the entrance song, I read the Asperges–I now understand it in Latin.   I follow the ordinary of the mass in English.  During Sundays, the Confiteor is similar.  I skip the Introit.  The Kyrie is the same and the Gloria.  I skip the Collects and Epistle and listen to the Readings.  I read the Gradual and listen to the Gospel.  I read the Credo–it is possible to recite the Apostle’s Creed and silently read the Nicene Creed at the same time.  If there is enough time, I read the Incensing of the Offerings, Psalm 62 for the Washing of the Hands, and the Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity.  The Orate Fratres is similar to that of the New Mass.  I listen to the priest saying the Secret.  For the Preface, I go to the Proper Prefaces and read the pertinent ones–usually those for the Common, Holy Trinity, and the Blessed Virgin.  I read the Sanctus in Latin–it is straightforward.

Now, the order of the mass gets mixed up.  I skip the Prayers before the Consecration and go immediately to the Prayers at the Consecration.  Then I go to the Prayers Before Consecration and jump again to the Prayers after Consecration.  I read the Pater Noster–I already know how to pray the rosary in Latin.  I read the Libera Nos.  Then I jump to to the Prayers for Peace before going back to Agnus Dei.  I read the Prayers at Communion.

I go back to the Prayers before Communion: the prayers of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine.  Then I line up for the Communion.  I do not anymore respond “Amen” when the priest says “Body of Christ” because it becomes awkward: are we not sure that the consecrated host is indeed the Body of Christ?  (Now, I changed my mind: to be faithful to the New Missal, I shall say “Amen” because it is the prescribed response.)  In the extraordinary rite, you do not answer the priest when he says, “The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul unto life everlasting.  Amen.”

After Communion, I go back to my kneeler and pray the Prayers after Communion–those of Sts. Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Augustine.  This would just be sufficient before the priest reads the Post-Communion verse, gives the Dismal, and the Blessing.  During the exit hymn, I read the Last Gospel, Salve Regina, and Prayer for the Queen–the words are Elizabeth but in my mind are the King and Queen of Spain.  I still haven’t thought of our President and our government officials here–maybe I should.  If most of the parishioners are out of the Church, I go to the Adoration Chapel and read the Canticle of Daniel–I understand it now in Latin.  Then I go to Psalm 150, the Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Joseph.  The succeeding prayers I read are the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Anima Christi, “I beseech Thee”, “En ego, o bene”, and the Memore.  These prayers after the mass usually take 15 to 20 minutes.

I feel that my use of the Baronius 1962 missal has increased my devotion for the Holy Mass even if it is in it ordinary form and even if I read mostly the English translations.  There is a spirituality in the old mass that excites devotion to the Holy Eucharist.  And reading a missal helps me focus on the mass.  I am still a visual person.  I prefer to read scripts even of movies and plays to understand them better.  I like spoilers because they allow me to see whether the storyline builds up to the climax or not.  And reading a missal helps me fully understand what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass truly is–the Sacrifice of Christ in Calvary.

Update 12/14/2009: I shall experiment using the New Missal for a month and reserve the Old Missal for the devotions before and after communion.

Fr. Louis Bouyer: how Cardinal Annibale Bugnini deceived Pope Paul VI on the New Mass

Father Louis Bouyer (photo): I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once (and the following conversation ensued):

Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!

Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?

Paul VI: But I don’t understand: I’m not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: “Here is what the experts are asking for.” And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.

Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: “The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy.” And since I don’t agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.

Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: “The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that”. And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.

Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!

Source: Fr. Z

Interested in attending a regular Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University with Fr. Timoteo “Tim” Ofrasio, S.J.? Sign-up here

Fr. Timoteo “Tim” Ofrasio, S.J. is a professor of Liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies in Ateneo de Manila University.  He celebrates both the Ordinary and Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

The ordinary form or the Novus Ordo Missae of Pope Paul VI is what we normally see in the college chapel: the mass is in vernacular, the priest faces the congregation, and there are four options for the Eucharistic prayer.

