Betrothal, or betrothment, is, “a mutual promise of future marriage, or a contract by which a man and a woman engage themselves to marry.” 1 Read more about the Rite of Betrothal here.
Gregorian chant
Also called plain chant or plainchant. A type of music that is sung in unison, and without accompaniment. The Church has always preached that chant is the ideal type of music for the Mass.

“Gregorian chant is the church’s own music, born in the church’s liturgy. Its texts are almost entirely scriptural, coming for the most part from the Psalter. For centuries it was sung as pure melody, in unison, and without accompaniment, and this is still the best way to sing chant if possible. It was composed entirely in Latin; and because its melodies are so closely tied to Latin accents and word meanings, it is best to sing it in Latin.” 2

High Mass
A Latin Mass that is sung. Also called a Missa Cantata. 3
Latin Mass
The normative Mass of the Roman Rite until the Novus Ordo in 1969-1970. Also called the Extraordinary Form, Mass of St. Gregory the Great, the Tridentine Mass/Rite, or the old Mass.
Low Mass
A Latin Mass that is spoken, rather than sung.
Missa pro sponso et sponsa
The Mass for the Groom and Bride. One of many votive Masses. Also called the Missa pro sponsis.
Missale Romanum
The book of texts for the Catholic Mass.
Music of the Mass
Texts of the Mass that can be sung. 3
Novus Ordo
The normative Mass of the Roman Rite promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI in 1969-1970. Also called the Ordinary Form, or the new Mass.
The texts of the Mass that do not change; namely, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, the Benedictus, and the Agnus Dei.
A type of music with multiple voice parts (the word literally translates to “many voices”).
The texts of the Mass that change based on the day or feast; namely, the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia-Verse, Sequence, Tract, Offertory, and Communion.
“A Rite represents an ecclesiastical, or church, tradition about how the sacraments are to be celebrated.” 4
Ritual of Marriage
“The form for the celebration of Matrimony.” 5
Rituale Romanum
The book of texts, rubrics, and instructions for Catholic rituals and sacraments.
How something is sung. For example, you can choose a Gregorian chant setting of the Kyrie (like the Missa de Angelis), or a polyphonic setting (like the Mozart Mass in C Minor, with 4 voice parts).
Solemn High Mass
A Latin Mass that is sung, with 3 priests.
Tempus clausum
Latin for ‘forbidden time’. In this context, it refers to the (usually penitential) times of the liturgical year when marriages were forbidden or strongly discouraged; primarily, Lent, Advent, and the vigil of Pentecost. 6
Votive Mass
A Mass offered for a special intention, such as a Mass for kings, bishops, martyrs, a new church, the sick, or marriages. The votive Mass for marriage is called Missa pro sponso et sponsa (Mass for the groom and the bride), or Missa pro sponsis. 7


  1. Smet, Alöis de. Betrothment and Marriage; a Canonical and Theological Treatise with Notices on History and Civil Law. St. Louis : B. Herder, 1912. ↩︎

  2. “What Is Gregorian Chant?” GIA Publications. ↩︎

  3. Henry, Hugh. “Music of the Mass.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 10, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911, ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. “Catholic Rites and Churches.” EWTN, 2007. ↩︎

  5. Thurston, Herbert. “Ritual of Marriage.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 9, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910, ↩︎

  6. Friel, David. “Steering Wedding Dates Away from Advent & Lent.” Corpus Christi Watershed, 9 Mar. 2014. ↩︎

  7. Fortescue, Adrian. “Votive Mass.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 15, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912, ↩︎