Tridentine Mass

I have a question…
Why couldn’t the Tridentine Mass be translated into the vernacular and be used like that? I’ve wondered about this for a long time. Unless the translation is faulty, like is is in many places in the english translation of the Novus Ordo Mass, I think it might solve some problems.

But then again why can’t the laity be taught Latin?

Prior to Vatican II, Latin was not a problem. In fact, they were teaching it in public schools and universities.

The Mass flourished in Africa when the Latin Mass was introduced there in 400AD(?) and had continued that way for 1600 years all over the world.

Gee I wonder how long any English Mass will last.

Well Vatican II never really said to come out with an entirely new Rite, so if they had simply let the TLM develop organically it would have had just a bit of the vernacular. But I prefer mostly Latin…

Vatican II only actualy called for vernacular to be used for Low Masses in extraordinary circumstances, and even then only in the Propers of the Mass- never the Ordinary.

And even that…when compared to how well the Church has done things for the last thousand years…was still uneeded.

And even that…when compared to how well the Church has done things for the last thousand years…was still uneeded.

And regardless of the subject matter. If one doesnt know, one can always learn. That the laity are now unfamiliar with Latin is no excuse not to use Latin. Lay people are not brutes who are unable to learn anything. The laity can be taught Latin.

Latin is basically a “dead” language, so the meaning of the words will never change regardless of where you are in the world. For example, if someone from England heard an American say they were going to get a drink out of the fountain they would think you are crazy because in England the fountain is where you through coins and birds take baths. In Latin, however, multis means multis and that’s all there is to it. No “hip” generations down the line are going to add meaning to sacred words.

It was in english…

I believe it was the 1967 Missal that was the traditional Mass in the vernacular with some changes ( Ie … “ Amen” response at receiving Holy Communion , removal of last Gospel , Removal of prays before the alter and maybe a few other relatively minor changes)

But the Traditional Mass , even with he changes in line with VII was not in line with the “New Theology” of post VII thinking ( ie Community focused vs God focused) so further changes were required.

Just curious—what problems are you thinking of?

Well, this is an informative thread. Well, I think it might help some problems such as misunderstanding in the Mass (which, even if the people were taught Latin there would still be some misunderstanding), and it might be a good compromise between the traditionalists and the more modern Catholics. Also, more bishops would probably be willing to give the indult to their preists if they knew the people would be able to understand it.

But I say all this without ever having assited at a Tridentine Mass. The closest one to where I live is a SSPX Mass, I think. I would love to go, but as of yet, don’t really have an opportunity.

Please critique my reasoning if you think that I’m wrong.

Just out of curiosity, how close is “close?” I am sure others on this forum would agree that it’s certainly worth it to “check out” the TLM. Also, since you’re an outsider to the Latin Mass as a whole, it would be interesting to get your impressions of (1) the Mass itself, and (2) your sense of the people in question.

una fide,

you ask great questions. i would say this, the great saints throughout the ages found great nourishment and inspiration in the traditional latin mass. the mystery and solemnity that surrounded it aided them in their lives of holiness. i would venture to say that many of these people didn’t understand much latin. even the cure d’ars was horrible with latin, and he said Mass.

Now, with Latin-English Missals, I don’t think the argument about Mass in a foreign language carries weight. If the saints of the ages could find nourishment without fully understanding every word, then surely a more-educated laity like today can understand the TLM with missals.

Another thing I have noticed among contemporary Catholics is that we all feel like we have to hear and understand everything. Many parts of the normative Mass have the option to be spoken inaudibly (eg., the Canon), but you rarely see this because people feel like you are excluding them. They’ve become so accustomed to having everything loudly exclaimed to them that they forget aobut sacred silence and contemplation. Combine that with the TV-Generation that is used to being fed information versus actually processing it, and you get a situation where people want everything in an easily-digestible form.

Now, with microphones and the whole works, everything is so imminent that it tends to turn off the average pew-sitter. Things are so didactic and in your face that you start mentally blocking things out. Also, since it is in the vernacular, you get so used to it that you oftentimes don’t process it.

I went to a parish where the Consecration was spoken inaudibly, and the quiet was awe-striking. You could sense that something sacred was taking place.

