Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Which is Better: Latin Mass or Novus Ordo?

February 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register

by Matthew Warner

I’ve never been to a Tridentine (Latin) Mass. I know that seems quite scandalous to some and quite trivial to most. The truth is that I’d love to go. I’ve got nothing against it. I’ve just never had the real chance present itself. And I haven’t been motivated enough to seek out its fairly rare occurrence. In my life, I’ve never known anything other than the Novus Ordo. I’ve always thought it was beautiful when done well. And I figure if it’s good enough for Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Pope Benedict XVI – then it’s good enough for me.

I love the ideal of the Latin Mass and praying in a universal language in the universal Church (even though it’s also a universally dead language now). But I do appreciate the other arguments for its increased reverence, tradition and history. And I kind of like the idea of the Latin Mass being offered at a parish or being something people like me are more regularly exposed to or familiar with.

What does concern me, however, is the division I see this issue cause among the faithful around the thing that should be uniting us most…

Read the entire article here. Be sure to check out the comments following the article.



3 Responses to “Which is Better: Latin Mass or Novus Ordo?”

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    Are you trying to start a flame war? 🙂

    There’s much to be said about the old-rite vs the new rite, but IMO, the #1 reason people remain enamored with the TLM is that it remains untarnished from modern hullabaloo. Sure, a properly celebrated NO can also be very reverent, but they are few and far between. Obviously it’s going to depend on the diocese, but around here, you can pretty much expect that the average NO mass, there’s going to be a whole handful of liturgical abuses. People who don’t like the NO, don’t necessarily dislike what it’s supposed to be, but the fact that it’s been perverted into more of a protestant style worship service. The TLM stands apart.

    even though it’s also a universally dead language now

    that’s the point, right? The fact that it’s dead is a good thing, isn’t it? It means the language isn’t evolving and we can use the same words that people did hundreds of years before us. Compare that with living languages like English. Go back and try to read the original words of St. Thomas More – I can’t make sense of them.

    Before we get in the ring here, I suggest everyone read John Zmiraks’
    All Your Church are Belong To Us and some responses to that article

    Most everything’s already been said there.

  2. Nerina says:

    Interesting comments by a priest in the thread accusing TLM devotees of being “angry.” Actually, that makes me…angry. I’m certainly a newbie as far as the TLM goes, but I think if the priest made an effort to really talk to “traditionalists” he might begin to understand why they are upset.

    Of course I wish “traditionalists” could always present their case with charity and in perfect discourse, but they have been accused of being “angry” for so long, some of it might simply be self-fulfilling prophecy. I see countless swipes taken at “traditionalists” for being exclusivist and snobby and intolerant. Well for Pete’s sake they’ve been marginalized like no other group in the Church. They have Masses in out of the way places and at the worst time of day and they preach the fullness of Truth while the world shouts, “Pipe down! Don’t stand out so much! Don’t be so old-fashioned! Stop using Latin! Get rid of those vestments! Why are you using incense? That’s so pre-Vatican II!” And are people really willing to say there are NO angry Novus Ordo attendees? Go to a parish council meeting and suggest changing the music at Mass and you’ll see them rear their ugly heads quick. The priest in the comment thread painted with an enormously large brush when he characterized all “trads” as angry and he has helped perpetuate the myth.

    For the record, the more I attend the TLM, the harder it is to return to the NO as currently practiced in our diocese. I’d love to experience a Latin NO, though.

  3. snowshoes says:


    I like the way the priests at EWTN celebrate the NO, with Sunday Masses usually having the responses and the ordinary parts of the Mass sung in Latin, using the common Gregorian Mass I remember from prior to the NO. At my parish when the organist occasionally plays those ordinary prayers, many in the congregation sing them. With all the admitted and closet EWTN watchers, I’m sure it would be the same at most DOR parishes too. So, it’s just a matter of DOING it.

    I like the TLM too, take your St. Joseph Daily Missal tho, esp if it’s a true quiet Mass, (and you can’t hear the priest saying the prayers), and you’ll be able to pray along.

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