Is The Latin Mass Better Than The Novus Ordo?

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys are joined by Cameron O’Hearn from “Mass of The Ages” and John Heinen from The Catholic Gentleman to discuss tradition, liturgy, and if the Tridentine Latin Mass is superior to the Ordinary Form of The Mass.

Episode 97:
In this episode, we will discuss:
• Why do people choose Traditional Mass over Novus Ordo?
• Has Vatican II ever been actually properly implemented?
• Is the Novus Ordo deficient or lacking?
• Is Latin an intrinsically holy language?
• and much more

About Mass of The Ages:

About The Catholic Gentleman:

30 comments on Is The Latin Mass Better Than The Novus Ordo?

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,

    Once again I am reminded that you know few women in your life to invite onto your show, and that includes John Heinen’s self-confessed intellectual superior or his wife. It is sad to have had just two women on the show out of 98 or 99 episodes. It seems sexist as well. The novice who was on was interesting because she is still in the initial euphoria about her choice to become a nun. The editor of Church Pop was interesting because of her job as editor of the website. There have to be dozens upon dozens of other women out there who have something important to say about their faith and their theological experiences. You can find many out there on Catholic TV or EWTN.

    I enjoy the formality of the Latin Mass but since I only know a little Latin I am more fond of hearing the words of the Mass in English and it doesn’t make them any less spiritual or powerful to me. I want to hear the words God asked his priests to say in adoration. I do enjoy the formality of the Latin Mass at times. It seems more sacred. But, call me a latent heathen but I don’t want to spend 2.5 hours in Mass. If you want more people to return to the Mass it is not the length of time spent in church that will get them there it is getting people to believe that God is present in the Blessed Sacrament. I remind myself of that every time I attend Mass. Yet, I have no problem believing God is out there in the world with me always. God is a personal God for each of us not just present in a community setting. It was the personal God who got that novice you had on the show into the church.

    Since the Bible was written in Latin (and Greek) you would have to wonder if these languages are the best means of communication to God. Latin being the commonality of the liturgy as RS said. Interesting observation Fr. Rich about us being a consumeristic culture. Once consumed what is left just the shell of a person? Is that who you are preaching to?

    John, interesting analogies about your wife and the small ways in how you glorify her. Try cooking a meal one day and planning a menu rather than just doing the dishes. There are dishwashers for them.

    What I need to do is to embrace God more fully and your shows lead me to that conclusion. Whether I embrace Him in Latin or English is beside the point.

    Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Marina says:

      I agree! They lost a listener in me because they are so close-minded to the brilliance of female theologians. And before any men start ranting about Paul, I would like to point out that there are four female Doctors of the Church (Sts. Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, and Hildegarde). There is a possibility for St. Edith Stein to be added to this list in the future. All in all, I am very disappointed in this podcast. If they want to be for men only, they should say so. If they want to be for all Catholics, they need to add a female perspective. There are plenty of holy and intelligent Catholic women who would make excellent additions to this show. No one’s asking for boomer feminism, just a balanced perspective.

      1. Andrea says:

        Excellent comment! If they want to be just drinking buddies who get together in a men only club they should just say so. Thank you for pointing out the female doctors of the church. Good point.

        1. Patrick says:

          As a Traditional Catholic I believe there is only one Mass and it is Trinetine and in the language of the Catholic Church which is ( surprise) Latin ! Vatican ll was a travesty and has led the church into what was warned at LaSallette ( Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the antichrist) Our Lady was seen crying by the two seers because of this loss of faith especially for Her Priests !

          1. Jenny says:

            Patrick, these views place you outside of communion with the Catholic Church. Ultimately, you are no different than a Catholic who claims birth control is okay and that the Eucharist is merely a meal.

    2. FHL says:

      I raised four children alone and without a dishwasher, so never underestimate the value of that gesture, Cameron! My youngest is now 20. My sons willingly do kitchen duty on Mother’s Day annually. No gifts required.

