Why Latin?

Catholics used to be able to attend mass anywhere on earth and have a communal experience with the person next to them, whether that person was European, African, Asian, American or any other citizen of the world. Latin also helped to ensure integrity of doctrine through time and contemporary cultural influences.
The sheer antiquity of the traditional Roman rite of Mass is a very compelling argument for any Catholic, who, as a matter of fact and not simply of temperament, must be tradition-minded.

I don’t understand why there can’t be Masses available both in Latin and the vernacular. It’s hard to evangelize with the Mass to newcomers to the Church if there is only Latin.

The purpose of the Mass is not to evangelize. When the inner eyes of Protestants are opened to the beauty of the Eucharist, the desire will be there for the TLM.

This is what our Holy Father is attempting to promote. The greater use of Latin and also the reintigration of the EF (TLM) along with the OF mass. This should provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.

Of course as Justa pointed out the mass is not really about evangelizastion, but even in a Latin mass the readings are done (or redone) in the varnacular and the homily is also done in the vernacular so any “evangelization” aspect would remain.

Peace
James

:thumbsup: I am a TLM’er, myself, a traditional Catholic. I sometimes attend the vernacular, but rarely. Our wonderful Holy Father is going to great lengths to ensure the Mass is said reverently, either in the TLM or the vernacular. I would rather Latin because, wherever you went, you could have the same Mass! Thats my 2¢, God Bless!

In my humble opiion you have a valid point. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow it is us that seek changes. To me after Vatican ll not very many even read the documents probably because they are extremly lenghy full of legal terminology you need a phd in theology with a minor in legal terminology to make sense of it.

Shortly after Vat2 the church had a large influx of protestants that brought with them “touchy feel good” type worship that further drives the wedge between being traditionalism and chaos. I believe the church population of parishners doubled if not tripled in size in the early 70s.Charismatic Catholic churches started popping up which to me is an oxy moron.
Years later Lifeteen in 1985 was established that brought electric guitars,drums and new speakers systems into your once solemn,respectful, graceful, beautiful etc…church furthering a seporation of traditionalism. My take on teen mass is if you need to have a rock concert to have children interested in going to Mass then why not open the door completely serve beer, bigscreen tvs with the game on, chips and drinks sounds stupid doesnt?

The tabernacle was moved out of the main church That was sad. But I guess if you dont believe Jesus is in the Eucharist then it doesnt matter Out of site out of mind.

Reminds me of when the Jews were deliverd from Egypt wasnt long before they lost faith and worshiped the golden calf.

All these things cause seporation between Most Catholics see nothing wrong at all with the way things are today and others like myself are like a voice of one crying in the wilderness Words falling on deaf ears. People dont want to hear about it. They are happy with the way things are :frowning:

Very well said, and because the meanings of the words are fixed and unchangeable, as Latin is now considered a “dead language”. You cannot spin or change the definitions to suit you.

Veterum Sapientia

It wasn’t a major problem before 1962. Were they more educated back then?

Very true, and sadly, I know far too many young people who are ostensibly “fluent” in English for whom Shakespeare much less Chaucer is a great challenge.

well, the entire Church isn’t just Latin

and if God wanted the Church to be in one language, then at Pentecost the Holy Spirit would have granted the people the ability to understand one language (Aramaic or Greek) instead of granting them the ability to hear Peter’s words in their own language

If everyone were like you and me, and if the Mass was at least half Latin, everyone could understand at least half of it.:slight_smile: More importantly everyone, not just a selected culture, would recognize it as a Mass, even if they didn’t know what the words meant.

We still can and do. The unity is not dependent on the language, it’s far more important than the language.

the point of Mass is not evangalization. that being said the TLM worked well enough attracting people for almost 2000 years

Nonsense. The TLM only came about after the Council of Trent. So, a few hundred years. And not without changes.

Plus, of course, it only applied to one part of the Catholic Church, the Roman Rite. Most other Catholic Rites have much longer traditional and relatively unchanged traditions that are far more explicitly unchanged compared with early Christianity than the Roman Rite in terms of language, prayers, theology, practices, etc.

Digger (above) may be right. People can go 'round and 'round over how much the Mass has changed (or not changed) over time, and what constitutes the recognizable modern EF/TLM in history. The form of the Mass that closely resembles the TLM as is known now may date from after Trent, when a lot of divergent forms were also suppressed. This also coincides with the release of the catechism for priests and the beginnings of the diocesan seminary system.

Well before that (I am not sure of dates) there was a merging of the Gallic-Frankish rites with the Latin, then the gradual replacement of other distinctly western rites. I am thinking around 8th century or 9th century, not sure. :blush:

If it had not organically changed over time, at best one could say the TLM goes back almost 1,700 years. Before that it was the TGM.

Evangelism is not the main point of worship, as you say. The worshipers should already be believers. On the other hand the important point after worship should be catechesis which is an ongoing challenge. Catechesis should not be left only to times outside of worship, it should be integrated into the common worship in prayer and hymns to keep reinforcing the received Truth.

It is simply not good enough to pray the right words in a language the worshiper cannot understand. It can be done, but that places an extraordinary extra burden on outside catechesis (among other things). That is probably why the Mass at Rome changed from the Greek 1,700 years ago.

Digger (above) may be right. People can go 'round and 'round over how much the Mass has changed (or not changed) over time, and what constitutes the recognizable modern EF/TLM in history. The form of the Mass that closely resembles the TLM as is known now may date from after Trent, when a lot of divergent forms were also suppressed. This also coincides with the release of the catechism for priests and the beginnings of the diocesan seminary system.

Well before that (I am not sure of dates) there was a merging of the Gallic-Frankish rites with the Latin, then the gradual replacement of other distinctly western rites. I am thinking around 8th century or 9th century, not sure. :blush:

If it had not organically changed over time, at best one could say the TLM goes back almost 1,700 years. Before that it was the TGM.

Evangelism is not the main point of worship, as you say. The worshipers should already be believers. On the other hand the important point after worship should be catechesis which is an ongoing challenge. Catechesis should not be left only to times outside of worship, it should be integrated into the common worship in prayer and hymns to keep reinforcing the received Truth.

It is simply not good enough to pray the right words in a language the worshiper cannot understand. It can be done but it is less than ideal for the long term, that places an extraordinary extra burden on outside catechesis (among other things). That is probably why the Mass at Rome changed from the Greek 1,700 years ago.

Good point.

Peace
James

Trent codified the Mass it didn’t invent it.

Do you ever research your opinions to find basis in fact?

Latin is the official language of the Church. As a dead language it is resilient to change and misinterpretation. If we all spoke the same language at least in the liturgy then one could travel anywhere in the world and understand what was being said during Holy Mass.

At the same time the universal use of Latin AND the universal form of the Tridentine Mass allowed a consistancy and familiarity and comfort that is not as readily available with the OF said in the vernacular.

I think that if I were traveling, I would enjoy seeing the mass said in another language and perhaps with nuances that reflected the particular culture, but at the same time it would distract me some from the sascrifice of the mass. A little bit of a “two edged sword” if you see what I mean.

Peace
James

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.