The Death of the Novus Ordo in Latin?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    Well, "O hold thou up my goings in the paths" is a little obscure for me, and I wouldn't fault anyone for boggling at it a bit.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,412
    Sincere, but misguided, Mass with guitars, drums, pseudo-multiculturalism and children's homilies, as celebrated in the the majority of American Catholic Parishes: Ordinary Folk Form Low Mass: (OFFL Mass)
    Same thing, but with dancers, because it's Easter or it's a youth rally or something: The Overambitious Ordinary Folk-mass That Isn't Novel (TO-OFTIN Mass)
    Add clowns and puppets: Extraordinary Form Folk-mass Infecting New Generation With Unintelligible Theology (EFFING-WUT Mass)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    It's not the humo(u)r, Francis, but bewilderment at your over-statement of a pragmatic case, and your strange assignment to England of a sacral English that is the heritage and product of the whole Anglophone world, including the Catholic elements of it. BTW - I take it your pips don't have problems with the usual translations of the the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria (you know - the bits they didn't dare meddle with); or, for that matter, with the deep concepts of the Creed?

    ps sorry if that seems like a rant - I've just undergone the pennance of setting the Grail responsorial psalm for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time to a psalm tone. Let's just say the translation is no advert for the use of modern English in the liturgy.
  • CharlesW said
    "However, I think one point should be kept in mind. The OF is not the EF, nor was it ever really intended to be, in practice. The way the OF is structured does, I would agree, sometimes defy any logic. It has so many options, it's difficult for me to see any connection with the traditional Roman Rite. "

    Getting here late. Charles, with all due respect, this is just wrong. The OF was never intended to be realized without all its texts. Just because that is what has happened in practice, doesn't mean that it is right. The Church has given us the prayers of the Mass and WE have chosen to dispense with them in favor of less worthy texts. The options you mention are ranked and given, in my mind, only to aid those churches without the resources or ability to realize the changing parts of the Mass. It would be similar to saying to a priest, "if you cannot read, go ahead use collects that you have memorized and don't worry about what is prescribed for the Mass of the Day.

    Practically... After the entrance hymn, sing the Introit with antiphon and a single verse in a fairly simple setting on most Sundays. Sing the Offertory antiphon and verses in their proper place (no more "Come to the Water" please). Sing the Communion antiphon in its proper place and then when half the congregation has received, sing One Bread One Body if you MUST. The recessional hymn has no competition. There you go.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    The recessional hymn has no competition. There you go.

    That's true, Michael, and the Marian anthem proper to the time of year is a hymn. And if the vernacular is preferred, people do love those traditional translations :-)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    Michael, you notice I did say "in practice." That's the way things are. Right and wrong are different issues.

    I am going to disagree, again. I don't see the OF as a reform of the EF. That was done in the 1965 missal. Even certain cardinals at the time and also Msgr. Gamber, in his book "The Reform of the Roman Liturgy" have stated the NO is a new rite of mass. I do believe the popular trend of calling the two forms one mass in different forms, is what is really wrong. There's nothing inherently wrong with having more than one rite of mass, since that is the state of things across the eastern and western Church. But with the EF and OF, one is a spade, and one is a shovel. Of course, the problems with the rarely used OF texts could be solved tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., if the bishops had any desire to do so.

    As an aside, my parish is probably the only one in this city that uses ANY propers.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 514
    I would question the statistics on the OF in Latin. How do they know? My choir sings for such a Mass, but how do I know it was included?

    Even if you think that the EF is the more desirable form, as I do, and you acknowledge that the EF has become more frequently celebrated, as I do, there is a purpose in cultivating the OF in Latin; this should be the paradigm of the OF with proper and ordinary chanted, together with the priest chanting his parts. At the Colloquium, we celebrate the OF and EF side-by-side, and in their ideal forms there is much that is similar. I sympathize with those who retreat into the EF exclusively, but I think we have a mission to keep some interaction between the forms, principally for the sake of improving the OF.

    At the recent meeting of the Latin Liturgy Association, a priest who celebrates the EF said that he didn't think that the celebration of the EF had any effect upon the OF. It was immediately volunteered that priests use the Roman Canon now more frequently in the OF and occasionally celebrate it ad orientem. These may be small steps, but still significant.

