How best to incorporate Latin into the Mass


#1

I'm interested in people's thoughts about how best Latin could be incorporated into a (not-entirely-Latin) Ordinary Form Mass, i.e., how to strike the best possible balance of Latin and vernacular. The Latin-friendly OF Masses I've attended don't seem to have any consistency to them in terms of where they use it, so I'm wondering if there are competing theories about its use and what the rationale for them is.

Personally, I see Latin as best suited for the glorification of God (such as the Gloria and the Sanctus, because Latin is especially lovely and whatever is lovely is pleasing to God) and for prayers directed primarily toward God (such as the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer, where the use of Latin heightens the sense of mystery that properly belongs to the Mass).


#2

[quote="sw85, post:1, topic:330255"]
I'm interested in people's thoughts about how best Latin could be incorporated into a (not-entirely-Latin) Ordinary Form Mass, i.e., how to strike the best possible balance of Latin and vernacular. The Latin-friendly OF Masses I've attended don't seem to have any consistency to them in terms of where they use it, so I'm wondering if there are competing theories about its use and what the rationale for them is.

Personally, I see Latin as best suited for the glorification of God (such as the Gloria and the Sanctus, because Latin is especially lovely and whatever is lovely is pleasing to God) and for prayers directed primarily toward God (such as the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer, where the use of Latin heightens the sense of mystery that properly belongs to the Mass).

[/quote]

There is one - highly respected and holy priest that I will tell you how he handled this.

Father taught his parishioners for over 1 year all the pros of this addition - so that when the time came the whole parish rejoiced and were so grateful.

My suggestion is catechesis - catechesis - catechesis and if that is not enought - more catechesis. If you teach them they will know and understand.

God bless you desire!


#3

IMO the Propers are the best place to start.

Entrance: sing a few verses of a hymn, then when the priest is near the sanctuary, begin the Introit

Offertory: Offertory or hymn then Offertory

Communion: Communion or hymn then Communion


#4

[quote="sw85, post:1, topic:330255"]
I'm interested in people's thoughts about how best Latin could be incorporated into a (not-entirely-Latin) Ordinary Form Mass, i.e., how to strike the best possible balance of Latin and vernacular. The Latin-friendly OF Masses I've attended don't seem to have any consistency to them in terms of where they use it, so I'm wondering if there are competing theories about its use and what the rationale for them is.

Personally, I see Latin as best suited for the glorification of God (such as the Gloria and the Sanctus, because Latin is especially lovely and whatever is lovely is pleasing to God) and for prayers directed primarily toward God (such as the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer, where the use of Latin heightens the sense of mystery that properly belongs to the Mass).

[/quote]

Well, the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia states that the Latin is to be retained:

For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority "as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws." She further requires her sacred ministers to use it ...] For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time ... of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular. ...] the Church's language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority ...]But Latin is indeed such a language. ...] the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular. ...]

And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons -- the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods 13 -- are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. ...] We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored. ...] Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic See's decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully. n the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy

Vatican II also stated that the Latin was to be retained in the liturgy - see Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium:

Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. ...]

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 ...]

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 ...] 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.

What happens is that individual regions have little by little requested and obtained permission for more and more and more of the Mass to be said in their vernacular...with the result that the Latin is almost entirely gone. So is incense, and Gregorian chant, and the organ, and communion on the tongue (although I could easily quote plenty of official and most authoritative documents promoting them).

Personal opinion: I would rejoice if all the prayers that do not require interaction with the faithful would be recited in Latin by the priest. I would also let the Pater Noster be in Latin (we have recited it as such for centuries and centuries, so it would not hurt to keep it such, given that in their private life the faithful know well the meaning of the words). The Sanctus and the Agnus Dei would definitely be more edifying if prayed (correction: chanted) in Latin - I see this all the time. The final blessing would be a joy in the tongue of the saints.


#5

The ordinaries (gloria, creed, sanctus, agnus dei) sre a good place to start, because we know what they mean in English and they don’t change week to week. For those same reasons, the Collect is not a good place to start!


#6

PS: the reason I believe the Propers are the best place to start is because the congregation is generally not expected to sing them. It’s less confrontational than suddenly expecting them to sing the Credo.


#7

Carefully and gradually, with exaggerated catechesis to explain what the words mean and more importantly, why they are being said. I would suggest pew cards with the translations.

Make sure the children in the parish school are learning Latin--this will help parents and grandparents to be on board with Latin use in the Mass.

And keep in mind that there are people like me, who are well-catechized and know all about why Latin is used in the Mass--and yet, we still don't like it. My suggestion is that you not despise the people like me, but make sure that somehow, we are still considered part of the parish and welcomed into the Masses and other activities. Don't ghetto-ize us. Those who enjoyed Latin didn't like being ghetto-ized, right?

Yet, at the same time, I think that those who don't like Latin (or any foreign language) need to be reminded that we shouldn't rain on the parade or walk around with gloomy, judgmental faces. We need to be ONE with each other and not create factions.


#8

:thumbsup:


#9

I'd do it how EWTN does its Masses: Make parts of the Eucharistic Prayer, Our Father and Gospel proclamation in Latin, but keep the rest in the vernacular.


#10

Just to be clear, when I say "incorporate Latin into the Mass," I don't mean "how best to start the process of getting my pastor to do this." My pastor wouldn't do it, anyway, nor would any in a 50-mile radius. I meant more of a generic "Assuming it could be done, which parts of the OF Mass are most amenable to being said/sung in Latin?"

[quote="FrStevenJones, post:5, topic:330255"]
The ordinaries (gloria, creed, sanctus, agnus dei) sre a good place to start, because we know what they mean in English and they don't change week to week. For those same reasons, the Collect is not a good place to start!

