A jurisdiction within the canonical tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy

Eastern Apostolic Church

Latin Rite Vicariate

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wish to learn about our

Latin Rite Vicariate

 Commitment to the Traditional Rite


Our Synod is committed to the venerable Rite of the traditional Latin Liturgy in its reverence, its beauty and its richly symbolic reflection of two millennia of Christian experience. It continues to have much to offer to the church and to the world today.


Accordingly, we hold to these tenets:

1.      To uphold the teachings and practices of the Church as defined by the Ecumenical Councils and so upheld throughout the centuries.

2.      To promote the regular and frequent public celebration of Holy Liturgy, whether as High Mass or Low Mass in accordance with the Latin Rite, either in the Latin or English language.

3.      To encourage the study, appreciation and use of the traditional music in divine worship: Oriental and Byzantine music, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, organ and hymns.

4.      To promote the regular and frequent prayer of the Holy Breviary  (Liturgy of the Hours), the Eastern Horologion, whether privately or in community, either in a liturgical language (such as Greek, Latin) or in the vernacular language.


1.1 In the Latin Rite tradition, we follow the Western Calendar
1.2 Observance of Fasting Days according to the traditional Calendar.
1.3 Vestment color according to the Calendar.
1.4 Color for Requiem Mass and Funeral is either black or purple
1.5 Color for Marian Feasts is blue.



Approved Liturgical Books

  • We use the Liturgy of St. Gregory  (Tridentine Mass) in either Latin or English (or a combination thereof). The EAC publishes its own pew books (Misselets) in both English and Latin side by side. 
  • For the altar, the celebrant uses the Roman Missal (Missale Romanum), 1963 or earlier editions.
  • For other Services, the priest uses the Catholic Ritual (Rituale Romanum).
  • Each clergy person is held to pray the Breviary or Monastic Diurnal, i.e. a minimum of Lauds and Vespers.

Appropriate adjustments for individual situations may be granted by the bishop.



The Sanctuary


The sanctuary or temple should be arranged according to these minimum rules: The church proper is the area within the building, separated into the Bema where the Altar is and where the clergy serve liturgy, and the nave where the congregation gathers. The altar is situated in the Bema in the Eastern quarter of the church, either freestanding or against the eastern wall, so that, in either case, the celebrant at the altar is facing east, with the congregation behind. The clergy’s chairs are arranged to either side of the altar, with the chair of the bishop, flanked by his attendants’ chairs, to the left (north) side and the other clergy’s chairs to the right (south) side, west of the Credence.  In the case of a freestanding altar, the chairs may be arranged along the eastern wall. The bishop, for ordinations and similar occasions, may sit on a chair on the Ambo (the area between the Altar and the nave, sometimes raised a step or two). A pulpit may be used, but preaching normally is done from the Ambo (using a lectern on the Ambo is allowed). The reader, the deacon, and the priest may read or chant from the Ambo. The credence table is placed close to the right (south) side of the altar. The sacred images (icons, holy pictures, and statuary) may be arranged in accordance with traditional usages. There may be seating and aisles provided, as necessary. If there is a fixed baptismal font, it should be outside or just inside the western entrance to the nave. The congregation stands, kneels or sits in the nave during divine services.


The Altar


The altar is a stone or wooden cube or rectangular table, at least one yard high (more often 39 to 44 inches high). The altar is covered with at least one white linen cloth, and has two lights (candles or lamps) and a cross or crucifix, either on it or next to it. Holy liturgy and other sacred services are celebrated at the altar, therefore, the altar table itself may be consecrated. If an unconsecrated table is used, a consecrated altar stone may be placed under the altar linens and/or a consecrated Antimension cloth may also be placed under the altar linens. A white linen Corporal is placed over the altar stone, before the linen is placed over the entire altar. Generally, only the sacred vessels with the Holy Gifts may be on the open Corporal. The white or red linen purificator is placed on the altar to the right of the Corporal; optionally, so may a little bell for the Sanctus-Benedictus be placed there (in case there is no acolyte or in private Masses). To the left or right side on the altar is the Missal on a bookstand or pillow. The book with the Holy Gospels or the lectionary is placed on the pulpit or reader stand facing the congregation. For private Mass, it may be placed on either side of the altar.


