Friday, July 08, 2005

Latin & Gregorian Chant to Make Comeback

Exciting news: details from the working version of "The Eucharist: source and summit of the life and mission of the church." From Yahoo! News:
[The paper] suggests, for example, that Latin be used during international liturgical gatherings so all priests involved can understand the proceedings, and it suggests that parishes consider using more Gregorian chants to prevent more "profane" types of music from being played.

It calls for priests not to be "showmen" who draw attention to themselves and says lay people can have an important but "minimal" presence in Masses. It says the tabernacle — which holds the bread and wine held by Catholics to be the body and blood of Christ — should have a prominent place in the church and not be shunted off to a corner.

Excellent! Read more: Vatican Criticizes Catholics on Communion


Capatosta said...

As an RCIA student one of the most moving experiences of the initiation process was hearing Gregorian Chant sung at the cathedral for the first time. When the latin language was removed from the mass something beautiful about the rite was removed as well.
Latin not only serves as a international bond of communication among the faithful, but has a facility and precision in expression not found easily in a popular vernacular.
Pope Benedict XVI has his detractors on many issues, but I hope this is one that will find an enthusiastic response in the mainstream.

Gary Miller said...

I totally agree with this move to restore latin and gregorian chant back in our worship. The beauty and dignity of the Mass.I also believe in the blessed sacrament being put back in the center of our worship space.

Gene M said...

Just as Gary has mentioned, I am happy to see the Blessed Sacrament being put back into the central part of the Mass.

Bill E said...

The one thing that people are forgetting is that most priests ordained since Vatican 2 did not study Latin as part of their studies. I also think that the changes that are coming regarding laity in the church are going to impact the lives of many American Catholics in a negative way. We have been trying to involve more and more people in our church community and I would hate to see that disrupted.

Mike said...

One thing I have to say about this is that the pope can say anything but will they do it ecspecially America. The American Bishops like to do there own thing. And plus just changing the Mass to latin isn't going to make anything better. The teaching will be the same so the catholic church will slow dye alway. We need to change back to the traditional latin mass.

In Jesus et Maria

Gene M said...

I'm not too sure if we will ever see the latin Mass again...but I think the American Bishops will be following Rome, what with Conservative leaders such as Archbishop Sean of Boston who is a Franciscan and still a young man. He took over a hornets nest up there, so he needs our prayers. Don't be surprised that when he becomes a cardinal, he becomes the first American Pope

Mike said...

If we ever have a American pope it will the most liberal of them of all. This Pope right now is just a transitional pope, next will be a young and liberal one. The church needs to look at all there doing and think about what happen in the past.

CPT Tom said...

While this pope isn't going to be in office for as long as JP II, I think calling him transitional is short changing Benedict. The longer he is active the more change he will make in the direction of Orthodoxy.

As far as the next Pope goes, he'll be young, but expect a moderate or an orthodox one like Benedict. The Asia, Africa and South America Cardinals along with help from the conservative Cardinals from the US will make sure of that just like they did this time.

If you have doubts about this, look at what is going on over in the Anglican Church, where the Episcopal Church in the USA has been rejected by the rest of that church. The African and Asian Anglican Churches are particularly harsh in their critic of the ECUSA. The same will happen in our church. The Lord is speaking, we need to listen to what he is saying.

Ellie said...

What is the point of changing the Mass back into Latin? Just for some lousy old priests. As a highschool student I am horrified to hear this, because it's not the priests that should be catered for, it's the lay people there for God, and nothing else. The Gregorian Chant, however beautiful, should be long forgotten of the mass. Aswell as the Blessed Sacrament. Hello? This is the 21st Century.. the old ways should be dying. What's the point in living in the past?

james said...

WOW!, it is a great joy for me and other Catholics who would want to end the false idea of modernity and liberalism in and out the Catholic Church. What we need is the universality of the church, the discipline; the veils and the magnificent chants. LETS GO BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS!!!

Mike said...
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Mike said...
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Mike said...

"What is the point of changing the Mass back into Latin?" Well there is a point Latin is a better language all around cause it is more exact and too the prayers have been CHANGED so much.
But like I said before they need to change it back to the Traditional Mass or there is no point. People think that the New Mass is just a simple translation of the Traditional Latin Mass, with a few changes. But it isn't. It was rewritten total. For example the Consecration, in latin it goes:
"Qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas, et elevatis oculis in coelum ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem tibi gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, diditque discipulis suis, dicens: Accipite,et manducate ex hoc omnes:HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM."

Now the english translation of that is: "Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and having raised His eyes to heaven to you, God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to You, He blessed, + it broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: "Take and eat of this, all of you,
Now that is the consecration of the bread There is a major change in the consecration of the Wine but I don't want to take that much space. So you have to take my word for it.

New Mass consecration of the bread of the Eucharistic Prayer II (which is most common) is as follows:

"Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks, He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body which will be given up for you."

To Note: Since I have been to a Traditional Latin Mass I would never go back to the
New Mass there is simply nothing left to it. It's just a Protestant Mass
in the Catholic Church. So just changing the mass to Latin wouldn't do any good.

