With Ancient Language, Catholic Mass Draws Young Parishioners

With all respect, please point out in my statement bolded in blue where there is any disrespect and divisiveness. To suggest that I pit one form against the other is ludicrous since in my statement I never even mentioned the Ordinary Form. This particular thread is about young people being drawn to the Latin Mass. And as such, I stand firm on those words in blue. I’m simply stating that in my opinion, there’s a certain sense of mystery, beauty and awe in the Latin Mass that’s beyond description! Nowhere in my words am I disrespecting the Ordinary Form of Mass. And to insinuate otherwise is disingenuous.

Peace, Mark

It’s much, much more than that. First and foremost, in the Mass we are witnessing Calvary, Christ’s one sacrifice for the salvation of humanity.

Would you say the same about someone who considered that same form to be “banal” and “fabricated”?

It was a FYI, to deter what I sensed might become a trad pile-on, touting the superiority of the TLM. In citing words like “it is beyond description” suggests that those who prefer the OF are truly missing something immensely better … beyond description. Let’s not go there, in keeping with the equality of both liturgies.

The very act of citing a link to this liturgy is giving a strong message in itself, because it is so biased and denigrating.
“A thirst for a return to one’s roots.” And, "they have no experience of it… are completely starved … because they have been so “deprived.”

As if the Church is depriving ANYONE of a solemn mass and depriving them of their “roots.” This is truly pitting, IMO… :rolleyes:

Perhaps the Genesis story of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11) could demonstrate certain dangers in unity of purpose. When there was only one language on earth, the people conspired to build a tower that would reach to heaven and make a name for themselves. Through their shared language they became a powerful force of pride. They were actually building a monument to themselves with man made materials like brick and tar rather than conforming to building with God ordained materials like stone and mortar. So God confused their language so they had to get back to the basics.

And so it is with Mass in the vernacular. Without the unity of language there remains only one unifying aspect. The Body of Christ.

Precisely. One theology expressed in one Christianized and immutable language.

For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure until the end of time … of its very nature requires a language that is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.
Pope Pius XI, Officiorum Omnium, 1922

The use of the Latin language prevailing in a great part of the Church affords at once an imposing sign of unity and an effective safeguard against the corruptions of true doctrine.
Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947, Sec. 60

We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons … are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in some quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.
Pope John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia,
February 22, 1962 (just eight months before the opening of Vatican II), chap. 13

The use of the Latin language … is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium
(Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), para. 36.1

Without works, faith is dead. The scope of the Mass extends far beyond the hour of worship. I think yesterdays gospel (today’s if you are in the US) about feeding the hungry and visiting the sick and last Sundays about the talents demonstrate what matters more than the form of the Mass. It is in the works or fruits of our faith that our communion with Christ is evident.

I have, however I am leaning more toward a Jesuit calling than an FSSP one.

Okay, but be aware that a future Pope can suppress the entire Society. In fact this has been done before.


And yet Mass in the vernacular is today the Church’s norm. It’s nice that there are people that want to keep the Latin Mass alive because of it’s beauty and they have sentimental reasons… but the majority of us are happy with the Ordinary form and the ease of following in order to be there with Christ in the last days of His life, through His crucifixion, burial and rising again. A sacrifice for our sake. The Mass is just as mystical a moment regardless of the form.

The Latin belongs mainly to the scholars and theologians who are invested with preserving the language aspect.

The majority don’t go to Mass at all.

That’s why they have to resort to stuff like Flash mobs, Polka Masses, etc. in order to draw people back to the Church. The Ordinary Form has flourished in areas like Africa and Asia, though I understand Africa uses a lot more Gregorian chant.

I know, but with a Jesuit Pope right now it will probably not happen.

I understand a priestly formation requires a period of 8-11 years so it’s probably better to become a diocesan priest, probably the safest route in the long run. But that’s my opinion. I do respect all priests, though, no matter which course they pursue.

Yeah, the majority may be “happy with the Ordinary Form” but how many are fully informed about and exposed to the Extraordinary Form. I don’t understand how “following along” is an issue with the EF. I mean really, it’s the Mass - how can you not know what’s going on at Mass? And of course the OF is a “mystical moment” - we will never truly comprehend on this earth everything about the Mass and Jesus Christ - I don’t think anyone who appreciates the EF seriously denies that.

Just some thoughts here…not trying to pit one form against the other - but if the forms are so “equal” then why are so many Catholics just not even aware of the EF? I don’t think it is pitting one form against the other to say that many, if not most, Catholics these days are deprived of some of their heritage through the OF being the “norm”. Rather, it is just stating a fact - many/most Catholics today, especially those born after Vatican II, are simply not aware of the Latin Mass. They may have heard of it, but have either never attended it (partially because it is not offered, therefore “depriving” them of the option to do so) or are just not aware of what it has to offer (and by saying that, I don’t necessarily mean to imply it has more to offer - just that it has some different things to offer than the OF). This applies in some way to all traditional practices that are no longer really practiced today, but I would say it is more of a “deprivation” in terms of the Mass, since the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith. I know that there were some positives gained through the introduction of the Ordinary Form, but consider the possibility that other positives were lost with the near-abandonment of the Extraordinary Form. This is really what I mean when I say that most Catholics are “deprived” with respect to the Mass. It is my understanding that, yes, the OF and EF are certainly equal in the sense that they are both valid/licit or whatever and they both bring Jesus to the earth on the altar through the hands of the priest. But I think it is absurd to think that they are equal in every single way, and I think that is true whether you prefer the OF or the EF. And again, I don’t think that qualifies as “pitting one form against the other.”