The Credence Table


The credence is a rectangular table, placed close to the right side of the altar; it should be covered with at least one cloth. Since the origins in the Holy Mass i.e., of the bread consecrated as the holy Eucharist, the credence may have on it, or above it on the wall, a sacred image of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The prepared Chalice and Paten are set up in the front center of the credence. The Lavabo ewer (i.e., pitcher or cruet of water) and the Lavabo bowl and the Lavabo towel, as well as the tray with the filled cruet of water for the ablutions, are set on the front right side. Towards the rear right side of the credence, the Paschal Candle may be placed. It is lit throughout Holy Mass during the Paschal season and at Holy Baptism throughout the year. It may also be lit during Requiem Liturgies. On the rear left side, the censer is hanging from a bracket, the incense boat with spoon and the charcoal tongs are on a small table or wall shelf. Alternatively, a censer stand may be used. On the front left side is a handled Communion Paten, if one is to be used in communing the people.


Liturgical Colors


The Latin Rite rubrics for colors may be used as guidance. The Eastern Rite rule of lighter colors for joyous occasions and darker colors for more solemn or penitential occasions may be used as guidance. Neither is considered a binding rule. The practice of regulating liturgical colors for certain days or feasts dates only from the 13th century in the Western Church. White and the colors which substitute for white, i.e. gold, silver, flax, etc., are always and everywhere correct. A parish church should maintain one set of vestments in white, or gold, silver, and flax. A violet stole may be used for certain services, such as Confession, etc. – Maintenance of a complete set of vestments in other colors is advised. All altar linens should be white.

The traditional Western rules for liturgical colors:

  • White (gold, silver, flax): Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ & Christmastide.  Pascha Season. Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Feasts of Virgins. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
  • Green: Ordinary Sundays (after Epiphany, after Pentecost) and weekdays without a Saint’s Day, except during Advent and Lent.
  • Violet (Purple): Advent and Lent. All Requiems, funerals, and services for the dead (as alternative to black)
  • Red: Pentecost & week, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Feasts of Martyrs.
  • Black: All Requiems, funerals, and services for the dead.
  • Blue: Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (White or Blue are options)
  • Rose: Gaudete Sunday & Laetare Sunday (as an option only).


The symbolism attached to these liturgical colors:


  • White (gold, silver, flax): Joy, celebration. Purity, innocence. Victory, Resurrection.
  • Green: Hope. Life Everlasting. Fidelity. 
  • Violet (purple): Sorrow. Penance. Repentance. Mourning. Waiting.
  • Red: Holy Spirit (flame). Suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ; of the Apostles. Blood of the martyrs.
  • Black: Mourning. Death.
  • Blue: The Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Rose: Subdued Joy.





The celebrant may exercise discretion in providing for hymns, psalms and chants to be sung or chanted at the entrance of the ministers at the Holy Mass at their recession; and during other parts of the Liturgy, such as the Gloria, Gradual, Offertory, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communion. Seasonal hymns (such as Christmas hymns) may be sung, but should not be allowed to unduly delay the service. The singing of hymns during the distribution of Communion to both, the clergy and the people, and during the post-Communion ablutions is desirable.



The use of bells in the Western Church began no later than the 8th century.  Therefore, while the use of bells is not required, it is permissible. The rubrics provide particularly for the use of a sacristy bell to signal the entrance and the recession of ministers; the use of a small single bell on the Altar by the celebrant to signal the beginning of Offertory, Sanctus-Benedictus, the Epiclesis (after “Te igitur”, the elevation of the host and chalice, and before the priest’s communion; and the use of chimes (multiple small bells, usually four) or a gong by the Altar Server or acolyte during Holy Mass to signal certain solemn moments (e.g., Words of Institution, Epiclesis, Domine non sum dignus, etc.). Generally, metal bells are to be used, but crystal and glass bells are not prohibited.


 Clerical Vesture


  • Street Attire: Clergy are best advised to always wear their respective attire; but such is not always possible, especially for the worker-clergy who take secular employment in order to support their ministries, missions and families. The preferred secular street attire is a common black “clerical suit", with all black accessories (pants, shoes, belt, etc.). Besides the coat and trousers, the suit may include a black vest. A black secular hat of a type considered common and conservative in the clergyman’s locality (e.g., a Fedora) is acceptable. Preferred shirts are black tab-collar clerical shirts or neckband shirts, and long-sleeved white dress shirts. The use of rabats, shirt fronts, etc., using Roman or Anglican style clerical collars is permissible. We recommend the tab-collared shirt because it is today’s generic uniform for clergy and not specifically denominational.  Black secular overcoats, raincoats, umbrellas, etc., may be used. Use of colored clerical shirts is not prohibited, but discouraged. Some clergy may wear a Cross around their neck, over their shirt or vest, if so awarded by the bishop.  Liturgical Crosses and pectoral Icons are not to be worn with secular attire.  These rules for street attire are guidelines, not canonical laws. Local bishops may modify them.