    It has been pointed out above that, even though the OF is not frequently celebrated in Latin, there has been in the last decade a considerable incorporation of some Latin pieces in its celebration, the occasional Latin proper, but more frequently, some of the Ordinary. It has been my suggestion at the colloquium that in most parish situations, the best option is the gradual introduction of Latin chants, one-by-one, always monitoring their reception by the congregation. For example, a local parish near us introduced the singing of the entire ordinary in Latin chant recently, and the response fro the congregation was very positive; they continue to sing it.

    Concerning the singing of the propers, I think that this depends partly upon the congregation's singing of the Ordinary. If they sing all of the Ordinary, then it will not seem that they are being deprived of their active participation when the choir sings the propers. Moreover, the parts of the Ordinary are in and of themselves the liturgical action at that moment; they do not accompany any other action. Such a proper as the introit, however, is an accompaniment of another action. Why should the congregation be asked to provide the music to accompany another liturgical action? I would even suggest that one function of the introit is to set a sacred tone to the whole Mass and to create a sense of anticipation of what is to come, which begins to be fulfilled when the congregation sings their part in the penitential rite and the Kyrie and Gloria.

    Choirs and perhaps capable cantors cannot be provided for all Masses; hymns will always be used in such situations. Still their limitations should be understood.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I'm just realizing that the author provided no citation whatsoever on his data. Mahrt is probably correct here. There may not be any basis at all for these claims.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Maybe I missed it, but I still cannot find any source for these statistics.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 889
    According to the Latin Liturgy Association directory there are 58 regularly scheduled Sunday masses according to the 1970 missal in the US - perhaps this is where P.K.T.P. gets his stats for 2005?

    This includes a number of monasteries, but also has some errors (e.g. Assumption Grotto in Detroit has replaced the OF with the EF).

    It is annoying that he gives no source or documentation for his claims, and even more so since he has a rather unattractive anti-OF agenda.

    Sam Schmitt
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    The situation for Latin in the Ordinary Form may be worse (or better, who knows) than what is indicated in the LLA directory. The listings at their web site for my diocese are just two churches: one church is no longer open, and the other church's listing is incorrect, so I would not treat the list as reliable.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    Once a year, a wealthy individual has a NO Latin Mass said for his departed relatives. That's the only time we do it. We do, however, have one EF Mass every Sunday, along with five NO English masses.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    The more I think about these data, the more ridiculous they seem. I've attend Latin NO in three neighboring towns as part of special parish events and retreats but these are not counted. In any case, as I argue on the Cafe, the question of language alone is the wrong question. I've been to EF low Masses with English hymns, yet I suppose this is counted as a Latin MAss?
  • Chrism
    Posts: 825
    Jeffrey, have you ever served an EF Low Mass?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    Leaving aside PKTP's obnoxious rhetoric, his observation about the declining number of Latin OF Masses is not a surprise to me. I think it's an accurate point about the current state of liturgical practice in this country.

    As a member of the Latin Liturgy Association, I get their occasional newsletters, and a few years ago, the LLA's newsletter made exactly the same observation. (I wish I could find the issue, to cite it.) They noticed more Masses according to the 1962 Missal, and fewer Latin Masses according to the 1970 Missal -- at least Masses known to them. For people who have followed this topic, it is well known that many 1970-Missal Latin Masses were replaced by 1962-Missal Latin Masses as permission became available in stages, from 1984 onward.