  2. Oh my gosh!! I loved the Latin Mass. I sang it every Sunday growing up!! I sang Ave Maria in my first concert!!

  3. We are blessed to be able to share the word and the blessings in such a broader network as the internet. To those who see it is a ying and yang tool of deception, we must show the truths in a perspective of our Lord’s choice of the gospel and his actions. Women did have a place of honor in Jesus’ communications. God did ask Mary in a very formal and holy way. Yet the battle here on earth requires the manhood talents of the brave apostles in every priest. It is human nature. The battle with evil requires it. Women are more often used by evil as Eve was to show us and remind us how the dark forces can overwhelm knowledge and holy grounds in mockery and bloody warfare. I see your fortress as a pure path to this fight coming from Jesus directly and in respect of God’s will. Keep up the good work. I admire your love of human nature with all it’s flaws. And as we should all know, Latin is a note in God’s symphony of light that evil has to hear through and as many have used Latin to prevailed over attacks. It unites in harmony.
    Without our representatives of God’s will and of Mary’s grace where would we all be? I pray for you brave men and will always offer God my humble sacrifice of submission to him. He always is our #1 love and in this hour of turmoil of the church, we must stay united in harmony. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE. AVE MARIA !
    Ave Maria, gratia plena,
    Dominus tecum.
    Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.

    Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
    ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
    nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

  4. Chris says:

    The answer to this question is very simple…NO. Also if you are going to have a true discussion why not have an expert on Novus Ordo, this is very one sided.

    1. Jennifer Klessens says:

      I agree, Chris. I do not like the Latin Mass at all. I was looking forward to a little more debate and at least one person who would defend the Novus Ordo, not necessarily that it is better, but that it is just as valid and good. And Andrea and Marina make a very good point – where are the women in this discussion. I am not in favor of female ordination to the priesthood and am the furthest thing you will find from a feminist, but a female perspective every now and then would be very welcome.

  5. Linda says:

    Ryan is right to say the only thing that really matters is the Presence of Christ.
    That said, God is entitled to our very best. Instead of rewriting the Mass and changing the focus from God to ourselves, our leaders would have been better fathers to have begun rigorous catechesis so the faithful would again understand the beauty of the Mass of Ages. What we have now is a very poor substitute of what once was. Most Catholics don’t even know about the Real Presence, never mind believe that truth.

    I attend both forms most weekends. I am fortunate that my “NO” priest strives to *worship* God instead of highlighting himself, but judging by the behavior of the laity in that parish, their idea of attending Mass is that it is a social event with some prayer thrown in. The noise of the pre-Mass chatter is greater than what one hears in a theater waiting for a movie to begin. These are good people who love the Lord, but have no idea that He’s present (witness their reverent bows and/or genuflections to the altar – with no acknowledgement to the Person in the Tabernacle off to the side).

    To answer a question I’m often asked “Why attend both forms?” I know God is present at both Masses, so He is my first reason, but additionally, I attend the NO Mass because of human friendships. I attend the TLM for selfish reasons – every Mass is like being on retreat in Heaven.

    God loves us where we are, but don’t we owe it to Him to strive to give Him our best? Our best really is the traditional rite. It *is* after all also known as “EXTRAordinary.”

  6. Marina says:

    If John’s wife is so much smarter and has more degrees in philosophy and theology, why is she not a part of this show? Seems to me she could have much more to offer than her husband. Also, you don’t even know that there’s no such thing as “Novus Ordo,” it’s the “Ordinary Form.” The so-called “TLM” is actually properly called the “Extraordinary Form.” Maybe you mentioned this after the point I got sick of listening. It’s not that I disagree with you, because I do agree with you for the most part, but I’m disappointed to see that this show is close-minded to female perspectives among the authors. If this is a show by men and for men, it should be titled as such and not falsely advertise as a general Catholic show. If you decide to give some voice to female theologians, I’d be delighted to give it another try.

    1. Jason says:

      Marina, actually the “Ordinary Form” is properly called the Novus Ordo Missae or New Orfer of the Mass. The “Extraordinary Form” is properly called the Roman Mass or Tridentine Mass as it was the Liturgy that had been celebrated in Rome since at least 750 and was codified by use throughout the entire Church following the Council of Trent by Pope Pius V.

