Welcome to our striving community! We are excited to have you here with us! You may notice that our liturgy (Traditional Roman Rite / TLM / Traditional Latin Mass / “Extraordinary Form”) is rather different to the typical parishes (Novus Ordo / “Ordinary Form”) in Auckland as we celebrate our liturgy in the Traditional form of the Roman Rite. This page is here to help you to understand the Traditional form better.
Differences between the Traditional Form and the Revised Liturgy
- The Orientation
The priest in the Traditional Roman Rite celebrates the Mass facing the altar (Ad Orientem) instead of facing the people (Verses Populum).
“Ad Orientem” is Latin for “toward the East.” It refers to the direction that the priest faces during particular moments in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Historically, Catholic churches and cemeteries have always been built along an East-West axis whenever possible. This is because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely a closed-circle, communal event taking place between the priest and people, but a heavenly mystery encompassing the whole cosmos: “In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God…” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraph 8).
- The Language
Unlike most parishes in New Zealand, the language used during the Traditional Latin Mass is Latin which continues to be the official language of the Catholic Church. Historically speaking, during the time of the early Church within the Roman Empire, the Latin Language was the common tongue (vulgate) in which the Church flourished. The liturgy of the Roman Church also developed in Latin throughout western civilisation during the Roman expansion.
Before the liturgical reform in the 1970s, the Holy Mass in the Roman Rite was identical in the language used (and often in music) all throughout the globe. Your ethnic background / social class would not be relevant in the Mass. Thus there was no such thing as an “Irish Catholic”, “Italian Catholic” or “Chinese Catholic”, a Catholic in the Latin Rite is a Roman Catholic and the Mass unites all Catholics.
To help the lay faithful to understand the prayer said during the Mass, as well as to encourage prayerful participation, the Chaplaincy provides small hand missals with Latin and English side by side and the readings for the Sunday are printed in the bulletin. Before the sermon (in English), the priest usually repeats the readings in English also.
- The Music
On Sunday, the Chaplaincy celebrates Sung Mass or if the situation allows, a Solemn High Mass. These often will be sung in Gregorian Chant, the music of worship throughout the century in the Church. The singing by the choir or schola is often overlapping with the ceremony itself to maintain the flow of the liturgy. The main role of music in the Traditional liturgy draw the faithful deeper into the mystery of the Sacrifice of the Mass and allowing them to actively engage in the liturgy through interior prayer. Singing during the Mass is not a requirement for the lay faithful, however the faithful are encouraged to join in the singing of the hymns, the Kyriale or the Credo.
- The Silence
Unlike in the reformed Mass, many of the prayers in Mass, especially during the Canon (now called the Eucharistic Prayer) are said by the priest in silence. This exterior silence fosters the environment of the interior silence in the heart of the faithful. During penitential seasons such as Lent and Advent, the organ is silent to emphasise the penitential nature of such liturgical seasons.
- The structure and flow of Mass
For a full comparison between the Traditional Latin Mass and Novus Ordo, click here.
Forms of Traditional Latin Mass
The purpose of the Auckland Latin Mass Chaplaincy is not only to provide the faithful with access to the Traditional Roman Rite liturgies. Like all other parishes, the Latin Mass Chaplaincy is here to assist you to live your Christian life to its full potential. As such we also provide faith formation classes to deepen your faith as well as numerous chaplaincy groups for members of all ages and backgrounds that can help you to grow in holiness.