    Jeffrey's reactions, calling the numbers "ridiculous" and observing that one-time Masses are not counted, seem -- well, not even serious.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    whew, pretty tough there! I suppose it depends on what question one is asking. If you are assessing the status of Latin within the OF, the narrow manor in which the question is asked and interpreted is ridiculous.
  • "I've been to EF low Masses with English hymns, yet I suppose this is counted as a Latin MAss?"
    Of course! If Mass is 'celebrated' in Latin it means that first of all the 'celebrant' uses Latin, at least for the 'presidial' parts - eucharistic prayer, orations, versicles. Therefore, in the case of OF, if the choir sings ordinary, propers or ad libitum motets in Latin, but the celebrant sings or speaks his parts in English it is English, not Latin OF Mass.
  • Andris Amolins' observation (and Jeffrey Tucker's as well) simply causes me to reflect again on how that the mass and all its constituent parts form an aesthetic and ritual whole; and that this whole either is or is not in Latin or English. How pointless it seems to me to ponder how much of it, and whose sections of it, done in a given language adds up to a celebration in that language. We have Latin masses, in which proper, ordinary, 'presidential parts', and all are said or sung in Latin (we make a curious exception for the readings). We have English masses, in which all and everyone's 'parts' are said or sung in English. Then we have mongrel masses, pastiches, in which this is done in Latin and that is done in English while people rejoice that this or that 'part' of the whole was or was not done in Latin (or English) -- oblivious to the fact that the whole has been linguistically rent and deprived of its aesthetic integrity and prayerful continuity. Of course, there are musical adornments, diademata, to the mass, such as anthems and motets. These we routinely and reasonably do, as the ornaments they are, in the language of their composition. But why this need to sunder the mass itself into a linguistic patchwork? And in reply to the objection stated above, one might reasonably question why, if we do Latin hymns and anthems at English masses, we should not sing English hymns and anthems at Latin ones. This is logical, is it not?..... Why, it seems to be de riguer in certain milieux to sing Latin ordinaries at 'English masses'... why not English ordinaries at 'Latin masses'. What is missing, obviously, is a universal ritual customary for each Rite and Use guarding each ritual language and mandating genuinely ecclesiastical music for each.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Priests who wish to offer the OF in Latin are free to do so. Priests who wish to offer the EF are free to do so. For myself, I don't see why we cannot simply leave it at that. Those who truly understand what the Mass is are grateful for the Mass: whether OF or EF. Anyone who denigrates either one doesn't understand what the Mass is.
  • hear! Hear!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I dodn't get the same reverance and sacredness from vernacular as from latin, especially in English which uses the same words to God as we use to a pet; you, hear me, help me so on. (I understand that the latin was once a vernacular, but it is the sacered language for us now which God chose and made it that no earthly nations can claim as her own lagnuage.) Even in OF, I much prefer listening to the sacred language that the Church has been using for centuries than hearing the casual vernacular, even if I have to look at the translation. Also latin is aesthetically superior than English to my ears.
    We have to remember that the Church permitted vernacular, but asked to preserve Latin in Mass. Not the other way around. Just because many people do certain things their way don't necessarily make them right.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I don't think God chose Latin as a sacred language for us. The Romans were conquered and their culture died out, along with their language. For whatever reasons, the language in use in the church at Rome, tended to become frozen in place after the culture collapsed. For hundreds of years, Rome was a cultural backwater, not any kind of trend setter. One could say that Latin survived, in the sense that it evolved into Italian. The whole idea that one language sounds more sacred than another is highly subjective, and based solely on the perceptions and assumptions of the listener.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,393
    Latin did not survive as a "sacred language" in the same way as Hebrew did until the modern era. That is, its use was not primarily sacred. Rather, it was used in a variety of civil and secular ways, and not incidentally so.

    Catholics should not treat Latin like KJV separatists treat the King James translation of the Bible (the "if the King James Bible was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me" approach to translation). And it is important to remember that the Latin *is* a translation, at least of texts based on Scripture - the original texts of Scripture are Hebrew and Greek, not Latin.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    A human language is a translation of God's Word in the Bible. The first languages of the Bible don't necessarily make them accurate and beneficial to our Catholic faith by themsleves. Who can claim that he has the best translation of God's Word, but Church? Every language has it's own limitations, and the Church chose Latin not others. There's no accident in what God does for His own Church. We see this in two ways here, one just purely from the historical view, the other is from the faith of seeing the Church and her instruction as from God. Those are applied in different ways.
  • Latin did not survive as a "sacred language" in the same way as Hebrew did until the modern era.

    Aside from its intrinsic beauty and a very long history of employment, being a dead language enhanced the estimation of Latin in the minds of pre-Vatican II moderns. Being fixed in time gave it that sacred, otherworldly bearing. I am of an age where that reasoning or emotional response still resonates, but it would be foolish of me to ignore the present widespread resistance to anything other than a limited use of Latin in the liturgy. Any statistical advantage the extraordinary form Mass now enjoys over a Latin use ordinary form use surely reflects that resistance.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,617
    Mia is right. Latin IS the sacred language of the church. God takes ordinary things that come through ordinary means and elevates them and consecrates them for his own purpose through the Catholic church. This happens with architecture, music, art, vessels, priests, prophets and saints. Once ordinary forms now extraordinary forms if you will.

