Why the reverence for Latin?


Depends on the source you read. But I can easily imagine closely akin languages not being mutually intelligible. I recall long ago hearing a couple of fellows in school talking to each other. Both were from Trinidad. I asked what language they were speaking in their conversaion: “English” they said. I recall hearing English being spoken by natives of New Guinea. Not intelligible to me without the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. But you could tell they were speaking English if you listened and also followed the written part.


My own last name is of Norman origin, but it was Anglicized over the centuries. My ancestors of that name were in Ireland and considered themselves Irish. But there are a lot of Norman names in Ireland. All of the “Fitz” names are, for example. Interestingly, the “family ancestral tale” told to my grandparents by their parents was that their family was “originally from France”. In a way, I guess that would probably be true.


Don’t I know about language similarities. The other night, I was talking with a Spanish speaking co worker of mine. I inadvertently spoke in Latin; but she understood me anyway.


“Mindset” as Roguish used the term means more like getting yourself in the mood to pray. When I go to pray at a Mass or at a Holy Hour or other church setting, I try to focus on Our Lord, get in a comfortable prayer position, and generally feel reverent. Some people might kneel, or take some deep breaths, or wear a head covering, etc.

This does not mean that I don’t pray “on the run” sometimes when I’m busy, nor that I check all my Christian behavior at the door when I’m done praying.

I think you’re way overthinking it. If you don’t like Latin then fine, no one is making you use it, but it’s a bit much to imply that people who like to pray in Latin are somehow uncharitable in daily life. If you didn’t mean to give that impression then I apologize for misunderstanding, but that’s how it came off.


I go to a lot of Spanish Masses and there are definitely some similarities between Latin and Spanish. Even more so between Latin and Italian, of course.


As one would expect, right?


I bought a ring with laser engraved ethings on it. (Nice ring, was only a couple bucks at a swap meet). Under a microscope, I saw that it was the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish. It’s close enough to Latin that I recognized it as the Lord’s Prayer.


It is a dead language and the devil hates it.


Not dead; just evolved into something else. :grin:


Actually, I might share some of that heritage. That’s interesting. Now, it’s been years since I studied it but they say something like there are Celtic (or Gaelic) persons in Ireland but also in France and the Czech Republic. It seems the more we talk about this, the more the conversation grows so I will stop there. There is a whole book on this, “Discovering France” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Discovery_of_France ) that details a lot of this. Even proper French as we know it today, was spoken more in Paris while related dialects (and sometimes not related) were spoken in other parts of France. Clearly, a topic on its own:

In that Celtic or Gaelic area of France, is the Breton flag. That shows you how distinct some areas are. Unfortunately, I read in the book I mentioned that during World War I, it had occurred where French troops fired on the troops from Breton because they could not decipher the language they were speaking.

I have to add on, in Breton/Normandy, it’s been a while but I once met a woman who worked at a welcoming center in France that welcomed Americans, British and others to that area where the D-Day invasion was… so in other words, D-Day veterans. Pretty amazing.


Not just dialects, but whole other languages like Provencal (and Ridgerunner mentioned Alsatian German, which I believe is a cousin of the svitzerdeutsch found in Switzerland) and a few others, which are never spoken outside of the domestic sphere, have little to no official recognition, and are, sadly, in danger of dying out.


Jacob Rees-Mogg just tweeted in Latin, ‘ave atque vale’ (‘hail and farewell’) regarding the forthcoming vote of no-confidence in the British Prime Minister, so latin: not quite dead yet.


“Awe” or “ave”?

FWIW several years ago Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, put up his own money to educate kids in Latin as he felt it was “absurd” that Latin had been dropped in schools there.


@ProVobis Sorry, meant ‘ave.’


I probably should not say this, but I read that alcoholism is a severe problem in the following places:
Galizia, Poland
Galicia, Spain
Galatea, Turkey

And, not surprisingly, the people in those places are fairer than surrounding peoples. The “Gal” of course is a giveaway to Celtic origin.

I once met a lady from Switzerland who explained to me that her native tongue is “Romansh”. Apparently that’s a mixture of a Celtic language, Latin and some kind of archaic Germanic language. Romansh, apparently, is only spoken by a few thousand people in the Alps.


This discussion has reminded me of a (somewhat stupid) girl that I went to school with, she truly believed that they speak Latin in Latin America. Not sure if any one ever corrected her.


Dan Quayle was said to have made the same mistake when he was vice president. I remember believing the story when I was told it at the time. It later turned out, though, that it was just a malicious fabrication.


Said Mass no. But they do get some royalties when an English Missal or Breviary are purchased.


I think they speak Romansch in Graubunden, Switzerland.

I read somewhere that sometimes during formal dinners in Oxford University, students are sometimes invited to go to the high table, to converse with the professors in Latin.

I’m not sure which specific college or colleges do that.


Hence, a motivation for using Latin is because in the Papal Liturgy (but not only in the Papal Liturgy), Latin should be safeguarded as a precious inheritance of the Western liturgical tradition. Not by chance did the Servant of God, John Paul II recall that:

“The Roman Church has special obligations towards Latin, the splendid language of ancient Rome, and she must manifest them whenever the occasion presents itself” ( Dominicae cenae , n. 10).


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.