  7. Joe says:

    You judge a tree by its fruit, well since Vatican II can anyone tell me where all the Catholics have gone?Seems coincidental that churches have closed and people going forth taking vows is almost unheard of today. A complete failure for which no body had the right to implement.

  8. FHL says:

    To balance the scales somewhat, I am delighted with an all male panel. As the youngest of 4 girls, with more nieces than nephews, I sometimes cannot bear the female ‘voice’, even in a radio d.j. or audiobook. Most women I witness cannot participate in a discussion without dragging in medical issues or blatant gossip or the superiority of their children, and worse, harping about their husband(s). For this reason, I did not enjoy the ChurchPop episode. The nun/sister was lovely because she offered her own testimony/experience in a very secular world, which offered hope.

    I was born during Vatican ii and have never attended or seen a Latin Mass, although my father continued to pray his responses in Latin, having been born in 1930, but if anyone tried telling me to my face that I was not a devout Catholic, I would be tempted to knock their feet out from under them. ‘Satan will crawl on his belly on earth and eat dust’. My Faith is so deep I can barely speak of it, thanks entirely to my DAD. This weekly exercise in discipline (podcast?) offers me an outlet when my concrete observations differ from the mainstream opinion; because I am a woman, I am over 50, I rarely agree with most comments, I do not live in the USA, etc. I have no interest in social media, nor do I own a smartphone. The Catholic Talk Show was discovered accidently in February (Hail Mary pass sports episode), and although I cannot assist financially for a dozen different reasons, you boyos have reignited my love of the written word through several recognizable and unfamiliar Catholic authors, the Word made flesh (RSVCE bible cover to cover, 1255p.), stories of the saints including the desert fathers, etc. I am no scholar thus theology is lost on me. Thank you for meeting me where I am, with humility, honest human flawed experience, and genuine attainable virtue. I enjoyed this week’s discussion very much. I discovered a parish 40km away that offers Mass in Latin, if ever it appeals to me. In this way, I have learned something about my neighbourhood, so thank you for that! Saint Gabriel, pray for us. Amen.

  9. I barely remember the mass in Latin. I’ve not attended the old rite since then. My parents didn’t like the changes. They too felt it took away some of the reverence. Dad loved when he was in the Navy, of being able to attend mass anywhere and it was the same.

    I grew up in the new rite and was taught by my parents the respect for the faith, clergy, church and a reverence for the Eucharist. I have experienced special moments with God during Mass. I never experienced clowns or balloons during the liturgy. I’ve seen liturgical dance that was spiritual and some that was distracting.

    In my current parish we use the chant mass parts in Latin during Lent. I know the prayers we are saying but don’t know Latin. I sing the words trusting that they do mean what we normally pray in English. I find it distracting and frustrating. I have to remember the words in English in order to pray them.

    My parents felt the old mass helped to create an ambience of the spiritual and supernatural. I can see that, in it being different from everything else. I know beautiful churches and lovely hymns have at times brought me to tears and a sense of awe. I’ve had similar experiences seeing the mountains or a beautiful sunset. But my relationship with Christ is in the here and now, in the nitty gritty realities of life.

    I like praying in English. I like the feeling of being around the table with the priest. That we are praying together, much like Jesus and the apostles. As long as there is no paten I think receiving in the hand is safer. Scripture tells us Jesus said take and eat. With COVID I’ve seen people refuse the Eucharist unless it’s on the tongue. It is still Jesus and praise to Him for giving us the Eucharist. Sometimes I think people get way to preoccupied with the ritual and lose focus on why we are there.

    Anyway I guess it is how you were catechized. Much of the Catholic faithful were never catechized properly. The suggestions of combining elements of the old and new taking the best of both could work. But everyone will not be satisfied. Perhaps creating a new alternate rite (like the Eastern rite) of the old liturgy would make more people happy.