When you go to Mass, the goal should be quiet contemplation that engages the mind. I feel like the TLM does this just as well today as it has for centuries.

Okay, my soapbox :o

Now, if the TLM were made vernacular, I think many people would start to tune out what was said because they’ve heard it so many times and are not having to engage the liturgy in any other mode. When it is in Latin, you are reading and processing the words from the missal, so you are engaged. You have to be engaged.

I suppose you could just go and sit with no missal, all-the-while staring at the ceiling, but today’s Catholic isn’t used to that, so I don’t think that would be a realistic outcome. They’d want to follow in the missal.

P.S. Is it any wonder why missals for the verncular V2 Mass are virtually non-existent? Everything is immediately understandable, so why bother buying a missal? If you don’t have a missal, you aren’t following along in the prayers, so there is one less mode of engagement that is gone from Catholic worship. It’s all there plain as day, so why bother processing it - just like TV.

Thanks for listening to me talk and talk and talk :smiley:

oh wait, reading while I type and type and type…but hey, you processed what I wrote, didn’t you. If I was talking, you could tune me out.:wink:

I’m not looking to assign right or wrong, just interested in what you had in mind with your first post. :slight_smile: jwoods03 and Windmill have talked about the importance of Latin and I agree with this. Latin (spoken and sung) in the TLM is a huge part of the overall reverence that people feel at these masses. It’s not just about the rubrics. Eccleseastical Latin is in a sense a sacred language or rather a fitting language for the sacred. And though some feel the Mass in Latin is divisive because of the differences from the Novus Ordo, Latin is in reality a unifying force in the worldwide Church. In how many vernacular languages is the Mass said? 100+? If you’re fortunate, you can understand more than one. If I went to Mass in Sweden and it was said in Swedish, I’m going to be in trouble with the language barrier. However, a Latin Mass in Sweden (and Japan and Brazil…) is said exactly the same as the Latin Mass I attend every week here at home. Latin is the universal language of the Church. Obviously, everyone’s vernacular is different.

I do think you’re making an assumption about the level of understanding at the TLM. I’ve only been attending since July, but using my Latin/English missal, I know every word that is being said. Even the readings are translated (and in my church read in English after being read in Latin). I am certain some of the older folks who grew up with this Mass and now have it back, know the Latin backward and forward and what it means. I will eventually.

Last thing: I know you were just using a kind of shorthand and I have no problem with the word traditionalist, but don’t divorce us from some concepts of the word “modern”. I think we are on the cutting edge of a return to our heritage as Catholics. Sure there’s a lot of older folks at my Mass, but you’ll see Moms and Dads in their thirties, some with 3 and 4 little kids in tow. They’re raising the new moderns! :smiley:

:confused: Wasn’t Mass originally said in Latin because that WAS the common language of men?

Pax tecum!

Actually, Vatican II never said any of that. Now, I am all for Latin Masses (I actually prefer Latin over English), but let’s be fair to what the council said. It said that since the vernacular may at times be of great use to the people, a wider use may be made of it. It says it will be up to the bishop how much to use (though it makes sure to say Latin must still be used), and that all the people should know the parts of the Mass in Latin that pertain to them. It never mentions a distinction between High and Low Mass or Propers and Ordinaries.

In Christ,
Rand

Cathedral Schools (anglican and Catholic) and public schools, (fee paying) as well as state Grammar schools stillall teach Latin of the secular kind (Caesar Ovid etc) There are twenty boys and girls studying Latin at Gloucester England and fifteen in the class below when they start. Then about six do it to advanced level.

The Maryvale Institute in Birminham England (website) have a Latin and Greek Summer School (3 days intensive) and there are talks and there is a certificate of Intermediate Latin. There is some consideration of a ‘bolt on’ component in Church Latin, but this is in its consultation state at present. I had not done Latin at school, even though I attended Grammar School.I started learning by myself with a book and passed the Intermediate after the three days. What amazed me was actually the richnessof theLatin texts, which had far fuller meaning than the English. I have never known the Tridentine Mass but can’t see why elements of the Mass may not be in Latin on a regular basis. It fills me with a real feeling of Communion of Saints, all those who died in Christ who said the same Latin words. Any one else feel the same?**

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.