The ROMAN RITE (_Ritus Romanus_) is the most widespread liturgical rite in the Catholic Church and is one of the Latin rites used in the Western or Latin Church . The Roman Rite has been adapted over the centuries and its Eucharistic liturgy can be divided into three stages: the Pre-Tridentine Mass , Tridentine Mass and Mass of Paul VI . The 2007 motu proprio _ Summorum Pontificum _ specifies the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church may continue to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite , a revision of the Tridentine form promulgated in the in the 1962 Roman Missal .
The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church . The Latin rites were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches , though their number is greatly reduced today. In the aftermath of the Council of Trent , in 1568 and 1570 Pope Pius V suppressed the Breviaries and Missals that could not be shown to have an antiquity of at least two centuries (see Tridentine Mass and Roman Missal ). Many local rites that remained legitimate even after this decree were abandoned voluntarily, especially in the 19th century. In the second half of the 20th century, most of the religious orders that had a distinct liturgical rite chose to adopt in its place the Roman Rite as revised in accordance with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council (see Mass of Paul VI ). A few such liturgical rites persist today for the celebration of Mass, since 1965-1970 in revised forms, but the distinct liturgical rites for celebrating the other sacraments have been almost completely abandoned.
* 1 Comparison with Eastern rites * 2 Antiquity of the Roman Mass * 3 Arrangement of churches * 4 Chant * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
COMPARISON WITH EASTERN RITES
While other rites use more poetic language, the Roman Rite is noted for its sobriety of expression. In its Tridentine form, it was noted also for its formality: the Tridentine Missal minutely prescribed every movement, to the extent of laying down that the priest should put his right arm into the right sleeve of the alb before putting his left arm into the left sleeve (_Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae_, I, 3). Concentration on the exact moment of change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ has led, in the Roman Rite, to the consecrated Host and the chalice being shown to the people immediately after the Words of Institution . If, as was once most common, the priest offers Mass while facing _ad apsidem_ (towards the apse), _ad orientem_ (towards the east) if the apse is at the east end of the church, he shows them to the people, who are behind him, by elevating them above his head. As each is shown, a bell (once called "the sacring bell") is rung and, if incense is used, the host and chalice are incensed (_General Instruction of the Roman Missal _, 100). Sometimes the external bells of the church are rung as well. Other characteristics that distinguish the Roman Rite from the rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches are frequent genuflections , kneeling for long periods, and keeping both hands joined together.
ANTIQUITY OF THE ROMAN MASS
In his 1912 book on the Roman Mass, Adrian Fortescue wrote: "Essentially the Missal of Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book, which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise _de Sacramentis_ and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our inquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours." In a footnote he added: "The prejudice that imagines that everything Eastern must be old is a mistake. Eastern rites have been modified later too; some of them quite late. No Eastern Rite now used is as archaic as the Roman Mass."
In the same book, Fortescue acknowledged that the Roman Rite underwent profound changes in the course of its development. His ideas are summarized in the article on the "Liturgy of the Mass" that he wrote for the _ Catholic Encyclopedia _ (published between 1907 and 1914) in which he pointed out that the earliest form of the Roman Mass, as witnessed in Justin Martyr 's 2nd-century account, is of Eastern type, while the Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries, of about the 6th century, "show us what is practically our present Roman Mass". In the interval, there was what Fortescue called "a radical change". He quoted the theory of A. Baumstark that the _Hanc Igitur_, _Quam oblationem_, _Supra quæ_ and _Supplices_, and the list of saints in the _Nobis quoque_ were added to the Roman Canon of the Mass under "a mixed influence of Antioch and Alexandria", and that "St. Leo, I began to make these changes; Gregory I finished the process and finally recast the Canon in the form it still has."
Fortescue himself concluded: We have then as the conclusion of this paragraph that at Rome the Eucharistic prayer was fundamentally changed and recast at some uncertain period between the fourth and the sixth and seventh centuries. During the same time the prayers of the faithful before the Offertory disappeared, the kiss of peace was transferred to after the Consecration, and the Epiklesis was omitted or mutilated into our "Supplices" prayer. Of the various theories suggested to account for this it seems reasonable to say with Rauschen: "Although the question is by no means decided, nevertheless there is so much in favour of Drews's theory that for the present it must be considered the right one. We must then admit that between the years 400 and 500 a great transformation was made in the Roman Canon" (Euch. u. Busssakr., 86).
In the same article Fortescue went on to speak of the many alterations that the Roman Rite of Mass underwent from the 7th century on (see Pre-Tridentine Mass ), in particular through the infusion of Gallican elements, noticeable chiefly in the variations for the course of the year. This infusion Fortescue called the "last change since Gregory the Great" (who died in 604).
The Eucharistic Prayer normally used in the Byzantine Rite is attributed to Saint John Chrysostom , who died in 404, exactly two centuries before Pope Gregory the Great. The East Syrian Eucharistic Prayer of Addai and Mari , which is still in use, is certainly much older.
ARRANGEMENT OF CHURCHES
The Roman Rite no longer has the _pulpitum _, or rood screen , a dividing wall characteristic of certain medieval cathedrals in northern Europe, or the iconostasis or curtain that heavily influences the ritual of some other rites. In large churches of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance the area near the main altar, reserved for the clergy, was separated from the nave (the area for the laity ) by means of a rood screen extending from the floor to the beam that supported the great cross (the rood) of the church and sometimes topped by a loft or singing gallery. However, by about 1800 the