Saturday, 17 November 2007

Liturgical Latin was never 'vernacular'

There is some willingness in my school to ensure some familiarity with the Latin liturgy (at the moment limited to the forma ordinaria). It is good to be able to give reasons to the children for why the Church retains the use of an ancient tongue, and of course one of the points that we mention is that at a particular time Latin was the vernacular. However, acknowledging this opens up a weakness; viz, that it ain't any more.

It now appears, however, that the matter is a great deal more nuanced. Fr Michael Lang, formerly of the London Oratory and now working in the Vatican Curia, is arguing that 'The Latin liturgy was from the beginning a sacred language separated from the language of the people...'

There is discussion over at the NLM and a translation of Fr Lang's entire article is at the incomparable Rorate.

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