Latin Mass

Apart from the issue of the way the priest faces someone mentioned in this thread that its a pity they did away with the Mass being said in Latin. In another thread about this there was also support for this view and someone said it was the one thing which had united catholics worldwide.
I’m going to ask the same question I asked in the other thread but nobody answered. Why do some people think retaining Latin is so good when 99.99% of the 1.1 billion catholics worldwide have absolutely no understanding of the Latin language. It did not unite them but was simply the thing they had in common (which is different from being united). They did not understand what was being said. Don’t catholics have the right to fully understand and hence participate fully in a Mass in their own language? Isn’t it just the elite that want a full Latin Mass to be brought back?

There sre three great monotheistic faiths in the world, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. In the worship of Islam, classic Arabic is used and all are required to learn this language which speaks to its’ spirituality. The prayers are in Arabic and the Koran is written in Arabic as well. Most Muslems do not speak Arabic to begin with, and classic Arabic is not spoken by anyone to the best of my knowledge. Judaism uses Hebrew in its prayers and services. Most Jews do not speak Hebrew or use it in their daily lives. Roman Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity as well as the oldest being the descendent of the original church. Latin has been used in its prayers and in the Mass since its’ inception as far as can be determined. It is the official language of the church, and all official Vatican business is conducted in Latin.

While true the language is not commonly used any longer except at the Vatican, it is probably the language used by Jesus during at least part of his ministry. It is fairly certain that the language used during Jesus discourse with Pilate was Latin, as Pilate being the Governor would hardly have stooped to using whatever common vernacular language was in use at that time, be it Greek, possible, Hebrew unlikely or Aramaic, possible.

Not everyone has the ability to learn a foreign language fluently, however, the prayers of the Mass and of the Church in general; are not exceedingly complicated and fairly easily learned. In every Missal I have ever seen there are side by side translations of the Latin into whatever the vernacular is.

My point would be, I suppose, if every Jew can learn enough Hebrew to participate in the worship services and recite the prayers, and if every Muslem can learn enough classic Arabic to read the Koran and participate in the prayers of the day, why would Roman Catholics be unable to learn enough Latin to participate in the Mass?

Is it really that much of a hardship? Or is it that many people are just lazy?

[quote=palmas85]There sre three great monotheistic faiths in the world, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. In the worship of Islam, classic Arabic is used and all are required to learn this language which speaks to its’ spirituality. The prayers are in Arabic and the Koran is written in Arabic as well. Most Muslems do not speak Arabic to begin with, and classic Arabic is not spoken by anyone to the best of my knowledge. Judaism uses Hebrew in its prayers and services. Most Jews do not speak Hebrew or use it in their daily lives. Roman Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity as well as the oldest being the descendent of the original church. Latin has been used in its prayers and in the Mass since its’ inception as far as can be determined. It is the official language of the church, and all official Vatican business is conducted in Latin.

While true the language is not commonly used any longer except at the Vatican, it is probably the language used by Jesus during at least part of his ministry. It is fairly certain that the language used during Jesus discourse with Pilate was Latin, as Pilate being the Governor would hardly have stooped to using whatever common vernacular language was in use at that time, be it Greek, possible, Hebrew unlikely or Aramaic, possible.

Not everyone has the ability to learn a foreign language fluently, however, the prayers of the Mass and of the Church in general; are not exceedingly complicated and fairly easily learned. In every Missal I have ever seen there are side by side translations of the Latin into whatever the vernacular is.

My point would be, I suppose, if every Jew can learn enough Hebrew to participate in the worship services and recite the prayers, and if every Muslem can learn enough classic Arabic to read the Koran and participate in the prayers of the day, why would Roman Catholics be unable to learn enough Latin to participate in the Mass?

Is it really that much of a hardship? Or is it that many people are just lazy?
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The majority of catholics in the world are from Latin America, Africa, and Asia and mostly they are poor (but not in the holy spirit) and often un/undereducated and struggle hard to feed their families. Therefore I don’t think you have much of a Christian attitude to imply all these people are lazy.

[quote=Wolseley]I intend no disrespect towards, nor do I suggest the invalidity of, the Novus Ordo.

The abuses that we always seem to constantly find in the Novus Ordo, on the other hand, are a different thing entirely.
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I agree with you on abuses; I have seen plenty of them.

Thanks for clarifying. :slight_smile:

Seems like many of the clergy claim “hardship” when it comes to the TLM - no time, no interest, no understanding. Perhaps it is because they were ordained after VATII and have little or no idea of the beauty of the TLM.