    The process by which they come to be has nothing to do with how God elects to make them sacred through the hands and reasoning of human beings in his Catholic church.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    So if we wait long enough the language of the NO and New American Bible will become consecrated and sacred? Oh dear Lord! Head for the hills. The end times are near! ;-)

    I still think the survival of church Latin is more a result of cultural stagnation and papal intractability than any divine design.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,393
    Randolph,

    Just to clarify: I was responding to Mia's particular comment. Unlike Hebrew, Latin has a history of being the Western language of diplomacy, law and civil administration until the modern era and, in scholarship, well into the modern era. And Latin did continue to evolve in those uses (and those folks in Helsinki seem keen on keep it alive in that way). I am not immune to Latin's charms and pedigree and status as the language of the Roman rite; I am, however, wary of treating it magically (and there has been a history of that treatment, too).

    I still remember my college Latin professor, and the project he had: he and his expectant wife (also a classics professor) were planning to raise their first-born child to speak Latin as his/her mother tongue. This was in 1979-80.....
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,617
    C

    You could certainly be onto something that the end times are near. The confusion that surrounds the sacred liturgy among it's own prelates is certainly a sign of the times.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    Could be! The one advantage I would give to Latin, is that the texts were the same everywhere. Some doofus priest couldn't change the wording to suit his progressive agenda. If my memory is correct, priests were forbidden to change even one word of the canon on pain of sin.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,617
    That is correct to my knowledge also. So where did it all go haywire?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    ??? It almost seems diabolical, doesn't it.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,393
    Nothing so melodramatic as that.

    But the shift did reveal that the liturgical culture that preceded it was often a combination of brittleness and shallow pragmatism, though there were oases here and there, in some places more than others. The pragmatic dimension ended up be the more resilient dimension.

    You can inspire a culture to coalesce by good example and empowerment (very much including resourcing), if you can persuade your audience of the need; precepts and legislation can provide support, but they cannot successfully dictate persuasion and inspiration.
  • Hang on, everyone! The topic seems to have drifted to the value of Latin as a sacral language. Please allow me to submit just one piece of evidence relevant to the stated purpose of this discussion.

    Fact: before the 1984 "indult", the Missal of Paul VI was, by law and in theory, allowed in Latin without any permission from anyone. Again theoretically, one needed the permission of a bishop to use the older Missal.

    Now, in 2010, one doesn't theoretically need the permission of the bishop to celebrate either form in Latin.

    Here's why this matters: although the traditionalists could have had Mass in Latin without asking special permission, they didn't do so, leading this observer to note that Latin wasn't, by itself, the real issue. Hence, Pauline Missal in Latin is still not going to satisfy intelligent traditionally minded Catholics.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    "the Church chose Latin not others"

    The Roman See chose Latin. There were still four other apostolic Sees that were speaking Greek. Even after the Schism, there were certain Greek- and Aramaic-speaking groups, such as the Maronites, who never lost their unity with Rome. Then, of course, there were other groups that left union with Rome, and then came back.

    Ecclesiastical Latin is beautiful, but it is not supreme in any way to Greek, or Hebrew, or Aramaic, for example. Be careful of assigning theological meaning to pragmatic historical developments.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Be careful of assigning theological meaning to pragmatic historical developments.

    So you are saying this is just a pragmatic historical develoment, God's intervention is not involved? or is it the other way around?

    You said there were four apotolic sees.
    Roman See chose Latin and used for more than 1500 years. As for the Roman Cahotlics this fact is enough to be sacred, because the Church is traditional. The practice of the early church can be used as referential, but it was transitional and done in a "purifying period.' If Roman Liturgy has been using Hebrew or Greek INSTEAD of latin, and the Church is using either of them as her official language,or pick a vernacular as her language, I will be glad to follow any of them. Because that's my faith, faith in our Roman Church. Gregorian chant, which uses Latin, doesn't hold the first place in Roman rite just for aesthetical beauty. ( some exceptional cases don't change the reality of the Church we have for Roman Catholics. What is allowed is not what is preserved in our Church.) People who don't see the Universal Church of Rome as the Church of Christ and the Pope as Her leader might have different opnions, even they say they have union with them.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    Well, the Latin of the Mass prayers is not common casual speech; the literary and oratorical structures in them were obviously cultivated by the Church for her sacred purposes.
  • I really would like to agree with Chonak's comment immediately above. However, I have been told many times by classicists and Latin scholars that the Latin of the liturgy is rather pedestrian Latin - not at all cultivated: in a word, 'vulgar'. Perhaps others can comment more authoritatively on this matter? This in no way should be taken to imply dislike or contempt for it on my part. It has, after all, become hallowed with age, and I share in the love of it that others have expressed here. At the same time, there Is no magic in it, and there is no reason why an ecclesial Catholic English cannot become as sacred and hallowed as Latin or the English of the Anglican Use.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    One of Susan Benofy's fine articles for Adoremus mentioned the point:

