Fifty years of vernacular liturgy, questions remain...
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    On the use of vernacular translations of scripture and ritual texts:

    1. Since the promulgation of the Pauline Missal (c.1970) have the goals of greater participation and greater understanding of the Eucharistic sacrifice been demonstrably met?

    2. Have the translations of scripture and other texts into the vernaculars demonstrably raised the critical thinking skills and personal piety of the Faithful?

    3. In addition to perceived benefits of the use of vernaculars in ritual and devotions, have there also been both subtle and obvious dangers, divisions and contentions in multi-cultural demographic regions?

    4. Have foreign concerns to the sacred rites such as nationalism, patriotism and secularism resulted from vernacular and polyglot usage in the liturgy? What are some consistent experiential experiences of such detriments?

    5. Does an appreciation of great diversity among vernacular usage at liturgy result in a sort of “Babel-like” confusion, or has it achieved the coherence and unity the rituals seek to convey?

    In full disclosure, there is a direct "prompt" from which these questions have been culled.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Yup.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,896
    I'll bite.

    1. No. I don't think people understand the liturgy any better than they did before. There are those, such as Fr. Hesse, that believe the understanding is actually worse. Having taught and studied foreign language for a good part of my life, I can attest to the fact that hearing something in a foreign language and translating it yourself to "understand" it (interpret is a better word) requires greater thinking power, and forces you to think about the words more deeply. Also, sometimes words have a deeper and different meaning in another language that they don't in your own. There is also the old adage, "translators, traitors!" as translations can and often do reflect biases in the translator that aren't reflected in the original text.

    2. No. I think people are on autopilot when they attend Mass. It may have been that way before, too, which would indicate that translating the Mass into the vernacular did not solve any particular problems in this area. I think when people attend Mass, they don't want to think: they want to pray.

    3. Yes, in a way. I think you can see this in parishes that have Masses that are divided by language: Spanish Masses, Polish Masses, English Masses, Swahili Masses, etc. These different services also inevitably have their own music, ambiance, etc. which serves to further divide them.

    4. Yes, in some ways. An example of this is how patriotic hymns such as "Battle Hymn of the Republic," or "America," are sung in this area at the Mass nearest to the 4th of July. These hymns have nothing to do with the liturgy.

    5. I do not think that the translation into various vernaculars is consistent with creating unity among people. See #3.
  • WGS
    Posts: 248
    from the autopilot church attender - "I don't mind going to church for an hour on Sundays - as long as it doesn't interfere with my life."
  • >> There is also the old adage, "translators, traitors!" as translations can and often do reflect biases in the translator that aren't reflected in the original text.

    and even apart from biases, translations certainly can cause a lot of damage.

    just a handful of years ago, a well meaning convert friend brought me a copy of the 'Magnificat' missalette. I opened it at random and found: "What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?"

    I turned the little book around, and said, look at this. She read it, looked puzzled and said, that's not how it goes. I said, no, that's not how it goes; what do you think of that? I had counted to about 10 when she gave a big smile, and said, oh well, the Church approved it - I guess it must be fine. and she went away.

    with stuff like this coming from the inside, no wonder people have less understanding than they did.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,933
    [Francis Lite] you already know my answers. [/Francis Lite]
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,655

    [Francis Lite] you already know my answers. [/Francis Lite]


    Someone stumbling on this thread in 10 years won't have any idea what that means or what your answers are.
    Thanked by 2BruceL eft94530
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Ten years from now, maybe they'll say "Vernacular---what's vernacular?" : )
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Very wishful thinking.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Maybe in 50 years?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Very likely not. I think the vernacular is here to stay. Even Trent envisioned the possibility of it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    Some form of this same topic resurrects every so often. I greatly doubt the western church will ever go back to its pre-conciliar liturgy on any widespread scale. What would be the advantage to restoring a liturgical language that few understand or care about? Even the eastern churches have moved toward the vernacular.

    What I think is needed is a promulgation of the old liturgy in the vernacular. The problem was the development of a new liturgy, not a faithful translation of the old. Can't do chant in English? Tell that to the Anglicans who have done it for 500 years. Don't have the appropriate air of mystery in the vernacular? Turn down the lights and use more incense.

    It seems to me that what is discussed when this topic reappears on the forum, involves theater more than actual worship. Let's not forget the other bugaboo of vernacular worship - besides Latin, that is. It would sound much better if sung from square notes written with quills and inkwells by monastics - Benedictines, preferably.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,036
    1. Since the promulgation of the Pauline Missal (c.1970) have the goals of greater participation and greater understanding of the Eucharistic sacrifice been demonstrably met?