Lazy? Probably not. But stubborn is a common trait on both sides. I think there is also a common denominator… the stronger the belief in the Real Presence, the greater the appreciation (and need) for the TLM. The weaker the belief, the more likely Sunday obligation means nothing. Attendance might be encouraged by the fellowship and community effects of the NO, but is not encouraged by the reverence of the TLM among those who are “lazy” in their faith.

[quote=thistle]Apart from the issue of the way the priest faces someone mentioned in this thread that its a pity they did away with the Mass being said in Latin. In another thread about this there was also support for this view and someone said it was the one thing which had united catholics worldwide.
I’m going to ask the same question I asked in the other thread but nobody answered. Why do some people think retaining Latin is so good when 99.99% of the 1.1 billion catholics worldwide have absolutely no understanding of the Latin language. It did not unite them but was simply the thing they had in common (which is different from being united). They did not understand what was being said. Don’t catholics have the right to fully understand and hence participate fully in a Mass in their own language? Isn’t it just the elite that want a full Latin Mass to be brought back?
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Lots of different people would like Latin emphasized more. Some of them are elitists, some aren’t. I prefer the Mass in the verncacular, for the reasons you cite (I think the Mass, in my tounge, was what evangelized me into the Church), but many good people who don’t have an axe to grind with the post-conciliar Church prefer the Mass in Latin. I don’t think Palmas was calling anyone in the Third World lazy, though I don’t think much of the academic idea of building a case for Latin in the Mass out of whether Pilate would have stooped to speak either Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic in his interrogation of our Lord (Koine Greek, more than likely, or there may have been a translator that didn’t make it into the story, as they rarely do). Those are the things that I find objectionable: just say “this is what I prefer” or “this is why Latin is desirable” (there are some fairly good reasons). Don’t do what one person did on these forums and cite some supposed vision of the Blessed Mother in which She wistfully stated that she missed the Mass in Latin! It’s a little hard to credit the notion that our Sweet Mother would wax nostalgic about the tongue of Her people’s oppressors and of those who were, juridicially at least, responsible for the Death of Her Child.

My biggest problem is not the idea of the Mass in Latin, though I prefer the vernacular. My biggest problem, in the one TLM Mass I attended at a SSPX chapel, was that I couldn’t hear the Mass at all, even the parts that weren’t suppose to be silent or murmmered (I don’t want to go back to the silent canon at all). The whole thing was mumbled and it seemed rushed (the choir was still on the Sanctus when the priest did the minor elevation!). If that’s typical, I’ll go everlastingly to the Mass of Paul VI.

[quote=JKirkLVNV]Lots of different people would like Latin emphasized more. Some of them are elitists, some aren’t. I prefer the Mass in the verncacular, for the reasons you cite (I think the Mass, in my tounge, was what evangelized me into the Church), but many good people who don’t have an axe to grind with the post-conciliar Church prefer the Mass in Latin. I don’t think Palmas was calling anyone in the Third World lazy, though I don’t think much of the academic idea of building a case for Latin in the Mass out of whether Pilate would have stooped to speak either Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic in his interrogation of our Lord (Koine Greek, more than likely, or there may have been a translator that didn’t make it into the story, as they rarely do). Those are the things that I find objectionable: just say “this is what I prefer” or “this is why Latin is desirable” (there are some fairly good reasons). Don’t do what one person did on these forums and cite some supposed vision of the Blessed Mother in which She wistfully stated that she missed the Mass in Latin! It’s a little hard to credit the notion that our Sweet Mother would wax nostalgic about the tongue of Her people’s oppressors and of those who were, juridicially at least, responsible for the Death of Her Child.

My biggest problem is not the idea of the Mass in Latin, though I prefer the vernacular. My biggest problem, in the one TLM Mass I attended at a SSPX chapel, was that I couldn’t hear the Mass at all, even the parts that weren’t suppose to be silent or murmmered (I don’t want to go back to the silent canon at all). The whole thing was mumbled and it seemed rushed (the choir was still on the Sanctus when the priest did the minor elevation!). If that’s typical, I’ll go everlastingly to the Mass of Paul VI.
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Thank you for a balanced argument. I can go with that.
It seems to me that many people simply forget that our churches in the USA and Europe are emptying while those in the third world are filling up and currently that’s where the real enthusiasm for the Faith appears to be.

