Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why the Traditional Latin Mass is Important: Fr. Rodriguez

Fr. Michael Rodriguez sent me this, saying I was free to use it as I saw appropriate. I see that it is appropriate to share it with you. I think these points might be covered elsewhere on this blog in previous Fr. Rodriguez posts, but maybe not as completely as they are presented here.

Why is the Traditional Latin Mass so Important?
by Fr. Michael Rodríguez

 (1) The venerable and immemorial Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, is theocentric—centered on and directed to Almighty God.  It gives constant glory to the Triune God:  a sacrifice of adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation, and impetration, directed to God, both theologically and ritually.

(2) The venerable Roman Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) is the “Mass of the Ages,” it is the Mass which has always been offered by the one, holy, Catholic Church.  Thus, it is the true and proper Catholic Mass.  This is the Mass which has been handed down by the tradition of Rome, the city consecrated by the blood of two princes, the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul.  It is the masterpiece of two-thousand years of Catholic Tradition, life, and worship.

(3) By means of the Traditional Latin Mass we are able to be supremely faithful to our Catholic religion, i.e. faithful to the (exact same) law of belief (lex credendi) and the (exact same) law of prayer (lex orandi) which have been professed by all our ancestors in the Faith, stretching back to the Apostles themselves.

(4) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests and honors the ineffable Mystery which takes place:  Jesus Christ, the one High Priest, offers the sacrifice of His life, through the ministry of His priests, in an unbloody manner.  Our Redeemer returns mystically to die for us.
(5) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests, reverences, and adores the ineffable Mystery which takes place:  the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and His Divinity, are made present and real through the Miracle of Transubstantiation at the time of the Consecration.

(6) It is a Dogma of the Catholic Faith that the worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in the Eucharist.  The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, carries this out to perfection.

(7) The venerable Roman Mass highlights the fact that Holy Mass is Christ’s own sacrifice, holy, perfect, and in every point complete, through and with which each one of the faithful nobly honors God, confessing at one and the same time one’s own nothingness and the supreme dominion which God has over one.

(8) The classical Roman Mass is unchanging.  It is characterized by a holy permanence and stability.  This is extremely important because it is a reflection of the lex credendi (the Faith) which does not change.  God is immutable, the holy truths of the Catholic Faith are immutable, Holy Scripture is immutable . . . Holy Mass is immutable.

(9) The classical Roman Mass is universal.  It unites us not only with all the Catholics of the world (space) but also with all our Catholic ancestors across the centuries (time), especially the throngs of saints whose souls were nourished and strengthened by this very same heavenly Liturgy.

(10) Our Ancient Rite expresses the Roman Catholic Faith clearly, fully, and with sublime beauty and noble precision, e.g. the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation, the holiness and grandeur of Almighty God, the mystery of grace and reality of sin, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, the Mass as the Sacrifice of Christ offered to the Eternal Father for our salvation, the priesthood as a perpetuation of Christ’s own Priesthood, the hierarchical nature of the Church, death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

(11) The venerable Roman Mass professes, manifests, and extols the following effects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:  the most Blessed Trinity is adored, honored, and glorified, Jesus Christ renews His Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ intercedes for the Church, the Virgin Mary and the saints are honored, the Church is aided in its battle against the devil and in its effort to reach heaven, the holy souls in purgatory are freed.

(12) The orations (prayers) of the Traditional Latin Mass express, transmit, and  extol Catholic doctrine, e.g. Catholic teaching on hell, divine judgment, God’s wrath, punishment for sin, the wickedness of sin as the greatest evil, detachment from the world, purgatory, the souls of the departed, Christ’s kingship on earth, the Church Militant, the triumph of the Catholic Faith, the evils of heresy, schism and error, the conversion of non-Catholics, the merits of the saints and miracles.


  1. Feel free to repost in its entirety if you wish, Wendell!

  2. Beautiful, words!

    God bless Fr. Rodriguez. Tell him I'm printing it out and it's going in a fancy frame in a prominent place in the house, Dr. Jay. LOL!


  3. To those of us who love the Traditional Latin Mass, what Fr. Rodriguez says evokes the response of "YES! DEO GRATIAS!" But there are faithful Catholics who either know nothing at all about the Traditional Latin Mass or to whom what Fr. Rodriguez says isn't at all self-evident. It's not immediately obvious to them what is "missing" in the Novus Ordo, and some even argue that there are aspects of the Novus Ordo that they find superior (e.g., that the liturgy is in the vernacular, that there are more readings from Scripture, that there is more "active participation" etc.)

    It's pretty obvious that if one compares a typical megachurch service, or a typical Baptist of Pentecostal service, with the Traditional Latin Mass that "one of these things is not like the others." It is less obvious that the Novus Ordo is different. It is argued that the Novus Ordo is merely a "modified form" of the "immemorial Mass." To appreciate the important differences it is necessary to get into an analysis of "missing prayers," or "changes in tone," or different definitions of "reverence" and "participation." If one invites someone new to the Traditional Latin Mass, it IS helpful to tell them that "the sequence of things is pretty much the same," but it takes a LOT more time to guide people into "the deep" that isn't as obvious.

    I would appreciate Fr. Rodriguez attempting to write a succinct summary of "Why the Novus Ordo Mass is less important" (to cannibalize the title of the essay above) or "Why the Novus Ordo Mass is less adequate to the role of liturgy than the Traditional Latin Mass" or even "Why one should expect to outgrow the Novus Ordo." I happen to agree with Fr. Z's rather saucy "The Novus Ordo is the Mass for Children, the Traditional Latin Mass is the Mass for Adults." I would like to hear Fr. Rodriguez expand on this theme.

    There aren't many but I do know faithful Catholics who, even after attending a Traditional Latin Mass, still prefer the Novus Ordo, at least when it is celebrated according to the rubrics (ad orientem, in Latin, without all the options). I don't "get" that they don't see what has become to me self-evident and able to be articulated with nothing more than "come and see." Well, some come and don't see! So I'd like to hear more from Fr. Rodriguez!

  4. God bless Father Michael Rodriguez. We really need priests like him in the Diocese of Augsburg, Germany, which I know he is familiar with ;-)

  5. When can we see new videos of Fr. M. Rodriguez preaching?

  6. There is a recent sermon at


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