On the other hand, the extraordinary form or the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) is something new to us who were not yet born in the 1970’s.  This form of the mass uses the 1962 missal of Pope John XXIII, the Pope who convened Vatican II.  This mass, which was codified in the 16th century by Pope Pius V in the Coucil of Trent, is in Latin and all actions and words of the priests are explicitly specified: how many times he makes the sign of the cross, what special times he faces the congregation (i.e. he turns his back most of the time), and even what fingers of his are used to turn the pages.  If you have attended a military silent drill and admired its coordination and precision, this mass is something like it.  This is the mass that the great Ateneans heard, from Jose Rizal to Ninoy Aquino.  This is the mass of our fathers.  This is the mass of the saints.  This is mass celebrated by St. Ignatius himself.

(If you want to know more about the TLM, check out the brochure of Baguio City Cathedral here.)

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. celebrates the TLM privately everyday in the Jesuit Residence.  Last 31 July 2009, on the Feast of St. Ignatius, he said a TLM at the Divine Mercy Church in Sikatuna, Quezon City, upon the invitation of Fr. Jojo Zerrudo.  After the mass, I asked for a copy of his homily and he e-mailed it to me.  He told me that he is willing to celebrate a regular TLM in public if there is a stable group of faithful who will hear the mass.

So if you are a student, teacher, staff, or alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University and you would like to be part of this stable group, please sign up here by using the comment form of this blog post.  Please write the following:

  1. Name
  2. Course/Batch
  3. Department or Office
  4. Preferred day (weekday or Sunday)

(Your e-mails are visible to me.) Once we form the stable group, we can then institute training for the acolytes (their job is to respond to the priest and their actions are also prescribed by rubrics) and choir (they sing only in Gregorian chant and only the organ may accompany them).

The high mass in TLM is similar to a Greek Tragedy, as noted by Oscar Wilde, an Anglican homosexual writer who converted to the Catholic Church on his deathbed (he also unsuccessfully tried to ask the Jesuits to give him a retreat before):

When one contemplates all of this from the point of view of art alone, one cannot but be grateful that the supreme office of the church should be the playing of the tragedy without the shedding of the blood: the mystical presentation by means of dialogue and custom and gesture even, of the Passion of her Lord; and it is always a source of pleasure and awe to me to remember that the ultimate survival of the Greek Chorus, lost elsewhere to art, is to be found in the servitor answering the priest at mass. (De Profundis, pp. 69-70)

Here is Fr. Tim Ofrasio’s address:

Fr. Timoteo JM. Ofrasio, S.J.

Email Address:

Professor of Liturgy and Sacraments at Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Pre-Renovation Survey of the Manila Observatory Chapel and Sacristy

A Survey of the Chapel

At the third floor of the Manila Observatory is a chapel, located near the stairs.  From the outside, all you see is a series of vertical planks designed in such a way that you won’t see what is inside directly.  The air flows past these the spaces between the planks and the screen wall near the ceiling.

There are two doors, left and right.  If you open one of the doors, the first thing that you will see is a series of tall windows allowing a good view of the Observatory’s green fields, which stretches out to the Ionosphere building towards the East, the Solar Building on the South West, and the Grade school building beyond it.  And then you see the heavens.  “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

But the chapel is empty.  There are no pews.  But this is where we hold our First Friday masses.  Instead of pews we use chairs, ideal for office use, but not for a chapel.  We sit, we stand, but we never kneel, even during consecration.  Sitting masses is becoming very common here at the Ateneo de Manila University. I’ve attended one in the Jesuit Infirmary. And I saw another one in the Theology Department, even though it is not a chapel.  As long as there is a table to serve as the altar and people have chairs to sit down, we can have a mass.

I sat on one of the three white monoblock chairs.  My friend brought it there, because she loves to stay there to read her Liturgy of the Hours.  Actually, I bought the book for myself a year ago to teach myself how to pray like medieval monks, but after reading for a week, I get lost.  When she saw my book, she asked if she can have it; so I gave it to her.

I gazed at the altar wall.  On the left side is the Tabernacle.  The front face is plated with gold (probably brass).  The other faces are painted gray-green.  A red lamp is burning beside it, which means that Jesus is there.  Mrs.  Tony Gonzaga, the Director of the Manila Observatory, told me that the Father Provincial, Fr. Jose Cecilio “Jojo” Magadia, S.J., was surprised that we keep consecrated hosts there.

Above the tabernacle is  a white bas relief of Mary carrying the Infant Jesus, probably made of resin.  The bas relief of St. Joseph the Worker is on the right corner.