And it doesn't matter if we are in the 1st Century or the 21st Century. Christ is still the Son of God and we have to respect what he gave to us.

"Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you." John 6:54

Margaret J. said...

Being a former Catholic I'm noticing that more and more peolpe are leaving the church because of some of the policies that take place during the masses and in what a "True Catholic" should believe and live by. I feel that by bringing back the tounge of Latin could be a bad thing for the growth of population in the Church. I think that more people would see this new additon as intimidating. i realize that i have very little room to speak because of my background of leaving the Church. i'm saying this from a point of veiw from someone who can see all sides of the issue because of where i once was and where i am now.

Paul Colicci said...

The Church has always held the Latin liturgical language in high esteem and for very good reasons that, apparently and sadly, seem to be greatly lost on modern Catholics. Those who oppose it would do well to study the Church's teachings concerning Latin, especially documents by Pope John XXIII, Pope Pius XII and great Catholic books such as The Catechism Explained (Tan Books) and Muller's The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Tan Books).

Different languages was introduced into the world only as a result of sin, from the sin/division caused by our first parents who broke the harmony that once existed between God and man. But the Church restores this harmony at Mass and expresses this in many ways such as by the use of one, untainted language, Latin. The Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with de fide statements that can never be changed. With the use of Latin, she is saying that an unchangeable faith needs an unchangeable language and Latin being a dead, unchangeable language is sorely needed in the Mass, the representation of Calvary in an unbloody manner) that currently is often reduced to the level of "community" (which the current Holy Father has always been concerned about).

Also, the Second Vatican Council never outlawed Latin, but held it in high esteem in its document, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Therefore, restoring Latin to the Mass (and Gregorian Chant which, according to Vatican II, should be given "pride of place" at Mass) conforms with the teachings of Vatican II!

Popes Speak on the Latin Language:

“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 which is universal, immutable, and non- vernacular.” (Pope Pius XI, Officiorum Omnium, 1922).

“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 corruption of true doctrine.” (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947).

“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.” (Pope John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia, 1962).

“The Latin language is assuredly worthy of being defended with great care instead of being scorned; for the Latin Church it is the most abundant source of Christian civilization and the richest treasury of piety... we must not hold in low esteem these traditions of your fathers which were your glory for centuries.” (Pope Paul VI, Sacrificium Laudis, 1966).

Mike said...

Just something to add: When the Mass was in the old rite (latin) the United States had 100,000 converts a year. And now there is 10,000 if lucky a year since the new rite has been introduced.

bullschuck said...

See, this is what happens when there's no new posts in the blog for a while. Readers get antsy and decide that they have to drive the course of the blog, not the Holy Father. Bring back more Papal news!!

Charles H said...

Too many people talk about returning to "old" ways, as if so-called "progress" has invalidated the ways of our ancestors. It's better to remember that some things, e.g. truth, NEVER change, exist outside of time and space, and that the whole idea of "progress" (outside of technological advances) is a new concept that wouldn't even register with most of the souls that have lived on this Earth.

Inquisitor Generalis said...

"What is the point of changing the Mass back into Latin? Just for some lousy old priests. As a highschool student I am horrified to hear this, because it's not the priests that should be catered for, it's the lay people there for God, and nothing else. The Gregorian Chant, however beautiful, should be long forgotten of the mass. Aswell as the Blessed Sacrament. Hello? This is the 21st Century.. the old ways should be dying. What's the point in living in the past?"

LOL! You've gotta be kidding me. Tradition is a part of our faith, so what's this "old ways shoudl be dying" stuff?

Peter said...

