Pope to say Mass in Latin during UK visit

This is a first since the Roman Catholic liturgy went vernacular, as far as we know, that the Pope would celebrate key parts of the liturgy in Latin in a trip to a foreign country. Does anyone know otherwise? From today’s issue of The Tablet (“click here for latest news”):

Significant parts of Masses celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Britain in September will be said in Latin. The Eucharistic prayer of the Mass will be said or sung in Latin by the Pope at the liturgies at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, and at the beatification of Cardinal Newman in Cofton Park, Birmingham. Congregations will respond to the dialogue preface in Latin and the consecration [sic] will be said in Latin. It is believed the Mass at Westminster Cathedral will follow a similar pattern. Mgr Paul Conroy, General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference in Scotland and part of the planning team for the liturgy, said that the decision was a requirement of the Vatican. “This helps to show the universality of the liturgy and helps Catholics from various different countries, who may be listening on the radio or watching on television, to follow the Mass,” he said.

64 comments

  1. Mgr. Paul Conroy said “(Latin) helps to show the universality of the liturgy and helps Catholics from various different countries, who may be listening on the radio or watching on television, to follow the Mass”

    It also follows the directive of the 2nd Vatican Council. The only surprise here is that after 40 years we’ve not implemented the council’s dictates in this area.
    I bet this will be another occasion when we see that pastoral concerns about the peoples’ ability to participate in a mostly Latin liturgy are “much ado about nothing.”

    1. Yes, indeed: everyone, equally, from every part of the universe, whether physically present or listening on radio, TV or online, will be unable to understand what’s being said!

      Following this logic, the readings and indeed the homily should also be in Latin.

  2. Ahh.. the politics of liturgy.

    Perhaps the organisers want to avoid endorsing the continued use of the 1973. They know they can’t use the controversal, unfinished and unreleased 2010, so they just use the incomprehensible and “universal” Latin.

    By the way, someone needs to inform Mgr Conroy that there are far, far, far more Catholics around the world who understand English than Latin. And this is a papal visit to the UK, not a ceremony in Rome. How does the use of Latin improve everyone’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual involvement in the papal litugy? Or does he want the participants and TV viewers, by default, to become mere spectators of the lovely Latin liturgy?

    The signals are most unfortunate: English (Welsh and Gaelic too) is not a language worthy of a papal liturgy. What does that say about any papal attempt to identify or connect with the inhabitants of the islands using their languages in his liturgy? Does the decision to use Latin undermine the message he brings to the UK and help reinforce the notion that the papacy and Catholicism are intrinsically foreign? It’s not a smart move in my opinion.

    1. The Pope should celebrate all his public liturgies in Latin, save vernacular readings. I do not believe in English language exceptionalism. Our Latin heritage stretches far, far beyond the century and a half (at best) of English language world hegemony. More than 1700 years of the Latin prayer tradition connects the Church with awesome contextual and prosodic antecedents. Does everything, even the prayer of the Holy Father as vicar of Christ, have to fall under the tyranny of popular superficial but “active participation”? Could ecclesiastical Latin be understood through the lens of history and piety rather than immediate auditory comprehension?

      At the conclusion of the Sanctus of a papal Mass I always await these four words: “te igitur clementissime pater …” Recently the Pope has been using EP III, perhaps out of time considerations or the length of papal Masses. Nevertheless, I am overjoyed when the pope decides to pray the Canon. As I follow each prayer of the Canon, I am reminded that the Pope progresses through centuries of prayer repeated by his predecessors and in billions of Masses celebrated throughout history. Yes, every Mass is in continuity with the historical intent and practice of the Church. Yet in a very special way the papal recitation of the Canon in Latin creates a profound bond that links the witness to the complex beauty of our liturgical heritage. If nothing else, that is worth the price of admission.