[/quote]

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:6, topic:330255"]
PS: the reason I believe the Propers are the best place to start is because the congregation is generally not expected to sing them. It's less confrontational than suddenly expecting them to sing the Credo.

[/quote]

Both good points, thanks!

[quote="VanSensei, post:9, topic:330255"]
I'd do it how EWTN does its Masses: Make parts of the Eucharistic Prayer, Our Father and Gospel proclamation in Latin, but keep the rest in the vernacular.

[/quote]

Actually, it was exactly EWTN Masses I was thinking of that don't make sense to me in how they incorporate Latin into the liturgy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.


#11

This. I appreciate the EWTN Masses greatly. However, there is no consistency to how they do the Latin. If it was always the same, perhaps adding more on festal days, but generally the same nonetheless, it would be better.


#12

Probably the best place to start is in the bilingual parishes. (Spanish Mass vs English Mass, etc.)

There doesn’t seem to be much of an incentive in the all-English or all-Polish communities.


#13

[quote="ProVobis, post:12, topic:330255"]
Probably the best place to start is in the bilingual parishes. (Spanish Mass vs English Mass, etc.)

There doesn't seem to be much of an incentive in the all-English or all-Polish communities.

[/quote]

This is actually a pretty great idea. In Upstate SC, we have several mixed-language parishes. Some are English-Spanish, but one is English-Vietnamese. From what I gather, their use of Latin and other practices makes the parishes and people more amicable.


#14

From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

"41. ... Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.[footnote 51:
Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 54;
Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instruction Inter Oecumenici, 26 September 1964, no. 59: AAS 56 (1964), p. 891;
Instruction Musicam sacram, 5 March 1967, no. 47: AAS 59 (1967), p. 314.]"


#15

[quote="John_Lilburne, post:14, topic:330255"]
From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

"41. ... Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.

[/quote]

In theory its a great idea. In practice, not always. My parish is split pretty evenly between English and Spanish and there's Masses in each language. I've floated the idea of using some Latin for the common parts (Gloria, Our Father, etc.) in the bi-lingual Masses on the few occasions we have them. The feedback was overwhelmingly negative. The English community is a bit older and some of them were receptive to it, the Spanish community on the other hand was nearly unanimous in having a negative reaction.


#16

I attend such a Mass every Sunday at a Benedictine abbey.

FWIW, here's how they do it:

Propers: Latin, from the 1974 Graduale Romanum
Ordinary: appropriate setting (for season/feast/memorial/BVM etc) in Latin (Greek Kyrie) from the Graduale Romanum
The rest: in French plainchant (remembering this is Quebec and the main language is French): the readings and EP are chanted in French, the intercessions are chanted in French (recited at weekday Mass); all collects, prayers, dismissal, etc, chanted in French. The only non-chanted part at Sunday Mass is the homily (obviously in French)

It's pretty much the same in the Solesmes congregation everywhere except that some places do a fully Latin Mass some/most/all of the time (depending on location).

Of course the monks do this for themselves, not to satisfy this or that local whim.

Oddly enough it can't be that badly received: Mass is packed every Sunday. Clearly it is filling some need in the Church. Truly the French hymns in use in most of Quebec are atrocious and un-singable.


#17

[quote="OraLabora, post:16, topic:330255"]
I attend such a Mass every Sunday at a Benedictine abbey.

FWIW, here's how they do it:

Propers: Latin, from the 1974 Graduale Romanum
Ordinary: appropriate setting (for season/feast/memorial/BVM etc) in Latin (Greek Kyrie) from the Graduale Romanum
The rest: in French plainchant (remembering this is Quebec and the main language is French): the readings and EP are chanted in French, the intercessions are chanted in French (recited at weekday Mass); all collects, prayers, dismissal, etc, chanted in French. The only non-chanted part at Sunday Mass is the homily (obviously in French)

It's pretty much the same in the Solesmes congregation everywhere except that some places do a fully Latin Mass some/most/all of the time (depending on location).

Of course the monks do this for themselves, not to satisfy this or that local whim.

Oddly enough it can't be that badly received: Mass is packed every Sunday. Clearly it is filling some need in the Church. Truly the French hymns in use in most of Quebec are atrocious and un-singable.

[/quote]

When you say "propers " are in Latin, I think you mean antiphons? I believe the Collect, Offertory prayer, and PAC would also be called "propers" and they would be in French, rather than Latin, I think!


#18

[quote="FrStevenJones, post:17, topic:330255"]
When you say "propers " are in Latin, I think you mean antiphons? I believe the Collect, Offertory prayer, and PAC would also be called "propers" and they would be in French, rather than Latin, I think!

[/quote]

Yes, he means the antiphons. I understand the changing prayers of the Mass to be the "proper prayers" and the antiphons to be just the "propers," of course as opposed to the "ordinary parts of the Mass." Sometimes it is also useful to talk about the "order of Mass" itself, by which I mean the dialogues, private prayers, blessing and dismissal, because these things are not chants/songs, even though they can be chanted, so it is useful in conversation to separate them from the Kyrie, Gloria, etc.


#19

[quote="FrStevenJones, post:17, topic:330255"]
When you say "propers " are in Latin, I think you mean antiphons? I believe the Collect, Offertory prayer, and PAC would also be called "propers" and they would be in French, rather than Latin, I think!

[/quote]

Yes the antiphons. They are chanted in Latin from the 1974 Graduale Romanum. The prayers are in French.


#20

[quote="FrStevenJones, post:5, topic:330255"]
The ordinaries (gloria, creed, sanctus, agnus dei) sre a good place to start, because we know what they mean in English and they don't change week to week. For those same reasons, the Collect is not a good place to start!

[/quote]

I would agree here on both counts.

That goes along with the GIRM

Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings

  • GIRM 41

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