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and please forgive me for a response that has turned out to be far too long - it represents many years of pain and thought on this subject. I was a convert to the Catholic Faith around the time when fundamental changes were being felt in the Liturgy and preaching, often in the name of a misguided and non-doctrinaire spirit of ecumenism. This involved the exclusion of anything "Roman" eg. Latin, Gregorian Chant, prominence of the tabernacle and crucifix, and anything that might offend non-Catholics. It caused me a lot of distress and I had many arguments with priests who were being bullied by their bishops (who in turn were being bullied by liberal theologians) into ridding the Liturgy of "the last bastions of conservatism" as it was once described to me. They seemed to be disrespecting and turning their backs on so much of what had attracted me to the Church in the first place; namely the "Mysterium" and sacredness of the Liturgy, devotion to the Sacred Heart in the tabernacle, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the pre-eminence of Our Lady and saints. However, while I can identify with the various comments on this page on both sides of the argument, as time has gone by I can see a more powerful hand at work, over and above our rather feeble attempts to influence events and trends in the Church. I agree with the more liberal contributors that the simple re-introduction of Latin etc is in itself not the answer. At the heart of all this lies something much more fundamental, from which the other issues emanate. It is to do with Christology and the nature of the Incarnation, the Redemption, and their continuance in the Sacraments, particularly in the actual presence of the Incarnate God in the Catholic Church’s ministers and in the sacraments. A very big subject of course, but I will limit it to the liturgical reforms, which are a symptom and not the cause of the problem. It is well-known that the most recent primary instigator of liturgical reform, Pope Pius XII, merely intended that the Liturgy (as it was THEN) become more accessible and understood by the faithful, that its sacredness be more fully entered into. NOT that it be transformed out of all recognition and that it enter into the profaneness of the world. The Roman/Gregorian Liturgy, as we all know, grew from the monastic tradition and there had arisen, particularly after the counter-reformation, a certain remoteness of the congregation from what was happening in the sanctuary. You can see this still in the Eastern Catholic Rites and the Eastern Orthodox traditions. Pope Pius simply wanted the faithful to be better educated in the Sacred Rites and to participate more deeply. The recent abuses, implemented falsely in the name of Vatican II reforms, have no root in authentic Catholic reform and have been systematically opposed by Pope John Paul II and will now be likewise opposed by Pope Benedict XVI. There is an eschatological stance which says that God in His Infinite Wisdom freed Satan for just one more last, desperate attempt to destroy the work of Christ in the world. It is further argued that this period occurred around and following the 2nd Vatican Council. If that is true, Lucifer certainly had a field day didn’t he? But he failed. Contrary to those who condemn the “contemporary” Church as being false, anti-pope etc, surely the Holy Spirit continues to accomplish God’s promise in keeping it faithful. Let’s be clear, there is one Church and one Vicar of Christ on Earth, namely Pope Benedict the XVI, and God keeps him true. Satan, I think, is imprisoned once more and far from being “transitory”, I believe Pope Benedict XVI will be a warrior pope in a time when the Church is being prepared for a great battle against the spirit of the world, the world which Christ stated “I did not come to save”. This is perhaps why the Church is currently being cleansed of those who are unworthy to represent Him, for instance the unspeakable abusers of children. As for the American bishops. Well puleeease (I have to restrain my sarcasm here) they are but a drop in the ocean as far as the history of the Church is concerned. If anything, their respective flocks will abandon them before long - after all, why be a Catholic when you can be free of “ancient” restrains and have a real fun-filled, American life? The African bishops in human terms should be the biggest influence in the Church right now if it’s a numbers game. But they also are but grain of sand from God’s point of view.

Qvicvmqve said...

I perceive through several posts here that a primary objection to the Mass in Latin is that a foreign language is hard to follow. I find this a bit ironic, since today in North America, more than ever before, there's no guarantee that the language of people in the pews is English. This is, after all (to quote an earlier post...) the 21st Century!

With this in mind, you must decide which language is in fact the "language of the people." Certainly offering different Masses in different languages is a potential solution, but then the Mass serves as an instrument to divide rather than to unite people who would otherwise be able to worship together. Travelling to another country is a case in point -- the sense of alienation that is felt at being able to do no more than sit or stand as custom dictates, but not being able to fully participate because there's no translation available!

Even from a functional perspective, Latin seems to make beautiful sense! And from a Catholic standpoint (I use the term in its global sense) the Latin Mass is a means through which every language and culture can offer the same prayers with the same words in the same way -- at the same time -- together!

There is a beautiful levelling in this -- everyone has had to make an equal effort to learn the words and ceremony that makes up the liturgy of the Latin Mass. Which once learned is a gift that travels from time to time, from country to country and beyond translation to understanding

rich said...

St Paul, addressing the Corinthian church over the issue of using spiritual gifts in the church, spoke directly to the issue of speaking in unknown languages during worship services. He said, in part:

"But if I do not know the meaning of a language, I shall be a foreigner to one who speaks it, and one who speaks it a foreigner to me. So with yourselves: since you strive eagerly for spirits, seek to have an abundance of them for building up the church." (I Corinthians 14).

What help is it to the person in the pew if he or she doesn't comprehend the depth, breadth and height of the mysteries of the Mass because it is said in a foreign language (Latin)?

That makes no sense to me.


FL said...

I am over thrilled at the thought that Latin and Gregorian Chant is to make a ‘comeback’ into the Holy Sacrifice of our Lord -- the Holy Mass. As a Conservative Catholic, my hope is that the timeless Tridentine Mass will one day be said, with no restrictions what-so-ever, in every parish in the world along with the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass. Many may not know this, but the Holy Tridentine Mass IS allowed and IS said in many American parishes (Please visit this site: ). And I’m talking about with FULL VATICAN APPROVAL.

It’s too bad that in many Novus Ordo Masses, the mass is relegated to a show by the priest and lay people. I have found that after such ‘performances,’ the priest and/or choir or band get applauses and sometimes standing ovations; where in fact, I think the mass is something to be said piously and Christ centered, after all, it is He who we are worshipping in the Mass. Pope Benedict XVI (at the time Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote extensively on the dangers of the many ‘innovations’ incorporated into the Mass, none of which was called for in Vatican II documents. Unfortunately, included in those innovations was the elimination of the Latin language and Gregorian Chant from the Mass. I’m hoping, with great enthusiasm, that the Holy Sacrifice -- the Holy Mass, will one day TRULY thrive in the Spirit of Vatican II, and that Christ -- His Holy Taburnacle -- will be given His rightful place.