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DVDs published to help the faithful learn the 1962 Latin Mass
cna ^ | August 12, 2009

Posted on 08/19/2009 10:09:54 AM PDT by NYer

Rome, Italy, Aug 12, 2009 / 04:03 pm (CNA).- The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which was recently incorporated into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has announced the publication of two DVDs to help “priests and the community” celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite.

The two DVDs include an entire Mass celebrated by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos—until recently the president of the Commission—at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in 2003.

The discs also feature segments explaining in detail the “gestures and rubrics, from the preparatio ad missam (preparation before Mass) to the act of thanksgiving in the sacristy.”

The video is available in four languages (Italian, English, Spanish and French) and is intended to be the “first concrete contribution of the Holy See for the implementation of the Pope’s wishes contained in Summorum Pontificum.” The Motu Propio “Summorum Pontificum,” which was released in July of 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI, granted universal permission to the faithful to celebrate the Tridentine Mass adapted by Blessed John XXIII in 1962.

The Commission has not yet announced where or how the DVDs can be purchased.


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; latin; mass; tlm
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1 posted on 08/19/2009 10:09:55 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

These should definitely generate greater iterest in the TLM.


2 posted on 08/19/2009 10:11:18 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

bookmark... not that you won’t ping it in a minute :-)


3 posted on 08/19/2009 10:12:20 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: NYer

HA! You beat me by a minute. I was probably typing it.


4 posted on 08/19/2009 10:12:57 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: NYer

The Latin mass could get be back in the church .. if I could find one that didn’t make me feel I was in a GYM.....


5 posted on 08/19/2009 10:13:51 AM PDT by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: IrishCatholic

I remember an Impressionist who used to do John Wayne as the Priest doing the Latin Mass.


6 posted on 08/19/2009 10:13:55 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: NYer

What’s the big deal about Latin? Peter spoke Aramaic, right?


7 posted on 08/19/2009 10:17:53 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: massgopguy

Ahahahaha. Yes. Thank you for the grin. Needed to smile today. =)


8 posted on 08/19/2009 10:17:55 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: ctdonath2

It’s not about archaeology. It’s about timelessness and universality.


9 posted on 08/19/2009 10:24:14 AM PDT by Romulus ("Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur")
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To: ctdonath2
If you grew up with the LM, nothing else seems "right". Later generations accept the current watered down church as what has always been. It isn't.

The church suffered at the hands of the liberals trying to make the it "more relevant" in much the same way American society suffered at the hands of theses same liberals trying to do the same thing there.

Just a couple of more examples that demonstrate how worthless liberalism truly is.

10 posted on 08/19/2009 10:38:59 AM PDT by skimbell
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To: Romulus

Aramaic (language of the Gospels) is still spoken in some areas.
Hebrew (language of the Old Testament) is still used by the Chosen People.
Greek (language of the Letters) is the epitome of timelessness and universality.
Latin is a dead language. Save for rituals and archeology, nobody uses it. Save for a very few then-contemporary references, it was not used for the Bible.
Insistence on using Latin for mass is a non-sequitur.


11 posted on 08/19/2009 10:46:26 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: skimbell
If you grew up with the Arabic adhān, nothing else seems "right".
12 posted on 08/19/2009 10:48:03 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: skimbell

Pope John XXIII was a dogmatic, liberal leaning prelate who tried, and mostly succeeded, in turning the Roman Catholic Church into the Roman Protestant Church. Then he was followed by the weak-kneed ineffecient Paul VI. It has taken John Paul II and Benedict XVI all these years to right the ship.


13 posted on 08/19/2009 10:55:23 AM PDT by tenthirteen
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To: ctdonath2
That may well be, but I grew up in the Roman Catholic church that used the Latin mass that is being discussed (1962) here.

That's what I'm familiar with and, as I read this article, that is what the author is talking about.

No idea where/when you enjoyed your Arabic adhan mass. It's not something I've experienced.

14 posted on 08/19/2009 10:59:27 AM PDT by skimbell
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To: NYer

bfl


15 posted on 08/19/2009 11:08:03 AM PDT by Excellence (Meet your new mother-in-law, the United States Government)
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To: ctdonath2
Latin is a dead language.

Which is why it's so well-suited for liturgy. The words don't change. Meanings don't change. Ministers won't muck it about.

