Mass in Latin?
(04-10-2019, 09:00 PM)Tolkien RRJ Wrote: I was wondering why the mass was universally in latin for so long. Was it availibel in other languages say english in England as well? Wouldn't mass be spoken in either Hebrew [apostles/Jesus old testament language] Aramaic , or maybe Greek? why Latin? was the book of Romans written in Latin?

Okay,  here is probably a bit more than you want, but for your consideration as to the whys of Latin in the Liturgy and its importance:

As noted above, Latin was one of the languages written above Christ's head at his crucifixion.  The earliest liturgies of what became the Roman Rite in the West incorporated Hebrew, Greek and Latin.  

Ancient Classics scholar, Paul Berry, in The Christian Inscription at Pompeii, noted that through archaeology at Pompeii,  Latin was being used in the Mass before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

 The  liturgical scholar, Fr. Adrian Fortescue, wrote, the traditional Latin Mass is "the most venerable in all Christendom, with a history of unbroken use far longer than that of any Eastern rite, there being no doubt that the essential parts of the Mass are of Apostolic origin"..and which “From roughly the time of St. Gregory [d. 604] we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement, as a sacred tradition that no one has ventured to touch it except in unimportant details,” (The Mass, A Study of the Roman Liturgy, London, 1912).  

Latin was/is/ has become a fixed language, which is providentially critical for precision in doctrinal language and preserving error from being introduced into the liturgy.  Protestants used the vernacular in the liturgy to introduce subtle heresy.

[i] ". . . We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being said in the way one speaks on the marketplace. . . .” (Dom Prosper Gueranger, founder of the Benedictine Congregation of France and first abbot of Solesmes after the French revolution,  in  his 1840 Liturgical Institutions)[/i]

 If anyone says that the Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only, let him be Anathema . “ - Council of Trent (Session XXII, Canon 9

“If the Mass or the sacraments were nothing but a common prayer, read for the people, then perhaps the common language of each country would be the most proper to use; but then, also, would religion lose its chief character of Divinity, and the priesthood be stripped of the only character which distinguishes its members from the laity. We do not, therefore, blame the Protestants for using the common language of the people in their public prayers, for as they have neither sacrifice nor priest, they were only consistent in laying aside the language when they rejected the sacrifice and the Priesthood” - Fr. Michael Muller , “God the Teacher of Mankind” Pg. 502-3)

"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 that is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular."- Pope Pius XI, Officiorum Omnium, 1922

"The day the Church abandons her universal tongue [Latin] is the day before she returns to the catacombs."
Pope Pius XII

(**For those who recognize there is a crisis of doctrine and truly Catholic liturgy in the Church, it could be interpreted that today we are in a new catacombs of sort)

"The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism in respect of the Sacred Liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with laws and rubrics, deserve reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, (...) that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. They are, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august Eucharistic Sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast days – which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation – to other dates; those finally who delete from the prayer books approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.

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 corruptions of true doctrine." - Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947, Sec. 60
"Latin is the immutable language of the Western Church."- Pope John XXIII

"The Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular."
-John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia, February 22, 1962 (just eight months before the opening of Vatican II), chap. 13

"We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons … are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in some quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored."
-John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia, February 22, 1962 (just eight months before the opening of Vatican II), chap. 13

[size=undefined]"The use of the Latin language … is to be preserved in the Latin rites."   (*Whoops!)
Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), para. 36.1[/size]

"In accordance with the age-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the Divine Office."
Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), para. 101.1

"If the Church is to remain truly the Catholic Church, it is essential to keep a universal tongue."- Cardinal Heenan of Westminster (1967)

"Nevertheless, there are also those people who, having been educated on the basis of the old liturgy in Latin, experience the lack of this “one language,” which in all the world was an expression of the unity of the Church and through its dignified character elicited a profound sense of the Eucharistic Mystery. It is therefore necessary to show not only understanding but also full respect towards these sentiments and desires. As far as possible these sentiments and desires are to be accommodated, as is moreover provided for in the new dispositions. The Roman Church has special obligations towards Latin, the splendid language of ancient Rome, and she must manifest them whenever the occasion presents itself."
-John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, February 24, 1980, sec. 10

“The vulgar tongue has often vulgarized the Mass itself, and the translation of the original Latin has resulted in serious doctrinal  misunderstanding and error....  This Babel of common worship results in a loss of external unity in the worldwide Catholic Church, which was once  unified in a common voice....  We must admit that only a few decades after  the reform of the liturgical language, we have lost that former possibility of praying and singing together even in the great international gatherings such as Eucharistic Congresses, or even during meetings with the Pope as the external center of unity of the church.  We can no longer sing and pray together”.  -- Alfons Cardinal Stickler The Theological Attractiveness of the  Tridentine Mass,” a speech given on May 20, 1995 in Fort Lee, New Jersey  Catholic Family News, (II:7, July 1995), p. 10

Insisting on the vernacular language in the liturgy (at least in the Roman Rite) was already condemned well before Vatican II:

In Pope Pius VI's , [i]Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28. 1794, # 33, a condemnation of the robber Church Synod of Pistoia which attempted to introduce novelties under the veil of ambiguity, it states that: “The proposition of the synod by which it shows itself eager to remove the cause through which, in part, there has been induced a forgetfulness of the principles relating to the order of the liturgy, ‘by recalling it (the liturgy) to a greater simplicity of ritesby expressing it in the vernacular language, by uttering it in a loud voice…’” – Condemned as rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charges of heretics against it. (Denzinger 1533)[/i]

As noted above, Vatican II instigator John XXIII was even against vernacularization.  Paul VI disregarded this.