    Some argued that the Latin of the Mass was simply the everyday language of Christians of the fourth century, and so, the Mass today must likewise be in everyday language. Christine Mohrmann, a professor at the Universities of Nijmegen and Amsterdam who specialized in the study of Christian Latin, disputed this view. She gave three lectures at the Catholic University of America, published as Liturgical Latin: Its Origins and Character (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1957).

    In one of these lectures she said:
    The advocates of the use of the vernacular who maintain that even in Christian antiquity the current speech of everyday life, “the Latin of the common man”, was employed, are far off the mark.... The earliest liturgical Latin is a strongly stylized, more or less artificial language, of which many elements — for instance Orations — were not easily understood even by the average Christian of the fifth century or later. This language was far removed from that of everyday life. (Liturgical Latin, pp. 60-61)
    Some discussions before the Council concerning the use of the vernacular took account of this argument, and dealt with the complexity of balancing intelligibility with the form of expression appropriate to communicating sacred things.

    A 1956 symposium on English in the liturgy included a paper by H. P. R. Finberg, a professor of local history at the University of Leicester, and one of the translators of The Missal in Latin and English, a 1949 Missal for use by the laity. (The prayers for this Missal were translated by Finberg and the Reverend J. O’Connell; Scripture readings were from the translation by Monsignor Ronald Knox.)

    In Dr. Finberg’s paper for the symposium, “The Problem of Style”, he said:
    Those who advocate the use of the mother tongue in public worship do so because they wish to heighten the layman’s understanding of, and participation in, the sacred mysteries. But we have to recognize that it is just as possible to be obscure or clumsy in English as it is in Latin.… The question of English in the liturgy cannot usefully be discussed apart from the question, what sort of English? (“The Problem of Style”, in English in the Liturgy: A Symposium, C. R. A. Cunliffe, editor. Springfield, IL: Templegate, 1956, p. 109)
  • I had not heard these views before. This is very good to know! So, doesn't this mean that our vernacular liturgical English should be 'stylized and more or less artificial'? What would be wrong with that??? We need a XXI. century Catholic Cranmer! - and Coverdale!
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Actually there were originally five apostolic sees: Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. All five originally spoke mainly Greek; Rome adopted Latin early on, as it was the language of the Empire, but the other four remained Greek-speaking far longer (Antioch speaks Arabic now, and Alexandria Coptic). In fact, there is still Greek in the Roman liturgy--the Kyrie--which hearkens back to the day when the entire liturgy was in Greek.

    I don't have a problem with Latin being considered a beautiful, sacred, liturgical language. That it is. The problem is when it is considered the ONLY one.

    Although I'm beginning to realize you're talking solely about the Roman rite here... I am not. Nevertheless, the Roman Rite was reformed to allow widespread use of the vernacular. The other rites in union with Rome show that the vernacular can be every bit as sacred and serviceable as the Latin is, if done properly. There is nothing about Latin that makes it inherently more sacred than other languages except for its age, which is surpassed by the age of Greek and Aramaic liturgies still in use today, and the tradition of the Church, which includes much more than the Roman rite.

    postscript

    yes, I am Orthodox, and I don't accept the supremacy of Rome et al. Nevertheless, I am just trying to highlight things that the Catholic and Orthodox East have 100% in common. Rome is in union with Eastern churches that left and went back, but also others that never left at all, just as the Maronites (iirc), who remained in ignorance of the Schism for a long time afterward, and when discovered later just went on in union with Rome as always. But even if one accepts the Pope as supreme amongst bishops, it does not follow, then, that the Roman rite is supreme among Catholic rites.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    Since this thread is about the Roman rite, Jam, it's probably best to start a separate one If you want to talk about something else.