  3. How can a community that has been celebrating Mass in the vernacular for as long as we have not know, at least in broad brush strokes, the meaning of each part of the Mass whether it be in Latin or Swahili? I’ve regularly demonstrated it to school children by telling them that I’m going to recite the Our Father, then doing so line by line and asking them to do a translation. They do it faultlessly every time.

    By the way, claiming that English should be the default language for liturgy in England would raise eyebrows at our local Anglican Cathedral where they use Latin far more regularly than at the RC Cathedral. What more beautiful manifestation of the Communion of Saints can there be than to pray in the same words as our spiritual ancestors – and dare I say it, with the same melodies too from time to time;-) Until the ‘present’ of the Church can reconcile itself with its own past, its future cannot realise its full potential.

  4. Mgr. Paul Conroy said: “(Latin) helps Catholics from various different countries, who may be listening on the radio or watching on television…”

    But won’t help those of us in Liverpool (can’t speak for other UK cities). The most commonly spoken languages in England are English, Punjabi and Bengali. Few of us speak Latin.

    Still, during the Sunday Mass, most of us will be at Mass so we won’t really be able to assess the effect.

  5. I would bet that most Catholics who are familiar with English as a second language are also familiar with Latin.

    Americans, other than recent immigrants, are the only people in the developed world who only speak one language.

      1. Confused. I thought you said that “America… are the only people in the developed world who only speak one language” and I was pointing out that this is also true of the English.

  6. Graham asked:

    “How does the use of Latin improve everyone’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual involvement in the papal liturgy?”

    It connects them to the faith of the Church in a profound way. It is helpful to pray the prayers of the Church in communion with the whole Church of today and history in obedience to the council and unfiltered by the now lame-duck ICEL translation. It also is helpful to remind the faithful that Latin is still the norm even in the NO. It seems that some liturgists would prefer that we forget this.

    “What does that say about any papal attempt to identify or connect with the inhabitants of the islands using their languages in his liturgy?”

    English will undoubtedly be used in the readings and in other places, i.e. the bidding prayers. There are many immigrant Catholics in England too.

    “Does the decision to use Latin undermine the message he brings to the UK and help reinforce the notion that the papacy and Catholicism are intrinsically foreign?”

    Only those who adhere to some kind of hermeneutic of suspicion towards the papacy would perceive the liturgy of the Catholic Church as somehow “foreign” – instead it should be perceived as over and above nationalism by reinforcing our identity as western Christians with a long tradition that precedes the nation state & nationalism. Nationalism has not been good for Christendom.

  7. ” … Latin is still the norm … ”

    Is this actually true? – Surely Mass in Latin is a very rare occurence at most parishes.

  8. John Quinn – a norm is a rule (subject to exceptions) to be followed; it does not mean that the rule is always followed. For example, the US bishops received Vatican permission to change the norm for receiving the Eucharist from kneeling/in the hand to standing/on the tongue (subject to the condition that any Catholic who wishes to receive kneeling may continue to do so).
    Finally, we are no lnoger being told to do things “in the spirit of Vatican II” but are, thanks laregly to the internet, easily able to examine the texts themsleves and see what was, and more importantly, what was not, voted for.
    Imaigne running a country where a politician is elected on a promise of “cutting taxes”. She then cuts taxes by 5% in legislation. And the taxpayer says that “the spirit” of tax cuts means he can ignore the legislation and unilaterally cut the taxes he pays by 20% because that was more in the spirit if “cutting taxes”.

  9. Graham – hold the front page. The Pope is a Catholic, and a Roman one at that?? The Pope is doing no different from what he does at most Masses – as you will easily know from watching or listening to Masses offered by him as broadcast regularly on EWTN or Radio Vaticana.
    Of course, English, Gaelic and Welsh are worthy of a papal or any other liturgy. I am not aware of plans (sadly) for any Welsh or Gaelic this time but I do not believe that he speaks either (faraor! faraor!)) and anyway there will be plenty of softly Bavarian-accented English at the Mass to be sure.

