The SSPX celebrates Mass exclusively according to the 1962 rite, often referred to as the Tridentine or Latin rite, or even the “extraordinary form” of the Mass.
Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church, and this Mass offers a solemn setting conducive to prayer and worship. In many chapels, the rosary is often recited before Mass begins. The sermon, of course, is always in English or French, respective of location. Following the progression of the mass is quite simple if you have a missal, and soon you will recognize many parts of the ceremony without any help at all.
In the traditional Latin Rite, Communion is received kneeling, on the tongue. Catholics are required to fast for at least one hour before receiving Communion, although a fast of 3 hours is recommended.
What to expect at your first Mass
First, know that you are most welcome in our chapels, and that we are very happy to share with you the rich tradition of the Church's most beautiful treasure—the Latin Mass. It is grand and solemn, reverent and inspiring. It has been called by many Church Fathers, "a treasure of inestimable value."
The Mass will touch every one of your senses. Organ music, Gregorian chant, the Latin language, and bells all appeal to the ears. The beautiful, flower-adorned altar and the exquisite vestments are magnificent to behold. The smell of incense is heavenly and intoxicating. Just before the Sunday high mass begins, the faithful are sprinkled with holy water at the Asperges. And at Communion, you have the supreme privilege of receiving Jesus Christ, Our Lord, into your body and soul. There is nothing in the world that, while remaining so solemn and reverent, can appeal to all our senses the way a traditional Mass does.
What to wear
Quite simply, your "Sunday best" is always appropriate. There is, however, no strict dress code. Nevertheless, there are a few traditional guidelines which we recommend:
- For men, no demin, shorts, or t-shirts. Suits and ties are encouraged.
- Ladies should wear skirts or dresses that extend below the knee. Tops should be modest, that is, not low cut or tight-fitting.
- It is also customary for ladies to cover their heads with a hat or veil, as this has been the practice of the Church since apostolic times (see I Cor. 11:1-15). Spare veils are available near the entrance of the chapel.
If you are attending Mass, please plan to arrive early. Mass usually begins on time, and space can be limited, especially on Sundays and major feast days. In many chapels, the rosary is recited, in English or French respectively, about 20 minutes prior to the start of the liturgy. Praying the rosary before the tabernacle is a wonderful way to prepare for Mass, and it guarantees you a seat as well!
Children at mass
We encourage you to bring your children to Mass—it is always a joy and great consolation to see little ones in the chapel. A cry room is available for mothers with infants and toddlers.
We hope to see you at Mass soon!