[quote=thistle]The majority of catholics in the world are from Latin America, Africa, and Asia and mostly they are poor (but not in the holy spirit) and often un/undereducated and struggle hard to feed their families. Therefore I don’t think you have much of a Christian attitude to imply all these people are lazy.
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Most of the faithful in the third world areas are much more devout than are those in the western world. Most, not all, but most of the liturgical abuses and out and out disrespect towrads the faith come from the Europe Australia and the United States. We are the ones who are normally crying about having the mass in the vernacular, and experimenting with new and improved liturgies. We are the ones who want inclusive language and making the mass more “relevent” whatever that means.

I have attended Mass quite often in the Philippines, a desperately poor country and you know what, people respect the faith. They are very conservative in their approach to the Mass. They have eucharistic adoration at most churches, rosaries are typically said before or after Mass. Confession lines are long on Saturdays, and often, not always, but often, Latin is used in the Mass. Churches are treated with respect and dignity. And amazing as it may seem, even the poorest people make an effort to dress up a bit to come to mass. Communion is usually received kneeling and on the tongue. Not always, but usually.

No it is not the rest of the world, it is us. We are the problem. Us and our self centered egotistical attitude that we are what matters not God. So when I said people are maybe too lazy to learn Latin, I meant us not the rest of the world…

This came up at my Bible study last night. At my church, the people are facing east. Our priest was saying that he never could figure out why he faces the people now. One woman suggested that before, it seemed “secretive” but now we can see what is going on (I was also taught that at my Dominican High School).

Father says that’s nonsense. The priest was leading the people in prayer.

But he also hopes it doesn’t change back, because we’d have to move the alter, which weighs 5 tons.

I don’t see why, he couldn’t just stand at the other side of it, unless it so far forward, he’s worried about tumbing backwards off the sanctuary steps!!

Or is the other side of the alter somehow different?

[quote=thistle]The majority of catholics in the world are from Latin America, Africa, and Asia and mostly they are poor (but not in the holy spirit) and often un/undereducated and struggle hard to feed their families. Therefore I don’t think you have much of a Christian attitude to imply all these people are lazy.
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And yet a Nigerian professor of mine informed me that in his country any nine-year-old can chant the Credo in Latin (a generalization, but meant to indicate that Americans are liturgically illiterate). They may be undereducated, but they prioritize enough to put effort into their worship.

The change in where the priest and altar has had tremendous consequences in the RCC

Where the priest faces the same direction toward the altar and tabernacle, it emphasises the fact the priest is a man leading the people in adoration to God. The Mass is about giving worship to God, not in the people orientated format most RCCs see now.

On going to the revised and revised again mass I am hard put to find the tabernacle, presence light; which is probably why it is like entering a bingo hall, no genuflection, the astounding noise level etc…

[quote=palmas85] We are the ones who are normally crying about having the mass in the vernacular, and experimenting with new and improved liturgies.
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One point: no one is “crying out” to have the Mass in the vernacular. We HAVE the Mass in the vernacular and some of us defend the idea of having the Mass in the vernacular (while also, incidentally, defending the old Holy Father’s call for a generous application of the Indult). People in other lands presumably have the Mass in the vernacular as well, so they don’t need to “cry out” for it. The fact that they aren’t (“crying out” for the Mass in the vernacular, that is) doesn’t necessarily imply that they want the Mass in Latin. I think that there are lots and lots of people in the Church who would prefer that TLM or the MPVI in Latin at least, but I don’t think that they are a majority…rarely does the Church do surveys, though individual dioceses might.

[quote=Melanie01]The change in where the priest and altar has had tremendous consequences in the RCC

Where the priest faces the same direction toward the altar and tabernacle, it emphasises the fact the priest is a man leading the people in adoration to God. The Mass is about giving worship to God, not in the people orientated format most RCCs see now.

On going to the revised and revised again mass I am hard put to find the tabernacle, presence light; which is probably why it is like entering a bingo hall, no genuflection, the astounding noise level etc…
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I attend the “NO” Mass and though it is celebrated ad populum, it was far more reverent than the TLM Mass I attended at a SSPX chapel. You would have to not be paying attention when our priests celebrate Mass to come away thinking it was about the community rather than God (it’s actually about both, since the Mass makes reparation and atonement for the community’s sins). You cannot say definitively that ad orientum actually induces greater reverence. You can say it does for *you. *The Episcopal Church in which I was confirmed celebrated ad orientum. While it was more reverent than the TLM at the SSPX chapel, I don’t discern any difference in the stance of the priest as far as reverence goes. Now, the behavior of the priest at Mass, his ability to hew to the rubrics, his ability to celebrate with transparency, so that we see him as he’s meant to be seen, as Alter Christi? Yes, that definitely impacts degrees of reverence.