  10. I find the idea of switching languages just for the Institution Narrative unpersuasive, however popular it is in some quarters.

    1. Karl,

      I think ‘silly’ is the more appropriate term, myself. You’ve got me on this one, when it comes to diplomacy.

  11. If we are concerned about connecting with the history of the Church, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to use Greek for the institution narratives?

    I am not sure connecting with history is the best idea anyway. William the Conqueror brought a form of Latin when he subjugated the English. Is that the lesson — that Latin is the language of domination, no matter how proficient the English have become at Imperial politics?

  12. NO, the Pope is not sending a message of “English and Gaelic and Welsh are not worthy of use in the liturgy.” (Why would he have celebrated in American English in the US?)

    NO, the Pope is not sending a message of “Latin is the language of my domination over all you sheep.” (What else should we eschew because of some unfortunate context?)

    NO, it wouldn’t be more appropriate to use Greek instead of Latin. (Jim, why don’t you go suggest that to the Maronites, the Syriacs, etc.?)

    This context flip-flopping about history when it comes to liturgy baffles me to no end. It frustrates me greatly to see such arguments against the use of Latin in the Latin Rite.

      1. Is the one argument against the use of Gregorian chant, “we are not musicologists?” Could you explain the “we are not linguists” argument for me, so I don’t make silly comparisons?

        The majority of Christians haven’t been linguists, and that didn’t prevent them from using Latin at Mass. Even after Vatican II, non-linguists can survive the use of Latin at Mass. I’m not a linguist (to the best of my knowledge) and I can do it. The Council Fathers expected us to survive the trauma of it.

  13. I’ve always been skeptical of the 50/50 Mass. What does it indicate when the liturgy of the Word takes place in the vernacular but the liturgy of the Eucharist takes place in Latin. It seems to me, that the entire liturgy is a communicative event. Language is about communication, it is not a symbol, which it becomes in the liturgy when it is incomprehensible – and a bad one at that – a thing intended to mean but who’s signifier and thing signified don’t equate .(Don’t quote Habermas, Hegel, or Witegenstein at me, I’m speaking of langauge at its most basic goal.) One might claim Latin euchology is “universal” but are the prayers of the Mass meant to be symbols or signs of universality? No, they are meant to be comunicative events of their content first and foremost in which the ekklesia locates itself in and can make its own. It seems to me therefore nonsensical to burden the communication process with secondary considerations and thereby tend to destroy the primary goal of language with anciliary agendas.
    As stated by Msgr. Conroy, probably as spin to make the best of the Vatican’s choice, the goal is the broadest communicative mechanism – that is not Latin! Hence, a secondary issue, “universalism”, “tradition”, etc. becomes the primary goal, and in so doing the real goal of language is surplanted and with it that of the the liturgy’s.

  14. No one has yet pointed out the bizarre juxtaposition of Preface and Eucharistic Prayer in Latin, with acclamations (Holy, We proclaim, Amen) in an English translation that has not yet been given recognitio for the territory in question.

    The lack of recognitio is the reason why the Pope will utter (but perhaps not pray) the words of the EP in Latin, rather than the new English text, which is what Rome actually wanted to use (yes, they said so at an earlier stage: “Of course the Pope will use the new translation”. Hmmm). The people, too, will sing (in a half-hearted fashion) words using a text that they are not familiar with and using music that they do not know at all. They, too, will not be praying.

    Did someone say ars celebrandi ?

    1. “the Pope will utter (but perhaps not pray) the words of the EP in Latin”

      Impugning with impunity. Real classy.

      Can we only pray what we understand? With crystal clarity? We should avoid using the psalms in prayer, then, until we’ve done an intense study of them.

      1. You’ve raised a good point there, Jeff. It’s tricky understanding all these wonderful texts in our own language. How much more difficult might it be understanding them in a language we don’t speak.

