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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Daily Poll: Is Latin Still Relevant?

JillMackie-CC0

The Daily Catch - published on 05/18/16

Thomas McDonald wrote a piece today about the “comeback” that Latin is making in the secular world, even as it has receded from Church use:

Latin and Catholicism go together like wine and cheese. Christianity sprang from Jewish roots but took hold in Roman soil, and those tensions are part of its richness. As the faith spread, Latin provided a unifying language of worship and discourse, and after it faded from common use, it provided a sacred idiom. It was a kind of sacramental. These were words set apart for holy use. But it could also be a barrier to deeper understanding for many. The goal of the Vatican II Sacrosanctum Concilium was to liberalize the vernacular in order to improve comprehension for the faithful, not to banish the Latin entirely. Indeed, it explicitly states “The use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites,” as well as in the daily office. When the dust had settled from Council, however, you were about as likely to hear Klingon at Mass as you were to hear Latin. Thus our patrimony was lost, and only now is it fitfully being recaptured.

Students are studying Latin with the hopes of getting higher SAT scores or having an easier time with college assignments, while the Church has moved away from its traditional language. While Mass in the vernacular makes sense to many, we younger Catholics are sometimes wistful when we think about a time we never knew, when the whole Church was praying in the same language, and you could have gone to Mass anywhere in the world and prayed together in one tongue.

With this in mind we would like to ask:

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