Latin Mass Society

The "Norms" of 1986

The 'Norms' of 1986: conclusions of a commission of cardinals on the legal status of the Traditional Mass.

In the summer of 1986, a commission of eight curial Cardinals was established ad hoc to consider whether the Indult of 1984 was capable of functioning. It found that in practice the Indult had been shown to be "not very helpful" and it presented some detailed recommendations for a new regulation for the whole Church. The substance of these recommendations can be summarized as follows:

1. In the offices of the Roman Rite, the honour due [debita honor] to the Latin language should be accorded it. Bishops should ensure that on Sundays and ferial days at least one Latin Mass should be celebrated in each important locality of their diocese. However the readings could also be said in the vernacular.

2. For their private Masses all priests can, at all times, use the Latin language.

3. For every Mass celebrated in the Latin language - with or without the faithful present - the celebrant has the right freely to choose between the missal of Paul VI (1970) and that of John XXIII (1962).

4. If the celebrant chooses the missal of Paul VI, he should observe the rubrics of that missal.

5. If the celebrant chooses the missal of John XXIII, he must observe the rubrics of that missal, but he may also:

use either the Latin language or the vernacular for the readings

make use of the additional prefaces and prayers of the Proper of the Mass contained in the missal of Paul VI, and introduce "preces universales" (bidding prayers).

6. The liturgical calendar for feasts will be that of the missal chosen by the celebrant.

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