Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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@pandaz7 wrote:


Why write it in a language you know or suspect that most people will not ever understand?? What really is the purpose of this decoration and for whose benefit is it being written? The (very) few elite latin scholars that might wander in? Go with what Jesus would have done and write in a language that people understand.

Hey there Pandaz. . .How’s she cutting?. . This might help make things a bit clearer for you.

Response by FReeper Romulus to the following statement:

“Latin is a dead language”.

Which is why it’s so well-suited for liturgy. The words don’t change. Meanings don’t change. Ministers won’t muck it about.

The Church is our mother too, and Latin is her language.

In most cultures and at most times in history, the norm has been that people have had at least a nodding acquaintance with more than one language. Till quite recently, the English-speaking world has been a curious exception. Perhaps because of the enormous land mass of North America and the island nature of Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, we haven’t had the experience of regular dealings with other languages and dialects. Maybe this has made us a bit selfish and forgetful of what’s normal to the rest of the world. Whatever the reason, much of the rest of the world has at least a basic competence in more than one language. Till forty or so years ago, so did American Catholics. No, we weren’t all classics scholars, but we could say our prayers. At Mass we could sing some hymns and give the responses assigned to us. What we once had can be recovered more quickly than most of us realize.

One concrete way we make our home in the midst of divine mystery is through the use of sacred language – speech set aside for the worship of God. Liturgical language, chiefly Latin in the Catholic Church, is well-suited to sacred liturgy for a great many reasons:

• Latin doesn’t change. Unlike vernacular tongues, Latin doesn’t evolve over time, so it imparts stability to liturgy that guarantees the durability and integrity of the Faith as it’s handed from one generation to the next.

• Latin is traditional. In other words, Latin’s not just a comfortable habit Catholics are used to; it’s the tongue of our ecclesial heritage. Latin puts us in touch with the writing and worship of the Church from her earliest centuries; Latin allows us to enter the times and minds of our ecclesial ancestors and know them unfiltered and unmediated.

• Latin is supra-national. It doesn’t belong to any country or ethnic group; it’s something that is available to all without giving preference to any. Latin makes the stranger at home wherever he finds himself. It’s a mark of catholicity, of universality, in the Church whose mission territory is the whole world.

• Latin is a sign of communion. Latin is one more way for Catholics to live out their unity, not only across international boundaries, but across the centuries. The use of living prayers that were ancient in the mouths of saints a thousand years ago strengthens our bonds with them and strengthens our understanding of the timelessness of God. It’s a witness to the world about the true meaning of the “communion of saints ”.

• Latin is holy. This isn’t to say the language is sacred by its very nature, but it’s holy in the sense that it has no daily use except the worship of God. It’s set aside for worship, honoring a human impulse that transcends time and cultures, that establishes numerous liturgical languages including Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Old Church Slavonic, and Sanskrit.

• Latin ensures authenticity. Vernacular liturgies tempt some priests to experiment with novelties, to inject their own creativity and personality. Latin makes that all but impossible, ensuring that the people receive the authentic liturgy that’s their right and protecting the priest from the temptation to grandstand.

Seen this way, the use of Latin in the Mass is about far more than just being old-fashioned or perversely obscure or exclusive and elitist. The Second Vatican Council ordered that “the use of Latin is to be preserved in the Latin rites” and that “steps are to be taken to ensure that the faithful are able to say and sing together, also in Latin, those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass that pertain to them”. The Council ordered this not for shallow reasons of atmospherics or antiquarianism but because it understood that the universal Church needs a universal language. Most Catholics are still waiting for their schools, priests, and bishops to comply with this Council directive, a delay that has gravely disrupted their ability to live fully Catholic lives.

If Catholics had retained the regular use of the language the Council promised them, and if the two generations born since the Council had enjoyed the education and regular intended for them, Latin would not be seen today as something alien and exotic and slightly scary. The Holy Father’s motu proprio derestricting the older form of the Mass is not a nostalgic old man’s dreamy bid to put the clock back to the “good old days”, it’s a program for renewal and the future. The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass.

16 posted on Wed 19 Aug 2009 11:09:14 AM PST by Romulus (“Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur”)

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