    2. Have the translations of scripture and other texts into the vernaculars demonstrably raised the critical thinking skills and personal piety of the Faithful?

    3. In addition to perceived benefits of the use of vernaculars in ritual and devotions, have there also been both subtle and obvious dangers, divisions and contentions in multi-cultural demographic regions?

    4. Have foreign concerns to the sacred rites such as nationalism, patriotism and secularism resulted from vernacular and polyglot usage in the liturgy? What are some consistent experiential experiences of such detriments?

    5. Does an appreciation of great diversity among vernacular usage at liturgy result in a sort of “Babel-like” confusion, or has it achieved the coherence and unity the rituals seek to convey?

    1) Yes, but this is not a result of the rite itself. It is solely a result of the (option of use of) vernacular, combined with catechesis.
    2) After RM 2011, I think this is much better. Scriptural translations of both readings (NAB) and antiphons (RGP) are still very problematic.
    3) Yes, there is a suspicion of Latin (mostly fostered by those opposed to it) as a "specialist's art" when it should be accepted as something common and useful in a multicultural situation (at least for common prayers, the Mass Ordinary, office canticles, etc.)
    4) Masses in ethnic languages...which are just weird to me.
    5) I think this is very possible when you have more than two language groups at a Mass and there is an attempt to accommodate them all in their own idioms.
  • Can't do chant in English? Tell that to the Anglicans who have done it for 500 years.


    Can't do chant in Latin? Tell that to the Catholics who have been doing it for a couple of millennia now.

    It would sound much better if sung from square notes written with quills and inkwells by monastics - Benedictines, preferably.


    That would be true of the phonebook, if it comes down to it.
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 721
    While I find a lot to commend about the vernacular liturgy project of the past half-century, I would also describe it as largely self-defeating.

    Principally, I would cite the instability of the English translation. I am amazed we are still working out the official translation of the Missal and Breviary, not to mention the ancillary translations of approved psalmody, and the lack of direct official attention to the texts of the Graduale. Never mind wrapping my spiritual head around an ever-changing liturgy: how can I be expected to write settings of it that may be superfluous in a few years?

    Along with this textual instability goes the proprietary nature of the English, with copyright spread among several groups, and reproduction (for profit or otherwise) requiring excessively hoop-jumping permissions (and, in the case of for-profit, the resulting fees). Reluctantly, I have come to subscribe to the concept of total open source, at least for the liturgical texts. I can write settings and publish any part of the Latin (old or new, I think) without a nod to anybody; will I ever be able to do the same with the English?

    This leads inevitably to the marketplace stranglehold enjoyed by a few Catholic publishers (who can afford the hoop-jumping) that has perpetuated musical banality for decades. How can composers hope to improve upon the status quo without the sort of openness that would make meaningful competition possible?

    I am happy to throw my modest artistic and spiritual energies behind the modern vernacular liturgy. But I need official, integral texts that I can expect to stay put for a few decades. I need open (electronic) access to these texts (without having to spend hundreds on books), and the freedom to publish them without fear of legal reprisal. And I need a publishing environment that allows me to compete with the big houses on something like a level playing field.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    So, is the consensus thus far that these issues are caused or remedied by ecclesial action rather than liturgical? (Chicken or egg proposition?)
    As Liam noted, the questions raised were extrapolated from +Cdl. Bacci's letter of 1962. And the vagaries of rolling out the vernacular, as Richard so eloquently outlines above, have not been mitigated by the common sense principles the cardinal advanced. Now we live in a literally information-saturated era. Does a comprehensible language necessarily beget cognition, or instability and dissonance? Does a didactic liturgy improve critical thinking which fosters "participation?"
  • I have to agree with Julie on this one. A few thoughts:

    I think it it's own unintentional way, vernacular liturgy tends to dissolve the body of Christ, which we are warned against. And not just in the matter For whatever merits the "progressive" Fathers of the Vatican Council may have had, true administrative skill is not one of them. For example, our diocese protests that they can't spare priests for a Latin mass because of all the masses that will need to be said during Sunday the weekend. However, the problem of extra masses, nine times out of ten, is due to adding a mass in a language besides English - Spanish being the obvious choice, but also Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. The more diverse our culture is going to become, the more numerous our masses are going to be, and the busier our priests are going to be. It's a vicious cycle. Priests will have to learn more and more languages, and have to offer more and more masses, to satisfy this sacred cow of "multiculturalism". It's only going to increase their workload.

