CATHOLICS, Do You Know? . . .Latin Mass

Pope John Paul II had great pastoral concern and compassion for all the faithful. Because of this concern, in October, 1984, he granted permission for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be offered again in Latin with approval of the local Bishop. This is the traditional Latin Mass as it was offered in Catholic churches around the world until after Vatican II.
In a more recent Apostolic Letter, Ecclesia Dei (July 2, 1988) His Holiness expanded these earlier directives, calling for their “wide and generous application.” Pertinent excerpts include:

“To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask support of the Bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.
“By virtue of my Apostolic Authority I Decree . . . Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of this who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal … of 1962.” (Emphasis added)

The Catholic faithful are free to ask their bishop that the Traditional Latin Mass be offered every Sunday in their parish or other nearby churches. Pope Benedict XVI, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, consistently showed his support for those Catholics who wish to worship in the old form of the Mass of the Roman Rite.
In his 1997 book Salt of the Earth, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote wrote: "I am of the opinion that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to grasp what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community that suddenly declares that what, until now, was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden makes the longing for it seem downright indecent, calls its very self into question.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the Bishops of Chile, given 13 July, 1988, in Santiago, Chile.
"…we ought to get back to the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what make the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, Who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, Whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director."

For More Info go here:
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For approved Traditional Latin Masses being offered in the US and Canada as of May 10, 2007 go here:
Listings of Vatican Appoved Latin Masses

WOW! Well said.

We have a forum called “Traditional Catholics” where this would be better served than mere “Liturgy and Sacraments”.

did you know that in the sacramentary there is a Latin translation of the Novus Ordo mass too?

Occasionally our visiting priest will use the Latin Eucharistic prayers. It’s rare, but a very nice addition to the liturgy.

Did you know that there exists NO LATIN TRANSLATION of the Novus Ordo Mass at all? Not even a “Latin Translation” in the Sacramentary?

This is because the Sacramentary and Lectionary of the Novus Ordo Mass are published in Rome in LATIN. The entire text is LATIN.

What you see in the “Sacramentary” and “Lectionary” are ICEL “translations” of the original Latin Text from Rome…horribly translated as well. When you see the Latin text in the Sacramentary what you see is the original text of the Mass as published from Rome.


Excellent point. The Latina Missa Normativa is the “promulgated” Mass of 1970. All translations of it, horrible or otherwise, are indults.

I’m a founding member of a men’s gregorian chant group that does an occasional Latin Novus Ordo Missae at a parish here. We do everything from Vespers to Tenebrae to weddings to funerals. We do appearances at vernacular Masses and, this year, we sang in a Pontifical Tridentine Nuptial Mass.

For Latin Novus Ordo Masses, we have a sacramentary that is all in Latin (2005 ed), worship aids that are put out by Ignatius Press, and the people love it.

Cardinal Arinze, Prefect for the Congregation fo Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments had this to say about Latin Vatican II Masses:

We should do our best to appreciate the language which the Church uses in her liturgy and to join our hearts and voices to them, according as each liturgical rite may indicate. All of us cannot be Latin speakers, but the lay faithful can at least learn the simpler responses in Latin. Priests should give more attention to Latin so that they celebrate Mass in Latin occasionally. In big churches where there are many Masses celebrated on a Sunday or Feast day, why can one of those Masses not be in Latin? In rural parishes a Latin Mass should be possible, say once a month. In international assemblies, Latin becomes even more urgent. It follows that seminaries should discharge carefully their role of preparing and forming priests also in the use of Latin (cf October 2005 Synod of Bishops, Prop. 36).

I think that it is hard to ask a priest to try a Tridentine Mass because the rubrics are very different and more complex. I also think that it is worse to have a poorly done Tridentine Mass than it is to have a well done vernacular Novus Ordo. That having been said, a Latin Novus Ordo has many of the best aspects of both worlds, and the people are not completely disoriented.

Well I wasnt sure where the best place to put this,but decided on here,because it dealt with Liturgy…and felt that if the Mods wished it to be in the Traditional section,they would move it…:thumbsup:

Here’s what VII said about Latin:
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above…

  1. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution.
    Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
    And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed."

Oddly, the clear directive of VII has been honored almost exclusively in the breach. At my Parish the following prayers are sometimes said in Latin: Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei with the Kyrie (Greek). I know of only one time the Credo was sung in Latin.

My parish is unusual in that it uses any Latin at all - yes I know there are others, but they are unusual, too. I have NEVER heard the Confiteor, Sursuum Corda(responses), Orate Fratres(response), Pater Noster or simple responses said in Latin even though they are “those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to [the laity]”

But everyone here knows all this about VII. I cannot understand why our priests and Bishops won’t simply use Latin as directed by VII.

  1. It’s mandated;
  2. It’s the official language of the Liturgy as noted above;
  3. It’s part of our heritage as Latin Rite Catholics;
  4. It’s beautiful;
  5. The most beautiful liturgical music ever written was written for it;
  6. It would form a wonderful symbol of our unity in Christ in multi-language settings;
  7. Rome tends to use it, so those lucky enough to go to Rome would better be able to “fully participate” if they are familiar with it.
  8. etc., etc., etc…

I missed the part in Vatican II that says, “Latin is divisive.” I hear that a lot, so I figure it must be somewhere in the documents :rolleyes:

Here it is here, from Sacrosanctum Concilium::wink:

54…steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them
116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

:smiley: That’s from Trent, isn’t it :smiley:

Nope…that would be a Vatican II document :slight_smile: :

How did it come to what it is today then??Im confused…lol…The document plainly says that Latin was to be preserved,with some vernacular…well thats how I read it…


I’m joking. :smiley:

I figured you might be…based on your earlier posts, but I just thought I would reinforce the facts. :slight_smile:

:eek: :rotfl:

Ummm…disobedience and innovations???

You noticed that, huh?

I guess “preserved” can mean anything from actually used to put away as an ancient artifact to be carefully reviewed by experts in an academic setting. :smiley: That distinction is apparently left to “competent territorial ecclesiastical authority.”

That leaves us to conclude, by the widespread demise of the actual use and knowledge of Latin, that the “steps” taken to make sure the faithful can say or sing their parts means that the preserved Latin in books and other recordings are not destroyed.

Otherwise one would have to conclude that the Bishops and clergy have knowingly disregarded the actual decrees of VII - and we know that wouldn’t happen.:rolleyes:

One wonders how the ICEL missed that part.

Or maybe it was job security. The recent translation still has the consecration wrong. (And please, let’s not go down that invalid road again.)

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