How to Offer the Traditional Tridentine Mass in Vatican

Happily everyday between 7 and 8 am there is the possibility of offering mass at one of the side altars at St. Peter’s Basilica.  This is not possible if the pope is having a special mass or event.  I was up before 6 am to be ready to offer the holy sacrifice of the mass of all times at the Vatican.  They open up at 7 am.  I saw priests going in through another entrance to the left side of the basilica.  I waited and went the normal way because the police and the men in charge of visitors are pretty strict and with reason because thousands and thousands of people visit the the Vatican.

IMG_0359Once you have made it into the basilica you go to the sacristy.  Then you ask to be able to offer the holy latin mass.  I brought my celebret and identification, but they never asked me for anything.

I had heard that it was easy to say the latin mass there.  But to my surprise they did not seem to know the difference between the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine mass.  Thank God I brought my beretta, alb, cincture, chasuble, stole, maniple, chalice vail, and burse.  I did not bring my altar cards or Roman Missal. After asking for permission, I asked for the Altar Cards and the Missal.  They do not have altar cards, roman chasuble, maniple, or berreta.  They told me the priest brings his own. Now we know. Talking with a priest, who seems to work there, he was able to get me a Missal Romano from another room.  Before this, they kept wanting me to tell them which language I was going to say the mass in.  Latin -Tridentine Latin -Tridentine Latin -Tridentine.

They do have some albs, amice, Novus Ordo chasuble and stole, chalice, patton, corporal, host, purificator, cruets with wine and water, bowl and towel for washing fingers. Because they did not have altar cards and I failed to bring mine, I used all the prayers right out of the Roman Missal.  Don’t forget they are in the missal if for some reason you do not have altar cards.

IMG_0399IMG_0402They send an altar boy with you to serve if it is early enough and when they are available.  Thank God they did not have one for me because he would not have known what to do.

If you are traveling around Europe or other countries and would like to offer the Tridentine mass, bring everything you need, everything.  I brought two reversible roman chasubles (green/purple  white/red).  I brought matching chalice vails, burses, stoles and maniples, besides alb, amice, and cincture.  I brought my beretta.  I brought small bottles with wine and water to be my cruets.  Don’t forget if you carry on these objects that you can only bring a small amount of liquid on the plane.  I brought a dignified chalice and patton.  I brought a bellcandle sticks and candles with matches.  I had purificator and small towel for washing fingers and bowl.  I brought the Vesting prayer card, Altar Cards, and prayers for after mass.  I brought a small Roman Missal.  I did not bring an orthodox clothe (antimensium) for the altar stone because I do not have one yet.  I need to get one.  In this clothe is a relic of a saint.

IMG_0413If someone will be traveling with you to help serve, you need to bring a cassock and surplus for him.  You also need to bring a surplus to use when you sit in choir.  At the Vatican they have host, but when traveling you also need to bring large and small host.

All this barely fits into an old hard cased suitcase.  I would advise having this mass kit ready for all the time you are going to travel.  When I go to offer the Tridentine Mass at other places like school chapels I bring this kit because often there is something missing at the place where the Tridentine Mass is not always offered.

One of the great difficulties of being a traditional priest is finding a church that will allow you to offer the Tridentine mass and that has all special things needed for the Latin Mass.

As I have said over and over again, it is so much more work, you are so much more hassled when ever you offer the Tridentine Rites and masses.  But we need to be disciplined and willing to sacrifice for the salvation of souls and the renewal of the church.