Is It Acceptable to Attend Both Old & New Masses?

Is It Acceptable to Attend Both Old & New Masses?

Editor writes…

I’ve met a few people recently who have either returned to attending the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) on Sundays – due to problems with the location of the various Traditional Latin Masses (TLM) – OR who like to attend both the old and the new Masses, interchangeably, in some cases because they don’t want to lose out on parish life.

How to answer these people – is it OK for people to (a) return to the novus ordo after an awakening that led them to the TLM and/or (b) attend both TLM and NOM interchangeably.  Your thoughts…


Comments (42)

  • westminsterfly

    Personally speaking, I can’t understand why anyone would voluntarily want to return to the N.O. I have great sympathy with those who don’t live near a TLM and feel obliged to go to the N.O. In my current position, I can get a lift by car to the nearest TLM which is about 30 minutes drive away (I don’t drive). I know that train services from where I live, to that particular church, are often bad on Sundays, when trains don’t run due to interminable ‘track repairs’ etc and you have to get coaches for part of the journey, and I would probably arrive there just as Mass was ending most Sundays. I might be in that position before too long. Who knows. I have seriously thought (and am still seriously thinking) of relocating to an area where the TLM is more assured. But what about those who can’t relocate for whatever reason? Do they return to the N.O. or stop attending Mass and just read their missals and have ‘dry Masses’ at home? I have no answers. An exclusively TLM priest once said to me that if you were not responsible for causing the N.O. disorder, then you will not be called to answer for it, if you kept the precept of the Church to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, and if it would be morally impossible – or gravely inconvenient – to get to a TLM. Even that reply created more questions than it answered, in my mind, but time with the priest was limited. Sorry I can’t give any help on this one – I’m just like all the other Catholics who have been abused, ignored and hung out to dry.

    October 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm
    • editor


      Staying home and praying through the Mass using my Missal – a “dry Mass” as some refer to it – is what I’d have to do should the Archbishop of Glasgow decide to cancel the Masses in the archdiocese if and when he decides to apply Traditiones Custodes; in the absence of any other option, that is what some of us will have to do. And let the blame fall where (God knows) it should…

      October 17, 2022 at 9:39 pm
  • Andrew Q

    In the confusion of these times, I honestly think it’s up to Catholics to do the best for themselves and their families. It is sad if the only reason they are attending the Montinian innovation is because of lack of access to the Vetus Ordo. Shame on the bishops! Personally, I will never attend the novus ordo again. Right or wrong, I experience it as a different religion.

    October 17, 2022 at 6:03 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Andrew Q,

      I agree – it has to be left to individual Catholics to do what they can in these terrible times. The traditional groups don’t exactly make it easy to get to their churches/chapels. and there are just too many problems even if you can get to them. God knows the laity didn’t create this crisis and he will not judge us unfairly. The command to attend Mass is not an absolute – there are circumstances which can prevent us, and the effort is not supposed to be all one-way. For some people, only the novus ordo is available and often is right round the corner, while the priests of the traditional groups seem to go out of their way to put their chapels in the most inconvenient places! So, nobody should be judged for staying with their parish novus ordo.

      October 17, 2022 at 7:43 pm
    • Laura

      Andrew Q

      I think the word “confusion” in your comments, sums up why it is not possible to attend both Masses and benefit the same and this is especially true for people who have children. Imagine the confusion in their minds, one minute present at an informal type of gathering in the vernacular and where the priest jokes in his homily and where applause is quite normal, just like in a theatre, and the next present at a solemn gathering where nobody speaks, the language is mostly Latin, and the priest preaches seriously about doctrine and morals (in best case scenarios – sadly sermons are not always up to scratch.

      That’s confusing enough for anyone but for children, I think they’ll end up being very confused about the purpose of the Mass and the faith in general.

      October 18, 2022 at 12:36 pm
  • Rodney Ford

    I left the N.O. four years ago because I was offended by the cavalier attitude and lack of reverence. I would think attending on occasion would be okay, but I would not participate in receiving the Eucharist for fear of sacrilege. May be an opportunity for evangelism to help others understanding on the Vatican II innovations.

    Editor: I tend to discourage people from publishing their surnames, so if you wish me to remove it here, just say the word.

    October 17, 2022 at 6:19 pm
    • Josephine

      Rodney Ford,

      If you are attending a parish where the priest celebrates both the novus ordo and the TLM, there is no need to worry about sacrilege. If the Eucharist is confected at the TLM, it is also confected at the novus ordo.

