VATICAN CITY – Libraries and the neglected corners of sacristy closets may not be the best place to find resources for taking advantage of expanded permission to use the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal for the Tridentine Mass.
In the age of Internet, online bookstores and online auctions may be the easiest way to find copies of the 1962 rite for the celebrant, Latin-English missals for members of the congregation and explanatory videos for all.
Salesian Father Claudio Rossini, director of the Vatican publishing house, told Catholic News Service June 28 that his office, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, was not planning to reprint the 1962 Roman Missal, at least not for the time being.
“I do not even know at this point who has the copyright,” he said.
But, Father Rossini said, “I have heard that the missal of 1962 can be found in the bookstalls of the Porta Portese (Rome street) market for 30 euros,” or about $40.
A June 29 search for “Tridentine Mass” on YouTube, the Internet video site, came up with 109 search results, many of them for five- to 10-minute segments of the Mass meant to be viewed in succession. But it also included a 54-minute video of a 1941 Easter Mass celebrated in Chicago, with commentary by the future Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
The site featured other full-length Tridentine Masses filmed in the United States, France, Poland and elsewhere.
Some of the videos were of Masses celebrated with the permission of the local Catholic bishop, while others were celebrated by priests of the Society of St. Pius X, the group founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
Often, like with the video of a Tridentine Mass celebrated March 7 in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the accompanying explanation makes clear that the Mass was authorized.
A note on one video warns that the clip does not include the entire Mass: “The sacred consecration of the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Jesus does not appear out of reverence,” it said.
In addition to used copies of the 1962 Roman Missal available from online auction sites, several online bookstores in North America, Great Britain and Australia sell reprinted editions, both for use at the altar and by the congregation. The congregational edition usually contains the Latin text and an English translation.
Like the videos, some of the missals have been published by people connected to the Society of St. Pius X; others carry the permission of a local bishop.
For example, the “Catholic Home and Garden” online bookstore – www.catholichomeshop.com – says its 1962 “Catholic Daily Missal,” the $56 version for the faithful, was reprinted with the permission of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb.
The site also sells a $325 reproduction of the 1962 “altar missal,” which it said was approved by the late Cardinal John J. O’Connor of New York.
The 1962 Order of the Mass, which contains the prayers used at every Mass – such as the Gloria, the creed and the eucharistic prayers – but not those that change according to the liturgical calendar, is available free online from www.sacred-texts.com.
The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales – www.latin-mass-society.org – offers a variety of step-by-step training manuals free online. The manuals include small booklets for altar servers (“How to Serve the Old Mass”) and for members of the congregation (“Standing, Sitting, Kneeling”), as well as a lengthy guide for priests on celebrating the Mass according to the 1962 missal.
They also offer free online the “Plain Man’s Guide to Latin,” which not only contains a pronunciation guide – providing the Latin creed phonetically – but also an explanation of the prayers of the 1962 missal.
With the approval of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Latin Mass Society also is sponsoring a three-day training conference in late August to teach priests from England and Wales how to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.
The society’s Web site also offers a variety of videotapes and DVDs showing the Tridentine Mass.
“The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven,” a video that offers a step-by-step explanation of the liturgy and comes with an explanatory booklet, can be ordered online from www.ecclesiadei.org/missalfm.htm.