US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Primary tabs

Site Section: 
Topic (work in progress): 


Submitted by Jason C. Petty (not verified) on

Latin is clearly the highest ideal, with the vernacular being simply a permissible alternative. Exceptions can't swallow the rule. The Second Vatican Council stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the document suggesting liturgical reforms be undertaken), 36:[5]

1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Jason Petty is correct.

It is amazing how many people claim to love Vatican II, but then turn around and disregard what Vatican II really says. And they never, ever respond to points like those that Jason just made.

If Vatican II is to be considered the last word, then every word of it should be implemented - not just the portions of it that people find appealing.

Submitted by TPW (not verified) on

First of all during the current debate about liturgy,
the highest ecclesial authorities may have been consulted, but weren't listened to. When the appointed head of ICEL is a non-native English speaker it's clear that something is amiss.

Latin is the ideal...we don't live in an ideal world. The majority of Catholics in the US are English-speaking people....

This too will pass...hopefully sooner than later.....

Submitted by Henry Edwards (not verified) on

What seems most important to me is that the English translation be faithful and accurate, conveying fully the content of the Latin original. Presumably the alleged requirement that the new translation be literal is merely a means to this end.

The problem with the current (1973 ICEL translation) is not solely that it is not literal, but that it is inaccurate as well as banal and clunky.

Submitted by JW (not verified) on

I voted for option number two, but would prefer Mass to be more in line with what Vatican II seemingly wanted. By this I mean I would want a Mass in which much of the ordinary is in Latin (Vatican II says we are supposed to know it!), while the rest is in a beautiful, but comprehensible, English translation that remains true to the Latin.

I look forward to the new translation. It's not perfect, but it seems infinitely better than what we use now.

Submitted by OurLadysRabbit (not verified) on

The liturgy should return to Latin. That is how it has been for hundreds of years in the Church. It flies in defiance of tradition (on of main things the Church uses to defend its practices)to suddenly change to the common language because people don't know what is being said.
If people really wanted to know what the priest was saying, they should have cared enough to go and learn Latin, or follow along in a translation missal.

Submitted by Brian Hanifan (not verified) on

I'm with Vatican II and voted Latin. Though some literally, poetically translated vernacular could be used in places. Also, jetison that blasted NAB translation of the Bible will we?! God it's awful. RSV 2nd Catholic Edition would be pretty good.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Please resist the urge to use the Lord's name in vain, no matter how strongly you feel. BTW, if you're "Vatican II" you couldn't have voted Latin. If you voted Latin, you aren't Vatican II. Vatican II put the language of the Masses in the vernacular.

Jesus prayed in the vernacular. Jesus did NOT pray in Latin. Peter did not pray in Latin. Nor did Paul. They prayed in the languages of the people to whom they were ministering at the time.

Viva John XXIII!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The question is poorly phrased. It should more properly read:

a) Latin

b) An English translation that respects the integrity of the text

c) An English interpretation that reflects the ‘spirit’ of the text

ICEL does not translate, it interprets. If it merely translated, the bees would still be in the Exultet.

English translation that is literal or at least fully reflects the tone and meaning of the original text with LIBERAL use of Latin and Chant.