  • Ecclesiastical Vesture, such as habit and cassock: The ancient Roman cassock, the Pellicia, dates from the 5th century. All clergy (minor & major) may wear a black cassock with their liturgical vestments. Current styles of the Soutane or Roman Cassock with clerical collars may be worn by all clergy. Clergy may also wear Anglican style cassocks with clerical collars. The close- sleeved Eastern Cassock called the “Greek Cassock” also may be worn; it does not require a clerical collar. However, a long-sleeved white dress shirt or a long-sleeved white clerical shirt may be worn under the Cassock, showing white at the collar and at the sleeves. A priest’s cassock must always be black, regardless of rank.  A cassock may be worn by the major clergy (deacons, priests, bishops) as street attire. A cassock of light wool is a good idea for street attire. No cincture is required to be worn with a cassock for married clergy.  

  • Head-wear: All clergy may wear birettas. There are two styles: the western Biretta and the eastern Scufia or Skoufos. Both are black. A western Biretta is a four-cornered brimless cap with three tabs and a pom. A Scufia is a soft brimless cap. A bishop may wear a red Zucchetto (Skullcap) or Biretta when he is in Habit.


  • A priest, dressed in the cassock, may wear one cross on his breast, if this is so awarded to him by the bishop. A bishop, dressed in the cassock, may wear a pectoral cross. Crosses are normally worn on chains.  Commonly, monastic cleric may carry a prayer rope or rosary around their wrist or hanging from the cincture, for attention to prayer at all times and places.




  • Postures: The celebrant extends his hands outward and palms slightly up, in the ancient orante posture, wherever so indicated in the general rubrics.  Otherwise, he joins his hands at his breast unless his hands are otherwise occupied (e.g., giving a blessing, holding a book, holding the Holy Gifts, etc.). He raises his extended hands a little higher only at the prayer “Lift up your hearts” in the Eucharistic Canon. “Bows” and “reverences” are slight bows from the waist, unless a profound bow is indicated.
  • The celebrant may remain at the altar when he turns to face the people. The celebrant may read Service books on the altar from the center position, or he may move to the side of the altar to read depending on the rubrics and size of the altar (e.g, a very small chapel or oratory).

The people are required to stand or kneel (to the degree they are capable of doing so) only throughout the Anaphora of the Liturgy. In general, the people should stand, kneel and sit according to traditional usage.

In ancient times, sitting during the Liturgy was permitted, as evidenced by the earliest liturgical records, which detail how the deacons should seat the people, and how and when they should be called to stand up.  Anyone who cannot stand certainly is excused; those who have difficulty standing should try, if possible, to stand at least for the Gospel and during the Preface.  Whenever any minister within or outside the Sanctuary crosses over the center line of the Sanctuary, that is, a line drawn from the center of the altar through the center of the Nave, he should turn towards the altar and make a reverence, i.e. either a deep bow, a prostration or genuflection. The faithful should be taught to do the same. The consecrated Altar (or altar stone/Antimension) represents Christ. As such, the altar itself richly deserves our reverence. Additionally, if the Gospel Book is “enthroned” on the altar, Christ is present as the Word of God. More so, yet, when the Holy Eucharist is reserved, Christ Himself is truly present in the Tabernacle on the Altar. No other place deserves such reverence as the altar of the Holy Temple of God. Let no one be careless in this regard.

  • Censing: The Holy Eucharist was originally celebrated in Greek; the most ancient of all liturgie.  It dates from the first two centuries A.D. - Incense was not used during the first two centuries at Rome. Therefore, in the Latin or Roman Rite incense does not need not be used, except during High Mass. Likewise, bells were not used either and hence are not essential. If incense is used, the celebrant first spoons a little incense onto the coal and then blesses the incense, making the Sign of the Cross with his hand over the incense. The celebrant then censes those things, which are to be censed at that particular time.


  • Notes on the ritual usage of blessing oneself: The making of the Sign of the Cross is a reverent act, which is accompanied by prayer. It is a reminder that we are children of God and, by making the Sign of the Cross, we signify our desire to serve Christ.


To make the Sign of the Cross in the western tradition, the flat hand touches first to the forehead, then to the chest, and then to the right shoulder and to the left shoulder.


