traditional mass

i know i’ve already posted about this, but i’m afraid my question got misunderstood.

i’m aware that after the printing press, written missles were provided for the mass so people could follow what was being said in latin.

what about before that? i understand the prayers in latin being directed to god but what about the sripture readings? if people couldn’t read, and the readings were in latin, what was the point? i remember someone saying it emphasized sacredness but isn’t scripture supposed to be understood by the faithful too? i’m not talking about people having their own copy of the bible but the readings tat happen during mass. thanks

Simply put, having readings that people can’t understand is not, by itself, an argument against having them in Latin, because regardless, they are efficacious because it is pleasing to God. (You can make the argument, but you can’t use that argument by itself.)

To make a very crude analogy, it would be pleasing to a playwright to see his own plays performed/read.

Perhaps they did the same my parish does and reread both the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular just before the Homily.

That’s what homilies are for.

Just because someone can read the scriptures, it doesn’t mean that they understand them.

I think you meant “missals”. :wink:

yes, it’s possible. i certainly hope so anyways. guess it’s hard for us to know, living so far removed from such a time period

yes, this is true

yes, that is what i meant. sorry

From another thread

I was intrigued with the following quote:

…The key word in all of this is listening. We are called to listen attentively as the reader, deacon or priest proclaims God’s Word. Unless one is unable to hear, one should not be reading along with a text from a missal or missalette. Rather, taking our cue from the General Instruction itself, we should listen as we would if Christ himself were standing at the ambo, for in fact it is God who speaks when the Scriptures are proclaimed. Carefully following along with the printed word can cause us to miss the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, the message that the Spirit may have for us in one of the passages because we are anxious to ‘keep up,’ to move along with the reader.

It’s the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit that we listen to. We don’t need to understand anything else, whether it’s in Latin, French, Russian, or German. We can try to make sense of it later but at that moment we just listen to the sounds.

This is very interesting to me. I have to answer questions like this all the time. Could someone answer this in English? Very plain English? I don’t know what efficacious means. And when can’t an argument be used against an argument? I think I just did. I am ignorant and don’t know English…nor your language…nor the language in what you are preaching. Can you please tell me how I can learn about God? I am ignorant and know nothing but I have a spirit for something I long for. I see Joy, peace, ect…in you. Give it to me. But give it to me without words, without writing, without seeing you. Can you do that?


What is your first language?

Very common.

i’m sorry but this makes no sense. no matter how hard i try, that has just never worked for me if i am listening to a different language.

My first time on a Forum or thread. My first language was me, me, me, me. LOL Honestly my first language was English. My point was that even though I knew how to communicate with my fellow people, I didn’t know how to communicate to God. I didn’t even understand the bible I read…which was in English. English words and sentences put together to mean something I could never wish to understand or achieve. I looked for errors and discrepancies. It mad not sense.

That is a very very basic way of looking at something and not understanding. As St. Paul says, I want to give you meat but you would choke. So I give you milk.

Like I said. My very first is that I am interested. Can you break it down for me and spoon feed me please? You had lost me at that one big word…what was it?


if people couldn’t read, and the readings were in latin, what was the point?

I think this is a very good point and applicable to today. How can one evangelize when you are going against the grain? When someone is ‘protestant’ or ‘atheist’ or heaven forbid ‘anti-catholic’

How does one communicate to one of these individuals? How did it happen in the history of Our Church? Through power and corruption? A promise that you would be saved if you contributed? That is the believe of many ‘pro-test ant’ people I know.

How to evangelize is the main question…through what means and how do we reach someone that doesn’t know God or ‘hates’ our religion?

Just to skip to the point.


There are a few different reasons why we do readings at Mass.

One of them–not the only one, but the one I am focusing on here–is because it is pleasing to God.

Imagine you are a great writer of magnificent literature. It pleases you when you see your plays/poems/novels read/performed by professionals, amateurs, professors and students, etc.

In a similar way, having readings within the formal structure of Mass, which is the most pleasing act to God we can participate in, pleases Him. Understanding the readings and “getting something out of them,” as people say, is not the only point of readings.

