God doesn't speak Latin


I didn’t want to post this until the Traditional Latin mass followers had their day. Since by now September 14 has come and gone, I’ll post now.

First, I don’t have anything against the Tridentine mass. Our Western Rite Orthodox use the Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory, which is basically the same, and I am fine with that (though I’m Arab and Eastern Rite).

I don’t have anything against Latin, or any liturgical language, per se, except when its appeal is smells and bells. It has to go farther.

Now, I saw a nun on EWTN say that “Latin is the love language of God speaking to His beloved the Church. We are just getting in on the conversation.”

A lovely thought, but also a silly one.

The Father doesn’t speak Latin.

The Son on earth didn’t speak Latin.

His mother didn’t speak Latin.

None of His disciples spoke Latin.

When the Holy Spirit came down, Latin was only one of the languages He spoke through the Apostles.

He did not speak through the writers of Scripture in Latin.

He did not speak through the Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in Latin.

He did not set the Creed in Latin.

When the Church moved on to Rome, she did not speak Latin.

All the early Popes of Rome up to Victor (end 2nd century) did not speak Latin.

The Divine Liturgy/Mass up until Victor was not in Latin. (hence the Kyrie eleison).

In the martyrdom of Perpetua, she speaks Latin, but those in heaven speak Greek.

Only after Romulus’ title of pontifex maximus was passed on from the Roman emperor to the Pope of Rome, did Rome get its Latin mass and Latin translation of the scriptures (under Damasus).

God spoke to the prophets in Hebrew, and inspired their translators in Greek. God made man spoke Aramaic (and maybe in His childhood Coptic), and his Chruch spoke Greek. At the Ecumenical Councils the 72 nations agreed on Greek texts.

So the idea of Latin being God’s love language is a novelty.


An old man walks into the University Offices and says “I’d like to enrol for a Latin course.”

The Dean looks at him and asks rather coyly, “How old are you, Sir?”

“Ninety-three” is the reply.

“Then why do you want to learn Latin, at your time in life?”

“Well” the man explains “I realize I haven’t got long for this world, but if I go to Heaven I’d like to be able to speak to God and the Angels in their own language, and I’d feel more comfortable if I knew some Latin.”

The Dean thinks, and then asks “But what if you don’t go to Heaven but go to — you know — the other place?”

“That’s all right, I can already speak American.”


LOL. Can he enroll in courses in Purgatory?

Btw, my priest, a latinophile, says the priests prayers and office in Latin, something I have no problem with.


God is not bound by any language. Certainly not Latin.



I think the OP is making a bit of a generalization on those of us that would consider ourselves “Traditionalists”… I just think Latin is beautiful! It’s Universal, it can be used in all masses all over the world.



Thanks Isa, I really appreciate your post. These are my feelings exactly. I have posted in other areas on the forum about the TLM. I would be totally lost. I believe that is why many of us didn’t convert earlier in life. We didn’t have a clue what was going on.

I’ve only been Catholic since Easter. I’m still trying to get everything in english.


Greek can not only be used all over the world, but has been used from the beginning of the Church. Latin cannot make that claim even for Rome.


The only real use of Latin today is in the Church, in its liturgy, canon law, pastoral documents, et cetera.

In that way, Latin is sanctified and therefore is in a way God’s language of love.

Of course, God does not “speak” nor does He have any practical need for any mortal language, but I think it’s fairly obvious the quoted nun is aware of that fact.


I agree, it was a silly (but harmless) statement. But there are legitimate reasons for Latin, as testified by the fact that sacred languages are very common in religious settings.

I have become more and more convinced that one of the hidden benefits of Mass in Latin is to prevent the incessant ad-libbing of the Mass prayers that some priests feel is their right and/or duty. In Latin most priests wouldn’t be able to do that, and much more importantly, nobody in the congregation would “get it”, thus depriving the priest of most of his motivation.


Does anybody deny that, for many and varied reasons, Latin does have a special relationship in the Church (it is still the ‘official’ language and has been for centuries?)


I’m curious as to whether you have attended a TLM. In order to truly participate in the TLM, you must have a Missal, with both the Latin and the English. If you follow along in your Missal, you would find it very easy to participate.

I can understand how daunting it must seem to you. Raymond Arroyo made an interesting comment on “The World Over” last night on EWTN. He said that people in NYC pay $300 or more to go to the Metropolitan Opera and listen to people sing in other languages. The audience then reads the subtitles either on the back of the chair in front of them or on a screen above the stage, and they don’t seem to have a problem with that. Why would we have a problem with the Mass in Latin?

All I can say is give it a try before you make a judgment. I think you will be very surprised. :wink:



Well I did read once or maybe was it twice, :slight_smile: that the devil doesn’t particularly like it during exorcism, I do wonder why that is if it’s true, I think Fr Gabriel Amorth referred to this.

I don’t know what the nun meant, the only thing I would say that if everyone knew Latin, then when they travel Mass would be in the same language, other than that I don’t know.


The Father doesn’t speak Latin.
Implying that the Father does not know something is denying His omniscience.

The Son on earth didn’t speak Latin.
Actually, most people in that area would have known at least a little Latin from their Roman rulers. That being said, Christ was God and Man, so he possessed he Father’s knowledge, did He not?

His mother didn’t speak Latin.
Read above.

None of His disciples spoke Latin.
Again, above.

When the Holy Spirit came down, Latin was only one of the languages He spoke through the Apostles.
Latin was one of the three languages inscribed on the sign hung on the Cross, proclaiming the sacrifice.

He did not speak through the writers of Scripture in Latin.

I’m not even going to bother going on.

Well, it seems that opposition also comes from the Eastern Orthodox. Well, Blessed Pius IX didnt care what the Easterns thought- niether should we.


This old argument was rejected by the Church during the time of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Pilate’s use of the three languages did not render them in any way sacred. He was simply trying to communicate in the three tongues that most of the passersby would understand.


The adlibbing could be dealt with by a very simply adherance to the rubrics. We don’t have to sacrifice the vernacular Mass to achieve that.


God doesn’t speak Latin

God doesn’t use the Glory and Praise hymnal either.


You would only be totally lost if you refused to open a missal.


You know, JKirk, I think that both ideas are good.

We aren’t ‘sacrificing’ the vernacular Mass!! It is the ordinary form. And when properly celebrated according to the rubrics, as you note, it is a joy and a glory.

But it is certainly true that in the extraordinary form --which we likewise need not sacrifice–*it is much more difficult for celebrants and/or congregation to make the type of abuse that we can sometimes see in a vernacular Mass, that of ‘embellishing’ or altering or ad libbing text.

What would be good–and I think this was the point of the poster–would be for those celebrating the vernacular Mass to take to heart the rubrics and to obey them, when it comes to text adherence especially. Since the extraordinary form -Latin Mass–gives such an excellent example of strict adherence to the text, it is a good example to those celebrating the vernacular Mass.*


Is there some move afoot to “sacrifice” the vernacular Mass?!?! Tell me about it, and I’ll work to defeat it. :rolleyes:

And to say that all we need is a “very simple adherance to the rubrics” is to display an innocence about the reality of the last 40 years that borders on the perverse.

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