      2. It might be helpful to recall the properly Christian meaning of “mystery,” as used eg by St. Paul, in contrast to the ‘pagan’ meaning of the term in the world religions. In Christianity, ‘mystery’ is that which is fully revealed, utterly close to us, fully accessible to us, but inexhaustible in meaning. We can never understand it fully and we will always discover more, though it is made completely available to us. This contrasts with other meanings of ‘mystery’ as “hidden, far removed, inaccessible, unknowable, mysterious, exotic,” etc. The argument for vernacular is that it conveys the Christian sense of mystery – not because we understand everything entirely, but because everything is made accessible to us. As much as I love the Latin language and treasure a common Christian bond across cultures and eras, I see a great danger that the liturgical use of Latin might bring a reversion to non-Christian meanings of ‘mystery’ and the diminishment of central Christian understandings.
        awr

  15. With the use of the Latin EPIII (newly composed in the 1960s) and the acclamations in the new English translations (composed in 2006/2008/2010), it seems the Papal Mass will be a testament to novelty. But a strong argument could me made that novelty in Papal liturgy is traditional.

  16. Wouldn’t the largest portion of non-Latin parts of the Mass need to be allotted to Polish to accommodate the greatest number of regular Mass-goers in the UK?

  17. Jeffrey, the system wouldn’t let me reply to you above, so here instead.

    I’m not sure why one would need to be a musicologist in order to use Gregorian chant. I wouldn’t need to know anything about structure, intervals, modes and neumes in order to enjoy this rather wonderful music. Similarly we can all sing-a-long with 50s ballads like “Blue Moon” without knowing that that the accompaniment is a I-VI-VI-V7 chordal progression.

    No, you don’t need to be a musicologist to enjoy chant or any other form of music (with the probably exception of the gamelan). Music transcends barriers.

    But to speak in a foreign language, surely one has to learn it. Wouldn’t that make one a linguist?

    1. I thought you meant “linguist” in a more technical and scientific sense, as in a person who studies linguistics (grammar, morphology, phonetics, etc.), not just a person who knows another language.

      Ever since I came around to the idea of using Latin in the liturgy as a member of the congregation — and that was some time around mid-2007 — I have been confronted with that very question, about having to learn Latin.

      I’ve tried learning Latin, but I haven’t had the time or attention necessary for it, so my knowledge of the language is limited to the religious texts I come across — Church documents, liturgical texts, sermons, etc. I still can’t do much decent translation without resorting to “Whitaker’s Words”.

      Although I think it is a noble pursuit (one my wife is engaged in because of her academic work, and one which I would like to be engaged in simply because I find it worthwhile), no one is being asked to “learn Latin”. You are simply being asked to speak some words in Latin, the meaning of which you already know (to varying degrees, depending on the quality of the translation). It takes a little bit of familiarity with the words themselves: how to pronounce them, maybe where the emphasis goes.

      1. “You are simply being asked to speak some words in Latin….”

        I had hoped we were being asked to pray those words – and that’s something I couldn’t do in a foreign language. We can sing frequently recurring texts in Latin – “Sanctus”, for example, which is always sung by the assembly – and have a good idea what it means. But how could we understand all the eucharistic prayers and the many collects and prefaces?

        Mass is so very difficult in English – I’m afraid I’ll never get my head around it in Latin.

      2. Yes, excuse me, I did mean that we will be praying the words. (My whole personal apostolate is about praying the Mass, not just “saying” the Mass. We shouldn’t say a prayer, we should pray a prayer.) When I said “speak some words in Latin”, I did not mean it in a dismissive sense of “we’ll just speak some words in a foreign language” but rather the emphasis on “some”: “we’ll speak some words in a foreign language.”

        You can understand the prayers with time. And as you point out, Mass is difficult in the vernacular as it is. Just because a text is in a language you understand does not mean you understand the text.