The Church is our mother too, and Latin is her language.

In most cultures and at most times in history, the norm has been that people have had at least a nodding acquaintance with more than one language. Till quite recently, the English-speaking world has been a curious exception. Perhaps because of the enormous land mass of North America and the island nature of Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, we haven’t had the experience of regular dealings with other languages and dialects. Maybe this has made us a bit selfish and forgetful of what’s normal to the rest of the world. Whatever the reason, much of the rest of the world has at least a basic competence in more than one language. Till forty or so years ago, so did American Catholics. No, we weren’t all classics scholars, but we could say our prayers. At Mass we could sing some hymns and give the responses assigned to us. What we once had can be recovered more quickly than most of us realize.

One concrete way we make our home in the midst of divine mystery is through the use of sacred language – speech set aside for the worship of God. Liturgical language, chiefly Latin in the Catholic Church, is well-suited to sacred liturgy for a great many reasons:

• Latin doesn’t change. Unlike vernacular tongues, Latin doesn’t evolve over time, so it imparts stability to liturgy that guarantees the durability and integrity of the Faith as it’s handed from one generation to the next.

• Latin is traditional. In other words, Latin’s not just a comfortable habit Catholics are used to; it’s the tongue of our ecclesial heritage. Latin puts us in touch with the writing and worship of the Church from her earliest centuries; Latin allows us to enter the times and minds of our ecclesial ancestors and know them unfiltered and unmediated.

• Latin is supra-national. It doesn’t belong to any country or ethnic group; it’s something that is available to all without giving preference to any. Latin makes the stranger at home wherever he finds himself. It’s a mark of catholicity, of universality, in the Church whose mission territory is the whole world.

• Latin is a sign of communion. Latin is one more way for Catholics to live out their unity, not only across international boundaries, but across the centuries. The use of living prayers that were ancient in the mouths of saints a thousand years ago strengthens our bonds with them and strengthens our understanding of the timelessness of God. It’s a witness to the world about the true meaning of the “communion of saints”.

• Latin is holy. This isn’t to say the language is sacred by its very nature, but it’s holy in the sense that it has no daily use except the worship of God. It’s set aside for worship, honoring a human impulse that transcends time and cultures, that establishes numerous liturgical languages including Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Old Church Slavonic, and Sanskrit.

• Latin ensures authenticity. Vernacular liturgies tempt some priests to experiment with novelties, to inject their own creativity and personality. Latin makes that all but impossible, ensuring that the people receive the authentic liturgy that’s their right and protecting the priest from the temptation to grandstand.

Seen this way, the use of Latin in the Mass is about far more than just being old-fashioned or perversely obscure or exclusive and elitist. The Second Vatican Council ordered that "the use of Latin is to be preserved in the Latin rites" and that "steps are to be taken to ensure that the faithful are able to say and sing together, also in Latin, those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass that pertain to them". The Council ordered this not for shallow reasons of atmospherics or antiquarianism but because it understood that the universal Church needs a universal language. Most Catholics are still waiting for their schools, priests, and bishops to comply with this Council directive, a delay that has gravely disrupted their ability to live fully Catholic lives.

If Catholics had retained the regular use of the language the Council promised them, and if the two generations born since the Council had enjoyed the education and regular intended for them, Latin would not be seen today as something alien and exotic and slightly scary. The Holy Father’s motu proprio derestricting the older form of the Mass is not a nostalgic old man’s dreamy bid to put the clock back to the “good old days”, it’s a program for renewal and the future. The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass.

16 posted on 08/19/2009 11:09:14 AM PDT by Romulus ("Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur")
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To: ctdonath2

Only about 70% of the English language has Latin root words. Pick up a law book or a book on biology.

Latin is also the direct ancestor of French, Italian, Spanish,and Portuguese as well as few other languages including Romanian.

Latin is relevant and for centuries was the dominant language of western civilization.

I think if it were reintroduced into our public schools we would see a dramatic improvement in the quality of education and increase in the intelligence of our youth.

I never did study Latin in school (it was not offered) but I took five years of a closely related langauge, Spanish.


17 posted on 08/19/2009 11:12:44 AM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: Romulus

I have heard tell that the Catholic seminaries in the U.S. which instruct the traditional Mass are overflowing with applicants and interest.


