Tridentine Mass

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The Tridentine Mass is a common name for the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions[1] of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly[2][3] every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin.

The term "Tridentine" is derived from the Latin word Tridentinus, which means "related to the city of Trent, Italy". It was in response to a decision of the Council of Trent[4] that Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Western Church, excepting those regions and religious orders whose existing missals dated from before 1370.[5]

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, accompanied by a letter to the world's bishops. The Pope stated that the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal is to be considered as an "extraordinary form" (forma extraordinaria)[6] of the Roman Rite, of which the Missal as revised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 is the ordinary, normal or standard form. As a result, some refer to the 1962 Tridentine Mass as "the extraordinary form" of the Mass[7] The 1962 Tridentine Mass is also sometimes referred to as the "usus antiquior" (older use) or "antiquior forma" (older form),[8] to differentiate it from the newer form of the Roman Rite in use since 1970.

Other names used include Traditional Mass and Latin Mass - though the revised form of the Mass that replaced it also has its official text in Latin, and is sometimes celebrated in that language.[9][10]

In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the Tridentine liturgy, or what is now the "ordinary" (normal) form of the liturgy. These Masses "may - observing all the norms of law - also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted."[11] Permission to use the Tridentine Mass in parish Masses may be given by the parish priest.[12]

For the forms of the Mass liturgy prior to 1570, see Pre-Tridentine Mass.


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