The Visible Church: “The Kinds of Masses”

Lesson 23 from The Visible Church is on The Mass, specifically the various kinds of masses (note that the book preceded Vatican II):

1. A Solemn Mass (in Latin Missa Solemnis) [fn.: Miss’-ah Sol-em’-niss] is celebrated with music, incense and the assistance of a deacon and subdeacon.

2. A Pontifical Mass is a Solemn Mass celebrated by a bishop.

3. A Papal Mass is a Solemn Mass celebrated by the Pope. 

4. A High Mass (in Latin, Missa Cantata [fn.: Miss’-ah Can-tah’-tah], or chanted Mass) is sung by a priest without deacon or subdeacon.

5. A Low Mass is celebrated without music, the priest reading the words throughout.

6. A Parochial Mass is the principal Mass offered in a parish church on Sundays and important festivals. 

7. A Capitular Mass is the High Mass on Sundays and festivals, in Catholic countries, in churches that have chapter, or body of canons. {Note: “These are priests whose principal duty is the recitation of the Divine Office daily “in choir,” or together. The word chapter is from the Latin capitulum [fn.: Cap-it’-yu-lum]”}. 

8. A Conventual Mass (Latin, conventus [fn.: Con-ven’-tuss], an assembly) is the daily Mass offered before the chapter of canons.

9. A Votive Mass is one that does not correspond to the Office of the day, but is said at the choice of the celebrant. It is permitted only on certain days. It is so named because it may be said on account of a “votum” or vow made by a priest.

10. A Requiem Mass is a Mass for the dead, celebrated in black vestments. It takes its name from the opening words of its Introit: “Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” — “Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.”


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