18 posted on 08/19/2009 11:19:02 AM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: Romulus

Hear! Hear! Well said.


19 posted on 08/19/2009 11:27:04 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Romulus

i want this DVD... and we are Protestant! i just finished teaching our first Latin class of the academic year to our homeschool co-op... we love Latin... btw i was raised Catholic and do love the Catholic church... we attend mass on Good Friday, and i occasionally go to our local Catholic church in the morning to have a beautiful place to pray and contemplate...


20 posted on 08/19/2009 11:34:30 AM PDT by latina4dubya ( self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: Romulus

Suffice to say I’ve expressed my unsolicited opinion about the relevance of Latin in liturgy, and am not seeing any Biblical basis thereof in the responses. I’ll try to refrain from causing any further ruckus, interesting & entertaining though it may be.


21 posted on 08/19/2009 11:35:05 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: Romulus

Did you just write that off the top of your head? VERY good!


22 posted on 08/19/2009 11:40:31 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: ctdonath2

Sir, you are not causing a ruckus, just displaying your ignorance.

The Church made a grave mistake abandoning Latin and Vatican II was an attempt to make the Church more like the liberal mainline Protestant churches and look what happened to them.


23 posted on 08/19/2009 11:40:52 AM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: Welcome2thejungle

Ignorance? I’m just wondering why Latin when there were three other perfectly good Biblical languages to choose from. So far I see some warm-fuzzy rationalizations, but none exuding a basis in Scripture. The simple fact that Paul spoke Hebrew, Aramaic and/or Greek, yet someone down the line changed the “official” language to something not of that set puzzles me as to how it can be justified by Tradition when it was put into effect as a matter of contemporary communication, yet to make the same relevant change today is somehow a heresy against Tradition (which Christ Himself spoke against).


24 posted on 08/19/2009 11:58:23 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: ctdonath2

It’s because the Catholic Church isn’t Protestant and it isn’t Sola Scriptura! Latin has been used in the liturgy in the West for most of the Church’s history.


25 posted on 08/19/2009 12:09:14 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: ctdonath2

Jesus taught His ministry in Aramaic. He instructed His disciple Peter to establish His Church. The center of the known world at the time was Rome, the official language of the universal empire was Latin. Both SS Peter and Paul wound up in the center of the known world and founded the Catholic Church whose official language was the universal lingua franca of the empire, Latin.

For two thousand years the Church promoted education, the arts, the sciences, and advanced education and universities. Latin was the basis of all advanced fields including law and medicine as well as philosophy and theology.

Is there any question my friend, that the Church has been in state of decline since Latin was abandoned or that the state of our public education has also been in a state of decline since our public schools abandoned Latin as well?

As we conservatives wander in the wildnerness, it is now time to reconnect with our roots and traditions particularly those things which worked so well for many centuries.


26 posted on 08/19/2009 12:10:57 PM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: ctdonath2; NYer
Latin is a dead language. Save for rituals and archeology, nobody uses it. Save for a very few then-contemporary references, it was not used for the Bible.

You are mistaken, big time. The medical and legal people use Latin all the time, specifically because it is a "precise language", words and phrases have EXACT meanings. Nobody uses it? Think again. Better yet, ask your lawyer and doctor.

BTW, I strongly suspect that is the reason Vatican II subversives hate Latin, because they couldn't mangle the words or its meaning.

Spiritually speaking, the Latin Mass for the past say, 1500 years, is responsible for producing numerous great saints and doctors of the Church. This credit should not be negated. Promotion of Latin Mass is, I'd dare say, a noble goal, and way overdue.

27 posted on 08/19/2009 12:36:24 PM PDT by m4629 (politically incorrect, and proud of it)
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To: Welcome2thejungle

Exactly: the liturgy was adapted to the dominant language despite the language of Christ.
In the Roman Empire, that was Latin; to use some localized language would only serve a local culture, and to use a dead language would be pointless.
Today, it’s English; to use some localized language would serve a local culture, and to use a dead language is pointless.


28 posted on 08/19/2009 12:36:56 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: m4629

Excuse me for not elaborating to the entire fullness of every nuance of every conceivable relevancy however tenuous.

Medical & legal people use Latin, but only for very narrow applications - as in fractions of sentences.
My doctor may use a few words of Latin when discussing a diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean my entire conversation with him is in Latin. Big difference.

