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here is a thing I cannot find a clear answer on. Before Vatican II was it common for laypeople to pray for example the rosary in latin? I know it was common practice far back in time to memorize common prayers in latin but what about right up into the 1950s etc. Does anyone remember a grandparent or something such as this using latin for personal prayer? The paternoster used to be a way for laypeople to mimic the divine office with a hundred and fifty recitations (in latin to the extent of my knowledge) of the Lord's prayer, I also have found copies of the little office of Our Lady in latin from the first half of the twentieth century. But I still do not know as these were both practiced by the laity and religious. anyone know about this preferably from personal experience or memory of those older than oneself?
Way back the Rosary was called the "Poor (illiterate) Man's Psalter" as it was a devotion that could be undertaken by those who could not read or memorise all the Psalms.

It gradually became an exceptional and preferred devotion of all and sundry as it did not imply any spiritual or scholarly grandiosity... a simple unambiguous praise of God by a filial devotion to His, and our, Mother.
I do not recall a grandparent using Latin for an original prayer, nor English for that matter, they only spoke Italian. 

I would imagine it not being completely uncommon to say the Rosary in Latin as it is specifically mentioned in Introduction to the Devout Life by St Vincent de Sales; Part II Chapter I, The Necessity of Prayer. Also, many of the most common prayers know by Catholics used to be recognized by the beginning lines in Latin, de Profundis, Confiteor, Ave Maria, etc.

"It may help you to say the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc., in Latin, but you should also study
them diligently in your own language, so as thoroughly to gather up the meaning of these holy
words so much as seeking to say a few with your whole heart. One Our Father said devoutly is
worth more than many prayers hurried over."

I do not recall a grandparent using Latin for an original prayer, nor English for that matter, they only spoke Italian. 

I would imagine it not being completely uncommon to say the Rosary in Latin as it is specifically mentioned in Introduction to the Devout Life by St Vincent de Sales; Part II Chapter I, The Necessity of Prayer. Also, many of the most common prayers know by Catholics used to be recognized by the beginning lines in Latin, de Profundis, Confiteor, Ave Maria, etc.

"It may help you to say the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc., in Latin, but you should also study
them diligently in your own language, so as thoroughly to gather up the meaning of these holy
words so much as seeking to say a few with your whole heart. One Our Father said devoutly is
worth more than many prayers hurried over."

Some of old folks here use Spanish or Latin in some devotional practices.

N.
In the old days most Catholics knew many Latin songs and devotions for Adoration although the Rosary was in English.
I'd imagine most would know a decent amount. I could imagine the Rosary being prayed in Latin in public and the vernacular in private.

I use whichever I'm in the mood for. Admittedly, i know quite a few Latin hymns/chants, know the general meaning, but haven't a clue what most of the words/phrases mean.
Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the lay faithful to learn and to pray basic Catholic prayers in Latin.  The appendix to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers the Latin version of many of the prayers there.

I doubt, however, that pre-consiliar Catholics prayed their devotions in Latin. One of the reasons for such devotions is a certain popularization of the faith, which requires the vernacular.

I sometimes offer the Credo of my rosary in Latin. I also usually pray the Angelus in Latin. I do this for different reasons. The Credo helps me sense the universality of the Church and the Communion of Saints. The Angelus in Latin is beautiful.

That said, these days I feel averse to making a big issue of Latin. Most of all, I want to prevent a sense of pride and self-congratulation from poisoning my prayer.  Also, I don't want a focus on the form to otherwise usurp the essence of prayer. Latin can help or hurt, depending on one's dispositions, temperament and life circumstances. Along those lines, I was impressed with Fr. Zuhldorf's response to someone who asked him about reciting the act of contrition in Latin. He discouraged it, suggesting that the person did not have a good reason for doing this other than to impress.
When I was a boy practically everyone I knew could recite Aves, Paters, Gloria, Credo and all that in Latin.

All the liturgy of Mass and Benediction was exclusively Latin.

Even as a 7 or 8 year old boy serving at Mass or Benediction I could recite all the prayers in Latin and I knew what they meant even if I could not translate them word-for-word into the vernacular.

The important thing is, however, that no matter how impressions according to the vagaries of common usage or dialect change from time to time the real concepts remain written in the stone of a "dead" language.

Credo in Unum Deum will never be "we believe in a god"
Public prayer should always be in Latin, IMO. I know others may think differently. I often find myself responding to the NO Mass in Latin when I go. I don't do so loudly Tolkien style, but it just feels better to me.
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