Saturday, January 15, 2011

Understanding the Extraordinary Form: Introduction

As readers of this weblog are aware, Common Sense Catholicism really is a free-flowing project. I frequently take the blog into new projects and directions. Sometimes, this is because your not so humble correspondent has a very scattered mind. Other times, it is because I feel there really needs to be a better presentation of the faith from a wide variety of topics. The latter is the cause of this next project.

I’d like to talk about the Extraordinary Form (henceforth EF) of the Roman Liturgy, better known as the “Traditional Mass”, “The Latin Mass”, “Tridentine” Mass (for reasons I do not care to go into at the time I despise this term), and so on. In writing on this topic, I hope to correct an imbalance I perceive.

In traditionalist thought, there is plenty of type over why the Extraordinary Form is superior to the Ordinary Form. (Sometimes known as the Novus Ordo, Pauline Mass, Mass of Paul VI, etc.) Yet amongst modern minds, there is little energy spent on pointing out with precision why the EF is superior on it’s own merits. This is my goal. I will do so by going through the prayers used in the EF, and giving commentary on them.

Before we do that, I would like to point out a few noticeable differences Catholics will encounter when assisting at Mass in the EF.


  1. I just want to make my Sunday Obligation with the celebration of the Tridentine Mass at St.Johns Cathedral Norwich UK...what happens with the Norve Ordo is down to those who want it!

  2. With the disclaimer at the outset that what is "better" or "worse" is a normative or subjective judgment (rather than a non-normative or objective one), I will read this series with a discerning mind.


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