Our website aims to promote the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the usus antiquior, widely known as Tridentine Mass and also now known as the "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite," according to the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum issued by Pope Benedict XVI.
What is the Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass (Latin: Missa Tridentina) is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published between 1570 and 1962. Other names for it include Traditional Mass, Traditional Latin Mass, and, in its latest form, Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. It is widely referred to as the Latin Mass.
At the time of the Council of Trent, the traditions preserved in printed and manuscript missals varied considerably, and standardization was sought both within individual dioceses and throughout the Latin West. Standardization was also required in order to prevent the introduction into the liturgy of Protestant ideas in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. 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 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 to before 1370.
Pope St. Pius V accordingly imposed uniformity by law in 1570 with the Papal Bull "Quo Primum", ordering use of the Roman Missal as revised by him. He allowed only rites older than 200 years to survive the promulgation of his 1570 Missal. Several of the rites that remained in existence were progressively abandoned, though the Ambrosian rite survives in Milan, Italy and neighbouring areas, stretching even into Switzerland, and the Mozarabic rite remains in use to a limited extent in Toledo and Madrid, Spain. The Carmelite, Carthusian and Dominican religious orders kept their rites, but in the second half of the twentieth century two of these three chose to adopt the Roman Rite. The rite of Braga, in northern Portugal, also seems to have been practically abandoned: since 18 November 1971 that archdiocese authorizes its use only on an optional basis.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a motu proprio called Summorum Pontificum in which he designated the Tridentine Mass "an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite". Since then, the 1962 liturgy has often been referred to as "the extraordinary form". Summorum Pontificum granted greater freedom to use the Tridentine liturgy in its 1962 form, stating that all priests may freely celebrate Mass with the 1962 Missal privately, without having to ask for permission from anyone. It also provided that pastors (parish priests) and rectors of churches should willingly accept requests from stable groups who adhere to the earlier tradition ("usus antiquior"), for permission for a qualified priest to celebrate Mass for them using the 1962 Missal, and should "ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop".
Since publication of Summorum Pontificum there has been an increase in the number of regularly scheduled public Tridentine Masses in accordance with the 1962 Roman Missal, for which the priests in charge of the churches in question now have authority to grant permission.
On 14 June 2008 Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos told a London press conference that the Vatican was preparing to instruct seminaries to teach all students the Tridentine form of the Roman Rite. He also said that Pope Benedict wants every parish to offer both the old and the new forms for Sunday Mass.