    On the other hand, I don't see what benefit there is in telling us that you disagree with the notion "that the Roman rite is supreme among Catholic rites", when no one, as far as I can tell, is asserting that here. Are you writing that here in order to dispute against something that other people said in the past, in some other venue? Let it go, sweetheart.

    Incidentally, while you're teaching us about the history of the Eastern churches, the spelling is "Maronite", thank you. The name refers to St. John Maron.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 825
    I didn't post this thread hoping to cause wailing and gnashing of teeth. It seems as if people are reacting with the various stages of the grieving/rejection process -- denial, anger ("I never liked Latin anyway"). Next comes bargaining, btw.

    If people think the Novus Ordo in Latin is worthwhile, they will need to do what the Tridentine Mass enthusiasts have done: work hard, work smart, and work for a long time. The reason there are no statistics to refute P.K.T.P. is because nobody has considered it a worthwhile use of his time to publish a national directory of all-Latin Novus Ordo Masses -- a telling sign of a lack of popular interest. And the statistics could get worse as Summorum Pontificum gets implemented in more dioceses.

    Where is the literature (magazines, journals, etc.) extolling the greatness of the N.O. in Latin? The sung "Laus tibi", for example, or the sung Canon, or the neo-Vulgate in the Psalms? Is the Novus Ordo Missae not a great work of the Church? We know de fide that it is an indefectible work, and we know from experience that its indefectible holiness is more often denigrated by the sloppiness and sacrileges committed by its own practitioners than by the raillery of the sedevacantists and sedeprivationists who deny its inherent sanctity. Are there no orthodox apologists left for the biggest liturgical reform in the history of Christianity, now that it is no longer mandatory?

    Let me share a public secret with you, friends, as someone attached primarily to the EF. The Novus Ordo Missae can never be abrogated. If nobody practices it, it will die out (like the Sarum Rite, or the pre-1910 Breviary), but if even a remnant of the faithful (as opposed to a rump group of atheists or eco-feminists) hold out for the six-year cycle of readings, the rationalization of the sanctoral calendar, the versus populum posture as an option...then it could well last until the end of time.

    And if it does last until the end of time, it should not be Latin-phobic, or Gregorian chant-phobic, because that is not what it actually is. The Novus Ordo is a Latin Rite of the Latin Church. The Latin language ties the Novus Ordo to the Apostolic See and also to continuity with the Latin Tradition. I think there's a big problem when people are choosing to abandon either the Novus Ordo or the Latin language, or insisting on only half-Latin services. Without a Latin Novus Ordo, the Novus Ordo becomes unmoored. There are all-Greek services of the Greek Church, even in the United States. Why not all-Latin Novus Ordos? Where are the workers for this harvest?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I asuumed that this whole discussion was about Latin rite. If it wasn't clear, I apologize. .
  • ISTM that those who really see Vat II as a break from something problematic, cling to the Paul VI Mass in the vernacular, assuming that this what the Council really wanted. In fact I recently read a post from a liturgist stating this in different words. That said, of course this Mass can be abrogated. Every other Missal has been, to my knowledge, except for the 1962 (which I'm guessing was a fortunate oversight). In any event one cannot argue for the Latin language on practical grounds except that the Missal exists in Latin and all vernacular translations, like all translations, are like looking at a beloved friend through a dirty window. For many the window is the only means of viewing that friend. Learning Latin would be the Windex needed ;-) that few would be willing to use, I'm afraid. Finally, for me, if we were to follow Jackson's assertions about mixing languages, all vernacular liturgies would be bereft of the finest settings of the Ordinary known to man.
  • I can assure Michael that I shouldn't want us to 'be bereft of the finest settings of the ordinary known to man'. But, I'll grant only a partial touche'. The answer is 1) have more Latin masses and 2) compose and commission modern vernacular settings worthy to stand in line with our musical patrimony. I am one with all here who love Latin masses. I differ with some, perhaps, in loving equally the English language as a liturgical one. More might share this love if they had grown up on the linguistic riches of The Book of Common Prayer, reciting it in awe-filled tones while walking home from school, being enriched by and imbued with its sacral depth in and out of church, experiencing full-of-awe solemn high masses (and some disappointing 'low church' ones), and wondering dumbfoundedly after Vatican II how the Catholic Church came up with the English it did and how people could sit through it without snickering at the obviously less-Catholic-translation-than-mine that they had to use. (I still find it immensely alienating.) And, it isn't as though there are not, in fact, admirable settings of the mass ordinary in English - they just happen to be Anglican ones dating from Tudor times to the present. Their being Anglican means that 'we' can't use them (we always, always, have to invent or re-invent the wheel, don't we?). One Basilian priest-friend of mine was wont to grumble that he had been saying the English NO for forty years and there was Not One memorable phrase. I have really digressed; but, while explaining my appreciation of heiratic English I can also appreciate very well that many of my fellow Catholics love heiratic Latin. Each has an inviolable integrity. Both are very beautiful and deserve the very best music. There needs be not a trace of beauty-of-holiness-difference between them. The approaching new translation is a gift from God, so let us treat it accordingly. There is no reason why a wise man (or woman) can't love two good things - perhaps a Latin Missa Viri Galileii by Palestrina and, say, an English Missa Ineffabilis by Kevin Allen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,617
    I did compose the new Gloria in English, but only because it is now a good translation. Otherwise I will always prefer Latin. Why? Well for one it Is and will always be timeless and unchanging and it is universal. All nations sing Latin masses. Why limit myself to English?

