The Sacred English Form of the Roman Rite

Divine Worship (The Sacred English Form of the Roman Rite)
Celebrated at Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas

The Roman Catholic Church consists of over 20 different rites. Most of these are Eastern Catholic rites. The rite that is most dominant in the Western world however is the Roman Rite. This is the rite that most of us are familiar with. A rite is a "way" of doing liturgy that is approved by Rome. The Roman Rite is by far the largest rite in the Western Church, and so when people think of Catholicism, the first thing they think of is the Roman Rite.

A rite is most clearly understood as the approved liturgical way we worship God. Because the Roman Rite is so large, in comparison to the smaller Eastern rites, it is only natural that there would be some approved variations within it. As of today, the Roman Rite has 3 approved forms.


The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the type of worship liturgy we most commonly see in the Catholic Church today. It's main characteristic is its celebration in modern vernacular languages around the world (including Common English). It was instituted in 1970 following the Second Vatican Council, and remains the most commonly celebrated form of liturgy in the Western world. Ordinary Form masses are easy to find and are celebrated in most regular diocesan Catholic churches. The following is a video example of an Ordinary Form mass...


The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the old Latin mass that was used universally throughout the Church up until 1970, when the Ordinary Form was introduced. Many older Catholics will tell you they can remember a time when the mass was always said in Latin. The Extraordinary Form is still celebrated exclusively in Latin. It was developed during the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and because of that, it is sometimes called the "Tridentine mass." The Extraordinary Form still enjoys tremendous devotion today, and has been making a comeback in recent years. Finding an Exraordinary Form mass can be challenging if you don't know where to look. Fortunately, a webpage has been provided just for this purpose: click here to learn more. The following is a video example of an Extraordinary Form mass...


The Sacred English Form of the Roman Rite was first approved by Rome in 1984, for use by former Anglicans who converted to the Catholic Church, and was initially used exclusively in the United States. To learn more about Sacred English, click here. This third Form of the Roman Rite was modelled after pre-reformation English Catholic liturgy from the 12th through 16th centuries, much of which had been preserved in practice within Anglicanism after the 16th century. When a large number of Anglicans began converting back to Catholicism, they requested that elements of this ancient Catholic liturgy return to Rome with them. The Vatican agreed, and so the third form, the Sacred English Form of the Roman Rite, was created. In 2015 a revised version of this liturgy was approved and published by Rome under the title of "Divine Worship" for use primarily in newly formed Ordinariate churches in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada, but also as a liturgical gift to all Catholics of the English-speaking world. Finding a Sacred English Form mass requires knowing where to look. The following links should be helpful...
The following is a video example of a Sacred English Form mass...

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of ' -- Apologetics and random musings from a Catholic in the Bible Belt.'

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