Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated at National Shrine on Pope's anniversary

Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated at National Shrine on Pope's anniversary

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos
Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos


To mark the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI, a traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

The Pontifical Solemn High Mass will be celebrated on April 24 at 1 p.m. by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos of Colombia. The cardinal is the President Emeritus of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which facilitates the use of the Mass in the “Extraordinary Form.”

According to the Paulus Institute, the Tridentine Mass will be the first such Mass said at the Shrine’s High Altar in nearly 45 years.

The Mass is sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Paulus Institute for “the unity of the entire Catholic community.”

“We are honored that His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos will be celebrating this Mass at our invitation, especially on the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s inauguration and at the High Altar of the National Shrine,” said Institute President Paul King. “It is a privilege to recognize the Pope on this auspicious occasion and assist his call to give due honor to the 1500-year old Mass for its ‘venerable and ancient usage.’”

The Institute has invited all Catholics to attend, including those unfamiliar with the Mass.

In July 2007 Pope Benedict issued the apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum” in which he confirmed the permissibility of celebrations of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

The Tridentine Missal was last changed in 1962 under Bl. Pope John XXIII. The present “ordinary” form of the Mass was introduced with the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Pope Benedict has noted that the Latin liturgy of the Church has been “a spur to the spiritual life of many saints and reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and [facilitated] their piety.”

“What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred for us too,” he has said, adding that the Mass “must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage.”

More information on the Pontifical Mass at the National Basilica is available at

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