      I attend a Mass where both Masses are celebrated but I only attend the TLM. I could never return to the novus ordo for Sunday Mass. Once you attend the TLM regularly, it is impossible to be satisfied with the novus ordo, in my experience.

      You can still participate in your parish, though by going to Confession there and anything else that is on offer, such as rosary and benediction. I’ve spoken to at least one person who does that. It’s a good arrangement, IMHO.

      October 17, 2022 at 7:33 pm
  • Liberanos

    I have to travel a long way to get the the Old Mass. Sometimes this is just not possible on a Sunday morning. So it’s the NO. Though I am finding I a skipping it more and more….

    October 17, 2022 at 9:49 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    As you know ED our Bishop stopped our Sunday T.LMass quicker than you could say
    ” Who Am I To Judge” as soon as Bergoglio and His henchman Roche put put out T. C .
    What I have asked on Here as am certainly no Theologian is stopping Worship to Almighty God a Sin against The Holy Spirit. One thing that makes me believe that these Men are Godless is who would want to face Almighty God on Judgement Day knowing they had stopped Worship to Him.
    I of course also agree that really their is no comparison to the T.L.Mass but we have a good Priest who at least puts some Latin into the N.O. And I like to keep up my Sunday Obligation. I realize that many wouldn’t go back to the N.O. and I respect their views that it was Bergoglio. Roche and their Bishops who carry the Sin.

    October 17, 2022 at 10:34 pm
    • editor


      You are so right – those who make it difficult or even impossible for us to attend the TLM will face a very severe judgment indeed.

      As for attending the NO because you “need to keep up your Sunday obligation” – the fact is, you are NOT keeping up your Sunday obligation, no matter how good your priest is. No matter that he puts some Latin into the Mass. Doctors used to write their prescriptions in Latin, Professors used to give their university lectures in Latin. No big deal. The real big deal is that the novus ordo was deliberately created to make it pleasing to Protestants and one of its creators, Joseph Gelineau SJ said that we must be clear about this: “The Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists.”

      Pope Benedict (when Cardinal Ratzinger) described the workshop nature of this new Mass describing it as a “banal, fabricated, on-the-spot production”.

      So, if you think THAT is acceptable to God to fulfil our duty to offer him true worship on the Sabbath, well, good luck with that particular conversation when your time comes! Try and position yourself right behind Pope Francis – that can only help 😀

      Excepting a wedding or funeral, I will next attend a novus ordo about twenty years after Hell freezes over.

      October 17, 2022 at 10:52 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        ED I agree with you and if i could get to T.LMass on Sunday i would but i have no Car nor are is their anyone who could give me a lift who attends our Thursday Night Latin Mass of which the ” Good ” Bishop let stay on, at least for the moment .2 weeks ago their was a newly ordained Priest who attended our Thursday T.L.M. who would have loved to have said Mass but as you know by ,the Rotten Powers ,that be He was unable to do so.
        You also know the reason why i came to your Catholic Truth site because it is the Truth and not watered down to suit Protestants ,or God forbid Islam. You also more or less know my feelings of Bergoglio and His Lavender Brigade . I understand fully why you would not go back to a N.O. Mass as in reality it is not nor never will be the One True Mass. As the good Saint Alphonsus says above ” They who deprive us of the True Mass are Evil ” but in my defence i can only say that no time in prayer is wasted .

        October 18, 2022 at 2:32 pm
      • Michaela

        Faith of Our Fathers,

        You can only go by your own conscience on this matter. God sees your heart and he knows your understanding and your motive, so there’s no need to worry if you feel you are doing the right thing.

        I waver between thinking that and thinking “nothing but the TLM” but in the end, we all have to rely on God’s mercy and since it is priests who are causing us this problem and heartache, it is they who will pay for it before God.

        October 18, 2022 at 3:04 pm
    • Eamonn

      Which parts of the Mass does he say in Latin?

      October 18, 2022 at 9:49 am
  • Athanasius

    While I truly do understand the very difficult position certain priests and faithful find themselves in under Modernist bishops, I would have to say that we can in no way lend credence to the Novus Ordo Mass, valid though it may be. The New Mass is a betrayal of the faith in that it compromises with Protestantism and opens the liturgy up to widespread sacrilege, as we have all witnessed. While I do understand cosncience scruples in this matter for people who can’t get to a TLM or priests who are forced to celebrate the NO if they wish to keep the bishop’s permission to also celebrate the TLM, we are obliged by Our Lord not to fence sit or make accommodation with error. All Catholics must stand up for the Faith of our Fathers and the Mass that sanctified the saints. There can never be compromise under any pretext. The New Mass is an imposed aberration which has been destroying the Church for 60 years. We cannot participate in that destruction for convenience’ sake.