At the center of the altar wall is a crucifix.  I am glad that it was a traditional sculpture and not that of the mummified Christ I saw at the Church of Our Lady of Pentecost along Katipunan Avenue.  Jesus Christ hangs on the cross, eyes downcast. I like this better than the highly stylized, clean-shaven Christ at the altar of the Church of the Gesu.

The altar is simply a four-legged table with mantle.  I don’t think there is a relic embedded on the table.  Relics of saints are usually placed in little boxes and embedded on church altars.  The priest kisses this relic before saying the Holy Mass.  In the olden days, when a church is about to be destroyed, one of the first things the priest will get is the relic on the altar (and the blessed hosts, of course, lest they be trampled underfoot by the enemies of the church).

Mrs. Loyzaga gave me a task.  She wants have the chapel renovated to make it as a permanent chapel of the Manila Observatory.  My job is to make suggestions on what needs to be done.

I measured the chapel area: it is 15.5 ft x 27 ft.  The raised altar area is 8 ft x 7 ft.  Thus the space for the pews is only about 15.5 ft x 20 ft, which is 310 sq. ft.  If the aisle is about 5 ft x 20 ft or 80 sq. ft, then the remaining floor area for benches is 230 sq. ft.  If each person requires a 1.5 ft x 3 ft space or 4.5 sq. ft, then the number of persons that can fit in a 230 sq. ft area is about 50.

A Survey of the Sacristy

On the right side of the altar wall is a door.  I opened it.  There are two cabinets attached to the right wall.  The first cabinet contains sacred vessels, linens, and albs–many of them are starched, though spotted with little yellow marks.  I guess it has been a long time since these were used.  Maybe decades ago.  I saw about twenty Mompo wine bottles.  They have to be thrown away.

The second cabinet contains chasubles.  They are new and well kept.  It is common for priests to just wear the chasuble on top of their ordinary clothes, then don the stole.  I know Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. will not be content at this.  Fr. Tim is a professor in liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies.  He was invited to say mass there several times, but he refused: he will only agree provided he is completely vested.  I saw him took off his priestly clothes weeks ago when he said a Traditional Latin Mass in Sikatuna in the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola: he was wrapped in layers of sheets and tied with cords before he donned his chasuble.  Fr. Ofrasio, S.J. celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass everyday in his private chapel in LHS.  Fr. Tim asked me to form a stable group for TLM so that he can celebrate it publicly in Ateneo.  So far, I have only blogged about it.  But I shall form this group soon.

There are three little rooms on the right side, each of them a third of the size of the chapel.  These are probably dressing area for priests.  I think a a priest can say his mass private mass there, in the days when the priest faces the altar.  If I am not mistaken, all priests are required to say mass everyday.  A recent option is to concelebrate.  In large masses at the Church of the Gesu, it is common to see ten priest concelebrants.

There is another little room straight ahead.  To my dismay, all the kneelers are stacked there.  Each kneeler, which can accomodate only one person, is attached to a stand where a priest can put his breviary or rest his elbows as he prays in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  I once saw Pope John Paul II praying in a similar kneeler.  I wiped the dust from one of the kneelers with my bare palm.  It turned black.

I looked around and saw a Saint Andrew Bible missal.  which was published in 1962.  So this must still be the missal of Pope John XXIII, the one used in the present Traditional Latin masses.  I did not take it at first, because it looked all English to me.  But my friend took it later and showed to me the Order of the Mass in Latin.  And I said, “Ah” and “Oh”.  She had bought her Baronius missal last week in Our Lady of Victories Church.  That was P 2,000.  Since I do not have money, I shall content myself with St. Andrew’s.  I don’t think anybody else in the Observatory will use it.  The Manila Observatory once gave away lots of its books to have more room for research.  So I shall consider this missal as part of this give away.  I shall bring this missal every mass, even in the present Novus Ordo Masses (Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite).  The text of the 1962 Roman Rite (extraordinary form) is very conducive to full and active participation in the mass, by helping me meditate on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In this rite, the priest becomes filled with holy fear in approaching the altar to offer the Most Holy Trinity the most perfect Sacrifice of Christ in Calvary.  Fr. Roque Ferriols, S.J. may describe this as Mysterium Tremendum and Mysterium Fascinosum.  Unbelievable.  It is only now I truly learnt what the mass is.