I think facing Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle is far more revernet then turning your back to him the whole mass. Or playing hide and go seek with Jesus by putting him off to the side and putting ones self as the central focus of the awsome sacrifice of the mass.

[quote=A.Pelliccio]I think facing Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle is far more revernet then turning your back to him the whole mass. Or playing hide and go seek with Jesus by putting him off to the side and putting ones self as the central focus of the awsome sacrifice of the mass.
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This shows a complete misunderstanding of the meaning and significance of the Eucharistic celebration. God is called down on to the altar at the Consecration. To talk of putting Him to the side defies logic. God is everwhere. No one can put Him to the side or turn their back on Him.It is the wonderful mystery being enacted on the altar that should hold our attention.He is the cenral focus.

Preferred:
From CA

Latin mass 98 69.01%

New Mass **52 **36.62%
What in the WORLD???

[quote=JKirkLVNV]One point: no one is “crying out” to have the Mass in the vernacular. We HAVE the Mass in the vernacular and some of us defend the idea of having the Mass in the vernacular (while also, incidentally, defending the old Holy Father’s call for a generous application of the Indult). People in other lands presumably have the Mass in the vernacular as well, so they don’t need to “cry out” for it. The fact that they aren’t (“crying out” for the Mass in the vernacular, that is) doesn’t necessarily imply that they want the Mass in Latin. I think that there are lots and lots of people in the Church who would prefer that TLM or the MPVI in Latin at least, but I don’t think that they are a majority…rarely does the Church do surveys, though individual dioceses might.
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The point that I was trying to make was obviously overlooked. The post concerned the laity in third world countries being more reverent and respectful in their approach to the Mass. And I repeat it generally is. We enlightened western types are the ones who seem to constantly need the Mass to be more relevant to our lives. For instance you don’t see Masses in the Philippines using female altar servers and trying to render the prayers in more inclusive language. Not a lot of the various mass experimantation there, clowns, cowboys etc People dress as if they are going to something special, which they are, and deep reverence is shown to Jesus both in the Eucharist and the Tabernacle.

And guess what, they still practice out of date, old time devotions on a large scale, rosaries before or after mass, perpetual adoration, a simply tremendous devotion to the Blessed Mother, saints days and holy days reverently celebrated, huge religious festivals, people actualy going to confession, sorry, reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion, etc. In esence all the things we used to do before we “grew” in the faith and became the central reason for worship that we obviously now are. And yes there are pockets of such devotion here in the States. They are sadly few and far between however.

And yes, they do have Mass in the vernacular as we all do. They just don’t whine and complain about the possibility of having to hear it in Latin and how detrimental it would be to them to do so. Of course most Filipinos are multi llingual anyway, even the poorer ones, so maybe it would not be as great a hardship for them to learn a few words in a foreign language as it obviously is for so many North Americans and and Europeans.

I read that the priest facing away from the people began when masses had to be celebrated in the catacombs and a martyr’s tomb was used for the altar. Since these tombs were built into the wall, there was no way the priest could face the people while saying the mass. (I also read that this was where placing a saints relic in the altar initiated).

The prolem that is created by the priest facing the people instead of ad orientam (spelling?) has to do with the nature of the mass. The mass is supposed to centered around God and the worship of God. It has nothing to do with making the people feel good or feel fed. Its primary purpose is the worhship of God. When the priest faced ad orientem during the liturgy of the Eucharist, this was made very clear. The priest as the head of the Church, lead the community forward towards the true east who is Christ, and offered the holy sacrifice on behalf of the community to God, not to the people. When the priest turned around toward the people, the mass became people centered rarther than Christ centered. Suddenly the mass was no longer viewed as a holy sacrifice by the people but as family dinner. This is a real problem. Hopefully we can reclaim the beautiful symbolism of he ad oreintem position soon.

[quote=FormerFetus]I read that the priest facing away from the people began when masses had to be celebrated in the catacombs and a martyr’s tomb was used for the altar. Since these tombs were built into the wall, there was no way the priest could face the people while saying the mass. (I also read that this was where placing a saints relic in the altar initiated).
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This is certainly where the custom of the altar containing relics came from but the custom of facing east centred more around the risen Christ as symbolized by the rising sun and likewise the second coming of Christ coming in the east. Hence we see two parts of the acclamation “…Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” Logically both priest and people faced this way. There was, in contrast, no logical reason for the priest to face the people which is probably why Vatican II in no way called for the priest to face the people.

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