Imagine you are in the eleventh grade trying to read King Lear (think Latin reading), which is one of the most complex Shakespeare plays (and one of my favorites). It is very likely that unless you are a relatively accomplished reader and you have a good instructor, you will probably not “get much out of” your reading of the play, at least not at first. Yet it is still good for you to experience it, even if you understand very few of the actual printed words, sentences, etc, because in your class you are probably going to talk about the themes, characters, symbols, etc., in normal language that you can understand relatively well (think homily).

As to the rest of your post, I have just a few thoughts:

There is more to evangelization than being able to recognize and know the definitions of the words printed in the Bible. If I say so myself, I have always been really good at reading, and this is my strongest fundamental academic skill. Yet, I don’t for a minute pretend that I can truly understand the infinite layers of meaning of the Bible; a really good homily on the readings is as useful to me as anyone.

I am a convert to Catholicism. I always had an interest in Catholicism. Something about the mysteriousness of it attracted me. You could say I was aware of a vague desire to be Catholic since I was very young, but I didn’t really have that opportunity because I didn’t know about it.

Then a Catholic friend of mine when I was a teenager introduced me more formally to Catholicism, and the ideas and teachings of the Church. That was the spark that set it off. Then the external beauty…which may or may not be found in any particular place…drew me in. Then the perfection of the Church’s teachings, especially on the necessity of the papacy, and philosophy sealed it for me. So you could say that I was evangelized, essentially, by beauty.

Some more thoughts:

Often, the most successful evangelical pursuits are those of ordinary Catholic laypeople who are just living their lives in saintly ways. Then there are the saintly consecrated religious who have won many souls over the centuries.

Are you saying that “Latin” is pleasing to God…or am I missing you on this one YoungTradCath? :slight_smile:


All is pleasing to God. Latin in a sense is a way to get closer to God in the spiritual sense.

Have a theory. Not a theory but truth. Everything is the image of God. We were made in image of God. What is image of God? And how does this relate to Latin?

Image of God to our understanding is a Trinity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. We are body, soul, and spirit (not catholic belief from what I understand) But we were made in image of God. Father(body), Son(Soul), and Holy Spirit(Spirit). Our Body is the clay vessel that interacts with the earthly. Our Soul is the the mediator between our earthly and heavenly. Our soul and/or or mind, will and emotion interacts with the spirit and the earth. OUr spirit is our intuition, conscience, and communion with God. Our inner most being that died cuz of original sin.

So back to the reflection of God in everything we are and is about us. A trinity so to say. Everything is a reflection of God cuz He is the creator. Anyway…reflection of God? Transfiguration on the mount. You have another reflection of God. Moses represents the Law and written word, Elijah whom represents the prophets or spoken word, and Jesus whom represents the Living Word or completion of written and spoken word. The Body and Spirit intermingled within the Mediator. The Flesh of the Word. You think it, you speak it, it happens.

Understanding this helps to realize the reflection of God in almost anything. Even Latin. What was posted on Cross of Christ? Written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Pilot declares what is written is written. Before it was written in Latin. The Word of God, Made flesh was nailed to a cross with an inscription stating that the Word is written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Hebrew is the language of the Jews and the old testament. Greek was the language of the common people, and Latin the language of the select and educated. Latin, language of the spirit is a ‘dead’ language and hidden within and root of most every developed ‘romantic’ language. Hebrew was language of the old Testament. Greek being the Language of the new testament. Old testament=Hebrew=age of Father, New Testament=Greek=Age of Son, Latin=Age of Spirit(our next age…soon to come)

Think about it. Latin is the root of most developed languages. The inner most being of ourselves. Ask the Holy spirit to guide you and try to disprove me or have it some other way. To quote someone famous for his part in it…what is written is written.


I guess it’s what you’re used to or perhaps you may know or learn to appreciate a little linguistics. Sometimes you just go with the tone. I know the sounds of something like Old Church Slavonic are easy on the ears so someone who is Polish, for example, can stand at attention “listening” to it while that same person would be quite uncomfortable hearing German or Japanese, which are much harsher on the ears. There have been studies on this, by the way. There are over 7000 languages spoken throughout the world. Sooner or later we all have to deal with more than one of them.

As you become more and more familiar with the EF and the EF calendar, you should be able to recognize certain gospels, such as the Transfiguration, the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, etc., from certain key Latin words and phrases to where you don’t need to digest every word or syllable. Since the EF operates on a 1-yr cycle, you could even learn to associate every Sunday with a particular gospel. Just saying.

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