Considering giving up on Latin
  • henry
    Posts: 207
    For more years than I can count, I have tried to use the Kyrie, Gloria (Mass VIII), Sanctus and Agnus Dei in our bilingual Masses. These occur maybe up to five times a year, at most. The most recent was today, Thanksgiving Day. The Spanish Choir is so reticent to learn Latin, and those who are willing sing so timidly. The congregation (mainly Hispanic) is all but mute. I feel like just giving up and using Spanish and English Mass settings. Anyone else experience the same?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,837
    5x a year is not many to pick something up, but if you spend 4-5 consecutive weeks (or a season) letting them learn it for the first time, the embers only take a few puffs to revive.
  • The solution isn't less use of the Latin, but more Latin. You can't reasonably expect them to become completely comfortable with something they use only under protest 1/12 of the year.
  • just wondering, could you get them interested with something more familiar, like Adeste Fideles?
    when we have new singers who are put off by the Latin, I remind them of the old Saturday Night Live character, Fr. Guido Sarducci. We play with the Italian accent - the hammier the better - and it seems to break a little ice.

    Don't give up! this is their native language; they just haven't heard it for a while.
    People on this forum will surely put in a prayer for your success. :-)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,227
    The other thing to do is use Latin hymns instead of the Ordinary. Easier to pick up, and doesn't have to necessarily rely upon a particular season. Look in here for great hymns:

    http://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/pbc/

    Hymns and Chants start at #171
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,761
    Chris is spot-on: if you use the Latin/Greek responses part-time at the English Mass and part-time at the Spanish Mass, then everyone will have at least heard them when they come together.

    Maybe the start of a new season is an opportunity to use the Latin ordinary for four weeks in a row, and then keep it up once a month, say? (Note: don't associate Latin with the penitential seasons!)
  • Don't give up!
    The advice above is sage.
    More, not less, is the answer.
    Include it incrementally throughout the year.

    (And never let them forget that Latin is Vatican II - very Vatican II!)
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • I won't soon forget the faces of the young students (Catholic homeschoolers) when I told them that it wasn't a surprise they thought chant was gloomy and Latin was foreign ... all the chant they knew was from the Requiem. When they heard other chants, too, they decided they would give it a try. Several years later, when we had an unexpected death among the moms in the homeschool group, I inquired if any of the kids wanted to join the choir for the Requiem..... and they did, and they sang well.

    Or then there was the time (different group) I proposed to a mixed group of kids that they learn Credo I. All young kids. Most of them not Catholic. I split it into manageable bits, allowed a semi-chorus or two (ok., it was 5 or 6, but let that pass) and had the kids start and finish strong. Imagine 40 non-Catholic elementary school children singing Credo I, and singing their hearts out. Even the (frankly, reluctant) parents had to acknowledge that the kids enjoyed it.


    I know there's a saber-toothed-tiger-looking creature out there, telling you (and lots of other people) that Latin is too hard, and too foreign and so un-kid like -- and yes, unfortunately, the naysayers include His Holiness, Pope Francis, but that creature is, to borrow an expression I heard recently on Catholic radio in an unrelated topic, "A hamster in a lion costume".