What is a rite? In general, the manner and form of a religious function.
Hence, the words and actions to be carried out in the performance of a given act. Such as, the rite of baptism, or the rite of consecration, the Roman Rite. The term in its widest ecclesiastical sense refers to the principal historic rituals in the Catholic Church, whose essentials are the same as derived from Jesus Christ. The four parent rites in Catholicism are the Antiochene, Alexandrine, Roman, and Byzantine.
Roman rite. This rite was founded by St. Peter in Rome around the year 42 A.D. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave St. Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and said, “Peter, which means rock, upon this rock I will build by church”. Jesus made St. Peter our first pope and every pope since then, who is the Bishop of Rome, is the head of the Latin or Roman rite. This is the largest rite in the Church. The Pope which is the Vicar of the universal Church is the shepherd of the Eastern and Western rites.
Fr. Adrian Fortescue wrote a book back in 1912 called The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy. In it he says that “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 the 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 the dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to 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. 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.”
Learn more about the origins of the Liturgical Rites and making the sign of the cross today, September 24th, 2015, on Magnificat Radio at 10 am, 1 pm, 6:30 pm, and 10 pm CDT, USA during Louis Tofari’s show, Learning the Roman Liturgy, at www.magnificatmedia.com ~ Living Our Faith.
Visit Louis Tofari’s site here: Romanitas Press