Tridentine Mass returns to TT

Mass is being said daily at 5 pm during the week and will be held at 8 am on Saturday. On the Feast of the Euphony, a sung high mass, will be celebrated at the chapel at 9 am. Members from the traditional choir of the Sacred Heart Parish in Port-of-Spain will be singing at that special Latin Mass.

The Tridentine Mass was used in the Roman Catholic Church for almost 1500 years, until the introduction of the Mass of Pope Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council.

The ceremony is known as a Tridentine Mass because it was codified by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. However, the Mass itself is far older than that. The Canon, or central part, of the Mass dates back to the time of St Gregory in the sixth century.

In 1570, Pope St Pius V — in his Papal Bull Quo Primum — said priests could use the Tridentine rite forever, “without scruple of conscience or fear of penalty”.

Following the Second Vatican Council, its public use was restricted by most Bishops. After the introduction of Pope Paul VI’s new Mass, the only priests given permission to say the Tridentine Mass publicly were priests of England and Wales, thanks to an indult (or permission) granted by the Vatican to Cardinal Heenan of Westminster.

Other priests — such as Padre Pio and Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei — continued to use the old Mass privately in preference to the new rite.

One of the strengths of the Tridentine Mass is its uniformity. Wherever Catholics go in the world, the Tridentine Mass is exactly the same. The movements and gestures of the Mass are clearly prescribed, so there’s no room for “personalisation” of the liturgy. The time-honoured Latin of the Mass reverently reflects the sacrificial nature of the celebration.

The Second Vatican Council did not forbid use of the Tridentine Mass. In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Council said: “The use of the Latin language is to be preserved.” The Council merely gave permission for the limited introduction of the vernacular (or local language) into certain parts of the Mass when celebrated in public.


"Tridentine Mass returns to TT"

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