the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
Latin is, contrary to popular belief, still the language of the Church, and the documents of Vatican II require it to be retained for the Mass (Gregorian Chant, too, is to be not only retained, but given "pride of place"! See Vatican II's document, "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy"; "Instruction on the Liturgy," Congregation of Rites, 16 October 1964; "Instruction on Music in the Sacred Liturgy," Sacred Congregation of Rites, 5 March 1967; "Iubilate Deo," Preface, Pope Paul VI, 14 April 1974; "General Instruction on the Roman Missal," Roman Missal, 1975, 3rd ed.; and "Fidelity to Doctrinal Foundations Must Guide All Liturgical Renewal," Address to US Bishops, 9 October 1998).
Sadly, we've lost
much since the "reformers" with their "spirit of Vatican II" have tried to
strip away our common language and cultural heritage. It used to be that
a Catholic could go to Mass anywhere in the world -- China, India,
Italy, Mexico, Australia -- and experience the same Mass in the same way.
The American could look at the Chinese man in the pew next to him and know
that both are "on the same page," hearing the Latin but each understanding
in his own language. They might not be able to speak to each other after
Mass, but both of them, during the liturgy, were participating in the same
supernatural Sacrifice, praying with the angels in the same language and
in a manner thousands of years old. If needed, each could have his Missal,
the former his "Latin-English Missal," the latter his "Latin-Chinese Missal,"
and follow along. Now, in the Novus Ordo liturgy with its predominant abuses
of Vatican II documents, the American and Chinese man would each have to
have buy a different Missal for every parish he visited which had a different
language than his own.
For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure until the end of time... of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.
And so was Pope Pius XII, when he wrote in Mediator Dei:
The use of the Latin language prevailing in a great part of the Church affords at once an imposing sign of unity and an effective safeguard against the corruption of true doctrine.
Since even the
documents of Vatican II have been ignored and Latin stripped from our liturgy,
since dissidents have won a few generations and have denied us the luxury
of growing up with our cultural birthright, we must make a conscious effort
to reclaim our unifying heritage and pass it on to our children. Please,
expose yourself and your children to Ecclesiastical Latin, to chant, to
traditional hymns and Catholic art. Give yourself and your children what
was denied to you and what makes life much more beautiful and rich. No layman
is expected to make a huge study of Latin Grammar or to be able to carry
on conversations in the language, but the ability to recognize a few basic
prayers and phrases, to be able to recognize the Latin and chants of those
parts of the Mass which never change -- these things are basic to our culture
and bring on a flood of mental and emotional associations. Do your soul a
favor and attend only the Traditional Latin Mass. Support the ancient liturgy
at all times! And, by all means, encourage your children -- especially your
sons -- to study Latin in school.
How to Pronounce It
Ecclesiastical Latin is different from the Latin you might learn in High School; it's basically Latin with an Italian accent (and a few other differences), the way Latin's been pronounced since around the 3rd and 4th centuries. It's actually pretty easy to pronounce as the rules are few and have so much in common with English and modern Italian. As a general rule, just set your mouth to speak Italian, with the slightly trilled "R," and pronounce every vowel and consant you see the same way an Italian would, with few exceptions. Vowels with acute accent marks are "long vowels."
A horizontal line
drawn over (or under) the numbers means to multiply by 1,000.
To type Latin vowels with acute accents, simply press the ALT key on your keyboard and hold down while pressing the following numbers on the Number Pad at the right of your keyboard: