Latin Mass

I have noticed a great deal of support for the Latin Mass (or parts of the Mass being said in Latin) in this forum. As a South African, I can say that any Latin in the Mass is quite a rarity here. But then, on the other hand, so are the abuses of the liturgy and Eucharist that have also been complained about in this forum.

In a country where the emphasis is still heavily on mission work and working with the physically sick and poor, I suppose we are only too happy to be able to celebrate mass in our own home languages (there are 13 official languages in South Africa), thereby ensuring that the meaning of this most holy sacrifice is being properly understood.

Would it be fair comment to say that in the US today, the move towards Latin in the mass is a reaction of those who hold to the traditions of the church against those who seem to want to move away from those traditions.

I am just concerned that in trying to stop these liturgical abuses, you may move to the other end of the spectrum, where Mass becomes a celebration which is not accessible to Joe Catholic.

[quote=Keith Barrett]Would it be fair comment to say that in the US today, the move towards Latin in the mass is a reaction of those who hold to the traditions of the church against those who seem to want to move away from those traditions.
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It is easy to get an exaggerated impression from forums like this. I really don’t think there is a “move” towards Latin, or the other bygone traditions. It’s true that more dioceses seem to be granting Indult Masses (as per the pope’s wishes) but let’s face it, one or two Sunday Indult Masses for an entire diocese is less than a tiny drop in a very large bucket.

Also, note that there isn’t really a “movement” away from the old traditions. That took place 35 to 40 years ago. It might be true that those of us who favor retaining the traditions we currently have (by eliminating abuses) are starting to speak up. But I hope that’s as far as it goes.

I am just concerned that in trying to stop these liturgical abuses, you may move to the other end of the spectrum, where Mass becomes a celebration which is not accessible to Joe Catholic.

Our parish experimented with a mass with many parts said in Latin a few years ago. Attendance fell off almost immediately and the experiment was ended. Hopefully we learned from that experience.

Sincerely,
“Joe Catholic.”

Wow. I see it oppositely. If people stop attending Mass becuase it is said in Latin, then they didn’t know why they were there in the first place (which is no surprise becuase I would bet that fully 50% - but probably closer to 75% of people attending Mass at parishes near me don’t know why they are there anyway).

This would be no ‘return’ to ‘bygone traditions’ to see Mass said in Latin again universally. Latin is still the language of the Church. Additionally, there is nowhere near the amount of indult TLMs being said becuase of restrictions against this by bishops who are not listening to the Holy Father’s desire that they be offered more.

The answer to your question about ‘why’ I would suggest is a mix of the two things you suggested. First, it would go along way towards ending the continual abuses that occur in NO Masses in the US - especially in my diocese. Second, I (who has never even had the opportunity to go to a TLM) fully believe it would help to restore reverence at Mass and remind the faithful that they are actually in the presence - the real presence - of our Lord, the creator of the universe.

Let me ask you a question though. WHy do you feel that Mass celebrated in Latin (or any other language for that matter) would not be ‘accessible’ to ‘joe catholic’?

[quote=Student]Wow. I see it oppositely. If people stop attending Mass becuase it is said in Latin, then they didn’t know why they were there in the first place
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Come on now. I didn’t say anyone stopped attending Mass. I said that attendance at that Mass fell off. Obviously most attended other Masses in English.

This would be no ‘return’ to ‘bygone traditions’ to see Mass said in Latin again universally. Latin is still the language of the Church.

Yeah, yeah. But it’s not the language of the people. It hasn’t been taught in most schools for two, maybe three generations now. So if a priest wants to start saying things in Latin simply because it’s “the language of the church”, it’s his right. But it’s also the right of the people to attend a mass where they feel best able to participate. And their donations will obviously follow them.

Let me ask you a question though. WHy do you feel that Mass celebrated in Latin (or any other language for that matter) would not be ‘accessible’ to ‘joe catholic’?

This question gets asked a lot, and for the life of me I don’t understand why. It’s simple common sense to prefer Mass in one’s native language, isn’t it? Yes, if I have learned anything from these forums it’s that there are fans of Latin out there… but in the real world I’ve never met any.

[quote=Melman] Yes, if I have learned anything from these forums it’s that there are fans of Latin out there… but in the real world I’ve never met any.
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Well you would probably meet more of them at a Tridentine Mass than at an N.O. Mass:whistle:

But it isn’t “just about Latin” and as for one’s own language, that was never a problem - missals had the vernacular printed next to the Latin with much more accurate translation than are the ICEL vernacular versions used today - in English anyway. For instance “Et Cum Spirtu tuo” translates to “and with thy spirit” and not to “and also with you”. Is there a difference between me and my spirit, I think so.

If you get the Wanderer Newspaper, there is a great column there by a Fr. John Zuhlsdorf called *What The Prayer Really Says - *a good example of what I mean.
:amen:

[quote=Student]Let me ask you a question though. WHy do you feel that Mass celebrated in Latin (or any other language for that matter) would not be ‘accessible’ to ‘joe catholic’?
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It’s only the Latin language that I feel is inaccessible to Joe Catholic. If the mass is inaccessible to Joe Catholic in his own language (or any other language which he understands) then I would firstly, question why he is coming to Mass and secondly, recommend he go on an RCIA course.