    October 17, 2022 at 10:42 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Again on T.LMasss i agree with you Athanasius and surely their comes a time when this Man who Dresses up as Pope will either declare all who attend or Good Clergymen who say the T.L.Mass as Heretics. After all Roche has already said that it is Catholics who attend the T.L.M. are Protestants. When will the complete cut of point come, because we surely all know that its heading in that direction. Again i am no Theologian ,but does Bergoglio and His Lavender Brigade have complete authority in this matter. If they do and what i can see is that if anything happens to Pope Benedict they will cancel all T.LMasses. Then their will surely be Schism and Bergoglio has already said that HE wouldnt mind Schism. Well of course He would say that anyhow as He is not a Catholic .

      October 18, 2022 at 3:39 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I think the previous consensus on this blog about the N.O. (perfect acronym, isn’t it?) was that it is valid but not Catholic – its validity referring to the Consecration (assuming the conditions for validity are met), its lack of Catholicity referring to the rest of it. I also referred to this liturgy, years ago, as a diamond placed in a cat’s litterbox, which caused some offence, but I hope those who were offended have since recovered.

    If I recall the SSPX position correctly, it is that we should not attend the N.O. because it is harmful to the Faith – a claim which has been more than fully proven since 1969.

    I gave up the N.O. a long time ago, and would never return. The last time I witnessed one was about 4 years ago, from the choir loft of an N.O. parish (which also offered the TLM, but not anymore), where a choir rehearsal was put on hold in the early evening while the priest said Mass at the table (er, “altar”). No one was in attendance, except for an adult female server dressed in jeans who was waiting in the wings to deliver the Body and Blood of Our Lord to the priest. I had never seen such disgraceful, casual irreverence in my life, even at other N.O. Masses, and this experience only confirmed my resolution to avoid this liturgy like the plague.

    So, like Editor, if the T.C. axe fell in our diocese, I would have to resort to a “dry Mass” (and I don’t even live in a dry county! Get it, Ed?)

    October 17, 2022 at 11:27 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      My guess is that you’re not talking about living in a rain-free county, so yes, I get it (I think!)

      The problem with people feeling they have to attend the NO is that they feel they need to receive Holy Communion, not understanding that the Church does not require us to receive Holy Communion every week. It’s going to be like the fall-out from the lies we’ve been told about Covid, the injection etc. Once this is over, people will be saying things like “I knew that novus ordo was bad news… I always sensed it… blah blah”

      Nowt so queer as folk, as they say in Yorkshire, England. Well, they had to get some things right 😀

      October 18, 2022 at 9:21 am
      • FDS

        Editor, interesting when you said re feel the need to receive HC re NO mass. I was like that sometimes when TLM stopped, I had no choice but to attend NO mass in order to receive HC. Now there is only 1 TLM mass a week which is in Sundays only.

        Was wondering who said re frequent HC, hence the need to receive it. Was it Pope pius X?

        October 18, 2022 at 1:48 pm
      • Michaela


        Pope Saint Pius X did encourage us to receive Holy Communion regularly, but I doubt if he ever dreamt we would be faced with a new Mass and the sacrileges that go on at those Masses. He definitely would not be encouraging us to receive Communion from the hands of lay people into our own hands or receiving from the Chalice. That’s never been in his mind, we can accept that with absolute certainty. So, in other words, in normal times and circumstances, yes, we should all try to be able to receive Holy Communion regularly, but those “normal times and circumstances” are not now.

        October 18, 2022 at 3:08 pm
      • RCAVictor



        October 18, 2022 at 4:06 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        That’s (WOW!) amazing! It’s a safe bet to say there won’t be many Scots living there 😀

        October 18, 2022 at 6:19 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Victor even before i ever came onto Catholic Truth and started to attend T.LMass one of the things that really got to ME was what you point out ,so called Eucharistic Ministers.
      I at least even then knew that Priests had Consecrated Hands and for a very good and Holy reason .

      October 18, 2022 at 2:39 pm
  • RCAVictor

    St. Francis de Sales wrote a brief treatise on how to hear Holy Mass, which I use during Low Mass:

    I wonder whether he would tear his hair out attempting to assign the events of the Passion to the N.O., as he did for the TLM?