    The irony is that is doesn't promote anything of the sort. As these masses become more prevalent, our congregations are going to become more insular, as people are going to go mass in their own tongue. Vernacularization is the return of Catholic ghettos.

    So, in the future, priests will have to do the following:

    1) Offer more and more masses based on the increasing ethnicities of the area, thus stretching the availability of priests
    2) Offer multi-lingual masses, which will cause problems of how to 'divvy up' the liturgy proportionally to the different groups ("I want the Eucharistic Prayer in my language this time! The Germans got it the last two Sundays.")
    3) Offer mass in a language all parties can agree to.
    Regarding the third option, do we choose the most prominent language (popularity contest), the language of the most wealthy (colonialism), the language of the most technologically advanced ("Peace be with you!" "01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101000 01111001 00100000 01110011 01110000 01101001 01110010 01101001 01110100") or the language of universal Tradition?

    The churches I have attended where the Latin mass is conventual have always been international. Our diocesan one boasts a French/Swiss family, a Nicaraguan family, an Australian family, a retired Hungarian professor, a Danish exchange student, and my Hispanic compadre. We also recently just welcomed a gentleman from China who hopes to join two of his friends back home in starting a Chinese Order dedicated exclusively to the Latin Mass. (Quoting him, he wishes to carry on the legacy of St. Frances Xavier.) One mass is good enough for all of us, because we all approach Latin as a sort of "third-party". No matter where we come from, we approach Latin as something we don't see every day. Something set apart; hence, something 'sacred'.

    Is the Latin mass going to solve all the problems of multiculturalism? The later is too complex of an issue to be easily solved, but I think the Latin liturgy is better suited to address these problems than the vernacular.
  • Does a didactic liturgy improve critical thinking which fosters "participation?"


    If we're referring to the Mass, then we have to ask ourselves this following question: is Mass primarily didactic in nature?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,350
    "Critical thinking" -- a habit of skeptical examination -- is intellectually useful but seems antithetical to liturgical participation.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Heavens no, the Mass cannot purposefully be didactic. Oughtn't its essence be experiential?
    And don't we rightly allow the head to inform the heart and situate the soul when we experience the Divine Liturgy?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    restoring a liturgical language that few understand or care about?

    Because the ones that dont understand and dont care will be dead?
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    As will the ones that do. The Biological Solution comes for all.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    these issues are caused or remedied by ecclesial action

    Yes to both.
    It is all wrapped up in Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963).
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

    Naive to think the education component proposed was for the 1960s only.
    Replaced ignorance in one language to ignorance in many languages.
    And failed to address literacy (if personal hand missals are offered as a solution).
  • Ted
    Posts: 163
    CharlesW: "It seems to me that what is discussed when this topic reappears on the forum, involves theater more than actual worship."
    Exactly what do you understand by "actual worship". The Mass has been thought of as a sacred drama since at least the time of Amalarius of Metz in the 9th century. The conquest of the vernacular in the Church over the past century was a product of modernism which stresses the satisfactions of the intellect over the joys of the heart.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    "a product of modernism which stresses the satisfactions of the intellect over the joys of the heart."

    or is the other way around?
  • Ted
    Posts: 163
    Liam: No, it is Post-modernism that stresses the joys of individual hearts over the satisfactions of the intellect, because there are no satisfactions of the intellect in a world where there is no truth.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Oughtn't its essence be experiential?


    It's essence ought to be adorational. If you'll pardon my coining a new word.
  • Ten years from now, maybe they'll say "Vernacular---what's vernacular?"


    Actually, they'll say "Quid est lingua franca?"
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • MarkS
    Posts: 248
    I understand the context of the present discussion, but it might be useful to point out that the history of the use of the vernacular in Christian worship (broadly speaking?) in the western world goes back 500 years (and the conflict over the use of the vernacular—Scripture, for example—goes back much farther), and not a few folks were willing to risk their lives over this very question (yes, on both sides).

    So the desire of folks to worship (and read their Scripture) in their own language is perhaps not entirely the result of some harmful modern cultural trend?

    And perhaps the lessons and experience of, for instance, the Anglicans and Lutherans, might be useful in analyzing the present situation within the Catholic Church?