  18. So far as the mass at Westminster Cathedral is concerned this merely means the pope will be doing what is done fairly regularly there – possibly more often than not – at the main 10.30 Sunday mass week to week throughout the year, as well as at solemnities etc., occasionally even at the 5.30 evening mass – it’s certainly very common to have the ordinary in Latin and by and large the extremely large regular congregation (of whom I am one) likes it that way. And, yes, chant from the Graduale mixed with polyphony is the norm.

  19. Sean-you and the Catholics of your archdiocese are fortunate to have the 2nd Vatican council’s stipulations on the liturgy implemented in your cathedral.

  20. How sad that the Pope would use this historic trip to England as a way to show how out of touch he is with reality. His vision of the imperial church rings increasingly hollow in the modern world. While it’s not news to me that the hierarchy lives in its own insular world, cf the on-going clergy sexual abuse/bishops spiritual abuse crisis, but it remains sad to me when I see such egregious public manifestations of it.

      1. Well, it would have been an opportunity for the many unchurched people in Britain (horrid expression, but you know what I mean) to have some experience of what we do, albeit by TV. As it is, they won’t have the foggiest idea what’s going on, unless they speak Latin.

      2. Nick – first of all, for the beneift of the “unchurched”, I bet there will be voiceover commentators for these Masses, even if they are in the vernacular.

        Second, for the “churched”, this is something we were expected to be capable of all along, explicitly stated by Vatican II and repeated numerous times afterwards. The fact that we can’t means that people (lots of us, from the bishops to the laity) dropped the ball. Are we ever going to pick it up again? If so, how are we to start? Where are we to start? Or do we just move on and never think of it again?

        In this day and age, it should be easy for us to educate ourselves in this matter and get things moving again.

  21. Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Nick Baty :

    “You are simply being asked to speak some words in Latin….”
    I had hoped we were being asked to pray those words – and that’s something I couldn’t do in a foreign language. We can sing frequently recurring texts in Latin – “Sanctus”, for example, which is always sung by the assembly – and have a good idea what it means. But how could we understand all the eucharistic prayers and the many collects and prefaces?
    Mass is so very difficult in English – I’m afraid I’ll never get my head around it in Latin.

    I assume then that you have difficulty fulfilling your obligations when travelling overseas. Does that restrict you to travelling to English-speaking countries?

      1. Ceile is asking: “what do you do when you attend Sunday Mass in a foreign country?”

        Do you make the responses in English? Quietly? Not respond (externally) at all? Or do you attempt (however poorly) to respond in the language in which the Mass is being celebrated?

    1. FWIW, when I’m at Mass in a language I don’t understand (Hungarian or Polish are two good examples), I’m carried along mostly by the great enthusiasm of the local people who are praying and singing with such engagement in their own tongue. I suspect the experience is quite different, and quite a bit less positive, for the many people present at a Latin liturgy they don’t understand. But maybe a sense of being part of the Catholic whole (to be redundant) carries them along somewhat.
      awr

  22. “Celebrating Mass in Latin is a sign of being out of touch with reality”

    I agree with this. Very few people understand Latin, and none of the the original liturgical texts (or Scripture) were ever in this language.

    The policy at V2 was to translate from the original to the vernacular.

    1. The policy of V2’s SC was to preserve the use of Latin in the Latin Church while granting provision to the vernacular. When parishioners are unfamiliar with Latin ordinaries we need to look at their pastors who’ve failed to implement the council’s directives in this area.

  23. Jeff P

    “… my knowledge of the language [Latin] is limited … ”

    Jeff, it seems to me that your knowledge of the Liturgy (and the Roman Catholic faith itself) is far more limited than your knowledge of the above language.

  24. “We should avoid using the psalms in prayer, then, until we’ve done an intense study of them.”

    – No, we should not. The Psalms are are main prayer-book.

    But if we sing / say these in Latin,we will never understand them.

