Traditional Latin Mass

Tridentine Elevation

The elevation of the Blessed Sacrament.

I never thought the day would arrive so soon that HolySmack would need a section dedicated to the Extraordinary Form [EF] of the Roman Catholic Mass (because of rising interest and questions from friends!). This ancient liturgy is at least half millennia old (perhaps even 1000 years old, but it’s so ancient and complex in origin that it’s hard to say), and is known by many names: Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), Latin Mass, EF, Vetus Ordo, Tridentine Mass, Usus Antiquor, Mass of all Time, Mass of Pope John XXIII — but regardless of the name, it is the Mass that has ruled most of Roman Catholicism and evangelized the world up until the 1960s.

Keep in mind the EF is the Mass that inspired most of the saints, is the Mass our grandparents knew (not to mention all the saints who lived before the recent liturgical changes: 99% of them), and is the Mass that is rising again in availability and attendance among young Christians. To find out more about the EF Mass, please refer to these resources:

—The Mass of the Ages documentary trilogy’s first episode:

—Abby Johnson, the famous ex-Planned-Parenthood director, became anti-abortion, then Catholic, then attended her first TLM. Hear her strong words about it:

Ten Epic Reasons to go Traditional Latin Mode, and also Eight Awesome Reasons

—Directories of parishes that offer the EF in Canada and the US: Ecclesia Dei, TLM-Finder

Online missal and other resources for the EF Mass (very handy for priests and servers who want to learn this Mass): Sancta Missa, FAQ, FSSP’s Training Videos (super detailed), and all Gregorian chant (recordings and score sheets) for all 18 Mass settings.

—Interested in how a wedding looks at the EF? And check here for how to arrange one (for yourself?): Latin Mass Wedding

—Permission from Vatican II and Popes Saint John Paul and Benedict XVI to attend the EF here and USCCB statement and resources here.

—Young adult groups dedicated to the EF: Juventutem (the 1st U.S. group started in Michigan!)

—And all HolySmack posts related to the EF: Chapel Veils, Communion Rails, Gregorian Chant (with samples here), Priestly Vestments, Ad Orientem (Priest Faces East), Latin Language, Genuflecting and the Last Gospel, a Tridentine Triduum experience, a Rorate Caeli experience

—Posts from other sites: a woman’s deep reflections on the TLM, the meaning of candles and bees in liturgy, and a young man’s insight relating the Church crisis and her liturgy:

—Pope Benedict XVI’s document on the EF: Summorum Pontificum, and his letter to his brother bishops about the EF.


Cannot tell you how much I appreciate this book!

—My favorite introductory book on the EF and all things Mass: Treasure and Tradition (a picture review), and great texts if you want more depth: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness

—Great blog by a priest who knows a ton on the EF and other Catholic things: Fr. Z

—Two Vietnamese sites with resources and information on the EF for các bạn người Việt and Thánh Lễ Misa Cổ Truyền (Theo Sách Lễ Rôma Ấn Bản Năm 1962)

—And as always, feel free to post questions here or on the HolySmack FaceBook page! May God bless you and your beloveds.


—Detailed crash course introductory video:

—Excellent explanation on why the Mass should be ad orientem (facing East):

—Archbishop Sample’s explanation on the EF Mass (very informative and listenable):

—And another great homily from Archbishop Sample on this Liturgy, from the pulpit of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C.:

—Detailed narrative and commentary on a Solemn High Mass by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen:

—Condensed video version of the Solemn High Mass (18min) to showcase how this liturgy flows, so you’re not completely unfamiliar when going the first time:



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