    With all sincere respect—I realize that this is probably not a discussion I should be adding my two cents to.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • Ted
    Posts: 163
    MarkS:
    I think the problem was that the vernacular was thought to be the magic bullet that would solve all of the Church's problems, and almost all the Catholic Episcopal Conferences bought into that following the Council. The problems were deeper than that which neither the Novus Ordo nor the vernacular addressed.
    There is nothing to prevent any Catholic from reading the Bible in the vernacular outside the liturgy. That said, the Catholic Church has been very cautious in having non-theologians read the Bible especially in its translated vernacular forms, and especially after witnessing the Protestant multiplication of beliefs following the so-called Reformation.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • MarkS
    Posts: 248
    Ted:
    I do agree with your first paragraph, and I think the thought is well-expressed.

    And, yes, I think you have accurately summarized the Church's attitude toward vernacular Bible translations. It is here that I must confess I feel some sympathy for the Reformation. But perhaps there's hope for me yet!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    Can't do chant in Latin? Tell that to the Catholics who have been doing it for a couple of millennia now.


    Ah, but those Catholics are gone. In my part of the world, I don't see any groundswell or movement for Latin liturgy. It seems something desired by few. How about the rest of the world? Any different? ]

    Exactly what do you understand by "actual worship". The Mass has been thought of as a sacred drama since at least the time of Amalarius of Metz in the 9th century. The conquest of the vernacular in the Church over the past century was a product of modernism which stresses the satisfactions of the intellect over the joys of the heart.


    Hopefully all will worship God in spirit and in truth, as scripture says we should. The lack of vernacular in the western mass was more a result of clericalism, holding on to the tokens of a destroyed civilization and culture, and general stagnation. The church fathers, east and west, wouldn't have understood having liturgy in anything but the vernacular. In practical terms, however, the people of today seem to have learned how to ignore the vernacular liturgy equally as well as they ignored the Latin liturgy. Got to get that one hour obligation in on Sunday, you know!

  • Charles' pellucid comment is absolutely spot on. Truth be known, there were numerous bishops and even more priests in the late middle ages and, particularly, at the time of the reformation, who wanted the liturgy to be put into the vernacular. Like so, so much else that had been begging for reform for centuries, this went unheeded by an establishment who thought its particular reckoning was eternal and infallible.

    Actually, there is some purely practical reason that, in the west, the Latin tongue was retained so long in liturgy - namely, that there was little of literary development in the myriad of vernaculars which peppered the mediaeval European linguistic landscape. (Too, granted that a lingering and delusional Romanitas played its part.) This was never a problem in the east, which had numerous written and literate languages from of old. In the west literate vernaculars simply did not exist. However, by the late middle ages, this was no longer true of the west, as developing 'vernacular' literature bears witness. There is one over-riding reason for the retention of the Latin tongue past the late mediaeval, renaissance, and early modern eras: clerical obstinance, clerical entitlement, and a condescending, disgustingly arrogant and prideful estimation of the intelligence, even the worth, of 'the laity' and the ritual potential of their languages.

    The problem for many of us musicians, however, is: we have this remarkable repertory of liturgical music that was composed for the mediaeval and Tridentine mass. We don't want to loose it! Nor does the Church wish us to. This is a genuine conundrum. The work of Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Weelkes, Tomkins, et al., is ample proof that sublime ritual music is far, very, very far from impossible in vernaculars. If they had been permitted at the time of the reformation, why, who can say what glories equal to Latin polyphony might be a part of those treasures in the Church's dower which belong to all times. And, the English were not the only ones! Look at the great Schutz and more. Alas! Obstinance decreed that it was not to be. The inahabitants of this ecclesiastical Versailles could not countenance the adaptation of any of the worthy reform and development that was sorely, desperately, needed.

    I must, also, contest this silly notion that vernacular is a thing of the intellect, whilst Latin is, magically, a thing of the truly worshipping heart, of the tranced soul. Aside from omitting that Latin, too, is a potent intellectual tongue, this is pure subjective nonsense, bred, I suspect, by a not very objective understanding of reality and all the historical and cultural genetics at play. Beware! Pride may be at work here - and in its most poisonous and insidious form: spiritual pride. Nor shall I bother, here, to enumerate from the well known catalogue of abuses of the Latin liturgy which give evidence that there is nothing at all inherently sacred or conducive of spiritual ecstasy in the use of the Latin tongue. These exalted entrancements arise, purely and as singular gifts from above, from the appropriately disposed heart, mind, body, and soul.

