Mass in dead or fictional languages?

Would it be wrong to translate the (Roman Rite) Mass into a dead language like Old English or ancient Egyptian?

Would it be wrong/sacreligous to translate it into a fictional language like Klingon or Tolkien’s Elf language? (don’t worry i have no intention of doing so!)

I understand the Holy See has to approve a new language translation, but I am just theoretically speaking. The reason I ask is to my surprise I saw a Klingon translation of Hamlet which strangely enough got me thinking about the vernacular in our worship.

You can translate it, but I don’t think you can use it for public worship. I also don’t see what’s wrong with translating anything into a dead language. Latin is supposed to be dead, and we translate things into it for clarity all the time, right?:wink:

I don’t understand the question? To what end, and whom would it serve? How does it respect the sacrifice? Frankly I see no need for such frivolity and carelessness in the Mass. Not trying to be a stick in the mud but where would you draw the line? How about redneck mass or baby talk mass?

yeah but with latin the Church has sanctified it. It is the universal language of the Church. Klingon? Not sure that is appropriate. I would probably say you shouldn’t even translate it just out of respect. Not to mention a priest saying a Mass in such a fashion:eek:

If a priest starts saying the Mass in Klingon, I’ll look for the holy water to splash on him. I suppose I should clarify; I do not see translating the Mass into a dead language as wrong most of the time. Intent here is very important. It can be very edifying to translate the Mass into another language because it forces the translator to interpret it, to understand the nuances and full meaning behind each and every word, and to reflect on the sequences, persons speaking or singing, etc. However, if the intent is something other than work, education or passive interest, I don’t see why anyone would translate the Mass into a dead language.

As for fictional languages, in all honesty, I can’t figure really out what good purpose it is to translate the Mass into anything such as that as it cannot be used for public worship, and never will be. The only occasion where I think it makes sense is if you are testing the language to see if it can do the Mass justice, but occasions where such a language would need to are rather non-existent, aren’t they? Is it wrong, not in and of itself. Is it sacrilegious? If it violates or injuriously treats the Mass, then yes, but it’s in regard to the text of the Mass…

=Tidus;5021232]Would it be wrong to translate the (Roman Rite) Mass into a dead language like Old English or ancient Egyptian?

Vatican II (and in my personal opinion) one of the true fruits eminating from this Council, has authorized the use of “mother (common) speach”, while retaing Latin as the Universal language of The Church. So if these examples were to become “mother tongue” then yes. If not then No.

Would it be wrong/sacreligous to translate it into a fictional language like Klingon or Tolkien’s Elf language? (don’t worry i have no intention of doing so!)

Yes it would

I understand the Holy See has to approve a new language translation, but I am just theoretically speaking. The reason I ask is to my surprise I saw a Klingon translation of Hamlet which strangely enough got me thinking about the vernacular in our worship.

OK, next question:D

I think it would be ok.

Dead Language: For example: Hebrew. It was dead for many year, but with the creation of the State of Israel, it became an official language of the land and a living language. The translation could have been done prior to the institution of Hebrew as an official language in preparation of using it. An in encouraging people to, once again, learn an ancient tongue.

Fictional Language: For example: Tolkien’s Elf Language. Since the elves in LOTR represent the angelic powers, Tolkien may have wanted to include parts of the Mass in the story to emphasize this connection. The wedding feast of the Lamb in Rivendell or something like that.

In neither case would the translation be approved by the Church for use, but the concept of translation gives a better understanding of words.

How about Yiddish? oy gevalt!

In the case of Egyptian, we need only look to the Coptic Church of Egypt to see that this already happens, though it’s not quite a “translation”, so to speak, since Coptic (the last form of Egyptian, written in the Greek-derived Coptic alphabet) was for centuries the common language of Egypt before being supplanted by Arabic after the Arab-Muslim invasions, eventually relegating Coptic to solely liturgical use. Be that as it may, when you are hearing Coptic (which you can hear in the song in the second link in my signature, if you are so inclined), that is Ancient Egyptian, just with a heavy stock of Greek-derived and borrowed theological terms, and of course also of a more recent vintage than the earlier forms of the language (written in the Demotic and the Hieroglyphs).

Fictional languages, I dunno…why would you want to do that in the first place? Because it is theoretically possible? Well, I would think that first we would need to find some Klingons or Elves who are without the gospel to even make such a project worthwhile… :wink:

youtube.com/watch?v=SGZV6fsotYo

:rotfl::rotfl:

Save the Klingon for the Star Trek conventions. :stuck_out_tongue:

Liturgiam authenticam actually touches on this. Can recall the paragraph off the top of my head. In fact it has been done. Esperanto is an invented language that was developed in the late 19th century as a universal language. It developed a considerable following, and is still popular today. Recognizing the effort, the Pope has sometimes given part of the annual Urbi et Orbe address in Esperanto. There is also an approved Esperanto Missal that can be used to say Mass.

It is the universal language of the Church.<<

No, it is not. The Eastern Churches don’t use it at all, and never have.

It is the universal language of the Roman Church which believe it or not is what we are discussing here. We are not discussing the Maronites or the Byzantines or the Ruthians or anyone else. Just the Roman Church. Everyone knows that. Or at least I thought they did. We were not discussing the eastern Churches. I know that sometimes you guys feel left out and interject these things for whatever reasons, but I mean come on, give us a break.

Oops. Palmas85’s post alerts me to the fact that I apparently missed the parenthesis with “Roman rite” in the OP.

Well…that’s embarrassing. Sorry everybody. :blush:

Still, “Ancient Egyptian” being in some sense covered by the Coptic Church (and I’m assuming its Catholic counterpart continues in Coptic liturgical tradition), I have to wonder about this topic anyway. What would be the point? Mass already occurs in Ge’ez, Syriac (Classical Assyrian), Latin, Old Church Slavonic, and Coptic…how many more dead languages do we need? Maybe a Meroitic rite for the Sudanese Catholics? (This would be really amazing…)

And constructed languages just seems like it would make a mockery of the Mass. Is there a higher than average percentage of Catholics among “Trekkies” or something? :stuck_out_tongue:

It is the universal language of the Roman Church which believe it or not is what we are discussing here. We are not discussing the Maronites or the Byzantines or the Ruthians or anyone else. Just the Roman Church. Everyone knows that.<<

No, everyone does NOT know that.

You didn’t say “the Roman Church”. You said “the Church”. The Church is bigger than the Roman Church.

Why should it be assumed that the Roman Church is always the default in the expression “the Church”?

:rolleyes: Because it is posted in a section that deals almost exclusivly with the Roman rite. Everyone should know that. And now, at least on this thread, everyone does. If we wish to discuss the other rights, well, there is a forum especially for that.

nai Eru tye mānata (Quenya - God bless you)

—now—

bIjatlh ‘e’ yImev (Klingon - Shut up!)

Elves are known to be polite. Klingons aren’t. :knight2:

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