Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: The Different Masses of the Church
The Different Masses of the Church QUESTION from Aaron Lim September 12, 2001
What is a Tridentine Mass? I have heard it quite frequently over this website. Is it the same like a normal mass? What is it when it is compared with High Mass and Low Mass?
So many distinctions for masses. Is it necessary? What are the differences between these different masses?
Another point I'd like to add which has some connection is that somehow low mass is connected to the beginning day of the jewish calendar. Why do we need a high and low mass? Is it possible just to attend one of the masses mentioned and accept it as an equivalent to going to mass on Sunday?
Please do explain the above. I hope they're not too many. But they're connected into distinctions between Tridentine Mass, High Mass & Low Mass.
By the way, are there any other types of mass celebrated?
+Peace be with you.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on September 16, 2001
Dear Mr. Lim,
The Tridentine Mass is the Mass that was used prior to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Catholics aged 50 or so and older will remember this Mass said in their childhood. For the most part this Mass is no longer used, although many dioceses have it regularly scheduled. This is permitted, but only with the permission of the local bishop. The adjective tridentine when used with Mass is a new term that began being used when our current Mass was promulgated. It refers to the Mass of the Council of Trent. The Holy Father encourages that this Mass is made available to those who desire it, but care must be taken that those who participate in it fully understand that indeed our CURRENT Mass is valid.
A High Mass is a Mass that is sung (chanted). A Low Mass is not. These terms are rarely applied to the Mass today, most Masses have some parts sung and some recited. Today's Missal simply refers to a High Mass as a sung Mass
There is also a Solemn High Mass which is a Mass in which there is a deacon.
A Sunday Mass celebrated in the evening of the previous day is an anticipated or an anticipatory Mass. Sundays and solemnities actually begin their liturgical day at the recitation of Evening Prayer (Vespers, a liturgical prayer which priests are required to pray daily) of the previous calendar day. SO, the Mass of the twenty-fourth Sunday in ordinary time May be celebrated on the evening of the previous Saturday, and YES, participating in this Mass fulfills a catholic's obligation to attend Sunday Mass. We do not NEED to have this Mass, but most pastors like to offer it as an option.
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