Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why do I like Latin?

I posted the following comment in response to a post today "Is there anything special about Latin?"

One of the reasons that I like Latin is that few priests know enough Latin to be able to change the words of the liturgy. (Of course, I wouldn't be able to tell if they were doing it on purpose ).

A significant percentage of the priests who say the Mass in English, many of them very good priests, fall into the habit of "making it up" now and then. For some reason this seems to me to happen most often at the introduction to the Our Father and the Agnus Dei.

And sadly a small percentage of priests start improvising with the first Sign of the Cross at the start of the Mass.

I attend Mass during the week occasionally where Father reads every word in the Sacramentary, even the words of the Our Father, so that he doesn't fall into any bad habits. I don't need Latin when priests like that are celebrating the Mass.


Chris said...

AMEN, Ray! :D

joseph david said...

do you help the homeless?

Unknown said...

"do you help the homeless?"

Now just what kind of a moronic non sequitur is that? Of course it comes from something who doesn't have enough self confidence to identify himself.

Lots of people help the homeless. Pagans, pedophiles, murderers, pornographers, bigamists, atheists and witches help the homeless.

Do you thank Almighty God for the life He has given you? He gave His own life so that you might be able to achieve eternal salvation. Don't you care about that?

Are you able to do only one thing in life?

Terry Nelson said...

Actually Ray devotes a great deal of his time to veterans - he volunteers at the Minnesota Vet's Home. He also does a great deal of research for the Catholic Defense League. He also assists at Mass at St. Anthony Eldercare each week where he is in the schola. Let's see - what else does he do? Help the homeless - I think he does... Vets and the elderly would have no place to live if it wasn't for the homes Ray ministers in.

Martin T. said...

I understand that back when Latin was "the" language of the Church many priests mangled it so badly that, if you could hear them, you would have not understood them.

Unknown said...

That's a good point, Martin.

Some priests never could pass their Latin or theology tests and although they were ordained they were never allowed to say a public Mass or give a homily.

However one of them, the Venerable Solanus Casey, born Prescott, Wisc., worked in the Stillwater State Prison and for the Superior, Wisc. streetcar company before going into the seminary, became a Capuchin monk and may soon be canonized by the Church as a saint.

I don't think you have to be fluent in Latin to the point where you can write it or carry on a conversation. But you have to be able to read it and understand the meaning of what you are reading.

As an altar boy in the old days, the priests that I served under seemed to know what they were doing. All we servers did was memorize the responses, correctly pronounced. But we didn't know what we were saying unless we compared the Latin with the English translation in our Missal.