How To Attend a Latin Mass

Even after the reforms made in Vatican II, some Catholics still keep the tradition of the Latin Mass. Latin Mass usually denotes the Tridentine Mass, but usually refers to the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Mass, as well. Especially with the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI, the Latin mass has come back into the mainstream, with some people preferring it over the new order (or "Nuovo Ordo") of the mass. People attend a Latin mass with respect and a dignified attitude. In this form of respect comes religious listening to the liturgy, and dressing up decently.

  • For a meaningful Latin mass participation, learn its history and tradition. You can try any search engine, a Latin Mass magazine/pamphlet. You can also check out
  • Find a Latin mass that you can easily join in. Small towns usually hold Latin/Tridentine Masses to keep the tradition going. Or, if you can't still find any, get a hold of the local Catholic Diocese to help you. Most Latin masses are held in private, and most of these are celebrated by the priest alone. However, you can request to participate, and will usually be allowed.
  • Once you find a Latin Mass to attend in make sure that you have a missal to get through in order at the Mass. Some parishes give out missal before the mass but if the parish you chose doesn't you can purchase a missal online (Angelus Press online offers a missal) or from special stores that have them.
  • Scan through your missal and mark those that are most used such as the Last Gospel, Sunday Propers, or the canon of the Mass.
  • Bring your missal at the Latin Mass. Dress appropriately. Semi-formal would do but it is suggested that men wear suits or shirts and ties; modest skirts or dresses along with hats or chapel veils are appropriate for women. Children should be well-dressed, as well.
  • If you have committed a mortal sin and aware of it make sure to receive the Sacrament of Confession before taking up the communion. This is necessary in order to receive the Eucharist.
  • Even though you are not a Catholic it's been said that it is quite an experience to attend a Latin Mass. If you believe in the same God then it's not so bad to hear the word of the Lord from a different perspective. At the Latin mass, though, non-baptized attendees are dismissed before the Eucharistic liturgy. This is actually the root word of "mass," which comes from "missa," or "dismissal."
  • Always take into consideration that a lot of Catholics view the Latin mass as a tradition, and it is great respect that parishioners follow along as a congregation. Keeping the Tridentine liturgy alive is a their form of love to God and the saints, so people who come along with them are said to be blessed by God.

In bigger congregations, you can expect the attendees to be moderately large in number. But of course in little towns where Latin masses are held, you can expect these to be a more private affair.


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