Those of us who “hate Latin” (as you put it) do so not because we “can’t mangle the words or its meaning” (as you viciously impute), but because 99% of congregants CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT. Doesn’t matter how precise it is if the expression is opaque.


29 posted on 08/19/2009 12:42:05 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: ctdonath2

Latin is not a dead language. 70 % of our vocabulary is descended from Latin including many of the words I am using now. Western Civilization was founded on the Latin language and French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian are direct descendants.

Latin was not only the official language of the Church for centuries, but it was also taught in the public schools as well.

Think of the improvement we would see in our public education if Latin was reintroduced. There would be a renewed interest in history, Western Civilization, the classics, ancient literature (like the works of Cicero and Caesar’s Commentaries), philosophy, reason, and logic. Our Founders understood Latin and founded our Republic much on the basis of the Old Roman Republic. They even copied much of the architecture for our new capital. I see so much positive potential by reintroducing Latin into both our spiritual and public lives. Vatican II has caused so much damage. The liberals nearly ruined the Church much as they have ruined public education. I see no down side to reintroducing Latin to public education and the Church.


30 posted on 08/19/2009 12:49:53 PM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: ctdonath2
Those of us who “hate Latin” (as you put it) do so not because we “can’t mangle the words or its meaning” (as you viciously impute), but because 99% of congregants CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT. Doesn’t matter how precise it is if the expression is opaque.

I strongly suspect you don't understand the Mission of the Universal Church, specifically the Latin Mass.

The Church, brings the Faith to various people in the whole world, thru their own local language (e.g. homily and catechesis), whereas the Church brings its people into the Faith and Universal Church thru its mother tongue, Latin, thru the Ordinary parts of the Mass, with translation for those needing it. This also enables everyone to Participate in Mass evreywhere in the whole world, in Latin.

btw, the most widely spoken language in the world is NOT English, it's Spanish, just in case you didn't know. I suspect you speak only one language. In general, from personal observation, Spanish speaking people don't suffer from superority complex as English speaking people do.

31 posted on 08/19/2009 12:50:47 PM PDT by m4629 (politically incorrect, and proud of it)
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To: latina4dubya

You are still a Catholic and can receive Communion providing that you have not remarried after a divorce or are not in the state of mortal sin. In other words, at those Masses you attend, if you go to Confession first you can go to Communion.

Another thing — many parishes have classes for returning Catholics. Ours is called “Catholic Can Come Home Again.”


32 posted on 08/19/2009 12:56:15 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: Romulus

But did Vatican II actually abandon the Latin Mass? I don’t think so. I think it was some unorthodox bishops who did so.


33 posted on 08/19/2009 12:58:50 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: Welcome2thejungle

Just because I’m alive and learning about my grandparents, and just because they influenced the world to the extent that they did, doesn’t mean they’re not dead.


34 posted on 08/19/2009 1:01:57 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: ctdonath2

Latin was the language of the Roman Empire. If you look at a map of the Empire you will see that it stretched from England to mid-Europe, over to Turkey, and around the coast of the Mediterranean. As Christianity spread, it spread throughout the Empire. Everyone spoke it (only the elites learned Greek). It’s really that simple.


35 posted on 08/19/2009 1:05:14 PM PDT by nanetteclaret (Unreconstructed Catholic Texan)
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To: Salvation

Vatican II promoted and encouraged Mass in the vernacular.

I don’t know whether or not it is a coincidence, but the huge problem with pedophile priests (for the most part) occurred after Vatican II.

Seems to me that the liberals really lowered the bar with respects to the standards and discipline of the Church.


36 posted on 08/19/2009 1:05:21 PM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: latina4dubya

Glad you love Latin and the Catholic Church, but just pointing out one thing: there is no Mass on Good Friday, anywhere.

Please think about returning to the Church. Best wishes.


37 posted on 08/19/2009 1:05:49 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: NYer

“The video is available in four languages (Italian, English, Spanish and French)”

What? No Latin?


38 posted on 08/19/2009 1:07:25 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Salvation

Vatican II made it possible, giving cover to the bad guys. Many key documents were written in a vague and flabby way that practically begged for (and may have been intended for) a perverse and anti-traditional interpretation.