    God bless you

    1. Ava says:

      Yes, it is Jesus. It is GOD! It is the God who created Heaven and Earth and each one of us. Paul tells us, “I give you milk, because you are not yet ready for the meat.” The Holy Spirit had to guide the Church and the magisterium toward the perfect form of worship. It could not happen the day after the last supper. God did not give Adam and Eve the 10 commandments…God works in His way and His time knowing best when He can reveal things to us for our Understanding. Read up how communion in the hand took place…it did not actually come out of Vatican II. IT developed out of Liturgical abuses. And the result of that committee was that on the tongue was to be maintained as the most reverent means to receive, but an indult could be granted By the Bishop to those locations where it was already happening. But read what the early Church fathers and St. Thomas said about reception…”only that which has been consecrated must touch the Sacred Eucharist.” I know my hands are not consecrated…this is God…what are the true rubrics to handling God? Are your hands consecrated?

  10. Val C says:

    I am 55, so I was born just before the Church moved to the Novus Ordo. NM would have been my only Mass of reference, except that my parents rejected Vactican II and we spent the first 17 years of my life traveling however far we had to in order to attend Latin Mass. At this time, these were groups that were of course not in communion with Rome. Then, when I was 17, we found that the group we were currently hanging with, and had indeed moved hundreds of miles to be close to, was in fact run by a pedophile. I will not go into details to protect those who were with him at the time and were grievously injured. The guy went to jail for a little and, weirdly, was able to keep some of his following. I know the details. I have a copy of the deposition. We bailed. Somewhere in there we found out that another group of TM people that we had previously been with was also run by a pedophile. (neither one of these groups was SSPX or Legionaries, just small little known groups run by despots who took advantage of traditional Mass lovers desire to have a reverent liturgy and an old-school priest-leader) We were fortunate to find Catholic friends at this time, who were very devout, in the real Catholic Church and they helped us back into the Church of Rome. This bad experience of growing up with the Latin Mass has not diminished my appreciation for this rite, though I do have a shudder-aversion to mandatory skirts and veils for women. This is of course because we belonged to schismatic cults. They believed that, at best, the NO was invalid. Some thought it was Satanic. You know these kind of people–we haven’t had a real pope since before Piux XII yada-yada. All that said, I am very happy that the FSSP exists, but I do not at all agree with the attitude that those who attend Latin Mass are the only people who really ‘get it.’ In fact, because of my early experience, ultra-traddies just really give me the heebie-jeebies. Not fair on my part, perhaps, but there it is. I have seen profound and lasting conversions effected through devoutly celebrated Eucharistic Adoration conferences which are sometimes looked down on by ‘traditional or nothing’ people. JPII has indeed brought about a springtime in the church. The young people in our newer, or refurbished religious orders and the young people in many of our parishes are excited to be Catholic and they are NO Mass attendees. They believe in the Real Presence. They want a more reverent practice and many are attracted to the TM. This is great. I am glad for the bishops that are pushing for a return to better liturgical music and other practices. I do wish we would bring back communion rails and communion on the tongue I think that the words of the Latin mass are far more profound that the words of the NO. However, if you don’t know Latin or have a side by side missal, it’s lost on you. I took my kids to a Latin Mass when they were preteen, and realized that it wasn’t going to be as great for them as I thought. I would love to attend Latin Mass now, but the only one we have close is celebrated very rapidly and arrogantly. So I choose a much more devoutly celebrated NO. I think the NO can be done with a reverence worthy of the Eucharist. . I do believe Lex orandi, lex credendi. But—we had the Latin Mass and that appeared to be reverently celebrated by devout priests, –who were in fact evil. In short, the TM, in and of itself, does not inoculate people against the perversions and problems of the world. And –you can be fed by the Eucharist and the Word through the NO.

    1. Porter Girl says:

      Val C, I was with the SSPX for nineteen years, and I have had a similar experience as you, and I, too, share your opinions. For me, the Mass is the Mass. I get spiritual food via the Eucharist. It’s really all we need. That’s why we’re there. I’m tired of the head-covering, long-skirted snobbery of Latin Mass goers, and I’m also tired of Novus Ordo people who eye roll anyone who kneels to receive Communion on the tongue, with their five kids in tow. Both Masses are equally beautiful, and we are all Traditional, because we’re all Catholic. It should be a non-issue, but I see polarization among so many. I personally think that if the Ordinary Form were celebrated correctly, the way the documents of Vatican II specify, music and all, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

