Are certain masses more meritorious and efficacious to your soul than others? Is the Novus Ordo inferior to the Tridentine in terms of obtaining grace? This may be a foolish question to many --but so many are in the dark and consider the two rites to be of equal value. They are not. The following article entitled the Merit of A Mass by Father Chad Ripperger F.S.S.P., which originally appeared in Latin Mass Magazine lays it out beautifully. Beware however once you read it you will refuse to put up with anything less than the best and most efficacious of worship.
"Among the traditional faithful there appears to be a kind of intuitive sense that the old rite of Mass is more efficacious than the new rite. Many believe that they derive more spiritual gain from the old rite of Mass than from the new. However, to give a more precise expression to the intuitive sense of which is more efficacious, the new or the old rite, it is necessary to make several distinctions. Since the purpose of this article is very specific, i.e. to ascertain which ritual is more meritorious or efficacious, certain issues regarding the value or efficacy of the Mass will be avoided.1
Yet, to answer the question of whether the old rite of Mass is more efficacious than the new is of paramount importance. It is the point of departure between priests of the respective rites, since each holds that he is saying the Mass that is best for the faithful.2 Nevertheless, the question is a key one since, in the end, whichever ritual is more meritorious ought to be the one that the Roman authorities encourage. Since one of the primary obligations of those in authority in the Church is the glory of God through the salvation of souls, they have the obligation to encourage and, in some cases, require the ritual of the Mass which is most efficacious.
I. Distinctions of Merit
The distinctions within the different kinds of merit of the Mass are first founded on a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic merit or value. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
We must also sharply distinguish between the intrinsic and the extrinsic value of the Mass (valor intrinsecus, extrinsecus). As for its intrinsic value, it seems beyond doubt that, in view of the infinite worth of Christ as the Victim and High Priest in one Person, the sacrifice must be regarded as of infinite value, just as the sacrifice of the Last Supper and that of the Cross. …But when we turn to the Mass as a sacrifice of impetration and expiation, the case is different. While we must always regard its intrinsic value as infinite, since it is the sacrifice of the God-Man Himself, its extrinsic value must necessarily be finite in consequence of the limitations of Read More...