Bulletin series on Latin
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 206
    I am wrapping up a bulletin series on the importance of Latin in the liturgy, and since I know many of you get the same questions I do, I thought I would share it.
  • Jon, thanks for these.
    Thanked by 1JonLaird
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,781
    Succinct.
    Very nicely done!
    Thanked by 1JonLaird
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 786
    It’s also worth noting that many of the other major Christian Churches also maintain hieratic languages for worship: Old Church Slavonic, Coptic, etc. No one freaks out in Egyptian Churches when a hymn is sung in Coptic, regardless of whether the congregation understands it.

    I think this is a point we often overlook because most Westerners (understandably) think “other Christian churches” refers to Protestants, but as Catholics it makes much more sense, theologically and historically, to think of other “Churches” as the Orthodox Churches.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen BruceL
  • vansensei
    Posts: 103
    @Felipe, not only Christians, but other religions, too. Ask anyone who had a bar mitzvah, and they likely remember a lot of the Hebrew... regardless if they spoke it or not
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,781
    Many otherwise vernacular mediaeval books (e.g., Langland's Piers Plouwman, et al.) are chock full of Latin and references to holy writ, as were mediaeval sermons, which were at least nominally in the 'vernacular'. This leads one to conclude that (contrary to the Protestant trope and common mis- perceptions) mediaeval people, even average people, had at least a moderate understanding of Latin. They could hardly have attended mass all their lives, participated in countless mystery plays and processions, sang macaronic carols, and been around literati who spoke Latin every day, without acquiring some ability to understand, quote, and even speak at least some form of Latin. Even every-day speech was peppered with Latin. Latin, after all, was not nearly as 'dead' then as it is now. It was, as yet, a fact of every day existence.

    In fact, I am on the verge of ordering a new book which treats of this very subject. It is Preaching and Teaching in the Mediaeval Church, by Christopher Cannon, Oxford UP. Some others here may want to acquire this book, which, judging from the review, promises to be quite a significant contribution to the subject.
  • DanielT
    Posts: 4
    Thank you Jon, this is a wonderful resource!
    Thanked by 1JonLaird