    I must, too, concur most heartily with those above who have observed that the great 'experiment' of Vatican II's Pauline liturgy is a failure - not, I stress, inherently, not sui generis, but with respect to its most common manifestations at the hands of countless foolish clerics and hierarchs, and their minions, both male and female. The thought was that we would arrive at a liturgical nirvana by embracing the people in the action of the mass, allowing them to play their fullest participatory role in it, an objectively laudable and long overdue development. Had this not, in fact, been the dream of several pre-conciliar pontiffs? What happened was not what might have been the Roman version of the Anglo-Catholic experience, but a thorough trashing of the Church's worship by clowns (some dressed like clowns, most of them not - but clowns just the same; you know: the Fr Ed Sullivan types and worse), psychological clowns, spiritual clowns, cultural clowns, musical clowns, and more, all of them intellectual and spiritual dwarfs who were and are embarrassed to death over the profound, unspeakably holy mysteries which they have (astonishingly!) been given leave to celebrate. Further, we have been subjected to numberless prelates and priests, shameless in the inauthenticity of their acts, who have with preposterous arrogance presumed illicitly to forbid, obstruct, and demean those very treasures which the Church, in oecumenical council, stated were to be 'preserved', 'fostered', and 'cultivated'. This, as I have stated elsewhere, was a phenomenon of the times and would have been in some manner or another visited upon the Tridentine rite if that had been all that was available. No, don't blame this on the vernacular. Attempting to do so is an act which, being neither logically defensible, nor objectively realistic, is fundamentally irrational. Those who make the attempt are targeting anything and everything but a basic sickness in the Catholic Church, a liturgical sickness, which infects us now, and has been around for long centuries of Latin exclusivity. As a serum one just might give a very thoughtful glance at H.F. Benedict's bold act, the Ordinariate Use, by which the lie is put to any sniveling estimation of vernacular worship. No one is suggesting that normal Roman rite parishes should suddenly turn themselves into clones of Walsingham (heaven forbid!) - but there is more than meets the eye to learn from this 'Benedictine' gift to the Church.

    I'm going to stop here, for now, though there is much more to be said in this matter.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    No one is suggesting that normal Roman rite parishes should suddenly turn themselves into clones of Walsingham (heaven forbid!)


    Much to ponder in what you say, MJO. I can tell you this: if the Anglican parish in my village joined the Ordinariate and began offering Sunday liturgy in the Walsingham model, I would not drive many miles away to a TLM celebrated according to the typical American model.

    It might even be somewhat difficult for me to choose between the Walsingham model and the EF Missa Cantata at our own chapel in Queens, but that's only because our pastor gave us a video of a High Mass at Walsingham to study when we began the music ministry at our Latin Mass so we've consciously striven to emulate Walsingham---so, in some sense, on a tiny scale, we are a Roman rite clone of Walsingham, and if more EF and OF clones of Walsingham popped up all over, I could not be more delighted.
  • Ted
    Posts: 163
    Mr. Osborn: "I must, also, contest this silly notion that vernacular is a thing of the intellect, whilst Latin is, magically, a thing of the truly worshipping heart, of the tranced soul This is pure subjective nonsense, bred, I suspect, by a not very objective understanding of reality."
    It seems we live in different worlds, where for one objectivity is the truth, whilst for another, like Kierkegaard would say, subjectivity is the truth.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    Latin is, magically, a thing of the truly worshipping heart, of the tranced soul


    Oh good grief! Church Latin is not even good Latin. Unless you are one of the souls who actually understand and are literate in the language, it more likely just tickles your ears. I could see that, since it definitely sounds more "musical" than English. Again, much of it is theater when attached to good art, great architecture, incense, beautiful singing, elaborate and costly vestments, and on and on. I am pretty sure Trent had those reactions in mind when putting the mass together, and deliberately provided the framework to produce those reactions.

    I have been through a similar language "thing" as an eastern Catholic. Old Church Slavonic was our "Latin" and some were quite attached to it. Beautiful, yes. Understood, not so much. The liturgy was not changed - WW III would happen if anyone tried that. The only change was the language. Unfortunately, not the case with the western liturgy.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Church Latin is not even good Latin.


    I must strongly disagree. Later patristic & medieval Latin is beautiful. I have a harder time with Ciceronian Latin, and the Urban hymns give me a difficult time.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    Again, musicality. Later Latin flows more like Italian, but doesn't have the accuracy of the original language.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Again, musicality. Later Latin flows more like Italian, but doesn't have the accuracy of the original language.