    October 17, 2022 at 11:34 pm
    • Michaela

      RCA Victor,

      There is no way that great Saint Francis de Sales would have dreamt we would have a new Mass in the vernacular etc. I think I’m right in saying he was the saint who had spent his time trying to bring people back from the Protestantism they had accepted at the Reformation, so he would sympathise with us trying to fit the Passion narrative into the novus ordo.

      October 18, 2022 at 3:11 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Yes, he “re-converted” many thousands in his diocese back to the true Faith.

        Oddly enough, the N.O. did serve a temporarily useful purpose for me. I was removed from the Church at age 5 and raised Protestant, so when I contemplated attending a Mass (N.O.) in 1998, I was afraid I would not understand anything that was going on, since I knew nothing about the Church.

        Imagine my surprise (and relief) upon discovering that the N.O. was quite similar to a Protestant service! Two years later, I was introduced to the TLM, and the rest, as Editor would say with some unrecognizable accent, is history.

        So I’d say that in my case, the N.O. served its short-lived purpose – much like a disposable diaper. Use it once, and throw it away….

        October 18, 2022 at 4:04 pm
    • Lily

      RCA Victor,

      That’s a beautiful meditation. I bet it was something else, with the video as he described it.

      October 18, 2022 at 11:32 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Yes, he made the video at our parish, and it was very solemn and beautiful.

        October 19, 2022 at 4:15 pm
  • westminsterfly

    This thread has made me think of the persecuted Japanese Catholics, who had no access to priests or the sacraments, but baptised their own children, taught them their catechism, kept the Faith, had devotion to Our Lady etc, for many, many years.

    October 18, 2022 at 10:32 am
    • Laura

      Westminster Fly, WF,

      Around 200 years, I believe, the Japanese had no priests, but the faith survived. It’s an amazing story.

      October 18, 2022 at 12:31 pm
      • westminsterfly

        It is. I wish I could remember the name of the book in which I read about it. It definitely wasn’t ‘The Bells of Nagasaki’ by Takashi Nagai, but it was a similar one. It went into historical persecution of Japanese Catholicism, right up to the events of Nagasaki / Hiroshima. If I remember, I’ll post the title/author.

        October 18, 2022 at 5:46 pm
  • Littlemore

    I’ve been alerted by another contributor on a different blog, who noticed that the EWTN Mass yesterday and today has been celebrated Ad Orientem, albeit N. O. Perhaps things are swinging towards the right direction. D.V.

    October 18, 2022 at 4:25 pm
    • westminsterfly

      I wouldn’t place any importance now in what EWTN does / doesn’t do . . . Google ‘EWTN A Network Gone Wrong – The Fatima Center’ for a free pdf of Christopher Ferrara’s book on the demise of EWTN. And this comment is from someone who met and helped Mother Angelica get a large public platform in the UK twice during the 1990’s. Editor CT can vouch for that.

      October 18, 2022 at 5:39 pm
      • editor


        I can vouch for that, certainly. I met Mother Angelica too, and to say she wasn’t exactly thrilled to meet ME is to say that Liz Truss is the most popular person in the Westminster Parliament this week 😀

        October 18, 2022 at 6:21 pm
      • Athanasius


        I’m a little perplexed by your comment on Mother Angelica. Could you enlighten us a bit further on what took place when you met her? I always thought that Mother Angelica was the first victim of the takeover of EWTN. She seemed to indicate that she and her apostolate had been betrayed from within, so I looked on her as a kind of martyr figure. From what you say, though, that perception may have been wrong.

        October 19, 2022 at 11:59 pm
      • editor


        I think Mother Angelica was very tired by the time it was my turn to be introduced to her. I know I have the ability to put people to sleep, but not usually right after they’ve been introduced and before I’ve said a word! So, in an attempt to be uncharacteristically charitable, I put it down to her being tired, or maybe she just sized me up and realised I was going to be a real bore. In all honesty, I know I can be boring.

        And, on the other hand, maybe Mother Angelica is one of those people who get bored easily, like the scientists I read about who got so bored of watching the Earth spin that after 24 hours they called it a day. 😀

        And I have to admit that on one occasion a while back I was so bored myself that I memorized six pages of a dictionary. I learned next to nothing. 😀

        Hope that leaves Mother’s martyr image intact!