    2. Rob says:

      2.5 hours? Comments like that will put people off. The longest Mass I have ever attended was 90 minutes and it was at the Brompton Oratory in London.
      Only Easteen Orthodox liturgies or Eastee Vigils approach 2 to 3 hours.
      You should have discussed and shown excerpts from the Extraordinary Latin Mass at St. John Cantius in Chicago. They stream all their Masses at cantius.org.
      I was raised Novis Ordo and was essentially robbed of every piece of the traditional Latin Mass. Not even a Kyrie, but plenty of bad folk music that is no longer used in any churches. Then it evolved into pop, rock and jazz, offering little or no reverence.
      The suppression of the Latin Mass was almost complete, but thankfully it is being celebrated again.
      It is also ashame to see terms like “snobbery” or “boredom” in the comments.
      Lack of exposure and ignorance, not stupidity, are really behind such comments.
      A 1500 year old tradition that was the foundation for Western Civilization, and most of its great achievements, was basically eradicated through the bad implementation of Vatican II (Sacrum Concilium) and a push for modernism and Protestant theology and liturgy.

  11. William S says:

    I really wanted to hear in much more depth about Cameron’s experience of meeting Jesus. Could you devote another episode about that?

  12. Hilary Cable says:

    I miss the communion rails in the Episcopal church I converted from. It just doesn’t seem right to NOT kneel when receiving Holy Eucharist. I veil at church, one of 4 or 5 who veil at the mass I attend. Looking for an alternative to my parish.

  13. Tony Morris says:

    So, I must start with this… I LOVE finding this podcast that is an intellectual attention to issues of our day. …and while I do not agree with everything (and OMG, I would love to debate in person with you all!!!) you say, I agree with much and find myself learning just as much as I listen.

    Hank you BROS of the faith!!

    Rock on Christ dudes!!

  14. Weldon Walker says:

    This was an excellent program and thought provoking, however one point I never hear addressed is the priest confecting the Sacrament with his back to the Real Presence. I hope this will change. It’s an easy fix by saying the Mass ad orientem. Not a sermon, just a thought.

  15. Jon Hauris says:

    As someone who grew up with the Latin Mass, I think we need to be careful about being nostalgic about the Latin Mass. I agree that the Latin CAN be much more reverent and devotional. However even in the 1950’s the Latin Mass became abused. Many times the priest was not respectful and just rushed through the Mass to get it over with. Many people just prayed the Rosary and ignored what was happening on the Altar. This is just to say that any Mass can be respectful and reverent and any Mass can be disrespected. Personally I prefer the Ukrainian Byzantine Divine Liturgy – talk about reverence and focusing on glorifying God!!!

  16. Ryan Sullivan says:

    By there fruits you shall know them. If the NO is great and the church doing awesome why ask this question?

  17. Ava says:

    I found every point uttered by all four MEN to be perfectly inline with my personal Catholic Faith status quo as it has evolved to this date. I, a female, was born in 1960, cradle Catholic of a MAN who had spent a couple of years in Seminary, and a Woman who was Protestant and grew up in a very disturbed environment.

    I have memories as a 4 year old of attending Latin Mass and we can all appreciate what that means to a 4 year old. That explained, I was very pleased with the insights and shared realizations of each of the MEN on the panel. I thought the respect given to the validity of each Form: NO (Novus Order) and EOF (Tridentine), was an exceptional example of Catholic Love for Christ’s Mass. The view expressed, seemingly across the panel, of say, the validity of Vatican II was evident and appreciated and I fully agreed- The Holy Spirit called for it, and was present. The issue as to the results of Vat II being how the documents were implemented and reimplemented and again re-reimplemented is exactly to the point of the present day complication.

    Excellent close on the question, “ is it the Latin Language per se, over Slavic, Greek, English, etc., making it more superior?”- No- it is the unchanging Language throughout the centuries of Tradition in the power of the prayers, the celebration, the gathered faithful, (the communion of Saints), and the reverence to the Glorious worship to God. A Bishop in my State ( I wish he were my Diocesan Bishop) BIshop Strickland, recently celebrated his first Tridentine Mass. He makes a beautiful analogy to which you 4 MEN might take note- The Novus Order Mass is like the basic melody of the Catholic Mass, and the Tridentine Mass is like the melody with the full orchestra” .

