Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Vernacular

Vernacular means language of the people.  My church did mass in Latin when only prelates and Latin teachers knew what was being said.  So what did the people mass?  They prayed rosaries, devotional pieties, novenas from little books or cards they brought to church.  Well, my church decided in the early 60s to do mass in the language of the people so that there would be better understanding and participation.  So in the USA we have English.  But then my church could not convince enough guys to be priests, who spoke English as their first language, and were willing to be celibates.  The solution was to go to Countries that did not have English as its primary language, and bring over here priests/seminarians, with their accents, to do mass.  All sound systems destroy these accents.  A priest you can understand face to face, one on one, is totally unintelligible from the pulpit.  Solution?  For the laity it is back to the rosary and prayer books.  Or people with smart phones could say they were saying prayers from church apps.  For the Vatican it might be looking beyond male celibates, at least in this country.

1 comment:

  1. Ray Lew - Old St. Mary's Cathedral-Church, San Francisco, CAJanuary 4, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Father T: You posed a significant 'professional clergy' = solely celibate priests crisis in the American church today that is also contributing to parish mergers and closures, in addition to other major factor of diminish donations and Finances. Native vocations are lacking in numbers because the profession isn't so appealing to just celibate males in spite of tweaking the theology about Sacrament of Holy Orders. Having Latin is great, but will add a yr or two to seminary training to teach Church Latin, which is foreign to children and most adults; Mass attendance is perceived as Obligation and for sentimental reasons, so adults do their own pvt devotions while kids talked and played in the pews during Mass in my elementary school yrs. Besides the sometimes thick accents of the immigrant priests speaking in the American vernacular idioms, there is many times lack of shared American experiences, hardships included, for the Mass attendees to identify with. Do most people understand the Thomistic meaning of the "O Salutaris Hostia" hymn during Benediction? Don't argue with the Traditionalists. Latin is perceived as an Art form with sentimental attachment. Amen

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