  25. “The argument for vernacular is that it conveys the Christian sense of mystery – not because we understand everything entirely, but because everything is made accessible to us. . . . I see a great danger that the liturgical use of Latin might bring a reversion to non-Christian meanings of ‘mystery’ and the diminishment of central Christian understandings.”

    Very interesting point, Father, one not always considered by those on both sides of the Latin / vernacular debate.

    I think the danger can be seem from the other side as well, that since the liturgy is now is English, we can finally “understand” it. Your later comment “. . . for the many people present at a Latin liturgy they don’t understand” suggests this common notion.

    I appreciate the mass in Latin not because I somehow like to listen to a language I do not (fully) understand, or because somehow I think the Eucharist is too “mysterious” to be uttered in a modern language.

    I often find the vernacular to be a barrier to anything but an intellectual understanding or what is happening. Latin frees me to enter into the liturgy without having to process every last word and explicit meaning of the text being proclaimed. (I think it telling that the vernacular has brought about a diminishing appreciation for the gestures and ceremonies of the liturgy.) The notion that the liturgy has become too “wordy” is a commonplace, but it bears some consideration.

    1. Sam – thanks for your comments. After I submitted this comment, I wished I had added this:
      The danger of an overly simplistic vernacular translation is that it might foster the illusion that we understand the mystery exhaustively. The value of a more ‘elevated’ English translation, or even of Latin, is that these might serve symbolically to underscore that liturgical participation is not only or even primarily about intellectual comprehension – keeping in mind the possible dangers as well in the use of ‘elevated English’ or Latin.
      awr

      1. Dom Ruff,

        Do you include the problems of intellectual bafflement or annoyance among the dangers of ‘elevated English’ or Latin? This is an honest question, not a snarky comment. I’ve read some bits of the new translation and find most of them really awful, either because they’re far too convoluted, or just grammatically bad.

        There’s getting lost in prayer, and then there’s just getting lost. When I can’t get to the end of the sentence and have some idea of what I’m supposed to be saying, it’s not good for prayer. And bad grammar just plain aggravates me, because I expect better of those who would be shepherds.

      2. Lynn – sure. In my mind, ‘elevated’ should mean more beautiful, more elegant – but not strange or contorted or difficult for no good reason. I have in mind, eg, the 1979 BCP contemporary collects – this is good English, but it’s a bit ‘higher.’ That doesn’t mean exotic – it means the very ordinary, done extraordinarily well.
        awr

    1. Worry not – Jeff explained. To answer your original question, being a parish musician, I couldn’t attend Sunday Mass in a foreign country, as on Sundays I’m in the parish church.

  26. The following statement displays a lack of resourcefulness.
    “. . . first since the Roman Catholic liturgy went vernacular, as far as we know, that the Pope would celebrate key parts of the liturgy in Latin in a trip to a foreign country.”

    A custom Missal is prepared for each foreign journey of the Pope. All the liturgies are prepared in advance and included in this custom Missal. Missals for trips of recent years are available in PDF on the Vatican website.

    You’ll see from the following that the Eucharistic Prayer is frequently prayed in Latin, regardless of country. Check it out:

    Sydney, 19 July 2008, ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL
    Nicene Creed and Pater Noster sung in Latin
    Eucharistic Prayer in English
    Te Deum in Latin

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2008/messale_Australia.pdf

    Holy Land (May 8-15, 2009)
    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2009/MessaleTerraSanta.pdf

    Cameroon and Angola, (Mar 17-23, 2009)
    DOMINGO, 22 de Mar de 2009
    LUANDA, CAMPO DA CIMANGOLA
    CELEBRCÃO EUCARÍSTICA
    IV DOMINGO DA QUARESMA
    PARA A REGIA˜ O DA A ´ FRICA AUSTRAL
    Portuguese
    English
    Eucharistic Prayer in Latin

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2009/Messale%20viaggio%20Africa.pdf

    Lourdes, France, (Sep 12-15, 2008)