Of course, as we know, it is not so much about the language in the new liturgy, as it is not just the old rite vernacularized, but the fact that it is a wholesale new liturgy altogether that is the issue. 

Excerpt from THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED Spirago - Clarke 1899:

Quote:Latin is well adapted for the services of the Church, because it is both venerable and mysterious. It is venerable on account of its origin and its antiquity; it is the language in which the praises of God resounded from the lips of Christians during the first centuries. It is a sublime and solemn thought that the holy sacrifice is now offered in the same language, nay, with the very same words as it was offered in times long past in the obscurity of the Catacombs. There is also an element of mystery about the Latin tongue; it is a dead language, not understood by the people. The use of an unknown tongue conveys to the mind of the vulgar that something is going on upon the altar which is past their comprehension, that a mystery is being enacted. In the first centuries of Christianity a curtain used to be drawn during the time from the Sanctus to the communion, to conceal the altar from the sight of the worshippers. This is now no longer done, but the use of an unknown tongue has something of the same effect, by inspiring the awe into the minds of the common people. It is a striking fact that Israelites and pagans made use, in the worship of the Deity, of a language with which the multitude were not conversant. The Israelites made use of the ancient Hebrew, the language of the patriarchs; we do not find Our Lord or the apostles censuring this practice. The Greek Church, both orthodox and schismatic, employs the old form of the Greek language for divine service, not that spoken at present. The same language is in use in the Russian (so-called orthodox) Church, not the vernacular, which is a Slavonic dialect.

Quote:The use of Latin is a means of maintaining unity in the Church, as well as uniformity in her services. for the use of one and the same language in Catholic churches all over the surface of the globe, is a connecting link binding them to Rome, and making one nations which are separated by diversity of tongues. Latin, as the language of the Church, unites all nations, making them members of God's family, of Christ's kingdom. The altar on earth is a type of the heavenly Jerusalem where a great multitude of all peoples and tongues stand around the throne, praising God. If Latin were not the official language of the Church, deliberations and discussions among bishops assembled at the councils, the mutual exchange of opinions between theologians would be impossible. Moreover, the use of Latin, the language of ancient Rome, is a constant reminder of our dependence on the Holy Roman Church; it recalls to our minds involuntarily the fact that thence, from the Mother Church, the first missionaries came who brought the faith to our shores. The use of a dead language is a safeguard against many evils; it is not subject to change, but remains the same to all time. Languages in daily use undergo a continual process of change; words drop out, or their meaning is altered as years go on. If a living language were employed in divine worship heresies and errors would inevitably creep into the Church, and sacred words would be employed in an irreverent or mocking manner by the unbeliever. This is prevented by the use of Latin, at any rate as far as the unlearned are concerned. Yet the Church is far from desiring to keep the people in ignorance of the meaning of her religious services; the decrees of the Council of Trent (22, 8), strictly enjoin upon priests to explain frequently the mysteries and ceremonies of the Mass to the children in schools, and to adults from the pulpit. But as a matter of fact, it is by no means necessary for the people to understand every detail of the ceremonial of the Mass. "If," says St. Augustine, "there are some present who do not understand what is being said or sung, they know at least that all is said and sung to the glory of God, and that is sufficient for them to join in it devoutly." Moreover, experience teaches that the fact of the prayers being in Latin does not at all hamper or interfere with the devotion of the faithful, or lead them to absent themselves from the services of the Church. Besides, the sermons are always delivered in the vernacular; it is often used at the opening services and to some extent in administering the sacraments. The reason why the whole of the Mass is in Latin is because it is a sacrifice, not an instruction for the people, The greater part of the prayers are said by the priest secretly, so that were they in the mother tongue, they would be inaudible to the people. Furthermore, the celebration of Mass consists more in action than in words. The actions of the priest, the whole ceremonial, speaks a language intelligible to all. And if, as some would wish, all the services were conducted in the language of the country, persons of another nationality, not conversant with other languages, might be led to drop their religion on leaving their own land. Another evil consequent upon such a change would be a lessening of the respect felt for the holy sacrifice, as was proved at the time of the reformation, when the prayers of the Mass were, to a great extent, translated into German and English.

The Eastern Rites adopted putting their liturgies in the vernacular tongue, and their rites are all pretty much divided up by ethnic lines(Russian, Ukranian, Syriac, Greek, etc. etc.).  It is also one of the reasons why they have never had much of a missionary effort to the rest of the world. 

The Latin tongue in the liturgy, however, united all the different language speaking peoples of the West together, and through the TLM converted the Americas, large parts of Africa and Asia.  It was critical.

Messages In This Thread
Mass in Latin? - by Tolkien RRJ - 04-10-2019, 09:00 PM
Mass in Latin? - by Augustinian - 04-10-2019, 10:24 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by Tolkien RRJ - 04-11-2019, 04:57 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by Dominicus - 04-11-2019, 03:10 AM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by redneckpride4ever - 04-11-2019, 07:37 AM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by SaintSebastian - 04-11-2019, 09:44 AM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by Florus - 04-11-2019, 10:04 AM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by In His Love - 04-11-2019, 11:54 AM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by BC - 04-11-2019, 12:44 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by Melkite - 04-11-2019, 01:35 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by BC - 04-11-2019, 02:13 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by jovan66102 - 04-11-2019, 05:36 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by Alphonse il Segundo - 04-11-2019, 08:27 PM
RE: Mass in Latin? - by jovan66102 - 04-11-2019, 08:47 PM

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