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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Latin Mass

For the past year or so I have gradually fallen in love with Latin prayers at mass. I have heard about 31 masses in Latin which is the language of the Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church. Why do I love Latin at mass?
For centuries till Vatican II mass was in Latin, all the prayers were in Latin. You could move from India to the UK to USA and mass was in Latin no matter where you went despite people speaking different languages, when you went to church you prayed the 'Pater Noster' with all the Catholics across the world. What a tremendous sense of unity.
During one of the Latin masses, while listening to the Credo, I could not help thinking of all the Saints of the church. St Agustine, St Thomas Aquinas and on and on who heard and prayed the mass in Latin. Oh was a loss for our generations to lose this link with the historical and Church Victorious. Just pause for a moment and meditate on this. Imagine hearing and praying the mass in Latin (for example saying the Pater Noster). Imagine that these words that you say were said by St. Augustine or any of your favourite Saint. Does it not make the hair on your back stand as you are filled with the wonder and unity of being united with the past of our great Catholic tradition.
While I love the mass in the vernacular, my soul is uplifted when I hear and say the prayers in Latin.
This brings me to my second point. The advantage of hearing mass in vernacular is that a lot of the prayers and introductions of the mass are very meaningful and can be understood by the layman. (Example the introduction of the mass The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all... just ponder what it means to have the grace and love of God with us ) If this was in Latin most people would not undersatnd it right away. A solution to this would be to hand out a mass booklet before a Latin mass which had Latin on one half of the page and the vernacular on the other half, this way everyone would be able to follow the mass.
I am very happy that our Holy Father has allowed the use of the Latin mass, my only problem now is how do I convince my local parish priest to say at least one mass in Latin.
Please note that one of the best Latin masses I heard had the readings, Gospel and homily in the vernacular and all other mass prayers in Latin.
For an understanding of how beautiful one Latin prayer sound please refer to the Credo below:

2 comments:

paramedicgirl said...

Nice blog, Smiley! I love the Latin Mass, in particular the High Mass, but I do appreciate the quiet solitude of Low Mass; they are both the most beautiful expression of our love of God.

Mukta said...

Hi there

I just returned from holiday, so I hadn't seen your blog until now. Good going, B.

:-) shall visit more often...