As a previous “lukewarm” catholic, I would actively promote the need for moral conversion in the church today and, since I now know what a wonderful gift Jesus is giving us in the Eucharist at every mass, I want everyone to experience this conversion.

[quote=catholiclady]Well you would probably meet more [fans of Latin] of them at a Tridentine Mass than at an N.O. Mass
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Well, sure. But there are also those who say that parts of the N.O. should be said in Latin. But I’ve only found these folks online, or on TV (EWTN).

For instance “Et Cum Spirtu tuo” translates to “and with thy spirit” and not to “and also with you”. Is there a difference between me and my spirit, I think so.

“The Lord be with you - And also with you” makes sense. “The Lord be with your spirit - And also with your spirit” makes sense too. But a “correct” translation of the Latin results in “The Lord be with you - And with your spirit” which doesn’t make any sense at all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having translations that make grammatical sense. Your thoughts?

As a old cradle catholic and altar boy, I’m glad the days are gone that people did everything else (pray rosarys, read books,)instead of participating at Mass. I would say that most of the people didn’t have a clue of what the latin words meant. I’m glad that tradition is mostly gone except by special permission.

[quote=davy39]As a old cradle catholic and altar boy, I’m glad the days are gone that people did everything else (pray rosarys, read books,)instead of participating at Mass. I would say that most of the people didn’t have a clue of what the latin words meant. I’m glad that tradition is mostly gone except by special permission.
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This is interesting. I also grew up in the pre-Conciliar days. We all had (or picked up in the pew) a missal that had the Latin on the left and the English (or French or Spanish or whatever) on the right. The rubrics were in the local lingo as well, so finding your way through the mass was not one of life’s bigger mental challenges.

These days, you are still reading a translation; however, the Latin is no longer there to see. So, it is impossible for you to verify that the translation is even remotely accurate. Latin is the language of the NOM, not English! Our gain, IMHO, is really our loss. The vast number of postings in these forums about liturgical abuse attest to this. We are at the mercy of every wolf in clerical garb when our dioceses fail to provide us with the actual language of our service, whether NOM or 1962 missal.

Last, it must (almost never) be good to be ignorant, in faith, in morals, or in fact.

Minimus,

You were very fortunate if pre-Vat II there were missals with translations in the pews. In the diocese that I lived in until adulthood there was nothing except possibly some devotional prayer tracts that someone put in the pews. We either bought our own missals or there were none. People either used missals, prayed the rosary, chatted if no one poked you (ok, did go through some pre-teen and teen years :slight_smile: ), read something else, dozed or stared. And it never seemed to me (a fast reader and one who understood the Latin) that I could ever be closer to the priest in reading than one page behind. That was with speed reading, not praying the words (no time for that).

I was raised in a conservative parish with a pastor serving there for many years who was born, raised and ordained in Europe. He ran a tight ship and a fast ship. Always looked forward when we got a newly ordained assistant—took them a little while to get up to the pastor’s speed and you could almost stay with them in the missal!

I agree that most probably didn’t really know and also probably didn’t really care what was going on. That was the priest’s job—they just had to be there to fulfill their Sunday obligation. Don’t want to go back to those days and remember how joyous it was when I could hear the mass in my own language and the leap of my heart and the lump in my throat to do so rather than run to catch up trying to read the words in a missal (or even try to keep up with the priest with the words in my head). I never wanted to be one of the mass rosary prayers—I wanted to be in the Mass (as a participant) not just at the Mass as a private act of worship, but that of one with the bride and body of Christ together.

Way to go, Dolly. Tell it like it was. I came from a very small(the smallest in the Toledo diocese) and probably the poorest. There were no missals in the pews. You used whatever you brought with you. Incidently, this parish in now closing after 140 years of continous service. Demographics and the priest shortage are the reasons. Very,very sad.

[quote=Dolly]I agree that most probably didn’t really know and also probably didn’t really care what was going on. That was the priest’s job—they just had to be there to fulfill their Sunday obligation. Don’t want to go back to those days and remember how joyous it was when I could hear the mass in my own language and the leap of my heart and the lump in my throat to do so rather than run to catch up trying to read the words in a missal (or even try to keep up with the priest with the words in my head). I never wanted to be one of the mass rosary prayers—I wanted to be in the Mass (as a participant) not just at the Mass as a private act of worship, but that of one with the bride and body of Christ together.
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Well, I disagree with Davy and you on this matter (and I’ve never been to a non-English Mass). I do know WITHOUT A DOUBT that most people at the English NO Masses I attend don’t really know what is going on and don’t really care. They are just their to fulfill their Sunday obligation with all the non-reverence they can. I find it disgusting and end up praying through most of Mass that God will not look too harshly on the parishoners for their lack of respect, reverence, and knowledge. You and another poster above you (can’t get th ename right now) make what I think are silly comments about ‘participating’ in Mass and it not being a 'private act of worship. By you not being a priest, the way in which you can participate is limited by virtue of your office (just as the priest’s participation is limited by his office). Regardless, you are in both cases participating in a public act of worship (the only true act of worship) by being at Mass. There is nothing wrong with that. I get so ticked off with people who seem to think that they are doing some other form of ‘participating’.

