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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Latin Mass

I received an email yesterday from a group urging Catholics to join them in voicing support for the return of the Tridentine/Latin Mass. That's how I understood it anyway, reading their objectives. I'm not sure how I want to go about this request. I love the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in Latin (I haven't been in one since college) more than in English, but I don't know that the Eucharist should eventually be celebrated purely in Latin. I'm almost sure that the readings and homily will be given in the vernacular, and, sure, the liturgy will be more solemn in Latin. I'm also aware of the continuing corruption of most languages, like English, as it continues to overload words with sometimes conflicting meanings. On the other hand, I also believe that the real issue with liturgical abuses after Vatican II lie mostly in innovations of the liturgy itself, not the language. For example, the lack of proper decorum and attire, or the introduction of those occasional modern dance routines. Finally, I'm not sure if Latin will end up affecting the worship of those who are not predisposed to learning the language. On the other hand, I also understand that worship in the liturgy is the lifting up of our hearts in participation and prayer. It's not about what we say or listen to but what we mean and hear. I certainly don't mind if we had one Latin Mass said every Sunday in the cathedrals and some of the more heavily attended churches, but for every Mass to be said only in Latin..? I just don't know. This bears more thinking before I do anything with that request.

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