In the Eastern tradition, joining the thumb and two fingers to make the Sign symbolizes the Holy Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit – indicates our belief in the triune God. The two fingers that are bent downward into the palm signify the two natures united within our Lord Jesus Christ, His human and His divine natures, and thus signify our true belief in the descent of the Son of God to earth. The two fingers indicate His heavenly and earthly existences – as true God and as mortal man. The forehead is touched to make our minds and thoughts holy; the breast is touched to make our hearts pure and kind; the shoulders are touched to give our arms and hands the power to do good works.


By the Sign of the Cross we give our minds, our hearts and our strength to the service of God. The Sign of the Cross is one of the most ancient devotional actions of the Christian people. It is a sign to live by, a sign to die for, the sign of our salvation. When we bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross, we show our true belief that the most Holy Trinity has sanctified our thoughts, feelings, desires and acts. We express our belief that Jesus Christ sanctified our souls and saved us by His sufferings on the cross. Proper attention to this simple but profound devotion is essential to acting and living as members of the Body of Christ, His Holy Church. 


  • Standing & Kneeling: We stand as a sign of respect. Christ is present in His Word and in the Holy Eucharist, and we must stand in the presence of the King. Thus, we stand for the reading of the Holy Gospel, but at other times we may also kneel, such as for the Sacrifice of the Liturgy, and when guided by the rubrics of the service books.


  • Sitting: Sitting is the least respectful attitude. Everyone is free to stand throughout the Service, but one also may be seated from time to time, as indicated by the rubrics. We especially expect that the very young, the very old, mothers with small children, the ill and the disabled, would often prefer to sit. Of course, everyone who is able should stand for the reading of the Holy Gospel and for the Anaphora (Eucharistic Canon). Sitting is particularly appropriate when listening to a sermon and/or to reading from the Holy Scriptures (except the Holy Gospel). Sitting is also appropriate when the ministers are performing ablutions, preparations (such as the Offertory), etc., which are not prayers in which the people participate. It was also the practice of the teacher to sit during instruction. Thus, the bishop may sit when giving an instructional sermon.  It is the ancient tradition of the Bishop’s chair (the “cathedra”) which is the basis for the word “cathedral” in its various applications.
  • Hands: During Holy Mass, the people and clergy often pray with folded hands. This posture, with the palms of the hands folded together, is the usual manner of praying, both publicly and privately. Sometimes, especially at the Prayers of the Faithful, the people may pray in the ancient “orante” posture, that is, with their hands lifted up in prayer (a prayer posture more often assumed by the clergy); this posture is also often used by the people at the time of the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Facing East: To the extent at all possible, Christians should face east to pray, privately or in public worship. Places of worship, and even private prayer corners, should be arranged so that the people face East when praying.  The East, as the place of the rising sun, for the early Christians was the only fitting symbol of the last appearance of Christ in His parousia, as that Sun of Justice, sung of already in the Canticle of Zechariah. It is an apostolic tradition to pray either publicly or privately facing East. In this symbolism we express the eschatological expectation of the lasting day of eternity, in which the Christus Victor would appear as the rising sun which will never set.
  • Anámnesis: The use of the word anámnesis in the Canon of the Liturgy (e.g., as used in the prayer: “Now, therefore, making the anámnesis of His death and Resurrection...") deserves some brief explanation. The word anámnesis is Greek, meaning “to again call to mind” or “to make present past events". The word anámnesis in the above prayers is usually replaced today by phrases such as “do this in memory of Me” and “you make my commemoration". In our Rites, we use the original word anámnesis because the substitutes do not convey the same meaning. The Great Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist does not repeat the sacrifice of Jesus upon the Holy Cross; rather, it is an offering again and again of the sacrificed Body and Blood, which were offered once on the Cross by our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s sacrifice on Golgotha and the Eucharistic sacrifice can be distinguished from each other, but they are one single and inseparable Sacrifice. That which distinguishes them is that the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Holy Liturgy is a bloodless sacrifice, done after the Resurrection of Christ, our immortal King.  Thus, we bring the past events, the Sacrifice of Jesus upon the Holy Cross and the glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ, into the present moment; that is, we make the anamnesis of those events now, today. In a mystical way, time is overcome and we participate today by this anamnesis in the greatest events in human history, because they are now present to us. This is central to the Holy Mystery of the Liturgy and Holy Communion.
  • Women and girls are welcome in every part of the parish church; they are not to be excluded from chanting, reading or from assisting the celebrant.
  •  The Host (Amnos) for Holy Communion is a leavened bread in the Eastern Rites, long before the West used unleavened communion hosts.
  • The very ancient tradition of distributing blessed bread (Eulogia, Panis Benedictus, Antídoron) was widespread in the Church and is provided for in the Ordinary of the Byzantine Liturgy. This however is NOT the holy Eucharist, but an Antídoron, i.e., the blessed bread instead of the Holy Gifts. All may receive it  –  more fittingly though, only those who did not receive Holy Communion.