Pope Paul’s New Mass: Part III of Liturgical Revolution by Michael Davies

“Most of the research for this book was carried out during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, and the only possible conclusion which can be drawn from the evidence I have assembled is that Archbishop Lefebvre stands on sure ground in concurring with the judgment of the two Cardinals.  The Eucharistic teaching of the Council of Trent is indeed  compromised by the Novus Ordo Missae itself, and not simply by the abuses which have accompanied its celebration  in most countries (though not in Poland).  I feel bound to adhere to this judgment even after reading Dominicae Cenae and Inaestimabile Donum with greatest possible care.  I do not consider that in doing so I am lacking in respect for the Holy Father, still less being disobedient.  Despite the fact that Archbishop Annibale Bugnini stated recently that I am a calumniator, and work with colleagues who are calumniators by profession, to the best of my knowledge everything contained in this book is true: there can be no conflict betwen the truth and true respect and true obedience.  A truly loyal subordinate will tell his superior not what he thinks most likely to please himm but what he believes to be true, and most likely to benefit the organization to which they belong.  The empereror in the fairy tale was best served by the boy who told him that he had no clothes, not by the sycophants who expressed so much admiration for the beautiful suit he believed himself to be wearing.  King Lear had one loyal daughter who remained faithful to him although he had repudiated her.  Pope John Paul II has adopted his present position on the basis of advice given to him and his own assessment of the situation.  We are entitled tohope and pray that, after further reflection, he will revise his judgment.”–Author’s Introduction p. xxiv-xxv


Author’s Introduction

  1. The Development of the Roman Rite
  2. Revolutionary Legislation
  3. Reform or Revolution
  4. A Successful Revolution
  5. A Pastoral Failure
  6. Destruction of Popular Catholicism
  7. The Cult of Man
  8. The President as Actor
  9. The Children’s Directory
  10. Send in the Clowns
  11. Bring on the Dancing Girls
  12. An Ecumenical Liturgy
  13. The General Instruction
  14. The Problem of the Offertory
  15. New Eucharistic Prayers
  16. Quod Bonum Est Tenete
  17. A Sacred Stillness Reigns
  18. Introibo Ad Altare Dei
  19. Mass Facing the People
  20. The Tabernacle
  21. Communion Under Both Kinds
  22. Communion in the Hand
  23. The Ottaviani Intervention
  24. Archbishop Bugnini: Great Architect of the Revolution
  25. An Ingenious Essay in Ambiguity

Appendix I  List of Official Documents Cited

Appendix II  Documents Relating to the Reform

Appendix III  The Participation of the Protestant Observers

Appendix IV The Right to Resist an Abuse of Power

Appendix V The ICEL Betrayal

Appendix VI  The American Scandal

Bibliographical Abbreviations




Michael Davies, Pope Paul’s New Mass: Part III of Liturgical Revolution (Angelus, Dickinson, Texas, 1980), 673 pages.

Commission on Liturgy of the Diocese of Baguio City, Philippines: Introduction to the Traditional Latin Mass

by Fr. Andres M. Cosalan, Jr. (March 04, 2009)

Filipinos today are not familiar with the TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS. Those who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s would have faint memories of how the Holy Mass then was celebrated: “The priest had his back on the people, mumbling Latin prayers, and the people remained silent most of the time during the liturgy.


The traditional Latin Mass originated in Rome.  When St Paul wrote his letter to the Romans around 58 A.D., there was already an existing Christian community there for some time.  The Holy Masss, which is the celebration of the Eucharist, was simpler then and said in Greek, the popular language throughout the Roman Empire.  through the centrureis, however, rites and customs were introduced into the Holy Mass, and Latin eventually became the language of the liturgy.  The popes, who were the bishops of Rome, now and then, set regulations that gradually shaped the Latin Mass.

By the sixteenth century, Pope St. Pius V issued the Roman Missal that would be used for the Latin Mass.  This was a revision of earlier missals, and since this was in line with the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545-63), the traditional Latin Mass was also called the TRIDENTINE MASS.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called for a reform of the liturgy of the Church.  This would include a revision of the traditional Latin Mass.  Pope Paul VI came up with a new rite of the Holy Mass with the issuance of the 1969 Roman Missal (Novus Ordo).  The traditional Latins Mass was then restricted.  The new rite became more popular, since the Holy Mass could also be celebrated in the vernacular.