    I thought Cameron made a good point, twice, when he referenced the “silence”. But the other 3 MEN did not speak a word to this point…that was too bad.

    Briefly, I kneel and receive on the tongue if I am attending a Novus Order…the problem with this for me, is the anxiety, the lack of calm and peace my spirit gets into during these quick minutes…the kneeling rail offers a calming affect for the spirit, there is no rushing, no awkwardness in motions, and no anxiety in thought So that my thoughts can be more focused on the One I am receiving.

    Additionally on Rubrics, Human nature being what it is, give most of us the opportunity toward leisure, give us the opportunity in ease, give us A freedom to do something as we will, without direction Or instruction, we will most often take the widest path. Children don’t like discipline and management, and adults like them even less…the rubrics do have their place…But that proper catechesis is the clue over a person’s growth and development to have an understanding as to why the rubrics Are important, but it is also God’s grace, time, and personal maturity that is going to keep a person from being a Rubric police…however, they may still need to be a “Homily police”, very sadly.

    On the women who were able to usurp the comments so that the initial comments began off topic and held un-Marian like attitudes, that was very sad! Our VIrgin Mother Mary, Martha, Mary Magdalene, the other Scriptural Marys and all the female Saints over the Last two millenniums who have made appearances to laity giving information and advise to what will make a good Christian life and the reward of Heaven have never been recorded as Advocating for, “more women this or more women that” in positions of the Church. It would behoove women to review what all the great saints, male and female, have to say about what makes a person become a Saint and earn the rewards of Heaven. If the focus is on Christ and what He has done for us and a commitment to the reverence, to the Sanctity and Sacredness of the worship of God, one will discover what is truly most important in their life, the Daily living of it…and I believe these “feminists” arguments melt away…I speak from experience, ladies…I used to have a hyphen between my maiden-married name.

    Finally, the lady who had 19 years of SSPX…it was mentioned that abuses can take place in NO and Tridentine Masses…this is what happens because we are human. But God already knows about our human failings…be the example of counter behavior is a way to bring change, it can take a years, or decades, but there are reasons for the head covering, I have 3-4 which I will not get into here, but the reasons are very similar in the example like Father Rich spoke when he was talking about kneeling and receiving on the tongue. It is not to be seen as Pius, and to declare oneself more Pius than the others, again it is about God, and relationship. I hope you will overcome the pain of your 19 years with the SSPX. Peace to all. ❤️✝️💙

    1. Ava says:

      That is supposed to be pious, now Pius.

    2. Porter Girl says:

      I believe that if Catholics could strive for a clean heart and worship the way Vatican II intended, these discussions would be moot. There is a generational divide that is expressing itself culturally. Older folks love the relaxed nature of the Ordinary Form, and younger people are drawn to the historical value and external beauty of the EF, of which they feel they have been robbed. I think my biggest frustration is in observing conservative Catholics making a beeline for a Latin Mass, and those who are left to deal with the Liturgical abuses in the local parish are simply outnumbered by left-wing progressives, who seem to have invaded every aspect of parish life, whether it be the music program, religious education, parish councils, etc. The pastors who try to get a handle on things often receive pushback, because those who would’ve worked to support him are long gone. Those on the extreme right will point and say, “Look how bad the Novus Ordo is! Look at the abuses! No one believes in the Real Presence! There must be two Romes!” Well, yeah, that’s because you left, and took your beliefs, support, values, and money elsewhere, but the New Mass/Vatican II isn’t to blame for all of present-day Catholics’ shortcomings and failures. If the Mass had stayed in Latin, the same problems would still be there, just cloaked with a different outward expression of the Mass. The difference is, the struggle could be exposed instead of remaining hidden behind the way Mass is said.

  18. Jon says:

    Without a doubt, The Byzantine Ukrainian / Ruthenium Divine Liturgy is the superior, most glorifying, and holy.
    In the Roman Rite, one studies/contemplates God
    In the Eastern Rite, one gazes at God
    To me Roman is more intellectual, Eastern is more mystical.

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