Duplication (celebrating two Liturgies in one day) is only permitted if pastorally so warranted. The celebration of a private Mass is also traditional, that is, when no congregation is physically present.


Latin Pronunciation


Please note that our traditional Latin pronunciation guide is the Classical Augustinian Church Latin ; i. e., Church Latin as it was spoken originally, throughout the centuries, but not the modern Italian “more Romano” as used by the Roman Church in some countries.

1.  Vowels:

A = always as in father

E  = (when closed in by a consonant) as in met

E =  (at the end of a syllable) as in met

I = always as in machine

O = as in dog

Y = is the same as in German ü (Umlaut)

2. Consonants before ae – e – oe – I - y:

C = as in its  or pizza

CC = kts

SC = sts

G = always hard, as in go

3. Consonants in other cases:

C = k as in cot

CC = kk as in accord

SC = sk as in tabasco

G = again hard, as in go



Remarks on the Epiklesis


The Roman Canon contains already an Epiclesis, right before the words of institution in the “Hanc igitur” and following. Hence, it is nonsensical and utterly superfluous to add a Byzantine Epiclesis into the Western Canon. Furthermore, there is no teaching that the Epiclesis has to be after the words of institution (anamnesis); it is only an Eastern tradition or usage to do so. Thus, before the split in 1054, the West had the Roman Canon basically as it is today. Furthermore, the Epiclesis is not a magic ritual using Byzantine semantics. It is the intention of the church, celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, to call down the Holy Spirit (Epiclesis) to change the elements.


Liturgy is Proclaiming Christ’s Presence


There are many accounts, Scriptural references and readings of the Fathers to bring us all to the reality of the real, Holy and Divine Presence within the Holy Eucharist.

This Holy and Divine Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ within the Holy Eucharist is the core of Eucharistic theology. It will be that basic belief in the Holy and Divine real presence, that will eventually and hopefully bring all of us together in one way or another – especially since some appear to drift into the thinking and belief that the Eucharist is only a memorial.  Yet, it is universal (catholic) doctrine and faith that bread and wine actually are changed into the Body and Blood through the power and glory of God. After this moment, our earthly eyes still see bread and wine on the Holy Altar, in their appearance. Invisibly to our eyes, however, this is the true Body and the true Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in essence, yet under the forms or species of bread and wine. The sanctified Gifts of bread and wine in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist are changed or transubstantiated into the true Body and true Blood of Christ. This is confirmed in the Gospel of St. John, “For My flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55).

Is this not our very reason for celebration of the Divine Presence within our joint and mutual Apostolic heritage?


  The Traditional Mass


The Western Mass or Liturgy is often called the Tridentine Mass, a reference to the fact that it was codified by Pope St. Pius V shortly after the Council of Trent (1545-1563), from which is derived the term “Tridentine”. Contrary to what some people may believe, Pope St. Pius V did not issue a new Mass, but simply unified the already existing liturgy. The Latin Mass itself can rightly be called the Mass of the West, since it dates back to the time of the early church in Rome and was then unified by Pope Gregory I in the 6th century. Thus, remnants of early liturgies parallel the Tridentine Latin Mass in its essential details.  The Mass was originally said in Aramaic or Hebrew since these were the languages, which Christ and the Apostles spoke. Words like amen, alleluia, hosanna and Sabbath are Aramaic words, which were retained and are still found in the Latin Mass today. When the Church had spread to the Gentile world, about the year 100 A.D., it adopted the Greek tongue for the liturgy, because it was the common language (Koiné) in the Roman Empire. Use of the Greek language continued throughout the second and into part of the third centuries. The Kyrie eleison is a remnant of Greek which survived in the Latin Mass. The liturgical symbol IHS (though Latinized) is a derivative of the first three letters of the Greek word for Jesus. The beginnings of the Roman Mass are found in the writings of St. Justin (150 AD) and St. Hippolyt (215 AD). Latin finally replaced Greek as the official language of the Empire. By the year 250 A.D., the Mass was held in Latin throughout most of the Western Roman empire. This included the cities in North Africa and northern Italy, such as Milan. The Church in the Western empire adopted Latin for the Mass by 380 A.D.  –  The Latin Canon as we know it was finished by 399 A.D.; Latin ceased to be the vernacular language between the 7th and 9th centuries as the regional and what we call know Romance languages developed (Spanish, Italian, French, Rumanian, etc.). However, the Mass continued to be offered in Latin, because much of the liturgy had already been established in that language. The Fathers of the Church, both of East and West, at that time saw no reason to adopt to the new vernacular languages. This was a fortunate situation, since a language, although no longer spoken, served as a common bond of communication throughout the Church and the centuries. One may ask whether this may be part of God’s plan to preserve the Church until the end of time as He promised?