There are Catholics in many parts of the world who have continued valuing the traditional Latin Mass.  It is for this reason that the recent popes have called for a wider use of the traditional Latins Mass.  Pope John Paul II in 1984 granted permisson to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass and in 1988 exhorted bishopes to be accomodating on this matter.

Finally, on July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI came up with his apostolic letter concerning the traditional Latin Mass – SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM.  The Holy Father wrote that the traditional Latin Mass was “never abrogated” and that it would be the “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite of the Mass while the Novus Ordo would be the “ordinary form” of the same Rite.  Any priest then may celebrate the Holy Mass in any of these forms without special permission from authorieties.  Likewise, lay people may request priests to celberate the traditional Latin Mass for them.


What are the differences between the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the Novus Ordo (NvOr)?  There are big and small differences.  Here are some:

  1. Liturgical Calendar. The TLM uses the liturgical calendar of the Church before the reforms of Vatican II.  The NvOr uses the liturgical calendar reformed after Vatican II, with the removal of introduction of some feasts and seasons.
  2. Prayers of the Mass. The TLM has more references to the sacrificial character of the Holy Mass in its prayers.  It also uses only one Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman Canon.  The NvOr has four possible Eucharistic Prayers, with four others for particular occasions.
  3. Readings of the Mass.  The TLM generally has two Readins and follws a one-year cycle.  It also has a Last Gospel: the reading of the Prologue of the Gospel of John at the end of the Mass.  The NvOr has three Readings for the Sunday Masses and follows a three-year cycle.
  4. Language.  In the TLM, only Latin can be used for the Holy Mass.  In the NvOr, Latin or the vernacular (English, Spanish, Ilocano, Tagalog, Cebuano, etc.) may be used.
  5. Direction of the Celebration.  In the TLM, the priest and the congreagation face the East (ad orientem) from which direction Christ will return, according to biblical tradition.  The altar then is attached to the wall, usually at the eastside of the church.  In the NvOr, the priest ais allowed to face the people (versus populum) for pastoral reasons.  The altar then is set for such purpose.
  6. Active Participation of the Laity.  In the TLM, the idea of active participation of the laity is responding to the prayers when called upon, singing and following with one’s missal.  Silence in most parts of the Holy Mass is considered an interior participation.  In the NvOr, the laity not only respond to prayers and sing during the Holy Mass but even do the REadings (except the Gospel) and lead some prayers.
  7. Reception of Holy Communion.  In the TLM, Holy Communion can be received only on the tongue.  Only the priest can give the Holy Eucharist.  In the NvOr, Holy Communion may be received on the tongue and, depending on the permission of a Bishops’ Conference, also on the hand.  For pastoral reasons, lay Eucharistic ministers may even assist a priest in giving Holy Communion.
  8. Altar Rail.  In chrches and chapels where the TLM is celebrated, an altar rail spearates the sanctuary symbolizing heaven, from the nave, symbolizing the earth.  The Holy Mass is offered on the altar in the sanctuary, and people receive Holy Communion at the altar rail, the “gates” of heaven.  For the NvOr, altar rails have been removed, and people line up to receive Holy Communion from the priest, although forms of respect, like bowing or genuflecting, are expected.


The traditional Latin Mass has two main parts:

  1. Mass of the Catechumens
  2. Mass of the Faithful

The catechumens refer to those who were being prepared for baptism.  In the early church, they were only allowed to participate in the first part of the Mass, after which they were asked to leave before the second part of the Mass started.The faithful refers to the baptized members of the Church.  They participated in both the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful.  As baptized Christians, they could partake the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

  • Mass of the Catechuments.  Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, Prayers at the Altar, Readings and Homily.
  • Mass of the Faithful. Offertory, Consecration, Communion, Blessing and Last Gospel


When Pope Benedict XVI issued his apostolic letter, Summorum Pontificum, he accompanied it with an explanatory letter addressed to all bishops of the Church.  Here, he addressed two questions raised concerning the traditional Latin Mass:

First: Does not the traditional Latin Mass detract from the liturgical reforms of Vaticna II?

The Pope answered that the traditional Latin Mass was “never abrogated and consequently, in principle, was always permitted… In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.  What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.  It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

Second: Does not the liberal use of the Traditional Latin Mass creat disarray and even division in parish communities?

To this question, the Pope answered: “This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded.  The use of the old Missal (traditional Latin Mass) presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often.  Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal (Novus Ordo) will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.