Anyway, more specifically on topic, I do think that once Catholics are aware of the EF - that is, have experienced it and really understand it and know what it is like, they can recognize the treasures that exist there. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, again, not meaning to pit the forms against each other - the OF has its positives as well - just meaning to say the EF has its positives. And young people, or rather, really anyone born after Vatican II who never experienced the EF as the “norm” and experience it for the first time, tend to be open to it. I’m always baffled by the older people who did experience it who are truly horrified at the thought of the Latin Mass. I mean, I understand there were certain things going on that they didn’t like, but really - truly horrified at the thought of going to another Latin Mass?? Odd if you ask me - where’s the “equality” there? I know, not everyone who doesn’t really like the EF thinks that, but I’m just saying. I don’t know if it will ever go back to being only the EF - probably not - but I do believe that the EF is gaining a lot of popularity, and quite a few years down the road may overtake the popularity of the OF, or at least match it. Not to say that “popularity” is the goal of the Mass but yeah.

Or as Msgr. Gallagher, the Pope’s Latinist, puts it, “I always say it belongs to no one and everyone.”


This has been rebutted previously, but for the sake of those who are being deliberately misled, despite the rebuttal having been given here to this poster, I offer the following:

What Pope John believed prior to the Council, ought not to be used as a hammer to remold the Church into one’s own thinking, especially when the Councilors voted nearly unanimously to change the to the vernacular. It is controversial if anyone promotes a former encyclical with the intent to sway uneducated readers into thinking the Council had erred and the Church is wrong. That can have devastating effects of scandalizing the innocent when using untrue slants that favor one’s own opinion.

For instance, in citing SC.36-1 without the addition of SC.36-2 and 3, this presents an erroneous view that intimidates others, by quoting out of context. These should have been added to give the reader an accurate picture.

SC 36-2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.

SC 36-3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See.

In accord with SC.36-3, we find this article referenced in the Consillium established by decree.

[size=4]Inter oecumenici[/size]

  1. The Consilium, which Pope Paul VI established by the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, has promptly taken up its two appointed tasks: to carry out the directives of the Constitution and of Sacram Liturgiam and to provide the means for interpreting these documents and putting them into practice.
    [FONT=Arial]40. Vernacular translations of liturgical texts to be prepared in conformity with the norms of art. 36, § 3.
    [FONT=Arial][size=2]So you can easily see that this gives the correct view that was intentionally[/size] left out of the post citing only portions with which the person agrees. I suggest you do a search on this member with the words Veterum Sapientia and you’ll find 162 posts. Would you say this is agenda posting? Or would you conclude that the Holy Spirit has failed to guide the Council? You may draw your own conclusions.[/FONT]

The Church decided after the Vatican Council to implement a new form of the Mass to be universal and available in the vernacular. It was never meant to be an either/or option alongside the Latin Mass. Most people quickly adopted the new form because it was obvious that a generation of young Catholics were growing to regard the Latin as mumbo jumbo. My mother (an old teacher) was still teaching Latin roots in relation to modern English but there was no appetite in education for formal Latin anymore. The most Latin I know I learnt from Monty Python Life of Brian! So that’s the reason that it isn’t familiar to people now. I do remember the pomp and ceremony of the Latin Mass and wearing my mantilla stuck with bobby pins to the side of my head and the incense and things. I have to confess though, I could never relate to the Christ within the pomp and ceremony. Jesus as we are told, sat on rocks and drew in the dust. He fished and moved around throughout His earthly mission.

I don’t completely reject the traditionalist sentiment. Since my husband got air conditioning installed in the living area I’ve made a couple of Christmas Days in the old style with hot birds and roast vegetables and steamy plum puddings with buttons in them. It’s fun for the sentiment of the ancestors Anglo European winter celebrations. But most of the time… Christmas Australian style with some fancy salads, icy prawns, watermelon and cheesecake and an afternoon in the pool is just as wonderful a way to spend time with the family on the day of Jesus birth. There’s nothing wrong with sentimentality for tradition, so long as its not overrated beyond Church teaching.

That’s because they weren’t teaching it anymore. Even before the council, they didn’t start learning Latin until high school if at all. And for most IMO that’s too late in life to make something your primary language or even your secondary language of perfect fluency. In my case my Polish father taught me “Dominus vobiscum/Et cum spiritu tuo” before I learned a word of English. So, yes, Latin would be my preference for responses, especially since my father hated English.

The educators of those days in my opinion made quite a few mistakes. And you have many years of declining reading, math, and science scores as evidence of that. English itself has taken a big hit but that shouldn’t be too surprising really. The author of a book I finished, “Story of a World Language - Latin” found that throughout its history since before Christ, that where Latin flourished, the vernacular did as well. So while no Pope has ever made an infallible statement on the use of Latin, Veterum Sapientia was exactly what Pope John said it was, “Wisdom of the Ancient Church.”

That’s because it just isn’t necessary to most fields and disciplines these days. Science, medicine, engineering, economics. Back when the bigger part of medical studies focused on anatomy it was relevant, but with the advent of microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cellular biology and molecular genetics… medical training has shifted. The original papers and research comes from English, French and German scientists, in their native languages. It is the same with the other disciplines. Times have changed. The need for Latin has diminished.

Not entirely.


You can throw Kepler into the mix of those who wrote papers in Latin.

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.