Chant in the Tridentine Mass (1962 Missal)

The term “extraordinary form” was adopted when Pope Benedict XVI issued in 2007 the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” and introduced it by a letter to bishops.

In the letter, Pope Benedict explains the positive motivation behind his decision as “a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.”

Reconciling who? In short:

  • those in the Church who never fully accepted Vatican II, its “Constitution on the Liturgy” and its openness to “update” the Liturgy, and
  • those who mistook the new openness for a “rupture” with the past and never bothered to read the “Constitution on the Liturgy” and/or completely ignore its instructions to foster education of the Sacred Music tradition of the Church, and ignored even more its importance to Church unity in post-Vatican II liturgies.

The “mutual enrichment” that results from having two forms of the rite has recently been re-affirmed as the path to Church unity by the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship appointed by Pope Francis, Cardinal Sarah (download article: True liturgy is a reflection of heaven ).

To explore the documents regulating the musical celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Tridentine Mass), a good place to start are pages 9 to 15 of this document :  Psallite-Sapienter-A-Musicians-Guide-to-the-Extraordinary-Form-2

Also these 1958 instructions: de musica sacra et sacra liturgia

If the priest does not chant in a Tridentine Mass, then we have what is called “Low Mass”. The rules for singing are then different: Music-for-low-mass

(NOTE: it is illuminating to read this last document. Priests are now rarely singing. These pre-Vatican II rules of singing hymns, including in the vernacular, in lieu of the Proper, seem to have become the norm in our post-Vatican II Catholic masses.).

Example of a practical application: visit the page of Yorba Linda’s John-Paul II schola.

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