In any case, Pope Benedict XVI also reaffirmed the value and holiness of the Novus Ordo: “Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage (traditional Latin Mass) cannot , as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books (Novus Ordo).  The total exclusion of the new rite (Novus Ordo) would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.


Here is the summary of the regulations set by Summorum Pontificum on the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass (TLM):

  1. Any Catholic priest of good standing may celbrate the TLM privately on any day except during the EAster Triduum (Holy Thursday-Easter Sunday).  there is no need for permission from the Apostolic See or the local Bishop.
  2. Religious communities may celbrate the TLM in their oratories.
  3. In parishes where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the TLM, the parish priest should be willing to accept their request for such Mass.
  4. Upon request by the faithful, marriages, funerals and occasional Masses may be celbrated according to the TLM.
  5. The Readings during the TLM may be in the vernacular.
  6. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy the desire of the faithful for a TLM.  He may even erect a personal parish for such purpose.


  1. Upon entering a Catholic church or chapel, make the Sign of the Cross with the holy water.  This is a simple prayer of faith in the Most Blessed Trinity.  It is also an expression of our belief that Christ redeemed us by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.  The holy water reminds us of the Sacrament of Baptism by which we became children of god and members of His family, the Church.
  2. Make a genuflexion in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  It is a sign of adoration and respect to the Risen Christ truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist.
  3. Observe modesty even in external attire.  We should not be a cause of distraction, scandal or sin against chastity to others.  Men may not wear shorts.  It is advisable that women wear dresses and use veils.
  4. Observe silence inside the church, since it is primarily a place of prayer.  It is an act of charity not to distrub others who are in prayer.  Cell phones must be deactivated, never used inside churches.
  5. To be able to follow the Tridentine Mass, which is all said in Latin, it would be helpful to use a missal booklet that contains an English translation.


Schedule: Every Sunday, 7:30 A.M. and 3:30 P.M.

Venue: Chapel of Our Lady of Atonement (Back of the Baguio Cathedral).

Source: Rorate Caeli

Archdiocese of Manila: Pastoral letter on Sunday celebration of the Eucharist

Last June 14, 2009, on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, issued a pastoral letter on the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist entitled, “Without Sunday we cannot live.” The full letter is 36 pages long (see pdf), divided into three parts.   I shall provide excerpts of the bullet points in the document, for they address many familiar liturgical issues (and problems) in the celebration of the New Mass in the Philippines:

I.  The Liturgical Assembly: “The Church: Assembly of the People of God”

Priest celebrant:

  • The presider at Mass should not appropriate the functions that the liturgical norms assign to lesser ministers, except in case of necessity.
  • The homily belongs to the office of the presiding priest.
  • When the presider invites the assembly to prayer with the words, “Let us pray,” he leads the assembly to some moments of silence in which they place themselves in God’s presence and make their own petitions.
  • Proper vestments should at all times be worn in keeping with the liturgical norms.


  • Lectors, especially those assigned for Sunday celebrations, are to come together during the week to study the Sunday readings
  • They need to prepare and familiarize themselves with the biblical
    text before they proclaim it to the assembly.
  • When there is no deacon, a reader may carry the Book of the Gospels in front of the presiding priest in the entrance procession and lay it on the center of the altar. When there is no deacon, the reader announces the
    intentions of the General intercessions from the


  • The choir is at all times a part of the assembly. It should not replace the assembly or dominate the assembly in songs that rightfully belong to them.
  • The music director, working collaboratively with other ministers, has a particular responsibility to help select musical settings that allow the worthy celebration of the liturgy, respecting the different nature
    of the texts and actions of the liturgy, the feast, and the liturgical seasons.
  • We strongly recommend that the members of the choir avail themselves of the formation programs offered by the Archdiocesan Music Ministry and the Institute of Music in the Liturgy.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

  • We feel the need to commission other extraordinary ministers whose principal task is to bring Holy Communion to the sick and the home-bound.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should regard their ministry as essentially related to all the other ministries in the liturgical celebration.
  • There is a need to intensify parochial formation programs that will supplement the annual formation program given by the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission, so that the extraordinary ministers of Holy
    Communion will be continually formed both liturgically and spiritually for the exercise of their ministry.