39 posted on 08/19/2009 1:08:16 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: ctdonath2

I learned from my parents and grandparents that the pre-Vatican II Church was far superior to the post Vatican II Church.

Vatican II attempted to make the Church much like the mainline Protestant churches which are now virtually spiritual wastelands and liberal strongholds.


40 posted on 08/19/2009 1:08:51 PM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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To: ctdonath2
99% of congregants CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT.

Psst...congregants can't understand much of the English either. Neither can the clergy. They are not being asked to understand. The inadequacy of human understanding is why we are called to worship, geddit?

41 posted on 08/19/2009 1:11:40 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: m4629

You’re right. I don’t understand the mission of the Latin Mass. I don’t see what the point is in deliberately engaging in a linguistic exercise in a language most participants don’t understand beyond mere rote. I also don’t see the point in insisting everyone recite the exact same phonetics at the cost of individual spiritual understanding by billions. And I also don’t see the point of insisting the living adhere to the language of those long deceased when that language has gone with them.

As for Spanish, fine - make the standard Spanish. Or Mandarin Chinese, which vies for top spot as most commonly spoken. Show me even one person who speaks Latin a majority of their time.

You’re wound up with getting this Latin fixation “right”, when you don’t even use normal bread as Christ and alleged successors did (when WAS the “wafer” invented as such, anyway?), nor do participants lounge on couches at a low table (as described in Scripture). Christ condemned the Pharisees for subverting clear written law & example in favor of “tradition”.


42 posted on 08/19/2009 1:12:22 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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I’ll depart now. I didn’t want to cause a ruckus.


43 posted on 08/19/2009 1:12:59 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: steve86

I did write it. Not off the top of my head; it’s been lurking in my computer for a couple of years. Thanks for the generous compliment.


44 posted on 08/19/2009 1:14:12 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: ctdonath2

The purpose of Mass isn’t for the people- it’s for the worship of God and following His command.


45 posted on 08/19/2009 1:14:37 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: ctdonath2

The Catholic author Flannery O’Connor once pointed out that a God we could understand would be less than ourselves. Whether in this life or the next, sooner or later every Christian encounters the utter transcendence of the divine nature. Even as God’s love for us extends to the joining His nature to our own in the Incarnation, this revealing intimacy opens onto ever-greater mystery that we can never comprehend. So while there’s much we can know through Scripture and the Sacred Tradition originally deposited with the apostles, there’s infinitely more that’s unknown and unknowable. It’s this very quality of infinity that moves us to worship and adoration. It’s this very quality that acts as a mighty leveler of human intellect, reminding us that human understanding, be it puny or profound, is not a destination but only a launching point into fathomless mystery.

In the early centuries of the Christian era, a religious phenomenon called Gnosticism seduced a great many souls with the idea that salvation was a matter of secret knowledge. Gnostic sects taught that the material world was irredeemably corrupt and inferior to the spiritual realm. Proud to possess secrets that they thought would save them, the Gnostics were disdainful of the created order we see around us. It was a view completely incompatible with Christianity, which teaches that God loves the world so much that he has joined himself to it, becoming incarnate as Jesus for the purpose of our redemption – one that will eventually include our very bodies, resurrected and glorified – and even for the salvation of mere things, which will be restored to their intended purpose of glorifying their Creator by their ordered beauty.

Understanding that the world exists to assist us in giving glory to God, Catholics rely upon a great many physical signs and things as a means of grace and a way to give expression to our faith. Above all, we have the sacraments, given to us by Christ the Incarnate Word of God – and among the sacraments, above all we have the Holy Eucharist and the sacrifice of the Mass.

All Catholics need a basic knowledge of what is happening at Mass and why it matters. To be sure, Christianity has mysteries because God is infinite and perfect, but it’s not a “mystery religion”. God is also love, so Christianity is about light and revelation and communion. Communion is not a remote and impersonal affair, but an intimate and loving embrace. But to enter into communion with God is to enter the infinite and the perfect and the eternal. Communion with God transcends our ability to understand. As Catholics, we know we’re called to a mystery of holiness, which we don’t reject because it’s more than we can comprehend. We can be at peace with mystery and aren’t afraid to acknowledge it. The core of Catholicism is faith that God has revealed Himself through his incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, and blesses His Church sacramentally, through outward signs, objects, gestures, and words instituted by Christ or otherwise faithful to His teaching – to convey concepts beyond our powers of expression or comprehension.

