Pre Latin Mass

I hear alot about how the Church needs to go back to the Latin mass, but I often want to point out that there was another form of the mass before the Latin mass. I just don’t know what it was like. Does anyone know what the early mass was like? I have heard it was in the local language, both speices of communion were available and the laity received standing up. To my understanding, the Latin mass was around for 1000 years, which leaves a 1000 years for another form of the mass. Is that correct?

Does anyone know what the early mass was like?

It was probably in Hebrew. Peter and Paul brought Christianity to Rome, where the language was Latin, back in the mid-1st century.

Since the majority of Christians back in those days were ex-Jews, and Hebrew is the language of worship for Jews, a Hebrew mass was probably said prior to Latin.

The Mass in the first century was probably Aramaric, the language of Christ, and this language is still used in the Divine Liturgy of the Maronite Rite

The original language of the Mass in the Western Church was Greek. In the 300’s Latin became the universal language and the Mass switched to Latin, the language used in the Roman empire. In the East however the original languages continued to be used as they are in many places today. Latin continued from the late 300’s until the 1200’s when other languages were also used in the Roman Rite Mass on a limited basis locally. Over the next few hundred years other main languages developed but Latin remained the offical liturgical language of the Western Catholic Church as it is today. The Form of Mass changed over these 1500 years. Parts were added and parts were taken away.

[quote=djs1079]I hear alot about how the Church needs to go back to the Latin mass, but I often want to point out that there was another form of the mass before the Latin mass. I just don’t know what it was like. Does anyone know what the early mass was like? I have heard it was in the local language, both speices of communion were available and the laity received standing up. To my understanding, the Latin mass was around for 1000 years, which leaves a 1000 years for another form of the mass. Is that correct?
[/quote]

Br. Rich SFO states the history well. Hebrew (one suggestion) was not a spoken language at the time of Christ. Greek was the language used in the gospels, although Aramaic was the widespread “lingo” of the Middle East. So, the Eucharistic feast would have been said in one or the other language, depending on whether the area was in the north (modern Turkey, Syria, Israel and Lebanon) or south and east. Do note that Rome was very early a site of christian communities, and Latin would always have been the language used in Italy north of Puteoli. As stated by Br. Rich, by the C4, Latin, as the legal language of the Empire, would have become the sole ritual language of the western church (hence, the need for St. Jerome’s services).

A deeper question, however, is why do you care what was done in the second century? Our church is the ROMAN Catholoc Church. Its language is Latin. We “go back” to Latin because it defines our liturgy and canon law. If you want English, go to an Anglican Catholic service. Same argument for Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, or…you name it (within reason).

[quote=Minimus]A deeper question, however, is why do you care what was done in the second century? Our church is the ROMAN Catholoc Church. Its language is Latin. We “go back” to Latin because it defines our liturgy and canon law. If you want English, go to an Anglican Catholic service. Same argument for Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, or…you name it (within reason).
[/quote]

:ehh: the deepest question of all is why you care why djs1079 cares???

We all have a right, an obligation even, to understand the history of the faith we live. No one explained to our dear questioner that there is still a vestige of the Greek Mass in the Latin mass… the Kyrie Eleison.

As of Vat II if you want English go to a Roman Catholic Mass in the US. Why would anyone recommend to go to a Anglican service instead?

-D

Here’s a link on the history of the liturgy.

1909 Catholic Encyclopedia - Liturgy
newadvent.org/cathen/09306a.htm

… an Apostolic Liturgy in the sense of an arrangement of prayers and ceremonies, like our present [1909] ritual of the Mass, did not exist. For some time the Eucharistic Service was in many details fluid and variable. It was not all written down and read from fixed forms, but in part composed by the officiating bishop.

… The more or less fluid ritual of the first two centuries crystallized into different liturgies in East and West; difference of language, the insistence on one point in one place, the greater importance given to another feature elsewhere, brought about our various rites.

here is a link to a pretty detailed timeline of the Roman Liturgy.

geo000.citg.tudelft.nl/oostveen/uvn/timeline.html%between%

[quote=darcee]:ehh: the deepest question of all is why you care why djs1079 cares???

We all have a right, an obligation even, to understand the history of the faith we live. No one explained to our dear questioner that there is still a vestige of the Greek Mass in the Latin mass… the Kyrie Eleison.

As of Vat II if you want English go to a Roman Catholic Mass in the US. Why would anyone recommend to go to a Anglican service instead?

-D
[/quote]

First paragraph: history is a legitimate area of inquiry. When one has lived long enough, one appreciates its tendency to go 'round and 'round. Second paragraph: good point. Third paragraph: I said Anglican Catholic, not Anglican (which would be Episcopal in this country)–it’s a valid Catholic rite, although there are very few such churches in the US. Look up its service; even with the V II translation errors, it is a beautiful English service!! A huge improvement IMHO over the NOM Rite 1.

I thought the question from djs1079 was a great one.

We need to know our history!

Brother Rich (once again) gave a very good answer. His posts are always a pleasure to read.

I wish that we could do a pilgrimage somewhere and experience a Mass as it was done in the 4th century! or the 7th! what a wonderful enriching Divine experience it would be.

Of course there wouldn’t be pews :wink:

Oh well

[quote=Minimus]First paragraph: history is a legitimate area of inquiry. When one has lived long enough, one appreciates its tendency to go 'round and 'round. Second paragraph: good point. Third paragraph: I said Anglican Catholic, not Anglican (which would be Episcopal in this country)–it’s a valid Catholic rite, although there are very few such churches in the US. Look up its service; even with the V II translation errors, it is a beautiful English service!! A huge improvement IMHO over the NOM Rite 1.
[/quote]

V II translation errors? I would not so they were translated wrong, rather abused, but,unfortunately, there has always been abuse in the Church by some of its leaders. A Council should not be blamed for those abuses. Secondly, I feel many people think V II was the end of the changes, but there was a series of documents after V II which is what put into effect the mass we have today. V II opened the door by allowing the vernacular in limited use, but the later documents allowed for the full change into the vernacular.

[quote=lyoncoeur]here is a link to a pretty detailed timeline of the Roman Liturgy.

geo000.citg.tudelft.nl/oostveen/uvn/timeline.html%between%
[/quote]

Wow! That was pretty good!

Everyone should download this and study it. Great for getting a balanced view of the organic development of the liturgy.

I know through study that the liturgy of St John Chrysostom has also evolved. All of the rites of the church have gone through similar organic development. It is easy to forget that there is no one era which has a superior claim upon us, nor any tradition. There is only the ONE HOLY SACRIFICE OF CHRIST, everywhere and for all time.

Many thanks to lyoncoeur for bringing this to our attention! :slight_smile:

Come to my parish to see how the early Christians in the 4th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 20th cent. Or, any Byzantine Catholic Church for that matter.

[quote=Mike C]Come to my parish to see how the early Christians in the 4th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 20th cent. Or, any Byzantine Catholic Church for that matter.
[/quote]

I am a member of a Byzantine Catholic parish already! :wave:

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 contains a historical description of the church service at the time of the apostles:

So what is to be done, brothers? When you assemble, one has a psalm, another an instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Everything should be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let it be two or at most three, and each in turn, and one should interpret. But if there is no interpreter, the person should keep silent in the church and speak to himself and to God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others discern. But if a revelation is given to another person sitting there, the first one should be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets’ control, since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.

Did the word of God go forth from you? Or has it come to you alone? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or a spiritual person, he should recognize that what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord. If anyone does not acknowledge this, he is not acknowledged. So, (my) brothers, strive eagerly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but everything must be done properly and in order.

It was ****. There were no kids at all!

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