[quote=Student]I do know WITHOUT A DOUBT that most people at the English NO Masses I attend don’t really know what is going on and don’t really care. They are just their to fulfill their Sunday obligation with all the non-reverence they can.
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Ooooh, can I borrow your x-ray telescope? The one that lets you see into people’s minds and souls? Because, you see, the good Lord forgot to give me one.

[quote=Melman]Ooooh, can I borrow your x-ray telescope? The one that lets you see into people’s minds and souls? Because, you see, the good Lord forgot to give me one.
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Good news Melman - you don’t need one (and I don’t think God hands those out willy-nilly anyway). After Mass, get to know the people in your parish (hopefully yours is better than mine or any of those close to me). Ask them questions about the Mass and what it means. BTW, what does this have to do with ‘looking into people’s souls’?

And another BTW…

[quote=Melman]“The Lord be with you - And also with you” makes sense. “The Lord be with your spirit - And also with your spirit” makes sense too. But a “correct” translation of the Latin results in “The Lord be with you - And with your spirit” which doesn’t make any sense at all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having translations that make grammatical sense. Your thoughts?
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No problem with things making grammatical sense. Huge problem with some translators interpretation of Latin and his/her desire to make grammatical sense while making sure their interpretation as included as well. Best way to do it? Say it in Latin (and I know plenty of real people who desire this - it’s not just folks on tv).

It seems to me on a practical level-that the more languages in a given area-the more useful Latin would be. If our masses were in Latin outreach to immigrants would be easier- or am I living in a bubble.

I have worked in Haiti with the parish twinning program- so to flip views- even though I do not speak French or Creole- I did not feel that I missed out on the liturgy- opening my heart to the rythm of the mass -it was at times more contemplative than hanging on every word.Like a shared heartbeat.

Student,

You are certainly free to disagree with Davy and I. But the fact of the matter is, we lived through it, didn’t just dream about it.

I am glad you are still a student because there is so much to learn. Even about the meaning of ‘participating’ in the Eucharist. Because what you deem ‘silly comments’ are spoken about at length in council documents, the catechism and a multitude of other documents. Hope your research and study are very productive and helpful for you :wink: .

One other aspect of study, as I am sure you know, is to read carefully and not misinterpret or add words to what someone else has written. ‘That’ is very important. Maybe it would help you not be so ‘ticked off’ when you read, because then the words would be what the person really said and not what you think they may have said :slight_smile: .

Student: I don’t know what parish you go to mass at, but I’m glad I don’t go there. Most of the members of our church are good, knowledgeable catholics and really do know what is going on. I’ll stick to what I said. I don’t miss the latin mass one least little bit.

[quote=Dolly]Minimus,

… it never seemed to me (a fast reader and one who understood the Latin) that I could ever be closer to the priest in reading than one page behind. That was with speed reading, not praying the words (no time for that)…

I agree that most probably didn’t really know and also probably didn’t really care what was going on. That was the priest’s job—they just had to be there to fulfill their Sunday obligation. Don’t want to go back to those days and remember how joyous it was when I could hear the mass in my own language and the leap of my heart and the lump in my throat to do so rather than run to catch up trying to read the words in a missal …
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Dolly,

I am sorry not to have been clear, & am sure that the liturgical participation of many, many people today is better than in the 50’s and 60’s–at least those that are left. I was only answering that having an accurate translation–or, even better, the source–along with the local patois is not only good, it is necessary. You would find, e.g., that the Episcopal Rite I is rather more faithful to the source documents than comparable stretches of the RC service. Really. Because I travel an awfully lot, I personally I do not care whether the actual service is in Urdu. Come to think, it might be preferable, as I suspect it would be more accurate than our abysmal English translation.

Minimus-

What is this “Episocopal Rite” that you speak of? I know of the “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite” (pastoralprovision.org/about.shtml%between%), but if you refer to some rite that is used by Bishops that is somehow different than others, I’m unaware of it, please enlighten me!

:twocents: My two cents: You can fall off the road on either side, liberal or traditional.

The TLM is not a magic cure for the whole church, as much as some of us want it to be. There were abuses when it was used.

The Vernacular (whatever the vernacular is in any given area) is not the “official language” of the Church and the Second Vatican Council DID NOT mandate its use. Do not twist that council, and if you insist on perpetuating that mistruth, I challenge you to quote the council. You will be unable.

Those things said, I consider myself traditional, believe in the validity of the NO Mass, and also believe we have not found a solution to the problem of irreverence to date. The NO Mass certainly seems to ALLOW many more abuses, but it’s not intrinsically wrong. I’ve personally witnessed a wishy-washy rendition of the TLM, I know it happens. I think we should all pray for our Bishops, that they will have the courage and the love to resolve institutional liturgical abuses, and for the whole Church, that we will all be inspired to greater reverence, whatever our charism.

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