        October 20, 2022 at 1:10 am
      • westminsterfly

        I think your answers to Mother Angelica’s relationship with EWTN can be found in Ferrara’s book: (free pdf link at the bottom of the page). If my memory serves me right, Mother did make some errors of judgement, and to stop the bishops getting hold of EWTN, which was a real danger back then (I remember her memorable quote “I’d rather blow it up than let them have it” a group of lay neo-conservatives (not traditionalists) took over the Network and it’s gone downhill ever since. I remember Mother was very tired at certain points during her visits to the UK. She was wearing calipers and had crutches, and was standing quite a bit of the time. She also had a better handle on the crisis in the Church situation back then, than most of the current EWTN personnel do now. After the first conference in 1996, an enraged Cardinal Basil Hume contacted her to try and stop her coming again in 1997, citing Michael McGrade’s excellent Christian Order article on the 1996 conference warning her that these were the ‘sort of people’ she was encouraging. After reading the article, Mother Angelica said: “What’s Cardinal Hume’s problem? It’s all true!”

        October 20, 2022 at 10:59 am
      • Athanasius


        Thank you for that clarification. I’m assuming you met Mother Angelica, or rather got close to her as she slept, long before she had her stroke? I think if it had been after the stroke then the reson behind her tiredness would be easily explained. You’re not in the least bit boring, so it definitely wasn’t down to that. In all probability, the journey over here from the States was likely to have taken a toll on the poor old soul. She’s gone now to her eternal reward, God rest her soul.

        October 20, 2022 at 3:27 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, even the holiest of people can make errors of judgement at times. Archbishop Lefebvre made a few errors in his choices of personnel, as did St. Francis, but that all part of being human. I think Mother Angelica was betrayed by people she trusted and I guess all the travelling in the physical state of health she was in at the time didn’t help much, but she was well on to these Modernist prelates and dealth with them pretty sternly.

        October 20, 2022 at 3:41 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Mother Angelica did the ’96/’97 UK conferences well before she had her stroke. Yes that’s a good summing up – but the one thing I remember about her more than anything was her abounding joy, warmth and amazing sense of humour – in spite of all the problems! May she rest in peace.

        October 20, 2022 at 5:38 pm
  • Lily

    I wanted to comment here but first went to search for an article on the subject. Whatever I Googled, this came up – LOL!

    There are some really good comments and links in there, so I settled for it right-off!

    October 18, 2022 at 11:30 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I think if God accepts the new Mass as true worship, then it’s possible to attend it in good conscience, but it’s difficult to see that it would please God when you think about the reason for its existence – which was not to develop the prayers of the Mass but to take away those which offended Protestants, as Bugnini said. It has to be down to every individual’s conscience, though, I agree with that.

    October 20, 2022 at 9:42 am
  • Gabriel Syme

    Rather than “is it acceptable” the first question to my mind is “how would it be possible” for someone to attend both forms of Mass? Given the stark difference between them, it is no mean feat to attune the sense to both! The features of both versions are so obviously at loggerheads with one another, it is very disorientating to switch back and forth.

    I first started attending the TLM in 2012 – all thanks to good old Editor here! – and what a quick 10 years that has been! I initially tried to keep going to the new Mass also. My rationale was that I had affection for my then novus ordo parish, as it was here that I had returned to the faith. Additionally, I had many friends in the parish (including the clergy) and did not want to lose touch with them.

    And so my plan was to attend the novus ordo Saturday vigil, followed by the TLM on Sundays. “Easy” I thought! Ha – no! Far from easy, in fact, I only kept it up for a few weeks then the novus ordo became so unbearable I had to stop.

    I had already been dissatisfied with the new Mass before finding the TLM – frustrated with the lack of reverence and lack of standards, annoyed at being disturbed constantly by others poor conduct, irritated by the antics of the clergy (ad-libbing the Mass – “sisters and brothers” etc). Finding the TLM put these sentiments into overdrive.

    Nowadays, if the novus ordo was all that was available, I would not attend it. I would not dream of taking my children to it and zealously guard them from being exposed to it – and tell them why.

    If the relevant authorities say its a valid Mass, then its a valid Mass – but it is also undeniably banal protestant-style worship and so no wonder it has wrecked havoc in the Church. “Being like the protestants” is the only rationale behind it.

    If someone, who could not access the TLM, managed to sit through the novus ordo and derive some spiritual benefit from it – then good luck to them. I would never condemn anyone for doing so, if they felt it was the right thing to do, but I doubt I could manage it personally.

    October 21, 2022 at 8:19 pm

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