    BTW... Those other "ancient" languages are NOT universal! ;-}
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    "Since this thread is about the Roman rite, Jam, it's probably best to start a separate one If you want to talk about something else."

    I'm sorry, I'm jumping around way too much. Part of all this talking about other rites is to point out that the vernacular isn't BAD or to be avoided. Opening up the Latin Rite to the vernacular *in theory* should be akin to the originally Greek-speaking churches which now use the vernacular, or some parts of the vernacular. I really do think that any conversation about liturgical languages ought to be open to insight from the Anglican and Eastern Catholic experience of it in liturgy. Some of the things people were saying here seemed to be so pro-Latin everything that it excluded the possibility of any other language being sacred; seemed to be saying that God intended Latin and only Latin for Christendom all along. That is obviously not true, and that was where my sudden flood of rhetoric came from, but I admit no one out and said that, it just seemed implied, to me. But when I read things like "the Church chose Latin, not others" -- it says, to me, the entire Catholic Church chose Latin, not a singular rite within that communion.

    All I really wanted to say all along is that Latin is beautiful, and should not disappear, but it is not necessarily superior to any other language, even English, in liturgy... unless we're talking about bad translations, that is.

    as for the spelling, it's fixed now. Thank you.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 825
    Latin is beautiful, and should not disappear, but it is not necessarily superior to any other language, even English, in liturgy

    And that's one place where we Latins disagree with you Greeks. Latin is the official language of the Church, and also has the right to pride of place over the vernacular in the Latin Church's ordinary form of liturgy.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    First of all, Latin is not a universal language. There are Christian countries where it is seldom, if ever, heard. It was, after the fall of Rome, a universal language only in the western Church. However, I suspect that after the early days when it was vernacular, it was not understood by most of the people. I have heard this "pride of place" argument for years, even though some who know Latin tell me it really says, "first place." However, it seems odd to me to continually quote and appeal to documents that even the Church has no apparent interest in enforcing.

    I would be the first to agree that the EF, properly done, has a great sense of mystery to it. But it is evident that some are so attached to externals, that the mass becomes magic rather than genuine worship. That's never a good thing. The Latin mass is not, nor has it ever been, a semi-Masonic ceremony filled with secrets only understood by the enlightened and anointed. Isn't that Gnosticism?

    As a Byzantine Catholic, I have been through the same sacred language debates over Old Church Slavonic. I probably support keeping glorious music and Latin alive as much as anyone, but have reached the conclusion that there are no sacred languages. There are people who wax romantic over things that are simply old. However, I suspect God understands all languages and doesn't have to be addressed or adored in only Latin, Greek, Slavonic, or Oompa Loompa. The vernacular is with us, and I think it will remain, for the lifetimes of any present here, the mass used by the majority. Let's make the best and the most of it, and make it as beautiful as possible. The musicians on this forum seem very conscientious about doing just that. However, I hope that CMAA does not come to stand for the Church Music Association for Anachronism. That would marginalize us and limit our effectiveness.