Tridentine mass in an ancient chapel in the old Dominican Monastery in Tallinn

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

St. Catherine’s Dominican Monastery (13th century), often simply the Dominican Monastery (Estonian: Dominiiklaste Klooster), is a former monastery and one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It is located in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town district full of warehouses and merchants’ houses. Its remains constitute one of two remaining medieval monastery complexes in Tallinn. In 1524, during the Reformation, the monastery was destroyed. Only fragments remain of the original complex. Parts have been incorporated into the Roman Catholic St. Peter and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and other parts, including a finely carved portal, are visible via St. Catherine’s Passage.

The Tridentine Mass is the Roman Rite Mass which appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. The most widely used Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969, it is celebrated in Liturgical Latin. The Mass of Paul VI is a form of Mass in the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 after the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). It is now the ordinary or standard form of the Roman Rite Mass.

“Tridentine” is derived from the Latin Tridentinus, “related to the city of Tridentum” (modern-day Trent, Italy). In response to a decision of the Council of Trent Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Western Church, except in places and religious orders with missals from before 1370. Other names used include Traditional Mass and Latin Mass, although the revised form of the Mass that replaced it has its official text in Latin and is sometimes celebrated in that language.

In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the Tridentine liturgy or the “ordinary” form of the liturgy. These Masses “may — observing all the norms of law — also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.” Permission to use the Tridentine form in parish Masses may be given by the pastor or rector.

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