    Accuracy? Charles, are you plumping for Ciceronian Latin as a standard? Sounds like some of that mystical language "thing" you were talking about.
  • ...Later Latin flows more like Italian...

    Hmm! I wonder why?!!

    Why, even later Latin even sounds like Italian.
    How passing strange.
    Perhaps it isn't real Latin at all?


    (One might never guess that I really do love Latin.
    What is really thoroughly objectionable is the faux mystique attributed to it.
    Mystique is often just that - the mask for highly subjective emotional phantasms... sort of like a spiritual Potempkin village.
    The less I am required to endure talk of this mystique the more I like Latin.)
    [Besides, um, all well-informed persons know that Latin was given to us for the sole purpose of being translated into Cranmerian English.]
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    Accuracy? Charles, are you plumping for Ciceronian Latin as a standard? Sounds like some of that mystical language "thing" you were talking about.


    What is really thoroughly objectionable is the faux mystique attributed to it. Mystique is often just that - the mask for highly subjective emotional phantasms


    Jackson answered it for me. The attachment to Latin and medieval pomp and finery is pleasing to the senses and emotions. Some go for that while others don't. Granted, some English liturgies have strayed too far in the other direction. It's appeal as any kind of universal language is also suspect. If there even is a universal language, English would be closer than Latin.

    I have nothing against Latin, BTW. I just find the arguments for it rather weak.

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,633
    The only argument for Latin for me is that it allows priests to be able to fully concelebrate*, and the people to actively participate, in foreign countries where their grasp of the native vernacular mightn't be all that good. I don't speak Portuguese, but I could go to a Latin Mass in Portugal and be able to follow along, and join in the responses and ordinary, with my Gregorian Missal (or what have you).

    *By which I mean take the part of one of the principal concelebrants, not simply say the words of consecration, which of course is still concelebrating.
  • Ah, but those Catholics are gone. In my part of the world, I don't see any groundswell or movement for Latin liturgy. It seems something desired by few. How about the rest of the world? Any different?


    It's like my friend's explanation on finding Christians in Europe - they're there. You just need to know where to look. (They might not always be very apt at 'social networking'.)
  • I find most compelling John 19:19–20, which reads, “And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Cranmerian English.”
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    [Besides, um, all well-informed persons know that Latin was given to us for the sole purpose of being translated into Cranmerian English.]


    I know the above is written in fun, but it brings up another point. I've never done a thorough comparative study of the Anglican liturgical texts with the texts of the 1962 Missal, but I know the Cranmerian texts were approved for use by the CDW, so I don't doubt the validity in any way, shape or form. However, I very much love the theological and doctrinal fullness of the traditional Roman rite, particularly in the Offertory and Canon of the Mass. (I also revel in the Latin.)

    It's possible, though, that a beautiful, faithful Cranmerian English translation of the 1962 Missal might be of benefit, as long as it is in a hieratical style that is removed from the colloquial or common usage (as the ICEL translation was not), if such a project is even possible in this day and age.

    I admit to being prejudiced to the traditional Roman rite and am inclined to believe that the 1962 Missal is more doctrinally satisfying than the Anglican texts, but when it comes right down to it, at least from my point of view, it's not the language but the concepts and content of the ancient Roman rite that are the most important to preserve and present since that is the foundation of the Roman Catholic faith and culture and perhaps even of Western Civilization itself.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    The dominance of English as a common shared language is true, but more people will speak French by the century’s end, and speakers of Romance languages in particular would resent, and rightfully so, the imposition of English as a universal language. Better to keep the Latin.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,102
    Matthew

    That question is based on the questionable assumption of including all people in nations where French is an official language - but in Sub-Saharan Africa (where the growth will be), most of those don't actually speak the language...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • johnmann
    Posts: 175
    Vernacularization is the return of Catholic ghettos.


    In other words, vernacularization changes nothing. Naturally, having only one parish with an EF celebration will tend to bring a more diverse group, though it will still skew white (in the US), conservative, and educated. If we have only EF Masses, you'll see less diversity as people segregate into English-homily EF, Spanish-homily EF, etc., even liberal-homily EF, conservative-homily EF.

    Spanish-speaking Americans would rather attend Mass in English than Latin. And the Church isn't going to abandon the vernacular for the 0.00001% of situations when Catholics attend Mass in remote foreign villages. Can't be a foreign city because every major foreign city I've been to has at least one lingua franca Mass for travelers in English.

    There's great merit in Latin but the benefit to travelers isn't a strong one and congregational diversity isn't one at all.