Altar servers:

  • It is a proven fact that many ordained ministers developed their vocation to the priesthood because of their membership in this ministry when they were young. We therefore wish to continue the practice of reserving this ministry to young boys.
  • Programs that will suit their age need to be designed by pastors and those that are in charge of them….The young altar servers should
    be diligently guided and formed by competent and God-fearing persons.

Greeters and Collectors:

  • [Greeters] should remember that they exhibit the image of a welcoming and open Church.
  • Greeters may assist with the collection and with the offering of the gifts.

Liturgy Coordinator:

  • The person to be appointed to as liturgy coordinator should have received formation through the liturgy programs of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission intended for this position.
  • The liturgy coordinator should foster and promote team work and coordination among the liturgical ministers.

II.  The Sunday Eucharistic Celebration

Liturgy of the Word:

  • The announcement of Mass intentions either at the beginning or at any part of the Mass has been discouraged.  We reiterate this policy …. so as not to perpetuate the misunderstanding among our people that they
    pay for the Mass.
  • The readings are to be proclaimed from the ambo.
  • It is appropriate that a period of silence be observed after the readings and the Gospel proclamation.
  • The high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation
    of the Gospel. The liturgy expresses this through solemn and special gestures of reverence. Particularly on Sundays, solemnities, and feasts, the use of the Book of the Gospel is highly recommended.
  • It is preferable that the responsorial psalm be sung.  The singing of psalms may be done in various ways. The usual form is responsorial: the psalmist or cantor sings the verses and the whole assembly takes
    up the response. In direct form, which is also permitted, there is no intervening response and the cantor, or the whole assembly together, sings the verses consecutively.
  • In the homily, firmly based on the mysteries of salvation, the mysteries of the faith and the guiding principles of Christian life are expounded from the Scriptures that have been proclaimed, and as the
    need arises, also from the other texts and rites of the liturgy.
  • The minister for the intentions of the prayers of the faithful is the deacon or, in his absence, the lector.
  • The place where this is announced is the ambo.

Liturgy of the Eucharist:

  • “Pondo ng Pinoy” collections can be a regular element in this liturgical act (procession with the gifts), since it can concretely express the gift of self by the faithful in union with Christ’s offering of himself to the Father. We have designated the last Sunday of every month for this
  • On the occasions of installation of parish priests, birthdays or anniversaries, and the like, it is discouraged that personal gifts for the priests be brought in procession. These personal gifts should be given to the priests during the reception party.
  • We reiterate the instruction given in the past that the use of holy water to bless persons who brought the Eucharistic gifts is not in keeping with liturgical norms and therefore should not be done.
  • The collection of money and other gifts are deposited in a suitable place but away from the Eucharistic table.

“He said the blessing”:

  • The great importance of the assembly’s response and acclamation can be difficult to bring out in the short word Amen. This should be sung or at least spoken loudly both at Sunday and weekday celebrations. Musical settings that moderately prolong the Amen or repeat it, though not excessively, can help the assembly respond more adequately to the prayer.
  • Before the breaking of the bread, the entire assembly prays …. the prayer Our Lord taught us…. We recommend that each parish should choose one musical setting to be used in all Sunday Masses so as to help the assembly participate fully and devoutly in singing it.
  • The proper gesture for the Lord’s Prayer is raised hands.
  • The breaking of the bread is done with dignity and deliberation by the priest celebrant, if necessary with the help of a deacon or a concelebrant.  It should never be done during the words of consecration.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who will assist at Communion should take their place in the sanctuary after the exchange of peace.

“He gave it to them”:

  • The faithful are not ordinarily to be given Communion from the tabernacle. Serious effort should be made to observe this norm as a regular practice in our parishes rather than as the exception.
  • Signs of unjust discrimination or social distinction  among persons at the Lord’s Table are to be avoided. When there is obvious intent of profanation, the priest and ministers should gently refuse to give
    Communion, avoiding the attention of the public.
  • Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion receive communion from the priest celebrant and receive the vessel of Communion from him.
  • The manner of receiving communion, whether by hand or in the mouth, is the prerogative of the communicant.
  • The purification of vessels after communion should be done at the side table and not on the altar.
  • Announcements should not interrupt the period of silence after communion. Novenas and other devotions and the collections should not be done during this time.
  • Announcements are done after the post Communion Prayer.

The part three on “Our Sunday Eucharist and Mission” does not concern liturgical norms.