The Mass is traditionally offered in Latin, because it is no longer spoken as vernacular language in any country today. Latin words do not change in meaning. The English language we speak may be easier to understand, but because of slang, colloquialisms and various local influences, the words we use vary in their meaning from place to place and often year to year. As for the difficulty of not understanding Latin, most Missals display the English translation side-by-side with the Latin text. Even children learn to use them with ease and soon know by heart even many of the Latin prayers.  Although the Latin Mass dates back to 150 A.D., the advent of the revised Mass (such as the Vatican II Novus Ordo or the Eucharist in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer) has caused the Tridentine Mass to be offered by fewer priests. Our Vicariate has always favored this option. This is not, because our clergy are old-fashioned and prefer the reverent atmosphere of the ancient liturgy to that of the more casual Services, which have become the norm today. Rather, our clergy act in obedience to historic worship. They have kept the traditional Mass, because it is clearly recognized as Old Catholic.  Many church fathers have taught that sacred liturgy is intimately bound up with the truths of the ancient faith, and therefore must conform to and reflect these truths – so much so that the liturgy actually serves as a safeguard of the integrity of our faith. For this reason, the Church has always carefully protected the text of its liturgies, in order to prevent doctrinal errors from creeping into the Church. The traditional liturgies are thus a perfect expression of the unchanging truths of the catholic faith.

The Mass is the supreme act of worship of God, who is above time, language and culture. The focus and aim of the Mass is to give to God the honor and reverence due to Him. For centuries, anyone in the West could attend the Roman Liturgy in any country or culture and always find it the same. Were it possible to travel in time, the same would still hold true: a Liturgy offered by a priest living in Rome in the 5th century would be nearly the same as that in 1570.  Moreover, the Mass offered in 1570 would be the same as the one celebrated in modern times.

This fact reflects clearly two of the four marks of the Church – her unity and her catholicity, both in regard to location and time. We recall the four marks of the Church are those clear signs, by which we can recognize the Church: She alone is one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic.

  • She is one, because all of its members profess the same faith, the same Eucharistic  Sacrifice and Sacraments, and are united under the same authority of Christ.
  • She is holy, because she was founded by Jesus Christ and thus teaches His holy doctrines as well as provides the means of living a holy life.  (Unfortunately, because of our frail nature, not all Christians make good use of those means).
  • She is catholic (or universal), because she is empowered to receive all men in all places and all times.
  • She is apostolic, because she was founded by Christ upon the Apostles and has always been governed by their valid successors.


Some people object that they do not get much out of the traditional liturgies, that it is monotonous, because they do not understand Greek or Latin, that the priest doesn’t make the Service interesting by getting the people involved – that he even has his back turned to them most of the time, etc. However,  Liturgy is not for them but for God. Worship is not a social gathering intended to give us a warm, fuzzy, neighborly feeling inside. It is rather an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and his infinite perfection, and an expression of our humility towards him as creatures within the economy and function of this planet and in the cosmos.

As the catechism teaches, the purpose for which Holy Mass is offered:

(a)      To adore God as our creator and lord

(b)      To thank God for his many favors

(c)      To ask God to bestow his blessings on all humankind

(d)      To satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against him.


Additionally, the Holy Mass, whether celebrated privately or in community, is the public worship offered by the entire church to God through Jesus Christ, who as the Eternal High Priest offers himself anew to his eternal Father as he did on the cross. He is the Lamb of God, the spotless victim, whose sacrifice takes away the sins of the world, “standing as it were slain” (Apoc. 5,6)  –  that is, offering to his Heavenly Father again the sacrifice of his life on the cross. The Mass, then, is the fulfillment of the prophecy: From the rising of the sun even to the going down ... in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation (Mal.  1:11).




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