Rorate Caeli

Sacred Triduum: of course the '62 books are permitted

One of the biggest myths still remaining concerning the traditional Latin Mass is that the use of 1962 books for the Sacred Triduum is not allowed at regular parishes.  Not only is this "fake news," but the Vatican has clarified the fact that any parish may use the 1962 books for the entire Triduum -- and it can even be in addition to an existing novus ordo schedule.

Pope Pius XI, Maundy Thursday

The confusion stems from Article Two of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which states:

In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum.

A knee-jerk reaction by some on this point was the Triduum (that is, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) was not part of the 2007 universal permission for the traditional Latin Mass.  A closer reading, however, of the passage clearly shows it refers to private Masses only. And, thus, the Triduum should not be celebrated privately. This has nothing to do with the public celebration of the Triduum.

Perhaps as a result of some being confused, a clarification was made in Universae Ecclesiae four years later.

33. If there is a qualified priest, a coetus fidelium (“group of faithful”), which follows the older liturgical tradition, can also celebrate the Sacred Triduum in the forma extraordinaria. When there is no church or oratory designated exclusively for such celebrations, the parish priest or Ordinary, in agreement with the qualified priest, should find some arrangement favourable to the good of souls, not excluding the possibility of a repetition of the celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the same church.

So, the entire Sacred Triduum can be celebrated using the 1962 books in any church -- from a personal parish to a local parish.  And, in the case of the latter, it can even be before or after a novus ordo program the same day(s). A regular parish could even use nothing but the 1962 books for the Sacred Triduum if the pastor makes that decision. All of this is allowed. There is no requirement for the novus ordo to be used at a regular parish during the Sacred Triduum.

Never did Summorum Pontificum intend to limit traditional Latin liturgies to exclude the Sacred Triduum.  The clarity of Universae Ecclesiae put this myth to rest, and subsequently expanded the privilege to remove any and all obstacles to the use of the 1962 books on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.