    DIMANCHE, 14 Sep 2008
    LOURDES, PRAIRIE
    CÉLÉBRATION EUCHARISTIQUE
    FÊTE DE LA CROIX GLORIEUSE

    First Reading in Dutch
    Psalm in French
    Second Reading in German
    Gospel in French
    Nicene Creed chanted in…

  27. Ok, thank you. I like that definition. Apart from my deep dismay [or disgust, on occasion] at the way the whole process has gone, I am quite disappointed with the quality of the English in the new translation. My fear is that we’ll get exactly what you excluded in your definition below, particularly the strange and contorted parts. “Difficult for no good reason” would seem to follow those two.

    In various roles I have had occasion to put together ceremonies for different purposes, and I’ve always found that the simple, done well, beats the complex [too often executed poorly] for dignity and meaning. Too much decoration distracts from the main reason for being there. Doing this to the Mass will not lead to good results, I think.

    “Lynn – sure. In my mind, ‘elevated’ should mean more beautiful, more elegant – but not strange or contorted or difficult for no good reason. I have in mind, eg, the 1979 BCP contemporary collects – this is good English, but it’s a bit ‘higher.’ That doesn’t mean exotic – it means the very ordinary, done extraordinarily well.
    awr”

  28. First of all Latin not English or the vernacular of any other country is the official language of the universal Church (the Catholic Church) in Art.36 and Art.54 of ‘SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM’ of the Second Vatican Council.
    Even the Mass of Pope Paul VI (which did not come until long after Vatican II) i.e. 1970 has Latin as it’s typical (i.e. official) form.
    As for the visits of Pope Benedict XVI to other countries – why don’t you actually check the Vatican website which shows Latin is the norm for Papal Masses outside Rome.
    e.g. here:
    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2010/messale-cipro2010.pdf

    1. The articles of SC you cite refer to preserving Latin in the Roman rite. They say nothing of the alleged ‘official language’ of the Catholic Church. The working language of the curia is Italian. The various Eastern rites of the Catholic Church have used a variety of languages other than Latin for centuries.
      awr

      1. And lectures in the Roman universities are no longer given in Latin but Italian, except for places like the Angelicum, where those who cannot handle Italian can be taught in English.

  29. In regard to Benedict XVI’s visit to England in September, do we know if there are any canonization plans for English saints previously declared blessed? I’m thinking specifically of John Adams, John Lowe and Robert Dibdale, declared blessed in 1987. Looks like congrats are in order for one of our posters!

  30. Someone mentioned the switch from the vernacular to Latin for the Eucharistic rite. I find this wholly appropriate. The Liturgy of the Word (formerly Mass of the Catechumens) is directed in great part towards/from the people in the form of proclaiming the Word. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is primarily directed towards God. He understands Latin perfectly. I would wonder how many people who decry this find themselves zoning out during this part of the Mass anyway.

    Regarding of the question of using Latin at all, there is no real practical answer to this, but for me, like others, praying the words that I know very well (the Ordinary and common responses) in Latin does give me a visceral feeling of connection to the members of the Body of Christ no longer living and God willing, not yet born. Those who claim that no one will understand the papal Mass sections in Latin underestimate the technological technique of subtitling which has been around for close to a century now. By offering parts in Latin, the pope sends a clear message that no Mass is an English (or any other nationality) Mass. It is a universal action in which some leeway for the local folks is given. Translations also offer people a chance to reflect on the prayer more intensely. I find this true at the EF Mass. When I have to read the prayer and pray it myself instead of listening to a priest do it, I have much more active participation.

  31. Yes why not. Do everything in latin. Nobody is left in the pews anyway. We all need to pack our bags and leave. Just the church, not Christ or his mission. I feel I no longer need a church to do the work Christ in the world. Maybe if I did not have a institutional church I would do more, care more, and be more hrist like than I ever was or will be in the church.

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