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A liturgical rite is a way to celebrate the Mass. At least for the purpose of this question I will assume this meaning of the term.

The standard way Mass is celebrated by Roman Catholics is in the Roman Rite. This normally refers to celebration of the Mass originally based on the Missale Romanum from 1970 as commissioned by Pope Paul VI (there have been recent modifications); this happens (always?) in the local language. The so-called extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is the Tridentine Mass, celebrated in Latin, nowadays according to the Missale Romanum of 1962.

Aside from these two liturgical rites (which some will say are technically just two forms of a single rite), I have seen mention of others, such as the Ambrosian Rite, Anglican Use, and Zaire Use. Which forms of Mass (rites) are presently used within the Roman Catholic Church? How can one characterize them, and where are they used?

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Note that the 1970 Missal has been superseded by the Third Typical Edition of 2010. – Andrew Leach Sep 18 '13 at 9:58
@AndrewLeach Thanks; see my small edit. Feel free to edit your information in on top of that. – Lover of Structure Sep 18 '13 at 10:04
@AndrewLeach Shouldn't this be the "English translation (2010) of the third typical edition of 2002" instead? – Lover of Structure Sep 19 '13 at 12:08

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How can one characterize (a rite)?

A rite represents tradition about how sacraments (not just Mass) are celebrated. As the early Church grew and spread, it celebrated the sacraments as would be best understood and received in the context of individual cultures, without ever changing their essential form and matter.

Which forms of Mass (rites) are presently used within the Roman Catholic Church? and where are they used?

Counting novus ordo and tridentine as a single rite, there are totally 5 western rites and 22 eastern rites (with five eastern liturgical tradition). The complete list of functional rites and their jurisdiction can be found at

Please see Wikipedia article titled List of Catholic rites and churches for the list of defunct rites, But I really doubt that this is an exhaustive list of defunct rites.

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Is Zaire Use still practiced? How might one categorize it? – Lover of Structure Sep 19 '13 at 10:57
@LoverofStructure, I am not sure whether it is still practiced. But since it is approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, it can be validly practiced. The approval document is titled as: Missel romain pour les diocèses du Zaïre (Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire), which shows that this is a variation of the Roman rite. I do not think Zari use is a rite by itself. It is just inculturation (modification) of the Roman rite. All the zari dioceses (now congo) are listed in gcatholic as Roman (Latin) rite. – Jayarathina Madharasan Sep 19 '13 at 12:46
Do you know if there are other official (approved) inculturations? – Lover of Structure Sep 19 '13 at 12:47
To @LoverofStructure : Other than Anglican use, I do not think any other inculturations of the Roman rite exist. But I cannot confirm this from a reliable source. – Jayarathina Madharasan Sep 19 '13 at 13:16
@LoverofStructure, Yes & No. Yes, it'll be correct to call it as "Anglican use". But No, it is not supposed to be called that just because it is not it's official name. Formerly known as the Anglican use (of the Roman Rite) now has a Personal Ordinariates and therefore it is now classified (called) as "Anglican Rite". Let me clarify, usually jurisdiction of a bishops of a particular rite do not cross geographical boundaries of each others. When Personal Ordinariates was created, people of Anglican rite are given separate bishops whose jurisdiction can overlap with another Latin bishops. – Jayarathina Madharasan Sep 28 '13 at 2:58

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