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About the Latin Mass Society

LMS Day of Recollection, St. Edmund's College, Ware The Latin Mass Society, founded in 1965, is an association of Catholic faithful dedicated to the promotion of the traditional Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church, the teachings and practices integral to it, the musical tradition which serves it, and the Latin language in which it is celebrated.

The intrinsic value and continuing importance of the Church’s ‘earlier liturgical traditions’ have been affirmed by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (SP) of 2007 (Preface), which rules that the Roman Missal of 1962—‘the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII’—has never been abrogated. Mention should also be made of the other sacraments and rituals, the traditional Divine Office, and the other legitimate Rites, Uses and liturgical customs of the Latin West, as important and living parts of the Latin liturgical tradition. English and Welsh Pilgrims, Paris to Chartres 2010

The Traditional Roman Missal is the result of incremental and organic development from the time of Pope Gelasius (died 496) and Pope Gregory the Great (died 604), so it is sometimes called the ‘Gregorian Rite’. After the Council of Trent, a carefully revised edition of the Missal was issued by Pope St Pius V in 1570, so it is sometimes called the ‘Tridentine Rite’ or ‘Tridentine Mass’.

The way the Mass has been handed down over so many centuries is reflected in the name ‘Traditional Mass’. Pope Benedict XVI ruled that this form of the Mass should be regarded, legally speaking, as a ‘form’ or ‘use’ of the Roman Rite, with the Missal of 1970 being regarded as another ‘form’ or ‘use’ of the same Rite. Hence it can be called the ‘extraordinary form’, or the ‘earlier use’ (‘usus antiquior’), of the Roman Rite (SP Art 1). In Summorum Pontificum Article 1 the Holy Father ruled that this form of the Mass was ‘never abrogated’: at no time was it forbidden. In Article 2 he rules that all priests of the Latin Church can celebrate it freely: ‘the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.’ With these important points clearly established, its usage is becoming more and more widespread today, and it is the work of the Latin Mass Society to promote its celebration in a variety of ways.

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