Hello all! So recently after juggling around versions of the Office for awhile, I decided to pray the EF Divine Office entirely in Latin. This way, it counts as a true “liturgy”.
Recently, I have thought about inviting my girlfriend to pray Vespers with me. If I ever did, I would use my all-English edition book that I have, as she does not know Latin and is not interested in learning. Of course, then it would not count as liturgy, but only as a devotion based off of a liturgy.
This got me wondering, what would the efficacy of such a prayer be compared to the actual Divine Office. It is interesting to ponder. On one hand, the Divine Office is the prayer of the Church. If it is said entirely in Latin with the intention of doing what the Church what the Church does, it is objectively liturgy, and of a higher form of prayer than just personal devotion, even when the speaker does not always know what he is saying (I myself am only beginning to learn Latin). Yet, on the other hand, I know that praying the EF Office in the vernacular can contribute more to meditation when said vernacular is the mother tongue of the speaker (this is really the only thing I miss from the LOTH, the ability to always understand what I was praying).
A somewhat related question came up as I pondered this. Let us say that, before Vatican II, a priest prayed the text of the mass entirely in the vernacular in an unapproved translation. In other words, the Vatican did not give any permission to use it. This would certainly be illicit, but would it really be invalid? If the priest were to say “TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.” (which is the approved English translation for the Ordinary Form), and he did so with the intention of doing what the Church does, would the bread become the Body of Christ? Or if a priest today invented a time machine, went back before Vatican II, and celebrated the Ordinary Form, would it be valid?