Recently a local Catholic politician was heard promoting his Bible study group, arguing that he learns more from it than he ever has at Mass. This shows how the dominant Protestant culture in this country constantly imposes itself on Catholic minds, reducing theology to whatever passes through its evangelical filter. Protestants understand liturgy as an a didactic or evangelical event – in other words, a teaching opportunity and a proclamation of God’s word and edifying preaching, evoking a corresponding expression of faith on the part of the individual believer. These are not bad things, but they place a poor second to Catholic liturgy, which is sacramental – outward signs instituted by Christ, which convey grace by their action. Where the Mass is concerned, the unique sacrifice of Calvary – the Body and Blood of the fully-human, fully-divine Lord, offered to the Father as reparation for all sins – are made present for us, veiled under the outward signs of bread, wine, and water. They are then received by us in an act that both makes us one body in Christ and gives us the grace we need to continue in that life. In a limited sense we can know all this, but we can never reduce it to our understanding. Catholic Christianity is rich in words and signs that invite our response in faith, but includes a great deal more. Nor does the Church restrict the gifts at her disposal to those capable of understanding what she has to say.

Those who obsess about “understanding” in the context of liturgy need to shake off the fundamental error that what’s taking place at the altar can or ought to be comprehensible in the first place. In using signs to convey transcendent truths not reducible to plain speech, the Church is only following the example of our Lord, who, scripture informs us, never taught the people except in parable. We readily concede that we don’t understand the Incarnation or the Atonement or transubstantiation. We don’t really understand God’s perfect simplicity, nor what it means for us to be transformed into that image.

In the traditional form of the Mass, mystery is retained and even honored in a way that almost never happens in the Ordinary Form. The use of Latin as a sacred language reminds us that holy things are rightly veiled from profane scrutiny. The communion rail is present as a barrier, reminding us that holy things set apart for God are to be revered, not treated casually. The near silence of the priest at many points (whose face we rarely have to see) invites us to recollection and preserves us from distractions. The complex rubrics are signs for the eyes of the faithful opened to distant and hidden things.

The Traditional Form of the liturgy therefore reminds us that the Sacrifice of the Mass is about far more than just our instruction. Instruction can’t save us from eternal death. Christianity isn’t a self-improvement program. So while understanding, at least as far as our powers will take us, is a good thing, it isn’t THE thing. Heaven’s full of saints who never understood much if anything and had the humility to be at peace with that fact. Meanwhile, sad to say, hell is stuffed with proud intellects tormented by rage and despair. The Mass has inescapable elements of mystery which we can’t strip out without stripping out what Christ intends for us.


46 posted on 08/19/2009 1:19:34 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Pyro7480

What command dictates use of Latin?
What [nuts, I keep getting sucked into this...trying to stop...]


47 posted on 08/19/2009 1:20:00 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (flag@whitehouse.gov may bounce messages but copies may be kept. Informants are still solicited.)
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To: Romulus

I’ve added your terrific and very thoughtful piece of prose to the end of my profile (attributed to Romulus, of course), so more people can read it over time. Hope that’s OK and thanks!


48 posted on 08/19/2009 1:23:32 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: ctdonath2

Hey, it’s good that you speak from the heart. Didn’t realize we got you so riled up.

From personal experience, myself and most younger people who go to the Latin Mass, I had to re-learn Latin. It’s not difficult at all, you sort of flow with it. If you are curious, just try learning the “our Father” in Latin. Within a week, you will know it by heart.

Second, I have the feeling that what you actually feel is “fear of the unknown”, in this case, Latin. That could be overcome, have no fear. The Saints are with you.

Third, you are missing the transcendant part of the view in your written words. Those have gone before us are still living individuals, their souls are very much alive and didn’t die. They can hear our prayers and petitions. Pray to your grandparents, they are very much alive.

Fourth, the living Church, thru her collective wisdoms over time, do make liturgical revisions as well as corrections when they go astray. Stay tuned, and God bless.


49 posted on 08/19/2009 1:32:13 PM PDT by m4629 (politically incorrect, and proud of it)
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To: steve86

You’re quite welcome.


50 posted on 08/19/2009 1:35:07 PM PDT by Romulus (The Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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